Mining  & Metallurgical Society  of America   



Current Issues -
Minerals Sector of USA Economy

Democracy is not a spectator sport.
Freedom is not free.
Be a spokesman for the mineral businesses!

This is a library of published materials about many of the current issues that affect the minerals business. Links to the sources are provided. Much of the research is already done for you. Use these references when you wish to speak or write to the public about  their concerns regarding the minerals business.

Your contributions to this library are welcome; send items to MMSA

= Item(s) recently added 
Older articles can be found in the Issues Archive.

Minerals Availability and Strategic Minerals

New MMSA participates in testimony from Mineral Science Information Coalition (MSIC) to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The Committee hearing was held to examine the United States’ increasing dependence on foreign sources of minerals and opportunities to rebuild and improve the supply chain in the United States. (April 2017)
MSIC Testimony
Letter To President Trump from Lisa Murkowski, et al
MSIC Letter of Support to Senators.

New Congressional Testimony, 2006 Statement of W. David Menzie, Before the Committee on Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Hearing on Energy and Mineral Requirements for Development of Renewable and Alternative Fuels Used for Transportation and Other Purposes May 18, 2006 "Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear at this hearing on energy and mineral requirements for development of renewable and alternative fuels used for transportation and other purposes. ... Rising costs of metals are again heightening concerns about future supplies of these important commodities. Copper is among the metals that have experienced a dramatic increase in price. In January 2003, the price of copper was around $0.70 per pound and it was readily available as copper stocks exceeded 1.2 million metric tons (Mt). At the end of March 2006, copper prices reached $2.46 per pound and stocks were just over 150,000 metric tons (t). Stocks fell to below 50,000 t in July 2004 and some smelters had difficulty in obtaining sources of copper. The recent rise in copper prices is the result of increased copper consumption by developing countries. Some authors suggest that increased consumption of minerals by developing countries is not sustainable either because copper resources are insufficient to meet growing consumption or because the environmental consequences of increased resource production will be too costly."

New Congressional Testimony, 2005 Statement of W. David Menzie Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey Before the House Resources Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources March 16, 2005 Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the effects of rapid economic growth in developing countries on global mineral markets and on the United States economy, national security, and the global environment. This statement describes the link between mineral consumption and economic development; outlines, in particular, how China's development is affecting mineral markets; and, examines some implications of this development.

Murkowski: Increase Production of Domestic Minerals - Clean energy technologies face a range of obstacles. The credit crunch has slowed capital investment, disputes have arisen over which lands are suitable for infrastructure, and the electric grid has sometimes proved incapable of handling new generation. Over the long run, however, our most difficult challenge may be our most fundamental: ensuring a stable supply of the raw materials needed to manufacture clean energy technologies in the first place ....

Murkowski: Increase Domestic Production of Rare Earth Minerals - Source: Roll Call. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, our nation’s reliance on foreign minerals has “grown significantly” over the past several decades. Last year, we imported more than 50 percent of our supply of 43 different minerals and materials. ...

US Geological Survey finds global rare earth metals reserves currently sufficient to meet needs. Although China now enjoys a global monopoly on rare earth metals and manufacturing systems, the USGS says plenty of global reserves and resources exist which can meet needs well into the 21st Century. "Several very large rare-earth deposits in Australia and China have yet to be fully developed," the scientists noted. "Existing production is currently not sufficient to meet world demand, and shortages exist for neodymium and dysprosium for magnet alloys and europium and terbium for phosphors."

Exploring the Vital Role of Metals and Minerals in the New Energy Economy June 8, 2009 (Webinar from the Western Business Roundtable.) Metals and minerals are the foundation upon which the new energy economy will be built. From the silica used in solar panels to the rare earth metals that are key to wind turbines, American metals and minerals are needed in large quantities to support the development of renewable energy in America. The reality, however, is that for some strategic metals needed for renewables, the U.S. is becoming almost totally reliant on foreign sources of supplies that are increasingly tenuous. The speakers examine the pivotal role that metals and minerals play in the production of clean technologies and the build-out of a viable renewable energy infrastructure.


Benefits of Mining 

Economic Contributions of U.S. Mining  in 2007. U.S. mining makes a substantial impact on employment and the U.S. economy. This updated report details its contribution in jobs, payroll, personal income and payroll taxes, and economic output. The full report can be downloaded from the National Mining Association Web site ( . You can also see reports by state. (Mar 09)

About Benefits of Mining. Here is an excellent rebuttal to the hypocrisy of those critical of mining, but yet want the products it brings. (Apr 09)


Climate Change

Gateway to the UN's work on Climate Change. This is the place to go for all the latest information about climate change and how the world can respond. The IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) page contains access to the summary as well as full reports.

“You Say Alternatives are the Answer - Let’s Talk – Resource Constraints on Alternative Energy Development” by James R. Burnell of the Colorado Geological Survey in the March/April 2009 issue of The Professional Geologist, the monthly magazine of the American Institute of Professional Geologists. See p. 33.

Climate Change Reconsidered. On June 2, as Congress debated global warming legislation that would raise energy costs to consumers by hundreds of billions of dollars, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) released an 880-page book challenging the scientific basis of concerns that global warming is either man-made or would have harmful effects. The entire report can be downloaded for free. (June 2009)

Climate Depot - This Web site is a collection of links about global warming skepticism. (May 2009)

7 myths about green jobs - This policy series, by two PERC senior fellows and two of their colleagues, is a summary of a larger study analyzing green jobs claims made by various special interest groups. The authors find that the claims are based on myths. Fundamental questions about what is at stake in this massive program need to be addressed before billions in additional deficit spending can be justified. The authors discuss the economic defects in the green jobs proposals and show that not only is the price tag of the programs unjustified, but that the costly implications to society could be even greater. (May 2009)


Coal, CO2

Clean Coal .. Green Coal. Chart showing progress on developing clean/green coal technologies. (May 2009)


Cyanide Myths and Facts - White paper by Frederick W. DeVries of Chadds Ford, PA. (Mar 09)



RENEWABLE ENERGY: Imports fuel U.S. shift to homegrown power. This article on Greenwire was written as a result of a Webinar (Web Seminar) produced by the Western Business Roundtable. Exploring the Vital Role of Metals and Minerals in the New Energy Economy June 8, 2009. You can view the Webinar video at the Roundtable Web site and the presenters' slides can be downloaded. (The Greenwire articles can be read only by subscribers.) (06/09/2009)

How much does the Federal Government spend on energy-specific subsidies and support? - The Federal Government spent an estimated $16.6 billion in energy-specific subsidies and support programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2007. Energy-specific subsidies have more than doubled since FY 1999. (May 2009)

20% Wind Energy by 2030 - Increasing Wind Energy’s Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply. Energy prices, supply uncertainties, and environmental concerns are driving the United States to rethink its energy mix and develop diverse sources of clean, renewable energy. This report was prepared by DOE in a joint effort with industry, government, and the Nation’s national laboratories (primarily the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). The report considers some associated challenges, estimates the impacts and discusses specific needs and outcomes in the areas of technology, manufacturing and employment, transmission and grid integration, markets, siting strategies, and potential environmental effects associated with a 20% Wind Scenario. 
DOE/GO-102008-2567 • May 2008 More information is available on the web at: 


Mining Law of 1872

Senate Bill S796 and S140  July 14, 2009 hearing Webcast from the U.S. Senate about proposed changes to the Mining Law and Abandoned Mine Lands. See statements from Northwest Mining Association and National Mining Association about the laws as proposed.



Oberstar-Feingold Clean Water Act Expansion Legislation - Western Business Roundtable Discussions of this proposed Act. Issue Background. Final CWRA Bill. Clean Water Act Paper.



ABOUT THE DAM REGULATIONS This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan De Vries by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan.
From Dr. Patrick Moore, founding member of Greenpeace.

"For me, Greenpeace is about ringing an ecological fire alarm, waking mass consciousness to the true dimensions of our global predicament, pointing out the problems and defining their nature. Greenpeace doesn't necessarily have the solutions to those problems and certainly isn't equipped to put them into practice."

Dedicated to:
promoting and improving understanding and appreciation
of the role of the U.S. Mining Industry
mining, minerals and their uses, related environmental issues and government policies.

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PO Box 810, Boulder, CO 80306-0810 
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