This week, Governor Sean Parnell met with Alaskan and Canadian miners and mining companies at the 2013 Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver, Canada.
Parnell demonstrated his support for the industry, saying…
Parnell: “Day in and day out, hardworking miners in Alaska are unlocking the natural resources we and the rest of the world need. Mining is hard work, and I congratulate them on their success and safety record.”
Also in mining news, this week Senator Lesil (lee-sil) McGuire introduced legislation supporting development of rare earth elements.
McGuire: “The United States used to be almost self-sufficient in rare earth elements, but now we almost completely rely upon foreign sources for those important minerals. We need to move now to become a dominant world player in the development of rare earth elements which are critical for military and economic security, as well as renewable energy systems.”
China currently produces 95-percent of the world’s rare earth elements and McGuire said it poses a “huge risk to our national and energy security to rely on foreign nations for manufacturing.”
“It poses a huge risk to our national and energy security to be forced to rely on other foreign nations to manufacture our high-tech military equipment as well as our wind turbines, solar panels, advanced batteries, and geothermal steam turbines,” said Senator McGuire. “That’s why as a nation, we need to start developing and producing the rare earth minerals that we have in our own backyard.”The minerals are also needed for manufacturing almost all high-tech consumer goods including flat screen TVs, computers, tablets and cell phones.
“As China continues to withdraw its supply of rare earth elements from the world market, we need to be ready to fill those supplies or we will see devastating economic consequences,” said Senator McGuire. “On the flip side, building rare earth element research and production facilities here in the 49thstate will create new job and career opportunities for Alaskans.”
The resolution also calls for the state to work with several federal agencies including the United States Geological Survey, to identify REE deposits in the state, develop an REE information database, and promote the development of Alaska’s REE industry. Additionally, the resolution calls on state agencies that deal with permitting to expedite consideration and issuance of REE permits.