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  • 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 other interested parties.

    Below is a video of Committee Chairman Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s opening remarks:

    While stressing that the issue of mineral resource security is not a new one, Sen. Murkowski outlined in clear terms why the United States Congress should give it its full attention, and take action to alleviate our ever-groaning over-reliance on foreign mineral resources.

    Sen. Murkowski also called out those who fail to connect the dots, and fail to understand that, as we previously phrased it, “you need stuff to make stuff:”

    “We have to get away from this ‘immaculate conception’ theory of your iPhone, fighter jets, solar panels, all these things just happen, they just appear out of thin air. We have to acknowledge the fact that many of the materials that are used to make them actually come from the ground. We have to dig them up, and that is an inconvenient truth for some.”

    She concluded:

    “I recognize that some are reluctant to address the main driver of this problem, and I look to our broken federal permitting system. But I believe that we can make some improvements, that we have to make improvements, and we must do this all while we are protecting the environment. The U.S. has the highest safety standards for mining anywhere in the world. We have the experience and expertise needed to do it right. We need to work on our workforce. We also live in a world where permitting delays and litigation deter investment in our country, so we want to speak to that.”

    For the full list of witnesses and written testimony click here.

  • 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 in the way of responsible domestic resource development, a little-noticed Nasdaq piece should provide some additional impetus:

    “China ministry warns about reliance on imports of strategic minerals” – such is the headline of said piece which, citing a transcript of a press briefing posted on the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources, reports that China remains “heavily reliant on imports of oil, battery metals and other minerals, while the growth in domestic reserves has slowed.” 

    The report pegged the level of import reliance at 72 percent for nickel, 73 percent for iron ore and copper, 75 percent for lithium, 79 percent for gold and 90 percent for cobalt.

    China, the story says, is “worried” about its supply of these key materials as “[w]ith the rebound in international mineral prices, China’s mineral import costs have risen sharply,” leading ministry officials to call for more “international mining cooperation,” which, according to Nasdaq is “a reference to Chinese involvement in overseas mining projects.”

    The bottom line is, if China — which has long been thinking strategically about critical minerals, and acting accordingly all over the globe — is worried about securing a steady supply of critical mineral resources, we should be, too.  Opportunity is knocking with several key provisions in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as well as the groundwork laid with the DOI critical minerals list. The stakes are too high to squander it.

  • 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, [...]
  • Happy Birthday, America – Onward to Resource Independence Day?

    It’s that time of the year again – we load up our shopping carts with fireworks and burger buns, and gear up for parades to honor of the men and women who have fought, and continue our safeguard our freedom today. Many of us will have already traveled this week – and according to AAA, [...]
  • Copper – Key Building Block of Our (Green Energy) Future

    Sometimes the title says it all: “Copper and cars: Boom goes beyond electric vehicles,” writes Mining.com contributor Frik Els. And indeed, while there is some uncertainty in light of the specter of a trade war looming between the United States and China, triggering a market pullback, the longer term outlook for Copper remains “rosy” precisely [...]
  • “From Bad to Worse” – Why the Current Focus on Critical Minerals Matters

    Earlier this spring, the Department of the Interior released its finalized Critical Minerals List.  Jeffery Green, president and founder of government relations firm J.A. Green & Company and member of the ARPN panel of experts reminded us in a recent piece for Defense News why the current focus on our over-reliance on foreign mineral resources [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]