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Poll finds majority of US voters support increasing reliance on domestically-mined minerals

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Global Mining Review,

A poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the National Mining Association (NMA) has found that 62% of those surveyed supported government action to encourage greater use of domestically-mined minerals and decrease reliance on minerals imported from overseas.

25% did not know or had no opinion, and 13% opposed reform. The poll was conducted from 7 – 10 June 2018, with 2201 adults nationwide surveyed and carrying a margin of error of +/- 2%.

“Our defense industrial base supply chain begins with minerals,” said Hal Quinn, NMA President and CEO. “Without minerals like beryllium, copper and nickel, our troops wouldn’t have fighter jets, body armour and advanced imaging technologies. But the onerous mine permitting process in the US has made us increasingly import-reliant, forcing us to look abroad for the minerals we already have here at home. Congress has an opportunity to address this vulnerability in the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act by maintaining the robust minerals security provision that was included in the House bill.”

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorises funding to equip, supply and train US troops and support military families. Conferees for the NDAA Fiscal Year 2019 will meet 11 July to begin the conference process. As conferees discuss a path forward, both the House and the Senate have repeatedly recognised that minerals are vital to the defense supply chain.

The US Department of Defense uses 750 000 t of minerals each year on the development of military equipment, including armoured personnel carriers, submarines, night vision goggles and sonar.

The NMA believes that duplicative federal and state regulations and lack of coordination between agencies discourages domestic mining, leading to a permitting process that can take from seven to 10 years. In turn this is seen as encouraging the US’s reliance on imported minerals. According to the US Geological Survey, the US is now import-dependent for 50 key metals and minerals – 100% import dependent for 21 of those.

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US mining news National Mining Association news