SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Utah Senator Mitt Romney along with Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) introduced the Critical Mineral Independence Act of 2022 as they look to secure critical mineral independence from China.

According to Romney and Sullivan, the bill would work to direct the expansion of critical mineral mining and processing in the United States and its allied countries. It would also require the Director of the Defense Logistics Agency to develop and implement a strategy to expedite critical mineral mining and processing.

Critical minerals are defined as non-fuel minerals or mineral materials essential to the economic or national security of the U.S. and have a supply chain that is vulnerable to disruption. As of 2022, there are 50 minerals considered to be “critical minerals” including aluminum, arsenic, cobalt, graphite, lithium, nickel, tin, zinc, and more.

Many of the minerals listed as critical minerals are used in creating electronic components, batteries, fuel cells, and manufacturing steel.

Senators Romney and Sullivan introduced the bill saying the United States cannot afford to allow the critical minerals used by the Department of Defense to be mined or processed in adversarial countries, and the U.S. “must urgently invest and build its capabilities to achieve critical mineral independence in coordination with allies.”

“We put our national security and economic vitality at risk when we rely on countries for critical minerals,” said Romney. “Rapid, strategic investments by the U.S. and its allies in the mining and processing of critical minerals are needed to meet the security challenges we face today.”

The two senators say China controls much of the world’s critical mineral and processing, meaning the United States needs to invest in “sufficient independence of critical minerals to successfully implement the National Defense Strategy.”