NMA’s Hal Quinn: Mine Permitting Reform Necessary for Industries

Posted on October 22, 2015 by Minerals Make Life

National Mining Association’s (NMA) president and CEO, Hal Quinn, shared in a recent op-ed published in The Hill that 90 percent of U.S. manufacturing executives are “concerned about getting the minerals they need when they need them.” The source of the problem, he notes, does not necessarily stem from lack of resources. Quinn explains that “while we are blessed with a first-class resource base, we are cursed with a third-rate permitting system.” 

Gathering the required permits to start a new mining project can take up to 10 years. These burdensome delays threaten the economic success of mining projects by reducing their value and preventing valuable investment opportunities. This prompts U.S. manufacturers to rely on imported materials. As Quinn notes, the U.S. is “more than 50 percent dependent on imports for 43 key minerals.” Producing valuable minerals here in the U.S. could introduce new sources of revenue into the economy, but because our country must import many resources, we lose out on U.S. job creation and the resulting economic benefits at the state and local levels.

Already, metals and mineral materials are responsible for 14 percent of total GDP, and they contribute to jobs, national defense and security, infrastructure, as well as industries such as health care, agriculture and technology. If the U.S. is able to mine resources in its own backyard, the mining community could make an even greater contribution to the economy and overall job growth.

Quinn calls for a permitting system distinguished by efficiency and certainty. One step in the right direction is Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R-Nev.) bill, the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015,” which is moving to the House floor for a vote today. The bill will ensure “permitting becomes smarter, efficient and more accountable.” In preparation for the vote, the House Committee on Natural Resources shared this “H.R. 1937 Bingo” game. The game highlights the areas of the mine permitting process that are in need of reform and how they will be addressed by Rep. Amodei’s legislation.

View the “H.R. 1937 Bingo” game here and learn more about how the mine permitting process impacts U.S. industries and the economy by reading Quinn’s full op-ed in The Hill here.

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