Senator Lisa Murkowski wants the country to be less dependent on foreign minerals and has come out in support of mineral mining projects like Graphite One in Alaska.
During the Benchmark Minerals Summit in Washington, DC, earlier this month, the Senator highlighted the issue foreign mineral dependence poses for the United States. Murkowski said, “Unless we take significant steps to rebuild our domestic supply chain, we are at risk of ceding major economic drivers to other countries.”
She also sponsors the American Mineral Security Act, which was introduced during the Summit. As it is currently written, the legislation would reauthorize the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program for ten years, promote research and development for recycling and replacements of critical minerals, along with additional assessments.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, last year, the U.S. imported 100% of its supply of almost 20 minerals, among them was graphite.
Anthony Huston, the CEO of Graphite One, stated in an earlier interview with KNOM that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Huston was also present for the Benchmark Minerals Summit, where he suggested that his company could be a solution to foreign mineral dependence, by supplying graphite coming from the proposed mining project near Teller.
According to an online financial report, Graphite One is shipping 12,000 lbs. of raw material from its sampling program to be processed. This would be the first step in Graphite One’s pilot scale program.
Through her spokeswoman, Karina Borger, Senator Murkowski said she is hopeful and optimistic the Graphite One project can move forward as another example of responsible mining in Alaska.
Murkowski with the Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing regarding mineral security and the American Mineral Security Act yesterday.
Image at top: file photo: Core samples taken from Graphite One’s summer 2012 exploration program. Photo: Graphite One Resources.