US President Joe Biden. Source: Carlos Barria/Reuters.
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  • The White House says America must work with its allies to secure the minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries
  • The strategy is expected to include new funding to bolster international investments in battery metal projects
  • A working group will also be launched to identify where the metals can be produced and processed at home
  • Many domestic mines in the US face both extensive regulatory hurdles and environmental opposition
  • US President Joe Biden is aiming for every car on American roads to be electric by 2040

The White House said on Tuesday that America must work with its allies to secure the minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries, which will be processed domestically in a shift away from dependence on China.

The strategy is expected to include new funding to bolster international investments in battery metal projects through the US Development Finance Corporation, as well as new measures to increase supplies from recycling batteries.

A working group will also be launched to identify where the metals used in electric vehicle batteries and other technologies can be produced and processed at home.

These allies include countries like Canada and Finland, but a 250-page report also outlined policy recommendations that mention large lithium supplies in Chile and Australia.

Securing enough copper, lithium and other raw materials to make batteries is a major obstacle to US President Joe Biden’s ambitious green energy plans, particularly with many domestic mines facing both extensive regulatory hurdles and environmental opposition.

“The United States cannot and does not need to mine and process all critical battery inputs at home,” the White House said in the report.

“It can and should work with allies and partners to expand global production and to ensure secure global supplies.”

The report noted Native American opposition to the Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada, owned by TSX and NYSE-listed Lithium Americas Corp, as well as plans by car maker Tesla to produce its own lithium.

The strategy comes just after Biden — who has made climate change and competition with China key items of his agenda — ordered a 100-day review of gaps in supply chains, including electric vehicles.

He and other Democrats have been pushing ambitious climate goals, like having the majority of US-manufactured cars be electric by 2030, after which they’re hoping for every car on American roads to be electric by 2040.

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