-->
American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • As Beijing Sees Coronavirus Pandemic as Opportunity to Weaken U.S. Position, America Should Bolster Domestic Mineral Supply Chains

    Earlier this month, ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty argued that while the current focus on ending the dangerous dependence on critical medicines needed to combat COVID-19 is more than warranted, Congress and the administration “may want to broaden their focus from critical medicines to critical minerals.”

    In a new piece published in the Duluth News Tribune, Michael Stumo, CEO of the Coalition for a Prosperous America, echoes this sentiment.

    Arguing that “[t]he coronavirus pandemic has revealed that globalized supply chains cause more risk than Wall Street has led us to believe,” Stumo says that developing its own  mineral and metal supply chains “through smart, safe environmental practices, (…) could limit Beijing’s strategic dominance, particularly when China’s practices include forced labor and a disregard for environmental standards.”

    This is all the more important, he argues, as Beijing sees the current coronavirus pandemic as a golden opportunity. He writes:

    “Party officials in China are already looking to turn crisis into opportunity. Horizon Advisory reports that Beijing hopes the pandemic can ‘reverse any progress that the U.S. has made in countering China’s co-option of global industry.’”   

    Thankfully, we are in a position to counter this veiled threat. 

    As ARPN’s McGroarty argues:

    “It would be one thing if the U.S. had no geological presence of these metals and minerals, and was consigned to be an importer from supplier nations. But the U.S. is resource rich, geologically blessed with known resources of at least 32 of the 35 critical minerals [on the U.S. Government Critical Minerals List], with deposits of heavy rare earths in Texas, graphite in Alaska, manganese in Arizona – not to mention innovative methods to recycle and recover critical minerals from spent EV batteries, rhenium for jet fighter engines from copper waste in Utah, and all manner of critical minerals from coal waste in Pennsylvania that’s never been considered as a potential supply source.

    As these examples suggest, American innovation is ready to ‘work the problem’ of critical minerals supply. What remains is for American political leadership to make U.S. production a priority, and align public policy with a pressing national need. With the coronavirus reaching pandemic proportions, America’s political leaders are right to focus on the dangers of reliance on a Chinese supply chain for critical medicines. But the danger is no less real when it comes to reliance on Chinese supply of the critical minerals that power our 21st century tech economy – along with every advanced weapons platform in the American arsenal.”

    Share
  • ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty for RealClearPolitics: “Time to Reduce Reliance on China for Medicine AND Critical Minerals”

    In a new piece for RealClear Politics, ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty argues that while the current focus on ending the dangerous dependence on critical medicines needed to combat COVID-19 is more than warranted, Congress and the administration “may want to broaden their focus from critical medicines to critical minerals.”

    Read his full piece here:

    Getting Critical Medicines From China Is Risky. Critical Minerals, Too
    by Daniel McGroarty
    RealClearPolitics, March 17, 2020

    The rapid spread of the coronavirus is doing more than claim an alarming number of new human hosts – it is burning through decades of bureaucratic inertia and plain inattention as the American economic ecosystem has become dangerously dependent on China.

    Take the current focus on critical medicines needed to combat COVID-19, everything from basic drugs to treat the virus to N95 surgical masks to guard against its spread. We’re learning that these essentials come from China, ground zero for the virus itself. At the White House and on Capitol Hill – at least those corners of the Congress that have not gone into self-quarantine – efforts are now underway to jump-start U.S. production and end this dangerous dependence.

    It’s an urgent issue demanding immediate attention. But while Congress and the president are at it, they may want to broaden their focus from critical medicines to critical minerals.

    Just as critical medicines from China are integrated across the U.S. health care spectrum, so too are critical minerals imbedded into all aspects of the U.S. supply chains for energy, high-tech manufacturing – and most worryingly, national defense. Everything, in short, that makes 21st century America the economic and military power that it is.

    In terms of critical minerals vulnerability, the main focus is on rare earths, a group of 17 elements on the periodic table that are essential to everything from laptops and LEDs, electric vehicle drive trains and wind turbines to smartphones and smart bombs. But the potential exposure of the U.S. is far wider than just the rare earths. Is the U.S. interested in developing new fleets of electric vehicles – not to mention all manner of aerospace applications from miniaturized drones to private-sector space vehicles? We’ll need graphite and manganese, two materials for which the U.S. is presently 100% import-dependent. The world’s leading producer in both cases? China. Do we want to see the U.S. develop next-generation high-speed computer chips? We’ll need gallium and arsenic, two more 100%-dependent materials. The world’s leading producer? Once again – China.

