Minerals are a matter of national security, says NMA President and CEO
September 30, 2013
In a recent op-ed in Defense News, NMA President and CEO Hal Quin...
Minerals are a mainstay in our everyday lives, play a critical role in ensuring national security and are vital to the resurgence of our economy. Recognizing this value, 15 organizations have banded together to form a new Mineral Science and Information Coalition (MSIC) to advocate for reinvigorated minerals science and information functions in the federal government.
“Reliable supplies of mineral resources underpin the U.S. economy and national security,” says founding member, Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration in a news release. “To maintain robust supply chains of critical mineral materials and make well-informed land-use decisions, the U.S. government and industry must have accurate, timely information on mineral resources and on the domestic and global flow of minerals and mineral materials.”
Over the past decade, federal investment in minerals has weakened. While the U.S. Department of Defense uses three-quarters of a million tons of minerals every year, nearly 80 percent of the rare earth minerals needed for military technology are imported from other countries.
A 2011 Pentagon report highlights how risky this dependence is for U.S. security forces, as well as for the U.S. economy. Additionally, there is a grave need for intensive research around the capabilities and future of U.S. mining, a reassessment of the millions of acres of public land that house mineral reserves and revisions to the lengthy and unpredictable permitting processes.
Without a reliable domestic supply chain, America’s security and economic recovery are both in jeopardy. The MSIC will increase investment in and support for federal minerals research, information gathering, analysis, and forecasting to ultimately sustain economic prosperity, ensure national security and rebuild the U.S.’ supply chain and federal investment in domestic minerals mining.