A long-time advocate of national self-reliance on critical minerals, the Washington defence lobbyist and former USAF commander calls it the United States’ “most substantive development in critical mineral policy in 20 years.” As President Donald Trump ordered a national strategy to reduce the country’s dependence on unfriendly or unstable sources of crucial commodities, Jeff Green responded: “I don’t think you can overstate the importance of the executive order because the U.S. government has fundamentally shifted its minerals policy, which impacts natural resource policy, national security and the economy.” Speaking with ResourceClips.com, he outlined five major outcomes that he foresees.
“One, I think you will see regulatory streamlining in the very near future and I think that’s really important for permitting and opening mines in the United States.”
Just six days before Trump’s announcement, Green published an op-ed arguing that unwieldly permitting procedures affected national security.
“Two, with the fundamental shift in policy and the easing of regulatory burdens, I hope to see companies get increased access to capital markets and private sector investment,” he added.
“Three, this is a formalization of the nexus between national security and critical minerals, and that is something that the last administration refused to do. When you look at the rare earths crisis, the prior administration said there was no problem. This administration has said that critical minerals are fundamental to national security, and that’s very important.
“Four, I think this will lead to investment by the Department of Defense in critical minerals, largely because they have the funding to do this and they can best pinpoint where those areas of investment need to be.
“Five, I think you’ll potentially see the U.S. bring additional anti-dumping actions, particularly against the Chinese, for dumping minerals into our market below value.”
Of course the U.S. national strategy primarily affects the U.S. “President Trump has said ‘America first,’ and to our friends in Canada that might be a little disappointing,” Green pointed out. “But he has also said that international co-operation and partnerships with our strongest allies will be really important. I do think that the direct actions from the executive order will largely benefit U.S. companies. But I also see efforts to collaborate on access to materials with companies that can provide it. I think pragmatically the administration is going to say, ‘If you’ve got a tantalum project in Canada that’s more advanced than anything we have in the U.S., we ought to work with you to bring that supply to market, rather than continue to rely on some other countries.”
Meanwhile the proposed Metals Act, a bill calling for U.S. government support to develop domestic resources and supply lines, has been languishing in multiple committees. But “many of the principles in the act worked their way into the executive order,” Green said.
“The president’s action marks the culmination of almost a decade of work by many of us who’ve been advocating for more access to critical minerals,” he added. “There’s been tremendous effort by people in the industry to get to this point and the hope is that regulatory streamlining and everything go quickly so we can see positive results.”
Pleased as he was, Green wasn’t surprised. “There was word here in Washington D.C. that this was coming, so it was a nice early Christmas gift.”
Read more about the U.S. federal strategy on critical minerals.
This article was posted by Greg Klein - Resource Clips on Friday, December 22nd, 2017 at 5:08 pm.