Copper Is Critical

Why Copper is a Critical Mineral.

Updated data shows copper should be added to the U.S. Critical Minerals List immediately.

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America’s future depends on copper, and it meets every component of the U.S. Geological Survey’s definition of a Critical Mineral.

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Copper is essential to economic and national security.

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Copper plays a key role in energy technology, defense, consumer electronics, and other applications.

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Copper's supply chain is vulnerable to disruption.

graphic of rise in import of copper graphic Coppers supply risk score in 2022 is up to 0.423 The 4-year weighted average score is now up to 0.407 - both above the USGS 0.40 threshold for inclusion on the CML.

Copper and the Critical Minerals List

The U.S. Critical Minerals List, originally developed by executive order in 2018 and codified by the Energy Act of 2020, contains minerals deemed essential to the economic or national security of the U.S. and that have a supply chain vulnerable to disruption. The list was created to increase activity at all levels of the supply chain, including exploration, mining, concentration, separation, alloying, recycling, and reprocessing minerals. Since its inception, the list has become the shorthand way to refer to important minerals and is cited in dozens of legislative proposals intended to support those minerals through tax credits, government purchases, and permitting support.

Despite its clear criticality and dramatic uptick in import penetration from adversarial countries, copper was not included on the 2022 U.S. Critical Minerals List.

Because U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data was considerably out of date upon the release of the 2022 Critical Minerals List, and the world has changed dramatically since then, the Copper Development Association hired a consultant to update the copper supply risk score with the most recently available data through the first half of 2022. With the new data, copper’s supply risk score in 2022 is up to 0.423 and the four-year weighted average score is now up to 0.407 – both above the USGS 0.40 threshold for inclusion on the Critical Minerals List.

Given the significant change in the supply risk to copper, which shows no signs of slowing down, the Secretary of Interior should exercise the authority given to her by statute to officially add copper to the Critical Minerals List immediately.

thumbnail cover for publication - Copper and the Clean Energy Transition

Why Copper is a Critical Mineral

Despite copper's essential role in the economy and in clean energy, copper is not on the U.S. Critical Minerals List.

Here's what makes copper critical, and why it should be an officially designated critical mineral.

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CDA’s Rebuttal to Misleading Statements from USGS

A broad coalition of public policy and industry leaders in Washington and beyond agree copper is critical!

Senate

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Senator

Kyrsten Sinema (I- AZ)

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Senator

Mike Braun (R-IN)

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Senator

Mark Kelly (D-AZ)

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Senator

Joe Manchin (D-WV)

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Senator

Mitt Romney (R-UT)

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Senator

Raphael Warnock (D-GA)

These additional Senators also believe copper should be an official Critical Mineral

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Senator

Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

Copper Caucus

Bob Latta R OH-05

Co-Chair Bob Latta; R-OH-05

Brian Higgins D NY-26

Co-Chair Brian Higgins; D-NY-26

Governors

Governor Jim Justice
Jim Justice

State of West Virginia

Governor Mark Gordon
Bill Lee

State of Tennessee

Governor Mark Gordon
Mark Gordon

State of Wyoming

official portraot of Governor Tate Reevess of Mississippi
Tate Reeves

State of Mississippi

Governor Brian Kemp
Brian P. Kemp

State of Georgia

Governor Brad Little
Brad Little

State of Idaho

Governor Spencer Cox
Spencer Cox

State of Utah

Governor Mike Duleavy
Mike Dunleavy

State of Alaska


Associations & Unions

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American Foundry Society (AFS)

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American Supply Association

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Arizona Mining Association

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Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE)

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Copper & Brass Supply Chain Association (CBSCA)

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Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association

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Electric School Bus Coalition (ESBC)

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Empire Clean Cities

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Greater Boston Plumbing Contractors Association

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The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (The IAPMO Group)

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International Code Council (ICC)

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National Electrical Manufactures Association (NEMA)

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National Mining Association (NMA)

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New Mexico Mining Association (NMMA)

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Non-Ferrous Founders' Society (NFFS)

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North American Metals Council (NAMC)

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Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association

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PHCC of California

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Plumbing Manufacturers International

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Precision Machined Products Association

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Precision Metalforming Association

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Treated Wood Council

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United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters of the United States and Canada

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA)

Industry

Action Plumbing and Heating

Acronis SCS

Action Plumbing and Heating

Action Plumbing and Heating

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Alconex Specialty Products, Inc.

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AMES Copper Group

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Amity Die & Stamping LLC

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Arizona Sonoran Copper Company

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Aurubis Buffalo, Inc.

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Aviva Metals, Inc.

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Bunting Bearings LLC

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Cambridge-Lee Industries, LLC

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Carter Alloys Company

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Christymetals

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Cocalico Plumbing & Heating

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Concast Metal Products

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Copperweld

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Dolan Inc.

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Eaton

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Farmers Copper Ltd

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Fortress Wood Products

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Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

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Great Lakes Copper

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Greenwood Fabricating & Plating

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Heliox

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Hussey Copper

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IMC MetalsAmerica

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IWG Owl Wire

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Keats Mfg. Co.

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Kenmode Tool and Engineering

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Materion Corporation

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Midwest Transportation, LLC

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Miles Chemical

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Molex

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Morgan Bronze Products, Inc.

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Mueller Brass Co

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Mueller Industries, Inc.

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Mueller Streamline Co.

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New England Trading Global

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Prime Materials Recovery, Inc.

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Revere Copper Products, Inc.

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Rio Tinto America

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S+S Industries

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SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS

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SEA Electric

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Southwire Company LLC

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Stanley Spring & Stamping Corp.

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thyssenkrupp materials

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Titan International, Inc.

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U.S. Brass & Copper

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Viega LLC

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Zenobe

Take Action

Given the significant change in the supply risk to copper, which shows no signs of slowing down, we need to act immediately to enable the copper industry to provide the essential inputs that copper provides to our national defense and economic security.

Download our toolkit, and urge the Secretary of Interior to immediately add copper to the Critical Minerals List!

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