A recent study, commissioned by the National Mining Association, on the U.S. mine to market chain has been released and is gaining attention. Conducted by SNL Metals & Mining, the study focused on the necessity of minerals to the continuance of a high quality life. One of the most important findings from the study is, despite a globally competitive mining industry and bountiful untapped resources the United States remains import-dependent on numerous materials. The disparity between domestic mineral supply and demand is tied largely to the lengthy and inconsistent permitting process in the United States. The complex permitting process coupled with uncertainty about regulatory interpretation and compliance drives investors to mining opportunities outside of the United States, the U.S. Mines to Market claims. According to the study, the average waiting period for U.S. mine permitting is seven to ten years. To put that into perspective, in Canada and Australia—countries with similarly stringent environmental regulations—the waiting period is two years. The potential for positive economic impact from greater investment in mining projects stateside is enormous. Minerals are the building blocks for the processes and products we rely on daily, but take for granted. The study has recently been cited in two different pieces on the Hill’s Congressional Blog and draws attention to the importance of investment in U.S. mining.
To read the full study click here.To read the Hill's coverage on the impact of mining on other industries click here and here.