Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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U.S. MINE OWNERSHIP AND OREGONS' FAILURE

- Miner X - 03/07/2010

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According to the Internal Revenue Service, 65% of all metal ore mining in the U.S. is under foreign ownership. It has been that way since 2002. If you're not disturbed by that you should be.

To define a company as foreign owned means that 50% or more of its assets are completely controlled by a foreign domestic U.S. Corporation (FDC). The statistics on all U.S. industries can be found here.

Canadian companies, for instance, own four of the five largest gold mines in the United States and a total of 13 of the top 30 producers. Barrick controls more than 13,000 claims occupying nearly 270,000 acres and they are aggressive. Rio Tinto is second with over 10,000 claims covering 200,000 acres.

So where are U.S. investors and miners in this picture?

Almost nowhere. The current political temperment - a stifling combination of federal regulations, union demands, environmental road blocks and state bureaucrats - make it far too costly for American-based companies to compete for the abundant mineral deposits inside the boundaries of thier own sovereign nation. The risk is too high and the potential penalties too severe.

Americans have lost control of their own resources because our culture has become systematically divorced from mining and cannot grasp its critical importance to economic stability. The fundamental concept of producing something of intrinsic value from the ground, like gold, has been lost. Gone too are the many benefits that come from a truly productive society that utilizes its own natural assets.

Instead, youth have been led to believe that there is more money to be made as a mortgage bundler, community organizer, bureaucrat or academic than there is working to develop the outstanding natural resources of the country. We have become a 'service related' society of compulsive shoppers and consumers, not producers and manufacturers.

Enter the rest of the world

China, like Canada, is now making huge investments to leverage vast mineral reserves around the world. They are already the largest steel producer and, arguably, the most economically stable country on the planet simply because they are developing their own mineral resources - for themselves. No foreign company owns 50% of any mine in China. They've captured a huge export market as a result and their finacial success has been stellar.

Across the Pacific in Oregon

Back here in the lower 48, the State of Oregon is one of the most pathetic examples of resource mis-management in contemporary U.S. history. Almost the size of France, Oregon has four times the natural resources of most third-world counties, yet the government has steadily opposed development over the last three decades. Mineral and agricultural production have now dropped to the lowest levels since 1933 and the state can't pay its' public employee benefits.

Using the California Model for Bankruptcy is the only plan that is working well. Still the idealogues in Salem proceed in their foogy reasoning to suggest that high-tech, 'green' jobs will magically pull the state economy from the depths of despair, that people just need education and re-training to take their place in the tidy little world of Consumerdom.

What's completely baffling is that the Governor of Oregon and his minions actually believe that no one else on the planet is capable of building a silicon chip or a solar wafer - even though they already do in Malaysia and China - cheaper and more efficiently. Even if it where the case, is it not complete insanity to squander the very resources that generate the revenue necessary to pursue these childish, Eutopian fantasies?

Oregon mining and agriculture are the very definition of 'Bedrock Industries'. They are the backbone of a stable economy. Without them the service-related industries have no one to serve. Education without purpose is an aimless waste of time and - even though it will land you a job on the Governors' staff - you'll just be the smartest, pennyless person in the soup line.