Archive | United States Mining

U.S. Needs a Strong Defense Against China’s Rare-Earth Weapon – by James Stavridis (Bloomberg News – March 4, 2021)

James Stavridis is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, and dean emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

You could be forgiven if you are confused about what’s going on with rare-earth elements. On the one hand, news reports indicate that China may increase production quotas of the minerals this quarter as a goodwill gesture to the Joe Biden administration.

But other sources say that China may ultimately ban the export of the rare earths altogether on “security concerns.” What’s really going on here?

There are 17 elements considered rare earths — lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, scandium and yttrium — and while many aren’t actually rare in terms of global deposits, extracting them is difficult and expensive. Continue Reading →

To go electric, America needs more mines. Can it build them? – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – March 1, 2021)

(Reuters) – Last September, in the arid hills of northern Nevada, a cluster of flowers found nowhere else on earth died mysteriously overnight.

Conservationists were quick to suspect ioneer Ltd, an Australian firm that wants to mine the lithium that lies beneath the flowers for use in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

One conservation group alleged in a lawsuit that the flowers, known as Tiehm’s buckwheat, were “dug up and destroyed.” The rare plant posed a problem for ioneer because U.S. officials may soon add it to the Endangered Species List, which could scuttle the mining project. Continue Reading →

Biden’s Hopes for Rare Earth Independence at Least a Decade Away – by Joe Deaux and Stephen Lee (Bloomberg News – February 26, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Joe Biden’s ambition to make the U.S. less dependent on other nations for rare earths and minerals critical to the clean energy transition will take years to accomplish.

A review of the U.S. critical minerals and rare earths supply chain that the president ordered this week is likely to show that even with sweeping changes the nation is at least a decade from becoming self sufficient.
That will mean turning to countries such as Canada, which has the the largest number of rare earth projects in the world, according to Gareth Hatch, managing director of Strategic Materials Advisors Ltd. Continue Reading →

Geology is in the eye of the beholder – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – February 26, 2021)

The American Southwest is the best place in the world to find, permit, and build a mine, according to the mining executives that responded to the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2020.

Nevada, which is a perennial top-5 contender when it comes to “investment attractiveness”, reclaimed the top spot from Western Australia in the latest edition of the Fraser mining survey. Arizona moved up from seven places to claim the No. 2 position in this category.

“Nevada continues to be a premier mining jurisdiction,” said the president of a mining company that produces more than US$50 million per year. Continue Reading →

Will America Trade Energy Independence for China Rare Earth Extortion? – by Larry Bell (KMJ Now – February 2021)

The Biden administration’s feckless “Build Back Better” plan to throttle back U.S. fossil energy needed to reliably power our industry, air condition our homes and fuel our transportation in exchange for literally charging forward with a transition to intermittent and unreliable “green energy” reliance upon China for vital rare earth material-dependent electronics will not end well for America.

Rare earths are 17 indispensable metals used in an endless variety of 21st Century technologies, including, the manufacturing of domestic and strategic military airplanes, computers and smart phones, electricity generation and transmission systems, advanced weapon guidance systems, and yes, “Green New Deal” priorities like solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries for utility-scale energy storage and electric vehicles (EVs).

U.S. automakers are racing to China as an opportunity to cash in on the Democrat plan to transform America’s transportation to 100% EVs. Continue Reading →

The Activists Who Embrace Nuclear Power – by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow (New Yorker – February 19, 2021)

In 2004, Heather Hoff was working at a clothing store and living with her husband in San Luis Obispo, a small, laid-back city in the Central Coast region of California. A few years earlier, she had earned a B.S. in materials engineering from the nearby California Polytechnic State University.

But she’d so far found work only in a series of eclectic entry-level positions—shovelling grapes at a winery, assembling rectal thermometers for cows. She was twenty-four years old and eager to start a career.

One of the county’s major employers was the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, situated on the coastline outside the city. Jobs there were stable and well-paying. But Diablo Canyon is a nuclear facility—it consists of two reactors, each contained inside a giant concrete dome—and Hoff, like many people, was suspicious of nuclear power. Continue Reading →

EPA awards $220 million for uranium mine cleanup on Navajo Nation – by Haleigh Kochanski ( – February 16, 2021)

Cronkite News – WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it will award contracts worth up to $220 million to three companies for the cleanup of some of the hundreds of abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

Work could start later this year following the completion of assessments for mining sites coordinated between the EPA and the Navajo Nation’s environmental agency, the federal agency said.

This week’s announcement is just the latest in years of efforts to clean up the mines, the toxic legacy of Cold War mining in the region. More than 30 million tons of uranium ore were mined in the region, according to the EPA, which said more than 500 mines were ultimately abandoned. Continue Reading →

Western USA: treasure chest for the nation – by Ellsworth Dickson (Resource World – February 16, 2021)

West of the Mississippi, historically, there have been huge metal discoveries and staking rushes such as the Comstock Lode and the 1849 California Gold Rush.

In more recent years, Vancouver`s Chester Millar pioneered the heap leach gold recovery process in southeastern California at Glamis Gold’s successful Picacho Gold Mine – a technology now commonly used everywhere.

