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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
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  • Critical Mineral List Finalized – Now Comes the Hard Part

    “Identifying which minerals are ‘critical’ is the easy part. Working out what to do about them is going to be much harder.” 

    – That’s the conclusion Reuters columnist Andy Home draws in his recent piece on the current Administration’s efforts to develop a strategy to reduce import reliance for metals considered “critical to the economic and national security of the United States.”

    Home’s entry point to the issue is a promising mining project in Nebraska aimed at developing Scandium, Niobium and Titanium – all of which have been officially afforded “critical minerals status” in the Department of the Interior’s recently-released list of 35.

    Writes Home:

    “No-one’s mined niobium in the United States since 1959, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The country relies exclusively on imports, mostly from Brazil.

    The same is true of scandium, a metal which, according to NioCorp, has been used for several decades in ‘cutting-edge Soviet and Russian military technologies’ but not by the U.S. armed forces due to a lack of supply.”

    Thus, he says, it comes as no surprise to find these materials on the list, which features a mix of “supply challenged” tech metals and more conventional materials for which USGS has deemed the entire supply chain “problematic.”

    ARPN’s Dan McGroarty has called the list a “great starting point” but also pointed out that it does not include materials like Copper, which “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.”

    With the list of 35 completed, focus will shift towards the report featuring policy recommendations, which the Commerce Department will have to submit to the President by August 16.

    Home says:

    “[I]ncreasing domestic supply across the spectrum of the periodic table is going to be a core recommendation in the report.” 

    This recommendation, as followers of ARPN know, will hinge largely on the improvement of our nation’s outdated and cumbersome permitting structure for mining projects.

    Home also looks at current efforts at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to reduce our over-reliance on foreign mineral imports, which involve keeping our nation’s current “stockpile” of materials current and R&D efforts in the field of recycling and substitution.

    The bottom line, however, as Home rightfully argues, is that all of these efforts “can only be part of a broader strategy that will have to be both multidimensional and highly flexible.”  In today’s fast-paced high tech world in which the ongoing materials science revolution constantly presents us with new uses for metals and minerals, supply and demand pictures can change dramatically on extremely short notice.

    As Home notes, making a critical list is the easy part.  For stakeholders the hard part comes next.

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  • The Daily Caller: DOI Critical Minerals List Highlights United States’ Over-Reliance on Foreign Mineral Resources

    Heavily quoting from ARPN’s statement on the issue, The Daily Caller’s Michael Bastasch earlier this month reported on the Department of the Interior’s finalized list of minerals deemed critical for U.S. national security. Writes Bastasch:

    “President Donald Trump’s administration’s release of a list of 35 critical minerals highlights just how reliant the U.S. is on foreign imports, according to mining advocates.

    ‘What we see is the degree of U.S. dependency — the US is 100 percent import-dependent for 14 of the 35 minerals and more than 50 percent dependent for another 16,’ said Daniel McGroarty, a principal at the American Resources Policy Network, which advocates for domestic mining.

    ‘That’s more than 50 percent 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,’ McGroarty added in a statement issued Friday.”

    Bastasch further points to the importance of a number of metals and minerals which may have failed to pass the DOI list’s threshold, but for which the United States is also import reliant:

    “The Interior Department also noted The U.S. is also reliant on other imported minerals not meeting the threshold to be labeled ‘critical minerals.’ These include copper, zinc, molybdenum, gold and silver.

    ‘Take copper, which is not listed,’ McGroarty said. ‘It is the gateway to five ‘co-product’ metals that are listed as critical but are not mined in their own right.’

    ‘And the U.S. has a 600,000 [metric ton] copper gap each year — the gap between what we consume and what we produce,’ McGroarty said.”

    Click here to read Bastasch’s piece, and here to read McGroarty’s full statement on the finalized DOI list.

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  • McGroarty for IBD: “Time to Make the Connection Between Critical Minerals and National Defense”

    “For want of a nail … the kingdom was lost” Invoking the old proverb dating back to the 13th Century as a cautionary tale and reminder that “the most sophisticated defense supply chain is only as strong as our weakest link,” ARPN’s Dan McGroarty argues in a new piece for Investor’s Business Daily that the [...]
  • Green Energy Revolution Puts Copper in the Driver’s Seat

    At ARPN, we have long touted Copper’s versatility – its traditional uses, new applications and Gateway Metal status – but for those who still struggle to see more in Copper than your old school industrial metal, some visual help has arrived in the form of yet another impressive infographic from Visual Capitalist. The comprehensive infographic [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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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