Mining sector readies push for new federal office

By Hannah Northey | 07/08/2024 01:35 PM EDT

“We believe that the scale and urgency of the nation’s minerals challenge requires centralized coordination at the highest levels of government,” said Conor Bernstein of the National Mining Association.

A mining helmet sits on a table.

A mining helmet sits on a classroom table in Julian, West Virginia, in June 2013. Steve Helber/AP

Some of the nation’s biggest mining trade associations are planning to push Congress and the next occupant of the White House to create a new federal agency or entity to streamline permitting, regulation and boost research around mining.

The Biden administration doesn’t appear to be on board.

The National Mining Association and the American Exploration and Mining Association are meeting with lawmakers and laying the groundwork as part of a multifaceted initiative pushing for a mineral-focused entity — be it an agency or centralized office — within the federal government. Reuters first reported the effort.


Mining companies and industry groups have been increasingly warning that the U.S. — and that more than a dozen federal agencies oversee parts of the mining permitting process and oversight. Democrats and environmental groups have countered that any overhaul must prioritize environmental justice and protection.