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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • New DoD stockpile report finds mineral shortfalls

    In his latest piece for Real Clear World, American Resources principal Dan McGroarty reviews the Department of Defense’s just-released National Defense Stockpile Report to Congress against the backdrop of our mineral dependencies. According to McGroarty, the report reflects a re-thinking on the part of the Pentagon, where, less than a year ago, researchers downplayed the United States’ dependence particularly on Rare Earths – a widely-criticized assessment that was labeled “naïve” and “ill-informed” by experts at the time.

    Says McGroarty:

    (…) after two decades of this post-Cold War experience, a new realization is dawning: Shifts in global metal production have produced a situation in which the U.S. is extraordinarily dependent on foreign-sourced metals and minerals. For the Pentagon, increasingly dependent on the metal-intensive weapons systems of a modern military, this foreign dependence is a dangerous exposure — a weakness that can be exploited in time of conflict.

    The new report finds “shortfalls – insufficient supply to meet demand – for approximately a third of these [the 72 metals and minerals studied in the report] materials,” and goes on to recommend nine metals for stockpiling in the near term.

    Invoking the challenges associated with China controlling much of the global output of many critical minerals and metals, McGroarty points out that contrary to other mining nations like Australia, the United States’ rigid permitting process would prevent mining operation for any of the 23 key resources identified by the Pentagon in the new report from completing the permitting process – a scary scenario from a national defense perspective.

    Concludes McGroarty:

    “The question now, in a Washington where the government is funded from month-to-month, and strategic thinkers are savants who see an hour into the next news cycle, is whether the U.S. Government can muster a sustained policy to reverse our metals dependency — before the shortfalls posited in the Pentagon’s hypothetical scenarios become all too real.”

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  • U.S. Department of Defense Studies Alaska’s Rare Earths Potential

    As the Canadian daily Chronicle Herald reports, the U.S. Department of Defense is conducting a study of Canadian mining company Ucore’s rare earth-rich Bokan Mountain property in southeast Alaska.

    Under the auspices of the Defense Logistics Agency, the study will “focus on the possible development of Bokan Mountain to meet defence department requirements for an ongoing supply of critical heavy rare earth elements.”

    According to Ucore’s President and CEO, the U.S. at present does not possess the necessary capabilities “to produce three critical heavy rare earth elements that occur naturally and in abundance in Bokan Mountain.”

    The fact that the U.S. Department of Defense is focusing on domestic rare earths exploration and development is encouraging, especially considering DoD’s Rare Earths assessment study from this spring, which had largely dismissed a Rare Earths supply crisis. DoD’s conclusion had baffled industry experts, but appeared to reflect a general naiveté and lack of information, which, according to a recent American Resources study called: “Reviewing Risk: Critical Metals & National Security,” pervades government agencies when it comes to assessing our nation’s critical mineral needs. Perhaps the Department of Defense’s Bokan Mountain efforts indicate a shift at the defense establishment towards a new understanding that Rare Earths and many other metals and minerals are critical to our national security needs.

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  • American Resources expert discusses defense implications of rare earth shortages in new policy brief

    Earlier this year, a Department of Defense analysis stunned many with its conclusion that concerns about Rare Earths supply shortages were exaggerated. Jeffery A. Green, founder of the Strategic Material Advisory Council and American Resources expert, explains how the Pentagon misses the mark in its assessment in a new policy brief for the Center for [...]
  • Experts: DoD’s dismissal of rare earths crisis “naïve” and “ill-informed”

    According to a newspaper reports of a (long-overdue) seven-page DoD report titled “Rare Earth Materials in Defense Applications,” sent to Congress last month and which has not yet been made public, “domestic rare earth supplies will meet the U.S. defense industry’s needs by 2013 for the materials that go into military motors and electronics” – [...]
  • Industry analysts criticize DoD rare earths report

    Industry experts have blasted the Pentagon’s latest (unpublished) report which claims that domestic sources will allow the U.S. military to meet its demand for rare earths by next year. “The only way we can get that material right now is from a foreign company in China,” said Jack Lifton, co-founder of Technology Metals Research. American [...]
  • Marcus Evans Military Energy Alternatives Conference

    American Resources leader Dan McGroarty will be attending the 7th Annual Military Energy Alernatives Conference in Tysons Corner, VA on March 6-8. The conference will discuss how the Department of Defense is implementing renewable technology to achieve energy efficiency and security at the operational level, as well as how renewable energy can be applied more [...]
  • Waiting for DoD: What does the Pentagon think of our rare earths vulnerability?

    Inquiring Congressional minds want to know — or at least the Congressional mind belonging to Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), co-chair (with Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman) of the newly-formed Rare Earths Caucus. During Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s House Armed testimony this week, Cong. Johnson seized the opportunity to ask where things stood with the Pentagon’s report [...]
  • Seal Team Six has Rare Earths to thank for killer apps

    In Rare Earth Woes Could Mean Trouble for U.S. Stealth Fleet, Christine Parthemore takes a look behind the headlines at the materials that give the U.S. Military its high-tech edge: “Ever since Osama bin Laden’s demise, aviation sleuths have been trying to figure out what was the mystery copter that Delivered Seal Team Six.  I’ve [...]

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