American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • U.S. Import Reliance, Supply Chains, and National Security – A Visual

    The current coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on many aspects of social life and public policy. With nations struggling to secure critical medicines and other supplies, many of which are sourced from China, the global crisis is increasingly exposing the challenges associated with supply chain security — for medical devices, for personal protective equipment (PPE), pharmaceuticals, and beyond.

    As ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty recently pointed out:

    “Just as critical medicines from China are integrated across the U.S. health care spectrum, so too are critical minerals imbedded into all aspects of the U.S. supply chains for energy, high-tech manufacturing – and most worryingly, national defense. Everything, in short, that makes 21st century America the economic and military power that it is.”

    A new infographic by Visual Capitalist takes a look at “which imported minerals create the most risk for U.S. supply chains and national security.” 

    Showing that our mineral resource dependencies have drastically increased over the past sixty years, it outlines China’s dominance in the critical minerals field – and specifically with regards to the metals and minerals underpinning the “new energy age.”

    Using lithium as a case in point, the chart points to the fact that the United States is home to vast mineral resources, and that increased domestic resource development can help reduce the above-referenced supply chain challenges.

    See the full infographic here.

    With COVID-19 serving as an amplifier, this message appears to be resonating in Washington, DC, where calls to strengthen domestic resource development are  getting louder. With our national economic wellbeing and national security at stake, here’s hoping they don’t fall on deaf ears. 

  • Canada and U.S. to Draft “Joint Action Plan” on Rare Earths / Critical Minerals

    After years of missed opportunities to prioritize mineral resource policy, the U.S. government is stepping up its efforts to secure critical mineral resource supply chains.  

    The latest case in point is the drafting of a “joint action plan” with our neighbors to the North to reduce reliance on Chinese supplies of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) — which, according to Canadian daily The Globe and Mail citing a federal briefing document, will be “presented to the political party that forms the next government after the Oct. 21 election.”

    Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed The Globe and Mail’s report in a press briefing, noting that he and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed the need to “ensure reliable supplies of rare earths and critical minerals” during their last meeting.  

    According to Bloomberg: 

    “[t]he joint plan outlined in the document obtained by The Globe and Mail contemplates including defense funding for critical minerals projects, and strategic investments in North American processing facilities, according to the newspaper. Senior Canadian officials have held meetings since July to discuss ways for the two countries to secure access [to] minerals including uranium, lithium, cesium and cobalt.

    News about increased cooperation with Canada comes on the heels of the announcement of a forthcoming roll out of a similar collaborative “action plan” between the United States and Australia, which, according to news reports, will “open a new front against China in a widening technology and trade war by exploiting Australian reserves of the rare earths and other materials that are essential for products ranging from iPhones to batteries and hybrid cars.”

    As we recently argued, partnerships with reliable allies like Australia — and now Canada — will go far — “but they must be complemented by increased domestic production of critical minerals in the United States.”  Thankfully, momentum on that front is picking up as well, as evidenced by the latest Senate committee hearing on mineral resource security, during which we saw a rare display of bipartisan agreement on the need for a more “holistic approach” to critical mineral resource policy, and that “when it comes to critical minerals extracting, processing, recycling… now is our call to action.”

    Here’s hoping policy makers heed it. 

  • Critical Mineral Uranium: No Import Quotas, But “Significant Concerns” Prompt Fuller Analysis of Nuclear Fuel Supply Chain

    Primarily known for its energy applications, (and thus falling under the purview of the Department of Energy) uranium may have not been much of a focal point for ARPN in the past.   However, the policy issues surrounding uranium – many of which have a familiar ring to followers of ARPN – increasingly warrant a [...]
  • Moving Beyond the Report Stage? – Specter of REE Supply Disruptions Prompts Congressional Action on Critical Minerals

    The U.S. and China have resumed trade talks after last month’s meeting between U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka broke a deadlock — but key issues remain far from settled. Against the backdrop of both sides preparing for a protracted battle, Jeff Green, president [...]
  • U.S. to Cooperate with Canada and Australia To Encourage Responsible Resource Development for New Energy Technology

    Amidst growing concerns over the availability of metals and minerals underpinning the EV revolution, the United States, Canada and Australia have joined forces to encourage the responsible development of said materials. As the Financial Times reported earlier last week, the US state department and its Canadian and Australian counterparts “will work to help countries discover and [...]
  • Commerce Department Releases Long-Awaited Interagency Report on Critical Minerals

    On Tuesday, June 4, the U.S. Department of Commerce released the “interagency report that was submitted to the President pursuant to Executive Order 13817, A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals.”  The report, which, according to the agency’s official announcement, “contains a government-wide action plan, including recommendations to advance research and development [...]
  • U.S. Senators Introduce Legislation in Push to Re-Establish U.S. Domestic REE Supply Chain

    Bearing testimony to a nascent – and long-overdue – broader awareness of our nation’s over-reliance on foreign mineral resources, three U.S. senators have introduced new legislation aimed to reduce U.S. dependence on Chinese imports of rare earth elements (REEs). REEs are key components of a wide range of high-tech products across all walks of life [...]
  • U.S. To Pursue National Electric Vehicle Supply Chain

    ARPN expert panel member and managing director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Simon Moores must have struck a nerve when he called the U.S. a “bystander” in the current battery arms race during a recent Congressional hearing. His message  —  “Those who control these critical raw materials and those who possess the manufacturing and processing know how, will [...]
  • Today: Three Members of ARPN Expert Panel to Discuss Battery Tech Materials and Supply Chains at Miller Thomson’s PDAC 2019

    Bearing testimony of the immense importance of the issue of battery tech materials and their supply chains, three members of the ARPN panel of issue experts will be presenting their viewpoints at a seminar hosted by Miller Thomson as part of their PDAC 2019 Series hosted in Toronto, Canada today. Simon Moores, Managing Director of [...]
  • Long-Awaited Defense Industrial Base Report Unveils Significant Strategic Vulnerabilities, Holds Major Implications for Resource Policy

    While September coverage for our blog mostly revolved around two major story lines, i.e. electronic vehicles battery tech and trade, today’s release of the long-awaited Defense Industrial Base Report will likely change this for October — for good reasons. As Peter Navarro, assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy, outlines today in a [...]