Why the U.S. Needs Mine Permitting Reform
May 23, 2023
Nearly two decades ago, the U.S. attracted almost 20 percent of t...
Students at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., learned about the value of America’s domestic minerals mining during a presentation on March 18 led by National Mining Association’s Carol Raulston and Nancy Gravatt. The presenters discussed the importance to America of having reliable supplies of key metals and minerals and the kinds of impediments that can negatively impact the manufacturing supply chain.
The largest of these impediments is by far is the outdated U.S. permitting system under which it takes seven to 10 years to obtain a mining permit. That length of time—along with related uncertainty—discourages investment here at home. Today, metals mining in the United States attract about eight percent of worldwide investments in exploration spending—down from 20 percent in 1994. Yet the value added to gross domestic product (GDP) by major industries that consume processed mineral materials was $2.4 trillion in 2012, demonstrating the importance of critical minerals to America’s economic security.
The Eisenhower School educates students on national resource strategy and also directly collaborates with the Department of Defense’s acquisition training. As the Department of Defense uses 750,000 tons of minerals annually, conversations like this are essential to our nation’s future success and security.