Helium removed from US critical minerals list


Helium has not been included in the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) 2021 Draft List of Critical Minerals, published in the Federal Register on 9th November.

The USGS, an agency under the Department of the Interior (DOI), is required by the Energy Act of 2020 to refresh the List of Critical Minerals at least every three years and the previous list of 35 critical minerals was published in May of 2018.

Helium, which is critical for applications such as semiconductor chip manufacturing, aerospace, MRI scanning, optical fibre manufacturing and nuclear power generation, and which has been prone to recurring shortages, was included on the 2018 list so it is a surprise to see helium not included on the draft 2021 list.

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