NMA Urges Yes Vote on Defense Supply Chain Minerals Security Amendment to NDAA

WASHINGTON, D.C. The National Mining Association (NMA) today called on the U.S. House of Representatives to support an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), proposed by Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), which recognizes that the defense supply chain begins with ready access to minerals required by the U.S. defense industrial base.

“Minerals are the tip of the supply chain that provides our men and women in uniform with the equipment they need to keep themselves and our country safe,” said Hal Quinn, NMA President and CEO. “Unfortunately, as our import dependence continues to increase for the minerals we need here at home, our supply chain is increasingly vulnerable. Rep. Amodei’s (R-Nev.) defense supply chain minerals security amendment shows how important this issue has now become.”

Despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Defense uses 750,000 tons of minerals each year to develop technologies and materials for the military, America’s dependence on foreign sources for the minerals that feed our supply chain has reached historic levels, doubling over the past 20 years. Today, less than half of the mineral needs of U.S. manufacturing are met from domestically-mined minerals, and we are 100 percent import-dependent for 20 key minerals, many of which are critical to national defense applications. Lengthy seven- to 10-year permitting delays are seen as the most significant risk to mining projects in the United States. Countries such as Canada and Australia, which have environmental standards similar to the U.S., complete the process in two to three years.

The amendment’s effort to minimize delays, introduce formal review timelines and schedules for completing the minerals permitting process, and track progress against those goals while maintaining environmental safeguards, provides certainty that is required to help ensure our military has the materials it needs to secure our great nation.