    As for national security, 16 of the 35 materials on the U.S. Government Critical Minerals Mist appear in a non-classified defense study as “hav[ing] already caused some kind of significant weapon system production delay for DoD.” For 22 of the 35 listed minerals, China is either the leading global producer, leading U.S. supplier – or both.

    It would be one thing if the U.S. had no geological presence of these metals and minerals, and was consigned to be an importer from supplier nations. But the U.S. is resource rich, geologically blessed with known resources of at least 32 of the 35 critical minerals, with deposits of heavy rare earths in Texas, graphite in Alaska, manganese in Arizona – not to mention innovative methods to recycle and recover critical minerals from spent EV batteries, rhenium for jet fighter engines from copper waste in Utah, and all manner of critical minerals from coal waste in Pennsylvania that’s never been considered as a potential supply source.

    As these examples suggest, American innovation is ready to “work the problem” of critical minerals supply. What remains is for American political leadership to make U.S. production a priority, and align public policy with a pressing national need. With the coronavirus reaching pandemic proportions, America’s political leaders are right to focus on the dangers of reliance on a Chinese supply chain for critical medicines. But the danger is no less real when it comes to reliance on Chinese supply of the critical minerals that power our 21st century tech economy – along with every advanced weapons platform in the American arsenal.

    Share
  • Coronavirus Underscores Perils of Resource Dependence – A Look at Rare Earths

    While many first think of the human dimension and health implications of the recent outbreak and ongoing spread of the coronavirus — and quite rightly, given the potentially  fatal consequences — the crisis with pandemic potential has ramifications that reach far beyond the health sector. In a new piece for Tech Metal News, Shane Lasley takes a [...]
  • 2020 Mineral Commodity Summaries:  Domestic Mineral Resource Production Increases While Foreign Dependencies Continue

    Last week, USGS released its 43rd Mineral Commodity Summaries – a comprehensive snapshot of global mineral production which gives us a window into where we stand as a nation in terms of mineral resource security.   Perhaps most instructive from an ARPN perspective is the chart depicting U.S. Net Import Reliance — previously casually referred to as [...]
  • Addressing a Piece of the Mineral Resource Puzzle – Federal Land Withdrawals

    As followers of ARPN know, the United States has finally embarked on a quest to look for ways to reduce its over-reliance on foreign mineral resources, and in doing so, reduce the leverage it has yielded to nations like China over our national security. In a new series for the Capital Research Center, geologist and [...]
  • Trade Publication Zeroes in on Over-Reliance on Critical Minerals, Cites ARPN’s McGroarty

    Against the backdrop of the upcoming two-year anniversary of the Presidential Executive Order on Critical Minerals, trade publication Industry Week discusses the issue of U.S. over-reliance on foreign mineral resources in its latest issue. Recounting some of the key steps taken by the federal government in recent months – i.e. last year’s  Department of the Interior [...]
  • Tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 10 – U.S. House Committee to Hold Hearing on “Research and Innovation to Address the Critical Materials Challenge”

    On Tuesday, December 10 — close to the two-year anniversary of the White House’s executive order “to develop a federal strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals” the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on “Research and Innovation to Address the Critical Materials Challenge.” The hearing comes against the backdrop of increased [...]
  • Time to Reduce Our Reliance on “Untrustworthy Countries for Strategically Important Minerals”

    As we recover from collective food coma and return to our desks after a tumultuous Thanksgiving travel week, J. Winston Porter, a former EPA assistant administrator in Washington, reminds us of the importance of keeping the focus on the issues associated with our over-reliance on foreign mineral resources.    In a new piece for InsideSources, Porter [...]
  • U.S. and Australia Formalize Critical Minerals Partnership

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has signed a project agreement with its Australian counterpart, GeoScience Australia, to jointly develop a “better understanding of both countries’ critical mineral reserves.”  The agreement is the result of ongoing agency-level talks between the United States and Australia and the recent announcement of a forthcoming formal roll out of an “action [...]
  • India and the Tech Wars: Ripple Effects of the Confrontation over Who Will Dominate the 21st Century Tech Age

    While most of the headlines regarding the trade war between the United States and China — and, for ARPN followers, the underlying tech war over who which country will dominate the 21st Century Technology Age — focus on the main players in Washington, DC and Beijing, the ripple effects of this confrontation can be felt [...]

Archives