CDA says USGS stance on copper ignores its own methodology

24th May 2023

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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The Copper Development Association (CDA) has slammed the US Geological Survey (USGS) for misleading a bipartisan group of congressmen and senators about the need for copper to be included in the US 2022 critical minerals list.

CDA president and CEO Andrew Kireta Jr says the UGCS has sent “well-crafted” letters to the group, filled with arguments that are not part of the USGS’s official 2022 methodology, or consistent with the spirit or letter of the law to justify a decision to forego immediately adding copper to the list.

“This decision was made even though Secretary [Deb] Haaland has the authority given to her by statute to add copper to the list, without waiting for the next update in three years,” says Kireta.

The CDA argues that copper should be part of the official critical minerals list owing to its dramatic supply risk, stating that the metal’s risk score is now above the threshold for automatic inclusion on the 2022 list.

The CDA states that the USGS addresses supply risk with a rearward-looking analysis that does not address current and forward-looking policy demands that could leave domestic supply chains short of critical minerals.

The USGS' last official evaluation for the 2022 critical minerals list is based on copper trade data that represents supply risk from 2014 to 2018, which CDA says is five to nine years out-of-date, and too old to be meaningful.

The organisation points out that copper was recently added to the EU’s proposed critical raw materials and strategic raw materials list.

“Continued supply trends and solid data confirm that the supply risk for copper is not a short-term issue that will self-correct without determined, immediate and strategic action,” says Kireta. “We must ensure that America’s manufacturers and supply chains have ready, reliable, economic access to copper to meet the growing demand and policy goals for a cleaner electrical grid, a lower carbon economy, and a strong and resilient defence sector. CDA calls upon Members of Congress to not accept USGS’ decision lightly and to undertake all means and measures to address this ill-conceived and unfounded decision.” 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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