American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Is Lithium the New Black?

    At a time when mineral commodities have been slumping, one material is proving to be the exception to the rule, leading many to hail lithium as a rare bright spot for miners, amid cratering prices of raw materials tied to heavy industry such as iron ore to coal.”

     Via our friend Simon Moores, managing director of Benchmark Minerals and lead expert on the supply chain for batteries, we came across a solid analysis of minerals in clean car technology.  Bloomberg’s Liam Denning discusses the role of lithium as one of the key minerals at the heart of 21st Century battery technology fueling electric vehicles as well as portable devices and power storage.

    Contrasting lithium’s story with that of two other once promising metals, palladium and uranium, Denning outlines lithium’s rise to stardom, appeal and potential staying power.  His verdict – lithium is a mineral worth watching:

    “Rising demand that is largely indifferent to price, combined with lagging supply, is what commodity bulls dream of. This underpinned the boom in palladium, as well as the recent bull markets in oil and copper. It looks like lithium’s turn is coming.”

    With Tesla’s new Gigafactory slated to open soon, and other battery makers expanding their plants, chances are, he is right.

    Says Simon Moores:

    “[New supply from all lithium sources] will have a critical role to play in sourcing lithium for the battery supply chain. As things stands, there will not be enough lithium to supply the battery megafactories coming onstream.”

    With the net import reliance on foreign supplies of lithium hovering at more than 60% according to USGS estimates, this challenge will most certainly affect U.S. battery makers and downstream domestic industries.

    Click here to read the full piece.

    Click here to keep tabs on Simon Moore’s analysis of critical metals and minerals.

  • Local group forms in support of uranium mining in Virginia

    According to a news story in the Gazette-Virginian, a new local group called People for Economic Prosperity has embarked on a campaign in support of developing a promising uranium deposit at Coles Hill in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, roughly 30 miles north of the North Carolina border.

    Experts consider the deposit the “the nation’s richest untapped source of uranium oxide.” In order to harness the deposit’s potential, Virginia’s 1982 moratorium on mining uranium would have to be lifted, and the local debate has sparked a national controversy over the merits of uranium mining.

    As industry figures place the United States’ reliance on foreign imports of uranium to meet domestic needs at a whopping 95 percent, and in light of uranium’s relevance as reactor fuel, it is a debate worth having.

    While environmentalists are quick to dismiss any uranium mining proposals as risky and harmful to the environment, People for Economic Prosperity points to impressive Canadian mining successes using the highest safety standards and stringent regulations, and argues that the Coles Hill deposit “can and will be mined safely and that Pittsylvania County will benefit immensely from the direct and indirect economic benefits including jobs and capital investment.”

    To learn more about the group, visit www.PEPsouthside.org (after the end of the month, as the group’s website is currently under construction).

  • Uranium Enrichment Technology: Job Creator and Energy Resource

    As Congress and the Administration continue to play politics over how to create jobs in the U.S., a uranium enrichment project and its jobs are in limbo.  In Piketon, Ohio, a community of about 2,000, USEC, Inc. operates the American Centrifuge project. USEC and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have been in discussions about [...]
  • Kicking Off Copper Month With a Bang

    As American Resources launches “Copper Month,” Instapundit blog provides a link to a story that kicks us off with a bang, though thankfully not the thermo-nuclear kind. U.S. Oak Ridge Laboratory, home of super-secret nuclear weapons work during World War II, is auctioning off artifacts from the Manhattan Project.  Among them, massive magnets called “D-Rings,” [...]
  • Priority permitting for two Alaska mining projects approved

    As reported by Resourceful Earth, two Alaska mining projects may begin production ahead of schedule thanks to priority permits granted by the U.S. Forest Service.  The agency approved exploratory drilling permits for Ucore Rare Metals Inc.’s Bokan Mountain site in Southeast Alaska, which is expected to develop rare earths as well as potentially high grade [...]
  • Uranium find in India to reduce dependence on imports

    According to news reports, India has discovered what its government claims could be the world’s largest uranium reserves in a mine due to start operating by the end of the year.  The nation’s Department of Atomic Energy recently confirmed that the Tumalapalli mine in the southern state of Andrha Pradesh holds 49,000 metric tons of uranium, [...]
  • Rhodia, Areva team up to develop REE and Uranium

    Rhodia Rare Earth Systems, one of only two rare earths producers in Europe, has entered into a cooperative agreement with French nuclear group Areva, according to AFP. The agreement between the two companies spells out a plan to jointly develop and exploit previously untapped deposits containing a mix of uranium and rare earths elements (REEs). [...]
  • 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 [...]