On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce”) Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) published notice in the Federal Register of its initiation of an investigation to determine whether imports of vanadium threaten to impair the national security. According to a press release, Commerce is initiating the investigation based on a petition filed on November 19, 2019 by two U.S. producers of vanadium — AMG Vanadium LLC, and U.S. Vanadium LLC.
Vanadium is a metallic element often used as an alloying agent in the production of steel and other metals. It is used to improve the resulting metal’s hardness, ductility, and toughness. Typical end uses for vanadium-alloyed steels include armor plates, parts of jet engines, and cutting tools.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, vanadium is mined mostly in Brazil, China, Russia, and South Africa. Vanadium can also be produced through a secondary process. This source also indicates that from 2015-2018, U.S. demand was supplied 100 percent by imports.
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