US miners push Washington to revive long-dormant Bureau of Mines – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – July 5, 2024)

July 5 (Reuters) – Mining trade groups plan to push Washington to revive and expand the long-dormant Bureau of Mines, an effort aimed at streamlining how the U.S. government regulates and supports critical minerals production and timed to coincide with the 2024 presidential election.

The lobbying campaign, details of which have not previously been reported, is set to launch this month ahead of the Republican and Democratic political conventions. It will contrast scattered U.S. mining oversight with Australia and other countries where senior mining-related agencies report directly to heads of government, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the effort.

Lithium, copper and other critical minerals are used in many electronics and demand is expected to surge further in coming years for production of electric-vehicle batteries. China is the world’s largest producer or processor of many critical minerals.

U.S. mining policy is currently administered through multiple agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

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