-->
American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Tesla May Get Into Mining Business, Says Elon Musk, A Visionary Rooted in the Reality of Resources

    If you looked up the definition of “visionary entrepreneur” in the dictionary, chances are you’d stumble over Elon Musk’s name.  Perhaps like no other CEO today, Tesla’s innovator-in-chief has had his finger on the pulse of time, and has arguably revolutionized many industries.

    And while he continues his “mission is to help save Earth for humanity through sustainable transportation, and colonize Mars in case that doesn’t work,” he is a visionary rooted in reality — more specifically, the reality of resources.

    Earlier this week, Musk said that his company might make forays into the mining business in its quest to to ensure that Tesla is able to produce sufficient amounts of batteries for its future vehicle fleet. 

    The Business Standard quotes him as saying

    “There’s not much point in adding product complexity if we don’t have enough batteries. (…) We might get into the mining business. I don’t know. (…)We’ll do whatever we have to to ensure that we can scale at the fastest rate possible.” 

    We have long argued that “[y]ou need ‘stuff’ to make ‘stuff,’” and that “[i]t’s time to remind ourselves that life as we know it is made possible by the inventive use of metals and minerals. Smart phones, the Cloud, the Internet: These things may seem to work by magic, but quite often the backbone of high-tech is mineral and metal, not fairy dust.” 

    It’s good to see that Elon Musk is on the same page. 

    Share
  • “Something Does not Come from Nothing” – Formulation of Mineral Resource Strategy Should be a Precursor to Green Energy Debate

    “Something does not come from nothing. That fact can be easily forgotten when it comes to seemingly abstract concepts like ‘energy,’” writes Angela Chen in a new piece for technology news and media network The Verge. Chen zeroes in on four key metals and minerals that have become indispensable components of green energy technology – Neodymium, Copper, Lithium and Cobalt. She writes:

    “As the climate change crisis worsens, more politicians are starting to underscore the importance of transitioning to clean energy. More clean energy means more solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and large-scale batteries. But it also means more demand for the materials that make those technologies possible.”

    If this sounds familiar to followers of ARPN, it’s because it is.  Discussing 21st Century technology and its backbone – i.e. the metals and minerals underpinning it – we have previously argued that: “You need ‘stuff’ to make ‘stuff,’ and that “[i]t’s time to remind ourselves that life as we know it is made possible by the inventive use of metals and minerals. Smart phones, the Cloud, the Internet: These things may seem to work by magic, but quite often the backbone of high-tech is mineral and metal, not fairy dust.” 
    It is an important reminder that has so far been largely ignored in the context of the hotly-debated Green New Deal, revealing an inherent irony of 21st century environmentalism.  As we pointed out last week:

    “If we want to make the transition to a green-tech and clean energy future, we will continue to rely on critical minerals – which is why current efforts to formulate a comprehensive mineral resource strategy should be a precursor to any serious discussion on this matter.” 

    It is critical to have this conversation now — as underscored by a recent Congressional hearing during which Simon Moores, managing director of Benchmark Industrial Minerals and member of the ARPN panel of issue experts, alerted U.S. Senators to the fact that the U.S. is already falling behind in one key green energy area – battery technology and energy storage. Moores called the U.S. a “bystander” in the current battery arms race.  
    Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski agreed, and called the United States’ growing reliance on mineral imports our “Achilles’ heel that serves to empower and enrich other nations, while costing us jobs and international competitiveness.” 
    She continued:

    “Over the past several years, our committee has sought to call attention to our reliance on foreign nations for minerals. The administration has taken several important steps, but we must complement their actions with congressional legislation.”

    Here’s hoping that they do. 
    Share
  • “Consumption” Missing Element in Discussion over Mineral Resource Development

    You need “stuff” to make “stuff.”  It’s a simple concept, but one that is all too often forgotten. As ARPN’s Dan McGroarty wrote in a 2015 Forbes op-ed coauthored with then-CEO of mining advisory firm Behre Dolbear Karr McCurdy: “[A]s a precursor to sound policy, the nation needs a change in mind-set: It’s time to [...]
  • “Materials Science Profiles of Progress” – REE Extraction From Coal

    In the fairy tale realm, Rumpelstilskin was able to turn straw into gold. Meanwhile, in the real world, as part of our feature series “Materials Science Profiles of Progress,” we’re taking a closer look at a recently-announced research partnership that may not be able to turn straw into gold, but promises to extract precious Rare [...]
  • Critical Minerals – Making Our World Colorful

    While we rarely pause a moment to think about where they come from, by now, most of us are probably aware that electronic gadgets contain numerous obscure materials that until recently we hadn’t heard of.   But did you know that even some of the most banal items we use in our lives on a daily [...]
  • Through The Gateway: A Look at Gateway Metals, Co-Products and the Foundations of American Technology

    The following is an overview of our “Through the Gateway” informational campaign, in which we outline the importance of Gateway Metals and their Co-Products. Here, we expand on the findings of our “Gateway Metals and the Foundations of American Technology” report, in which we focused on a group of five “Gateway Metals,” which are not only critical to manufacturing and [...]
  • Through the Gateway: “Fairy Dust” Supply Woes Loom

    As we continue our look Through the Gateway, comes a stern reminder by way of Canada that the geopolitics of resource supply represents a complex issue warranting comprehensive policy approaches.   And it literally concerns a metal that touches us — more precisely, we touch it — every day, too many times to count. A decision to [...]
  • It’s Not Fairy Dust: Unleashing the Potential of American Manufacturing Requires Understanding of Underlying Fundamentals

    With the first primaries only weeks away, the Presidential campaign season is in full swing. As candidates continue to trade barbs on a broad variety of issues (and non-issues), the American electorate remains most concerned about the state of the U.S. economy. A “renaissance” in manufacturing has helped create jobs in a post-recession economy. However, [...]
  • Made in America Starts with Mined in America

    That’s the title of this Forbes.com piece co-authored by ARPN’s Dan McGroarty and Behre Dolbear CEO Karr McCurdy. ARPN readers know Behre’s “Where Not to Mine” report as the annual review that regularly shows the U.S. leading the mining world in the one category where being first is being last: the time it takes to [...]
  • Archives