Domestic minerals and metals are a cornerstone of the U.S. economy, but data just published by the Energy Information Agency (EIA) show that investment in U.S. mining and exploration declined an incredible 35 percent last year—from $135 billion in 2014 to $88 billion in 2015—representing the second largest decline since 1948. The withdrawal of federal lands, often with permanent restrictions on mining force manufacturers to look elsewhere, and the permitting process is long and drawn out. Federal holdings used to be called the “land of many uses,” but increasingly Washington has decided that one of those uses is no longer the mining of coal and minerals. Millions of acres, largely in the West, are now zoned for no mining, no matter how remote or rich they might be.
Mamula, a PhD geologist with extensive experience in both private industry and government (with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Central Intelligence Agency), will discuss the causes of and the solutions for this problem which is increasing in strategic importance for the United States.