Archive | United States Mining

Copper could be the solution for displaced coal miners on the Navajo Reservation – by Ryan Randazzo (Arizona Republic – March 15, 2018)

With the impending closure of the Navajo Generating Station coal-fired power plant near Page in December 2019, hundreds of power plant workers and coal miners will need new jobs. Arizona’s copper mines could offer them opportunity.

Thanks to rebounding copper prices, copper mines across Arizona have hundreds of job openings today. The major companies, Freeport-McMoRan Inc., Resolution Copper and Asarco, all said they would be interested in hiring displaced workers from Peabody Energy’s Kayenta Mine should it close.

“Increasing copper prices, from $2 in January 2015 to $3.20 in February, has driven increased production and exploration, and additional employment is sure to follow,” said Steve Trussell, executive director of the Arizona Mining Association. Continue Reading →

Gold mine of potash sits beneath Michigan, could be worth $65 billion – by Keith Matheny (Detroit Free Press – March 16, 2018

About a mile-and-a-half underground in north-central Michigan, an almost-forgotten reserve of the potassium-rich mineral salt potash could be worth $65 billion to the Michigan economy.

A widely used agricultural fertilizer, Michigan’s potash may be some of the purest found anywhere in the world. It’s spurring a Colorado engineer and geologist’s plan for a more than $700-million mining and processing facility in Osceola County.

“This is a transformative, generational opportunity for Osceola County,” said Michigan Potash CEO Theodore Pagano. “One of the world’s tightest-controlled commodities sits in Evart Township, and it’s the highest-graded ore by a factor of two. And it sits in a location better than anybody else’s in the world.” Continue Reading →

Don’t let mining companies kill plan to help coal miners, families through land reclamation – by Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox (Louisville Courier-Journal – March 16, 2018)

The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox serves as President/C.E.O. of The Evangelical Environmental Network. Before his call to ordained ministry, he served the coal and utility industry as Director of Fuel Systems for Allis Mineral Systems.

In the book of Micah, the Bible tells us “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Nowhere is that more needed than the coal towns of Appalachia, where jobs have withered, including over 13,000 lost in Kentucky alone.

Many in my family are among the millions who supplied America’s energy needs for the past century. From Harlan County, Kentucky, to Cambria County, Pennsylvania, coal dust runs in my blood.

Both my grandfathers suffered black lung disease, my dad suffered a mine-related serious back injury, and I spent the first decade and a half of my career in the coal industry before becoming an evangelical pastor. Continue Reading →

A Ground-Breaking Opportunity: Mining Critical Minerals in America – by Ned Mamula and Stephen Moore (National Review – March 15, 2018)

Domestic mining could supply most of our mineral needs, if only environmentalists would allow it.

Energy, minerals, and metals are indispensable for our American standard of living. But unlike the case with energy, the U.S. is chronically import-reliant on other nations for the minerals and metals that are needed for our country’s economy, infrastructure, and military.

Mineral imports have steadily increased for at least the past two decades because draconian permitting requirements and environmental opposition have made it hard to supply those needs from sources within the U.S. Now there is not enough domestic mining to meet robust manufacturing demand.

However, the real problem is that more and more mineral imports are coming from China, Russia, and third-world dictatorships. Continue Reading →

Canadian miner could reopen centenary Idaho mine – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – March 15, 2018)

Following the settlement of a longstanding Superfund lawsuit against the owner of the Bunker Hill Mine, the project’s Canadian operator might restart works at the site.

Toronto-based Bunker Hill Mining Co. told The Spokesman-Review that it would consider reopening the mine on a limited basis by the end of the year, while large-scale production could be possible in about two years.

The Canadian miner is leasing the lead-zinc-silver property located in Kellogg, northern Idaho, and has an option to buy it from the owner, Placer Mining Co.

Before doing that, Bunker would have to raise about $100 million. Continue Reading →

Indonesian polls may delay Freeport settlement -by John McBeth (Asia Times – March 15, 2018)

US mining giant’s planned divestment in world’s largest gold and second largest copper mine threatens to become ensnared in election politics

If the difficult talks between the Indonesian government and American-owned Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold over the future of Papua’s Grasberg mine drag on beyond mid-year, they might well be postponed until after next year’s legislative and presidential elections.

Analysts believe that as much as he wants to reach an overall settlement in the next two months, President Joko Widodo will not be keen for the negotiations on such key issues as valuation and managerial control to become a distraction ahead of or during the campaign period, which formally begins in mid-September.

Government sources say the president’s main concern is to secure funding commitments for the majority stake Freeport agreed to divest in its Indonesian subsidiary so he can show that progress is being made in implementing the framework agreement the two sides signed six months ago. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Aluminium through the looking glass after Trump’s tariffs – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – March 13, 2018)

LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) – In a little more than a week’s time the United States will impose a tariff of 10 percent on all aluminium imports and 25 percent on all steel imports.

