Natural Resources and Environment:

Strategic and Critical Minerals and Materials

Published: Jun 29, 1982. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the President's program plan for strategic and critical minerals and materials. Concern over the uncertain availability of some minerals and materials considered essential to the Nation's industrial base, military buildup, and mobilization for national emergencies has long been an issue associated with the need for a national nonfuel minerals and materials policy. Accordingly, legislation enacted in 1980 gives high priority to the issue of strategic and critical minerals and materials. While the President's program plan identifies general solutions to diminish the vulnerability of U.S. minerals and materials, more specific measures are required. The plan does not adequately address such fundamental issues as: (1) what constitutes a strategic and critical mineral or material; (2) the magnitude of potential U.S. vulnerability in a given nonfuel mineral or material market, and (3) the proper Federal role, including the benefits and costs associated with various mitigating alternatives. GAO concluded that, unless these issues are resolved, a viable strategy to reduce U.S. minerals vulnerability may be difficult, if not impossible.

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