American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
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  • Why Tungsten should be on your critical minerals watch list

    In a comprehensive interview with The Metals Report, analyst Mark Seddon explains why Tungsten should be on people’s watch list, or, as the interview headline suggests: “Why you should look twice at an ugly duckling metal.”

    Like some of the other critical metals and minerals we have covered on our blog – Antimony and Cobalt come to mind – Tungsten lacks the sex appeal that made investors fall for the rare earth story.”  Says Seddon:

    “One of the big differences between tungsten and REEs is their applications. Tungsten is a very industrial metal. It’s mainly used as a carbide or “hard metal” in drilling and cutting tools used in heavy industry. Tungsten is not sexy in that sense. It’s a very solid industrial market. This contrasts with REEs, which are used in a lot of newer, high-tech applications that are much easier for the investment community to make into an exciting story.”

    While Tungsten may be used in industrial applications that don’t get people as excited as, say, green technologies, there are no viable substitutes at this point.

    Meanwhile, there is a strong geopolitical aspect factoring into the Tungsten narrative:  As is the case with Rare Earths, most of the world’s Tungsten comes from China, which accounts for roughly 80 percent of global Tungsten output, a fact that invites similar challenges as the ones manufacturers relying on REES have seen in the past.

    Further complicating the supply picture for domestic manufacturers is the fact that Tungsten from the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and surrounding regions, another main source of supply, has been labeled a conflict mineral and subjected to a series of (confusing) reporting requirements under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law and respective rules handed down by the SEC in 2012.

    A partial solution to at least some of the challenges may lie in the domestic development of our Tungsten supplies, which would allow for reducing our overreliance on foreign minerals and allow for “conflict-free” sourcing.  In any case, however, the Tungsten narrative once more shows that critical resource policy cannot occur in a vacuum, as the strategic implications of our supply issues stretch far beyond the now often-discussed Rare Earths story.

  • American Resources principal discusses critical and strategic minerals with Juneau Empire

    Leading up to last Friday’s second Alaska Strategic and Critical Minerals Summit in Fairbanks, the Juneau Empire spoke with our very own Dan McGroarty, who had the honor to present alongside many distinguished members of Alaska’s State government and private sector representatives.

    The Juneau Empire’s Russell Stigall has summarized their conversation in an article highlighting McGroarty’s emphasis on Alaska being the “single most important state when measured across the full range of hard rock metals,” and the state’s vast mineral potential. McGroarty also explained what constitutes a critical and strategic mineral – a definitional void that has proven problematic in the case of the U.S. government, where a cacophony of definitional approaches has gotten in the way of policy makers formulating a critical and strategic mineral strategy:

    “A strategic mineral is used in advanced weapon system that does not have a second best metal to do the job — such as certain metals used in the making of smart bombs, McGroarty said.

    Minerals are considered critical if there is a near-term, present or projected shortfall in the metal, McGroarty said. This can come from the geographic location of the mineral deposit or the fluctuations of the economy, he said. But minerals can become critical also if the U.S. is not comfortable sourcing, say, gold, tin or tungsten in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    “If we shut those off successfully from our U.S. manufactures and users we may have created a critical metal out of tungsten,” McGroarty said.”

    Unlike many in U.S. government, Alaska’s Parnell Administration understands the stakes, and has taken the lead in formulating a critical minerals strategy at the state level. Hopefully, last week’s conference has served to raise awareness of our critical mineral needs and domestic resource potential nationally – our strategic, national security and economic future depends on it.

  • The Blessings of a New World

    Today is American Thanksgiving – a celebration of the blessings afforded by our forefathers as they overcame adversity in a new land, laboring to obtain from the resources around them the necessities of life:  food, shelter, and warmth against winter’s cold. Since that first winter, the bounty of Thanksgiving has become a symbol of the [...]
  • American Resources experts to speak at international graphite conference

    American Resources Principal Daniel McGroarty will speak alongside fellow American Resources expert and Manager for Industrial Minerals Data, Simon Moores, at Industrial Minerals’ 2nd Graphite Conference 2012 in early December. In light of its traditional uses, its importance for the new Li-ion technology, and the ostensibly endless potential applications for the “new super material graphene,” [...]
  • Congressman reiterates the importance of critical minerals

    While the importance of securing access to critical mineral resources and resource independence did not take center stage in any of the televised presidential debates, the need to ensure a strong manufacturing base was a recurring theme throughout the campaign season. As we have been pointing out, the latter is contingent on the former. Congressman [...]
  • American Resources expert panel continues to grow

    We’re happy to announce that the American Resources panel of issue experts continues to grow. The latest addition, H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. hails from the National Center for Policy Analysis, where he is a senior fellow, and the lead analyst of the Center’s E-Team – one of the largest collections of energy and environmental policy [...]
  • Miners pull out of Argentina over populist measures

    A cautionary tale comes to us from Argentina, where major resource companies are increasingly shying away from investments in light of growing populism on the part of the Argentinian government. The latest company to pull out of the country is Cameco Corp, a major Uranium producer, announcing the end to a joint-venture exploration project with [...]
  • China’s African resource footprint continues to grow

    China’s aggressive pursuit of mineral resources around the globe continues with Africa being a “key destination for meeting China’s resource acquisitiveness,” according to a presentation given at the Coaltrans Southern Africa conference earlier this month. As outlined in an article on MiningWeekly.com, China’s quest for resources in Africa, which centers on oil, gold, platinum, copper, [...]
  • American Resources Policy Network to Host Strategic Minerals Conference

    American Resources Policy Network will host a conference on strategic and critical minerals on June 6, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The conference will bring together industry thought-leaders and policymakers to discuss how these resources affect U.S. national security and what can be done to address domestic mineral needs. More details will be available soon.
  • Founder of Strategic Materials Advisory Council Jeffery A. Green joins American Resources Expert Panel

    We’re thrilled to announce that Jeffery A. Green, President and Founder of J.A. Green & Company, and Founder of the Strategic Materials Advisory Council, has joined the American Resources Policy Network’s panel of issue experts. Prior to forming J.A. Green & Company, Green served as Staff Director to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, [...]