Except for those from Canada and Mexico. For now. Their exemptions have been folded into separate negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Other countries may receive exemptions as well, depending on who qualifies as a “real” friend in the eyes of U.S. President Donald Trump. So far, only “our ally, the great nation of Australia” has been given the Presidential nod. Continue Reading →

First Cobalt Buys Idaho Explorer in Race to Supply Battery Boom – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – March 14, 2018)

First Cobalt Corp. is seeking to speed up its timetable to begin producing cobalt, riding the wave of interest in the metal used in electric-vehicle batteries and smartphones.

The Vancouver-based exploration company agreed to buy explorer US Cobalt Inc., which has properties in Idaho, in an all-stock deal with an implied equity value of about C$149.9 million ($116 million). Trading in the two companies’ shares was suspended.

“We’re trying to fast-track our way into North American mining and refining,” First Cobalt Chief Executive Officer Trent Mell said in an interview. Continue Reading →

$1M exploration of Maine mountain may lead to first large-scale mining in 50 years – by Anthony Brino (Bangor Daily News – March 12, 2018)

Bangor Daily News

PATTEN, Maine — Since last December, Wolfden Resources geologist Art Hamilton has been studying drilling samples from 500-million-year-old volcanic rock near Pickett Mountain in northeastern Penobscot County.

Through the end of the year Hamilton and Wolfden’s team of contractors will be taking more than 32,000 feet of 2½-inch diameter core samples of the Pickett Mountain deposit to determine whether it is economically feasible to develop what would be the state’s first large-scale metal mining operation in about five decades. The longest hole so far has run almost a half-mile deep.

“Drilling is a very expensive process, especially when you’re trying to go down in depth,” Hamilton said during a tour on March 7 of the drilling site with staff members from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies. Continue Reading →

As Coal Use Wanes, U.S. Miners Depend on Foreign Buyers, Steel – by Joe Ryan (Bloomberg News – March 7, 2018)

It keeps getting harder to sell coal in the U.S. U.S. miners are forecast to cut production 4.7 percent in 2018 as electricity generators shift increasingly to natural gas and renewable energy, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The expected total of 736.3 million short tons would be the second-lowest since 1978, and just barely more than 2016, a year filled with mine closures, mass firings and bankruptcies.

As demand for coal used to generate electricity continues to dwindle, the key to success for U.S. miners increasingly lies in two things: steel and international markets. Continue Reading →

Trump’s tariffs could ricochet on coal country – by Matt Egan (CNN Money – March 6, 2018)

President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs may invite retaliation against American coal, an industry he promised to revive.

Surging exports have been one of the only recent bright spots in beleaguered coal country. Demand in the United States has shrunk because of competition from natural gas and renewable energy, but the appetite for coal is strong in the fast-growing economies of Latin America and Asia.

But coal country could be harmed if Trump follows through on a vow to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% levy on aluminum.

Brazil, a major exporter of steel to the United States, has already hinted at retaliation. Brazil’s Industry Ministry warned last week that it may take action to “preserve its national interest” in response to Trump’s tariffs. Continue Reading →

Indonesia president wants to wrap up Freeport talks by end-April – by Wilda Asmarini (Reuters U.S. – March 5, 2018

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia President Joko Widodo has instructed his administration to complete negotiations over the purchase of a majority stake in Freeport-McMoRan Inc’s local unit by the end of April, a cabinet minister said late on Monday.

“It should be wrapped up before the end of April, valuation and all,” Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan told reporters, referring to directions from President Widodo.

Indonesia cannot simply wait until Freeport’s current mining contract expires in 2021 and then take ownership of its Grasberg copper mine, Jonan said. Continue Reading →

U.S. Slaps Duties on China Aluminum Foil as Xi Ally Arrives (Bloomberg News – February 27, 2018)

The U.S. Commerce Department slapped stiff duties on aluminum foil from China after concluding that the country’s producers are receiving unfair subsidies and dumping the product in the American market.

Duties from 49 percent to 106 percent will be imposed on Chinese aluminum foil for selling the product in the U.S. below fair market value, the department said in a statement Tuesday. The Trump administration also set duties of 17 percent to 81 percent for the unfair subsidies that the U.S. has concluded Chinese producers receive.

The issue now goes before the U.S. International Trade Commission, which is expected to have the final say on the injury claims in a vote scheduled for March 15, the Aluminum Association, which is based in Virginia, said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Barrick clings to top gold miner title as Newmont falls short by only 125 gold bars – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg/Financial Post – February 22, 2018)

But Newmont reiterated its outlook that exceeds Barrick’s forecasted output for the next four years

A gap of about 50,000 ounces — or about 125 gold bars — is all that stands in the way of Newmont Mining Corp. from claiming the title of world’s biggest gold miner.

The Greenwood Village, Colorado-based miner said Thursday its 2017 gold production was 5.27 million ounces, ending the year in a near dead-heat with industry leader Barrick Gold Corp., which produced 5.32 million ounces.

However, Newmont reiterated its outlook that exceeds Barrick’s forecasted output for the next four years. Goldberg has increasingly highlighted his company’s growth prospects to investors, as well as Newmont’s commitment to lure investors away from ETFs with high dividends. Continue Reading →

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

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 →