If the past is any indication of what’s to come, 2023 could mark a minerals mining renaissance.
Minerals took the spotlight in 2022 after a series of global events revealed the fragile nature of supply chains. Unlike ever before, industry experts, business leaders, government officials and members of Congress from both sides of the aisle agreed that the U.S. needs to secure a stable supply of minerals.
Amid economic and geopolitical turmoil, the U.S. came face to face with the need for a strong domestic mining industry and the harsh reality of what can happen when the bedrock of our supply chains – minerals – are controlled by China, Russia and other foreign adversaries. For the average consumer, it took shortages for everything from baby formula to computer chips to finally make one thing abundantly clear: our country cannot continue business as usual when it comes to minerals.
Demand for minerals is only going to accelerate in the future and, in 2022, the Biden administration raised further awareness of the issue by using the Defense Production Act to begin supporting domestic minerals mining. It’s a good start, but much more must be done. As we begin the new year, we must use this momentum to give America’s miners the support they need to succeed.
We saw reports from Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, S&P Global and Bank of America calling for more mineral exploration, production and processing to keep up with demand. Mineral processing capacity will need to increase 10-fold for our energy goals alone. To meet this need with domestic resources, we need mineral supply chains in place by 2035. As it stands today, it takes on average 10 years to permit a mine in America. It doesn’t take a mathematician to realize now is the time to act.
Here are some ways we can secure of our mineral supply in 2023:
The importance of our industry has never been so widely acknowledged as it is today. The mining industry’s message remains clear: With the right policies in place, U.S. miners are ready to support the world’s mineral needs. To meet our energy goals and set ourselves up for a sustainable future, it’s paramount we pass permitting reform that incentivizes domestic mining. If we do that, we can make 2023 the year we all need it to be.
NMA President and CEO