American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • The Geo-Politics of Rare Earths: China Reported to Add to Stockpile

    ARPN readers know that one of the core tenets of the Resource Wars thesis is that the market for strategic and critical metals is never immune to government interventions. Witness today’s Bloomberg report: “China Said to Add 10,000 Tons to Rare Earths Stockpiles.”

    Bloomberg reports:

    “China may stockpile more medium-to-heavy rare earths this year such as terbium, lutetium and yttrium, which are used in applications ranging from lasers to nuclear reactors, said China Merchants’ Peng [Bo].

    “China’s own industrial sector, in its rudimentary form, isn’t yet able to make full use of the country’s output, Peng said. The government is likely to hoard these elements for future use, she said.

    “‘The mining and refining industry, hampered by a drastic slump in prices, sees the purchase as a life-saver,’ said Chen Huan, an analyst at Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. ‘Prices the government agreed to pay are much higher than the prevailing market price.’”

    In March, the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of the U.S., Japan and EU’s contention that China’s Rare Earths export quotas were not justified. As a source within one of China’s state-owned enterprises told Bloomberg:

    “‘China is facing imminent pressure to abolish the export quota, so stockpiling is part of the policy reaction to help prop up prices and keep more of the resources at home for future use.’”

    As a follow-on, ARPN will share any U.S. Government reaction to this move – if in fact there is a reaction.

  • Environmental NGO Takes on Mining Industry, Clean Water Act

    How do you break into the headlines these days – with Wall Street reeling, London burning, and carnage in the streets of Syria?

    A little hysteria helps.

    That’s the tactic employed by Earthworks, an environmental Non-Government Organization (NGO). The group has been running a national campaign this week aimed at pressuring the EPA to provide additional federal regulations to close what they’ve deemed “loopholes” in the Clean Water Act. Their website claims that the bill as it stands now is confusing and allows American mining companies to “dump their toxic mining waste directly into our waters!”

    They’ve selected the language “closing loopholes,” but the truth is that Earthworks and its supporters are looking to add layers of federal regulations to the Clean Water Act so that it is nearly impossible for the mining industry to function in the U.S.  The fact that such a move would cripple American jobs and stall economic growth isn’t an issue for Earthworks.

    With China exploiting mineral and metal resource shortages, and global demand growing, it’s not a winning argument. Now, I don’t usually get into the “he said, she said” of the environmental movement. But Earthworks’ effort isn’t exactly fact-friendly.

    Case in point:  In a June 21 letter from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, the agency’s director, Robert Abbey, was asked how many U.S. mining operations his agency had approved since 1990. His reply? 659.

    The BLM leader next answered Sen. Murkowski’s inquiry into the number of U.S. mines that have since been added to the taxpayer-funded Superfund Cleanup list. That number: zero.

    Think about it. In the 21 years since 1990, Democrats and Republicans have evenly controlled the White House.  That means, either there’s been an incredibly effective conspiracy spanning the Bush and Clinton years, and into President Obama’s presidency, to hide the mining malpractice Earthworks claims is rampant…

    OR… That there’s a lengthy record of responsible mining in the U.S. – which is hardly the type of headline that an NGO like Earthworks is looking for.

  • Resource Wars: India to challenge China with rare earths find in Madagascar?

    While a rare earths find on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean has misleadingly been heralded as a solution to China’s near-total rare earths monopoly (to find out why this claim is misleading, click here), a second rare earths discovery earlier this month was barely noticed, in spite of its greater potential to challenge China: [...]
  • What makes it whirl? The commonalities of vacuums and geopolitics

    As you vacuum your house, you’re probably not thinking too much about the United States’ over-reliance on foreign mineral resources.  Here’s why maybe you should: Ever wonder what makes your Dyson DC 31 handheld vacuum cleaner whirl? You may be surprised to hear that the answer is rare earths. Five times faster than a racing [...]
  • Investors fear looming resource wars

    Arguing that China’s near-total rare earths monopoly is only the tip of the iceberg and an indicator of what’s to come, Michael A. Barry’s most recent edition of Morning Notes (a free subscription bulletin from DiscoveryInvesting), discusses “The Coming Resource Wars.” Barry quotes our very own Daniel McGroarty, who has said: But the Rare Earths [...]
  • Resource Wars: China and Brazil to Battle over Copper Deposits in Africa

    In what may become the most expensive diversified minerals takeover to-date, China and Brazil appear set to engage in a strategic battle over copper deposits in Africa, according to Bloomberg.  In line with China’s recent efforts to enlarge its footprint in Africa in its quest for natural resources, China’s Jinchuan Group is considering countering Rio de Janeiro-based Vale’s [...]