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illionaire mining investor Robert Friedland said the US government must include copper as critical material under President Joe Biden’s landmark clean energy law.

“It has to be, it’s obvious,” he said in a Bloomberg TV interview with Alix Steel and Guy Johnson. “America hasn’t developed a mine of consequence for 40 years. The mining of copper is absolutely critical.”

Friedland, who’s behind the discovery of some of the world’s biggest copper deposits, has long championed the importance of the metal used in everything from wires and pipes to missiles and tanks.

China is a dominant player in the business of processing minerals, refining the majority of nickel, copper, cobalt and other resources key to economic growth and green-energy technologies. With initiatives such as the Inflation Reduction Act, the US is seeking to curtail global dependence on China as the strategic competition between the two nations increases.

The European Union has already proposed classifying copper and nickel as critical raw materials in landmark legislation designed to bolster supplies, alongside other metals key to the energy transition.