Chipping in: Critical minerals for semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S.

Omanjana Goswami*

Edited by Laura Shupp and Bertrand J. Neyhouse

Review | Aug. 31 2023


DOI: 10.38105/spr.tnepby7ntp


  • Critical mineral supply chains for semiconductors are highly vulnerable, and the U.S. is dependent on foreign sources.
  • Supply chain security concerns are compounded by risks of concentration and geopolitical tensions, as few countries control an outsized share of the mineral supply.
  • Targeted investments prompted by the CHIPS and Science Act could help facilitate a transition to onshore supply chains and create domestic manufacturing capacity for semiconductors.
  • In conjunction with ramping up investments to set up manufacturing capacity within the U.S., recycling and recovering semiconductor critical minerals from existing sources can contribute to additional domestic production.

Article Summary

In recent light of strained supply chains and global geopolitical tension, the U.S. is making significant investments to establish semiconductor manufacturing capacity and domestic supply chains for critical mineral resources to reduce dependence on other countries. Semiconductor-related critical minerals have become increasingly important considering the rise in demand for final products using semiconductor chips. The CHIPS and Science Act, passed in 2022, serves as the largest U.S. policy mechanism to expand investment in this field and enhance domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity. This review outlines the critical mineral resources required for semiconductors, their origin, and the degree of dependency the U.S. faces across semiconductor supply chains and manufacturing. In the long term, more comprehensive policy, coupled with significant investment to ramp up domestic critical mineral mining and recovery, could enable the U.S. to establish a stable domestic supply to better support semiconductor manufacturing.

Open Access


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Omanjana Goswami

Union of Concerned Scientists, Washington, D.C.