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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Welcome to the “Ion Age”? The Ongoing Rise of Battery Technology

    Unless you’ve spent the last few years under a rock, you know that battery technology is the new black. With a new detailed “briefing” feature, The Guardian even goes as far as ringing in the “Ion Age” – a play on lithium-ion battery technology, which continues to make headlines.

    Writers Adam Vaughan and Samuel Gibbs explain:

    “In a world increasingly anxious about climate change, the surge in the generation of renewable energy over the past 20 years offers a sliver of hope. But the variable nature of wind and solar power means that storing energy until consumers need it has become the next big challenge. And so, large-scale battery installations are springing up across electricity grids around the world, to make them more flexible. In 2017, more than 1GW of energy storage capacity was added around the world – a record, yes, but still a drop in the ocean of global energy demand.”

    Looking at some of the top-line developments for grid storage, home batteries and EV batteries, the piece outlines the state of current battery technology and gives a glimpse into the future. While the materials science revolution will continue to yield research breakthroughs, they will take some time. Vaughan and Gibbs quote Prof. Paul Shearing, the British Royal Academy of Engineering’s chair in emerging battery technologies who says: “The next 10 years are going to continue to be lithium-ion dominated. It’s taken a long time to get to this productivity and technological maturity level. For anything to catch up will take a while.”

    In 2019, Lithium-ion technology and the materials underpinning it continues to be a space to watch – and our friends at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence are doing a fine job of keeping tabs (see for example this Visual Capitalist infographic using Benchmark data).

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  • ARPN Expert: Partisan Politics Aside, New Congress Holds Opportunity to Strengthen Defense Industrial Base

    In a new piece for Defense News, Jeff Green, president of Washington, D.C.-based government relations firm J.A. Green & Company, and member of the ARPN panel of experts, calls on lawmakers on Capitol Hill to work towards overcoming partisan divides and “find common ground to support the defense-industrial base.”

    One of the first analysts to comment on last year’s Defense Industrial Base Review, calling it a significant step forward for the U.S. military, Green says that thanks to the study’s detailed recommendations, “lawmakers have a unique opportunity to address industrial-base gaps with efficiency and precision. This should allow Congress to find ways forward to create policies and funding opportunities for American defense suppliers and reduce barriers to U.S. industrial-base competitiveness.”

    Green further argues that the upcoming reauthorization of the Defense Production Act of 1950, which “remains the premier source of authority for stewardship of the defense-industrial base” provides an opportunity for cooperation.

    With our over-reliance on foreign mineral resources growing “by the hour,” as Green puts it, mine permitting reform — which also made our list of “2019 New Year’s Resolutions for Mineral Resource Policy Reform” — “should also be at the top of Congress’ list.”

    Green believes that in spite of the partisan divide in Washington, “industrial-base policy offers one of the most fertile areas for bipartisan cooperation” – but lawmakers must commit to “not intentionally create legislative gridlock in order to advance partisan political agendas that stand little chance of becoming law.”

    We all know that this is a big ask in Washington. However, as Green rightly states, while “neither side will get everything they want, legislators have many opportunities to advance priorities that matter to everyone, including support for U.S. manufacturing and the American worker. Given that the defense-industrial base programs count for less than 0.1 percent of the Defense Department budget, it would be wise for Congress to ensure stable and consistent funding for the programs in this critical policy area.”

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  • Washington’s Mining and Resource Policy Agenda – What’s in Store for 2019?

    As we get back into the swing of things, a new piece for E&E News previews the anticipated 2019 mining and mineral resource policy agenda in Washington, DC. Here are some of the highlights: With a shift of power in the House of Representatives, hard rock leasing and reclamation issues are expected to come up [...]
  • Copper and the 2018 Critical Minerals List – Considerations for Resource Policy Reform

    While we’re still waiting for policy makers and other stakeholders to take further action, in 2018 an important step was taken to set the stage for mineral resource policy reform with the release of the Department of Interior’s List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy. Throughout the drafting stage [...]
  • 2019 New Year’s Resolutions for Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    Out with the old, in with the new, they say. It‘s new year‘s resolutions time.  With the end of 2017 having set the stage for potentially meaningful reform in mineral resource policy, we outlined a set of suggested resolutions for stakeholders for 2018 in January of last year.  And while several important steps  were taken [...]
  • 2018 – A Year of Incremental Progress?

    In case you hadn’t noticed amidst holiday preparations, travel arrangements and the usual chaos of everyday life – 2019 is just around the corner, and with that, the time to reflect on the past twelve months has arrived. So here is ARPN’s recap of 2018: Where we began. Unlike previous years, we started 2018 with [...]
  • Gold Leapfrogged by “Obscure and Far Less Sexy” Metal – A Look at Palladium

    Valuable and precious, Gold, for example in jewelry, is a popular go-to for gifts during the holidays.  Who knew that gold’s luster would be dimmed by a metal that “scrubs your exhaust,” as the New York Times phrased it?  It may still not end up under many Christmas trees, but Palladium, an “obscure and far less sexy [...]
  • U.S. To Partner With Australia on Critical Minerals R&D

    During an industry event in Melbourne, Australian Resources Minister Matt Canavan announced that Australia and the United States are going to sign a preliminary agreement to foster mineral research and development cooperation between the two countries. The announcement comes on the heels of the release of U.S. Department of Interior’s list of 35 metals and [...]
  • The “Indispensable Twins” of Critical Minerals – Niobium and Tantalum

    In the latest installment of his “Critical Minerals Alaska” series for North of 60 Mining News, Shane Lasley zeroes in on what USGS has dubbed the “indispensable twins” – Niobium and Tantalum. Both share “nearly indistinguishable physical and chemical properties” and are “critical to the defense, energy and high-tech sectors.”  Meanwhile, neither Niobium nor Tantalum are mined in the United States, so their inclusion [...]
  • Hot Off the Press: “Groundbreaking” Reading Material – ARPN Expert Co-Authors Book Sounding Alarm on Over-Reliance on Foreign Minerals

    Scratch your holiday wish list – there’s a new book you’ll have to add. In the just-released “Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral Independence” member of the ARPN expert panel Ned Mamula, an adjunct scholar in geosciences at the Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute, and “Rare Mettle”author Ann Bridges sound the alarm on the United States’ [...]

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