American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • With China taking the lead, global resource race heats up in Africa

    A lengthy piece in the Asia Times online edition discusses China’s ever-increasing footprint in Africa, arguing that this manifestation of China replacing the West as the “dominant economic and political force in Africa epitomizes the most dramatic shift in geopolitics since the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

    In its global quest for mineral resources, China has overtaken the United States as Africa’s main trading partner, with trade and investment having grown by a whopping 1,000% between 2000 and 2010.  Recent agreements include multi-billion deals with Angola, Ghana, and the DRC, providing China with access to oil and critical non-fuel mineral resources.  A number of countries other than China, among them India, Brazil, Russia and Turkey as well as several Persian Gulf states, have realized the continent’s potential and are investing heavily in Africa.

    With the continent harboring 40% of the world’s gold and more than 85% of its platinum and chromium, as well as vast reserves of vanadium, cobalt, diamonds, chrome and iron ore, not to mention its yet-to-be discovered resources, expect Africa to play an increasing role in future mineral supply scenarios.  Hopefully, the U.S. can determine what its own role will be soon – the rest of the world won’t wait for us as they look to meet their critical mineral needs.

  • Canadian paper warns of new Cold War over arctic riches

    Working to implement a “strategy to reverse years of neglect and decline in its Far North,” Russia appears ready to re-embrace a Cold War, according to a detailed story in the Toronto Star.  Home to vast mineral resources including oil, zinc, and gold, for example, the Arctic is viewed by Russia as its strategic future, and it is moving to try to make the often unforgiving environment profitable, and to firm up its claims on disputed territories.

    The scramble for Arctic riches is not exactly a new development. Our very own Daniel McGroarty warned of a new Cold War in 2007 (subscription-based), when Russian scientists made headlines with their symbolic planting of a Russian flag in the Arctic muck near the North Pole, kicking off a flurry of activities by Canada, Denmark and Norway, all of which also have territory north of the Arctic Circle.

    What has changed since then, is the heightened sense of urgency with which countries are beginning to treat their resource supply situations.  In the context of nations rushing to overhaul their mineral strategies, we can expect the Arctic, to which the U.S. is fortunate to have a claim via “Seward’s (really not-so-foolish) Folly” a.k.a. Alaska, to play an ever-increasing role in global resource war games in the foreseeable future.

  • Demand for critical mineral lithium likely to increase thanks to new technology

    Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a technology for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that allows them to hold a charge ten times longer than current batteries, and charge ten times faster, according to R&D Magazine.  Going forward, the engineers are looking to develop a new safety mechanism for lithium-ion batteries prompting them to automatically and reversibly [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • China’s Rare Earths attract Japanese Manufacturer

    In this story hitting the East Asia news wires, Showa Denko, a leading Japanese metals fabricator, announced it will be moving its Rare Earths manufacturing facility to China. This is an alarm bell for anyone who believes the U.S. must stake a leadership claim in the green-tech sector. Coupled with decreased Chinese exports, access to [...]
  • China’s “prospecting” focus broadens to Latin America

    Friends of the American Resource Policy Network are aware that, in an effort to secure access to the continent’s natural resources, China’s state-backed mining companies have been investing heavily in Africa (Chinese foreign direct investment in Zambia, for example, has grown by 1,000% since 2001.) According to the Associated Press, China is now expanding its [...]
  • Mozambique find underscores geopolitics of global race for resources

    According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Globe Metals and Mining has discovered significant rare earths deposits at its exploration site Mount Muambe in Mozambique. This positive exploration result will likely further strengthen China’s quasi-monopoly position when it comes to rare earths, as the Chinese state-owned East China Minerals Exploration and Development Bureau only two months [...]
  • U.S. House subcommittee focuses on America’s resource dependency

    On Tuesday, May 24, 2011, I testified on behalf of American Resources Policy Network before the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, which held a hearing on the issue of “domestic minerals supplies and demands in a time of foreign supply disruption.” (Read my testimony here and watch my remarks [...]
  • Global events send price of gold soaring

    With the news cycle dominated by the ongoing crisis in Japan, unrest, and war in the Middle East, and financial troubles of European Union member countries; the price of gold is soaring. As CBS News reports, investors big and small are lured by the perceived safety of the commodity, sending its price to more than [...]
  • Chinese increase tax on rare earths resources

    Placing emphasis on the stated Chinese government’s goal to preserve an important resource from “unqualified” rare earth miners, while at the same time protecting the environment, a China Radio International (CRI) segment earlier this week reports on the recent tax increase on Rare Earths resources.