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Book Review: Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral Independence

January 21, 2019 in Economics

By Ned Mamula, Ann Bridges

Ned Mamula and Ann Bridges

Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral
Independence

By Dr. Ned Mamula & Ann Bridges
Amazon Digital Services LLC, $19.99, 294 pages

What happens when a geologist and an author whose chief interest
is California’s Silicon Valley get together to take a look at
the United States’ dependence on foreign supplies of critical
minerals? The result is a long hard look at how our southern
neighbour failed to take advantage of its mineral resources.
Instead the authors say that the reliance on foreign supply has
created a national security issue.

Groundbreaking! looks first at risk/reward, why minerals matter,
and the U.S. dependence foreign suppliers for critical minerals.
There is a run-down of mineral wealth in the U.S., and how the
country should rediscover that wealth. The book has a running theme
of the role of domestic mineral production as a national security
issue.

There are separate chapters on rare earths, the American uranium
debacle, and the Pebble gold mine in Alaska. Each is packed with
facts, illustrations and tables about its topic.

That is followed by three chapters about how the mineral
industry is undermined, how to take back America’s mineral
future, and a discussion of the growing support for mineral
independence.

Finally there are recommendations, or as the authors call them
“how to disrupt the status quo and win.”

To strengthen national security, the authors recommend keeping
mineral ownership in American hands, re-thinking stockpile
capabilities, and making plans to address potential disruptions in
the supply chains.

In their view mineral independence can be promoted by
streamlining permitting, stepping up the preparation of geological
maps, and finding suitable tax incentives for the domestic mineral
industry.

The federal government has a role to play. It needs to re-fund
the Bureau of Mines and give it a clear, modern mission. Cabinet
Secretaries should oversee executive orders related to critical
minerals, providing modifications and updates as needed. The
government also has an obligation to upgrade environmental
protection acts, account for previous land withdrawals, and create
partnerships with the environmental community.

American citizens, too, need education on the importance of the
mineral industry. Mineral basics should be taught at all
educational levels. Private/public partnerships and collaborations
should be encouraged to teach mining skills. Punitive trade
measures are recommended for countries that condone child labour,
allow unfair labour practices or are negligent in protecting the
environmental.

Lastly the authors recommend creating a groundswell of support
for mining by contacting elected representatives, and encouraging
all industries — not just mining — to take up the
cause.

Ned Mamula is
an adjunct scholar in geosciences at the Center for the Study of
Science, Cato Institute. Rare Mettle author Ann Bridges
writes …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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