Alaska Metals Could Fuel an Electrified Economy

April 5, 2024

According to the Critical Minerals list provided by the United States Geological Survey, Alaska is uniquely positioned to help the United States move into an electrified economy and significantly aid domestic manufacturing.

Why is this relevant?

This is important for the U.S. on several fronts, perhaps the most significant being a need to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources for metals and minerals needed for national security. Alaska could be pivotal for establishing and ensuring a more diverse, resilient, and stable supply chain. 

Beyond that and looking toward a sustainable future, Alaska’s range of metals and critical minerals could hold the key for domestically manufacturing and deploying various components of electrified technologies such as electric vehicles, renewable energy systems, and battery storage. More direct access to domestic sources of metals and critical minerals can also spur innovation and technology development. 

Did You Know?

  • 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 in 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.
  • Silver - A critical component needed for solar panels is mined at Alaska's Hecla Greens Creek Mine
  • 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

A Healthier World

Social and environmental considerations are also part of the domestic production equation. Mining operations in Alaska must adhere to rigorous environmental and social standards. Developing mines and processing facilities in the U.S. would ensure that manufacturers could use materials in electrified technologies for EVs and new energy technologies that are sourced responsibly, minimizing environmental impacts, reducing carbon footprints caused by international transport, and respecting local communities.