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Rare Metal Mines Shutting Down due to Unpopularity of Electric Vehicles

As electric vehicles (EVs) prove to be increasingly unpopular and see a significant decline in sales, some of the rare earth mineral mines that supply the materials behind such vehicles are beginning to shut down due to lack of demand.

As reported by the Daily Caller, demand for EVs has not risen to match the supply, with the total market share for EVs rising from 3.1% in January of 2023 to 3.6% in December of 2023. During that same time period, EVs’ share of the American vehicle inventory rose from 2.8% to 5.7%.

The once-booming rare earth minerals industry responsible for building EVs has taken a massive hit due to consumers largely ignoring these new vehicles, even despite government efforts to mandate or incentivize the purchase of EVs. Lithium, one of the key ingredients in manufacturing an electric vehicle, has seen its price plummet by 90% since the beginning of 2023; meanwhile, the price of nickel has fallen by 50% in the same time period.

One such mine that has been forced to shut down is an Albemarle-operated plant in North Carolina, which cost roughly $1.3 billion to build. Albemarle announced that it would defer any future spending on the facility due to the poor market conditions. Another facility on the French island of New Caledonia in the Pacific suspended its operations as well, despite being responsible for providing over 6% of the world’s supply of nickel.

The government of Australia had recently attempted to incentivize such production by designating nickel as a critical mineral, allowing certain corporations to receive government grants in exchange for producing the metal. But following the collapse of the price of nickel and other mineral prices, over one-fifth of Australia’s mine supply has been lost in recent years.

The widespread rejection of electric vehicles is widely seen as a major blow to the “green” agenda, where far-left politicians have attempted to force consumers to buy EVs through tax breaks and even bans on conventional gas-powered vehicles. Electric vehicles are allegedly more environmentally friendly than cars which run on gasoline, although they have proven far less reliable, more prone to breakdowns in bad weather and also running out of energy long before the vehicle’s estimated runtime, among other woes.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: 07 December 2020, Saxony, Leipzig: There is a sign next to charging points for electric vehicles. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa (Photo by Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images)