American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • ARPN Expert Panel Member: Create Framework to “Insulate Domestic Producers from Market Manipulation While Fostering Innovation” in Effort to Decouple From China

    In a recent piece for RealClearDefense Jeffery A. Green, president and founder of J.A. Green & Company, and member of the ARPN panel of experts, outlines a set of four main lines of efforts policy makers should focus on as they develop policy recommendations based on a recent executive order and House task force set up to study critical supply chains and national security.

    Building upon last year’s bipartisan work in the defense bills, Green believes policy makers should:

    - Ensure that DoD purchases from domestic producers. Doing so, “could provide a stable ‘safe harbor’ that is insulated from Chinese manipulation and reduce the risk for nascent U.S. producers,” and thus encourage domestic production.

    - Reduce excessive red tape and barriers of entry to “ease the financial burdens on potential domestic producers and provide a more supportive environment in which they could achieve success.”

    - “Continue to invoke the Defense Production Act to support domestic REE producers who find innovative solutions for America’s supply chain issue.”

    - “View trusted foreign allies as part of the process to achieve true supply chain security.”

    Click here to read Green’s full piece.

    Against the backdrop of significantly increasing critical mineral resource needs, any efforts to secure REE supply chains should be embedded into a broader all of the above approach to mineral resource policy, as outlined by ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty during a recent virtual congressional policy forum.

    For more on the forum, and a link to re-watch, click here.

  • To-Be-Devised Rare Earths Policies Should Tie Into Broader “All of the Above” Approach to Critical Mineral Resource Policy

    As the Biden Administration doubles down on its ambitious climate and technology agenda, it becomes increasingly clear that the issue of material inputs underpinning a green energy transition must be addressed. Followers of ARPN know — not least since last year’s World Bank report or last week’s IEA report — that massive supplies of EV battery tech metals like lithium, graphite, nickel and cobalt, as well as mainstays like copper and aluminum will be required. However, beyond that, the Rare Earths, which aside their application in green energy technology also are key components of hi-tech defense applications will also play a prominent role on the critical minerals front going forward.

    Aware of the need to bolster critical mineral supply chains against the backdrop of a Chinese near-total supply and processing monopoly, the Biden Administration singled out Rare Earths as a target in a February 2021 presidential executive order designed to initiate a review of gaps in domestic supply chains.

    In a recent piece, CNBC’s Samantha Subin gives insight into the state of play and the challenges ahead. She cites Jane Nakano, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic International Studies’ Energy Security and Climate Change program, who said: “It’s technically possible to try and rebuild the entire supply chain because we once had it. (…) It’s not that we’re not experienced, it’s not that we have no idea of what the domestic supply chain may look like.” Nakano believes that factors like business, environmental and political may complicate any efforts, especially in the near-term.

    Detailing some of the current efforts underway (look for more on that on our blog tomorrow), Subin argues that “success is dependent on whether the U.S. can quickly scale up processing and refining after the mining of the resources, and compete on cost with a magnet-making and processing market that’s heavily dominated by China.”

    Nakano concludes that meeting projected without global supply chains, warrant the build-out of “massive levels of production” in the U.S., and the creation of an extraction and production chain that could well take up to a decade. She believes that the best course of action is to work with partners like the European Union to alleviate reliance on dominant players like China:

    “Once you achieve that, let’s say ten, twenty years from now, then everyone can start looking at making a truly domestic supply chain,” she told CNBC’s Subin.

    All of which brings us back to the “all of the above” approach to critical mineral resource policy experts at a recent virtual congressional policy forum agreed is warranted for U.S. policy: There is no immediate silver bullet, but focusing on building out domestic production and processing capabilities while at the same time fostering cooperation with close allies and scaling up research and development is a winning recipe for Rare Earths and beyond.

  • A Pivotal Moment to “Get Serious About Building the Domestic Mineral Supply Chain”

    Last month, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order instructing his economic and national security teams to conduct a 100 day review of four key U.S. supply chains across federal agencies to assess the nation’s “resiliency and capacity of the American manufacturing supply chains and defense industrial base to support national security [and] emergency [...]
  • China’s Saber-Rattling over Rare Earths Card Getting Louder

    After months of rumblings, it appears that China is gearing up to play its “rare earths card” again. Citing people involved in a government consultation, the Financial Times reports that Beijing is gauging exactly how badly companies in the United States and Europe, including U.S. defense contractors, would be affected by plans to restrict exports [...]
  • Tesla’s 20 Million Vehicles by 2030 Goal in Context

    Innovation. Disruption. That’s what Elon Musk and Tesla have become synonymous for — and for good reason. A recent claim made that Tesla would be able to reach production of 20 million vehicles per year before 2030, however, may be more of a stretch goal than a realistic number, as staff at Mining.com has recently [...]
  • Amidst Big Policy Shifts, Signs for Continued Emphasis on Securing Critical Mineral Supply Chains at DoE

    Parents of young children will know: Transitions are hard. And what is true for toddlers, is also true for government. Observers of the critical mineral resource realm have been closely monitoring the transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration. There were early indications that, unlike some other areas, the critical mineral resource realm [...]
  • Critical Mineral Developments Continue in the Waning Days of 2020 — and Into the Early Days of the New Year

    If you’ve read our Year in Review post last month, you know 2020 was a busy year on the mineral resource policy front — so much so that even the last few days of December had several important developments. Most notably, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. While most of the media’s attention [...]
  • 2020 – A Watershed Year for Resource Policy

    ARPN’s Year in Review — a Cursory Review of the United States’ Critical Mineral Resource Challenge in 2020 It feels like just a few weeks ago many of us quipped that April 2020 seemed like the longest month in history, yet here we are: It’s mid-December, and we have almost made it through 2020. It’s [...]
  • With Asteroid Mining Likely Unattainable for the Time Being, U.S. Must Focus on Reducing Supply Chain Vulnerabilities – Here on Earth

    According to NASA, the Hubble Telescope earlier this month collected imagery of an asteroid “so rich in metals that its worth puts our global economy to shame.” Already discovered in 1852, the celestial body is located in the Solar System’s main asteroid belt, roughly 370 million km from Earth. The object, which has been called [...]
  • U.S. Senator and AK Governor for The Hill: With China Having Taken Control of Critical Mineral Supply Chains, We Need to Act Now

    Beijing’s threat to withhold potentially life-saving medical supplies and medications in the middle of a global pandemic, during which China has “taken control of [respective] supply chains around the world as part of its quest for global domination,” were a wake up call, write U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R-AK) in [...]