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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Through the Gateway: Aluminum – Fueling the Renaissance of American Manufacturing

    Aluminum is not only one of the most sustainable materials these days, it is also making headlines – most recently during the North American Leaders Summit, also dubbed “Three Amigos Summit” held at the end of June in Ottawa, Canada.  Invoking challenges associated with China’s trade policy, President Obama called for the North American countries to work together to “ensure a level playing field for the steel and aluminum industries here in North America.”

    The stakes are high, and with demand on the rise for durable, lightweight and sustainable materials, the Aluminum industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy — and with that, to the renaissance of U.S. manufacturing — is significant.

    And that significance is measurable.  According to an April 2016 study conducted by economic research firm John Dunham & Associates, the U.S. aluminum industry provides 161,000 direct jobs, and accounts for nearly 551,000 additional jobs created through multiplier effects. Expressed in dollar figures, that means the U.S. aluminum industry’s direct contribution to the U.S. economy has reached $75 billion. When accounting for induced impacts, that number shoots up to $186 billion — more than one percent of national GDP. The Aluminum Association has a great infographic on this:

    AA-Impact-Infographic-Web-600px-W

    While the U.S. is home to significant bauxite deposits, from which aluminum is sourced, we import a significant percentage of the aluminum consumed domestically.  Unlike with other metals and minerals, this represents a marked decrease in geopolitical risk, as most of our aluminum imports are sourced from one of our closest trading partners, Canada. In fact, in 2015, Canadian-sourced imports accounted for 65% of crude aluminum, 21% of semimanufactures, 64% of scrap, and 54% of total aluminum imports.

    In other words, viewed in isolation and from the upstream end of the supply chain at the minesite, the U.S. is increasingly import-dependent for the aluminum it needs.  But in the context of an integrated North American supply chain between the two trading partners, a look at USGS’s 2014 Minerals Yearbook reveals that Canada is helping the U.S. close a 3.4 million ton domestic aluminum production shortfall by supplying more than 2.2 million tons of crude ingot and 227,000 tons of semifabricated aluminum.

    The geopolitics of resource supply are complex and constantly changing.  Trade gives us a more complete picture — but the fundamental fact remains that in our tech-dependent era, manufacturing might is rooted in reliable resource supply.

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  • McGroarty/Reaugh: Time to Do Away with Uptick Rule to Unleash Canada’s Resource Sector

    The new year typically is the time for people to reflect on the preceding twelve months and make resolutions for the new year.  In an exclusive to the Vancouver Sun, our very own Daniel McGroarty, who serves on the advisory board of mining company American Manganese, joins ARPN expert and CEO of American Manganese, in reviewing 2015 as what may well be one of the worst years for the Canadian financial market.

    Having posted the world’s third-worst decline, the Canadian financial market now has the dubious honor of having one of the world’s worst investment markets, a distinction it shares with “Europe’s economic basket case” Greece.

    Reaugh and McGroarty argue that pointing the finger at the challenging overall climate in global resource market, which undoubtedly impacts Canada’s resource extraction-driven economy, captures only part of the issue. The underlying problem for Canadian companies, they say, is the end of the “uptick trading” rule – a financial market rule with a proven track record of restoring sanity for struggling markets.

    Explain Reaugh and McGroarty:

    “For reasons never fully explained to the public, regulators reacted to the aftermath of the 2008-09 financial meltdown by scrapping the uptick rule.

    The change ushered in a kind of wild-west trading that no Canadian under 80 years old has seen in his or her lifetime. Here’s how it works. Speculators now don’t have to own a share of stock to sell short — they’re free to hit the bids with non-existent shares until the price crumbles. Eventually long-term shareholders feel pressed to sell, allowing the traders to cover their short position — pocketing investor money that could have gone to financing the company. And the company goes on life support without any regard to market fundamentals, or global demand for the resource in question.

    The damage to the Canadian economy is considerable. Approximately 100,000 jobs have been lost directly and indirectly from the demise of the Venture Exchange — and who knows how many from the TSX itself?”

    Pointing to the United States’ recent positive experience with at least partially reinstating the previously-ditched uptick rule in 2010 – a move that has helped the DOW climb significantly by over 7,500 points – Reaugh and McGroarty call on Canadian regulators to reinstate the rule for Canada so that the resource sector, and other key industries can unleash their full growth potential.

    They say “Out with the old, in with the new” - for the sake of restoring market discipline to the resource sector, now would be a good time for Canadian regulators to reverse course and make reinstating the uptick rule their new year’s resolution for 2016.

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  • Strategic mineral issues debated in Toronto

    Early this week, strategic mineral experts gathered in Toronto, Canada, for the second annual Technology Metals Summit hosted by our friends at ProEdgeWire. We were honored that our very own Daniel McGroarty and several other American Resources experts were included in the impressive lineup of distinguished speakers. According to ProEdgeWire publisher Tracy Weslosky, the conference [...]
  • Fraser Institute to host third Mining Business Risks Summit in November

    The Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think tank and the intellectual home for three of our policy experts, has teamed up with CRU Group, the leading independent business analysis and consultancy group focused on metals and mining, again to host their third Mining Business Risks Summit, to be held in Toronto, Canada, 1-2 November [...]
  • U.S. Department of Defense Studies Alaska’s Rare Earths Potential

    As the Canadian daily Chronicle Herald reports, the U.S. Department of Defense is conducting a study of Canadian mining company Ucore’s rare earth-rich Bokan Mountain property in southeast Alaska. Under the auspices of the Defense Logistics Agency, the study will “focus on the possible development of Bokan Mountain to meet defence department requirements for an [...]
  • Fraser Institute Scholar joins American Resources Expert Panel

    We’re thrilled to announce that Alana Wilson, a senior research analyst with the Canada-based Fraser’s Institute’s Global Centre for Mining Studies, has joined the American Resources panel of issue experts. Ms. Wilson is spearheading the Institute’s most recent project, a website called MiningFacts.org, which offers timely research and articles examining the often-misunderstood “economic, environmental, and [...]
  • Expert View: Resource Nationalism and Quebec’s Plan Nord

    In a new opinion piece for the Montreal Gazette, American Resources policy expert and associate director of the Fraser Institute’s Global Natural Resource Policy Centre Jean Francois Minardi discusses the issue of resource nationalism in the context of Quebec’s Plan Nord – the Canadian province’s plan to develop its northern reaches in both strategic and [...]
  • Resource Wars: EU zeros in on Arctic mineral riches

    While many of us in the continental U.S. are enjoying record-breaking temperatures this March, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton probably needed her down coat as she embarked on her new mission: laying the groundwork for a common EU policy on the Arctic. Traveling near the North Pole earlier this month, Ashton made a case [...]
  • Proposed Canadian federal budget emphasizes need to expedite resource development

    Contrasting sharply with the current U.S. domestic mineral policy environment, Canada’s federal budget to be released by the Harper Administration next week will reflect its stated commitment to removing barriers to investment and resource development. Specific legislative language has yet to be introduced; however, according to the Canada Free Press, the budget outline will emphasize [...]
  • Silver fundamentals strong, may outperform gold

    It looks like we at American Resources are not the only ones noticing the increased appeal of silver – our “Metal of the Month” for March. The Gold Report interviewed several executives from the sector in a virtual roundtable for its latest issue. Here are the key points: The fundamentals behind silver are strong.   [...]

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