Hal Quinn: The Importance of U.S. Mining Reform Cannot Be Understated

Posted on August 25, 2014 by Minerals Make Life

Last week, National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn was featured in the Albuquerque Journal discussing the potential that the Tesla Motors’ lithium-ion battery factory could bring to the states who are bidding for the project, most notably Nevada and New Mexico. However, because of the U.S.’ duplicative permitting process, our resources remain locked underground and production of critical minerals is stagnant.

“Today, it can take nearly a decade for companies to receive approval to mine for minerals in the United States – five times longer than in countries with comparably stringent environmental safeguards such as Canada and Australia. This regulatory regime discourages investment and new mining projects, sending valuable capital and jobs overseas. As a result, the United States is unable to supply domestic companies with even half of their mineral needs. Instead, we remain 100 percent import reliant for 19 different minerals, and more than 50 percent dependent on foreign sources for another 22 key resources.”

Fortunately, the House recently passed the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Act of 2013, which is encouraging.

“While encouraging domestic production, this bill would not minimize the environmental review that is an important part of the permitting process. Rather, this bill encourages more coordination and less duplication among federal and state agencies involved in permitting…

Building off this momentum, 38 diverse companies, associations and chambers of commerce jointly urged congressional leadership in June to address U.S. dependence on foreign mineral and metal resources and pressed the need to bring the critical minerals legislation to the Senate floor. The importance of this legislation cannot be understated: It would enable our nation to re-attract the investment in mining that has gone elsewhere for decades, creating high-wage jobs and providing reliable supplies of minerals for domestic companies like Tesla committed to bringing manufacturing back to the United States.”

NMA urges the Senate to act on similar legislation to help strengthen industry supply chains and secure economic prosperity for not only selected states, but also nationwide.

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