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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Today: Three Members of ARPN Expert Panel to Discuss Battery Tech Materials and Supply Chains at Miller Thomson’s PDAC 2019

    Bearing testimony of the immense importance of the issue of battery tech materials and their supply chains, three members of the ARPN panel of issue experts will be presenting their viewpoints at a seminar hosted by Miller Thomson as part of their PDAC 2019 Series hosted in Toronto, Canada today.

    Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence will provide the keynote address on “Battery Materials – The Importance of Understanding the Supply Chain.” ARPN followers will be familiar with Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s work, which we have frequently featured on our blog, including Mr. Moores’s most recent testimony before a U.S. Senate Committee.

    Dr. Gareth Hatch, CEO and Chairman of Innovation Metals Corp. and Chris Berry, President of Mountain House Partners, LLC, both of whom we have also featured on our site on several occasions over the course of the last few years.

    Here are the coordinates for the seminar:

    Date: Monday, March 4th
    Time: 1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Registration opens at 1:00 p.m.)
    Location: Miller Thomson LLP, 40 King Street West, Suite 5800, Toronto, ON M5H 3S1

    More details are available here.

    Online registration has closed, but you can still register on-site. Check back on our blog for an update after the event.

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  • Section 232 Tariffs on Aluminum and Steel on the Way Out?

    News headlines these days are full of doom and gloom. As the Guardian writes, “whether or not the world really is getting worse, the nature of news will interact with the nature of cognition to make us think that it is.”

    Against this backdrop, it’s nice to see a little – albeit cautious – optimism spread around here and there. In this particular case, it’s coming via our neighbors to the North. According to the Canadian Government, officials are hopeful that the so-called Section 232 tariffs on aluminum and steel imposed by the Trump administration last year, which were in turn followed by retaliatory tariffs by Canada, are on the way out.

    While government representatives have been cautioning that Canadian ratification of the USMCA, the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal to replace NAFTA struck in 2018 might be delayed if the “the situation with respect to steel and aluminum is not yet resolved,” David McNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, has expressed optimism that “we’ll get there in the next few weeks.”

    As a Mercatus Center study showed late last year, the tariffs “appear to have been far more destructive to domestic industry than the administration anticipated.”

    As a result, more than 45 groups representing a wide range of business sectors renewed their call for an end on the Section 232 tariffs in 2019 in a coalition letter sent to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in January, arguing that

    “for many farmers, ranchers and manufacturers, the damage from the reciprocal trade actions in the steel dispute far outweighs any benefit that may accrue to them from the USMCA. The continued application of metal tariffs means ongoing economic hardship for U.S. companies that depend on imported steel and aluminum, but that are not exempted from these tariffs. Producers of agricultural and manufactured products that are highly dependent on the Canadian and Mexican markets are also suffering serious financial losses.”

    Both from an economic and national security perspective, doing away with the tariffs would be beneficial to all parties involved. Followers of ARPN will recall last year’s Defense Industrial Base Report listing nearly 300 weak links in the U.S. defense supply chain and stating that “a key finding of this report is that China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security.” This includes Aluminum.

    When viewed in isolation and from the upstream end of the supply chain at the minesite, the U.S. is increasingly import-dependent for the aluminum it needs — and Canada, in the context of a long-standing integrated North American supply chain, has long been instrumental in helping the U.S. close the significant domestic production shortfall.

    As ARPN’s Dan McGroarty has pointed out in a piece for The Hill:

    “Particularly in the case of Canada, the U.S. tariffs ignore nearly 80 years of deep defense cooperation with our northern neighbor: Aluminum produced in Canadian smelters was central to the Allied war effort throughout World War II, during which the massive plant at Saguenay, Quebec supplied more than 40 percent of the Allies’ overall aluminum production. Today, Saguenay aluminum is on the U.S. tariff list.

    With agreement on USMCA, it’s time to reaffirm the importance of an integrated U.S.-Canadian Defense Industrial Base. As the Government of Canada’s official comments on the 232 inquiry noted, ‘open aluminum trade with Canada benefits the U.S. economy and its national security.’ With aluminum on the U.S. Critical Minerals List, with the U.S. producing only 39 percent of the aluminum it uses each year and Russia and China among our leading suppliers, it makes no sense to slap a 10 percent aluminum tariff on Canada.”

    Here’s hoping the Canadian government’s optimism is not misplaced.

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  • Critical Minerals Alaska – A Look at Germanium

    In the twelfth and final installment of his “Critical Minerals Alaska” series for North of 60 Mining News, Shane Lasley takes a look at Germanium – a lesser known yet vital ingredient in fiber optic cables and high-efficiency solar cells.  Followers of ARPN may remember Germanium as one of the key co-products for the gateway [...]
  • “Something Does not Come from Nothing” – Formulation of Mineral Resource Strategy Should be a Precursor to Green Energy Debate

    “Something does not come from nothing. That fact can be easily forgotten when it comes to seemingly abstract concepts like ‘energy,’” writes Angela Chen in a new piece for technology news and media network The Verge. Chen zeroes in on four key metals and minerals that have become indispensable components of green energy technology – Neodymium, [...]
  • Green New Deal’s Inherent Irony: Renewable Energy Sources Rely Heavily on Critical Minerals, the Domestic Development of Which Proponents Oppose

    There is much talk about the so-called “Green New Deal,” a concept originally floated by the Green Party and now championed by newly-elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).  Amidst much of the information (and misinformation) that is being spread with regards to the plan that seeks to implement a sweeping transition to green renewable energy, one aspect has [...]
  • McGroarty Warns of Real World Problem for 21st Century American Warrior

    In a new commentary for Investor’s Business Daily, ARPN principal Daniel McGroarty warns of “America’s unilateral disarmament in the resource wars.”  Invoking the world of Marvel comics, in which Vibranium is the imaginary metal used for Captain America’s shield, IronMan’s exoskeleton, and Black Panther’s energy-absorbing suit, McGroarty argues that the 21st Century American warrior (perhaps [...]
  • U.S. Currently Bystander in Global Battery Arms Race, ARPN Expert Tells U.S. Senate Committee

    A key global player, the United States is not used to being a bystander. Yet this is exactly what is currently happening, says Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s Managing Director Simon Moores, addressing the full U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources this morning. Delivering his testimony on the outlook for energy and minerals market in [...]
  • REEs Underscore Challenges of Erosion of Defense Industrial Base

    While policies stemming from the dominating free-trade ideology “have succeeded in generating great wealth for the U.S. economy, they have also led to a number of unintended consequences, including the erosion of the manufacturing segment of the defense industrial base,” argues Jeff Green, president of Washington, D.C.-based government relations firm J.A. Green & Company, and member of [...]
  • U.S. Senate to Hold Hearing on Energy and Mineral Markets, Member of ARPN Expert Panel to Testify

    We’ve called it “the new black.” The Guardian even went as far as ringing in the “Ion Age.”  Bearing testimony to the growing importance of battery technology, the U.S. Senate will hold a hearing examining the outlook for energy and minerals markets in the 116th Congress on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 with an emphasis on battery [...]
  • Metals in the Spotlight – Aluminum and the Intersection between Resource Policy and Trade

    While specialty and tech metals like the Rare Earths and Lithium continue to dominate the news cycles, there is a mainstay metal that has – for good reason – been making headlines as well: Aluminum.  Bloomberg recently even argued that “Aluminum Is the Market to Watch Closely in 2019.”  Included in the 2018 list of 35 [...]

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