Archive | United States Mining

Native Americans hope to protect ancestral sites threatened by multibillion-dollar copper mine – by Daisy Finch (Cronkite News – December 7, 2018)

Cronkite News

TONTO NATIONAL FOREST – LeRoy Shingoitewa dug his hiking boots into loose gravel and sand, watching the early November morning sunlight slowly spread across shrubby hills and rocky valleys near the proposed site of an enormous copper mine.

Resolution Copper plans to develop the mine east of Superior and predicts the mine will meet about a quarter of the nation’s demand for copper once it is in full production. The company says the mine, which may cost as much as $8 billion, is the “largest single investment in Arizona history.”

It has been passionately opposed by some Native Americans who say it will destroy a sacred site near Oak Flat Campground in the Tonto National Forest about 70 miles east of Phoenix. The Resolution Copper-Oak Flat controversy is not lost on Shingoitewa, even though he’s a field director for a team of Native American “tribal monitors” chosen for a program funded by Resolution Copper and designed with help from the U.S. Forest Service. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 3-U.S. locks in duties on Chinese aluminum sheet imports (Reuters U.K. – December 7, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Friday it made a final determination that American producers were being harmed by imports of common alloy aluminum sheet products from China, a finding that locks in duties on the products.

The ITC determination means that duties ranging from 96.3 percent to 176.2 percent previously announced by the U.S. Commerce Department would be put in place for five years. The department said last month the products were being subsidized and dumped in the U.S. market.

The decision marked the first time that final duties were issued in a trade remedy case initiated by the U.S. government since 1985. Usually, trade cases are launched based on a complaint from a U.S. producer or group of producers. Continue Reading →

Trump administration to lift barriers to build new coal plants – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – December 6, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

The Trump administration is rolling back Obama-era rules on climate change regulation limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants in the United States, making it easier to build new ones.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan, announced Thursday, would no longer mandate that plants meet the strict emissions goals of achieving emissions equal to or less than what plants would have achieved with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

Under the proposed revisions to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), EPA would let new coal plants emit up to 1,900 pounds (862 kg) of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity. The rule would replace the Obama-era standard allowing only 1,400 pounds of carbon per megawatt-hour. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Risky rocks: Open up US mines or let China control strategic minerals – by Mark J. Perry (Washington Examiner – December 4, 2018)

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/

It is time to recognize that the United States will benefit economically and politically by ending our reliance on imports of strategically important minerals needed for weapons systems and an array of high-tech consumer products ranging from lithium-ion EV batteries to cellphones and flat-screen televisions.

The political and economic costs of foreign minerals dependency are far too high, particularly in a period of intense trade competition with China, the world’s No. 1 supplier of minerals. Instead, we should strengthen our own domestic mining capability.

Meaningful legislation to address the problem is needed before the situation gets much worse. The real danger is not that the cost of minerals commodities could get out of hand (last year the U.S. spent more than $7 billion on imports of minerals and metals), but rather that U.S. mines that are essential to our nation’s well-being are closing. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Russia and now China eye control of the global nuclear industry – by Mark Chalmers and Jeffrey Klenda (Washington Examiner – December 4, 2018)

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/

The U.S. uranium mining industry has been devastated. This year, we expect it will provide less than 2 percent of the uranium that our country’s nuclear power plants need to produce 20 percent of our electricity — the lowest U.S. supply level since before the Cold War.

This is no accident. We believe this is a deliberate result of strategies by rival countries to increasingly dominate the global nuclear marketplace and undercut U.S. national and energy security.

More than one-third of uranium imports now come from state-sponsored enterprises in Russia and its satellites. That number is expected to increase as imports from allies such as Canada, Australia, and Namibia decrease. These government-owned industries employ what many would consider to be unfair trade practices that flood the global market with cheap uranium and nuclear fuel. Now China is following in their footsteps. Continue Reading →

Effort Underway to Seal Old Mines, but Some Want Them Open – by Lindsay Whitehurst (U.S. News – October 30, 2018)

https://www.usnews.com/

Associated Press – EUREKA, Utah — Underneath the mountains and deserts of the U.S. West lie hundreds of thousands of abandoned mines, an underground world that can hold serious danger and unexpected wonder. They are a legacy of the region’s prospecting past, when almost anyone could dig a mine and then walk away, with little cleanup required, when it stopped producing.

