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112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    112-248

======================================================================



 
      NATIONAL STRATEGIC AND CRITICAL MINERALS POLICY ACT OF 2011

                                _______
                                

October 14, 2011.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2011]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2011) to require the Secretary of the Interior 
to conduct an assessment of the capability of the Nation to 
meet our current and future demands for the minerals critical 
to United States manufacturing competitiveness and economic and 
national security in a time of expanding resource nationalism, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``National Strategic and Critical 
Minerals Policy Act of 2011''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds that--
          (1) the availability of minerals and metals is essential for 
        economic growth, national security, technological innovation, 
        and the manufacturing and agricultural supply chain;
          (2) the exploration, production, processing, use, and 
        recycling of minerals contribute significantly to the economic 
        well-being, security, and general welfare of the Nation;
          (3) the industrialization of China and India has driven 
        demand for nonfuel mineral commodities, sparking a period of 
        resource nationalism exemplified by China's reduction and 
        stoppage of exports of rare-earth mineral elements necessary 
        for telecommunications, military technologies, medical devices, 
        agricultural production, and renewable energy technologies;
          (4) the United States has vast mineral resources but is 
        becoming increasingly dependent upon foreign sources;
          (5) 25 years ago the United States was dependent on foreign 
        sources for 30 nonfuel mineral materials, 6 of which were 
        entirely imported to meet the Nation's requirements and another 
        16 of which were imported to meet more than 60 percent of the 
        Nation's needs;
          (6) by 2010, United States import dependence for nonfuel 
        mineral materials more than doubled from 30 to 67 commodities, 
        18 commodities were imported entirely to meet the Nation's 
        requirements, and another 25 commodities required imports of 
        more than 50 percent;
          (7) the United States lacks a coherent national policy to 
        assure the availability of minerals essential to manufacturing, 
        national economic well-being and security, agricultural 
        production, and global economic competitiveness; and
          (8) the Nation's ability to compete and innovate requires 
        proper planning and preparation today to meet tomorrow's 
        mineral needs.

SEC. 3. CONGRESSIONAL DECLARATION OF POLICY.

  (a) In General.--It is the continuing policy of the United States to 
promote an adequate and stable supply of minerals to maintain our 
Nation's economic well-being, security, and manufacturing, industrial, 
energy, agricultural, and technological capabilities.
  (b) Policy Goals.--Implementation of the policy set forth in 
subsection (a) requires that the Federal Government coordinate the 
Federal departments and agencies responsible for ensuring that supply, 
to--
          (1) facilitate the availability, development, and production 
        of domestic mineral resources to meet national needs, including 
        the demands of the Nation's manufacturing and agricultural 
        industries;
          (2) promote and encourage the development of economically and 
        environmentally sound, safe, and stable domestic mining, 
        minerals, metals, processing, and minerals recycling 
        industries;
          (3) establish an assessment capability for identifying the 
        mineral demands, supply, and needs of our Nation; and
          (4) minimize duplication, needless paperwork, and delays in 
        the administration of Federal and State laws and regulations, 
        and issuance of permits and authorizations necessary to 
        explore, develop, and produce minerals and construct and 
        operate mineral-related facilities.

SEC. 4. SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR REPORT ON ACCESS AND AUTHORIZATIONS 
                    FOR MINERAL DEVELOPMENT.

