American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Made in America Starts with Mined in America

    That’s the title of this Forbes.com piece co-authored by ARPN’s Dan McGroarty and Behre Dolbear CEO Karr McCurdy. ARPN readers know Behre’s “Where Not to Mine” report as the annual review that regularly shows the U.S. leading the mining world in the one category where being first is being last: the time it takes to bring a mine through permitting and into production. In Forbes, McGroarty/McCurdy tie U.S. manufacturing competitiveness to a steady supply of the metals and minerals that provide the energy and raw material inputs for America’s factories.

    So how does the U.S. stack up compared to other mining nations?

    “In this year’s report, the U.S. appears to have improved its overall ranking, but this is only an “optical illusion.” In 2013, other mining countries became less hospitable to mining at a faster pace than the U.S. The fact that Russia, DRC and China’s permitting delays are metastasizing more rapidly than ours is hardly a point of pride.

    “The fact is, it doesn’t have to be this way. The U.S. is remarkably resource-rich, from aluminum to zinc, and many minerals in between. Our substantial mineral endowment provides the U.S. the ability to build a sustainable industry, play a leadership role in the world’s commodity markets, and minimize our growing exposure to the geo-political and economic risks of resource dependency.

    “To a large degree the steady accretion of federal policy got us in this mess; policy reform will lead us out.”

    But there’s a precursor to sound policy. According to McGroarty and McCurdy,

    “…the nation needs a change in mind-set: It’s time to remind ourselves that life as we know it is made possible by the inventive use of metals and minerals. Smart phones, the Cloud, the Internet: These things may seem to work by magic, but quite often the backbone of high-tech is mineral and metal, not fairy dust. Failure to mine what we can here in the U.S. simply perpetuates dangerous dependencies on nations that may not wish us well.

    “Responsible development of domestic mineral resources should be a policy priority. Our ability to grow our economy, revive American industry, and safeguard our national security – depends upon it. Maybe by the time next year’s “Where Not to Invest” report comes along, the U.S. will be seen as having reversed course, putting our economy on a path to a resource-driven recovery.”

  • While U.S. is slow to even begin permitting reform, Queensland, Australia speeds up already expeditious process

    An overhaul of the approvals process in Queensland, Australia will cut the time it takes to issue an exploration permit in half, according to the state’s government.  The change applies to exploration permits only, and government officials are very clear that a granted exploration permit is not a right to mine.

    Nonetheless, the new process represents a significant accomplishment as it hasthe potential to halve the time taken for companies to be granted exploration permits, while maintaining rigorous environmental, native title and land access assessments.” 

    The change bodes well for Australia as a destination for mining investment, as it may well improve the country’s already very positive ranking on esteemed mining research firm Behre Dolbear’s “Where Not to Invest” report, which attest Australia one of the most expeditious permitting systems with the least amount of permitting delays of all surveyed countries.

    Meanwhile, in spite of a dismal ranking on Behre Dolbear’s index in the “permitting delays” category, U.S. efforts to reform our rigid and outdated permitting structure for mining projects are continuing to face an uphill battle with the fate of Rep. Amodei’s (R-Nev.) National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013 (H.R.761) in the Senate unclear yet again.

  • Compliance with conflict minerals rule remains challenging for manufacturers

    Compliance with federal law and a new SEC rule regarding the sourcing of so-called conflict minerals — Tungsten, Tin, Tantalum and Gold from the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and surrounding regions — remains challenging. For U.S. manufacturers to navigate and properly follow the new guidelines is just one piece of [...]
  • Layoffs at mining equipment manufacturing site highlight need for permitting reform

    As reported by Reuters, Caterpillar Inc will lay off of about eleven percent of the workforce at one of its U.S. manufacturing sites for mining equipment. The job cuts, necessitated by the need to bring to “bring production in line with demand,” according to Caterpillar’s announcement, will affect 460 workers at the Decatur, Illinois, plant. [...]
  • In new report, U.S. tied for having worst permitting process – again

    The results are in, and unfortunately – though not surprisingly – the hot-off-the-press “2013 Ranking of Countries for Mining Investment: Where Not to Invest,” once again gives the United States the dubious honor of being tied for last place with Papua New Guinea when it comes to permitting delays. Among various indicators, the instructive study [...]
  • National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act reintroduced

    U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei (R, Nev.) has reintroduced his critical minerals legislation. Identical to last year’s bill (H.R. 4402), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in the summer but stalled in the U.S. Senate, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013 (H.R. 761) would: Require the Department of the Interior and [...]
  • Op-ed: America’s Growing Minerals Deficit

    The following op-ed by American Resources Principal Dan McGroarty was published in the Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2013. The original text can be found here. America’s Growing Minerals Deficit The U.S. is now tied for last, with Papua New Guinea, in the time it takes to get a permit for a new mine. By [...]
  • New Year’s Resolutions for U.S. Policymakers (Part 1)

    Traditionally, the New Year is the time when people reflect on the past twelve months and formulate resolutions for the months ahead. As the first hours of 2013 have been dominated by the drama the Fiscal Cliff, our Federal lawmakers may not have gotten around to focusing on other less publicized — but no less [...]
  • New Zealand Government Seeks to Accelerate Mining Permits

    While the U.S. Government continues to talk about critical minerals access and the dangers of foreign dependency, New Zealand’s government is taking action. According to MiningNe.ws, the New Zealand government is “looking at ways of speeding up approvals for big mining projects because endless court action is “frustrating” companies and costing them millions.” Here are [...]
  • “Not even the likes of Jason Bourne can save us”

    In his latest RealClear World column, American Resources principal Daniel McGroarty takes on the latest book in the “Jason Bourne series” – the “Bourne Dominion.” No, you’re not on the wrong blog – this is not a book club. The plot of the book actually involves a group of terrorists set on destroying the only [...]