New Study Finds U.S. Mine Permitting Delays Hinder U.S. Economy

Posted on July 09, 2015 by Minerals Make Life

New research from SNL Metals & Mining quantifies how much mine permitting delays impair and discourage investments in new mines here in the U.S. The study found that U.S. mine permitting delays can cut a mine project’s value by as much as 50 percent, harming investment in future mining projects and ultimately weakening the U.S.’ minerals supply chain.

U.S. minerals mining fuels technological innovation, aids national security, promotes job growth and stimulates our economy. However, these areas are jeopardized by our duplicative and inefficient mine permitting process. Here in the U.S., a new mining project takes seven to 10 years to receive permit approval, compared to other developed countries with equally stringent environmental regulations—like Canada and Australia, where the permit process for new mines only takes two to three years. This has a significant effect on our economy and global competitiveness, as this long, drawn-out permitting process takes investment dollars away from the development of new mines. In turn, this forces U.S. manufacturers to source their raw materials elsewhere, which leaves the U.S. dependent on minerals imports, despite being home to more than $6 trillion dollars worth of mineral resources.

Domestic minerals mining offers tremendous economic opportunity. With more mining projects comes increased job growth and heightened support of the U.S. manufacturing renaissance. So how can we fix the U.S. mine permitting process to better meet our mineral needs? By supporting reform to the protracted mine permitting process. Currently, movement is underway in Washington to ensure better access to domestic minerals and metals and secure the nation’s raw materials supply chain. In fact, just yesterday, Rep. Amodei’s (R-Nev.) “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015” faced a full committee markup by the House Committee on Natural Resources.

By modernizing the U.S. mine permitting process, we will strengthen our domestic manufacturing, stimulate economic growth and secure global competitiveness.

Take a glimpse at our infographic below, and see it in full here for more key findings from the report. Take a look at the report in its entirety here.

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