7 hours ago
Improving Minerals Policy
When considering the challenge before us, it is critical to not lose sight of some key facts:
- The United States is home to an estimated $6.2 trillion worth of key minerals and is capable of mining and processing them domestically.
- Minerals mining supports more than 1.2 million American jobs.
- U.S. mines produced $74 billion in raw materials in 2011. These materials were used to manufacture products that added more than $2 trillion to the U.S. economy, or more than 15 percent of GDP.
- In 2008 alone, if we had produced to our resource potential for just three minerals, U.S. mining could have contributed to an additional $1 trillion in economic output.
- Minerals are vital to the manufacturing of a range of advanced technologies, including those used in energy, medical care, consumer electronics and defense.
- The U.S. military uses nearly three-quarters of a million tons of minerals each year in an array of functions—from the obvious to the unseen. A steady minerals supply chain is vital to the technologies that ensure our national security.
- Domestic minerals provide manufacturers a reliable supply of critically important raw materials and commodities that are helping rebuild America's economy and creating jobs.
- Less than half of the minerals needs of U.S. manufacturing are met by domestically mined resources. In fact, imports for key mineral commodities have doubled in the span of two decades.
- Due to inefficient procedures, it can take between seven to 10 years to secure the necessary government approvals to mine in the U.S. That means we are producing less at a time when our minerals needs are escalating.