American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • REEs, National Security and Gateway Metals

    A REE World Report titled ‘Political Squeeze Play and the Rare Earth Revolution’ on Rare Metal Blog highlights the implications of U.S. dependency on foreign supplies of Rare Earths for our military. Here are some of the report’s key points:

    • The current WTO case brought on against China by the U.S., European Union and Japan over its restrictive Rare Earths policies is not because China has a geological monopoly, but rather, because other countries possessing REEs, including the U.S., have allowed China to develop a near-total production monopoly.

    • It’s up- and downstream REE market dominance has prompted industries relying on Rare Earths to relocate production sites to China, and leaves the other parties to the WTO case, and the U.S. in particular, vulnerable to REE supply risk.

    • To underscore the economic imbalance, the author of the report prompts readers to imagine the consequences for “Western economies if Saudi Arabia had been a technological and manufacturing giant at the time of the 1973 oil embargo” – which would have been control over energy supply and the world’s technological development. Even more troubling, while Saudi Arabia has been reliant on the projection of U.S. military power in the Gulf region, China has no such constraints and its foreign policy often clashes with Western interests.

    • The importance of REEs cannot be underestimated, and China’s near total monopoly affects not only the green technology sector, but the defense and security sectors.

    The author’s conclusion:

    “A new approach is needed. Short of devolving tax dollars to developing alternative materials to REE, diversifying supplies while easing the mining regulatory framework to facilitate more domestic REE production is essential.”

    The implications of mineral supply issues for our national security is an issue to which American Resources recently devoted a study.

    In Reviewing Risk – Critical Metals and National Security, we cross-referenced 46 key minerals with U.S. Geological Survey reports on mineral reserves, supply risk and import exposure, and built a national security “risk pyramid” that helps visualize our over-reliance on foreign critical minerals.

    The study is part of a series of reports and policy papers, the next one of which will take a closer look at one of the less-known properties of some traditional “mainstay metals” – their function as a “gateway metal” to critical technology metals.

    Stay tuned for the announcement on the report’s release in the coming weeks.

  • Recent developments provide glimpse into China’s resource strategy

    In his latest column for Real Clear World, American Resources principal Daniel McGroarty zeroes in on the newly-released Chinese government white paper entitled ‘Situation and Policies of China’s Rare Earths Industry’ and notes the insight it provides into China’s broader mineral strategy.

    McGroarty’s key points are as follows:

    · The white paper essentially sets the stage for a “pre-emptive defense of Chinese Rare Earths policy.”

    · China’s claimed correction of the amount of its Rare Earths reserve – a reduction from 36 percent (as per USGS estimates) to 23 percent of total global reserves will allow Beijing to “argue in the WTO that its sovereign right to manage its own non-renewable resources blunts any demand by other nations that China serve as the world’s Rare Earths super-store.”

    · A less-noticed report that China is placing a bounty on those involved in the country’s burgeoning Rare Earths black market indicates that “as the world races to bring more Rare Earths to the market, China is working to ratchet back supply – and ensure the remainder is tightly under Politburo control.”

    · Possibly providing a glimpse into the grand scheme of things, the Hong Kong Exchange’s (HKEx) offer of $2 billion for the London Metals Exchange (LME), which has been called the “most expensive bid ever” for LME begs the question of whether it might “involve the chance, unavailable until now, to locate physical metals warehouses on Chinese soil.”

    · Meanwhile, the West’s mineral policies seem to hinge to a large extent on the word “maybe” – as in maybe China will comply with WTO rules, and maybe researchers will develop Rare Earths alternatives, for example.

    McGroarty’s bottom line:

    “[W]hile the ‘West’ has hopes, China has a plan. And whatever it is, it’s not the one translated into English and published last week on the front page of the People’s Daily.”

  • Is Warren Buffett an American Resource reader?

    ARPN’s Tungsten Month is over, but we will make an exception in the case for investment legend Warren Buffett. It seems one of his investment arms is taking a position in the re-commissioned tungsten mine in the United Kingdom, last operated as part of the industrial war effort during World War II. As American Resource [...]
  • American Resources expert Jeffery Green: “Washington needs to realize that all roads lead to China”

    This week’s Critical Metals Report on the Gold Report’s website features an exclusive detailed interview with the latest expert to join the American Resources panel of experts: Jeffery Green, President and Founder of J.A. Green & Company, and Founder of the Strategic Materials Advisory Council. Discussing the U.S. policy landscape against the backdrop of the [...]
  • American Resources Expert Commentary: Technology Metal Research’s Gareth Hatch on the WTO rare earths case

    With the dust settling over the announcement of a new WTO case brought on by the U.S., Japan and the EU against China’s restrictive rare earths policies, American Resources expert Gareth Hatch has taken the time to dig (pun intended) a little deeper into the issue and its possible implications. While many have talked about [...]
  • American Resources Principal for Forbes Magazine: “Forget the WTO”

    Over the past few days, the announcement that the U.S., EU and Japan have decided to file a WTO case against China over its restrictive rare earths policies has caused quite a stir. American Resources Policy Network principal Daniel McGroarty offers his perspective in a column for Forbes. Having previously expressed skepticism over the WTO [...]
  • WTO mineral exports decision against China: What will it mean for rare earths?

    The World Trade Organization (WTO) recently made headlines over its decision to notify the Chinese government that it is in violation of international trade rules regarding the country’s raw materials export restrictions covering bauxite, zinc, yellow phosphorus and six other industrial minerals. The case – brought about by the U.S., European Union, and Mexico in [...]