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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • 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 best exemplified by the SEALs, the U.S. Navy’s elite special operations force) is facing a real world problem: 

    “When today’s SEAL goes into combat, he takes one-quarter of the Periodic Table with him.

    The problem is, unlike the comic book world, these metals and minerals can’t be imagined — they must be mined and refined into advanced materials.”

    McGroarty cites the U.S. Geological Survey, which has found that a Navy SEAL’s gear contains at least 23 critical minerals and metals “for which the U.S. is greater than 50% net import reliant.”  However, as he points out, “[i]t gets worse: for 11 of them, our dependence is total — the U.S. produces zero.  And for 15, the world’s leading producer is China, a nation that the 2017 U.S. National Defense Strategy identifies as presenting a ‘central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security.’”

    Followers of ARPN will know that the U.S. Government has begun to acknowledge the challenges associated with our over-reliance on foreign minerals, but policy changes that would ultimately address our strategic materials vulnerability have yet to be put forward.  

    Meanwhile, one of the United States’ biggest adversaries on the global scale is not only acutely aware of the issue of resource dependence, it is cultivating its growing role as global tech metal provider — leading McGroarty to invoke Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, who 2,500 years ago hailed the ability to “subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

    Says McGroarty:

    “This dictum from the ‘Art of War’ raises an urgent question:  Could it be that China’s rising role as a technology metal provider — while the U.S. military becomes more and more dependent on metals and minerals we produce less and less of — is an asymmetry China is cultivating with an eye towards exploiting it in time of conflict?

    Because the fact is it won’t matter how razor-sharp skilled and implacably dedicated our forces are, if the U.S. Defense Industrial Base lacks the materials needed to provide them the weapons they need for the fight.”

    Last week, Simon Moores, managing director for Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and member of the ARPN panel of experts members may have used fewer imagery and focused more specifically on battery tech metals when briefing the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources – but his warning was equally stern:

    “We are in the midst of a global battery arms race in which the US is presently a bystander.”  

    Here’s hoping that our policy makers will finally take action to address what has become – in the words of Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski – our Achilles’ heel that serves to empower and enrich other nations, while costing us jobs and international competitiveness.”

    How policy makers move forward in the coming months will be critical, because, as McGroarty points out:

    “Unlike Marvel Comics or the movies, we can’t make up the metals superheroes need to triumph over evil.  If we want our real-world warfighters to keep their edge over America’s enemies, it’s time we mine those metals right here at home.”

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  • 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 technology.

    Followers of ARPN will not be surprised to learn that Simon Moores, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s Managing director and member of the ARPN panel of issue experts has been asked – once more – to share their insights on the supply chain for EV lithium ion batteries and the energy storage revolution.

    Moores considers the fact that the U.S. Senate Energy committee is holding its second hearing in 14 months on the issue progress, stating

    “The highest level of US government is taking the risks to its future automotive and energy industries seriously. With the rise of electric vehicles (EVs) and the true arrival of battery storage as part of the energy mix, those that have low cost, abundant supply of quality lithium ion batteries will be ahead of the pack.  Right now, China is leading the build out of this lithium ion battery capacity and Benchmark Minerals now forecasts the country to have 68% of global capacity by 2028 while the US presently sits at 11%.

    The other key factor in controlling this industry is securing supply chains for lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite anode materials. This is not just about low cost, high volume mining but key skills and know-how to produce chemically engineered battery grade chemicals – commodities for the 21st century.”

    The committee has set the hearing for 10:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, and will offer a livestream on its website, where written testimony will also be made available at the time of the hearing.

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  • Welcome to the “Ion Age”? The Ongoing Rise of Battery Technology

    Unless you’ve spent the last few years under a rock, you know that battery technology is the new black. With a new detailed “briefing” feature, The Guardian even goes as far as ringing in the “Ion Age” – a play on lithium-ion battery technology, which continues to make headlines. Writers Adam Vaughan and Samuel Gibbs [...]
  • A View From Across the Pond: European Resource Policy Through the Prism of a Low-Carbon Vision

    The recently-released Defense Industrial Base study, which once more has underscored the need for a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. resource policy, directed its focus on U.S. competitiveness primarily vis-à-vis China. Already vast and resource-rich, the country has demonstrated an insatiable appetite for the world’s mineral resources and has pursued an aggressive strategy to gain access [...]
  • Vanadium’s Time to Shine?

    Steve LeVine, Future Editor at Axios and Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council, has called it “one of the most confounding areas of research” and a “technology that, while invented more than two centuries ago, is still frustrating scientists.”   It is also one of the areas where one of the key growth industries – [...]
  • Race to Control Battery Tech Underscores Need for Comprehensive Resource Policy 

    Against the backdrop of the ongoing electric vehicle revolution, automakers are increasingly forced to deal with the realities of resource supply.  One of these realities was spelled out in clear terms by a Wall Street Journal report which stated: “There’s a Global Race to Control Batteries – and China is Winning.  Chinese companies dominate the [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Moores’ Law: The Rise of Lithium Ion Battery Megafactories and What it Means for Critical Mineral Resource Supply

    Earlier this month, Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and member of the ARPN panel of experts testified before the full U.S. Senate Energy Committee on opportunities and risks in the energy storage supply chain.   We’re titling his observations as Moores’ Law — which is his for the taking, given the placement [...]
  • The Surge of EV Technology and Implications for Mineral Resource Supply and Demand

    You may have caught Elon Musk’s exchange with Daimler on Twitter over investment in EV technology earlier this week. Vacuum giant Dyson has also tossed its hat into the ring announcing that it will spend $2.7 billion to develop an electric car. The headlines are piling up, and it’s no longer a secret that demand [...]
  • Why Cobalt Should be High on Your Radar

    In a recent article, the Financial Times zeroes in on one of the metals followers of ARPN will know is becoming increasingly indispensable to 21st Century clean energy technology: Cobalt.  Once an obscure metal you rarely heard about, this co-product of Nickel and Copper is increasingly afforded “critical mineral status” – primarily because of its [...]

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