Biden humiliated as reliance on RUSSIA for weapon ammo exposed – and it includes nuclear

Ukraine: ‘Misguided’ Joe Biden slammed over weapons restrictions

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

In spite of being the world’s largest military force, as well as enjoying the largest military budget, the US depends on two of its sworn adversaries to produce its ammunition and military equipment. The reliance comes in the form of a key mineral required in the production of such hardware, and something that is in short supply in the US.

Antimony is a critical element in producing many military items including armour-piercing bullets, explosives and nuclear weapons.

Other less fatal equipment such as night vision goggles also relies heavily on the element which holds the 51st spot on the periodic table, with a symbol of Sb.

The elusive mineral is now part of front line congressional efforts to increase reserves of the US stockpile of rare earth minerals.

Multiple other elements such as titanium, tungsten, cobalt and lithium are also on the list of minerals heavily required by US manufacturers.

The House Armed Services Committee has raised concerns in a bill over China’s stronghold on the antimony market.

A report accompanying the bill would require the manager of the national defence stockpile to brief the committee on the status of antimony by October while providing “a five-year outlook of these minerals and current and future supply chain vulnerabilities”.

The brief added: “The committee is concerned about recent geopolitical dynamics with Russia and China and how that could accelerate supply chain disruptions, particularly with antimony.”

According to IndexMundi, China dominates the world antimony reserves by a huge margin.

China’s production of the element by metric ton saw Beijing sit on reserves of over 145,000.

Its nearest rival in the production of antimony is Canada with a mere 7,000 metric tonnes.

Russia sits in third place with 6,500 metric tonnes according to estimates.

For the US, the draft legislation proposed would also require the Defence Department to instate a policy of recycling spent batteries to reclaim “precious metals, rare earth minerals and elements of strategic importance (such as Cobalt and Lithium) into the supply chain or strategic reserves of the United States”.

Plans are set to be approved today with the Armed Services Committee set to advance the legislation as part of its yearly defence authorisation proposals later this month.

After Japan cut off the US supply of antimony from China during World War 2, the US began procuring the mineral from ore in an Idaho goldmine.

However, the indigenous mine ceased production in 1997.

A report by the US Geological Survey in 2020 said: “There is no domestic mine for antimony.

“China is the largest producer of mined and refined antimony and a major source of imports for the United States.”

DON’T MISS:
MoD buys new tech to avoid data ‘apocalypse’ [REPORT]
‘Profound concerns’ as Putin backs Iran in nuclear talks [REVEAL]
NATO sends 3,000 troops to Russian border in show of force [INSIGHT]

The report noted that China is “losing market share with Russia” with Tajikistan gaining ground in the global market.

Representative Seth Moulton, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, led seven Republicans in April in asking the defence appropriations subcommittee to provide an additional £210million ($264million) in funding for the stockpile for FY23.

Lawmakers wrote: “The current stockpile is inadequate to meet the requirements of great power competition.

“The [national defence stockpile] is no longer capable of covering the Department of Defence’s needs for the vast majority of identified materials in the event of a supply chain disruption.”

Read more stories like this by following online Defence and Security Correspondent James Lee on Twitter: @JamesLee_DE

Antimony is a semimetallic chemical element which can exist in two forms: the metallic form is bright, silvery, hard and brittle; the non-metallic form is a grey powder.

It is a poor conductor of heat and electricity, it is stable in dry air and is not attacked by dilute acids or alkalis.

Antimony compounds have been known since ancient times and were powdered for use as medicine and cosmetics, often known by the Arabic name Kohl.

Source: Read Full Article