On March 31, 2022, the president signed a determination permitting the use of Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III authorities to strengthen the U.S. industrial base for large-capacity batteries. With this action, the president gave the Department of Defense (DoD) the authority to increase domestic mining and processing of critical materials for the large-capacity battery supply chain.
The United States depends on unreliable foreign sources for many of the strategic and critical materials necessary for the clean energy transition, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese used in large-capacity batteries. Demand for such materials is projected to increase exponentially as the world transitions to a clean energy economy.
The DPA Title III authorities enables DoD to undertake actions, including but not limited to, feasibility studies and modernization projects for mature mining, benefication, and value-added processing projects to increase productivity, environmental sustainability, and workforce safety. It also allows for by-product and co-product production at existing mining, mine waste reclamation, and other industrial facilities.
This determination reiterates the administration’s commitment to sustainable development, and provides an example of how other nations can responsibly produce and process critical materials for large-capacity batteries.
The department continues to work with key stakeholders to use DPA Title III authorities to address risks and challenges across supply chains for large-capacity batteries. These authorities expand options and opportunities to accelerate and scale critical investments across key markets. More information about DPA Title III is available here, and the presidential determination may be accessed here.