Could faster mining permitting help fuel future U.S. economic growth? – by Dorothy Kosich ( – March 25, 2013)

A bill introduced by Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nevada, a former Nevada Mining Association president, aims to set timelines on U.S. mining permits and limit citizen lawsuits against projects.

RENO (MINEWEB) – The National Mining Association and its long-time loyal opposition, the environmental NGO Earthworks, recently sparred before a congressional subcommittee as whether the U.S. mining really needs HR 761, The Critical and Strategic Minerals Production Act of 2013.

Hal Quinn, CEO of the National Mining Association, told the House Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals Resources that the measure “addresses a key issue for the country’s future economic growth and manufacturing revival: the painfully slow permitting process for the miners that supply metals and minerals essential for our basic industries, our national defense and the consumer product we use.”

“The value added by major industries that consume the $77 billion of minerals produced in the U.S. was an estimated $2.4 trillion in 2012, or 15% of our GDP,” Quinn noted. “In addition, domestic mining generated $50 billion in tax payments to federal, state and local governments.”

“Mining’s potential is even greater than its current performance,” Quinn asserted. “The United States has an immense and enviable mineral endowment waiting to be tapped.”

“Overall, when view through the lens of resource potential, the U.S. is underperforming, a fact that will have increasing consequences as global demand for minerals becomes more competitive due to the demands of development economies, where millions are being propelled into a rising global middle class,” he noted.

Quinn argued the length of time consumed in obtaining mining permits is a major obstacle to the U.S. reaching its mineral potential. “In fact, the length, complexity and uncertainty of the permitting process are the primary reasons investors give for not investing in U.S. minerals mining,” he suggested. “In the U.S., necessary government authorizations now take approximately seven to 10 years to secure, placing the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage and forcing our economy to become increasingly reliant on foreign producers for mineral was can produce domestically.”

In 1993, Quinn noted that the U.S. attracted 20% of worldwide exploration investment dollars. “Today, our share has eroded to just 8 percent.”

For the rest of this article, please go to the website: