President Joe Biden highlighted his efforts to counter China's dominance of the electric battery market as he touted domestic efforts to mine and process lithium and rare metals.
The Democratic president said on Tuesday that he is awarding $35 million to MP Materials. The Las Vegas-based company mines rare earth metals along California's border with Nevada. The money will help MP Materials improve its capabilities to process the metals domestically.
The metals are used in magnets that go into electric batteries. Biden also touted efforts to extract lithium from around Southern California's Salton Sea. Lithium is another key element used in electric batteries.
Biden said on Tuesday, “We can’t build a future that’s made in America if we ourselves are dependent on China for the materials that power the products of today and tomorrow.” He said, “And this is not anti-China, or anti-anything else. It’s pro-America.”
Chief Executive Officer of MP Materials, Jim Litinsky said, “My team is committed to bringing this supply chain home.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was on the call along with President Biden and California business and government leaders and said, “If it’s as big as it appears to be, this is a game-changer in terms of our efforts to transition to low-carbon green growth and to radically change the way we produce and consume energy.”
Watch the full meeting here: