Resource Type: Security
This Independence Day, the National Mining Association (NMA) will join the nation in paying tribute to the generations of military men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our nation’s freedom and independence.
Throughout history, U.S. minerals mining has played an integral part in supporting our nation’s military and national defense by supplying the materials needed to produce technologies that equip our troops and keep Americans safe. From modern naval vessels and aircrafts to armored vehicles and missile defense systems, critical minerals and metals are used in an array of military functions. President and CEO of NMA,Hal Quinn further explains U.S. mining’s contributions to our national defense:
“The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) uses 750,000 tons of minerals each year in technologies that protect the very troops that protect our nation. Metals such as copper, lead and nickel are used in military gear, weapon systems and other defense technologies. Additionally, the mineral beryllium is used to reduce weight and improve guidance performance in fighter jets…”
To help our military source the thousands of tons of minerals it needs each year, a more efficient mine permitting policy needs to be put in place. Presently, our mine permitting process is plagued by protracted delays and bureaucratic inefficiencies. This has led manufacturers of these technologies to look elsewhere for the raw materials they need, which greatly increases our dependence on mineral imports. Despite being home to more than $6 trillion worth of minerals, the U.S. is currently 100 percent import reliant on 19 key mineral resources. This increased reliance on mineral imports puts our defense supply chain at risk to disruptions.
U.S. minerals and metals are the essential, irreplaceable components that keep our armed forces safe. Quinn states, “If the United States is to sustain its superiority in military technology, definitive action must be taken to streamline the current mine-permitting policy.” Fortunately, legislation has been proposed in both Houses of Congress to modernize our mine permitting system and better prepare the nation to meet the high demand our military faces.
Take action here to improve the U.S. mining permitting process and support our military.