Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner John Fognani and Chris Reagen authored a chapter in Lexology’s Mining Report for the fourth consecutive year, which includes answers to key questions about the current U.S. mining industry. This is part of Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through series of law guides published by Law Business Research that provide an overview of specialist areas of the law in a variety of international jurisdictions.
Here is an excerpt:
1. What is the nature and importance of the mining industry in your country?
Minerals continue to be a foundation to industry in the United States, contributing to the U.S. economy at several stages including extraction, processing and manufacturing. In 2019, the estimated value of mineral raw materials produced at mines in the U.S. was US$86.3 billion, a 3 percent increase from the revised total of US$84 billion in 2018. Domestic raw materials and domestically recycled materials were used in 2019 to process mineral materials worth US$770 billion. Downstream industries consumed these mineral materials, producing an estimated value of US$3.13 trillion in 2019.
2. What are the target minerals?
U.S metal mine production contributed US$28.1 billion to the U.S. economy in 2019, with gold (32 percent), copper (28 percent), iron ore (19 percent) and zinc (7 percent) being the principal contributors. Industrial mineral production in the U.S. continued to play a large role in the U.S. economy in 2019 with crushed stone (32 percent), cement (19 percent), construction sand and gravel (16 percent) and industrial sand and gravel (10 percent) comprising the majority of the US$58.2 billion in value. The U.S. production of critical rare earth mineral concentrates increased in 2019 to 26,000 metric tons (a 44 percent increase over the prior year), making the United States the second-largest producer of rare earth mineral concentrates.
The United States imports most critical minerals, including many minerals used in battery technology and renewable energy infrastructure. To address its reliance upon foreign imports and to reduce vulnerability to disruptions in the supply of critical minerals, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a report in 2017 entitled “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals,” which set forth a strategy to advance domestic mineral activity and mitigate risks arising from reliance by U.S. businesses on foreign sources. In 2019, the Trump administration released “A Federal Strategy to Ensure a Reliable Supply of Critical Minerals” to make the US economy and defense more secure, mandating the U.S. Department of Interior to locate domestic supplies of critical minerals and expedite mineral project permitting.
Excerpted from Mining 2020. To read the full article, click on the PDF linked below.