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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • critical minerals list

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  • Infographic Visualizes the Electrification of Vehicle Fleet

    Followers of ARPN may have noticed that much of our recent blog coverage has focused on EV battery tech.  Here are a few examples:

    Of course, there are good reasons for focusing on this field – and once more Visual Capitalist has done a great job capturing some of them in a new infographic.

    The rise of the electric vehicle – and especially its pace – has taken many by surprise. Analysts at Morgan Stanley estimate that four of every five cars sold worldwide by 2050 will be battery-driven EVs.  As the infographic shows, Morgan Stanley analysts further believe that the number of cars with internal combustion engines (ICEs) are to be surpassed by battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) before 2015, as the BEV fleet hits one billion.

    Whatever the adoption timelines ultimately may be, our friends at the American Exploration & Mining Association are spot on with their tweet about what the electrification of vehicles means for the resource realm: “4/5 cars sold in 2050 will be electric.  5/5 will require minerals like cobalt, lithium & iron.”  

    It is time for policy makers to follow up the release of the Department of Interior’s list of 35 metals and minerals deemed critical to U.S. national security with comprehensive policy reforms that help secure domestic supplies of these and many other materials.

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  • Exemptions from U.S. China-directed Tariff List Speak to “Strategic Vulnerabilities” in Resource Realm

    Last month, we highlighted how the exclusion of Rare Earths from the list of tariffs to be imposed on Chinese goods released by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) earlier this summer spoke to the growing awareness of their strategic importance in the United States.

    However, Rare Earths were not the only items removed from the final list – and what has dropped off the list may tell a more interesting story, than what remains on it. Writes The Wall Street Journal’s Chuin-Wei Yap:

    “While the latest broadside from the U.S. in its tariff feud with China, covering 5,745 items worth some $200 billion, is a demonstration of America’s buying power, items cut from the initial tariff hit-list point to weaknesses across a range of businesses, from energy giants like Halliburton Co. to smaller suppliers of specialty parts, all of which sought waivers for raw materials and parts by arguing that China had become an indispensable supplier.”

    According to Chuin-Wei Yap, written communication and hearing transcripts relating to corporate lobbying efforts to obtain an exemption “show where the Chinese have become outsize global producers of relatively obscure industrial commodities—on which American industry has become reliant. In some cases, the U.S. companies say, substitute makers in other countries could be found—but were likely to raise price tags on American buyers as these rivals sought advantage in the escalating bilateral standoff.”

    Aside from the Rare Earth exemption we discussed last month, Chuin-Wei Yap cites the example of Barite, largely used for weighting agent in fluids used in the drilling of oil and natural gas wells. While U.S. production has been declining, of the roughly 3 million metric tons of Barite used in the U.S, more than 75 percent is imported from China, according to USGS.

    As Chuin-Wei Yap points out, there are no immediate indications that China might choke off supply as it did a few years back for Rare Earths, but “the exemptions add to a menu of last resorts.”  He adds that analysts fear that constricting supply may ultimately cross “the line into a ‘hot’ war.”

    All the more reason to follow up the release of the Department of the Interior’s list of 35 metals and minerals deemed critical from a national security perspective – which includes both REEs and Barite (but failed to include some other materials as we have discussed elsewhere), with long overdue policy reforms to alleviate domestic resource supply concerns.

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  • Move Over, Lithium and Cobalt, Graphite and Graphene are About to Take Center Stage – Courtesy of the Ongoing Materials Science Revolution

    Earlier this week, we pointed to what we called the “new kid on the block” in battery tech – Vanadium.  It appears that what held true for music, is true in this industry as well – “new kids on the block” arrive in groups. Now, all puns aside – as Molly Lempriere writes for Mining-Technology.com, [...]
  • A Non-Flashy Yet Essential Critical Mineral – Barite   

    If you haven’t had of Barite, you’re excused – even for avid followers of ARPN Barite is not among the first that come to mind of when you think of critical minerals. It has, however, attained that status with its inclusion in the Department of Interior’s list of 35 metals and minerals considered critical to [...]
  • Resource Policy’s Butterfly Effect – South Africa’s Landownership Issues to Cripple U.S. Defense Arsenal?

    Can the taking of a farm in South Africa cripple the American defense arsenal?  We’re about to find out – says ARPN’s principal Daniel McGroarty in a new piece for Investor’s Business Daily. Invoking the so-called “Butterfly Effect” – an expression used to describe the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system [...]
  • “Critical Minerals Alaska:” A Familiar Scenario for Tungsten – Chinese Domination and U.S. Prospects

    Pop quiz: Which metal has “the highest melting point of all the elements on the periodic table, (…) is a vital ingredient to a wide-range of industrial and military applications,” has made the Department of Interior’s final list of 35 metals deemed critical to U.S. national security, “yet none of this durable metal is currently [...]
  • The U.S. Hunt for Cobalt – a Rising Star Among Critical Minerals – Is On

    “Gold once lured prospectors to the American west – but now it’s cobalt that is sparking a rush,” writes the BBC in a recent feature story about Cobalt, which, as ARPN followers will know, is a “key component in the lithium-ion batteries that power electronic devices and electric cars.”  Once a somewhat obscure metal, Cobalt [...]
  • Senate Committee Chairman in Critical Minerals Hearing: No “Immaculate Conception” – iPhones, Fighter Jets, Solar Panels, All These Things Don’t Just Appear Out of Thin Air

    Earlier this week, the full U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to “examine the Department of the Interior’s final list of critical minerals for 2018 and opportunities to strengthen the United States’ mineral security.” Panelists included representatives from USGS and the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) as well as industry stakeholders and [...]
  • Chinese Worries over Critical Mineral Supply Should Provide Impetus for U.S. Policy Reforms

    Escalating trade tensions have brought the issue of China’s near-total supply monopoly for Rare Earth Elements back to the front pages of American newspapers. If that isn’t reason enough for policy makers to use the momentum that has been building for the formulation of a comprehensive critical mineral strategy and an overhaul of policies standing [...]
  • Full Senate Committee to Examine DOI Critical Minerals List and U.S. Mineral Resource Dependence

    Bearing testimony to the growing importance assigned to the issue of critical minerals, the full U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing to “examine the Department of the Interior’s final list of critical minerals for 2018 and opportunities to strengthen the United States’ mineral security” on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, [...]

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