American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Hot Off the Press: “Groundbreaking” Reading Material – ARPN Expert Co-Authors Book Sounding Alarm on Over-Reliance on Foreign Minerals

    Scratch your holiday wish list – there’s a new book you’ll have to add. In the just-released “Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral Independence” member of the ARPN expert panel Ned Mamula, an adjunct scholar in geosciences at the Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute, and “Rare Mettle”author Ann Bridges sound the alarm on the United States’ over-reliance on foreign mineral resources and make a convincing call to break with old failed policy approaches and take steps to finally harness our nation’s vast mineral resource potential.

    Followers of ARPN will find many familiar themes in Mamula’s and Bridges’s book, but as the National Mining Association has pointed out, “[w]hile others have told important parts of the story, Mamula and Bridges have woven together myriad threads to give us the startling implications of our failed minerals policies.”

    As Paul Driessen, senior fellow with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, who also authored the foreword for the book, recently wrote in a preview piece for the Canada Free Press:

    “[The book provides] reasons why we must reexamine the policies that brought us to this untenable and unsustainable point in American history. In concise, plain language, geologist Ned Mamula and Silicon Valley expert Ann Bridges explain why we must literally break ground in these areas… and drill down to find out what minerals are in them. Their key points must be pondered, absorbed and acted on by all who care about our security and prosperity.”

    Groundbreaking! is offered in print and eBook formats wherever books are sold.

  • Post-Thanksgiving Rut? Back to Basics on Resource Policy Issues

    If you’re still struggling to get your bearings after the long Thanksgiving weekend, you’re not alone. A New York Times piece from this Monday provides a good snapshot of what we are going through –  and offers “4 Ways to Stay Motivated When You’re in a Rut:” 
    Writes the NYT:

    “It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving, and we’re all feeling the same thing today: “It’s been Saturday for about 3 days and thus I am not prepared for Monday.”

    The NYT’s first tip is to start small.  A S&P Global Market Intelligence piece from earlier this fall that showed up in our Twitter feed via our friends at the National Mining Association allows us to do just that – it offers a good overview of the mineral resource issues we’re facing today, and reminds us why we need to continue to push for a comprehensive U.S. critical minerals strategy.

    The piece traces our growing over-reliance on foreign metals and minerals and contrasts domestic developments that have contributed to our current challenges with actions taken by China, arguably one of our greatest rivals, and at the same time lead supplier for many metals and minerals the U.S. has to import.

    Followers of ARPN will find familiar themes here. Citing Joe Balash, assistant secretary for land and minerals management at the Interior Department, the authors state that “the path leading to America’s reliance on other countries for mined materials has been complicated and systemic.” While Balash argues that decades of policies reducing the availability of public lands were a major contributing factor, the National Mining Association points to lengthy permitting times for mining projects and a lack of “common-sense policy” to make “best use” of the United States’ mineral riches.

    Outlining the national security challenges that come with our over-reliance on foreign mineral resources, the piece closes with a quote from Greg Gregory, president of Matrion subsidiary Materion Natural Resources, who says what is warranted is a “‘whole-of-government approach’ across department and agency lines to ensure the security of supply of critical minerals and address concerns about mining on public lands and long permitting delays.”

    Says Gregory:

    “First, mining is a heavily regulated industry, and rightfully so. Our facility is regulated by over half a dozen state and federal agencies. (…) However, some federal agencies with little expertise in mining seek to promulgate new regulations that do nothing to increase safety or improve the environment, but only serve to increase the cost of mining in the United States and make it difficult to compete with foreign competitors, even in countries such as Canada and Australia.”

    If you need more background material to “start small” and go back to the basics on mineral resource policy issues, feel free to take another look at our reports here, here, and here.

  • 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 – [...]
  • A Look at Gateway Metal Import Dependence: Copper – 25 Years of Rising Dependence

    If our trip Through the Gateway holds one lesson so far, it’s that old patterns and paradigms are out the window.  Advances in technology and materials sciences have changed the applications for many mainstay metals and are fueling demand.   As we have outlined, the same applies for numerous rare tech metals, which are primarily sourced [...]
  • Is Lithium the New Black?

    At a time when mineral commodities have been slumping, one material is proving to be the exception to the rule, leading many to hail lithium as “a rare bright spot for miners, amid cratering prices of raw materials tied to heavy industry such as iron ore to coal.”  Via our friend Simon Moores, managing director [...]
  • U.S. Mineral Resource Dependency Continues to Spell Trouble

    For children, it’s the arrival of the first snow each year – for policy wonks, it’s the release of an annual study.  Whereas kids run to check the window multiple times a day once snow has been forecast, policy wonks continuously check for updates on the release of that study when it’s that time of [...]
  • USGS Rings Alarm Bell: United States’ Mineral Resource Dependencies Have Increased Drastically

    Without fanfare, and largely unnoticed at a time when all eyes in our nation’s political circles are on Iowa, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has released a report that should be required reading for all our policy makers. Analyzing data collected from 1954 through 2014 for more than 90 non-fuel mineral commodities from more [...]
  • Strategic Metals Flashback – or Flash Forward?

    Our Director of Research, Sandra Wirtz, unearthed this piece from the Time Magazine online archives  – “Strategic Metal: #1,” dateline October 13, 1941 – just weeks before Pearl Harbor.  It inspired me to do a little research on my own, with an eye toward our present-day approach to strategic metals. With war raging in Europe, [...]
  • Famine, food, and Rare Earths in Asia

    A sad, but not surprising, news story made its way across the wires this morning.  North Korea’s Kim Jong Il has approved a swap of sorts with its northern neighbor, China. The agreement will bring Chinese fertilizer and corn to his country’s famine-ravaged Hermit Kingdom in exchange for ceding to China rights to develop North [...]
  • Uranium find in India to reduce dependence on imports

    According to news reports, India has discovered what its government claims could be the world’s largest uranium reserves in a mine due to start operating by the end of the year.  The nation’s Department of Atomic Energy recently confirmed that the Tumalapalli mine in the southern state of Andrha Pradesh holds 49,000 metric tons of uranium, [...]