The Time to Bridge the Gap between U.S. Mining and Manufacturing is Now

Posted on October 29, 2014 by Minerals Make Life

This month’s issue of the North Idaho Business Journal takes an in-depth look at the disconnect between prohibitive U.S. mining policy and rising demand for domestic minerals and metal from America’s resurgent manufacturing sector. With the average American consuming 3 million pounds of minerals, metals and fuels over a lifetime, it is critical that U.S. mineral policy aligns with our manufacturing demands.

“A pound here and an ounce there might not make much a difference, but when you think about the life-line between all those mines and the many manufacturers who turn the natural resources into bridges and smart phones and other things you depend on, it become A Big Deal—especially in a place like North Idaho, where mines and manufacturers merge.”

Although the U.S. has mineral reserves worth $6.2 trillion—one of the largest supplies in the world—inefficient and duplicative mine permitting processes in the United States cause domestic manufacturers to look elsewhere for their metals and minerals supply. This opens supply chains up to geopolitical disruptions, increases logistical costs and deprives the United States of valuable high-wage jobs and tax revenue. 

Mark Fellows, Director of Metals Consulting at SNL Metals & Mining, stated, “Rather than simply focusing on the difficulties we see from the miners’ point of view, actually pointing out from a manufacturer’s point of view [challenges like] reshoring manufacturing back in the U.S. They want to see local sources for metals and minerals that go into their manufactured products.”

As manufacturing supply chains become increasingly complex and vulnerable, there is a dire need for mining legislation reform. But the question remains—will our lawmakers in Washington make it a priority?

Read more from the North Idaho Business Journal here.

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