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Trump: US Must Boost Rare Earth Mineral Exploration for National Security

© Flickr / nikzaneUS-flag emblazoned factory on Wilmington Ave and 223rd St in Carson CA (Longbeach
US-flag emblazoned factory on Wilmington Ave and 223rd St in Carson CA (Longbeach - Sputnik International
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In an executive order, US President Donald Trump urged private industry to boost the mining of critical minerals to protect the national security of the United States.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US President's executive order called for identifying new sources of critical minerals and for increasing activity at all levels of the supply chain, including exploration, mining, concentration, separation, alloying, recycling and reprocessing critical minerals.

"An increase in private sector domestic exploration, production, recycling, and reprocessing of critical minerals… will reduce our dependence on imports [and] improve our national security and balance of trade, and enhance the technological superiority and readiness of our armed forces," the executive order said on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump listens during a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. - Sputnik International
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US domestic production of rare earths has lapsed over the past 20 years, leaving the country almost totally dependent on the materials essential for the production of smart phones and many other high tech devices on imports from China, Kazakhstan and other Asian nations.

"This dependency of the United States on foreign sources creates a strategic vulnerability for both its economy and military to adverse foreign government action, natural disaster, and other events that can disrupt supply of these key minerals," the executive order said.

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