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US growing concerned over rising reliance on mineral imports

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Global Mining Review,

As Congress considers changes to the General Mining Law – changes that would only increase the burden on US mining, making it less competitive on the global stage – most Americans are concerned about our increasing reliance on imports for minerals that are vital to our manufacturing, energy and defense supply chains.

In new polling conducted by Morning Consult for the National Mining Association (NMA), 62% of Americans say they are concerned about America’s increasing reliance on imports for minerals.

“Americans across party lines are concerned about our growing import dependence for many minerals that we could be mining here at home,” said Hal Quinn, President and Chief Executive Officer of NMA. “Instead of focusing on how we can encourage US mining and make use of our own domestic resources, some in Congress are looking for ways to block it. It’s the wrong path at the wrong time for our country. The result will only be an alarming growth in import dependence coinciding with an expected dramatic increase in minerals demand to support new technologies for the future. We are poised to exacerbate a glaring strategic vulnerability just when we should be acting to decisively address it.”

Today, less than half of the mineral needs of US manufacturing are met from domestically-mined minerals, and we are 100% import-dependent for 18 key minerals. That import dependence has nearly doubled from what it was 20 years ago.

Despite this growing reliance on imports, Rep. Raul Grijalva introduced the ‘Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act of 2019’, legislation that would add punitive fees on industry, place even more minerals-rich lands off-limits to mining, and further disadvantage the US against other countries.

Polling was conducted between 2 - 5 May 2019 among a national sample of 2200 adults.

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