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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Bipartisan critical minerals bill introduced in U.S. Senate

    A group of seventeen U.S. senators has introduced legislation aimed at addressing the United States’ mineral supply issues. The bill, titled Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2013, was put forth by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and the Ranking Member of the committee, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), both of whom were joined by a bipartisan group of senators from mining states.

    Among other things, the bill would:

    • Require the Secretary of the Interior to maintain a list of minerals and elements designated as critical (no more than twenty minerals and elements can be designated at any given time);
    • Amend existing law to:
      • Establish an analytical and forecasting capability for identifying critical mineral demand, supply and other market dynamics relevant to policy formulation to allow informed actions to be taken to avoid supply shortages, mitigate price volatility, and prepare for demand growth and other market shifts;
      • Encourage Federal agencies to facilitate the availability, development, and environmentally responsible production of domestic resources to meet national critical material or mineral needs.

    Agency efforts should be coordinated to:

    • Avoid duplication, prevent unnecessary delays in the administration of applicable laws and issuance of permits and authorizations necessary to explore for, develop and produce critical minerals, and to construct critical mineral manufacturing facilities in accordance with environmental and land management laws;
    • Strengthen research and educational efforts
    • Foster international cooperation;
    • Promote the efficient production, use an recycling of critical minerals; develop alternatives to critical minerals; and establish contingencies for the production of, or access to, critical minerals for which viable sources do not exist within the United States.

    ARPN has long considered the need to secure a stable supply of critical minerals and reduce foreign mineral dependencies one of the most pressing issues affecting our economy and national security.

    At a time when Washington is mired in partisan gridlock, the fact that lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle realize this need, and are coming together to put forth this legislation is encouraging — especially, when it is lawmakers from the very legislative body where previous iterations of critical minerals bills have died a silent death.

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  • “A case study in critical metals inaction” – ARPN’s McGroarty on Rhenium

    In a new piece for Investor Intel, our very own Dan McGroarty sounds the alarm on a little-noticed but troubling passage in the U.S. House-passed Defense Authorization Act for 2014.  Said section in Title III acknowledges the importance of Tungsten and Molybdenum powders, including Tungsten Rhenium (WRe) wire to a variety of Department of Defense (DoD) applications. Noting that there is no suitable substitute for WRe wire, the bill directs the Secretary of Defense to determine whether there is sufficient supply of WRE wire to meet DoD requirements, and to submit a mitigation plan in case of a negative determination.

    As McGroarty argues, “in the case of Tungsten, the U.S. currently produces more than half of the metal it uses each year. Which makes Rhenium the weak link in the WRe chain.”

    The reason?  In spite of the fact that Rhenium is critical for high-temperature superalloys used in the turbines of the Joint Strike Fighter-35 and other fighter aircraft, there is no Rhenium in the U.S. National Defense Stockpile and the U.S. currently imports 78% of the Rhenium it uses.

    With Rhenium being a byproduct of Copper production, the non-specified military applications could be met if the proposed Resolution Copper mine project in Arizona – expected to increase U.S. Rhenium production by more than 200% – was realized.

    However, that project remains in limbo with a necessary land swap bill having met ferocious (and largely baseless) opposition by mining opponents.

    Concludes McGroarty:

    “U.S. policymakers have a choice to make. They can put in place a strategic resource development policy that would help produce more U.S. supply of critical metals like Rhenium – and, while they’re at it, the 18 other metals for which the U.S. is currently 100% import-dependent – or they can stick with our current faith-based resource policy on the theory that other countries will happily sell us the metals and minerals we fail to mine in the U.S.

    Until then, Rhenium will remain an example of the leverage the U.S. places in other country’s hands to provide – or withhold – metals critical to U.S. national security.”

    Click here to read the full piece. 

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  • America’s Mineral Resources: Creating Mining & Manufacturing Jobs and Securing America

    Testimony presented by Daniel McGroarty – Oversight Hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Sub-Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources, March 21, 2013 Chairman Lamborn, my thanks to you and your colleagues on the House Sub-Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources for the opportunity to testify today. I am Daniel McGroarty, [...]
  • Mineral Resources and the Presidential Election

    American Resources Principal Daniel McGroarty addresses the issue of the United States mineral dependencies against the background of mounting Presidential campaign pressures in a piece for The Hill’s Congress Blog. Here’s an excerpt: When it comes to our mineral dependence, President Obama has talked about Rare Earths, talked about strengthening manufacturing, and talked about the [...]
  • Time for a “strategy to bring more U.S. minerals mining operations online”

    National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn had a great piece in the Washington Times last week striking a tune that will be familiar to readers of our blog. Quinn argued that it’s time for the United States “to develop a strategy to bring more U.S. minerals mining operations online.” Here are some of [...]
  • Awareness of rare earths supply issues rising on Capitol Hill

    Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey (D) had a piece up on The Hill’s Congress Blog last week which highlighted China’s near-total rare earths supply monopoly and resulting challenges for our domestic industries. Among other things, it also called for increased domestic rare earths production. Writes Casey: While I hope to see quick action from China, we [...]
  • Rep. Coffman, Congress Launch Rare Earths Caucus

    On Wednesday, December 14, I attended the first-ever meeting of the Congressional Rare Earths Caucus. The brainchild of Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman, a leader on the issue of rare earths and resource dependency, the new caucus will push for rare earths supply chain.  The U.S. Magnetic Materials Association’s Jeff Green conducted the briefing, focusing on [...]
  • Will the U.S. Congress take on resource development regulatory reform?

    Those of us who follow how public policy impacts private-sector efforts to develop domestic mineral resources need to tune in to the current Capitol Hill debate on jobs and economic growth. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) recently introduced the Public Lands Job Creation Act, a bill that he says “will streamline the permitting process for energy [...]
  • Rep. Denham: “Exploring U.S. natural resources key to solving problems”

    In a passionate delivery on the House of Representatives floor, California Congressman Jeff Denham delivered a message about natural resources and American jobs. In his closing, Denham said, “We won’t solve CA’s energy problems or the nation’s job issue without addressing our natural resources.” Watch the short video below to hear his full plea to [...]
  • ARPN Expert Commentary: Congressional Action on REE Policy is Needed

    ARPN expert Lisa Reisman has a very insightful post on her website “MetalMinerTM” this week. Adding her own commentary, Reisman discusses rare earth and specialty metals lobbyist Jeff Green’s take on the current public policy debate regarding rare earth metals and critical minerals, as well as related legislation in pending in Congress.  Below is an [...]

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