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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty Comments on DOI’s Release of Final Critical Minerals List

    The Department of the Interior released its final list of Critical Minerals today.

    The following is ARPN principal Daniel McGroarty’s statement on the list:

    “DOI issued its final list of Critical Minerals, unchanged at 35.  What we see is the degree of US dependency – the US is 100% import-dependent for 14 of the 35 minerals, and more than 50% dependent for another 16.  That’s more than 50% dependent for 30 of the 35 minerals on the List – materials that are critical for the national economy, for high-tech, for alternative energy applications, for national security.

    And the risk extends even beyond the DOI’s Critical List.  Take copper, which is not listed.  It is the gateway to 5 “co-product” metals that are listed as critical, but are not mined in their own right.  And the U.S. has a 600,000 MT copper gap each year – the gap between what we consume and what we produce.

    The Critical Minerals List is a great starting point.  The question now is how the U.S. Government can match policy to the priority of overcoming our Critical Minerals deficit.”

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  • USGS Scholars Provide Insights into Resource Interdependency and Conflict Potential in New Study

    The advances in materials science have been fundamentally transforming the way we look at metals and minerals – both from a usage, as well as a supply and demand perspective.  With that, the nature of potential resource conflict has also changed.

    As USGS National Minerals Information Center scholars Andrew L. Gulleya, Nedal T. Nassar,  and Sean Xuna observe in a new Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study, resource conflicts of the past “have often centered on fuel minerals (particularly oil). Future resource conflicts may, however, focus more on competition for nonfuel minerals that enable emerging technologies.”

    The authors argue that while more and more stakeholders and researchers have acknowledged and are increasingly concerned about the concept of import reliance, “few studies assess import reliance and none compare import reliance of countries concurrently.”

    Against this backdrop, Gulleya, Nassar and Xuna measure and compare the current foreign mineral dependence of 42 minerals for the world’s two largest national economies, the United States and China.

    Among their key findings:

    “We find that China relies on imports for over half of its consumption for 19 minerals, compared with 24 for the United States— 11 of which are common to both. It is for these 11 minerals that competition between the United States and China may become the most contentious.”

    “Unless reliance can be reduced through substitution, improved processing efficiencies, increased domestic production, or recycling, the United States and China will increasingly vie for access to overseas assets that produce minerals in [that category]”

    “Increasing demand for minerals that enable sustainable and defensive technologies may intensify international resource competition during the 21st century—especially for minerals that cannot be substituted and have highly concentrated production. While improvements in recycling, mineral processing, material efficiency, substitution, and domestic production may alleviate import reliance and resource competition in the long run, such factors are often constrained in the short run by existing technology, existing manufacturing capital, and long development timeframes.”

    Policy makers – take note.

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  • Coalition of Congressional Members and Stakeholders Call on EPA to Reverse Pre-emptive Veto and Restore Due Process to U.S. Mine Permitting  

    Earlier this month, the Congressional Western Caucus led a coalition of Members of Congress and Stakeholders to call on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to reverse a pre-emptive veto of the Pebble Mine project in Alaska. The veto stopped the project before it had formally applied to begin the permitting process — a unilateral expansion of [...]
  • Copper Gap Looms as Demand for EV Tech Continues to Surge

    While just a few short years ago, Rare Earth Element coverage dominated non-fuel mineral resource news cycles, it is the metals and minerals that fuel electric vehicle and battery technology that are making headlines these days. Here, the spotlight has been on Cobalt, Lithium, and, to a lesser extent, Nickel and associated supply and demand [...]
  • Congressional Western Caucus Members Call for Expansion of Critical Minerals List

    Earlier this month, members of the Congressional Western Caucus sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and Acting Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Mary Neumayr calling for the inclusion of additional metals and minerals into the draft critical minerals list released by Secretary Zinke [...]
  • Road to Regulatory Reform – NMA-Commissioned Poll Shows Voters in Favor of Domestic Mining Permitting Reforms

    Advances in materials science are altering and expanding the ways in which we use metals and minerals at neck-breaking speeds, and are drastically changing the supply and demand picture.  The United States was significantly less dependent on foreign supplies of metals and minerals in the 1970s — but today, we find ourselves import-reliant for scores [...]
  • “Critical Minerals Alaska” – North of 60 Mining News Publishes Series on Alaska’s Resource Potential

    Against the backdrop of an increased focus on critical minerals at the federal level, North of 60 Mining News — an Alaska-based trade publication covering mineral resource issues for Alaska, northern British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut — has started a new series of articles ARPN followers may wish to bookmark. As Lasley pointed [...]
  • Road to Regulatory Reform – ARPN Launches New Effort to Promote Regulatory Reform in the Non-Fuel Mineral Resource Sector

    Since its inception, ARPN has advocated for more robust domestic resource development. The U.S. mine permitting process has long inhibited domestic development, and has exacerbated U.S. dependence on foreign metals and mineral supplies.  As the pace of technological change accelerates, driven by advances in materials science, these ever-deepening resource dependencies are weakening the U.S. economy [...]
  • Materials Science Profiles of Progress: CMI Expands Collaborative Research Focus to Include Lithium and Cobalt

    The Critical Materials Institute (CMI), a Department of Energy research hub under the auspices of Ames Laboratory, is expanding its research on tech metals “as rapid growth in electric vehicles drives demand for lithium, cobalt.” According to a recent Ames Lab press release, the Institute will focus on maximizing the efficiency of processing, usage and [...]
  • McGroarty in The Hill: Copper Should Be Factored Into NAFTA “Auto Rules of Origin” Negotiations

    In a new piece for The Hill, American Resources Policy Network principal Daniel McGroarty zeroes in on the intersection between trade and resource policy. Against the backdrop of the current negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), McGroarty argues that one of the metals ARPN followers have come to know as a [...]

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