American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Boron – One Of The Most Versatile Materials You’ve Never Heard About?

    Visual Capitalist has put together another great infographic – this time one that shows that Boron is far more ubiquitous than one would think. 

    You may have come across them in your laundry room or your kids’ slime-making experiments in the form of Borax, but may not have heard much about them otherwise. However, with the revolution in materials science, Borates are quickly becoming a key component in many cutting-edge applications. Courtesy of Visual Capitalist, we can now count the ways. The infographic alone lists 13 different properties of Boron that make it one of the most versatile materials you’d never heard about, and scientists are discovering new uses at a rapid pace.  

    Recent research breakthroughs, some of which we recently discussed, may be unlikely to affect our domestic supply scenario, as thankfully, the U.S. is a net exporter of Borates with a strong production base. However, as we previously argued, mining exports make considerable positive contributions to our trade balance. As such, our policy makers and stakeholders should work to foster a policy framework that supports the development of our domestic mineral resources – “not just for those where our demand exceeds supply, but for those like Boron, where U.S. production supplies the world.”

    Take a look at the full infographic here.

  • National Mining Association Urges Focus on Deterioration of Domestic Metal and Mineral Supply Chains

    In a detailed letter to Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. John G. “Jerry” McGinn, Katie Sweeney, General Counsel of the National Mining Association, urges the Department of Defense to “acknowledge the importance of domestic metals and minerals to meet our defense needs” as the agency moves forward to implement Executive Order 13806, “Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States.” 

    The Executive Order, which, as ARPN Principal Daniel McGroarty recently outlined in a commentary for Investor’s Business Daily, ties into the context of a growing threat level to U.S. national security as flash points involving Russia, China, Iran and North Korea continue to flare. It seeks to address the question of whether our defense forces are “prepared to deter war, defend U.S. interests and defeat adversaries if necessary,” and requires agency heads of various cabinet departments to report to the President policy recommendations for strengthening the U.S. defense industrial base by next April. 

    As Ms. Sweeney aptly states in her letter, “[t]he focus on our nation’s manufacturing and defense industrial base and supply chain resiliency is more important than ever and long overdue.” 

    While commending that the Executive Order acknowledges the “very real concern” of losing American manufacturing capabilities, she places a particular emphasis on the issue of the “further deterioration of domestic metal and mineral supply chains.”

    Providing specific examples of the usage of a broad rage of metals in a variety of defense applications, Sweeney draws attention to the fact that the United States is “at a record high for dependence o foreign sources of minerals,” and that the U.S. “despite the strategic importance of minerals and metals to our national security,” ranks behind China, Russia, Chile and South Africa in mineral production. 

    The underlying issues, according to Sweeney, will sound familiar to followers of ARPN:

    “Many of the minerals and metals the DoD has deemed strategic and critical remain locked underground – inaccessible for military use – because of duplicative, inefficient permitting processes, limitations on lad access, and unnecessarily burdensome and harmful regulation so that stifle investment in new and existing mines in the United States and prevent the domestic mining industry from reaching its full potential.”

    The whole letter, which also highlights the importance of the correlation between Gateway Metals and Co-Products which ARPN has consistently pointed to, and discusses remedies to our mineral resource woes is well worth a read. You can read it here

    True defense readiness, which, as ARPN’s McGroarty has argued, “has long been a key bulwark of American strength,” starts at home — with the metals and minerals we are blessed to have beneath our own soil. 


  • European Commission Expands Critical Raw Materials List (U.S. Government, Are You Listening?)

    Earlier last month, the European Commission released an updated list of critical raw materials in the context of the European Union’s “Raw Materials Initiative” – a project put forward in 2008 to tackle challenges associated with raw material access.  The 2017 list is an update and expansion of the Commission’s 2014 list, identifying 27 raw (…) more

  • Moores’ Law: The Rise of Lithium Ion Battery Megafactories and What it Means for Critical Mineral Resource Supply

    Earlier this month, Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and member of the ARPN panel of experts testified before the full U.S. Senate Energy Committee on opportunities and risks in the energy storage supply chain.   We’re titling his observations as Moores’ Law — which is his for the taking, given the placement (…) more

  • Senate Energy Committee Zeroes in on Energy Storage Revolution – Where Will the Battery Megafactories Get the Minerals and Metals They Need?

    Just last week, we highlighted the surge in EV technology and its implications for mineral resource supply and demand.  A timely subject – as evidenced by the fact that the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy held a “Full Committee Hearing “to Examine Energy Storage Technologies” this week.  Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (…) more

  • The Surge of EV Technology and Implications for Mineral Resource Supply and Demand

    You may have caught Elon Musk’s exchange with Daimler on Twitter over investment in EV technology earlier this week. Vacuum giant Dyson has also tossed its hat into the ring announcing that it will spend $2.7 billion to develop an electric car. The headlines are piling up, and it’s no longer a secret that demand (…) more

  • Happy Birthday, Air Force – Ready For The Next Seventy Years?

    As the Air Force celebrates its 70th birthday this week, now is not only the time to commend this branch of our military for its dedication to defending America and safeguarding our freedoms. It is also an opportune time to evaluate the state of the Force and look ahead. Doing just that at the Annual (…) more

  • Graphene-fed Spiders and Our Web of Resource Dependencies 

    A material long hailed as being on the cutting edge of materials science, Graphene is making headlines again. And, fitting for fall and people gearing up for Halloween, it involves everyone’s favorite creepy crawlies – arachnids.  Researchers at the University of Trento in Italy have found that spiders fed with graphene and carbon nanotubes, which (…) more

  • New Report Zeroes in on Geopolitics of Renewable Energy 

    While the geopolitics of fossil fuels are well established, we at ARPN have long lamented the lack of awareness regarding the geopolitical implications of non-fuel mineral resource supply and demand. For that reason, we were very pleased to see a recently released study co-authored by Meghan L. O’Sullivan of Harvard University’s Kennedy School, Indra Overland (…) more

  • China Jockeys for Pole Position in EV Industry

    ARPN followers know it’s the elephant in the room. China. Already vast and resource-rich, the country has demonstrated an insatiable appetite for the world’s mineral resources and has pursued an aggressive strategy to gain access to the materials needed to meet the world’s largest population’s resource needs. Thus, it comes as no surprise that China (…) more