Hal Quinn: Unlock U.S. Mineral Reserves with Streamlined Permitting
July 22, 2014
Last week, National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO ...
In a recent Bloomberg piece, U.S. mining executives stressed their concerns over the United States’ duplicative and inefficient mine permitting process. Companies often wait years to obtain the permits and approvals necessary to build a new mine in the U.S. These bureaucratic inefficiencies put our mineral supply chain at risk and ultimately hurt the American economy and U.S. manufacturing. Stephen Stapczynski, author of the Bloomberg piece, says:
“The tortuous bureaucratic process to approve new mining projects in the U.S. is among the slowest in the world, hindering access to mineral resources that the National Mining Association (NMA) values at $6.2 trillion.”
When compared to other countries, the approval process of new mines in the U.S. is “the longest of the permitting exercises,” said Diane Garrett, chief executive officer of Romarco Minerals Inc. For example, between local, state and federal approvals, it will likely take the Resolution Copper Project in Arizona more than 15 years to move forward with its project. In the U.S., it takes on average seven to 10 years or more to open a new mine, while in other countries like Australia and Canada that have similar regulations and environmental standards, it only takes two to three years. These delays in our mine permitting system puts the nation at a strategic disadvantage. They discourage investment in new mining projects, which leads manufacturers to look beyond our borders for the raw materials they need, increasing our reliance on mineral imports.
Thankfully, Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), introduced legislation, the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015,” which will modernize the current U.S. mining permitting process and allow for access to the trillions of dollars’ worth of resources we have here at home.
“This bill’s aim isn’t to do a favor for the mining industry,” said Amodei, “Minerals play a key part in domestic policy, monetary and fiscal policy, and also have strategic importance.”
U.S. mining is essential to our nation’s economic growth, more specifically its defense, energy, medical and manufacturing industries. By supporting Rep. Amodei’s legislation, our country will be able to benefit from a more secure and reliable mineral supply chain and a stronger economy.
Read more on the U.S. mine permitting process here, and take action here to improve U.S. minerals mining.