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Report: US plans rare-earth magnet stockpile

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Report: US plans rare-earth magnet stockpile

Amid a broader push by the White House to reduce U.S. dependence on imports of critical minerals and metals, the Pentagon has requested proposals for a stockpile of rare-earth magnets, Reuters reported, citing a government document.

Reuters reported the Pentagon is looking for another party to store a six-month supply of neodymium-iron-boron magnets that are used in some U.S. missiles and jets.

The Pentagon wants responses to the request by Jan. 22, 2020, Reuters reported.

In recent years, the White House has ratcheted up efforts to become less dependent on imports of rare earths and other metals and minerals that it has deemed "critical." Production of some of those metals, such as rare earths and also rare-earth magnets, is dominated by China.

Last year the U.S. published a list of "critical minerals" that comprised 35 minerals, metals and groups of metals, which included rare earths.

In July of this year, the White House issued a series of "presidential determinations" aimed at shoring up the domestic rare earths sector under the Defense Production Act, which gives President Donald Trump broad leeway in making sure the U.S. has access to materials it depends on for defensive purposes.

More recently, the U.S. Army has outlined plans to fund a rare earths processing plant, according to another Reuters report, citing a government document, while the U.S. has also sought partnerships with other countries such as Australia to boost their rare earths sectors.