REVIEW: Groundbreaking! America’s new quest for mineral independence (Canadian Mining Journal – January 21, 2019)

Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral Independence. Dr. Ned Mamula and Ann Bridges. 294 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1729669525 / ISBN-10: 1729669522.

What happens when a geologist and an author whose chief interest is California’s Silicon Valley get together to take a look at the United States’ dependence on foreign supplies of critical minerals? The result is a long hard look at how our southern neighbour failed to take advantage of its mineral resources. Instead the authors say that the reliance on foreign supply has created a national security issue.

Groundbreaking! looks first at risk/reward, why minerals matter, and the U.S. dependence foreign suppliers for critical minerals. There is a run-down of mineral wealth in the U.S., and how the country should rediscover that wealth. The book has a running theme of the role of domestic mineral production as a national security issue.

There are separate chapters on rare earths, the American uranium debacle, and the Pebble gold mine in Alaska. Each is packed with facts, illustrations and tables about its topic.

That is followed by three chapters about how the mineral industry is undermined, how to take back America’s mineral future, and a discussion of the growing support for mineral independence.

Finally there are recommendations, or as the authors call them “how to disrupt the status quo and win.” To strengthen national security, the authors recommend keeping mineral ownership in American hands, re-thinking stockpile capabilities, and making plans to address potential disruptions in the supply chains.

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