RARE: The Association for Rare Earth
Stevens C. Berry, 703-862-3524, or
April 11, 2013
For IMMEDIATE Release
RARE to Congress: Mining Law Revisions May Not Improve
Domestic Critical Mineral Production
- RARE, The Association for Rare Earth (RARE) today communicated to lawmakers to be vigilant for overreaching legislative recommendations proffered in the name of stabilizing the rare earths supply chain as new legislation is considered. RARE notes there are valid reasons to examine mining public policy and how it is administered, but cautioned that while rare earth mineral extraction is a subset of the mining community, the problems surrounding these critical minerals should not be used to justify or leverage any and all other mining related actions. Rare earth minerals, in and of themselves, deserve a new public policy framework.
Said RARE Advisory Board Member Roger Ballentine, “Congress is being bombarded by statements suggesting that specific companies and mines are a panacea to solve supply chain problems or that sweeping changes to existing mining laws will actually result in supply chain security. I wish it were that simple.”
Stabilizing the rare earth supply chain will require a concerted, joint effort by Congress and the Administration to create an infrastructure that includes: a robust training ground for both extraction and processing education at universities and technical colleges; long term investment incentives to support a stable corporate presence; genuine government focus to assist America’s industrial and manufacturing sectors; investment in emerging rare earth recycling innovations; and finally, the approach must include a serious effort to ensure all of this is done in an environmentally friendly way.
A study released last week listed three “rare earth mining” projects that are purportedly hampered by existing mining and environmental laws. Two are actually gold and copper mining projects. The conclusion of the study was that these three operations exemplify the need for sweeping mine permitting reforms and concessions, all in the name of rare earth security. Said RARE President Adam Falkoff, “The companies in the study may need faster permitting processes, but it’s the job of Congress to ask whether the concessions being requested are good public policy or just a lifeline to troubled private ventures, and, whether the actions sought will really help ensure a domestic supply of rare earth minerals.”
RARE notes that improving the outlook for a company or project does not necessarily mean the project will ever come to fruition and, in fact, companies gaining investor confidence through legislative action are not required to guarantee a single ounce of a rare earth mineral production. Said RARE Advisory Board Member Carl Biersack, “RARE applauds the entrepreneurial spirit of exploratory mining companies with a focus on new domestic production of rare earths. They are part of a balanced sustainable winning formula for America. I also foresee a greater focus on recycling as part of the solution for America’s supply chain security.”
RARE: The Association for Rare Earth. RARE is a bipartisan organization that seeks to increase the production
of rare earth elements; remove barriers to access of rare earth elements
domestically and internationally; increase the affordability and trade of rare
earth minerals; and increase the affordability and availability of
technologically and environmentally advanced products made with rare earth
minerals -- all for the betterment of people’s lives and the environment in
which they live.