- - Thursday, September 11, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Tesla’s selection of Nevada as the site of its $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory will provide well-paying jobs for more than 6,500 Nevadans and boost countless industries in the state (“Plant gets Tesla closer to electric car for masses,” Web, Sept. 4).

Because worldwide demand for lithium is expected to steadily grow, Nevada has a unique competitive advantage as the only state currently mining lithium. This will ensure shorter and more simplified supply chains for the massive factory.

In addition to Tesla’s factory, Nevada’s $9 billion reserve of minerals, including lithium, gold and silver, could source other advanced manufacturing operations emerging across the country. Unfortunately, an inefficient federal permitting process for new mineral mines keeps ample resources locked underground and U.S. manufacturers scrambling to secure raw materials from foreign sources. Amid growing global demand, 78 percent of high-tech CEOs are concerned about minerals and metals scarcity.

Fortunately, the House of Representatives recently passed the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Mark Amodei, Nevada Republican. This bipartisan legislation would create a more efficient permitting system while maintaining strong environmental safeguards, ensuring better access to much-needed minerals and metals.

It’s time for the Senate to act on similar legislation to help bolster Nevada’s Tesla factory, strengthen industry supply chains and encourage further economic growth nationwide.

HAL QUINN

President

National Mining Association

Washington

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