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  • Time to Reduce Our Reliance on “Untrustworthy Countries for Strategically Important Minerals”

    As we recover from collective food coma and return to our desks after a tumultuous Thanksgiving travel week, J. Winston Porter, a former EPA assistant administrator in Washington, reminds us of the importance of keeping the focus on the issues associated with our over-reliance on foreign mineral resources.   

    In a new piece for InsideSources, Porter cautions that recycling is no panacea to our critical minerals woes and points out that we have put ourselves at the mercy of “untrustworthy countries for strategically important minerals.” For example, he says, we rely on Chinese imports for 26 of the 48 minerals for which our country is [more than 50%] import-dependent, and, according to the Commerce Department Russia is a significant source of U.S. uranium imports — import reliance for which currently stands at 93%, and may reach 99% by the end of this year.

    He argues that we cannot postpone dealing with the problem — and thankfully, first steps are being taken, as followers of ARPN well know.

    Responding to potential environmental concerns of new critical mineral mines, Porter points to the fact that mining is not your grandfather’s industry anymore, and that  modern mines “can be designed to protect groundwater quality and not harm the environment.”  He continues: “We will need more mines using improved designs and operating practices — coupled with appropriate regulations — in order to ensure that mining is safe.”

    Porter points to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) critical mineral legislation to revamp the mine permitting and regulatory process as an important step in the right direction. In closing, he asks (and answers) the overarching question that should guide policy deliberations going forward:

    “Do we want China and other countries to control U.S. access to strategically important minerals?  I think the answer is no.”

    Click here to read the full piece.

  • Sen. Murkowski, Panelists, Underscore Urgency of Securing Critical Mineral Supply Chains

    “With our eyes wide open, we are putting ourselves in the same vulnerable position [as we did with oil and gas decades ago] when it comes to these [critical] minerals,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told the audience at “Minerals: The Overlooked Foundation of Our Future,” an event organized by RealClearPolitics in partnership with our friends at the National Mining Association earlier today.

    Sen. Murkowski, who keynoted the event, added that while we have the resources, “we put hurdles in our own way extracting them and have clearly stepped aside [...] any leadership role in being able to process these minerals.”

    During the panels preceding Sen. Murkowski’s keynote, issue experts – including ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty — explored policy questions surrounding the importance of minerals, and ways to tackle the challenge of securing ever-complex critical mineral supply chains. Panelists, including two White House officials, emphasized the need to invest in the U.S. critical mineral knowledge base and workforce, the need for flexibility to account for breakthroughs in materials science which may change underlying dynamics, and for market awareness.

    Underscoring the urgency of the situation, Daniel McGroarty said “we can’t admire the problem anymore. We don’t have the luxury of time,” arguing that once supply chains are formed, “it’s very difficult to break them, and this will have national security consequences for us.” McGroarty suggested that the application of an “all-of-the-above” approach we’ve come to know from the energy policy discourse – in the context of working toward “resource independence,” a focus on new mining, recycling and reclamation of new minerals from old mine tailings — could be useful in formulating policy solutions for our critical mineral woes, and to reclaim our leadership role, from which “we have clearly – clearly stepped away” according to Sen. Murkowski.

    Video of entire full event is available here. Be sure to click on video “2 of 2″ to watch the stream.

  • India and the Tech Wars: Ripple Effects of the Confrontation over Who Will Dominate the 21st Century Tech Age

    While most of the headlines regarding the trade war between the United States and China — and, for ARPN followers, the underlying tech war over who which country will dominate the 21st Century Technology Age — focus on the main players in Washington, DC and Beijing, the ripple effects of this confrontation can be felt [...]
  • ARPN Expert Panel Member: Any Real Solution to REE Dependence Must Include Investing in Our Domestic Production Capabilities

    “There is more to President Trump’s engagement with Greenland than meets the eye, (…)[h]owever, if policymakers want to get serious about securing U.S. access to rare earths, any real solution must include investing in our domestic production capabilities,” writes Jeff Green, ARPN expert panel member and president and founder of public relations firm J.A. Green & [...]
  • Greenland at the Heart of Resource Race in 21st Century Tech War

    While a deal is not likely to happen, and some question whether the comment was more quip than opening offer, President Trump’s recent interest in buying Greenland from Denmark has done one thing: bring Greenland and the Arctic into focus.   The President’s suggestion has been ridiculed by many, but from a strategic perspective — [...]
  • China’s Leverage: Supply Monopoly Shapes U.S. Policy

    In case you were wondering to what extent foreign powers are shaping domestic policy, the UK’s daily The Telegraph has a great overview piece on how “China’s supply of rare minerals, used in products like the iPhone, is causing a headache for Washington.” Using one of the most popular telecommunications gadgets – the iPhone – [...]
  • China’s Grand Strategy to Exploit United States’ “Soft Underbelly” Goes Beyond Rare Earths

    Much is being made of China’s recent threats to cut off Rare Earth exports to the United States, and the issue has – finally – helped bring the issue of mineral resource policy reform to the forefront.  However, as Ian Easton, research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute and author of The Chinese Invasion Threat, [...]
  • Happy 4th of July! The Road to Resource Independence

    Another trip around the sun, and once again we find ourselves stocking up for barbecues, fireworks and parades in honor of the men and women who have fought on our behalf, and continue our safeguard our freedom today. We’ve always used the occasion of Independence Day to remind ourselves that “while we cherish the freedom we [...]
  • Resource Alert:  North of 60 Mining News Has Launched “Critical Minerals Alaska” Magazine and Dedicated Webpage

    Over the past few weeks, China’s threat to play the “rare earths card” has generated quite a buzz and, along with growing concerns over supply chains for battery tech, has directed much-needed attention to our nation’s over-reliance on foreign mineral resources.  As followers of ARPN know, many of these issues are in fact home-grown, as the United [...]
  • CBS’s 60 Minutes Airs Updated Rare Earths Segment Featuring ARPN’s McGroarty

    Bearing testimony to the significance of the looming specter of China playing the “rare earths card,” CBS’s 60 Minutes this weekend aired an update to its 2015 segment on rare earths featuring ARPN principal Dan McGroarty.  You can watch the segment on the CBS website, which also features a written transcript. There is hope that the [...]