Alaska's Role in Redefining America's Future

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The Urgency of U.S. Independence

America is at a strategic crossroads. 

  • More than half of essential minerals are imported, including 31 out of 35 critical ones, making the nation vulnerable.
  • China controls 80% of the global rare earth elements market, posing a risk to U.S. technology and defense.
  • Alaska offers a path to enhanced U.S. independence with significant deposits of essential minerals, including copper, zinc, graphite, cobalt, and rare earth elements.
Image courtesy of USGS

Alaska’s Critical Contribution 

Our untapped mineral reserves are much more than economic assets; they're the linchpins of advanced technology, renewable energy, and national security. 

  • Alaska’s mines can produce several minerals that are listed as critical by the USGS for domestic manufacturing, and particularly for the deployment of clean energy technology. These minerals are crucial for renewable energy and the increasingly electrified economy.
  • Tapping into Alaska's resources shifts the U.S. toward greater self-reliance and reduces global market dependence.
  • The state also has opportunities to produce some of the country’s important rare earth elements, used in a variety of military and industrial processes.
Graphite - Alaska has the largest natural graphite deposit in the U.S. Graphite has important applications in lubricants and batteries for electric vehicles.
Cobalt - Cobalt is another key input for electric vehicle batteries and is today mostly produced from the Democratic Republic of Congo by Chinese-owned companies.  Alaska has the potential to more than double current domestic production of cobalt in the U. S.
Rare Earth Elements - The state also has an opportunity to produce some of the country’s important rare earth elements, used in a variety of industrial processes
Silver - A critical component needed for solar panels is mined at Alaska's Hecla Greens Creek Mine.

Mining With Integrity

Alaska is at the forefront of ethical mining. 

  • Our stringent environmental regulations, which are among the world's most rigorous (Source: Alaska Department of Natural Resources), ensure that Alaska’s mining practices are not only economically beneficial, but also environmentally sustainable. 
  • Alaska’s robust permitting process, involving dozens of permit requirements from multiple federal and state agencies, sets a high standard for responsible mining.
  • Public input is an integral part of the environmental and permitting processes for mining projects in Alaska, ensuring community concerns and environmental impacts are addressed

Unlocking Opportunities in Alaska’s Mining Sector

Investing in Alaska's mining sector is a direct investment in America's future. It's a strategic decision that reduces import dependency, bolsters economic growth through job creation, and supports industrial development. It's about realizing our potential as an independent, secure, and prosperous America.


  • China’s market share of rare earth elements has grown exponentially within the last decade and  dominates the global supply chain, controlling about 80% of the market. (Kleinman Center for Energy Policy)
  • As of today, China accounts for 63% of the world’s rare earth mining, 85 percent of rare earth processing, and 92 percent of rare earth magnet production. (Brink News)
  • More than 70 percent of all mined cobalt needed in the electric vehicle industry comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and most of that cobalt is controlled by China. (Virtual Capitalist)
  • Of 42 minerals deemed important for emerging technologies, the U.S. is import-reliant on 13, of which China is the leading source for 9. (Stanford University)
  • China currently produces more than 60% of the world's mined graphite and nearly 90% of the advanced anode material for lithium batteries. Graphite Creek in Northwest Alaska could supply the entire nation’s graphite needs and feed the lithium-ion battery supply chain. (Bureau Of Land Management)


Why should I care about Alaska's role in mining and reducing reliance on foreign minerals?

Economic stability: Relying heavily on foreign sources for critical minerals makes the U.S. economy vulnerable to international market fluctuations and political tensions. By developing Alaska's extensive  mineral resources, we can create a more stable and self-reliant economic foundation.

National security: Many of these minerals are essential for defense technologies. Dependence on foreign sources, especially from geopolitical rivals, can compromise national security. Alaska's mining industry can help ensure that the U.S. has a reliable and secure supply of these vital materials.

Technological and green energy advancement: Many of today's technologies and the future of green energy, such as solar panels and electric vehicles, require minerals that Alaska can provide. By supporting Alaska's mining industry, you are directly contributing to the technological advancement and the transition to cleaner energy, which benefits everyone in terms of environmental sustainability and innovation.

Job creation and economic growth: The mining industry in Alaska offers high-paying jobs and supports local economies, including in remote and rural areas. From skilled labor to advanced engineering and management roles, the Alaskan mining industry fosters not only individual career growth but also ensures the economic well-being of entire communities.

Why is America's reliance on foreign minerals a concern? Isn't global trade beneficial?

While global trade has its benefits, over-reliance on foreign sources for essential minerals poses a strategic risk. The U.S. is import-reliant for 31 out of 35 critical minerals, with more than 50% of our supply coming from abroad (Source: U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries). This dependency leaves the nation vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, geopolitical tensions, and market manipulations, especially from countries like China, which controls approximately 80% of the rare earth elements market (Source: Congressional Research Service).

How significant is China's dominance in the rare earth elements market?

China's dominance in the rare earth market is significant and concerning. They control about 80% of the global supply chain for these elements (Source: Congressional Research Service). Rare earth elements are crucial for various technologies, including smartphones, electric vehicles, and military equipment. This dominance gives China considerable leverage over global technology and defense industries, making it a national security concern for the U.S.

How can Alaska’s mining industry meet the needs of the global demand for metals and minerals?

Alaska's mining sector, while not a complete solution, can significantly contribute to meeting national mineral needs. Developing Alaska’s mines could create thousands of jobs and contribute billions to the U.S. economy (Source: National Mining Association). Even though Alaska alone can't meet the entire global demand, its contributions can substantially decrease U.S. dependency on foreign minerals, making a significant strategic difference.

What makes Alaska’s resources so important on the global scale?

Alaska’s mineral wealth, particularly key metals like copper, gold, zinc, silver, and rare earth elements, positions it as a potential national asset. (Source: National Minerals Information Center). The Red Dog Mine, for example, is one of the world’s largest zinc producers (Source: Teck Resources Limited). By responsibly tapping into these resources, the U.S. can reduce its reliance on foreign countries, enhancing national security and economic stability.

Are there environmental concerns with increasing mining activities in Alaska?

Responsible mining is a priority in Alaska. In fact, the state’s mining operations adhere to environmental regulations that are some of the most stringent in the world (Source: Alaska Department of Natural Resources). Alaska's rigorous permitting process involves multiple federal and state government agencies and dozens of individual permit requirements, ensuring sustainable and environmentally conscious mining practices (Source: DNR Office of Project Management and Permitting). These practices include ongoing environmental monitoring, land reclamation, reclamation bonds, and public involvement opportunities, setting a high standard for responsible mining.

If manufacturing is happening abroad, why does it matter that our materials are from foreign countries too?

The source of raw materials is crucial, even if device assembly happens overseas. Relying on foreign minerals exposes the U.S. to supply chain risks and geopolitical instability, especially with China controlling a major share of the rare earth market.

Domestic sourcing, like from Alaska's vast mineral reserves, strengthens our national security and economic independence. The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 echoes this by aiming to revitalize U.S. manufacturing and reduce foreign reliance.

Moreover, sourcing from places like Alaska contribute responsible mining practices and better environmental stewardship. In short, while device assembly locations are harder to change, sourcing materials domestically is a strategic move toward a more secure and sustainable future.