Archive | United States Mining

Report Debunking Trump’s Coal Plan Is Under Review, Administration Says – by Jennifer A. Dlouhy (Bloomberg News – October 15, 2018)

The Trump administration is pushing back against assertions it buried a study that undermines its efforts to prop up coal and nuclear power plants.

The analysis, which was initially ordered up by the Energy Department’s Office of Nuclear Energy last fall and completed earlier this year, is still moving through an internal review process, spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said.

“It is premature and irresponsible to criticize and jump to politically motivated conclusions about a report that has not yet been finalized or released,” Hynes said by email. The study disputes a key Trump administration argument for preventing the closures of more coal and nuclear power plants: that those facilities are critical in ensuring the nation’s electric grid is resilient because they store their fuel on site. Continue Reading →

Depending on the enemy: The U.S. calls for new supply strategies to meet economic and defence risks – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – October 10, 2018)

The goal might be summed up by a new slogan: Make America Self-Reliant Again. Or, with a tad less concision: Let’s Stop Relying on an Economic Rival that’s a Potential Military Threat for the Stuff We Need to Compete with an Economic Rival that’s a Potential Military Threat.

A newly released study from the U.S. Secretary of Defense illustrates that absurd dilemma. The dependency runs the gamut from sourcing raw materials to refining them, manufacturing key components, developing R&D, training workers, even setting prices. As the report says, “The central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers.

It is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model—gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.” Continue Reading →

‘If We Can’t Mine Coal, What Are We Going to Do?’ – by Tom Hansell (Huffington Post – October 2018)

Tom Hansell is a documentary filmmaker, educator, and artist who lives in Western North Carolina. He teaches Appalachian studies and documentary studies at Appalachian State University in Boone.

“EPA = Expanding Poverty in America.”

This statement is written in three-foot-high letters on a banner stretched over a bandstand in a public park in Pikeville, Kentucky. It is June 2012 and I am just starting production of the “After Coal″ documentary.

The crowd around me is dressed in the reflective stripes of mining uniforms or in T-shirts reading Friends of Coal and Walker Heavy Machinery. I am documenting a coal industry-sponsored pep rally before a public hearing on new water-quality regulations proposed for mountaintop-removal coal mines. Continue Reading →

Afghanistan signs major mining deals in development push (Reuters U.S. – October 7, 2018)

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan officials have signed contracts for two major mining projects in northern Afghanistan, pushing ahead with plans to develop the country’s mineral reserves but drawing criticism over the involvement of a former minister in the project.

The deals were signed in Washington on Friday with mining and investment group Centar and its operating company Afghan Gold and Minerals Co to develop two sites in Badakhshan and Sar-e Pul provinces with potentially major gold and copper deposits.

The deals, reviving projects that have been stalled for years, follow a push by U.S. and Afghan authorities to develop mineral resources estimated to be worth some $1 trillion and seen as vital to building a functioning economy in Afghanistan after four decades of war. Continue Reading →

Afghanistan’s mineral wealth catches Trump’s eye – by PK Semler (Asia Times – October 8, 2018)

he Ghurian iron mine in Afghanistan’s Herat province is a perfect pilot investment target for a proposed US/Uzbekistan mining venture underwritten by the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), according to Dr Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, chief adviser to the president of Afghanistan.

Speaking to Capitol Intelligence at the Trans-Caspian Forum in Washington, DC, in May, Qayoumi said the Ghurian mine, located on the Iranian border, could be used to supply iron ore to smelters in the north and south of Afghanistan, and even to the United Arab Emirates.

The openness by Afghanistan to US private-sector investment in the country’s nascent mining sector directly contradicts a US State Department assessment prepared for President Donald Trump stating that Afghanistan does not have the infrastructure, transportation, regulatory or environment controls to support private-sector mining in the country. Continue Reading →

Freeport CEO Open to All Options, Even Sale, After Grasberg – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – October 8, 2018)

With a resolution to Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s Indonesian saga in sight, Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson says any strategic move is now possible, including acquisitions, partnerships, or even a sale of the entire company.

