This morning a diverse and distinguished group of speakers joined the National Mining Association and CQ Roll Call to discuss how to supply our nation’s growing mineral demands. The event highlighted the wide and ever-growing recognition that mineral demand is quickly outpacing anticipated supplies and even future investments, and that without new sources of minerals, the U.S. will be unable to build our future energy and infrastructure.
Mitch Krebs, CEO of Coeur Mining and Chairman of the National Mining Association Board opened the event by saying, “We find ourselves in the most mineral intensive time in history – metals and minerals have never been more vital to our country’s economic security, energy security and national security.” He went on to say, “Coeur Mining has lived the broken permitting process many times and it doesn’t have to be this way.”
Sameera Fazili, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council said President Biden supports Sen. Manchin’s permitting reform legislation and said the administration will take a mineral-by-mineral approach to expand the production and processing of minerals needed for the future.
The event featured a diverse group of panelists from the auto industry, supply chain and mineral markets. The panel discussed America’s mineral dependence and the growing demand globally for minerals essential to climate technology. While China currently dominates mineral production and processing, many believed the U.S. could meet the country’s growing mineral demands with the help of permitting reforms that are holding important energy and minerals projects back.
John Anton, S&P Market Intelligence’s Director of Pricing and Purchasing, said according to their research, to achieve net zero by 2050, the country needs everything in place by 2035. That means infrastructure and supply chains for materials to build the energy and transportation infrastructure. As an example, Anton said we need to double global copper production by 2035; however, according to current estimates, we’ll face a 20% shortfall for the mineral in 2035.
The panel acknowledged efforts by some policymakers on Capitol Hill to update our permitting policies so the U.S. can address its supply chain challenges and ensure the demand of the manufacturing and energy sectors is met with domestic minerals, but more must be done.
In fact, some in Washington would further complicate the permitting process under the guise of modernizing our nation’s mining laws. We must avoid these efforts, especially as the U.S. is at a critical juncture: looking at action or inaction that could either lead to a renaissance of U.S. mining and manufacturing or to dependence on imported minerals that fuels the economies of our geopolitical rivals.
With your support, American mining can secure our supply chains and national security and establish our energy future. To do so, we must act.
NMA President and CEO