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Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
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  • European Union seeks close cooperation with Greenland to fulfill resource needs

    In an effort to secure access to critical metals and minerals for its industries, European Commission representatives Antonio Tajani (Vice President), and Andris Piebalgs (Commisisoner for Development Cooperation) have signed a letter of intent on cooperation with Greenland’s Prime Minister Kuupik Kleist.

    The June 13 letter of intent covers cooperation in the areas of joint infrastructure development and investment, as well as capacity building in the exploration and development of mineral materials, according to a European Commission news release, which also points out that:

    •58 % of exploration companies currently operating in Greenland are Canadian or Australian, and only 15% are European companies.

    •These companies at present only have very limited involvement in on-going exploration activities and own only a few exploration licenses.

    •With industries within the European Union highly dependent on imported raw materials, and Greenland’s vast mineral riches (iron, zinc, niobium, tantalum, rare earths, rubies, and molybdenum) and geostrategic position, Greenland is an important “strategic partner in the long term.”

    Having identified a list of 14 metals and minerals as critical raw materials based on several risk factors in its “Raw Materials Strategy” from 2010, the European Commission is hopeful that closer cooperation with Greenland will be beneficial in particular as Greenland has “an especially strong potential in six of the fourteen critical raw materials identified by the European Commission (niobium, platinum group metals, rare earths and tantalum).”

    While other global players are already implementing their overhauled mineral strategies reflecting new geopolitical realities, the U.S. has yet to formulate its own strategy. Unfortunately, as the new American Resources Critical Metals report points out, U.S. government agencies can’t even agree on a definition of what constitutes a critical mineral – which does not bode well for a strategic overhaul that is long overdue.

  • New British study on critical minerals fuels resource dependency debate

    The British Geological Survey (BGS) recently released its supply risk index for critical minerals, which makes the United Kingdom the latest country to zero in on the issue of resource dependency.

    The study ranks 52 elements or element groups based on a number of factors that impact supply, including each element’s abundance in the Earth and the distribution of deposits. Also emphasized in the report are so-called “human factors ” – geopolitics, resource nationalism, and events such as strikes and accidents – as most likely causes for supply disruptions.

    Not surprisingly, rare earths elements (REE), which we have been discussing frequently on our blog, rank near the top of the BGS supply risk index. Other prominently-featured critical elements include platinum group metals, antimony, niobium and tungsten, due to a restricted supply base and relatively low political stability ratings for major producing countries. Perhaps most strikingly, the report also visualizes China’s current role as leading global producer for 27 of the 52 elements or element groups in a chart on page three.

    The BGS study, which is well worth a read, will likely fuel the mineral strategy debate in Britain. One can only hope that here, too, policy makers, industry and consumers too, begin to pay more attention to the issue of resource dependency and possible supply disruptions – an issue we could tackle head-on by focusing on the vast mineral riches we possess but so far fail to develop.

  • German industry gears up for global resource competition

    In an effort to secure access to critical metals and minerals, Germany’s national industrial association, the Federation of German Industry (BDI) is exploring the formation of a “globally active profit-oriented raw materials corporation.” As the German monthly Manager Magazin reports, the envisioned procurement trust, which companies like chemicals maker Evonik and auto manufacturer Daimler have [...]
  • Gold and politics: The lure of security for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

    A weaker-than-expected jobs report in the U.S. has seen the price of gold soar once again.   Gold’s surge and paper currency’s weakness may be related to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s plans to shift up to $6.3 billion in U.S. dollars, euros and pounds sterling to banks in China, Russia and Brazil, and to repatriate almost [...]
  • U.S., EU and Japan to Hold “Rare Earths Supply Summit”

    Reuters reports that concern over the supply shortage of key Rare Earths elements has led policymakers in the U.S., the EU and Japan to schedule an early October meeting in Washington.  According to a U.S. Government source: Experts and officials will discuss …how to team up to develop high-tech goods – such as electric car [...]
  • Expert Gareth Hatch releases eye-opening Critical Rare Earths Report

    American Resources expert and Technology Metals Research co-founder, Gareth Hatch, has released a new study that highlights the implications of the supply and demand over rare earths elements. Hatch’s research also delves into how the United States can mitigate the current REE shortage. The Critical Rare Earths Report features detailed evaluations of the supply challenges and qualitative rankings [...]
  • Support America’s mining industry; send a letter to the EPA

    Earlier this week, ResourcefulEarth.org picked up on our initial calling out of a week-long campaign the environmental Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Earthworks ran against the mining industry. Read our original post from August 12 here. The site’s follow-up post included a couple of take action items for its community, and we’d like to encourage our supporters [...]
  • Nebraska Rare Earth mining project could break U.S. dependence

    Making national headlines this week, the Elk Creek, Neb. rare earths and niobium prospecting site (we’ve talked about it here and here) may finally be getting the attention it deserves.  The Northwest Mining Association also recently covered this topic on their blog at TheMoreYouDig.com.  With all of this newfound attention, however, comes the larger issue [...]
  • ARPN Expert: New Rare Earths Find Impressive, But No Silver Bullet To Supply Crunch

    Over the 4th of July weekend, reports about a group of Japanese scientists who have discovered significant rare earth deposits on the seabed of the Pacific Ocean have made quite a splash, leading some to talk about a challenge to China’s rare earth near-total monopoly. ARPN expert Gareth Hatch cautions that while the research is [...]
  • Are you ready to party like it’s 1940?

    If you’re looking for a good reason why the United States needs to develop its own mineral resources, especially rare earths, Nebraska University geologist Matt Joeckel hits the nail on the head: We could go without this stuff if we cared to go back to maybe a 1940s level of technology. Joeckel, who also works [...]