US mining industry in flux as policy, economic and enviro challenges force change – by Henry Lazenby ( – September 16, 2016)

VANCOUVER – The outcome of the November 2016 US Presidential election will not reverse the decline in the US mining industry’s value, as the beleaguered coal industry continues to face market headwinds. Rather, the results will determine the trajectory of environmental regulations and, therefore, raise or lower operating costs over the coming years, recent analysis from market analysis company BMI Research indicates.

According to the Fitch-owned research firm, regardless of the outcome of the general election, the US mining industry value (MIV) will continue to decline through 2017, as elevated costs and structurally lower mineral prices weigh on growth.

The tightening of environmental regulations throughout the administration of President Barack Obama has accelerated this decline, both raising costs and edging coal – the domestic mining industry’s biggest contributor – out of the power mix.

The 2016 Presidential election will result in either the continuation and possible expansion of Obama’s environmental legacy, or will see an easing and possible dismantling of emissions policies, depending on the election of the Democratic or Republican nominee, respectively. The US and China formally ratified the COP 21 Paris climate agreement early in September at the G20 summit in China.

While commentators view Obama’s two terms in the country’s highest office as being relatively uneventful, his legacy centres around lowering US emissions and driving the Clean Power Plan (CPP), aimed at cutting carbon pollution from existing power plants, thus dealing a severe blow to the domestic fossil-fuel industry.

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