National Mining Association’s President and CEO, Hal Quinn, emphasizes the need for Congressional support of Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R-Nev.) “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015,” which will be an economic boon not only for Nevada, but also for the U.S. In Nevada’s Reno Gazette Journal, Quinn explains that Rep. Amodei’s bill, which aims to modernize the U.S.’ lengthy and inefficient mine permitting process, is “a win-win for our economy, workforce and energy independence,” and “it is time for the House to act by passing this legislation as swiftly as possible.”
The mining industry has served Nevada well for many generations, as it is a key contributor to the state’s economy, as well as the state’s energy industry:
“As Nevadans know, the mining industry has a long and valuable history in this state and serves as a boon to the local economy, including in the energy sector. The silver and lithium deposits in Nevada alone are crucial to the development of solar panels and electric cars and to Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval’s efforts to make Nevada a net exporter of emerging energy technologies.”
“…mining is the largest industry in rural Nevada, contributing more than $100 million each year to our state and local economies. Nevada mining supports tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs and mining wages are the highest in the state – with salaries nearly 50 percent higher than the statewide average.”
Despite the mining industry’s contributions to Nevada’s economy and job growth, the state still falls prey to the country’s bureaucratic and inefficient mine permitting process which blocks Nevada from leveraging the full potential of its mineral reserves. The state has already contributed more than $7 billion worth of metals and minerals to the nation’s mineral supply—10 percent of the total mineral production in the U.S., according to the Unites States Geological Survey—but this could increase with greater access to its resources.
Furthermore, the delays in U.S. mine permitting have a significant impact on U.S. manufacturing, which depends on a secure supply of minerals to produce the energy, defense, medical and modern-day technologies that we depend on every day. Quinn explains:
“In Nevada alone, there are 1,800 manufacturing companies, supporting more than 56,000 workers. Yet, as it stands today, our manufacturers remain dependent on imports for 19 key minerals resources and half of our supply of 24 additional minerals. Fixing a broken regulatory process will not only bring real wealth back into the U.S., it will mark a significant step towards resource independence.”
If Rep. Amodei’s bill is passed, it will mean easier access to the nation’s mineral resources that will boost U.S. manufacturing and the economy. As Quinn says, we need minerals mining policies “brought into the 21st century,” and it’s time the House do so and pass this critical piece of minerals mining legislation.