17 May 2023

Hermosa confirmed as the first US FAST-41 mining project

The Hermosa project is currently the only advanced mine development project in the US that could produce two federally designated critical minerals —manganese and zinc.

Hermosa project, South 32 © South 32

It has been confirmed by the US Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC), an independent federal agency, as the first mining project added to the FAST-41 process.

FAST-41 was signed into law by President Obama in December 2015 to create a more efficient and transparent process for complex, critical infrastructure projects. To qualify for the FAST-41 process, complex critical infrastructure projects must meet rigorous criteria to demonstrate benefit to the nation.  

South32 Chief Executive Officer, Graham Kerr, says. 'The inclusion of Hermosa as the first mining project added to the FAST-41 process is an important milestone that recognises the project’s potential to strengthen the domestic supply of critical minerals in the US.' 

Hermosa’s Clark deposit has been confirmed to have potential to supply battery-grade manganese to the rapidly forming North American electric vehicle supply chain.  

The Clark deposit is reported to be the only advanced project in the US that has a viable pathway to produce battery-grade manganese for the domestic market from locally sourced ore.  

There has been no manganese mining in the US since the 1970s and there is no manganese metal production in North America. About 97% of manganese metal in North America is imported, and the US is now 100% reliant on foreign sources for manganese.

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