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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • New USGS Mineral Resource Commodity Summaries Report – An Important Reminder to Keep Momentum Going for Policy Overhaul

    Without much fanfare, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released its annual Mineral Commodity Summaries report at the end of January. Followers of ARPN will know that we usually await the release of said study with somewhat bated breath. However, this year was slightly different, as the context in which to embed this year’s report has changed.

    According to the report, the total value U.S. non-fuel mineral resource production increased by six percent over 2016 in 2017 and now stands at an estimated $75.3 billion.

    On the resource dependency front, the findings of the report do not differ much from last year’s.  The number of non-fuel minerals for which the United States is 100% import dependent went from 20 to 21, but that increase is due to the inclusion of a new material, Nepheline Syenite, into the scope of the USGS survey.  And just like in 2016, the U.S. was more than 50% import-dependent for 50 metals.

    What has changed over last year, however, is the overall policy environment.

    With the issuing of last December’s executive order to promote domestic mineral resource production, which also calls on the Secretary of the Interior to devise a comprehensive mineral resource strategy, we have taken an important step towards alleviating our long-standing – and in many cases unnecessary over-reliance on foreign sources of supply.

    For good reason. Resource dependency figures may not have increased since last year, but from a historical perspective – as USGS pointed out in its landmark Professional Paper 1802 released in December of last year –  the number of 100 percent import-reliant minerals has increased from just 11 commodities in 1984.

    So while this year’s Mineral Commodity Summaries may not hold too many news – but the report serves as a critical reminder of how important it is to keep the momentum generated at the end of the last year going. Stakeholders must ensure that we get the development of a “comprehensive federal action plan to encourage domestic resource production, through mining, recycling and reclamation” right.

    If we do, we will be better off as a nation – both in terms of national security and economic well-being.

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  • Event Alert: Resources for Future Generations (#RFG2018) Conference

    We have barely taken down the Christmas decorations, but stores have their Valentine’s Day merchandise out, and we’re already halfway through January.  It may feel that way, but it’s really not to early to highlight an event coming up in June – Summer will be here before we know it.

    So mark your calendars, ladies and gentlemen, for this year’s Resources for Future Generations (RFG2018) conference, to be held in Vancouver, Canada from June 16-21, where several Canadian associations and organizations are partnering with the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) to discuss resource and related sustainability issues.

    The speakers’ lineup promises a great event, and includes representatives from academia and industry from all over the world.  Among the speakers hailing from the United States are Yale professor emeritus Thomas Graedel, with whom ARPN followers may be familiar because we have highlighted his work on “companion metals” – or “co-products” as we have referred to them, and Allyson K. Anderson Book, who is executive director of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), whose forthcoming webinar at the end of January we have also featured. Many others will round out the picture over the course of the four-day event.

    The conference, which will “feature a range of innovative and provocative special sessions and events including panels, debates, thematic keynotes, public lectures and events for Early Career professionals,” comes at a critical juncture for North American mineral resource development, as for the first time in decades, the United States has set out to make domestic resource development a policy priority.

    Against the backdrop of the release of USGS’s landmark Professional Paper 1802, and the executive order on critical minerals, the event will serve to further the – long overdue – debate on how to responsibly and sustainably harness the resources we’re blessed to have beneath our own soil.

    Click here to learn more about the conference.

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  • AGI to Host Webinar on Critical Minerals

    Mark your calendars – the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) will host a timely webinar on critical mineral issues later this month. The webinar entitled “Tracking the Global Supply of Critical Materials” will be held on Friday, January 26, 2018, at 11:00am EST, and will “focus on U.S. and European Union (EU) efforts to gather information [...]
  • Member of ARPN Expert Panel Outlines Implications of Executive Order Targeting Critical Minerals

    Amidst the latest political drama, bomb cyclones and button size comparisons which are dominating the news cycle, you may have missed two great pieces of analysis by member of the ARPN panel of experts Jeff Green, president and founder of Washington, DC-based J.A. Green & Company – so we are highlighting them for you: In [...]
  • New Year’s Resolutions for Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    If you’re one of nearly half of all Americans, you will have already made a few New Year’s resolutions for 2018.   Among the most popular are personal betterment goals like “losing weight,” and “exercising more.”  While we’re all for making personal resolutions, at ARPN, we’re more concerned with the goals our policy makers are [...]
  • Clear Your Holiday Reading List – USGS Releases “Critical Materials of the United States”

    Too much family? Too much rockin’ around the Christmas tree? If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and sit down with a good book, look no further – USGS has you covered. The agency has just released a new study entitled “Critical Minerals of the United States“ which [...]
  • ARPN’s McGroarty for Investor’s Business Daily: U.S. Mineral Resource Dependence a “Clear and Present Danger”

    Against the backdrop of growing threats to U.S. security – recent flash points involve Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea – a new Presidential Executive Order “On Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States,” zeroes in on defense readiness. The E.O. requires heads from various [...]
  • Happy Independence Day! We’re Free, Yet So Dependent

    Happy Birthday, America! Another trip around the sun, and we’re back on the eve of the 4th of July gearing up for parades, barbecues and fireworks in honor of the men and women who have fought, and continue to safeguard our freedom today. Last year, we used this opportunity to point out that while we cherish [...]
  • USGS Highlights U.S. Mineral Resource Dependence and Associated Risks

    At ARPN, we have long argued that our over-reliance on foreign minerals is problematic – particularly in light of the fact that the United States itself is home to vast mineral resources. Recognizing the importance of the issue, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which has long been a formidable source of relevant data and [...]
  • USGS Report Bellwether for National Security Crisis?

    For over two decades, the United States Geological Survey has released its Mineral Commodity Summaries report.  And while ARPN followers will know how important this publication is, as it provides a snapshot of our nation’s mineral resource dependencies, in most years its release has gone largely unnoticed beyond the circles of mineral resource wonks. This year, a [...]

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