2022 Final List of Critical Minerals, 10381-10382 [2022-04027]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 37 / Thursday, February 24, 2022 / Notices and competition with invasive nonnative plant species. Achieving recovery for the 50 species will require assessments of populations and their habitats; selection of sites for long-term conservation; control of threats; development of regulatory protections; species-specific research; and translocation of species in order to maximize resiliency, redundancy, and representation. A detailed recovery strategy for each species group or species is presented in the main body of the recovery plan. Request for Public Comments Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan development. By policy we also request peer review of recovery plans (59 FR 34270; July 1, 1994). In an appendix to the approved final recovery plan, we will summarize and respond to the issues raised during public comment and peer review. 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Authority jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Robyn Thorson, Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2022–03614 Filed 2–23–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Feb 23, 2022 Jkt 256001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey 2022 Final List of Critical Minerals U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: By this notice, the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), presents the 2022 final list of critical minerals and the methodology used to develop the list. The 2022 final list of critical minerals, which revises the final list published by the Secretary in 2018, includes the following 50 minerals: Aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barite, beryllium, bismuth, cerium, cesium, chromium, cobalt, dysprosium, erbium, europium, fluorspar, gadolinium, gallium, germanium, graphite, hafnium, holmium, indium, iridium, lanthanum, lithium, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, neodymium, nickel, niobium, palladium, platinum, praseodymium, rhodium, rubidium, ruthenium, samarium, scandium, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, thulium, tin, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, ytterbium, yttrium, zinc, and zirconium. ADDRESSES: Public comments received on the draft list of critical minerals are available at www.regulations.gov under docket number DOI–2021–0013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Mosley, (703) 648–6312, jmosely@usgs.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339 or dial 711 to contact Mr. Mosley during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with this individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. Normal business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 7002 of the Energy Act of 2020 (the Energy Act) (Pub. L. 116–260), on November 9, 2021, the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), published in the Federal Register a draft list of 50 mineral commodities proposed for inclusion on the Interior Department’s list of critical minerals and the methodology USGS used to create the list. 86 FR 62199. The Federal Register notice provided for a 30-day public comment period, which closed on December 9, 2021. On December 14, 2021, the USGS published a notice in the Federal Register extending the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10381 comment period by 32 days. 86 FR 71083. The public comment period closed on January 10, 2022. The comments are available for public viewing at www.regulations.gov under docket DOI–2021–0013. Consistent with the methodology described in the November 2021 Federal Register notice, the 2022 final list of critical minerals revises the Interior Department’s final list of critical minerals, which it published in 2018 pursuant to Executive Order 13817—A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals. 83 FR 23295. USGS received 1,073 comments during the extended comment period and received 4 letters after the comment period. Two comments were made anonymously, 996 were from individuals, and 77 were submitted on behalf of organizations. The comments included 91 requests to include specific minerals, including copper, phosphate, silver, and lead, which also were not on the 2018 final list, and helium, potash, and uranium, which were on the 2018 final list, but not on the draft list. Many of the comments requesting to include these specific minerals noted their importance or provided other qualitative rationale for their inclusion. However, the comments did not identify any inaccuracies in the data used to conduct the quantitative evaluation in accordance with the published USGS methodology, nor did they identify any single points of failure. USGS applied the quantitative methodology to each of the minerals requested for inclusion that were not on the draft list, and per the criteria articulated in the Federal Register Notice publishing the draft list at 86 FR 62199, a qualitative evaluation was conducted only when other evaluations were not possible. After applying the methodology, USGS determined that the minerals requested for inclusion did not meet the criteria for inclusion on the final list. There were 991 requests, the vast majority of which were form comments, supporting the removal of uranium (included on the 2018 final list) from the 2022 final list. The comments also included 5 requests supporting the exclusion of other specific minerals, including copper, helium, potash, rhenium, and strontium, none of which the USGS had proposed for inclusion on the list. As noted above, USGS received requests to include four minerals that other commenters also requested to exclude: Copper, helium, potash, and uranium. Some commenters took issue with USGS’s reliance on the Mineral Policy Act of 1970 to characterize uranium as a fuel mineral. Even assuming the E:\FR\FM\24FEN1.SGM 24FEN1 10382 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 37 / Thursday, February 24, 2022 / Notices jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 Mineral Policy Act of 1970 does not inform the meaning of ‘‘fuel mineral’’ in the Energy Act, uranium nevertheless qualifies as a ‘‘fuel mineral’’ under the latter statute. The Energy Act excludes ‘‘fuel minerals’’ from the definition of critical minerals, and