  (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land 
Management and the United States Geological Survey, and in consultation 
with the Secretary of Agriculture (through the Forest Service Mineral 
and Geology Management Division), the Secretary of Defense, the 
Secretary of Commerce, and the heads of other appropriate Federal 
agencies, shall prepare, submit to Congress, and make available to the 
public a report that includes--
          (1) an inventory of the nonfossil-fuel mineral potential of 
        lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management 
        and the Forest Service and an identification of all such lands 
        that have been withdrawn, segregated, or otherwise restricted 
        from mineral exploration and development;
          (2) an assessment of--
                  (A) the mineral requirements to meet current and 
                emerging national security, economic, industrial 
                manufacturing, technological, agricultural, and social 
                needs;
                  (B) the Nation's reliance on foreign sources to meet 
                those needs; and
                  (C) the implications of mineral supply shortages or 
                disruptions;
          (3) a detailed description of the time required to process 
        mineral applications, operating plans, leases, licenses, 
        permits, and other use authorizations for mineral-related 
        activities on lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of 
        Land Management and the Forest Service, and identification of 
        measures that would streamline the processing of such 
        applications, such as elimination of overlapping requirements 
        or set deadlines;
          (4) an itemized list of all use authorizations referred to in 
        paragraph (3) for which applications are pending before the 
        Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service, and the 
        length of time each of those applications has been pending;
          (5) an assessment of the impact of litigation on processing 
        or issuing mineral exploration and mine permits, identification 
        of the statutes the litigation was brought under, and the cost 
        to the agency or the Federal Government, including for payments 
        of attorney fees;
          (6) an update of the 2009 Economic Impact of the Department 
        of the Interior's Programs and Activities report to include 
        locatable minerals;
          (7) an assessment of the Federal workforce with educational 
        degrees and expertise in economic geology, geochemistry, 
        mining, industrial minerals, metallurgy, metallurgical 
        engineering, and mining engineering, including--
                  (A) retirement eligibility and agency plans for 
                retention, recruitment, and succession planning;
                  (B) comparison of the existing Federal salaries and 
                recruitment and retention bonuses with the salaries, 
                recruitment incentives, and retention packages normally 
                offered in the mineral industry; and
                  (C) examination of the differences between Federal 
                and private financial packages for early-, mid-, and 
                late-career workers; and
          (8) an inventory of rare earth element potential on the 
        Federal lands, and impediments or restrictions on the 
        exploration or development of those rare earth elements, and 
        recommendations to lift the impediments or restrictions while 
        maintaining environmental safeguards.
  (b) Progress Reports.--Not later than one year after the date of 
enactment of this Act, and each year thereafter for the following two 
years, the Secretary of the Interior shall submit to Congress and make 
available to the public a report that describes the progress made in 
reaching the policy goals described in section 3(b), including--
          (1) efforts to increase access to domestic supplies of 
        minerals, and facilitation of their production; and
          (2) implementation of recommendations contained in--
                  (A) the National Research Council reports--
                          (i) Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. 
                        Economy;
                          (ii) Managing Minerals for a Twenty-First 
                        Century Military; and
                          (iii) the current workforce study authorized 
                        in sections 385 and 1830 of the Energy Policy 
                        Act of 2005 (119 Stat. 744, 1137);
                  (B) the Department of Energy Critical Minerals 
                Strategy I and II; and
                  (C) the Department of Defense assessment and plan for 
                critical rare earth elements in defense applications 
                required under section 843 of the National Defense 
                Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2011.

SEC. 5. NATIONAL MINERAL ASSESSMENT.

  For the first National Mineral Assessment conducted after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the United States Geological Survey shall 
include mineral assessments for those mineral commodities important to 
the Nation's energy infrastructure, manufacturing and agricultural 
industries, and to the national defense. Priority should be given to 
minerals that are critical based on the impact of a potential supply 
restriction and the likelihood of a supply restriction.

SEC. 6. GLOBAL MINERAL ASSESSMENT.

  The United States Geological Survey is directed to expand the current 
Global Mineral Assessment to include mineral assessments for rare earth 
elements and other minerals that are critical based on the impact of a 
potential supply restriction and the likelihood of a supply 
restriction. Assessments conducted under this section shall include an 
analysis, developed with participation by the National Minerals 
Information Center and in consultation with appropriate agencies, of 
the rare earth elements or other critical minerals supply chain and 
associated processes and products, including mining, processing, 
recycling, separation, metal production, alloy production, and 
manufacturing of products sold to end users. In conducting the 
assessment, the United States Geological Survey should coordinate with 
the heads of foreign geologic surveys when possible.

SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act--
          (1) Inventory.--The term ``inventory'' means an accounting of 
        known mineral occurrences and mineral deposits, including 
        documentation of identified resources.
          (2) Mineral assessment.--The term ``mineral assessment'' 
        means an assessment of undiscovered mineral resources that 
        includes a qualitative assessment and a quantitative assessment 
        of such resources.
          (3) Qualitative assessment.--The term ``qualitative 
        assessment'' means a geologic-based delineation (mapping) of 
        areas permissive for the occurrence of undiscovered mineral 
        resources, based on all available geotechnical data including 
        geology, geophysics, geochemistry, remote sensing, and mineral 
        localities data.
          (4) Quantitative assessment.--The term ``quantitative 
        assessment'' means a probabilistic estimate of the quantity and 
        quality by tonnage and grade of undiscovered mineral resources 
        in areas delineated as permissive for occurrence in a 
        qualitative assessment.

SEC. 8. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER STATUTORY MINING POLICIES.

  Nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting any provision of 
or requirement under the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 
U.S.C. 21a).

