American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Rare earths and beyond: China is shaping India’s mineral policy

    In today’s globalized world, it doesn’t take a seat at the decision-making table for one nation to influence another’s domestic policies – a near-monopoly on critical mineral resources will do.  A case in point is India, which, after a seven-year hiatus, is expanding its indigenous Rare Earth Element (REE) production over growing concerns that China may be taking advantage of its rare earths dominance.

    Not only is an Indian government panel preparing a strategy paper emphasizing the need for domestic exploration of REE’s (according to a Mineweb.com story), but the country is also reportedly funding a rare earths plant to the tune of 1.4 billion rupees ($32 million USD).

    Acknowledging that resource dependency issues stretch beyond rare earths, the Indian public policy debate is zeroing in on the broader critical minerals supply issues.  In light of “the proliferation of trade-distorting measures by emerging economies such as China,” which according to one Indian expert also applies to copper, aluminum, nickel, molybdenum, manganese, magnesium, tungsten, and indium; analysts lament the curtailment of domestic production and call for policy measures to secure supply of these strategic minerals.

    As U.S. lawmakers return to Capitol Hill following the August District Work Period, they, too, would be well advised to shift their attention to the global race for resources. That means prioritizing policy measures to alleviate our unnecessary dependence on foreign critical minerals, and turning our focus toward the mineral riches beneath our own soil.

  • 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, but assumes that the total amount is closer to 150,000 tons.

    While international analysts question the Indian government’s claim that the mine could become the world’s largest uranium mine, the discovery is significant as India, along with nations like China and South Korea, is looking to expand its nuclear energy program.

    The deposits may be low-grade and insufficient to cover the country’s supply gap, but as we’re entering into an era of resource scarcity and global competition for the world’s mineral riches, they constitute an important step towards reducing India’s dependence on foreign resources.  U.S. policy makers should take note.
  • India secures exclusive access to Madagascar rare earths find

    On the heels of the discovery of a significant rare earths find in Madagascar announced by Mumbai-based Varun Industries earlier this month, the Indian government has been quick to lock up a purchase agreement with the Madagascar unit of the company, Varun Energy Corp.  According to the memorandum of understanding, Varun Energy Corp. will sell [...]
  • Resource Wars: India to challenge China with rare earths find in Madagascar?

    While a rare earths find on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean has misleadingly been heralded as a solution to China’s near-total rare earths monopoly (to find out why this claim is misleading, click here), a second rare earths discovery earlier this month was barely noticed, in spite of its greater potential to challenge China: [...]
  • Mozambique find underscores geopolitics of global race for resources

    According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Globe Metals and Mining has discovered significant rare earths deposits at its exploration site Mount Muambe in Mozambique. This positive exploration result will likely further strengthen China’s quasi-monopoly position when it comes to rare earths, as the Chinese state-owned East China Minerals Exploration and Development Bureau only two months [...]