Today, the Western USA continues to be one of the world’s important mineral producers and a favourite destination for Canadian investment for its prospectivity, secure mineral tenure and ease of access (not counting the temporary COVID-19 restrictions for Canadians with US projects). There are far too many companies to cover; we can only hit a few highlights. Continue Reading →

Local View: ‘Buy American’ should include US mining – by Michael Stumo (Duluth News Tribune – February 11, 2021)

Michael Stumo of Sheffield, Massachusetts, is CEO of the Coalition for a Prosperous America.

As President Joe Biden confronts the economic damage of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal Bureau of Labor data show that more than 10 million Americans are unemployed.

Restoring these jobs will be a high priority for the new administration, particularly in sectors like manufacturing that have been hit hard by the coronavirus.

Helpfully, Biden has already taken a key step to support U.S. manufacturers with his recent executive order to expand federal “Buy-American” policies. Implementing strong “Buy-American” rules for federal contracts can help to get U.S. manufacturing back in gear. Continue Reading →

President Biden to boost US mining, green energy metals – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – January 20, 2021)

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th US president on Wednesday afternoon only a week after Donald Trump’s supporters, refusing to accept defeat, staged a deadly attack on the Capitol.

Biden used his inaugural address to call for unity and offer an optimistic message that Americans can get past the dark moment by working together.

Canadians, however, don’t seem too optimistic as news of Biden’s reported plans to cancel TC Energy’s (TSX, NYSE: TRP) Keystone XL pipeline permit via executive action has grabbed headlines over the past two days. Continue Reading →

Biden’s Attack on Climate Change Gives Surprise Reprieve to Coal – by Jennifer A. Dlouhy (Bloomberg News – Janauary 29, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden enlisted the entire U.S. government in the fight against climate change on Wednesday, even telling the Central Intelligence Agency to consider global warming a national security threat.

Yet he left out coal — the fossil fuel most widely blamed for global warming — when he froze the sale of leases to extract oil and gas from federal land.

It was a conspicuous omission for a president who has vowed to make the electric grid carbon-free by 2035 and who has said the world’s “future rests in renewable energy.” Continue Reading →

Opposition rises to Canadian mining plan that poses risk across US border – by Cara McKenna (The Guardian – January 29, 2021)

An international coalition of over 200 Indigenous groups, businesses and environmentalists have announced opposition to a Canadian mining plan that could have far-reaching impacts in the US.

Imperial Metals has applied to the British Columbia government for a five-year exploratory permit to drill for gold around the source waters of the Skagit River, near the US border.

The opponents on both sides of the border argue that if gold exploration and, eventually, mining are permitted in the Skagit headwaters, which flow into Puget Sound in Washington state, pollution could harm local communities and the North Cascades national park. Continue Reading →

Biden DOE pick ‘enthusiastically supportive’ of US critical mineral policies – by Jacob Holzman (S&P Global Market Intelligence – January 2021)

In a signal of how the Biden administration will tackle U.S. mining, U.S. Energy Secretary nominee Jennifer Granholm voiced unerring support for marshaling the powers of the federal government to ensure steady domestic supplies of critical minerals, including lithium and cobalt.

Granholm, a former governor of a state legendary for its auto industry, said at her Jan. 27 Senate confirmation hearing that she was “enthusiastically supportive” of policy efforts geared toward boosting U.S. mining of materials integral to national security, including those used to produce lithium-ion batteries.

Her words echoed a national policy first set forth under the Trump administration then enacted by Congress to bolster domestic supplies of minerals in order to combat foreign influence over supply chains. Continue Reading →

The Biden Administration Promises To Clean Up Mine Land and Create Jobs in Appalachia. Here Are Some Steps It Can Take. – by Anya Slepyan (Southerly Magazine – January 19, 2021)

A century of fossil fuel extraction has left Appalachia environmentally and economically degraded. With the coal industry on its last leg and company bankruptcies piling up, taxes that fund crucial public services are drying up; unemployment and poverty are worsening; abandoned mines are polluting and endangering communities.

On Jan. 20, Democrats will control both Congress and the White House for the first time in nearly 11 years — albeit by a slim majority in the Senate — and there’s potential to make significant progress in addressing some of these problems.

Past federal efforts have been ineffective at solving many of the root issues: persistent poverty, corporate land ownership, adverse health outcomes. Aside from a couple of federal programs, “central Appalachia has been largely ignored,” said Patrick McGinley, a law professor at West Virginia University who focuses on environmental law. Continue Reading →

50 Years Ago: Tribe explores new directions in mining leases – by Bill Donovan (Navajo Times – Janaury 21, 2021)

It turns out one of the problems the new chairman will have to look into is the tribe’s mineral leases with outside companies.

The Navajo Times never reported any real news about the tribe’s mineral reserves during Raymond Nakai’s eight years in office with the exception of reports put out by the BIA about new contracts bringing in millions of dollars to the tribe.

But there were no new contracts signed during the last three years and neither the tribe nor the BIA ever made public information about how the tribe was faring in selling rights to its natural resources. Continue Reading →