American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • The EPA’s Latest Push to Regulate Mining Companies – A Solution in Search of A Problem

    If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has its way, the nation’s miners will be saddled with a new regulation that is akin to a solution in search of a problem.  In the process, it would effectively duplicate other federal agencies’ responsibilities, preempt state authority, and potentially cripple an important industry.

    ARPN President Daniel McGroarty discusses the issue at hand in a new op-ed published in various local news outlets, including the Sentinel News.

    Here’s an excerpt, in which McGroarty zeroes in on the EPA’s motivation behind its regulatory push:

    “Behind all this is an EPA bowing to the demands of activists who ignore current environmental and financial assurance laws that protect taxpayers from post-mining costs. To justify a new layer of federal rules, activists point to old legacy mines from a bygone era, abandoned long before the advent of current environmental laws. They ignore the fact that money set aside under EPA’s proposed rule will not fund the cleanup of such legacy sites. 

    No wonder a growing chorus of critics, including key congressional committee chairmen, are joining state regulators in asking tough questions about EPA’s approach: Why has EPA not consulted financial institutions to properly assess the market’s capacity to cover such financial obligations? Why is EPA deaf to suggestions from small business on how it should minimize economic impacts?  And, why do we need a new layer of federal regulation when current law already provides the insurance that the public expects?” 

    Click here to read the piece in its entirety. 


  • Through the Gateway: Tin, Co-Products and Shifting Paradigms

    While not as flashy as some other metals, Tin’s versatility will continue to drive demand.  We are familiar with its use in food preservation.  Meanwhile, ITRI, the tin industry’s UK-based trade association, highlights the “storage, generation and conservation of energy as key drivers for new applications for the metal over the next 3 to 30 years.” Coupled with its application in soldering paste on circuit boards, demand will likely remain steady or grow. 

    In a recent report, the organization found that “[f]rom the analysis, at a global level there is no reason to suggest that remaining tin deposits will be unable to sustain a long term, gradual upward trend in primary tin demand well into the future.” However, “far more efficient exploration and mining technologies” would be required. 

    Factor in our supplier nations – not necessarily the best trading partners – and a current WTO case against the world’s largest Tin producer, China, that may or may not affect global supply – and you have all the makings of a geopolitical resource supply challenge. 

    Against this background, a recent announcement that a Tin mining operation in Cornwall in the UK is being brought back to life after a two-decade-long closure comes as no surprise. Cornwall was once home to roughly 2,000 tin mines, but as prices fell in light of increased global competition and supply, these mines began shutting down, and have not been reopened until now. 

    In the U.S., the picture is similar – domestic Tin mining or smelting was abandoned in 1993 and 1989, respectively, and, when accounting for Tin recycling as a source, we are 75 percent import dependent for the metal.

    While the United States’ identified Tin resources may be insignificant when compared with the rest of the world, the bottom line is that we must change the way we approach metals and minerals.  With advances in technology and materials sciences, old paradigms are out the window. 

    Copper is no longer just a mainstay metal and conductor of electricity.  Aluminum is more than a building material. And Tin is more than just a food container.  All of these metals have found new important and versatile applications. But beyond that, they are Gateway Metals yielding access to some of the so-called “minor” metals (in Tin’s case Indium and Scandium) that are quickly becoming the quintessential building blocks of our 21st Century high-tech and sustainable energy future and manufacturing renaissance.

    It’s time for a new approach to mineral resource policy – an approach that breaks with old patterns and paradigms and unleashes our nation’s vast mineral potential. 

  • Through the Gateway: The Geopolitics of Co-Product Supply – a Look at Scandium

    Throughout ARPN’s work, we have consistently highlighted the geopolitical dimension of mineral resource policy.  Where we source (or fail to source) our metals and minerals is an often forgotten – or ignored – factor, with implications for our domestic manufacturers, and, at times, even for our national security. Case in point – and in keeping [...]
  • Through the Gateway: Aluminum – Fueling the Renaissance of American Manufacturing

    Aluminum is not only one of the most sustainable materials these days, it is also making headlines – most recently during the North American Leaders Summit, also dubbed “Three Amigos Summit” held at the end of June in Ottawa, Canada.  Invoking challenges associated with China’s trade policy, President Obama called for the North American countries to [...]
  • Through the Gateway: Aluminum – Versatile and Timely

    After showcasing our first Gateway Metal, Copper, and its co-products, it’s time to move on to our next Gateway Metal as part of our “Through the Gateway” informational campaign. Chances are, you used it this past weekend, during and/or after your 4th of July barbecue.  It is being featured as a part of a massive art installation currently hosted by [...]
  • Through the Gateway: Selenium – More Than Just a Dietary Supplement

    Chances are, you’ve heard of Selenium.  As a trace element, it is an essential mineral found in small amounts in the body, with antioxidant properties. It is also a much-used suite of tools to automate web browsers across many platforms — which is why weeding out our news alerts for stories relevant to ARPN followers can be time-consuming. [...]
  • Through the Gateway: The Copper Gap That Needn’t Be

    Lately, web searches for “Copper” have seemed to turn up stories about the metal’s woes on the global commodity market on a daily basis.  Like many of its hard-rock commodity peers, Copper has seen its price decline over the past five years. However, there is good reason to believe that the self-corrective nature of commodity [...]
  • “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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]