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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • 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.

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  • Not “sexy” but critical – Antimony

    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 “sexy” metal like Rare Earths, Gold or Silver, Antimony is making its way on people’s radar due mostly to an undersupplied market:

    “While most people have never heard of antimony, it is without a doubt one of the most vital materials due to its primary use as a fire retardant. Compounded as antimony trioxide, antimony is used in fire-retardant bedding, children’s clothing, toys, aircraft and car seat covers — a sector that makes up about 60 percent of the antimony market. Antimony is also consumed in alloys for batteries, plain bearings and solders. Future applications include use as a component in phase-change memory, which could lead to a dramatic increase in computer transfer speeds… The British Geological Survey in 2012 named antimony the most at risk of a supply disruption due to the high concentration of production in one country: China.”

    While the U.S. House of Representatives has the chance to take a step towards a strategic minerals strategy soon by taking up Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R, Nev.)” National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013” (H.R. 761) soon, this should serve as another reminder why a more strategic approach to minerals and mineral resource security is imperative.

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  • 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 [...]

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