American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • 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of a dismal ranking on Behre Dolbear’s index in the “permitting delays” category, U.S. efforts to reform our rigid and outdated permitting structure for mining projects are continuing to face an uphill battle with the fate of Rep.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 the puzzle.

    A just-released Government Accounting Office (GAO) study analyzes some of the supply chain challenges, including in the African region itself, and has found that in spite of some progress largely through greater visibility and awareness, a “lack of security, lack of infrastructure, and capacity constraints could undermine companies’ abilities to ensure conflict-free minerals sourcing.”

    A possible, albeit partial solution that would allow for the sourcing of conflict free minerals (as the U.S. does not have any Tin deposits), might lie the development of at least Tantalum and Tungsten deposits in the United States. Considering the fact that among the 25 leading mining nations, the U.S. has dubious honor of being tied for last place with Papua New Guinea for permitting delays in Behre Dolbear’s latest Where Not to Invest report, this possible solution will not be able to help manufacturers in the short-term.

    Nonetheless, it would be a good reason for policy makers to start thinking strategically about critical minerals, and prioritize removing obstacles to harnessing our vast domestic – and conflict-free- mineral potential.

  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Wisconsin to accelerate mining permitting process?

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and like-minded state legislators are currently attempting to re-write the state’s mining laws to “create certainty in the regulatory process.”  Legislation that would streamline the permitting of iron mines passed the Assembly last week at a vote margin of 59 to 36, with the governor touting the benefits he says passage [...]