Why the U.S. Needs Mine Permitting Reform
May 23, 2023
Nearly two decades ago, the U.S. attracted almost 20 percent of t...
For too long the United States has been hamstrung by an inefficient minerals mining permitting process. Did you know that the permitting process can take up to 10 years? As a result, the U.S is forced to import $6.9 billion worth of minerals from foreign countries and is 100 percent import reliant on 19 key minerals despite the existing $6.2 trillion worth of untapped minerals we have within our borders.
Canada was recently ranked one of the best places to invest in minerals mining because the country has environmental laws for mining that are similar to U.S. regulations, but have permitting timelines of approximately two years—rather than the seven to 10 years it can take in the U.S. Additionally, countries with more efficient permitting strategies, including Canada, attract 5 to 9 percent more worldwide minerals exploration dollars.
Canada understands the importance of their mining sector. In April, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke in Cartagena, Columbia, stating, “To give a sense of what our resource industries mean to the Canadian economy, to Canadian jobs and growth, mining alone is an important part of that, mining alone contributed 50 billion dollars to the GDP in 2011…in order to attract more investment and further stimulate economic growth and job creation in Canada, our government has announced that it will streamline the review process for large-scale economic projects.” Canada is also the number-one potash producer, second for uranium and a major global producer of most mineral and energy products. Harper went on to discuss how vital the mining industry is for Canada, both in terms of the number of jobs it creates as well as its economic benefit.
“Looking to the future, we see increased Canadian mining investment throughout the Americas, something that will be good for our mutual prosperity and is therefore a priority of our Government,” Harper said. If we can adopt the same attitude as Canada we can encourage our government to help pass commonsense legislation that will streamline our permitting process helping to create jobs and improve our economy.