American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • 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of a dismal ranking on Behre Dolbear’s index in the “permitting delays” category, U.S. efforts to reform our rigid and outdated permitting structure for mining projects are continuing to face an uphill battle with the fate of Rep.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.

  • Arizona land swap bill emblematic of national mineral resource supply issues

    Rep. Mark Amodei

    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 Rep. Paul Gosar’s (R-Ariz.) H.R. 687, which would approve a land swap for an Arizona copper mine, on The Hill’s Congress Blog, American Resources Principal Daniel McGroarty elaborated on the issue in the Arizona Daily Star. McGroarty makes clear:

    “[W]e can never control uncertainties beyond our borders. But with so much in the wider world outside our control, there is one step we can take: We can remove constraints to our own economic growth.

    Put simply, if we want to put American manufacturing on a stronger, more stable footing, we need to start by providing the raw materials of manufacturing — metals and minerals — here at home.”

    Arizona’s proposed Resolution Copper Mine, a project in need of Congressional legislation subjecting “environmentally valuable” land to federal protection in exchange for resource development on smaller, less “valuable” land, could serve to all but eliminate the United States’ copper gap, which has soared to an “annual 600,000-metric-ton shortfall between the copper we use and the metal produced in American mines.”

    The editorial board of the Arizona Republic, the state’s leading newspaper agrees, and has endorsed Rep. Gosar’s legislation, which enjoys bipartisan support from the state’s congressional delegation and has “the potential to be an economic bonanza for our state and a national security boon to our country.” Citing ARPN, the paper argues:

    “Copper is essential for electronics, homebuilding, cars and the fast-growing alternative-energy field. Domestic production of copper falls short of demand, which raises national-security issues because copper is essential for weapons systems. A domestic supply is far more reliable. The ore Resolution wants to tap could significantly reduce the gap between demand for copper and domestic production, according to the American Resources Policy Network.

    Two-thirds of the copper mined in the United States comes from Arizona, according to this group, a non-profit that supports domestic mineral production. Resolution would tap one of the largest known undeveloped copper reserves in the world to keep our state a major player in copper production.

    The benefits of the mine are significant for Arizona and the nation. Too significant to let this project continue to languish.

    The House should move this forward.”

    Meanwhile, aside from the direct and indirect ramifications from the Arizona land swap bill, the issue is also emblematic of our national mineral resource issues. Having stopped viewing many metals and minerals through a strategic lens, the U.S. finds itself in a precarious position where we there are currently 19 strategic minerals for which we are 100% import dependent.

    For the sake of our national security and economic well-being, it is time we pick up that strategic lens again and begin formulating a coherent critical minerals strategy. The fate of Rep. Gosar’s bill (and Rep. Amodei’s bill in the Senate, for that matter) will serve as an indicator whether this message has begun to resonate with our policy makers.

  • 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 [...]
  • National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act reintroduced

    U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei (R, Nev.) has reintroduced his critical minerals legislation. Identical to last year’s bill (H.R. 4402), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in the summer but stalled in the U.S. Senate, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013 (H.R. 761) would: Require the Department of the Interior and [...]
  • New Year’s Resolutions for U.S. Policymakers (Part 1)

    Traditionally, the New Year is the time when people reflect on the past twelve months and formulate resolutions for the months ahead. As the first hours of 2013 have been dominated by the drama the Fiscal Cliff, our Federal lawmakers may not have gotten around to focusing on other less publicized — but no less [...]
  • Legislator Seeks to Streamline Mine Permitting Process

    Amidst a slowly growing awareness of our critical mineral needs and the bureaucratic obstacles to harnessing our domestic mineral potential, U.S. Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-1) has introduced H.R. 4402, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012. As per the bill’s official title, it seeks to “require the Secretary of the Interior and [...]