American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Senate Committee Chairman in Critical Minerals Hearing: No “Immaculate Conception” – iPhones, Fighter Jets, Solar Panels, All These Things Don’t Just Appear Out of Thin Air

    Earlier this week, the full U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to “examine the Department of the Interior’s final list of critical minerals for 2018 and opportunities to strengthen the United States’ mineral security.”

    Panelists included representatives from USGS and the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) as well as industry stakeholders and other interested parties.

    Below is a video of Committee Chairman Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s opening remarks:

    While stressing that the issue of mineral resource security is not a new one, Sen. Murkowski outlined in clear terms why the United States Congress should give it its full attention, and take action to alleviate our ever-groaning over-reliance on foreign mineral resources.

    Sen. Murkowski also called out those who fail to connect the dots, and fail to understand that, as we previously phrased it, “you need stuff to make stuff:”

    “We have to get away from this ‘immaculate conception’ theory of your iPhone, fighter jets, solar panels, all these things just happen, they just appear out of thin air. We have to acknowledge the fact that many of the materials that are used to make them actually come from the ground. We have to dig them up, and that is an inconvenient truth for some.”

    She concluded:

    “I recognize that some are reluctant to address the main driver of this problem, and I look to our broken federal permitting system. But I believe that we can make some improvements, that we have to make improvements, and we must do this all while we are protecting the environment. The U.S. has the highest safety standards for mining anywhere in the world. We have the experience and expertise needed to do it right. We need to work on our workforce. We also live in a world where permitting delays and litigation deter investment in our country, so we want to speak to that.”

    For the full list of witnesses and written testimony click here.

  • Chinese Worries over Critical Mineral Supply Should Provide Impetus for U.S. Policy Reforms

    Escalating trade tensions have brought the issue of China’s near-total supply monopoly for Rare Earth Elements back to the front pages of American newspapers.

    If that isn’t reason enough for policy makers to use the momentum that has been building for the formulation of a comprehensive critical mineral strategy and an overhaul of policies standing in the way of responsible domestic resource development, a little-noticed Nasdaq piece should provide some additional impetus:

    “China ministry warns about reliance on imports of strategic minerals” – such is the headline of said piece which, citing a transcript of a press briefing posted on the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources, reports that China remains “heavily reliant on imports of oil, battery metals and other minerals, while the growth in domestic reserves has slowed.” 

    The report pegged the level of import reliance at 72 percent for nickel, 73 percent for iron ore and copper, 75 percent for lithium, 79 percent for gold and 90 percent for cobalt.

    China, the story says, is “worried” about its supply of these key materials as “[w]ith the rebound in international mineral prices, China’s mineral import costs have risen sharply,” leading ministry officials to call for more “international mining cooperation,” which, according to Nasdaq is “a reference to Chinese involvement in overseas mining projects.”

    The bottom line is, if China — which has long been thinking strategically about critical minerals, and acting accordingly all over the globe — is worried about securing a steady supply of critical mineral resources, we should be, too.  Opportunity is knocking with several key provisions in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as well as the groundwork laid with the DOI critical minerals list. The stakes are too high to squander it.

  • Arvida, Quebec – Putting a Face on the Specter of Trade War Over Aluminum and Steel

    Last month, our very own Dan McGroarty argued in a piece for Investor’s Business Daily that the escalation of the trade war over U.S.-imposed trade tariffs on Canadian made aluminum and steel has serious implications not only for our economy, but also for the U.S. defense industrial base.  In it, he outlined the genesis of [...]
  • Full Senate Committee to Examine DOI Critical Minerals List and U.S. Mineral Resource Dependence

    Bearing testimony to the growing importance assigned to the issue of critical minerals, the full U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing to “examine the Department of the Interior’s final list of critical minerals for 2018 and opportunities to strengthen the United States’ mineral security” on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, [...]
  • “Consumption” Missing Element in Discussion over Mineral Resource Development

    You need “stuff” to make “stuff.”  It’s a simple concept, but one that is all too often forgotten. As ARPN’s Dan McGroarty wrote in a 2015 Forbes op-ed coauthored with then-CEO of mining advisory firm Behre Dolbear Karr McCurdy: “[A]s a precursor to sound policy, the nation needs a change in mind-set: It’s time to [...]
  • A “Dangerous Dependence:”  Mineral Resource Security Goes Mainstream

    In recent weeks, we have seen a flurry of articles and commentaries in national publications discussing reforms to address our ever-growing reliance on foreign mineral resources.  The two most recent examples are member of the ARPN expert panel Jeffery A. Green’s piece in Real Clear Defense entitled “Dangerous Dependence on China for Critical Minerals Runs [...]
  • Video: CMI Founding Director Reflects on Five Years of Critical Materials Research

    Video clips are a great way to ease back into the work week after a holiday.  And thankfully, the Critical Materials Institute, a Department of Energy research hub under the auspices of Ames Laboratory, has got you covered. As we recently shared, CMI Founding Director Dr. Alex King has stepped down from the post he [...]
  • Happy Birthday, America – Onward to Resource Independence Day?

    It’s that time of the year again – we load up our shopping carts with fireworks and burger buns, and gear up for parades to honor of the men and women who have fought, and continue our safeguard our freedom today. Many of us will have already traveled this week – and according to AAA, [...]
  • Copper – Key Building Block of Our (Green Energy) Future

    Sometimes the title says it all: “Copper and cars: Boom goes beyond electric vehicles,” writes Mining.com contributor Frik Els. And indeed, while there is some uncertainty in light of the specter of a trade war looming between the United States and China, triggering a market pullback, the longer term outlook for Copper remains “rosy” precisely [...]
  • Automakers turn to U.S. Market as Potential Source of Lithium

    We’ve said it before, EV battery technology is the new black – and if the metals and minerals fueling this technology are not yet on your radar, you’ve clearly missed the memo.  Even the oil industry is coming to grips with this new reality. As our friends from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence report: “For the first [...]