House passage of Minerals Security Amendment recognizes importance of minerals to national security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Mining Association (NMA) today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), proposed by Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), that recognizes that the defense supply chain begins with ready access to the minerals and metals we have right here at home.

“This amendment is a step in the right direction and an acknowledgment that minerals are the front end of the supply chain for our national security,” said Hal Quinn, NMA president and CEO. “Rep. Amodei’s (R-Nev.) defense supply chain minerals security amendment will help facilitate timely access to the vital resources that protect our men and women in uniform and our country.”

Today, less than half of the mineral needs of U.S. manufacturing are met from domestically-mined minerals, and we are 100 percent import-dependent for 20 key minerals, many of which are critical to national defense applications like night vision goggles, body armor and jet engines. Mine permitting delays that can last up to a decade keep these valuable resources locked underground. And this is a uniquely American problem. Countries like Canada and Australia, which have environmental standards similar to the U.S., complete the process in two to three years.

This amendment will help minimize permitting delays, introduce formal review timelines and schedules for completing the permitting process, and track progress against those goals while maintaining environmental safeguards. It will provide a level of certainty that is required to ensure our military has the materials it needs when it needs them.

The NDAA bill is expected to pass the House by the end of the week and will need to be conferenced with the Senate NDAA bill, which is also expected to be reported out of committee this week.