American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • The Blessings of a New World

    The following is a modified re-post from 2012:

    Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving – a celebration of the blessings afforded by our forefathers as they overcame adversity in a new land, laboring to obtain from the resources around them the necessities of life: food, shelter, and warmth against winter’s cold.

    Since that first winter, the bounty of Thanksgiving has become a symbol of the abundant resources the New World provided. From the raw materials that built our modern cities to the energy that has powered innovation in all its variety, these resources have enriched the lives of millions of people in America and around the world – making possible a way of life those who gathered around that first Thanksgiving table could never have imagined.

    For many of us, Thanksgiving will look different this year. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many families are unable to gather around the table and share food and fellowship the way we are used to. Times may be challenging, yet there is much to be thankful for, including the ingenuity and innovation that have yielded promise with regards to a vaccine against the virus that has turned life as we know it on its head.

    As we carve the (in many cases much smaller than usual) turkey this year, we know that too many are still doing without the basic necessities of life. And yet the resources around us – those literally under our feet – remain plentiful. All too often complacency and ideology lock us into inaction, blocking us from making use of the still-rich resources of this new world. Minerals, metals, fuel and timber that could create jobs, opportunities, and rewards for the American people are left untouched.

    Our forefathers understood privation and want. They understood that nature sometimes rewards tireless work with a poor harvest. But they also understood nature’s bounty. What they would find beyond comprehending in our day is the willful failure to use resources we have at hand to ease hardship and make a better life for ourselves and for others.

    On this Thanksgiving, as we give thanks for our many blessings, and hope for this pandemic to end soon, we may we also remember the lessons dating back to Plymouth Rock, that teach us to use our resources and resourcefulness to make an even newer and better world.

  • Critical Minerals Will be Key to “Building Back Better”

    The dust begins to settle over the 2020 presidential elections, and President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are busy lining up their policy and personnel priorities.

    As the National Mining Association’s Rich Nolan writes in a new piece for Inside Sources, “much of their agenda rests on a foundation provided by the nation’s nearly 600,000 miners — miners and a mining industry ready to do their part to help drive America’s post-pandemic recovery. From infrastructure to affordable, reliable energy, and the reshoring of supply chains, mining is front and center.”

    Case in point: A center-piece of the Biden agenda is his climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. to net zero by 2050. As Politico’s Luzia Ch. Savage points out, the requirement that all cars sold in the U.S. must be emission free, which is part of this plan, “comes with a not-so-green asterisk: Instead of drilling for oil and gas, electrification requires mining of the more exotic elements of the periodic table. Materials with names like neodymium, niobium, yttrium, along with lithium and cobalt and others, are used in rechargeable batteries, solar cells and other technologies.”

    Followers of ARPN are aware of the predicament – the supply chains for many of these critical materials are controlled by China.

    Factor in the fact that these materials also are key in the manufacture of military technology such has high-tech precision guided weapons and night vision goggles, as well as for the devices underpinning the tech economy, such as smart phone batteries and semi-conductors, and the rising tensions in U.S.-Chinese relations, and you have a recipe for trouble as China forges ahead in its attempt to “shift the industrial balance of power.”

    Acknowledging the emerging tech war, defined by ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty as the “competition to see which country will dominate the 21st Century Technology Age,” the outgoing Trump Administration began taking steps to map out a broader critical mineral strategy in 2018, an effort that culminated in an executive order declaring a critical minerals national emergency and instructing the Department of the Interior to explore the application of the Defense Production Act — used earlier in the year to accelerate production of medical supplies in the context of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — to promote domestic resource production and development.

    Write’s the NMA’s Nolan:

    “Winning this industrial arms race and making sure these critical industries are American industries that support American jobs, requires giving mining and mining policy the prominence it deserves.”

    He closes:

    “This past year has presented some of the most difficult economic and social challenges of our time, but we can and will, as President-elect Biden says: ‘Build Back Better.’ With the right policy, the mining industry is ready to provide the foundation upon which we launch our recovery. A recovery that increases the competitiveness of American industry, re-establishes and strengthens domestic supply chains, and rebuilds the infrastructure and good jobs Americans need and deserve.”

  • New Critical Minerals Executive Order Declares National Emergency, Invokes Defense Production Act

    In perhaps the strongest acknowledgment of the urgency of our critical mineral resource woes and over-reliance on foreign (and especially Chinese) supplies to date, U.S. President Donald Trump this week triggered rarely-used emergency government powers to address the issue. On his way to a campaign rally in Minnesota, the president on Wednesday signed an Executive [...]
  • Scandium Has Yet to Go “Ballistic” — Will Recent Developments Change the Material’s Odds to Shine?

    “This obscure metal is going to go ballistic in a few years,” John Kaiser of Kaiser Research told the Investing News Network a few years ago. The metal he was referring to is Scandium — a material that is “as strong as titanium, as light as aluminum, and as hard as ceramic.” It’s a material [...]
  • Europe Comes to Terms with Mineral Supply Challenges, Unveils Action Plan

    As the U.S. explores its options when it comes to diversifying our critical minerals supply chains away from China in the wake of COVID-19, Europe is coming to grips with its own mineral supply challenges. According to European metals association Eurometaux, the region “has reached a critical fork in the road,” as it grapples with [...]
  • Growing Mineral Resource Pressures in the Context of the Low-Carbon Transition Warrant “Domestic Mining Boom”

    “[G]aining full access to America’s domestic resources will be essential to our ability to grow, defend ourselves, and dominate in the energy world of tomorrow,” writes Forbes contributer Jude Clemente in a new piece for the publication, adding that “[w]e must finally get serious about America’s need for a mining revolution to give the wind, [...]
  • Europe Forges Ahead With Battery Gigafactory Buildout As U.S. Still Struggles to Get Off Starting Block

    The current coronavirus pandemic may have thrown a wrench into the gears of many industries, but — against the backdrop of skyrocketing materials supply needs in the context of the green energy transition — Europe continues to forge ahead with the buildout of its large-scale battery gigafactory capacity.  According to London-based Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, whose [...]
  • Is it Time for a GigaMine? Metal Tech News’s Lasley on the Prospect of Tesla GigaMines

    Earlier this month, Elon Musk, founder and CEO of tech giant Tesla, made headlines with his call on global mining companies to boost production of nickel, a key component in EV battery technology. “Any mining companies out there … wherever you are in the world, please mine more nickel,” he said, adding “Tesla will give [...]
  • Independence Day 2020 – Critical Mineral Resource Policy in a Watershed Year

    It’s that time of the year again – Independence Day is upon us.  This year, things are different, though. If you’re like us, it kind of snuck up on you, and it took seeing the booths selling fireworks in the parking lots to realize it’s July already.  After all, we just came off the longest month of [...]
  • State Department Hopeful More Nations Will Join Energy Resource Governance Initiative in the Wake of COVID

    ***posted by Daniel McGroarty*** As demand for renewable energy continues to grow despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of State hopes to expand the Energy Resource Governance Initiative (ERGI) – an initiative launched last year by the United States and joined by ten other countries, including Canada, Australia and Brazil – aimed at improving supply chain security [...]