Hal Quinn, President and CEO of the National Mining Association, testified before Congress recently on new legislation that would address America's dependence on critical metals.
Critical metals are materials used in so-called clean-technology applications such as wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar cells and energy-efficient lighting.
Quinn told Congress that despite domestic reserves of metals such as cobalt and rare earths, the US is becoming more heavily dependent on these key materials. Currently less than half of the needs of the US manufacturing sector are being met by domestic mining.
He also said a major impediment to to attracting new investment in US mining is the protracted permitting time frames:
“Would you invest in the United States, where the payback or ROI may not start for 7 to 10 years, or would you go somewhere else like Canada, Australia, Chile, just to name a few, where your return will begin in two years if not much more?”
Speaking in support of the Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act before Congess, Quinn said the act would incorporate best practices for coordinating permitting among other agencies, while avoiding duplication and setting time frames:
"If we want to have a manufacturing renaissance in this country so that we can make more things in America rather than just assembling the pieces, now’s the time for acting on solutions for the front end of the supply chain," said Quinn.
Listen to Quinn's address below: