Click here for the Strategic and Critical Materials 2013 Report on Stockpile Requirements: http://www.mineralsmakelife.org/assets/images/content/resources/Strategic%20and%20Critical%20Materials%202013%20Report%20on%20Stockpile%20Requirements.pdf
It’s the last thing any Washington watcher would expect in the run-up to Sequestergeddon: a government agency proposing a new spending program. Yet that’s precisely what the Pentagon did last week, with the quiet release of its National Defense Stockpile Report to the Congress.
Even experts in the industry are hard-pressed to recall when the U.S. Government last added to its metals and minerals inventory — and for good reason. Since the implosion of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the U.S. defense stockpile has been treated as a kind of raw materials garage-sale, with nearly all metals marked for a phased sell-off — calibrated so as not to unduly undercut current metal prices.
Stockpile silver went to the U.S. Mint for the striking of silver dollars, an almost literal swords-into-plowshares swap. Other metals were sold to pay for the cost of erecting the World War II Memorial without having to appropriate federal funds. Still more metals were sold with the proceeds flowing back to the U.S. Treasury, where they were spent on whatever it is the federal government funds to the tune of $10 billion a day.
And why not, given the demise of the Soviet threat and the emergence of a global market not seen outside an economic textbook. Surely the U.S. could source metals and minerals from providers anywhere on the planet, for the right price.