American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • 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 bring a mine through permitting and into production. In Forbes, McGroarty/McCurdy tie U.S. manufacturing competitiveness to a steady supply of the metals and minerals that provide the energy and raw material inputs for America’s factories.

    So how does the U.S. stack up compared to other mining nations?

    “In this year’s report, the U.S. appears to have improved its overall ranking, but this is only an “optical illusion.” In 2013, other mining countries became less hospitable to mining at a faster pace than the U.S. The fact that Russia, DRC and China’s permitting delays are metastasizing more rapidly than ours is hardly a point of pride.

    “The fact is, it doesn’t have to be this way. The U.S. is remarkably resource-rich, from aluminum to zinc, and many minerals in between. Our substantial mineral endowment provides the U.S. the ability to build a sustainable industry, play a leadership role in the world’s commodity markets, and minimize our growing exposure to the geo-political and economic risks of resource dependency.

    “To a large degree the steady accretion of federal policy got us in this mess; policy reform will lead us out.”

    But there’s a precursor to sound policy. According to McGroarty and McCurdy,

    “…the nation needs a change in mind-set: It’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. Failure to mine what we can here in the U.S. simply perpetuates dangerous dependencies on nations that may not wish us well.

    “Responsible development of domestic mineral resources should be a policy priority. Our ability to grow our economy, revive American industry, and safeguard our national security – depends upon it. Maybe by the time next year’s “Where Not to Invest” report comes along, the U.S. will be seen as having reversed course, putting our economy on a path to a resource-driven recovery.”

  • Does Elon Musk Know Where His Giga-Metals Will Come From?

    ARPN followers are well-versed on the dangers of foreign resource dependency – a concern highlighted by Tesla Motors’ announcement earlier this year that the EV manufacturer will build a massive Giga-Factory in the American Southwest, with the goal of doubling global EV battery output by 2020. As ARPN’ers know, the next question is: Where will all the metals and minerals come from?

    That question and more is answered in a new report co-authored by ARPN Expert Simon Moores LINK and his colleagues at Industrial Minerals Data.

    As Simon writes:

    “Does Elon Musk really know where Tesla Motors’ battery grade graphite comes from?

    The chances are no, and neither do the sellers as the spotlight intensifies on the sourcing of critical minerals and metals that will fuel the new age battery economy

    Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk was forced to defend the company’s sourcing of graphite used in its electric vehicle (EV) batteries following a Bloomberg article in February linking the company to controversial graphite mining in China.

    The link between Tesla – the US’ most high profile electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer – and environmentally damaging practices as far upstream as the mine seems harsh but is becoming unavoidable for large public companies.

    In reaction to the story, Musk took to Twitter to explain that the company’s graphite was sourced in Japan and was mined on a “clean way”. But that didn’t really tell the whole story.

    In fact, Japan does not operate any graphite mines. It sources all of its product from China.”

    Read the full article @ data.indmin.com/Tesla

  • Op-ed: How the EPA Sticks Miners With a Motherlode of Regulation

    The following op-ed by American Resources Principal Dan McGroarty was published in the Wall Street Journal on January 3, 2014. The original text can be found here. How the EPA Sticks Miners With a Motherlode of Regulation The years-long wait for mining permits in the U.S. is the worst in the world. On Dec. 13, (…) more

  • Tesla Motors’ Gigafactory to Drive Critical Mineral Demand

    The graphite, lithium and cobalt industries are set for major demand surges as Tesla Motors prepares to break ground on its super-battery plant, the Gigafactory, next month. The high-end EV manufacturer is looking to double the world’s battery output as it seeks to bring the production cost of battery packs down in a bid to (…) more

  • Mine-Tech: Will Plasma Torch Revolutionize Recoveries?

    ARPN readers know that modern mining is a tech-intensive affair. For an over-the-horizon report on a technology that may revolutionize resource recovery, take a look at this note by ARPN Experts Chris and Michael Berry, on path-breaking Plasma Torch technology that “has the potential to increase metal extraction by 5 to 100 times according to (…) more

  • EPA Overreach: Headed for Congressional Push-Back?

    The EPA’s unilateral expansion of its authority appears to be heading for some Congressional push-back. Witness a column written by Alaska’s senior Senator, Lisa Murkowski, for Alaska’s Anchorage Daily News, in which Murkowski asks: “What would Alaskans say if a federal agency retroactively vetoed permits for development of Prudhoe Bay, declaring it never should have (…) more

  • Farmers React to EPA’s New Water Rule

    ARPN’s Dan McGroarty wrote earlier this month about EPA’s newly-proposed redefinition of water – warning that: “…the issue isn’t just mining. Couple the expansive new water rule to EPA’s unilateral extension of its “dredge and fill” powers, and there’s no reason that oil and gas projects won’t be next. Ditto major construction, transportation routes, and (…) more

  • Ukraine, Food Security, and Russia’s Imperial Reset

    American Resources readers will want to see what ARPN expert Chris Berry has to say about the potash sector in light of recent events in Ukraine. Now that Ukraine, formerly known as the “breadbasket of the Soviet Union,” has lost Crimea to the Russian Federation as Russian forces mass along its border, it’s time to (…) more

  • Bipartisan support strong for critical minerals reform

    In late January, I testified in support of S.1600 — the Critical Minerals Policy Act — before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Chaired by Senator Wyden and Ranking Member Murkowski. I focused on the lack of a clear definition of critical materials, on America’s inability to process many of the critical materials (…) more

  • Food Security: The Rising Resource Challenge

    What’s the next major security challenge in this still-young 21st Century? ARPN Expert Chris Berry makes the case for food security, tracing demographic trends and the rise of billions of Planet Earth’s inhabitants from subsistence living to something approaching the middle-class lifestyle. Says Berry: “Phosphate, a mineral crucial for healthy crop growth, has been lost (…) more