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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • A “Dangerous Dependence:”  Mineral Resource Security Goes Mainstream

    In recent weeks, we have seen a flurry of articles and commentaries in national publications discussing reforms to address our ever-growing reliance on foreign mineral resources.  The two most recent examples are member of the ARPN expert panel Jeffery A. Green’s piece in Real Clear Defense entitled “Dangerous Dependence on China for Critical Minerals Runs Deep,” and a piece in The Hill by American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark J. Perry scholar entitled “To reduce China’s leverage, rebuild America’s minerals supply chain.”

    Both pieces draw attention to China’s mineral resource dominance and point to current efforts to curb China’s leverage.

    Writes Perry:

    “Imagine a scenario where the U.S. is entirely dependent on a single nation for oil. You can’t. It’s inconceivable. We would never let one nation — much less a sometimes adversarial rival — dominate our supply of a critical resource. Or would we?

    Astoundingly, we have. We are completely import-dependent for 21 mineral commodities, and imports account for more than half of our consumption for 50 critical minerals. Who’s our largest supplier? China.”

    Citing USGS numbers highlighting our dependence on materials sourced from China, Green agrees:

    “We have gifted China robust trade leverage should they chose to use it. In 2010, during a geopolitical spat over disputed waters, China cut its exports of rare earth elements to Japan. China could easily cripple American supply chains and significantly limit our ability to produce advanced radar and weapon systems by limiting or disrupting the supply of any one of these minerals. Allowing a non-allied foreign nation to control such a broad swathe of critical minerals is a significant security threat to the U.S. and its warfighters.”

    The growing awareness of these issues in the mainstream media thanks to experts like Green and others spreading the word is a welcome development. However, whether we succeed in reducing Chinese leverage over our domestic industrial production and national security will depend in large part on how policy makers respond.

    Both authors cite recent legislative language pending in Congress that would go far in streamlining our outdated and duplicative permitting framework for mining projects that has so far hampered responsible domestic resource development.

    But while the U.S. House of Representatives has passed said provisions, the U.S. Senate has already failed to include them in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), once more underscoring that while awareness is growing, meaningful change will still face an uphill battle.

    In Perry’s words:

    “The opportunity to put a halt to our deepening reliance on imports for dozens of critically important minerals is within reach. Let’s ensure we have the robust domestic supply chain to guarantee our military has the supply of materials it needs when it needs them.”

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  • McGroarty for IBD: “Time to Make the Connection Between Critical Minerals and National Defense”

    “For want of a nail … the kingdom was lost”

    Invoking the old proverb dating back to the 13th Century as a cautionary tale and reminder that “the most sophisticated defense supply chain is only as strong as our weakest link,” ARPN’s Dan McGroarty argues in a new piece for Investor’s Business Daily that the time to make the connection between critical minerals and national defense is now.

    Against the backdrop of the House of Representatives having added comprehensive critical minerals reform language to the 2019 fiscal year National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), McGroarty makes the case that while opponents may suggest otherwise, there may in fact be no better vehicle for the provisions, because “ensuring that the U.S. does all it can to ensure the reliable domestic supply of defense-critical metals and minerals is about as germane to the NDAA as it gets.”

    McGroarty cites the recently finalized DOI list of 35 minerals deemed critical to national security as Exhibit A in the argument to attach the critical minerals provisions to the NDAA:

    - “16 of the 35 Critical Minerals appear in a non-classified defense study as ‘hav[ing] already caused some kind of significant weapon system production delay  for DoD.’
    - For 22 of the 35 listed minerals, China is either the leading global producer, leading U.S. supplier – or both.

    Connect the dots, and it’s clear the U.S. lacks reliable access to a wide range of metals and minerals critical to our military’s advanced weapons platforms — materials that in nearly two-dozen cases, we are sourcing from China, a nation that the 2017 U.S. National Defense Strategy identifies as presenting a ‘central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security.’

    That’s a five alarm fire bell when it comes to strengthening the raw materials supply chain in the U.S. Defense Industrial Base, and it’s all the reason Congress needs to include critical minerals language in the National Defense Authorization Act.”

    Click here to read the full piece.

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  • Green Energy Revolution Puts Copper in the Driver’s Seat

    At ARPN, we have long touted Copper’s versatility – its traditional uses, new applications and Gateway Metal status – but for those who still struggle to see more in Copper than your old school industrial metal, some visual help has arrived in the form of yet another impressive infographic from Visual Capitalist. The comprehensive infographic [...]
  • Green: Over-reliance on Foreign Mineral Imports “Fiscally Foolish and Politically Dangerous”

    In a new piece for The Hill, member of the ARPN expert panel and president and founder of Washington, DC-based government relations firm J.A.Green & Company Jeff A. Green stresses the national security risks associated with our over-reliance on foreign sources of supply for key mineral resources. Citing FBI Director Christopher Wray, who recently told [...]
  • 2016 – A Mixed Bag for Mineral Resource Policy

    It’s that time of the year again.  And as people are gearing up for the New Year, we are taking the opportunity to take stock of the last twelve months, and want to highlight a few select notable developments of relevance to ARPN followers. From a mineral resource policy perspective, we saw some positive developments [...]
  • Lacking Critical Mineral Resource Strategy on Earth, Congress Passes Law for Space Exploration

    In what may be a prime example of not being able to see the forest for the trees, Congress has passed, and President Obama has signed legislation allowing for the commercial extraction of minerals and other materials, including water from the moon and asteroids. Some compare the move to “visions of the great opening of [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Arizona land swap bill emblematic of national mineral resource supply issues

    Having just passed and sent Rep. Amodei’s (R-Nev.) H.R. 761, the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013,” to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives may vote on a second important piece of legislation with wide-reaching implications for our mineral resource supply issues this week. After outlining the strategic importance of [...]
  • Not “sexy” but critical – Antimony

    When discussing critical mineral supply woes, Rare Earths are always the first minerals to come to mind. However, we at American Resources have consistently made the point that our mineral resource dependencies stretch far beyond the Rare Earths. Antimony is a case in point. A recent Resource Investing News piece argues that while not a [...]
  • U.S. Chamber supports strategic metals bill

    Bearing testimony to the fact that access to critical mineral supplies is a key issue for our U.S. domestic business and manufacturing base, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R, Nev.) “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013” (H.R. 761) Citing the Behre Dolbear report we have frequently invoked [...]

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