Hal Quinn: Increased Globalization Comes with Unique Risks and Challenges

Posted on July 01, 2014 by Minerals Make Life

As our world becomes increasingly connected and globalized, global demand for minerals is on the rise. In a recent article for EBN Online, the premier community for global supply chain professionals in the electronics industry, National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn provides an in-depth look at the risks and challenges that arise from increased globalization. Top of his list: the U.S.’ growing reliance on foreign sources for minerals. As the U.S. becomes more dependent on foreign minerals, U.S. industries – particularly the electronics industry – become more vulnerable to international conflicts and political strife.

“Indonesia’s export ban on unprocessed mineral ores provides the latest example. As a leading producer and exporter of minerals, including bauxite, copper, nickel, tin, gold, and silver, Indonesia’s shift in trade policy left the US, China, and other nations competing for the remainder of the tight global supply of these important resources. Meanwhile, domestic industries have been forced to scramble for supplies or pay higher premiums for the minerals placed under the ban.

Similar restrictions and geopolitical instability among other mineral-rich nations, such as South Africa and Russia, are occurring with greater frequency, making the acquisition of key mineral resources increasingly a zero-sum game and threatening industries that support the US economy.

It’s no wonder that 100% of US manufacturers cite achieving a secure and efficient supply chain as a serious challenge, according to a report by BDO USA released in May. With the minerals and metals-heavy electronics industry expected to grow 6% domestically by 2015 and the consumer electronics industry expected to grow by 2.4% in 2014 in the US alone, demand for these essential resources — and related supply chain concerns — is sure to grow.”

As electronic devices like smartphones and televisions become more sophisticated, the demand for minerals like platinum, copper and nickel is on the rise. However, the United States’ duplicative permitting process is a deterrent to investors, jobs and, access to essential minerals we have here at home. Through the establishment of a sound domestic minerals policy, U.S. mining can lead the way to a more secure, prosperous and innovative future. We need U.S. policymakers to understand the importance of long-term development of minerals and metals reserves to strengthen U.S. supply chains and ensure economic growth.

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