Panel tees up bills to expand federal critical mineral list

By Hannah Northey | 06/03/2024 06:22 AM EDT

Some of the legislation up for a hearing this week enjoys bipartisan support.

Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.).

Legislation from Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.) would make copper part of the U.S. Geological Survey's list of critical minerals. Mariam Zuhaib/AP

A House panel will take up legislation this week to expand the federal government’s list of “critical” minerals to include materials such as copper and phosphate, which would open projects to federal subsidies and faster permitting.

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing on three Republican-led bills Tuesday.

H.R. 8446 would broaden the U.S. Geological Survey’s list of critical minerals under the Energy Act of 2020. That law’s metric for criticality includes a mineral being essential to economic growth or national security, and being vulnerable to supply chain disruptions.


The “Critical Mineral Consistency Act,” from Republican Reps. Juan Ciscomani and Eli Crane of Arizona and Dan Newhouse of Washington, would expand the list to include copper, as well as electrical steel, silicon and silicon carbide.