American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Ukraine, Food Security, and Russia’s Imperial Reset

    American Resources readers will want to see what ARPN expert Chris Berry has to say about the potash sector in light of recent events in Ukraine.

    Now that Ukraine, formerly known as the “breadbasket of the Soviet Union,” has lost Crimea to the Russian Federation as Russian forces mass along its border, it’s time to wonder about the fate of another former republic of the USSR: neighboring Belarus – especially given Belarus’ position as a global leader in potash production.

    What will happen if Belarus is next on Vladimir Putin’s list? Everyone who consumes food has a stake in the outcome.

  • Resource Wars: EU zeros in on Arctic mineral riches

    While many of us in the continental U.S. are enjoying record-breaking temperatures this March, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton probably needed her down coat as she embarked on her new mission: laying the groundwork for a common EU policy on the Arctic. Traveling near the North Pole earlier this month, Ashton made a case for the EU to receive permanent observer status on the Arctic Council, current members of which are Canada, Russia, Denmark (through Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S.

    The EU’s increased interest in the region is hardly surprising considering the fact that the region is known to hold vast mineral resources, among them an estimated 13 percent of the worlds undiscovered oil reserves, and 30 percent of undiscovered gas reserves.

    As the global race for resources has heated up, so has the geopolitical tussle over the Arctic’s mineral riches:

    - In 2004, Denmark extended a bid on its geological claim linking the North Pole and Greenland via the Lomonosov Ridge.

    - The summer of 2007 saw a number of movements, including a Russian minisub expedition planting a Russian flag beneath the North Pole, and Canada announcing plans to build two new Arctic military bases and a deep-sea port in the region.

    - While Russia and Norway signed a deal over who owns what in the Barents Sea, a piece in the Guardian from July 2011 outlined ongoing territorial tussles between the U.S, Canada, Russia, Denmark and Norway.

    - The Toronto Star warned in December 2011 that Russia may be ready to embrace “a new Cold War” over the Arctic, which it sees as its strategic future.

    - In January of 2012, the Arctic race for mineral riches got a new dimension when China threw its hat into the ring, with Denmark having decided to serve as “the key gateway for Beijing’s commercial and strategic entrée into the Arctic.”

    Today, Alaska’s state motto “North to the Future” sounds more timely than ever. Fortunate to have a claim to the Arctic’s riches via “Seward’s Folly”, the U.S. would be well-advised to harness Alaska’s significant resource potential, as envisioned by Gov. Sean Parnell – boosting job creation and reducing our needless over-reliance on foreign mineral resources in the process.

  • Critical metals take center stage in border dispute: The Kuril Islands and Rhenium

    According to a recent article in the Russian daily Pravda, Russia finds itself locked in a territorial dispute that is becoming increasingly acute. The conflict over the group of four islands, which Russia calls the “Southern Kurils” and Japan calls the “Northern Territories, is the reason why Japan and Russia never signed a peace treaty [...]
  • A new dimension of Resource Wars – China throws hat into Arctic ring

    Having intensified over the past few months with Russia reportedly willing to risk a new “Cold War” over the area’s vast resources, the geopolitics of the Arctic’s race for mineral riches has just been elevated to a whole new level with China having thrown its hat into the ring. According to the Wall Street Journal’s [...]
  • Supply, Demand, and the March of Science

    Just when American Resources has read its thousandth story on companies substituting around scare metals like the Rare Earths to reduce usage, along comes this Platts report on a new discovery in Russia’s RUSAL research labs, working in conjunction with a team from the Siberian Federal University.  Scientists there have fabricated a new aluminum alloy [...]
  • Strategic Metals Flashback – or Flash Forward?

    Our Director of Research, Sandra Wirtz, unearthed this piece from the Time Magazine online archives  – “Strategic Metal: #1,” dateline October 13, 1941 – just weeks before Pearl Harbor.  It inspired me to do a little research on my own, with an eye toward our present-day approach to strategic metals. With war raging in Europe, [...]
  • Mongolia Weighs its Resource Options

    History is typically difficult to see up close, but it’s possible that resources are sparking a great geo-political reordering on par with the mass discoveries of oil that made the Middle East a rising economic power the mid-20th Century.  Witness the country of Mongolia, a geo-political pawn for much of the last hundred years, but [...]
  • Russia to rethink prospecting policies in Africa?

    In yet another indication that a global race for resources is in full swing, this opinion piece carried by the Russian news agency Ria Novosti suggests that Russia, a generally resource-rich country, should rethink its long-held position that prospecting for minerals outside its own territory is not necessary.  According to the author, Africa, another area [...]