  Amend the title so as to read:

      A bill to require the Secretary of the Interior to 
conduct an assessment of the capability of the Nation to meet 
our current and future demands for the minerals critical to 
United States manufacturing and agricultural competitiveness 
and economic and national security in a time of expanding 
resource nationalism, and for other purposes.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2011, as ordered reported, is to 
require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct an assessment 
of the capability of the Nation to meet our current and future 
demands for the minerals critical to United States 
manufacturing and agricultural competitiveness and economic and 
national security in a time of expanding resource nationalism.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Strategic and critical minerals are essential to our 
economy, livelihood and national security. Renewable energy, 
national defense equipment, agriculture and everyday items such 
as televisions, telephones, computers and light bulbs are all 
dependent on minerals. Currently the United States relies on 
foreign sources for a majority of our non-fuel mineral 
materials and, according to the United States Geological 
Survey, is 100 percent dependent on foreign sources for rare 
earth minerals.
    Mining of mineral resources creates tangible value, 
introducing new money into the Nation's economic system. 
Additional tangible value is added to the raw mined product 
through manufacturing, construction, and other uses. Harvesting 
domestic mineral resources contributes to local economies, and 
to the Nation's overall economic security.
    According to the National Research Council, one of the 
primary advantages the United States possesses over its 
strongest industrial competitors is its domestic resource base. 
The United States is among the world's largest producer of many 
important metals and minerals, particularly copper, gold, lead, 
molybdenum, silver, and zinc; and it still has substantial 
domestic reserves of these metals. Yet U.S. mineral exploration 
stagnated or declined during most of the 1990s and 2000s while 
global mineral exploration trends were strongly positive.
    In the early 1990s, the U.S. received 20 percent of the 
worldwide exploration budget; today it hovers around eight 
percent. Without increased domestic exploration, significant 
declines in U.S. mineral production are unavoidable as current 
reserves are exhausted.
    The lack of exploration expenditures and other factors has 
led to an increased import dependency for non-fuel mineral 
materials. For example, 25 years ago the United States was 
dependent on foreign sources for 30 non-fuel mineral materials, 
six of which were entirely imported to meet the Nation's 
requirements and another 16 of which were imported to meet more 
than 60 percent of the Nation's needs. By 2010, U.S. import 
dependence for non-fuel mineral materials more than doubled 
from 30 to 67 commodities: 18 commodities were imported 
entirely to meet the Nation's requirements, and another 25 
commodities required imports of more than 50 percent.
    Factors contributing to the decline in domestic mineral 
exploration activities and other downward trends in the 
domestic mining industry during the late 1990s are directly 
related to the regulatory and administrative changes made 
during that time, including revisions to the 3809 Regulations 
and the Millsite and Ancillary Use Opinions.
    Working through the permitting process also became more 
cumbersome, as federal and state agencies with land management 
and regulatory responsibilities over mineral exploration and 
development projects worked at cross purposes to one another. 
Legal challenges to Records of Decision by anti-mining groups 
also contributed to the delays and uncertainties in obtaining 
the necessary permits for exploration and development. Because 
of these impediments, the United States is ranked 25th out of 
25 major mining countries in permitting, averaging 7 to 10 
years for final approval.
    Currently the United States lacks a coherent national 
policy to assure domestic availability of minerals essential 
for national economic well-being, national security, and global 
economic competitiveness. H.R. 2011 will help remedy this by 
providing essential facts to help us strengthen and improve our 
national mineral policy.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2011 was introduced on May 26, 2011, by Congressman 
Doug Lamborn (R-CO). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Energy and Mineral Resources. On June 3, 2011, the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on 
the bill. On July 20, 2011, the Natural Resources Committee met 
to consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral 
Resources was discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman 
Steve Southerland (R-FL) and Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD) 
offered an amendment; the amendment was adopted by unanimous 
consent. Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) offered an amendment; 
the amendment was adopted by unanimous consent. The bill, as 
amended, was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Strategic and 
Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2011.''

Section 2. Findings

    The bill includes the following findings: The 
industrialization of China and India has driven demand for 
nonfuel mineral commodities, sparking a period of resource 
nationalism exemplified by China's reduction and stoppage of 
exports of rare-earth mineral elements necessary for 
telecommunications, military technologies, medical devices, 
agricultural production, and renewable energy technologies. The 
availability of minerals and metals is essential for economic 
growth, national security, technological innovation, 
agriculture, and the manufacturing supply chain. Exploration, 
production, processing, use, and recycling of minerals 
contribute significantly to the economic well-being, security, 
and general welfare of the Nation.

Section 3. Congressional declaration of policy

    It is the continuing policy of the United States to promote 
an adequate and stable supply of minerals to maintain our 
Nation's economic well-being, security, and manufacturing, 
industrial, energy, agricultural, and technological 
capabilities.