In Utah alone, the state is trying to seal more than 10,000 open mines with cinderblocks and metal grates after people have died in rock falls and all-terrain-vehicle crashes and from poisonous air over the past three decades. Just this month in Arizona, a prospector broke his left leg and ankle after plunging to the bottom of an old mine shaft. He spent nearly three days there with no food or water fending off rattlesnakes before a friend heard his cries for help.

Still, not everyone wants to see the mines closed. For years, a dedicated subculture of explorers has been slipping underground to see tunnels lined with sparkling quartz, century-old rail cars and caverns that open in the earth like buried ballrooms. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Shut out of China, U.S. coal exporters find favour in India, for now – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – November 20, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Nov 20 (Reuters) – U.S. coal exporters have effectively lost a promising market in China since the imposition of tariffs as part of the ongoing trade dispute, but so far they have managed to find other buyers in Asia, chiefly India.

China imposed a 25 percent tariff on imports of U.S. coal in August as part of its retaliation against tariffs on its exports implemented by the administration of President Donald Trump.

Vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv show that no coal from the United States was discharged in China in October, while two cargoes totalling 212,000 tonnes are being unloaded this month. Continue Reading →

A return to legacy: The reopening of Central City’s Bates Hunter Mine – by Sarah Haas (Boulder Weekly – November 15, 2018)

Boulder Weekly

It’s 8 a.m. at Central City’s newly reopened Bates Hunter Mine, the sun just peaking over the valley walls. It’s been over 70 years since gold was last mined here, but as the miner’s begin to arrive at work on a November day in 2018, it feels like they’ve been here all along, like this is where they’re supposed to be.

By all appearances today is a normal day, although on the agenda is at least one extraordinary task; after months of removing water from the main shaft, the miners can finally access the 163-foot level, submerged and unseen since an exploratory visit in 2008. And, aside from a few maps that look like a simplistic version of Snakes and Ladders, the crew doesn’t really know what to expect on today’s seminal descent.

“We’re just gonna go down and check it out, gauge the condition of the infrastructure, poke around on the landing,” says Matt Collins, the mine’s general manager and engineer. “It’ll be neat to see how close these are to our maps.” Continue Reading →

Coalition forms to reclaim abandoned coal mine lands across Appalachia and rebirth them – by Jake Flatley (West Virginia Metro News – November 14, 2018)

http://wvmetronews.com/

BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. — In an effort to clean up abandoned coal mine lands and give them new life, a coalition of groups in the Appalachian region has formed.

20 former coal sites stretching across four states were mentioned in the report authored by the Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition, “Many Voices, Many Solutions: Innovative Mine Reclamation in Central Appalachia.” A highlight in the report of the sites is a mixed agriculture and renewable energy project proposed on a former strip mine in Boone County.

“We are trying to find ways to not necessarily reinvent the wheel but take what we see as best practices in different areas that would be applicable in different sites such as abandon land mine sites,” Jacob Hannah, Conservation Coordinator with Coalfield Development Corporation, said. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: At U.N. climate talks, Trump team plans sideshow on coal – by Timothy Gardner (Reuters U.S. – November 15, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration plans to set up a side-event promoting fossil fuels at the annual U.N. climate talks next month, repeating a strategy that infuriated global-warming activists during last year’s talks, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

As with the 2017 gathering in Bonn, Germany, the administration plans to highlight the benefits of technologies that more efficiently burn fuels including coal, the sources said.

This year’s talks in Katowice, Poland – located in a mining region that is among the most polluted in Europe – are intended to hammer out a rule book to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, which set a sweeping goal of ending the fossil-fuel era this century by spurring a trillion-dollar transition to cleaner energy sources such as solar and wind power. Continue Reading →

The uncertain future of U.S. coal communities – by Sandeep Pai and Hisham Zerriffi (The Conversation – November 11, 2018)

https://theconversation.com/

At a town hall meeting in Ohio in March 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said: “…I’m the only candidate who has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?”

