American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • EVENT: Experts to Discuss Critical Mineral Supply Chains and Energy Storage Revolution

    Our friends at Benchmark Minerals are back in town and they’ve done it again: The team led by Benchmark Minerals Managing Director and ARPN expert panel member Simon Moores has once more put together a great lineup for a half-day event in Washington, DC this Wednesday.

    Speakers like David Abraham, Director of the Technology, Rare and Electronics Materials Center, House Mountain Partners, LLC President and ARPN expert panel member Chris Berry, and USGS Material Flow Analyst Erin McCullough will be discussing the role of critical mineral supply chains in the 21st century industrial evolution, with a special emphasis on the energy storage revolution.

    If you’re in town on Wednesday, April 26, be sure to RSVP here.

    What:                   Benchmark World Tour 2017 Washington DC Event

    Who:                     David Abraham, Director, Technology, Rare and Electronics Materials Center
    Chris Berry, President, House Mountain Partners, LLC
    Erin McCullough, Material Flow Analyst, USGS
    Simon Moores, Managing Director, Benchmark Minerals
    Andrew Miller, Analyst, Benchmark Minerals
    Caspar Rawles, Analyst, Benchmark Minerals
    When:                   Wednesday, April 26
    12:30pm – roughly 4:00pm

    Where:                 Sasakawa Peace Foundation, USA
    1819 L Street, NW, #600
    Washington, DC 20036

    If you need any more convincing or would like to get a sense of what to expect, check out Simon Moores’s presentation from last year’s event.

  • USGS Highlights U.S. Mineral Resource Dependence and Associated Risks

    At ARPN, we have long argued that our over-reliance on foreign minerals is problematic – particularly in light of the fact that the United States itself is home to vast mineral resources.

    Recognizing the importance of the issue, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which has long been a formidable source of relevant data and statistics (such as the annual Mineral Commodity Summaries reports), has recently begun placing a greater emphasis on U.S. mineral resource dependence.

    Case in point: A new write-up on the issue entitled Risk and Reliance: The U.S. Economy and Mineral Resources” and released on April 21, 2017, in which analysts outline the challenge of net import reliance, defined as “the percentage of a mineral commodity used by the United States that must be imported from another country.”

    According to USGS, the fact that “in 2016, the United States was 100 percent dependent on foreign sources for 20 of the 90 mineral commodities that USGS tracks,” matters for the following reasons:

    “The overall net import reliance of the United States for mineral commodities is important, because it affects the risk of the supply of these minerals for the U.S. economy and national security. The path by which these minerals reach the United States ranges from production and extraction, through refining, to shipping and transport. An interruption at any of those points can affect the supply.

    Some minerals that the United States depends on are produced in, or must pass through, areas that have political stability issues. In addition, some minerals that the United States relies on are produced in areas that have historically opposed the United States in other political arenas.

    In addition, some minerals are not produced or used in large supplies, so an interruption in the flow of that mineral, no matter how small, can have an immediate effect.”

    Providing further context and offering a visualization of the issue, USGS recently discussed the sourcing of materials used in smartphones:

    A World of Minerals in Your Mobile Device

    (Graphic created by USGS)

    According to the April 4, 2017 release, smartphones truly are global devices because of their worldwide communication ability and their multinational ingredient list. However, as USGS’s Larry Meinert points out, “with minerals being sourced from all over the world, the possibility of supply disruption is more critical than ever.”

    As resource supply issues have far-reaching implications for our nation’s economy and national security, the need for a comprehensive mineral resource strategy should be pretty obvious. However, so far, stakeholders have so far failed to devise a policy framework conducive to harnessing our mineral resource potential and reducing foreign dependencies. Here’s hoping that USGS’s stronger emphasis on the issue will help pave the way for overdue reforms in this area.

  • The U.S. Tomahawk Strike – Syria, Russia … and China?

    While the world media mulls the impact of the U.S. airstrike on Syria in the wake of the sarin gas attack and marvel at the accuracy of the Tomahawk cruise missile, friends of ARPN are reminded that the rare earths critical to the Tomahawk’s terminal guidance system are sourced from China. An interesting sidebar to (…) more

  • Guest Commentary: Jeff Green On New Congressional REE Policy Initiative

    The following is a guest post by American Resources expert and J.A. Green & Company president and founder Jeffery A. Green The United States has placed itself in a very precarious situation with respect to its ability to produce and refine strategic and critical materials. Over the past few years we have willfully ceded our last remaining (…) more

  • Cobalt – First Steps Towards Reducing Mineral Resource Dependencies?

    A recent piece for InvestorIntel zeroes in on a metal which, due to its growing use in battery technology, coupled with a challenging supply scenario is increasingly afforded “critical mineral” status – Cobalt. A co-product of Nickel and Copper, the metal’s recent history, as author Lara Smith argues, has been “chaotic.” ARPN agrees that about sums it up. Criticism regarding the (…) more

  • USGS Report Bellwether for National Security Crisis?

    For over two decades, the United States Geological Survey has released its Mineral Commodity Summaries report.  And while ARPN followers will know how important this publication is, as it provides a snapshot of our nation’s mineral resource dependencies, in most years its release has gone largely unnoticed beyond the circles of mineral resource wonks. This year, a (…) more

  • As Resource Dependence Deepens, Miners Pivot Back to U.S. For Exploration

    Against the backdrop of market prices recovering and supply woes looming, mining companies are expected to increase spending on exploration for the first time in five years, reports news agency Reuters. In what may spell good news for the United States, analysts anticipate the biggest expenditure increases to occur in the United States, Canada and Australia, all (…) more

  • China’s REE Stranglehold Comes Back Into Focus

    If the first few weeks with a new administration at the helm in Washington, DC are any indication, we will see more efforts to make sweeping changes in federal policy in the coming weeks.  One area where President Donald Trump promised changes on the campaign trail is trade – and specifically relations with China. In (…) more

  • USGS: U.S. Mineral Resource Dependence Deepens in 2016

    It’s out! Followers of ARPN may already have a hunch of what we’re referring to, as every year around this time we await its release with somewhat bated breath: The USGS’s updated Mineral Commodity Summaries report. Let’s start with the good news:  On the whole, the estimated value of total nonfuel mineral production increased slightly in (…) more

  • Interview: AEMA’s Laura Skaer – The Mining Industry’s Challenges and a Look Ahead

    For the last few months, politics has sucked up much of the oxygen in Washington, DC and around the country.  With the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States behind us, many of us are hopeful that the time has come to finally shift the focus away from politics toward policy. Against the backdrop (…) more