In a three-part series, Nick Slepko, a member of the The Motley Fool Blog Network, zeroes in on the importance of Copper. Considering the current controversy over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s actions regarding what could conceivably be the largest deposit of critical minerals in U.S. history – the Pebble Deposit in Alaska – the series couldn’t be any more timely.
Carrying the catchy title “Strippers, Greens, and Chinese Take Out: The Dark Side of Copper,” the first part of the series retraces the genesis of Copper’s status as a critical mineral, and examines its role as an “economic bellwether and political football.”
In part two, titled “American Copper – Boom or Doom,” Slepko surveys the U.S. domestic Copper production landscape and outlines the challenges faced by two promising Copper mining projects (the Pebble Mine, and the Rosemont Mine in Arizona) the implementation of which could “determine if America can stay on pace with Copper production – and potentially soar to new heights.”
The third part of the series, “Beware the Copper Stoppers,” takes a look at the economic impact of metal and mineral extraction, which “radiates far beyond the mines themselves” and addresses the precedent-setting and potentially devastating consequences of regulatory overreach on the part of the EPA in this field.
“With the battle finished in West Virginia, the EPA emboldened, and hundreds of thousands of dollars pouring into the opposition camp in Alaska, it’s not such a stretch to imagine the EPA taking its authority a step further and vetoing Pebble before the Partnership has entered the permitting process.
“That would certainly discourage investors like Anglo American and Northern Dynasty from plowing half a billion dollars into developing US copper resources any time soon. But it could have an even more pernicious effect if it spooks other investors in projects that need 404 permits to operate.”