Hal Quinn: Auto Industry Dependent on U.S. Minerals

Posted on March 06, 2015 by Minerals Make Life

In a recent Automotive World piece, National Mining Association’s (NMA) president and CEO, Hal Quinn, discusses the contributions that minerals and metals make to the technological advancements of the automotive industry. Citing Ford’s 2015 aluminum-bodied F-150, Hal writes:

“The 2015 aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 is one of many examples of ingenuity and innovation in the U.S. automotive industry. As U.S. automakers continue to improve vehicle efficiency, lower emissions and implement cutting-edge technology, they are not only looking to aluminum, but countless other minerals and metals. However, the auto industry, like the rest of the manufacturing sector, is increasingly challenged by growing global competition for minerals and metals needed to produce today’s transportation fleet—a problem that more efficient U.S. mine permitting could help address.”

Unfortunately because of a lengthy, outdated federal permitting process, it has become increasingly difficult to fulfill the needs of the U.S. auto industry, let alone support a full domestic manufacturing renaissance. In order to compete in global markets, it is critical for U.S. manufacturers, like Ford, to have access to the key minerals and metals that are critical to these technological developments. Quinn explains, “Aluminum alloy, for example, is used in the 2015 Ford F-150’s front-end, cab, box and tailgate and the frame is made out of high-strength, lightweight steel. In fact, aluminum is one of several metals indispensable to automakers as they modernize ‘lightweight’ U.S. vehicles to comply with a requirement that new cars and trucks average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.”

Although the U.S. is home to a mineral reserve base worth $6.2 trillion, it is cursed with an inefficient and duplicative permitting process. Quinn says it best, “To drive continued momentum of U.S. auto manufacturing, both the House and the Senate should work to move legislation that brings America’s outdated mine permitting process into the 21st century so the U.S. auto and other industries can meet the 21st century realities requiring secure and reliable supply chains.”

Read more from Automotive World here.

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