October 13, 2011
By Hal Quinn, President and CEO, National Mining Association ...
This week, National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn was featured in National Defense Magazine discussing the industry’s hopes for President Obama’s recent manufacturing initiative, the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) Institute, and the continued need for reforming the permitting processes.
Quinn stressed that the LM3I Institute is a strong signal that this administration sees minerals mining as critical to national defense, but that the U.S. must do more to encourage minerals mining or continue to fall behind other countries with more efficient permitting processes.
“…Our growing reliance on foreign minerals is particularly disappointing as the United States is home to a rich $6.2 trillion mineral reserves base — a tremendous resource kept at arm’s length due to a duplicative and outdated permitting process for new mineral mines. With this process — congested by unnecessary delays and redundancies at the local, state and federal levels — it can take up to 10 years to secure approval to mine for minerals. Large mining countries such as Australia and Canada, with comparably stringent environmental standards, approve mine permits in just two years. No wonder private consultants rank the United States dead last — tied with Papua New Guinea — for permit efficiency. The result drives mining investment overseas, dropping the U.S. share of global metals mining investments by 13 percent over the past decade and triggering increased reliance on mineral imports…
…For the United States, a stable and robust mineral supply is, and will continue to be, a strong pillar supporting our national defense and domestic industries. Allies and competitors alike have enacted policies to address mineral security, and it’s time for the United States to do the same. A reformed permitting process for mineral mines is a long-overdue first step.”
While we applaud the administration’s most recent investment in minerals mining, we’re calling on policymakers to maintain the momentum and keep permitting reform top of mind.
Read the full article here.