uranium is used as a fuel: While uranium has important non-fuel uses, it is a major fuel commodity in the United States. Many public comments addressed issues not directly associated with the development of the 2022 final list of critical minerals. Instead, they addressed regulatory and policy issues. These comments will be passed on to other agencies for appropriate consideration. A small number of comments requested the addition of processed mineral products that were not evaluated for inclusion on the list in this cycle. These included high purity silicon metal and boron carbide, for example, materials for which USGS does not have sufficient data to evaluate at this stage. The USGS appreciates the input from stakeholders and is identifying opportunities to include evaluation of these and other minerals or mineral products in the next update of the methodology. The Department’s list of critical minerals is not static and will be reviewed at least every three years and revised as necessary to reflect current data on supply, demand, and concentration of production, as well as current policy priorities, as required under the Energy Act. The 2022 final list of critical minerals was created using the most recent available data for non-fuel minerals and the current state of the methodology for evaluation of criticality. The methodology used to develop the 2022 final list of critical minerals is based on the definition of ‘‘critical mineral’’ and the criteria specified in The Energy Act. The methodology was published by the USGS in 2020 1 and 2021 2 and includes three evaluations: (1) A quantitative evaluation of supply risk wherever sufficient data were available, (2) a semi-quantitative evaluation of whether the supply chain had a single point of failure, and (3) a 1 Nassar, N.T., Brainard, J., Gulley, A., Manley, R., Matos, G., Lederer, G., Bird, L.R., Pineault, D., Alonso, E., Gambogi, J., Fortier, S.M., 2020, Evaluating the mineral commodity supply risk of the U.S. manufacturing sector Sci. Adv., 6(8) (2020), p. eaay8647, https://doi.org/10.1126/ sciadv.aay8647. 2 Nassar, N.T., and Fortier, S.M., 2021, Methodology and technical input for the 2021 review and revision of the U.S. Critical Minerals List: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1045, 31 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ ofr20211045. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Feb 23, 2022 Jkt 256001 qualitative evaluation when other evaluations were not possible. The quantitative evaluation uses (A) a net import reliance indicator of the dependence of the U.S. manufacturing sector on foreign supplies, (B) an enhanced production concentration indicator which focuses on production concentration outside of the United States, and (C) weights for each producing country’s production contribution by its ability or willingness to continue to supply the United States. Further details on the underlying rationale and the specific approach, data sources, and assumptions used to calculate each component of the supply risk metrics are described in the references cited in this notice. Several comments addressed the overall methodology that USGS used to develop the list, including assertions that the USGS should include additional quantitative or qualitative factors. USGS appreciates these suggestions and will consider them in future updates to the methodology. However, the USGS did not find that any of the comments identified technical flaws in the factors considered or data used in the quantitative methodology that would warrant any changes in the methodology. After considering all comments received, the USGS believes that the methodology described in USGS OpenFile Report 2021–1045 (https://doi.org/ 10.3133/ofr20211045) remains a valid basis for the review and revision of the list of critical minerals. Therefore, the USGS is hereby finalizing the draft list of 50 critical minerals as the final list. A listing of which critical minerals are predominantly recovered as byproducts and further rationale for excluding copper, helium, lead, phosphate, potash, rhenium, silver, strontium, and uranium from the 2022 final list of critical minerals are outlined in the draft list of critical minerals published in the Federal Register at 86 FR 62199. Host minerals for critical minerals that are predominantly recovered as byproducts are identified in USGS Open-File Report 2021–1045, p. 11. The U.S. Government and other organizations may also use other definitions and rely on other criteria to identify a mineral as critical. In addition, there are many minerals not on the 2022 final list of critical minerals that are nevertheless important to the economic and national security of the United States. This 2022 final list of critical minerals is not intended to replace related terms and definitions of minerals that are deemed strategic, critical or otherwise important. PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Authority: E.O. 13817, 82 FR 60835 (December 26, 2017) and The Energy Act of 2020, Section 7002 of Title VII (December 27, 2020). James D. Applegate, Associate Director for Natural Hazards, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Geological Survey. [FR Doc. 2022–04027 Filed 2–22–22; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX22LR000F60100; OMB Control Number 1028–0062] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Industrial Minerals Surveys U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is proposing to renew an Information Collection with revisions. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before March 28, 2022. ADDRESSES: Send your comments on this Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget’s Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov; or via facsimile to (202) 395–5806. Please provide a copy of your comments to the U.S. Geological Survey, Information Collections Officer, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive MS 159, Reston, VA 20192; or by email to gs-info_collections@ usgs.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1028–0062 in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Elizabeth S. Sangine by email at escottsangine@usgs.gov, or by telephone at 703–648–7720. You may also view the ICR at https:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\24FEN1.SGM 24FEN1

