FAST-41 and minerals

The South32 Hermosa project in southern Arizona has become the first critical mineral mine to receive FAST-41 designation. Put simply, this means that the normally arduous permitting process will be expedited for this particular project. FAST-41 was passed in 2015 “to improve the timeliness, predictability, and transparency of the Federal environmental review and authorization process for covered infrastructure projects,” according to the EPA. Since then, it has primarily been used for energy production projects like natural gas pipelines and other infrastructure, not for critical mineral mining…

South32 Hermosa, funded by an Australian company, would mine both manganese – which is used in electric vehicle batteries – as well as zinc. It’s important to note that manganese has not been mined in significant amounts in the United States since the 1970’s.