Freeport is planning to remain an independent entity, Adkerson said Thursday in a wide-ranging, 90-minute phone interview. “But if an opportunity for us to sell to another company would arise, and that would be good for our shareholders, you would see us trying to get the best deal we can get as opposed to being a company where management is trying to protect itself.”

Freeport has been engrossed in intensive negotiations with Indonesia to cede majority control of its flagship Grasberg mine to local interests for almost two years. With a package of agreements close to being sealed, “the future, strategically for us, is going to be wide open,” Adkerson said. “We have enormous resources.” Continue Reading →

The Metal That Started Trump’s Trade War – by Matthew Philips and Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – October 1, 2018)

The president’s aluminum tariff is bad for America—and great for Switzerland’s Glencore.

Working at the Century Aluminum Co. smelter in Hawesville, Ky., can be like having a job in an oven. The interior temperature hovers around 140F, which isn’t necessarily hotter than, say, your typical steel mill. What’s especially hellish about an aluminum smelter is how close you have to stand to bubbling vats of molten, electrified metal.

Workers wear helmets, masks, and heavy, fire-retardant clothing. They look like smoke jumpers. Over a 12-hour shift they’ll lose several pounds of water weight as they peer over cauldrons, occasionally stirring 1,700-degree liquid aluminum with long metal rods.

They wear earplugs against the hum of 170,000 amps surging through the mixture, which chemically breaks down ore. The air itself feels charged—and smells like the blended aromas of an overheated car engine and a sweaty fistful of coins. If you breathe through your mouth, you can taste the metal on your tongue. Continue Reading →

Grand Canyon uranium mining ban upheld as supreme court declines to hear challenge – by Joanna Walters (The Guardian – October 1, 2018)

The ban on new uranium mining near the Grand Canyon implemented by the Obama administration was effectively upheld on Monday when the US supreme court declined to hear a challenge from the industry.

Environmental groups and Native American communities declared victory when, on the first day of its fall season, the bench announced that the uranium extraction ban was among cases it refuses to review.

An appeals court decision from December 2017 that the ban is legal will now stay in place. Hundreds of mineral deposit claims from Canadian, British and US interests that want to seek out and exploit uranium deposits close to Grand Canyon National Park now remain on hold. Continue Reading →

Ford CEO says Trump’s metal tariffs cost auto maker $1-billion – by Nick Carey and David Shepardson (Globe and Mail/Reuters – September 27, 2018)

Steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration have cost Ford Motor Co about $1-billion in profits, its chief executive officer said on Wednesday, while Honda Motor Co said higher steel prices have brought “hundreds of millions of dollars” in new costs.

“From Ford’s perspective the metals tariffs took about $1-billion in profit from us,” CEO James Hackett said at a Bloomberg conference in New York, “The irony of which is we source most of that in the U.S. today anyway. If it goes on any longer, it will do more damage.”

Hackett did not specify what period the $1-billion covered, but a spokesman said the automaker’s CEO was referring to internal forecasts at Ford for higher tariff-related costs in 2018 and 2019. Continue Reading →

Albemarle eyes future as pure-play lithium market leader – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters U.S. – September 27, 2018)

Sept 27 (Reuters) – Albemarle Corp, the world’s largest lithium producer, aims to eventually end its dependence on two smaller units to fund growth as global appetite surges for electric-powered vehicles and consumer goods, its chief executive said in an interview.

Tesla Inc and other automakers have helped make lithium one of the most-in demand metals, part of an electrification trend sweeping through a global economy increasingly eager to shed fossil fuels.