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[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 37 (Thursday, February 24, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10381-10382]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-04027]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Geological Survey


2022 Final List of Critical Minerals

AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: By this notice, the Secretary of the Interior, acting through 
the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), presents the 2022 
final list of critical minerals and the methodology used to develop the 
list. The 2022 final list of critical minerals, which revises the final 
list published by the Secretary in 2018, includes the following 50 
minerals: Aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barite, beryllium, bismuth, 
cerium, cesium, chromium, cobalt, dysprosium, erbium, europium, 
fluorspar, gadolinium, gallium, germanium, graphite, hafnium, holmium, 
indium, iridium, lanthanum, lithium, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, 
neodymium, nickel, niobium, palladium, platinum, praseodymium, rhodium, 
rubidium, ruthenium, samarium, scandium, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, 
thulium, tin, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, ytterbium, yttrium, zinc, 
and zirconium.

ADDRESSES: Public comments received on the draft list of critical 
minerals are available at www.regulations.gov under docket number DOI-
2021-0013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Mosley, (703) 648-6312, 
[email protected]. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
or dial 711 to contact Mr. Mosley during normal business hours. The FRS 
is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or 
question with this individual. You will receive a reply during normal 
business hours. Normal business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except for Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 7002 of the Energy Act 
of 2020 (the Energy Act) (Pub. L. 116-260), on November 9, 2021, the 
Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the U.S. 
Geological Survey (USGS), published in the Federal Register a draft 
list of 50 mineral commodities proposed for inclusion on the Interior 
Department's list of critical minerals and the methodology USGS used to 
create the list. 86 FR 62199. The Federal Register notice provided for 
a 30-day public comment period, which closed on December 9, 2021. On 
December 14, 2021, the USGS published a notice in the Federal Register 
extending the comment period by 32 days. 86 FR 71083. The public 
comment period closed on January 10, 2022. The comments are available 
for public viewing at www.regulations.gov under docket DOI-2021-0013. 
Consistent with the methodology described in the November 2021 Federal 
Register notice, the 2022 final list of critical minerals revises the 
Interior Department's final list of critical minerals, which it 
published in 2018 pursuant to Executive Order 13817--A Federal Strategy 
to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals. 83 FR 
23295.
    USGS received 1,073 comments during the extended comment period and 
received 4 letters after the comment period. Two comments were made 
anonymously, 996 were from individuals, and 77 were submitted on behalf 
of organizations. The comments included 91 requests to include specific 
minerals, including copper, phosphate, silver, and lead, which also 
were not on the 2018 final list, and helium, potash, and uranium, which 
were on the 2018 final list, but not on the draft list. Many of the 
comments requesting to include these specific minerals noted their 
importance or provided other qualitative rationale for their inclusion. 
However, the comments did not identify any inaccuracies in the data 
used to conduct the quantitative evaluation in accordance with the 
published USGS methodology, nor did they identify any single points of 
failure. USGS applied the quantitative methodology to each of the 
minerals requested for inclusion that were not on the draft list, and 
per the criteria articulated in the Federal Register Notice publishing 
the draft list at 86 FR 62199, a qualitative evaluation was conducted 
only when other evaluations were not possible. After applying the 
methodology, USGS determined that the minerals requested for inclusion 
did not meet the criteria for inclusion on the final list.
    There were 991 requests, the vast majority of which were form 
comments, supporting the removal of uranium (included on the 2018 final 
list) from the 2022 final list. The comments also included 5 requests 
supporting the exclusion of other specific minerals, including copper, 
helium, potash, rhenium, and strontium, none of which the USGS had 
proposed for inclusion on the list. As noted above, USGS received 
requests to include four minerals that other commenters also requested 
to exclude: Copper, helium, potash, and uranium.
    Some commenters took issue with USGS's reliance on the Mineral 
Policy Act of 1970 to characterize uranium as a fuel mineral. Even 
assuming the

[[Page 10382]]

