American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Foreign Manufacturers Still Flock to China

    Japanese electronics maker Panasonic has built a new consumer Lithium-ion factory in Suzhou, China. While the plant is located on the premises already owned by Panasonic, the new facility is a manifestation of an ongoing trend of foreign manufacturers moving their production sites into China in order to mitigate reduced access to and increased costs for critical minerals. Interestingly, the move comes at a time when the Japanese government pursues policies aimed at reducing its dependence on Chinese mineral imports.

    Rising wages in China, and with that increased production costs, may be slowing the trend of manufacturers flocking to China to a degree, however the lure of metals and minerals cannot be dismissed. As American Resources principal Dan McGroarty phrased it in a piece for Real Clear World last October:

    The magnet drawing American automakers to China these days isn’t metaphorical: It is quite literally the Rare Earths magnets and other metals-based components critical to batteries and parts necessary for mass electric vehicle production. Just as we have seen with solar panel and wind turbine producers, China has the metals – and where the metals are, manufacturing will follow.

    Unlike with Rare Earths, China may not have the near-total supply monopoly for Lithium. It is, however, one of the top-three suppliers for U.S. manufacturers, who, according to USGS data, are more than 80 percent dependent on foreign-sourced Lithium. Meanwhile, domestic Lithium reserves, while not necessarily abundant, are available. With Lithium usage on the rise, it is entirely possible that the mineral, which is currently only featured on the American Resources “Watch List” may make our “Risk Pyramid” of critical metals and minerals in future years.

    With China ready to play politics with its mineral supplier status, the time to focus on exploring and developing our domestic mineral resources is now.

  • Will Canada step in to fill REE void?

    With China’s restrictive rare earths export policies having triggered a rush for other nations to get their hands on the sought-after set of critical minerals, Canada has hopes of filling the REE void left by China, according to the Gemcom Software Mining blog.

    A nation already rich in a broad variety of mineral resources, Canada is known to also have significant REE deposits, which it is beginning to harness.  Having moved from exploratory drilling to development drilling at Quest Rare Minerals’ Strange Lake property on the Quebec-Labrador border, Canada was also recently sought out by Japan’s Toyota for a joint venture to expedite development of rare earth mines in Quebec.

    While the U.S. is re-entering the REE market – Molycorp is taking the lead with the reopening of its Californian Mountain Pass mine here – Canada (and particularly Quebec, which has embraced a coordinated resource-development plan with its “Plan Nord”), is known to have a significantly better mining climate than the United States.  Our neighbors to the North are clearly maximizing their mining potential. Is the U.S. comfortable with riding bench?

  • Fraser Institute resource policy experts join ARPN panel

    We’re thrilled to announce that Fred McMahon and Jean-Francois Minardi from the Canada-based Fraser Institute have joined the ARPN expert panel. McMahon is Vice-President of Research, International, at the Fraser Institute, and, among other things, co-author of the Fraser Institute’s annual Survey of Mining Companies.  Minardi is Associate Director of the institute’s Global Natural Resource [...]
  • China’s Rare Earths reserves to be exhausted by 2025?

    Statistics show that rare earths reserves in China are down to 27 million tons and, at current production rates, may be exhausted as early as 2025. This data underscores the urgency of the rare earths crunch we have been discussing on this blog in recent weeks.  Having produced rare earths at rates exceeding 100,000 tons [...]
  • How About a Strategy for South of Nord?

    American Resources expert Gareth Hatch has an excellent piece up on his site (techmetalsresearch.com) that outlines Quebec’s “Plan Nord” – the Canadian province’s plan to develop its northern reaches in both strategic and sustainable ways. Says Hatch: “Plan Nord could have a significantly positive effect on the development of rare-earth and other rare-metal projects in [...]
  • Could ‘Rock’ suffer from Rare Earths shortage?

    For those who remember Rare Earth as a rock band, life has come full circle: Smarthouse Lifestyle Technology Guide reports today that audio speaker costs are “set to rocket” due to rapidly rising prices for Neodymium-based magnets. Whether rockers- and other music listeners- will pay more to hear their favorite music, or companies will compromise [...]