This statement, she later admitted in her book What Happened, was her biggest regret from the campaign trail. The reason? Coal workers and communities in the United States overwhelmingly supported the rise of Donald Trump because he promised to bring back coal jobs, while Clinton had pledged new jobs and new economic investments in coal communities using clean energy.

Four key coal-producing states — Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania — collectively produce more than two-thirds of U.S. coal. In 2016, Trump received more than 30 per cent more votes than Clinton in three of those states. He also won the fourth, Pennsylvania, just not by as much. Continue Reading →

The EPA Can’t Wait to Reopen the Mine That Poisoned North Idaho – by Peter Waldman (Bloomberg News – November 12, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The Bunker Hill Mine deposited 75 million tons of toxic sludge in Lake Coeur d’Alene, and the lead and zinc are still flowing.

For a century, the mines of the Coeur d’Alene Mountains in North Idaho produced much of the heavy metals that made the U.S. a global superpower. Starting in the 1880s, through the rise of industrialization, the introduction of the automobile, and two world wars, a few narrow canyons in the Coeur d’Alenes yielded more than 11 million tons of zinc, lead, and silver, as much as a fifth of U.S. production.

Mining has left a mark on the culture of the Silver Valley and an indelible stain on the landscape, which remains heavily contaminated. To extract a pound of metal, mining companies had to process nearly 14 pounds of ore, and they dumped the crushed waste rock into mountain streams and along river banks.

Over the course of a century, the tailings and mine drainage flowed down the 40-mile-long watershed, depositing some 75 million tons of highly toxic sludge into Lake Coeur d’Alene. House cats convulsed from drinking the water. Continue Reading →

Cheers, tears as historic smelter from Magma Mine demolished in Superior – by Ryan Randazzo (Arizona Republic – November 10, 2018)

https://www.azcentral.com/

Cheers erupted at 8:46 a.m. Saturday in Superior after the historic copper smelter stack from the Magma Mine crashed to the ground. But the cheers only came because the controlled demolition offered such a spectacle. Many of the people lined up along the streets watching the destruction were sad to see the 293-foot brick stack fall.

Even though smoke hasn’t wafted from the top of the stack since 1971, the 94-year-old smelter about 60 miles east of downtown Phoenix was a symbol of the region’s mining heritage, and had sentimental value for those who lived and worked in Superior.

That includes Larry Palacio, a Gilbert retiree who spent more than 21 years working at the Magma Mine after he graduated from Superior High School in 1955. “I did just about everything,” he said, standing along Main Street waiting for the warning sirens before explosions that caused the stack to topple. “I was a mucker, mechanic, worked the cage.” Continue Reading →

The US needs to rebuild the defense industrial base – by John Adams (The Hill – October 29, 2018)

https://thehill.com/

Retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John Adams served more than 30 years in command and staff assignments as an Army aviator, military intelligence officer and foreign area officer in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He is president of Guardian Six Consulting.

This month the Pentagon finally released a long-awaited report on the health of the nation’s defense industrial base. The findings were startling. Once the nation’s strength – in fact a war winner – our defense industrial base now faces an “unprecedented set of challenges.”

The report is a clear sign we need to act urgently. Just when we should be retooling for renewed great power competition, the very foundation from which we project strength is crumbling.

While the report identified five major challenges to our defense industrial base, all in need of dedicated attention, one challenge in particular – the aggressive industrial policies of competitor nations, particularly China – should cause heightened alarm. Continue Reading →

For Tahoe Resources, Guatemala troubles underscore tense outlook – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters U.S. – November 6, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

(Reuters) – A years-long fight over the future of the world’s second largest silver mine between Tahoe Resources Inc and opponents of the project shows no signs of abating, creating uncertainty for the U.S. miner and its investors.

With environmental and indigenous opponents of Tahoe’s Escobal mine vowing it will never again produce silver, the tension is top of mind for Wall Street, and analysts expect the company to post its fifth consecutive quarterly loss on Tuesday.

Guatemala’s Supreme Court suspended Tahoe’s license to operate Escobal last year, ruling for an anti-mining organization that accused the country’s Ministry of Energy and Mines of failing to properly consult surrounding Xinca indigenous communities about the project. Continue Reading →