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Contracts With the United States For Hard Mineral Exploration

George Vranesh, Proceedings of 12th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1967)

In 1950, Congress authorized the President to provide loans to private enterprise for the expansion of capacity, the development of technological processes, and the production of essential materials, including the exploration, development, and mining of strategic minerals.1 The President subsequently directed the Secretary of the Interior to carry out these functions.2

Under authority of the Defense Production Act of 1950, the President created the Defense Materials Procurement Agency3 which was headed by a Defense Materials Procurement Administrator authorized to encourage the exploration, development, and mining of critical and strategic minerals and metals. In August 1953, the President also directed the Director of Office of Defense Mobilization to encourage the exploration, development, and mining of critical and strategic minerals.4 This Director in turn ordered the Secretary of the Interior to develop programs for the exploration, development, and mining of critical and strategic metals and minerals.5 Thus, the Secretary of the Interior became responsible for all functions, under the Defense Production Act of 1950, relating to programs for the exploration and development of critical and strategic metals and minerals.

[152] The program under the Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA) was carried out with the assistance and services of geolo