On this Veterans Day, it is important to recognize the men and women who have served and currently serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. They go to great lengths to protect our nation and it is critical that we ensure they are properly equipped for combat. In order to do so, the U.S. must have reliable access to minerals.
Mineral mining plays an essential role in national security defense systems by supplying the raw materials that are necessary to produce and manufacture military equipment. The National Mining Association’s (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn recently explained, “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.”
Resources, such as copper and nickel, are utilized in military gear, weapon systems and other defense technologies. Other minerals like manganese and molybdenum are paramount for high-strength steels used for armored vehicles. Additionally, beryllium is a primary resource in surveillance technologies used in weaponry to detect and destroy improvised explosive devices and minefields. Helicopters, armored vehicles, advanced communication technologies and other tactical technologies all require minerals. It is clear that without these vital resources, the U.S. military would not have the tools and technology needed to keep this nation safe.
And yet, even with this high level of importance, our nation’s current mine permitting system impedes timely access to the U.S. mineral supply. With a mine permitting process that is duplicative and can take up to 10 years, many companies and manufacturers must offshore their production to meet the military’s needs.
It is time that we put America’s security back into our own hands by creating a permitting process that allows industries to have access to the resources they need to manufacture the technologies our soldiers’ need—when they need it. From armor plating to defense systems to missiles, the U.S. Armed Forces depend on minerals to build the tools they need to succeed. You can learn more about minerals mining legislation and the importance of permitting reform here.