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Shortage of critical commodities threatens energy technologies and economic and military security
- June 1, 2024: Vol. 11, Number 6

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Shortage of critical commodities threatens energy technologies and economic and military security

by Benjamin Cole

Got dysprosium? How about tantalum? Some lanthanum?

The words above may sound like a raid on a dubious pharmacist, but they actually refer to scarce metals considered critical to the defense and renewable energy industries.

The aforementioned elements and many others are in increasingly sparse supply, along with several better-known elements, such as lithium, cobalt and nickel.

From national security warrens in major capitals to financial centers globally, pin-striped investors and top brass are weighing uncertain methods to ensure they have supplies of critical metals and minerals, in good times and bad.

The COVID-19 pandemic rattled the United States and other developed nations when supply chains faltered, and shortages appeared even in key medical goods, let alone other vital materials. Then, rising tensions after the Russian invasion of Ukraine again aggravated concerns regarding Russia and China and the availability of vital elements.

Of late,

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