Section 4. Secretary of the Interior report on access and 
        authorizations for mineral development

    Subsection (a) directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
coordinate a government-wide inventory of the Nation's non-fuel 
mineral resources and to identify any restrictions that may 
inhibit development of the resources required to meet current 
and future strategic and critical mineral needs.
    These requirements are similar to Section 604 of the Energy 
Policy and Conservation Act of 2000 (EPCA), as amended by 
Section 364 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which required an 
inventory of all onshore federal lands to identify U.S. 
Geological Survey (USGS) estimates of the oil and gas resources 
underlying federal lands and the extent and nature of any 
restrictions or impediments to the development of the 
resources.
    The Department of the Interior owns the analytical tools 
developed for the EPCA studies and can use those tools to 
implement these provisions.
    Subsection (a) further requires the Secretary of the 
Interior to evaluate factors impacting domestic mineral 
development, including workforce, access, permitting and 
duplicative regulatory requirements, as well as identify areas 
for improvement.
    The section directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
assemble the report within six months to include a specific 
inventory of the rare earth element potential on federal lands, 
impediments or restrictions on the exploration or development 
of rare earth elements, and recommendations to lift the 
impediments or restrictions while maintaining environmental 
safeguards.
    Finally, the section requires an annual progress report, 
beginning one year after the date of enactment of the Act, for 
the following two years, outlining the progress made in 
reaching the policy goals described in the bill and National 
Research Council, Department of Energy and Department of 
Defense reports on aspects of domestic mineral policy.

Section 5. National Mineral Assessment

    USGS is currently developing models to be used in its 
upcoming National Mineral Assessment scheduled to begin in 
Fiscal Year 2013. This section provides guidance to USGS on 
what mineral commodities to focus on for the upcoming planned 
assessment.

Section 6. Global Mineral Assessment

    USGS is currently working on a Global Mineral Assessment. 
This section directs USGS to expand its Global Mineral 
Assessment to include ``rare earth elements and other minerals 
that are critical based on the impact of a potential supply 
restriction and the likelihood of a supply restriction.''

Section 7. Definitions

    This section defines the following terms: ``inventory,'' 
``mineral assessment,'' and the components of a ``mineral 
assessment''--``qualitative assessment'' and ``quantitative 
assessment.'' These definitions were included to clarify the 
requirements of Sections 4, 5 and 6.

Section 8. Applicability of other statutory mining policies

    This section declares that this Act will not affect any 
provision of the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 
U.S.C. 21a).

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 2011--National Strategic and Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2011

    Summary: H.R. 2011 would require the Secretary of the 
Interior to assess the capability of the United States to meet 
the demand for certain minerals used for manufacturing, 
agricultural, and national security purposes. The bill also 
would require the Secretary to complete a comprehensive report 
related to domestic production of certain minerals.
    Based on information provided by the United States 
Geological Survey (USGS) and the Bureau of Land Management 
(BLM), CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would 
cost $18 million over the 2012-2016 period, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts. Enacting the bill would 
not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-
go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 2011 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2011 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2012     2013     2014     2015     2016   2012-2016
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Mineral Assessments:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        3        3        3        3        3        15
    Estimated Outlays...................................        3        3        3        3        3        15
Mineral Report:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        1        1        1        0        0         3
    Estimated Outlays...................................        1        1        1        0        0         3
    Total Proposed Changes:
        Estimated Authorization Level...................        4        4        4        3        3        18
        Estimated Outlays...............................        4        4        4        3        3        18
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted near the end of 2011 and that the 
necessary amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year. 
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
similar USGS activities.
    H.R. 2011 would require USGS to expand its ongoing global 
mineral assessment and its upcoming national mineral assessment 
to include certain minerals used for manufacturing, 
agricultural, and national security purposes. USGS began 
working on the global assessment in 2001, it will include 
assessments of three mineral commodities, and will be completed 
in 2012 under current law. The bill would require the agency to 
complete a global assessment of at least six additional 
commodities. Based on information from the agency regarding the 
cost and time required to complete the ongoing global 
assessment, CBO estimates that expanding that assessment would 
cost about $3 million a year over the next 10 years and $15 
million over the 2012-2016 period. Those amounts would be used 
to pay for additional staff, contract costs, and international 
travel.
    The bill also would require the Department of the Interior 
to gather data related to mineral production from multiple 
federal agencies and to complete a report that would be updated 
annually through 2014. Based on information regarding the costs 
of similar activities and assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amounts, CBO estimates that implementing this 
provision would cost about $1 million a year over the 2012-2014 
period. Those amounts would be used to develop data tracking 
systems and to hire additional staff to gather, input, analyze, 
and update the data.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 2011 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
state, local, and tribal governments: Melissa Merrell; Impact 
on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new credit 
authority, or an increase or decrease in revenues or tax 
expenditures. Based on information provided by the United 
States Geological Survey and the Bureau of Land Management, CBO 
estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $18 
million over the 2012-2016 period, assuming appropriation of 
the necessary amounts. Enacting the bill would not affect 
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
apply.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.