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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • U.S. to Cooperate with Canada and Australia To Encourage Responsible Resource Development for New Energy Technology

    Amidst growing concerns over the availability of metals and minerals underpinning the EV revolution, the United States, Canada and Australia have joined forces to encourage the responsible development of said materials.

    As the Financial Times reported earlier last week, the US state department and its Canadian and Australian counterparts “will work to help countries discover and understand their mineral resources. They will advise on management and governance  frameworks that will attract international investment and support good environmental and social policies.”

    China – itself no stranger to playing politics with its position of strength in the resource realm – has long been jockeying for pole position in this area, for good reason. As Simon Moores, managing director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and member of the ARPN panel of experts stated earlier with respect to EV battery technology: “whoever controls these supply chains controls industrial power in the 21st century.”

    The move for greater international cooperation comes as the threat of China playing the REE card looms larger than ever, as we discussed earlier last week.

    While potentially at the brink of seeing REE supply disruptions for military equipment firms, the United States appears to have awaken to the realities of 21st Century resource policies. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Commerce released its Critical Minerals Strategy calling for “unprecedented action to ensure that the United States will not be cut off from these vital materials.”

    The cooperative push by the U.S. State Department may be separate from that effort, but ties into the overall realization that the materials science revolution requires are more comprehensive, strategic and concerted approach to resource policy than that pursued by the United States to date. 

    Meanwhile, Europe is also stepping up its mineral resource game, particularly in the EV realm.

    Against this backdrop, U.S. action becomes all the more urgent.  It is not too late yet. Says Moores:

    “There is no doubt that if the US acts now and invests wisely in partnerships, it can catch up, (…) [b]ut it really needs to act now.”

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  • Global Times: REE Supply Restrictions Likely for U.S. Military Equipment Firms

    The specter of China playing the “rare earths card” is looming larger this week.  

    According to the Global Times’s twitter feed, U.S. military equipment firms will likely face restrictions of Chinese Rare Earth supplies in the near future, as China’s economic planners will “study and roll out policies on rare earths as soon as possible.”    

    The Global Times is an English language newspaper published by the Communist Party of China’s publication People’s Daily.

    As followers of ARPN well know, China has a near-total supply monopoly on rare earths, which are key components of a wide range of applications ranging from household gadgets over hi-tech military equipment to renewable energy technology. 

    In recent months, trade tensions between the United States and China have deepened leading observers to sound the alarm, because the lack of domestic REE sources has created a serious strategy vulnerability vis-à-vis our adversaries, as underscored by the 2010 decision by China to cut of REE exports to Japan. 

    While some observers dismiss the looming threat of a Chinese REE supply embargo and cite a diversification of sources over the course of the past decade – including the Mountain Pass mine in California – which have reduced China’s supply monopoly to 77 percent, ARPN expert panel member and president and founder of public affairs firm J.A. Green & Company, points out via Twitter that 

    “Citing the decrease to 71% Chinese production ignores other parts of the supply chain. We should break down reliance on China for #REE metal, alloy and magnets to be a useful statistic.”

    He further cautions that “[t]o rely on ‘market forces’ to take care of the issue is dangerously naïve from a national security perspective. This is not a case of free trade, but rather Chinese market manipulation (as validated by the WTO ruling).”

    Green concludes:

    “Mountain Pass is a valuable resource, but is not a comprehensive solution. It is still reliant on the Chinese, it does not move past the concentrate phase of the supply chain, and is lacking in heavy REEs.”

    Thankfully, there are indications that our policy makers appear to awaken to the seriousness of the situation, and the just-released critical minerals strategy report by the U.S. Department of Commerce acknowledges that “If China or Russia were to stop exports to the United States and its allies for a prolonged period — similar to China’s rare earths embargo in 2010 — an extended supply disruption could cause significant shocks throughout U.S. and foreign critical mineral supply chains.”

    The strategy contains many helpful recommendations, including mine permitting reform, and coupled with pending legislation in Congress, could provide a good framework for alleviating the United States’ mineral resource supply vulnerabilities. 
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  • Resource Alert:  North of 60 Mining News Has Launched “Critical Minerals Alaska” Magazine and Dedicated Webpage

    Over the past few weeks, China’s threat to play the “rare earths card” has generated quite a buzz and, along with growing concerns over supply chains for battery tech, has directed much-needed attention to our nation’s over-reliance on foreign mineral resources.  As followers of ARPN know, many of these issues are in fact home-grown, as the United [...]
  • Tesla May Get Into Mining Business, Says Elon Musk, A Visionary Rooted in the Reality of Resources

    If you looked up the definition of “visionary entrepreneur” in the dictionary, chances are you’d stumble over Elon Musk’s name.  Perhaps like no other CEO today, Tesla’s innovator-in-chief has had his finger on the pulse of time, and has arguably “revolutionized many industries.” And while he continues his “mission is to help save Earth for humanity through sustainable [...]
  • CBS’s 60 Minutes Airs Updated Rare Earths Segment Featuring ARPN’s McGroarty

    Bearing testimony to the significance of the looming specter of China playing the “rare earths card,” CBS’s 60 Minutes this weekend aired an update to its 2015 segment on rare earths featuring ARPN principal Dan McGroarty.  You can watch the segment on the CBS website, which also features a written transcript. There is hope that the [...]
  • Commerce Department Releases Long-Awaited Interagency Report on Critical Minerals

    On Tuesday, June 4, the U.S. Department of Commerce released the “interagency report that was submitted to the President pursuant to Executive Order 13817, A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals.”  The report, which, according to the agency’s official announcement, “contains a government-wide action plan, including recommendations to advance research and development [...]
  • Materials Science Profiles of Progress – Penn State University Launches Center for Critical Minerals

    Against the backdrop of a growing awareness of our over-reliance on foreign mineral resources — one need to look no further than the current coverage of China’s threat to play the “rare earths card” — Penn State University is launching a Center for Critical Minerals. Under the auspices of the College of Earth and Mineral [...]
  • ARPN’s McGroarty Quoted in Daily Caller Piece on the Specter of China Playing the “Rare Earths Card”

    Reporting for the Daily Caller, Michael Bastasch zeroes in on what has once again become a hot button issue – Rare Earth Elements (REEs) in the context of trade relations, as reported Chinese threats to “escalate its trade dispute with the Trump administration to include rare earth minerals has, once again, shined a spotlight on U.S. [...]
  • ARPN Expert Panel Member in The Hill: U.S. Must Stop Shunning the Importance of Its Mineral Wealth

    In a new piece for The Hill, ARPN expert panel member and author of the recently-released “Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral Independence” Ned Mamula laments the United States’ long-standing ignorance and even shunning of “the importance of its mineral wealth.”  In spite of the fact that, as he says, mining is “the one economic sector that meets the [...]
  • DoI Grants Hardrock Mineral Lease Renewals in Superior National Forest in Minnesota

    As the global race for mineral resources heats up, the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management renewed two hardrock mineral leases in the Superior National Forest in Minnesota, opening the area up to copper mining. The leases granted to Twin Metals Minnesota LLC over heavy opposition from environmentalist groups, were first issued in 1966 [...]

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