American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Canada and U.S. to Draft “Joint Action Plan” on Rare Earths / Critical Minerals

    After years of missed opportunities to prioritize mineral resource policy, the U.S. government is stepping up its efforts to secure critical mineral resource supply chains.  

    The latest case in point is the drafting of a “joint action plan” with our neighbors to the North to reduce reliance on Chinese supplies of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) — which, according to Canadian daily The Globe and Mail citing a federal briefing document, will be “presented to the political party that forms the next government after the Oct. 21 election.”

    Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed The Globe and Mail’s report in a press briefing, noting that he and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed the need to “ensure reliable supplies of rare earths and critical minerals” during their last meeting.  

    According to Bloomberg: 

    “[t]he joint plan outlined in the document obtained by The Globe and Mail contemplates including defense funding for critical minerals projects, and strategic investments in North American processing facilities, according to the newspaper. Senior Canadian officials have held meetings since July to discuss ways for the two countries to secure access [to] minerals including uranium, lithium, cesium and cobalt.

    News about increased cooperation with Canada comes on the heels of the announcement of a forthcoming roll out of a similar collaborative “action plan” between the United States and Australia, which, according to news reports, will “open a new front against China in a widening technology and trade war by exploiting Australian reserves of the rare earths and other materials that are essential for products ranging from iPhones to batteries and hybrid cars.”

    As we recently argued, partnerships with reliable allies like Australia — and now Canada — will go far — “but they must be complemented by increased domestic production of critical minerals in the United States.”  Thankfully, momentum on that front is picking up as well, as evidenced by the latest Senate committee hearing on mineral resource security, during which we saw a rare display of bipartisan agreement on the need for a more “holistic approach” to critical mineral resource policy, and that “when it comes to critical minerals extracting, processing, recycling… now is our call to action.”

    Here’s hoping policy makers heed it. 

  • Renewable Energy Transition Continues to Fuel Copper Demand

    Rare earths and lithium-Ion technology metals and minerals may be the talk of the town these days — and for good reason — and stakeholders are finally pursuing policies aimed at facilitating secure access for them.   However, as a new analysis by Wood Mackenzie shows, we should not forget about the more traditional mainstay metals in the process. 

    Copper certainly isn’t the first metal that comes to mind for most when you think green energy transition —but, as followers of ARPN already know, it is not only a gateway metal to other critical metals and minerals underpinning renewable technology, it is also a key building block of our green energy future.

    Discussing the new report’s findings, Wood Mackenzie research analyst Michael Salisbury said:

    “Wind technology is the most copper-intensive form of power generation and is anticipated to consume the largest amount of copper over the next ten years in this sector. (…)

    Governments have set out to transition from a dependency on carbon emission-intensive power to more renewable energy sources and wind and solar energy sources have become a popular technology choice.

    In order to generate, transmit and distribute the energy, copper is required due to its low electrical resistivity, high conductivity, malleability and durability. As a result of the intensity of copper within wind farm projects and the increasing demand for wind energy, consumption of copper is substantial and forecast to grow significantly over the next decade.”

    Most of the Copper — roughly 58% — finds its way into wind installations via cabling, and Mackenzie Wood forecasts that between 2018 and 2028, over 3 Mt of Copper will be consumed “in both collector and distribution cabling,” with China and the United States leading this growth in the onshore installation category, and Europe leading consumption in the offshore installation segment. 

    Meanwhile, while some manufacturers have worked on substituting Copper in wind installations in light of high Copper prices, alternative materials still come with drawbacks, they remain “reluctant wholly commit to alternative materials until quality and reliability is guaranteed.”  

    Of course, in today’s fast-past materials science revolution, forecasts are subject to change — but for the time being, it looks like Copper is here to stay, and should be factored into overall policy consideration when it comes to securing reliable access to critical metals and minerals. 

  • With Rare Display of Bipartisanship in Congress and Resource Partnership Announcement With Allied Nations, Momentum Building for Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    Late last week, we witnessed the formal announcement of a forthcoming roll out of an “action plan” to counter Chinese dominance in the critical minerals sector during Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s week-long state visit to the U.S.. According to news reports the plan will “open a new front against China in a widening technology and trade war by exploiting [...]
  • U.S. and Australia to Roll Out “Mutually Beneficial” Action Plan to Improve Security and Supply of Rare Earths

    Building on recent agency-level talks the United States and Australia have used the occasion of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s week long state visit to the United States to formally announce the forthcoming roll out of an “action plan” to counter Chinese dominance in the critical minerals sector, and specifically the Rare Earths sector. According to news [...]
  • ARPN Expert Panel Member: Any Real Solution to REE Dependence Must Include Investing in Our Domestic Production Capabilities

    “There is more to President Trump’s engagement with Greenland than meets the eye, (…)[h]owever, if policymakers want to get serious about securing U.S. access to rare earths, any real solution must include investing in our domestic production capabilities,” writes Jeff Green, ARPN expert panel member and president and founder of public relations firm J.A. Green & [...]
  • U.S. Senator: “Our Energy Future Is Bright, But Only If We Recognize The World We Are In”

    As the tech wars over Rare Earths and other critical metals and minerals deepen, competition is heating up in another field of resource policy.  In a new piece for the Washington Times, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) discusses the new realities of a globalized energy market and the consequences associated with America’s declining nuclear energy [...]
  • As Tech War Deepens Over REEs, Australia Steps Up to the Plate

    As the trade war between China and the United States deepens, concern over access to Rare Earths and other critical minerals is spreading all over the world.  While the U.S. is taking steps aimed at increasing domestic REE supplies — most recently manifesting in the Trump Administration’s invocation of the 69-year-old Defense Production Act and [...]
  • Food For Thought:  To Drive Down Reliance on Fossil Fuels, Change Perception of Profession of Geology

    Wherever you come down on the political spectrum —  there is no denying that we find ourselves in the midst of a green energy transition.  Followers of ARPN know that the current push towards a lower-carbon future  hinges on sustainable and reliable access to metals and minerals, which are the building blocks of renewable energy [...]
  • ARPN Expert Panel Member on Strategic Metals Supply Chain in an Era of De-Globalization

    The trade war between China and the U.S., tensions between Russia and the West, the green energy transition — today’s political, geopolitical and economic pressures have significant implications for resource development. In a new piece on his blog, ARPN expert panel member and president of President of House Mountain Partners, LLC Chris Berry discusses “[t]he Strategic [...]
  • McGroarty for the Economic Standard: In the Arctic Resource Wars, Greenland is a Hot Property

    In a new piece for The Economic Standard, ARPN’s Dan McGroarty puts the current controversy over President Trump’s quip about wanting to buy Greenland from Denmark in context. Invoking President Truman’s offer to purchase Greenland in 1946 as well as Secretary of State William Henry Seward’s 1867 purchase of Alaska — for which he received [...]