Bearing testimony to the significance of the looming specter of China playing the “rare earths card,” CBS’s 60 Minutes this weekend aired an update to its 2015 segment on rare earths featuring ARPN principal Dan McGroarty.
You can watch the segment on the CBS website, which also features a written transcript.
There is hope that the renewed focus on rare earths will help generate momentum for long overdue reforms in the critical minerals realm, because, as followers of ARPN well know, REEs really only represent the tip of the ice berg when it comes to our nation’s – largely home-grown – non-fuel mineral resource woes. As ARPN’s McGroarty recently argued when interviewed for a story in the Daily Caller:
“The irony, and that is an understatement, is that the U.S. has rare earth deposits capable of meeting national security needs, and ending the reliance on China. With China saber-rattling on the rare earths, this could be the time for a strong U.S. response.”
Michael Stumo, Chief executive of the Coalition for a Prosperous America, agrees. Writing for the Dallas Morning News he says:
“It’s a troubling situation. But such alarming news could finally motivate Washington to rectify a longstanding problem — America’s growing dependence on imported metals and minerals.It may all sound a bit obscure, but these resources provide the building blocks for everything from electric motors to medical equipment. And the Commerce Department just warned that the United States has become “heavily dependent” on foreign sources for 31 of the 35 minerals designated as “critical” by the Department of the Interior. And some of the minerals considered critical by the Department of Defense are available only overseas.”
The bottom line is clear:
“If U.S. manufacturers are to supply consumers with American-made products, they’ll need more timely access to reliable mineral sources. Washington urgently needs to update rules and incentives for faster, more responsible, and more innovative extraction of mineral resources that benefit domestic workers, companies and national security.”