Admin official offers support for reworked minerals list

By Hannah Northey | 06/05/2024 06:21 AM EDT

Lawmakers want to expand the U.S. Geological Survey’s list of minerals considered critical.

Bingham Canyon copper mine in Herriman, Utah.

A 2022 view of the Bingham Canyon copper mine in Herriman, Utah. Some lawmakers want the U.S. Geological Survey to add the metal to its list of critical minerals. Rick Bowmer/AP

A senior U.S. Geological Survey official Tuesday voiced support for legislation that would expand the federal government’s list of critical minerals to include materials like copper.

Colin Williams, who leads the agency’s mineral resources program, said the administration would work with lawmakers to make sure H.R. 8446 protects the integrity of two federal critical minerals lists — one from the USGS and a second from the Department of Energy.

“As a possible way to manage the two lists, the USGS supports this bill,” Williams wrote in prepared remarks for the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.


“We would, however, appreciate the opportunity to work with the subcommittee to ensure the legislation protects the scientific basis of the component lists,” he said.