The challenge facing our country is arguably without precedent. As a nation, we have faced difficult challenges, but the COVID-19 pandemic is testing our physical and economic well-being unlike any other time in our nation’s history.
Each and every sector of our economy has felt its impact. The domestic minerals mining industry is no exception. We are dedicated to workforce and public safety and are not only following Center for Disease Control guidance regarding COVID-19, but companies have also enacted policies to reduce risk for employees including remote work for all who can, rotating and segregating essential operations and supply shifts, strict travel restrictions, prohibiting visitors to our facilities, and supporting quarantine needs.
And even amidst these challenges and changes, we remain dedicated to maintaining operations which are so critical to our economic and national security. The minerals mining industry provides the building blocks for nearly everything we rely upon, from essential medical devices, and anti-microbial hospital surfaces to fighter jets, essential telecommunications and smartphones. Mining is absolutely critical to every industry.
As countries close their borders and national quarantines continue to disrupt the global economy, policymakers must consider how interconnected our supply chains are to every sector of our economy and critical infrastructure. To supply the essential minerals and metals our nation needs, mineral mining needs both the flexibility and the support of our leaders in this unique moment to ensure it can weather the storm and come out the other side even stronger.
I recently delivered a letter to the highest offices of government, outlining a series of steps that must be taken to help the mining industry combat these economic hardships. No one can withstand the impacts of this crisis alone. Hardrock mining companies must have the necessary cash flow and efficient regulatory frameworks to continue operations, and the availability of credit must be expanded to make certain that the credit is readily available to all operating businesses in the short term without prejudice or discrimination. To support other downstream industries, we need policymakers to reduce the regulatory and financial burdens that have existed for years and are now exacerbated by this virus. Commonsense permitting reforms that can reduce or defer the burdens on our operations cannot wait – our supply chains are at stake.
Policymakers must act in the best interest of all Americans by not only addressing the public health crisis but also the economic implications of our fragile supply chains.
On behalf of the entire minerals mining industry, I want to thank you for your consideration during these difficult times and hope that with your support, we can overcome this together.