American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Through the Gateway: Tin, Co-Products and Shifting Paradigms

    While not as flashy as some other metals, Tin’s versatility will continue to drive demand.  We are familiar with its use in food preservation.  Meanwhile, ITRI, the tin industry’s UK-based trade association, highlights the “storage, generation and conservation of energy as key drivers for new applications for the metal over the next 3 to 30 years.” Coupled with its application in soldering paste on circuit boards, demand will likely remain steady or grow. 

    In a recent report, the organization found that “[f]rom the analysis, at a global level there is no reason to suggest that remaining tin deposits will be unable to sustain a long term, gradual upward trend in primary tin demand well into the future.” However, “far more efficient exploration and mining technologies” would be required. 

    Factor in our supplier nations – not necessarily the best trading partners – and a current WTO case against the world’s largest Tin producer, China, that may or may not affect global supply – and you have all the makings of a geopolitical resource supply challenge. 

    Against this background, a recent announcement that a Tin mining operation in Cornwall in the UK is being brought back to life after a two-decade-long closure comes as no surprise. Cornwall was once home to roughly 2,000 tin mines, but as prices fell in light of increased global competition and supply, these mines began shutting down, and have not been reopened until now. 

    In the U.S., the picture is similar – domestic Tin mining or smelting was abandoned in 1993 and 1989, respectively, and, when accounting for Tin recycling as a source, we are 75 percent import dependent for the metal.

    While the United States’ identified Tin resources may be insignificant when compared with the rest of the world, the bottom line is that we must change the way we approach metals and minerals.  With advances in technology and materials sciences, old paradigms are out the window. 

    Copper is no longer just a mainstay metal and conductor of electricity.  Aluminum is more than a building material. And Tin is more than just a food container.  All of these metals have found new important and versatile applications. But beyond that, they are Gateway Metals yielding access to some of the so-called “minor” metals (in Tin’s case Indium and Scandium) that are quickly becoming the quintessential building blocks of our 21st Century high-tech and sustainable energy future and manufacturing renaissance.

    It’s time for a new approach to mineral resource policy – an approach that breaks with old patterns and paradigms and unleashes our nation’s vast mineral potential. 

  • The Geo-Politics of Rare Earths: China Reported to Add to Stockpile

    ARPN readers know that one of the core tenets of the Resource Wars thesis is that the market for strategic and critical metals is never immune to government interventions. Witness today’s Bloomberg report: “China Said to Add 10,000 Tons to Rare Earths Stockpiles.”

    Bloomberg reports:

    “China may stockpile more medium-to-heavy rare earths this year such as terbium, lutetium and yttrium, which are used in applications ranging from lasers to nuclear reactors, said China Merchants’ Peng [Bo].

    “China’s own industrial sector, in its rudimentary form, isn’t yet able to make full use of the country’s output, Peng said. The government is likely to hoard these elements for future use, she said.

    “‘The mining and refining industry, hampered by a drastic slump in prices, sees the purchase as a life-saver,’ said Chen Huan, an analyst at Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. ‘Prices the government agreed to pay are much higher than the prevailing market price.’”

    In March, the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of the U.S., Japan and EU’s contention that China’s Rare Earths export quotas were not justified. As a source within one of China’s state-owned enterprises told Bloomberg:

    “‘China is facing imminent pressure to abolish the export quota, so stockpiling is part of the policy reaction to help prop up prices and keep more of the resources at home for future use.’”

    As a follow-on, ARPN will share any U.S. Government reaction to this move – if in fact there is a reaction.

  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]