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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Lithium – A Case In Point for Mining Policy Reform

    In a recent op-ed for the Reno Gazette Journal, professor emeritus of mining engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, Jaak Daemen makes the case for comprehensive mining policy reform.  

    Citing the arrival of electric vehicles in which “battery technology is catching up with the hype,” he cautions that benefits benefits associated with the sought-after shift to said technology – i.e. environmental benefits and a reduction of U.S. dependence on foreign oil – might be delayed if we “aren’t serious about the supply of the minerals for EV adoption,” and that “sourcing the minerals and metals that are the building blocks to this electric future remains a stumbling block for the EV transition.” His case in point: Lithium. He argues:

    “Miners can’t open new mines fast enough. Lithium demand is expected to jump 100-fold by 2030.The U.S. is unprepared to meet this demand. We have just one lithium mine in the U.S. ( in Nevada!). The problem is not a lack of resources. It’s a regulatory approach that endlessly delays bringing mines in production.(…) 

    To meet the soaring demand for minerals and metals critical to our EV and high-tech future, we have to rethink our approach to mining regulation. The place to start is mine permitting.”

     As Daemen correctly points out, our reliance on foreign Lithium imports – which Daemen pegs at over 80 percent, is only “one example of a troubling trend,” as documented by the U.S. Geological Survey

    Concludes Daemen:   

    Gaining the necessary approvals to open a new mine in the U.S. takes seven to ten years. In Canada and Australia, with similar environmental standards, mine permitting takes two to three years. It’s past time to cut the red tape. Cell phones, computer chips and EV batteries are built with minerals. Let’s ensure a robust domestic supply for the materials that are the building blocks to our future.  Nevada already makes a major contribution to the EV revolution. Give the state a chance to make one more major contribution: accelerate mine permitting!”

     

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  • 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.

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  • Exporting California’s hazardous waste makes mockery of “environmental justice” concept

    Slowing down the permitting process is a common practice used by environmentalists to derail mining and construction projects, so one can’t help but notice the irony of a slow permitting process that complicates environmental cleanup. However, this is what is currently happening in California. As we have previously pointed out, the Golden State is in [...]
  • California – Red Tape Central

    California’s nickname, “the Golden State,” can be traced by back to the discovery of the precious metal in the middle of the 19th century. For decades after World War II, it was the proverbial land of milk and honey, a destination for people and businesses in search of opportunity. Fast forward to today, and the [...]
  • Red tape abundance – challenges associated with the U.S. permitting system

    With the release of this year’s instructive Behre Dolbear “Where Not to Invest” study, a report that ranks – among other things – the time it takes to bring new mines online in various nations, it comes as no surprise to see that the United States has tied with Papua New Guinea for the second [...]
  • A plea for mineral permitting reform

    If you think hard enough, you can find something wrong with anything. Case in point: If there’s anything remotely wrong with having an op-ed appear in the Wall Street Journal, it’s that, for some topics, sometimes 750 words just isn’t enough. So I’ll step back here to the Internet for a bit of prequel and [...]
  • Proposed Canadian federal budget emphasizes need to expedite resource development

    Contrasting sharply with the current U.S. domestic mineral policy environment, Canada’s federal budget to be released by the Harper Administration next week will reflect its stated commitment to removing barriers to investment and resource development. Specific legislative language has yet to be introduced; however, according to the Canada Free Press, the budget outline will emphasize [...]
  • A new dimension of Resource Wars – China throws hat into Arctic ring

    Having intensified over the past few months with Russia reportedly willing to risk a new “Cold War” over the area’s vast resources, the geopolitics of the Arctic’s race for mineral riches has just been elevated to a whole new level with China having thrown its hat into the ring. According to the Wall Street Journal’s [...]
  • The “Neverending Story” of red tape, roadblocks for mining in Arizona

    Authorities in Pima County, Ariz., have denied an air quality permit application submitted by Rosemont Copper as part of its efforts to open a new mine southeast of Tucson. Claiming the company failed to provide proper documentation, the county’s Air Quality Control district delivered the denial on Thursday, September 29. Rosemont Copper submitted its proposal for [...]

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