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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
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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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  • Copper Gap Looms as Demand for EV Tech Continues to Surge

    While just a few short years ago, Rare Earth Element coverage dominated non-fuel mineral resource news cycles, it is the metals and minerals that fuel electric vehicle and battery technology that are making headlines these days.

    Here, the spotlight has been on Cobalt, Lithium, and, to a lesser extent, Nickel and associated supply and demand scenarios, but Copper — both a traditional mainstay metal and tech metal in its own right that also serves as a “Gateway Metal” to several other tech metals — also warrants attention.  Perhaps less flashy than its peers, Copper is widely used in electric vehicles, charging stations, and supporting infrastructure.

    But along with these new uses of a long-mined metal, Moody’s Investors service offers a warning:

    “Supply constraints affecting cobalt, lithium, copper and nickel, key metals for making the batteries that power electric cars, could slow production rates of [EV] power storage units in the near term.”

    Mining.com cites Carol Cowan, a Senior Vice President at Moody’s:

    “Declining ore grades for copper, continued lack of investment in new mines and the time required to bring new discoveries to production will constrain metal availability and, ultimately, the metal sector’s ability to meet growing demand from automakers for battery electric vehicle production.”

    Moody’s, which also expects Nickel and Cobalt supply insufficiencies against the backdrop of growing demand for EV battery technology, anticipates Copper consumption to greatly outstrip supply as it is slated to increase more than six times.

    CRU analyst Hamish Sampson estimates that “unless new investments arise, existing copper mine production will drop from 20 million tonnes to below 12 million tonnes by 2034, leading to a supply shortfall of more than 15 million tonnes.”

    Sampson, who had previously pointed out that over 200 currently-operating Copper mines will be reaching the end of their production cycle before 2035, has put together a graphic that paints a drastic picture of a looming Copper gap, of which ARPN’s Dan McGroarty had warned as early as 2013:

    Only if “every single copper project currently in development or being studied for feasibility is brought online before then, including most discoveries that have not yet reached the evaluation stage, the market could meet projected demand,” said Sampson according to Mining.com.

    All of this his goes to underscore what ARPN has long touted, and most recently outlined in our new report on the inter-relationships between Gateway Metals and their Co-Products:

    Copper is “far more than just your old school industrial metal” — which is why including it into the draft critical minerals list released by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke would be a common sense proposition.

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  • Congressional Western Caucus Members Call for Expansion of Critical Minerals List

    Earlier this month, members of the Congressional Western Caucus sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and Acting Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Mary Neumayr calling for the inclusion of additional metals and minerals into the draft critical minerals list released by Secretary Zinke [...]
  • Mamula & Moore: Current Federal Policy Efforts Opportunity for “Huge Turnaround for Reducing Dangerous Mineral Imports Through Responsible Mining”

    In a new piece for National Review, geoscientist Ned Mamula, who is an adjunct scholar at the Center for the study of Science at the Cato Institute and a member of the ARPN panel of experts and Heritage Foundation senior fellow Stephen Moore offer up their take on the current – and long overdue – [...]
  • ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty Submits Public Comments on DoI Critical Minerals List

    Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13817 on a Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals, was issued on December 20, 2017. Pursuant to the EO, the Department of Interior, in coordination with the Department of Defense, was tasked with compiling a list of Critical Minerals within 60 days. The DOI List was [...]

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