American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • “A case study in critical metals inaction” – ARPN’s McGroarty on Rhenium

    In a new piece for Investor Intel, our very own Dan McGroarty sounds the alarm on a little-noticed but troubling passage in the U.S. House-passed Defense Authorization Act for 2014.  Said section in Title III acknowledges the importance of Tungsten and Molybdenum powders, including Tungsten Rhenium (WRe) wire to a variety of Department of Defense (DoD) applications. Noting that there is no suitable substitute for WRe wire, the bill directs the Secretary of Defense to determine whether there is sufficient supply of WRE wire to meet DoD requirements, and to submit a mitigation plan in case of a negative determination.

    As McGroarty argues, “in the case of Tungsten, the U.S. currently produces more than half of the metal it uses each year. Which makes Rhenium the weak link in the WRe chain.”

    The reason?  In spite of the fact that Rhenium is critical for high-temperature superalloys used in the turbines of the Joint Strike Fighter-35 and other fighter aircraft, there is no Rhenium in the U.S. National Defense Stockpile and the U.S. currently imports 78% of the Rhenium it uses.

    With Rhenium being a byproduct of Copper production, the non-specified military applications could be met if the proposed Resolution Copper mine project in Arizona – expected to increase U.S. Rhenium production by more than 200% – was realized.

    However, that project remains in limbo with a necessary land swap bill having met ferocious (and largely baseless) opposition by mining opponents.

    Concludes McGroarty:

    “U.S. policymakers have a choice to make. They can put in place a strategic resource development policy that would help produce more U.S. supply of critical metals like Rhenium – and, while they’re at it, the 18 other metals for which the U.S. is currently 100% import-dependent – or they can stick with our current faith-based resource policy on the theory that other countries will happily sell us the metals and minerals we fail to mine in the U.S.

    Until then, Rhenium will remain an example of the leverage the U.S. places in other country’s hands to provide – or withhold – metals critical to U.S. national security.”

    Click here to read the full piece. 

  • While U.S. is slow to even begin permitting reform, Queensland, Australia speeds up already expeditious process

    An overhaul of the approvals process in Queensland, Australia will cut the time it takes to issue an exploration permit in half, according to the state’s government.  The change applies to exploration permits only, and government officials are very clear that a granted exploration permit is not a right to mine.

    Nonetheless, the new process represents a significant accomplishment as it hasthe potential to halve the time taken for companies to be granted exploration permits, while maintaining rigorous environmental, native title and land access assessments.” 

    The change bodes well for Australia as a destination for mining investment, as it may well improve the country’s already very positive ranking on esteemed mining research firm Behre Dolbear’s “Where Not to Invest” report, which attest Australia one of the most expeditious permitting systems with the least amount of permitting delays of all surveyed countries.

    Meanwhile, in spite of a dismal ranking on Behre Dolbear’s index in the “permitting delays” category, U.S. efforts to reform our rigid and outdated permitting structure for mining projects are continuing to face an uphill battle with the fate of Rep. Amodei’s (R-Nev.) National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013 (H.R.761) in the Senate unclear yet again.

  • Six-state mining ban on public lands: Administration policy contradicts stated goal

    In a recent op-ed for the Pueblo Chieftain, National Mining Association president and CEO Hal Quinn and Colorado Mining Association president Stuart Sanderson discuss the U.S. Administration’s recent decision to take more than 300,000 acres of federal public lands in six Western states, including Colorado, off limits for mineral exploration. Embedding it into the context [...]
  • What Happened to the Commitment to “Shovel-Ready” Jobs?

    At a time when the U.S. economy is still struggling, it is particularly troubling to see that real opportunities to foster job creation are being wasted by poor policy-making in Washington, DC. As Forbes reports, Caterpillar Inc.’s mining segment is facing severe pressure from a decline in capital spending from mining industries, owed in part [...]
  • More market manipulations from China?

    According to media reports surfacing this week, China is looking to cut essentially cut mining rights for REE producers in half – to 67 points down from 113. Analysts tie the move into China’s overall effort to “strengthen its pricing power in the international rare earth market.” This wouldn’t be the first time China, which [...]
  • Fraser Institute to host third Mining Business Risks Summit in November

    The Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think tank and the intellectual home for three of our policy experts, has teamed up with CRU Group, the leading independent business analysis and consultancy group focused on metals and mining, again to host their third Mining Business Risks Summit, to be held in Toronto, Canada, 1-2 November [...]
  • America’s Plan du Nord? Mining’s benefits for Alaska

    A profile of Alaska’s mining industry in Petroleum News showcases the benefits the sector provides to the state, including “substantial and growing contributions” to Alaska’s economy and its communities. Here are some of the piece’s key points: In 2011, the mining industry accounted for 4,500 direct and 4,500 indirect jobs, most of which were year-round [...]
  • New Zealand Government Seeks to Accelerate Mining Permits

    While the U.S. Government continues to talk about critical minerals access and the dangers of foreign dependency, New Zealand’s government is taking action. According to MiningNe.ws, the New Zealand government is “looking at ways of speeding up approvals for big mining projects because endless court action is “frustrating” companies and costing them millions.” Here are [...]
  • Mining continues to fuel economic growth in Nevada

    Another example of the mining sector’s contribution to economic growth and U.S competitiveness comes to us via our friends at The More You Dig. As the Nevada Review Journal reports, Nevada’s economy, which is slowly rebounding, is expected to add 10,000 to 15,000 workers to its payrolls this year. This news follows on the heels [...]
  • MiningFacts.org: Demystifying the mining industry

    Canada is a global leader in the mining industry and has benefited greatly from its natural resources. Yet despite its economic importance, the mining industry is poorly understood and debates on its local and global effects are increasingly polarized. MiningFacts.org is a new website offering timely research and articles that examine the economic, environmental, and [...]