Albemarle’s lithium earnings have jumped nearly six-fold since 2014 to more than $500 million annually and should significantly exceed 50 percent of corporate earnings by 2021, Chief Executive Luke Kissam said in an interview. Continue Reading →

“Idaho is the new Nevada” – by Richard Roberts (Mining Journal – September 28, 2018)

VanEck’s Joe Foster said at last week’s Beaver Creek Precious Metals Summit that Australia’s successful mid-tier gold regeneration could be repeated in North America in an improved gold and equity market.

Agro says he came out of semi-retirement to lead Revival Gold. The company wants to use the best modern exploration and metallurgical knowledge and methods to reboot the Beartrack-Arnett area, near Salmon in central Idaho, as a gold production centre.

Agro gave an update on progress at the Beaver Creek Summit and told Mining Journal the company’s longer-term vision was to build a “growth company in gold”, with a focus on the US and Canada. Continue Reading →

Freeport Seals Pact With Indonesia on Giant Grasberg Mine – by Eko Listiyorini and Viriya Singgih (Bloomberg News – September 27, 2018)

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. and Indonesia signed a binding landmark agreement for the U.S. miner to hand over majority control of the giant Grasberg copper and gold mine to a local state-owned firm, in the country’s biggest ever divestment by a foreign resources company.

Freeport Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson and PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium President Director Budi Gunadi Sadikin signed a divestment deal and two other pacts in Jakarta on Thursday. The transfer of majority shares to Asahan Aluminium will happen once the company makes a payment of $3.85 billion to Rio Tinto Group and Freeport, Sadikin said.

The U.S. producer will continue to operate the mine under the agreement, which culminates more than a year of talks. The accord will allow Indonesia to issue a special mining license for Freeport to run the world’s second-largest copper mine through 2041. Freeport and Asahan Aluminium, known as Inalum, will complete the transaction before the year-end, Sadikin said. Continue Reading →

Newmont squashes Barrick Gold bid talk – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – September 26, 2018)

Newmont Mining has scotched talk of a bid for Canadian rival Barrick Gold, saying there was no value in a tie-up.

Speaking at the Denver Gold Forum on Tuesday, Newmont chief Gary Goldberg said the company had examined a deal in the past and had not “seen anything”. “I don’t see that changing,” he told Bloomberg News.

After Barrick Gold announced on Monday a $6bn all-stock offer for Africa-focused rival Randgold Resources, there was talk that Newmont might look to wreck the deal with a bid for its Canadian rival. Continue Reading →

The Californian Rare Earths Mine Caught Between Trump and China (Bloomberg News – September 26, 2018)

The only operating rare earths mine in the U.S. – and once the world’s biggest — is caught up in the crossfire of the Trump administration’s trade war with China.

Rare earths, an esoteric group of materials used in everything from Tesla Inc. automobiles to high-tech military equipment, were dropped this week from the U.S.’s final $200 billion catalog of tariffs on Chinese goods, but China didn’t reciprocate on its own hit list.

For MP Mine Operations LLC, the U.S. consortium that owns the Mountain Pass mine in California, that’s a problem because it ships semi-processed output for refining in China, which plans a 10-percent tariff on these imports, rising to 25 percent next year. Continue Reading →

For national security, impose quota on foreign uranium imports – by Paul Goranson (San Antonio Express-News – September 24, 2018)

Today, the Texas uranium mining industry is virtually silent. Indeed, across the U.S., this once-thriving industry now supplies only a small fraction of our domestic nuclear energy and defense requirements, threatening our energy independence and national security. Along with many others, the U.S. Department of Commerce, or DOC, is now asking, why?

As the world’s largest consumer of uranium, the U.S. now produces only 5 percent of the uranium needed to supply 20 percent of our nation’s electricity, representing nearly 60 percent of our clean, zero-carbon electricity. As recently as 1987, almost 50 percent of our nuclear fuel consumption came from domestically produced sources.

Earlier this year, Energy Fuels Resources (USA) and Ur-Energy USA Inc. petitioned the DOC to investigate the adverse effects of uranium imports on national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Continue Reading →