Archive | United States Mining

U.S. Commerce Wants Aluminum Tariff-Quota on Imports – by Joe Deaux and Andrew Mayeda (Bloomberg News – February 16, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Shares in U.S. aluminum and steel companies from Alcoa Corp. to Nucor Corp. surged after the U.S. Commerce Department recommended that President Donald Trump impose a range of restrictions on imports from tariffs to quotas.

In a briefing with reporters on Friday over the results of his department’s investigation, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross proposed a 24 percent global tariff on steel shipments coming into the U.S. and a 7.7 percent duty on aluminum imports. Trump has the latitude to choose between these types of options or even enter talks with producers to find solutions.

The recommendations pushed up Century Aluminum Co. as much as 11 percent, while Alcoa gained 5.5 percent. Aluminum on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 2.4 percent as of 5:15 p.m. in London. Continue Reading →

Freeport, Amman awaiting green light on 2018 Indonesia copper exports – by Fergus Jensen and Wilda Asmarini (Reuters U.K. – February 15, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

JAKARTA (Reuters) – The Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc and fellow copper miner Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara (AMNT) are waiting for last-minute mining ministry approvals to their applications to extend copper concentrate exports, company officials said.

Freeport’s export permit for Grasberg, the world’s second-biggest copper mine, is due to expire on Friday, as is Amman’s permit to ship ore concentrate from its Batu Hijau mine on the island of Sumbawa.

Current rules require Freeport and Amman to reapply for export licences every year, and extensions are often granted only once previous permits have expired, creating logistical headaches for the companies. Continue Reading →

Barrick Cuts Gold Output Forecast for Eighth Potential Drop – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – February 15, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Barrick Gold Corp., the bullion producer that once towered over rivals, continues to shrink. The Toronto-based miner is predicting its eighth straight decline in annual production as it takes less gold out of the ground at its main mines.

The company expects to produce 300,000 fewer ounces in 2018 than it had previously forecast. It now projects total production will be 4.5 million to 5 million ounces this year, compared with a previous forecast of 4.8 million to 5.3 million ounces. Total gold output in 2017 was 5.32 million ounces.

Barrick also raised its forecast for all-in-sustaining costs to a range of $765 to $815 an ounce this year, compared with previous guidance of $710 to $770. Continue Reading →

The mining reform America really needs – by Jennifer Krill (The Hill – February 1, 2018)

http://thehill.com/

Jennifer Krill is executive director of Earthworks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the adverse impacts of mineral and energy development while promoting sustainable solutions.

In recent months, President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke have moved to gut bedrock environmental laws in order to accelerate the mining of so-called “critical minerals.” They claim America is over-reliant on foreign countries for these minerals and that fast-tracking permits for domestic mines will strengthen our national security.

It is either nonsense or a deliberate deception: a trojan horse built out of toothpicks and duct tape. The administration is using a national security rationale as cover for a gift to the mining industry, proposing further erosion of already flimsy community and environmental protections against the impacts of hardrock mining.

Yes, we need to change U.S. mining policy, but not to loosen oversight. Communities across the country are living with mining pollution, and taxpayers — not the polluters — too often are paying for cleanup. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Coal jobs won’t come back – but there are other ways to help coal country – by Jason Walsh (Reuters U.S. – February 13, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

It was always obvious that Donald Trump would never be able to keep his promise – made both as candidate and president – that he would bring coal jobs back to battered mining communities.

Despite a long-standing campaign by the coal industry to blame the industry’s decline on President Obama’s environmental policies, the primary drivers of that decline have been economic, the most important being the low cost of natural gas.

Nonetheless, Trump made his pledge to coal country. And it found a receptive audience, particularly in Appalachia, where the industry’s collapse has resulted in severe economic hardship. Continue Reading →

Let’s Make America a Mineral Superpower – by Stephen Moore (Twonhall.com – February 13, 2018)

https://townhall.com/

Why is the United States reliant on China and Russia for strategic minerals when we have more of these valuable resources than both these nations combined? This has nothing to do with geological impediments. It is all politics.

This is an underreported scandal that jeopardizes American security. As recently as 1990, the U.S. was No. 1 in the world in mining output.

But according to the latest data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. is 100 percent import dependent for at least 20 critical and strategic minerals (not including each of the “rare earths”), and between 50 and 99 percent reliant for another group of 30 key minerals. Why aren’t alarm bells ringing? Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto Confident U.S. Will Treat Canada Differently on Trade – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – February 7, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The head of Rio Tinto Group’s aluminum division is confident the Trump administration will recognize that Canada must be viewed differently when considering import tariffs on the metal and in Nafta talks.

“There’s a clear recognition of the strategic importance of the Canadian industry to the American manufacturing base,” Alf Barrios, chief executive of Rio Tinto’s aluminum division, said Wednesday in a phone interview. That view was expressed to him in conversations within the last few weeks, he said. “It is different than the other importing countries.”

In January, U.S. President Donald Trump received the findings of the eight-month “Section 232” investigation into whether aluminum imports pose a threat to national security. Continue Reading →

Black Lung Study Finds Biggest Cluster Ever Of Fatal Coal Miners’ Disease – by Howard Berkes and Adelina Lancianese (National Public Radio – February 6, 2018)

https://www.npr.org/

Epidemiologists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say they’ve identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever reported, a cluster that was first uncovered by NPR 14 months ago.

In a research letter published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, NIOSH confirms 416 cases of progressive massive fibrosis or complicated black lung in three clinics in central Appalachia from 2013 to 2017.

