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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • U.S. To Pursue National Electric Vehicle Supply Chain

    ARPN expert panel member and managing director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Simon Moores must have struck a nerve when he called the U.S. a “bystander” in the current battery arms race during a recent Congressional hearing.

    His message  —  “Those who control these critical raw materials and those who possess the manufacturing and processing know how, will hold the balance of industrial power in the 21st century auto and energy storage industries” — must have resonated with stakeholders.

    As Reuters reported over the weekend, U.S. government officials, including select members of Congress, representatives from the U.S. Department of State, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, as well as the U.S. Geological Survey are looking to sit down with executives from automakers and lithium miners early next month “as part of a first-of-its-kind effort to launch a national electric vehicle supply chain strategy.”

    Sources familiar with the effort told Reuters that Sen. Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources committee, will look to introduce “standalone legislation aimed at streamlining the permitting process for lithium and other mines,”and addressing other critical minerals issues, parts of which were included in previous broader energy legislation in prior Congresses but failed to garner consent in both chambers at the time. 

    With China already dominating the EV supply chain, the stakes are high.  As Senator John Hoeven (R, North Dakota), told Reuters, the U.S. “need[s] to find ways to more efficiently develop our nation’s domestic critical mineral supply because these resources are vital to both our national security and our economy.” 

    While underscoring the complexity of the situation, industry representatives see a great opportunity for the United States to enact policy changes that could “encourage development of a domestic supply chain to mine, process and supply lithium, nickel, cobalt and graphite for battery manufacturers and automakers,”— changes that, in the eyes of one mining executive provide “the perfect blueprint to make America great again.”

    According to Reuters, the May meetings will include both workshops on financing and permitting issues, and one-on-one meetings between regulators and industry executives. 

    This is encouraging news, which will hopefully be complemented by a renewed push to develop a broader critical minerals strategy, as outlined the 2017 presidential executive order on critical minerals.

    The rest of the world will not wait for us, so the time to get off the starting block is now. 

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  • U.S. Currently Bystander in Global Battery Arms Race, ARPN Expert Tells U.S. Senate Committee

    A key global player, the United States is not used to being a bystander. Yet this is exactly what is currently happening, says Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s Managing Director Simon Moores, addressing the full U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources this morning.

    Delivering his testimony on the outlook for energy and minerals market in the 116th Congress with a special emphasis on battery technology, Moores, who is also a member of the ARPN panel of issue experts, told senators that as battery megafactories are being built to make lithium ion battery cells “[a]t the beginning of 2019, the US has a minor to non-existent role in most of the key lithium- ion battery raw materials and only has a presence in lithium ion battery manufacturing via Tesla. Tesla and its Gigafactory 1 is emerging to be the most strategic US asset in the EV supply chain.

    Providing insightful details and supporting data for the four key battery raw materials lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite, Moores drives home an important message:

    “Those who control these critical raw materials and those who possess the manufacturing and processing know how, will hold the balance of industrial power in the 21st century auto and energy storage industries.”

    The writing is on the wall. As Moores previously stated:

    “Without low cost, abundant lithium ion batteries & secure supply chains, the US will fall behind in the EV & energy storage revolution.”

    This clearly is a scenario U.S. policy makers and other stakeholders will want to avoid, which is why moving forward on mineral resource policy reform is critical.

    We know it is much to ask of Washington, where too often, partisan politics override prudent policies. However, as another fellow ARPN expert panel member Jeff Green recently said (while addressing resource policy in the context of the defense industrial base):

    “In the new Congress, Democrats and Republicans should seek out opportunities to work together in advancing mutually sought-after goals in this critical policy area.”

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  • Move Over, Lithium and Cobalt, Graphite and Graphene are About to Take Center Stage – Courtesy of the Ongoing Materials Science Revolution

    Earlier this week, we pointed to what we called the “new kid on the block” in battery tech – Vanadium.  It appears that what held true for music, is true in this industry as well – “new kids on the block” arrive in groups. Now, all puns aside – as Molly Lempriere writes for Mining-Technology.com, [...]
  • Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s World Tour Returns to U.S. this May

    Our friends from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence – formidable experts when it comes to battery tech and the mineral resources driving it – are returning to the U.S. in May for another round of their World Tour. This year’s tour will “focus on the supply chains for the next generation of battery technologies,” and seek to [...]
  • Automakers Pledge to Uphold Ethical and Socially Responsible Standards in Materials Sourcing. Where Will the Metals and Minerals Come From?

    Late last month, international automakers made headlines when pledging “to uphold ethical and socially responsible standards in their purchases of minerals for an expected boom in electric vehicle production.” As Reuters reported, a group of 10 car manufacturers have formed an initiative to “jointly identify and address ethical, environmental, human and labor rights issues in [...]
  • Moores’ Law: The Rise of Lithium Ion Battery Megafactories and What it Means for Critical Mineral Resource Supply

    Earlier this month, Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and member of the ARPN panel of experts testified before the full U.S. Senate Energy Committee on opportunities and risks in the energy storage supply chain.   We’re titling his observations as Moores’ Law — which is his for the taking, given the placement [...]
  • Senate Energy Committee Zeroes in on Energy Storage Revolution – Where Will the Battery Megafactories Get the Minerals and Metals They Need?

    Just last week, we highlighted the surge in EV technology and its implications for mineral resource supply and demand.  A timely subject – as evidenced by the fact that the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy held a “Full Committee Hearing “to Examine Energy Storage Technologies” this week. Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence [...]
  • The Surge of EV Technology and Implications for Mineral Resource Supply and Demand

    You may have caught Elon Musk’s exchange with Daimler on Twitter over investment in EV technology earlier this week. Vacuum giant Dyson has also tossed its hat into the ring announcing that it will spend $2.7 billion to develop an electric car. The headlines are piling up, and it’s no longer a secret that demand [...]
  • Graphene-fed Spiders and Our Web of Resource Dependencies 

    A material long hailed as being on the cutting edge of materials science, Graphene is making headlines again. And, fitting for fall and people gearing up for Halloween, it involves everyone’s favorite creepy crawlies – arachnids.  Researchers at the University of Trento in Italy have found that spiders fed with graphene and carbon nanotubes, which [...]
  • North Korean Brinkmanship Highlights Nexus Between Resource Policy and Geopolitics

    At ARPN, we have long highlighted the important but oft-overlooked nexus between resource policy and geopolitics.   The latest case in point is South Korea, which, as ARPN President Daniel McGroarty points out in his latest opinion piece for Fox News, is navigating murky waters “talking sunshine and Rare Earths as North Korean war clouds gather.” For decades, [...]
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