Mineral Policy Act of 1970 does not inform the meaning of ``fuel 
mineral'' in the Energy Act, uranium nevertheless qualifies as a ``fuel 
mineral'' under the latter statute. The Energy Act excludes ``fuel 
minerals'' from the definition of critical minerals, and uranium is 
used as a fuel: While uranium has important non-fuel uses, it is a 
major fuel commodity in the United States.
    Many public comments addressed issues not directly associated with 
the development of the 2022 final list of critical minerals. Instead, 
they addressed regulatory and policy issues. These comments will be 
passed on to other agencies for appropriate consideration.
    A small number of comments requested the addition of processed 
mineral products that were not evaluated for inclusion on the list in 
this cycle. These included high purity silicon metal and boron carbide, 
for example, materials for which USGS does not have sufficient data to 
evaluate at this stage. The USGS appreciates the input from 
stakeholders and is identifying opportunities to include evaluation of 
these and other minerals or mineral products in the next update of the 
methodology.
    The Department's list of critical minerals is not static and will 
be reviewed at least every three years and revised as necessary to 
reflect current data on supply, demand, and concentration of 
production, as well as current policy priorities, as required under the 
Energy Act. The 2022 final list of critical minerals was created using 
the most recent available data for non-fuel minerals and the current 
state of the methodology for evaluation of criticality.
    The methodology used to develop the 2022 final list of critical 
minerals is based on the definition of ``critical mineral'' and the 
criteria specified in The Energy Act. The methodology was published by 
the USGS in 2020 \1\ and 2021 \2\ and includes three evaluations: (1) A 
quantitative evaluation of supply risk wherever sufficient data were 
available, (2) a semi-quantitative evaluation of whether the supply 
chain had a single point of failure, and (3) a qualitative evaluation 
when other evaluations were not possible. The quantitative evaluation 
uses (A) a net import reliance indicator of the dependence of the U.S. 
manufacturing sector on foreign supplies, (B) an enhanced production 
concentration indicator which focuses on production concentration 
outside of the United States, and (C) weights for each producing 
country's production contribution by its ability or willingness to 
continue to supply the United States. Further details on the underlying 
rationale and the specific approach, data sources, and assumptions used 
to calculate each component of the supply risk metrics are described in 
the references cited in this notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Nassar, N.T., Brainard, J., Gulley, A., Manley, R., Matos, 
G., Lederer, G., Bird, L.R., Pineault, D., Alonso, E., Gambogi, J., 
Fortier, S.M., 2020, Evaluating the mineral commodity supply risk of 
the U.S. manufacturing sector Sci. Adv., 6(8) (2020), p. eaay8647, 
https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aay8647.
    \2\ Nassar, N.T., and Fortier, S.M., 2021, Methodology and 
technical input for the 2021 review and revision of the U.S. 
Critical Minerals List: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 
2021-1045, 31 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211045.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several comments addressed the overall methodology that USGS used 
to develop the list, including assertions that the USGS should include 
additional quantitative or qualitative factors. USGS appreciates these 
suggestions and will consider them in future updates to the 
methodology. However, the USGS did not find that any of the comments 
identified technical flaws in the factors considered or data used in 
the quantitative methodology that would warrant any changes in the 
methodology.
    After considering all comments received, the USGS believes that the 
methodology described in USGS Open-File Report 2021-1045 (https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211045) remains a valid basis for the review and 
revision of the list of critical minerals. Therefore, the USGS is 
hereby finalizing the draft list of 50 critical minerals as the final 
list. A listing of which critical minerals are predominantly recovered 
as byproducts and further rationale for excluding copper, helium, lead, 
phosphate, potash, rhenium, silver, strontium, and uranium from the 
2022 final list of critical minerals are outlined in the draft list of 
critical minerals published in the Federal Register at 86 FR 62199. 
Host minerals for critical minerals that are predominantly recovered as 
byproducts are identified in USGS Open-File Report 2021-1045, p. 11.
    The U.S. Government and other organizations may also use other 
definitions and rely on other criteria to identify a mineral as 
critical. In addition, there are many minerals not on the 2022 final 
list of critical minerals that are nevertheless important to the 
economic and national security of the United States. This 2022 final 
list of critical minerals is not intended to replace related terms and 
definitions of minerals that are deemed strategic, critical or 
otherwise important.
    Authority: E.O. 13817, 82 FR 60835 (December 26, 2017) and The 
Energy Act of 2020, Section 7002 of Title VII (December 27, 2020).

James D. Applegate,
Associate Director for Natural Hazards, Exercising the Delegated 
Authority of the Director, U.S. Geological Survey.
[FR Doc. 2022-04027 Filed 2-22-22; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE P