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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Stakeholders and Experts Weigh in on DOI’s Finalized Critical Minerals List 

    Last week, the Department of the Interior released its finalized Critical Mineral list. In spite of calls to include various additional metals and minerals (see ARPN principal Daniel McGroarty’s public comments on the issue here) DOI decided to stick with its pool of 35 minerals deemed critical from a national security perspective.

    “With the list completed, the executive order now gives Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross 180 days to submit a strategy to reduce that reliance. The report will explore various options: increased trade with allies, recycling and reprocessing technology, and potential alternative materials to replace critical minerals,” writes Greenwire reporter Dylan Brown, who gathered early stakeholder and expert feedback for a piece published on Friday (subscription).

    Brown says that Commerce Secretary Wilbur’s report will, among other issues, zero in on what he calls the “No. 1 policy debate between the mining industry and environmentalists, and their Republican and Democratic allies in Congress” – the debate over how to reform the United States’ permitting framework for mining projects.

    Brown quotes National Mining Association spokeswoman Caitlin Musseman, who said:

    “More than a complex listing process, we need a simplified and efficient permitting system that unlocks the value of all our domestic mineral resources,” and argues that the list does not go far enough because of DOI’s “narrow view of criticality.”

    The piece also quotes ARPN’s Dan McGroarty, who, citing the example of Copper, underscored the importance and interrelationship of Gateway Metals and their Co-Products:

    “American Resources Policy Network President Daniel McGroarty pointed to copper, a ‘gateway’ to five minerals on the critical list.

    ‘The U.S. has a 600,000-metric-ton copper gap each year — the gap between what we consume and what we produce,’ he said. ‘The critical minerals list is a great starting point. The question now is how the U.S. government can match policy to the priority of overcoming our critical minerals deficit.”

    In the coming months, policymakers have the opportunity to shape mineral resource policy for the better – and to create a framework conducive to safely and efficiently harnessing our mineral resource potential to ensure our national security and competitiveness going forward.

    Here’s hoping they seize the momentum the recent increased focus on ‘critical minerals’ has generated.

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  • ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty Comments on DOI’s Release of Final Critical Minerals List

    The Department of the Interior released its final list of Critical Minerals today.

    The following is ARPN principal Daniel McGroarty’s statement on the list:

    “DOI issued its final list of Critical Minerals, unchanged at 35.  What we see is the degree of US dependency – the US is 100% import-dependent for 14 of the 35 minerals, and more than 50% dependent for another 16.  That’s more than 50% dependent for 30 of the 35 minerals on the List – materials that are critical for the national economy, for high-tech, for alternative energy applications, for national security.

    And the risk extends even beyond the DOI’s Critical List.  Take copper, which is not listed.  It is the gateway to 5 “co-product” metals that are listed as critical, but are not mined in their own right.  And the U.S. has a 600,000 MT copper gap each year – the gap between what we consume and what we produce.

    The Critical Minerals List is a great starting point.  The question now is how the U.S. Government can match policy to the priority of overcoming our Critical Minerals deficit.”

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  • 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 [...]
  • McGroarty in The Hill: Copper Should Be Factored Into NAFTA “Auto Rules of Origin” Negotiations

    In a new piece for The Hill, American Resources Policy Network principal Daniel McGroarty zeroes in on the intersection between trade and resource policy. Against the backdrop of the current negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), McGroarty argues that one of the metals ARPN followers have come to know as a [...]
  • New Year’s Resolutions for Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    If you’re one of nearly half of all Americans, you will have already made a few New Year’s resolutions for 2018.   Among the most popular are personal betterment goals like “losing weight,” and “exercising more.”  While we’re all for making personal resolutions, at ARPN, we’re more concerned with the goals our policy makers are [...]
  • An Early Christmas Present? New Executive Order Calls for National Strategy to Increase Domestic Resource Development

    Only one day after USGS released its new report “Critical Minerals of the United States” – a study which underscores the United States’ over-reliance on foreign minerals – a new executive order directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to publish within 60 days a list of critical minerals to be followed by a report (after another [...]
  • Happy Independence Day! We’re Free, Yet So Dependent

    Happy Birthday, America! Another trip around the sun, and we’re back on the eve of the 4th of July gearing up for parades, barbecues and fireworks in honor of the men and women who have fought, and continue to safeguard our freedom today. Last year, we used this opportunity to point out that while we cherish [...]
  • Scandium – Ready to “Take Off”?

    Remember the Light Rider?  A few months ago, we highlighted this high-tech motorcycle, which, because it is held together by an intricate web of “Scalmalloy,” is perhaps the lightest motorcycle in the world. Scalmalloy is an “aluminum alloy powder ‘with almost the specific strength of titanium’ [used] to build incredible structures by fusing thin layers of the material together.” One [...]
  • Rhenium: “Alien Technology” Underscores Importance of Gateway Metals and Co-Products

    At ARPN, we have consistently highlighted the importance of Gateway Metals, which are materials that are not only critical to manufacturing and national security in their own right, but also “unlock” tech metals increasingly important to innovation and technological development. With advancements in materials science, these co-products, many of which have unique properties lending themselves [...]
  • Through the Gateway: A Scholarly Look

    Over the course of the past few months, we have featured two classes of metals and minerals, which we believe deserve more attention than they are currently being awarded.  Expanding on the findings of our 2012 “Gateway Metals and the Foundations of American Technology” report, in which we focused on a group of five “Gateway” metals which [...]

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