Executive White House Order Inspires US Nuclear-Solar System Resources Plan for Asteroid Mining Expedition
03/10/2021 | 08:30am EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA, March 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NewMediaWire -- On February 24, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order to address a domestic shortage of key items including semiconductors, electric vehicle batteries, and rare earth metals by reviewing and strengthening our supply chains. To this end, US Nuclear (OTCQB: UCLE) and Solar System Resources Corp. (SSRC) are committed to locating and extracting valuable rare, precious, and critical earth metals from near-Earth objects, such as the Moon, Mars, and nearby asteroids. Critical and rare earth metals are surging in demand, as they are the vital building blocks of electrical vehicle batteries, wind turbines, smart phones and other portable electronics, high-performance magnets, catalysts, miniaturization of semiconductors, and more.
Solar Systems Resources Corp. is a space mining company that conducts localization, in-situ verification, and mining of space resources. US Nuclear recently signed an agreement on February 16, 2021 with Solar System Resources for the supply of rare He-3 mined on the moon, which will be primarily used as fuel for US Nuclear’s fusion power generators. Now, Solar Systems Resources and US Nuclear have their sights set on mining rare, precious, and critical earth elements that are in short supply from nearby celestial bodies. Some of the more valuable metals facing increased demand include lithium, manganese, cobalt, nickel, rhodium, and platinum, which are needed for consumer, industrial, medical, DoD, and environmental uses. The global lithium battery market is expected to reach $100 billion by 2025, cobalt is anticipated to grow to $13.63 billion by 2027, manganese to $42 billion by 2027, and nickel to $8.62 billion by 2022.
The latest report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance showed that electric vehicles (EVs) currently make up only 3% of the car sales worldwide, but are expected to grow to 10% by 2025, 28% by 2030, and 58% by 2040, with most automotive manufacturers planning to go completely electric by 2050. Tesla batteries currently use lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum, whereas lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries are common across the rest of the electric vehicle industry. It is projected that the supply of these metals will not meet the surging demand. Unfortunately, the United States is dependent on foreign sources for these critical materials. For example, China accounts for over 95% of the world’s production of rare earths, 60% of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo (80% of which is processed in China), and 80% of the world’s rhodium is mined in South Africa. The price of rhodium, an essential component in catalytic converters, has skyrocketed to $27,400 per troy ounce (from $1,715/troy ounce in 2018). This dependency creates a vulnerability to our economy and military, and the scarcity hinders or even prevents green technologies from progressing.
US Nuclear and SSRC have agreed that US Nuclear will be the exclusive American vendor for all rare earth metals, and non-exclusive vendor for other metals mined by SSRC, with the first substantial delivery planned for 2028-2032. US Nuclear will be SSRC’s conduit to the US market, helping to meet domestic demand as it continues to surge in the coming years.
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