American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • The Blessings of a New World

    The following is a modified re-post from 2012:

    Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving – a celebration of the blessings afforded by our forefathers as they overcame adversity in a new land, laboring to obtain from the resources around them the necessities of life: food, shelter, and warmth against winter’s cold.

    Since that first winter, the bounty of Thanksgiving has become a symbol of the abundant resources the New World provided. From the raw materials that built our modern cities to the energy that has powered innovation in all its variety, these resources have enriched the lives of millions of people in America and around the world – making possible a way of life those who gathered around that first Thanksgiving table could never have imagined.

    For many of us, Thanksgiving will look different this year. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many families are unable to gather around the table and share food and fellowship the way we are used to. Times may be challenging, yet there is much to be thankful for, including the ingenuity and innovation that have yielded promise with regards to a vaccine against the virus that has turned life as we know it on its head.

    As we carve the (in many cases much smaller than usual) turkey this year, we know that too many are still doing without the basic necessities of life. And yet the resources around us – those literally under our feet – remain plentiful. All too often complacency and ideology lock us into inaction, blocking us from making use of the still-rich resources of this new world. Minerals, metals, fuel and timber that could create jobs, opportunities, and rewards for the American people are left untouched.

    Our forefathers understood privation and want. They understood that nature sometimes rewards tireless work with a poor harvest. But they also understood nature’s bounty. What they would find beyond comprehending in our day is the willful failure to use resources we have at hand to ease hardship and make a better life for ourselves and for others.

    On this Thanksgiving, as we give thanks for our many blessings, and hope for this pandemic to end soon, we may we also remember the lessons dating back to Plymouth Rock, that teach us to use our resources and resourcefulness to make an even newer and better world.

  • Critical Minerals Will be Key to “Building Back Better”

    The dust begins to settle over the 2020 presidential elections, and President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are busy lining up their policy and personnel priorities.

    As the National Mining Association’s Rich Nolan writes in a new piece for Inside Sources, “much of their agenda rests on a foundation provided by the nation’s nearly 600,000 miners — miners and a mining industry ready to do their part to help drive America’s post-pandemic recovery. From infrastructure to affordable, reliable energy, and the reshoring of supply chains, mining is front and center.”

    Case in point: A center-piece of the Biden agenda is his climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. to net zero by 2050. As Politico’s Luzia Ch. Savage points out, the requirement that all cars sold in the U.S. must be emission free, which is part of this plan, “comes with a not-so-green asterisk: Instead of drilling for oil and gas, electrification requires mining of the more exotic elements of the periodic table. Materials with names like neodymium, niobium, yttrium, along with lithium and cobalt and others, are used in rechargeable batteries, solar cells and other technologies.”

    Followers of ARPN are aware of the predicament – the supply chains for many of these critical materials are controlled by China.

    Factor in the fact that these materials also are key in the manufacture of military technology such has high-tech precision guided weapons and night vision goggles, as well as for the devices underpinning the tech economy, such as smart phone batteries and semi-conductors, and the rising tensions in U.S.-Chinese relations, and you have a recipe for trouble as China forges ahead in its attempt to “shift the industrial balance of power.”

    Acknowledging the emerging tech war, defined by ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty as the “competition to see which country will dominate the 21st Century Technology Age,” the outgoing Trump Administration began taking steps to map out a broader critical mineral strategy in 2018, an effort that culminated in an executive order declaring a critical minerals national emergency and instructing the Department of the Interior to explore the application of the Defense Production Act — used earlier in the year to accelerate production of medical supplies in the context of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — to promote domestic resource production and development.

    Write’s the NMA’s Nolan:

    “Winning this industrial arms race and making sure these critical industries are American industries that support American jobs, requires giving mining and mining policy the prominence it deserves.”

    He closes:

    “This past year has presented some of the most difficult economic and social challenges of our time, but we can and will, as President-elect Biden says: ‘Build Back Better.’ With the right policy, the mining industry is ready to provide the foundation upon which we launch our recovery. A recovery that increases the competitiveness of American industry, re-establishes and strengthens domestic supply chains, and rebuilds the infrastructure and good jobs Americans need and deserve.”

  • As Troop Withdrawals Make Headlines, U.S. Trailing in War Most Americans Are Not Even Aware Of: The Tech War With China

    According to news reports, the Pentagon earlier this month confirmed a further withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. Meanwhile, as National Defense Magazine editor-in-chief Stew Magnuson writes in a new piece for the publication, the U.S. is engaged in a war most Americans were not even aware of — the “Tech War” with China. [...]
  • Copper in the Fight against Coronavirus, Infectious Diseases: Vancouver Installs Anti-Microbial Copper Surfaces in Public Transit System

    Amidst election chaos and surging coronavirus case numbers, we got a piece of good news early this week when pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech announced that a vaccine candidate they had developed was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in study participants in their first interim efficacy analysis. Great news indeed [...]
  • With Asteroid Mining Likely Unattainable for the Time Being, U.S. Must Focus on Reducing Supply Chain Vulnerabilities – Here on Earth

    According to NASA, the Hubble Telescope earlier this month collected imagery of an asteroid “so rich in metals that its worth puts our global economy to shame.” Already discovered in 1852, the celestial body is located in the Solar System’s main asteroid belt, roughly 370 million km from Earth. The object, which has been called [...]
  • Take a Break from Election Scrolling – Watch Highlights from Webinar on Lithium Ion Battery, EV and Energy Storage Supply Chain Issues

    While it seems that for weeks, all eyes have been on the Presidential elections in the U.S., earlier in October, our friends of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence hosted its Washington DC Summit 2020, which brought together U.S. Government representatives and industry stakeholders to discuss materials challenges — specifically in the realm of lithium ion battery technology, [...]
  • U.S. Senator and AK Governor for The Hill: With China Having Taken Control of Critical Mineral Supply Chains, We Need to Act Now

    Beijing’s threat to withhold potentially life-saving medical supplies and medications in the middle of a global pandemic, during which China has “taken control of [respective] supply chains around the world as part of its quest for global domination,” were a wake up call, write U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R-AK) in [...]
  • China’s New Export Control Legislation Raises Specter of REE Ban

    Three weeks ago, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring a critical minerals national emergency aimed at expanding domestic production of rare-earth and other critical minerals in an effort to reduce dependence on China. Among other things, the order directs the Department of the Interior to explore the application of the Defense Production [...]
  • Event Alert: Benchmark Webinar on Lithium Ion Battery, EV and Energy Storage Supply Chain Issues

    Against the backdrop of a new presidential executive order declaring a critical minerals “national emergency” for the United States, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence will host its “Washington DC Summit 2020 – Online” on Tuesday, October 20th, at 1p.m. EST. This year’s virtual summit will bring together U.S. Government representatives and industry stakeholders to discuss materials challenges [...]
  • Has Canada Just Jump-Started its Electric Vehicle Sector? – A Look at the Recent Ford Canada Labor Deal Through the Prism of an Integrated North American Value Chain

    From a U.S. perspective, arguably the biggest news in the critical minerals sector in recent weeks has been U.S. President Trump’s latest executive order on critical minerals, which, according to analysts, is the first one in this field “that has the potential to bring some meaningful changes.” Aside from calling on the Department of the [...]