American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Mines to Market: The National Mining Association’s New Report on the Connections Between Mining and Manufacturing

    ARPN followers are well aware of the connection between Made in America and Mined in America. Today, the National Mining Association (NMA) released a comprehensive new report, documenting in detail the importance of mined materials to America’s manufacturing resurgence – or lack thereof.

    The NMA report notes what it terms

    “…a gross structural mismatch between domestic mineral supply and demand. Although the United States is a major mining country, it enjoys a much higher global ranking as a manufacturer than it does as a miner.”

    The mismatch has emerged in less than a generation:

    “In 1990, the United States was the world’s largest producer of metallic and industrial minerals. By 2013, the country had fallen to seventh place in the global ranking, with output accounting for less than 5 percent of the value of global mined output. China, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Chile and South Africa all ranked ahead of the United States.”

    In a world where there is more and more demand for metals and minerals, the U.S. has done less and less mining, proportionate to other mining nations. Consider these data-points from the NMA study:

    • Since 2000, mining of iron ore globally has increased 101%. U.S. iron ore production has decreased by 19%.
    • Silver production worldwide is up 41%; in the U.S. it is down 45%.
    • Global copper production is up 36%; in the U.S., it is down 15%.
    • Global zinc production is up 55%, but down in the U.S. by 11%.

    What’s changed in the United States to account for this resource reversal? After all, NMA notes there is much to commend U.S. mineral extraction:

    “Relative to their global peers, miners in the United States are highly efficient, often exemplifying best practices with regard to productivity, sustainability and safety. The United States remains highly prospective, from a geological point of view, with abundant, diverse mineral resources of high quality.”

    And yet,

    “While the country’s mining sector is ideally positioned to support manufacturers’ need for greater sustainability and shorter supply chains in the production process, an outdated, inefficient permitting system presents a barrier to American companies’ access to the minerals they need and thus to economic competitiveness.”

    “As a consequence of its inefficient permitting system, it takes on average seven to ten years to secure the permits needed to commence operations. To put that into perspective, in Canada and Australia, countries with similarly stringent environmental regulations, the waiting period is two years.”

    For ARPN followers interested in the link between mining and manufacturing, the new NMA report LINK is required reading. America’s economic competitiveness hangs in the balance.

  • “Measuring Greenness:” A New Metric Takes the Measure of the Metals that Drive the Green Transition

    ARPN followers well understand that a host of metals and minerals are key to the green-tech transition – rare earths like neodymium and mainstay metals like copper for wind turbines, Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenium for the CIGS solar panel technology. The list is long. Yet all too often, Green advocates take a reflexively oppositional stance towards all-things-mining.

    ARPN will continue the tireless task of applying information to correct this conceptual contradiction. Meanwhile, we are pleased to point to a new Greenness Metric, developed by Dr. Steve Hanke, of Johns Hopkins, the Cato Institute and advisor to the Advanced Metallurgical Group (AMG), and AMG CEO Dr. Heinz Schimmelbusch.

    It’s a strong step towards crediting production of the metals and minerals for their role in the Green transition. Here’s hoping it’s a metric others will adopt.

  • The Geo-Politics of Rare Earths: China Reported to Add to Stockpile

    ARPN readers know that one of the core tenets of the Resource Wars thesis is that the market for strategic and critical metals is never immune to government interventions. Witness today’s Bloomberg report: “China Said to Add 10,000 Tons to Rare Earths Stockpiles.” Bloomberg reports: “China may stockpile more medium-to-heavy rare earths this year such (…) more

  • ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty in the Wall Street Journal

    ARPN’s Dan McGroarty reports a worrisome development in the saga of EPA’s unprecedented use of pre-emptive veto power to stop Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine even before a mine plan is presented for review: Anti-mining activists are urging EPA to dust off its veto pen again. And again. Noting a common thread between new pushes for (…) more

  • 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 (…) more

  • 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 (…) more

  • 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