“This is the largest cluster of progressive massive fibrosis ever reported in the scientific literature,” says Scott Laney, a NIOSH epidemiologist involved in the study. “We’ve gone from having nearly eradicated PMF in the mid-1990s to the highest concentration of cases that anyone has ever seen,” he said. Continue Reading →

US Officials Consider New Tool to Combat Mine Spills: Robots (New York Times – January 31, 2018)

https://www.nytimes.com/

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS – DENVER — Crumbling mine tunnels awash with polluted waters perforate the Colorado mountains, and scientists may one day send robots creeping through the pitch-black passages to study the mysterious currents that sometimes burst to the surface with devastating effects.

One such disaster happened at the inactive Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado in 2015, when the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally triggered the release of 3 million gallons (11 million liters) of mustard-colored water laden with arsenic, lead and other contaminants. The spill tainted rivers in three states.

Now, the EPA is considering using robots and other sophisticated technology to help prevent these types of “blowouts” or clean them up if they happen. But first the agency has to find out what’s inside the mines, some of which date to Colorado’s gold rush in the 1860s. Continue Reading →

A modern land run? Trump move opens Utah to mining claims under 1872 law – by Valerie Volcovici (Reuters U.S. – January 31, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw federal protections from millions of acres of Utah wilderness will reopen much of the iconic terrain to gold, silver, copper, and uranium land claims under a Wild West-era mining law, according to federal officials.

Starting at 6 a.m. on Feb. 2 – the moment Trump’s proclamation reducing the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments takes effect – private citizens and companies will be allowed to stake claims for hard rock mining in a process governed by the General Mining Law of 1872, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The process for staking a claim remains much as it did during the Gold Rush: A prospector hammers four poles into the ground corresponding to the four points of a parcel that can be as big as 20 acres, and attaches a written description of the claim onto one of them. A prospector then has 30 days to record the claim at the local BLM office. Continue Reading →

Freeport points to progress in Indonesia permit talks – by Susan Taylor (Reuters U.K. – January 25, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

TORONTO (Reuters) – Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX.N) said it was edging closer to a permit deal with Indonesia for its massive Grasberg mine, but the world’s second-biggest copper producer cautioned that it has not yet struck any formal agreements.

There has been little sign of progress since last August, when Freeport promised to divest a 51-percent stake in Grasberg, the world’s second-biggest copper mine, to the Indonesian government, in exchange for long-term operating rights.

But negotiations have produced positive results, insisted Chief Executive Richard Adkerson on a conference call with analysts, adding that all parties aim to complete talks in the first half of 2018. Continue Reading →

America’s Troubling and Growing Reliance on Foreign Minerals – by Mark J. Perry (Inside Sources – January 24, 2018)

http://www.insidesources.com/

To grasp the seriousness of America’s heavy reliance on imports of strategically important minerals, consider that many of the metals needed for weapons systems and a wide array of consumer products come from countries that don’t always have our nation’s best interests in mind.

Once the undisputed global leader in minerals production, the U.S. mining industry is now well on its way to second-tier status. Domestic mines have been closing, leading to a 13 percent drop in our nation’s share of global investments in metals mining over the past decade and an increased reliance on minerals imports. Last year, American companies spent more than $7 billion on imported minerals.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. dependence on minerals from abroad has doubled in the last 20 years, and we are now import-dependent on more than half of 50 key mineral commodities and 100 percent import-dependent for 20 of those, including manganese, tantalum and rare earth minerals such as neodymium, samarium and dysprosium, which are crucial in the manufacture of jet fighter engines, antimissile defense systems, night vision goggles and smart bombs, among other advanced weapons systems. Continue Reading →

Commerce secretary gives Trump options to fight steel and aluminum dumping, including higher tariffs – by Lori Ann LaRocco (CNBC – January 22, 2018)

https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has recommended to President Donald Trump a wide range of options to deal with aluminum and steel dumping in the U.S., including potentially higher tariffs, sources told CNBC.

The options also include specifically targeting “bad actors” in other countries that are active in imports of the metals. Trump and his administration announced the Section 232 investigation into steel and aluminum in April 2017. The investigation was to determine whether the imports posed a threat to the country’s national security.

Trump has 90 days to review the so-called 232 report’s findings and recommendations. The president would then decide on what course of action to take. Continue Reading →

Parties fight over uranium mining in Trump’s smaller Utah monuments – by Josh Siegel (Washington Examiner – January 22, 2018)

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/

Republican lawmakers are trying to counter accusations that the Trump administration drastically shrank the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah to benefit the uranium mining industry.

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, introduced a bill last month that explicitly bars mining and drilling in the new monument area as well as in the land that was protected before President Trump altered the boundaries.

Former President Barack Obama, who created the 1.35-acre Bears Ears National Monument just before he left office, had banned mining and drilling there. Trump on Dec. 4 signed a proclamation cutting Bears Ears by more than 1.1 million acres, or 85 percent, and creating two smaller monuments instead. Continue Reading →

Wyoming uranium producers appeal to Trump to decrease foreign imports – by Heather Richards (Casper Star Tribune – January 21, 2018)

http://trib.com/

The two largest uranium producers in the country, both operating in Wyoming, are asking President Donald Trump for relief from one of their greatest challenges: foreign imports.

Denver-based Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy petitioned the Department of Commerce to look into whether imports from dominant uranium producers, like Russia, pose a national security risk. The firms are also asking the president to make adjustments to imports of uranium, according to a statement released by the companies last week.

The companies propose carving out about 25 percent of the domestic market solely for U.S. producers. That would hopefully boost prices and give companies like Energy Fuels an opportunity to grow their businesses, said Paul Goranson, executive vice president of operations for Energy Fuels. Continue Reading →