As reported by Resourceful Earth, two Alaska mining projects may begin production ahead of schedule thanks to priority permits granted by the U.S. Forest Service. The agency approved exploratory drilling permits for Ucore Rare Metals Inc.’s Bokan Mountain site in Southeast Alaska, which is expected to develop rare earths as well as potentially high grade uranium, and another mining prospect on Woewodski Island.
At a time when China’s stranglehold on rare earths has cost for downstream industries soaring, this is a welcome development one would hope to see replicated for other mining projects, as the underlying structural problem of a rigid permitting process continues to hurt the United States’ economic and strategic future.
We will examine the bureaucratic regime that has given the U.S. the dubious honor of being tied with Papua New Guinea for the longest approval process for mining permits among the top 25 mining countries in the world in a forthcoming policy paper. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter so you get to read it first.