Archive | United States Mining

Calls for tariffs on Canadian aluminum come with a Glencore twist – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – July 11, 2020)

https://financialpost.com/

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement was supposed to mark a new era in trade relations between Ottawa and Washington. Instead it came into force on July 1 overshadowed by the Trump Administration’s threats to re-impose tariffs on Canadian aluminum.

While political analysts have speculated about whether the tough talk, which began last month, may have had more to do with re-election campaigning than economic policy, inside aluminum industry circles the possibility of new tariffs has raised eyebrows for other reasons.

That’s because one of the world’s largest commodities players, Switzerland-based Glencore Plc — which mines nickel, copper, zinc and thermal coal in Canada and has partnerships worth billions of dollars with some of this country’s largest pension plans — is a major investor in a Chicago-based aluminum producer closely tied to the tariff fight. Continue Reading →

Of cars and cans: US aluminum and the pandemic – by Sarah Baltic (SP Global – July 7, 2020)

https://www.spglobal.com/en/

The coronavirus pandemic has obliterated global metals demand as one of the main end uses, automotive applications, has seen major disruptions to the supply chain.

The US metals market, in particular, saw the removal of an estimated 33,000 vehicles per day from production as all major auto producers across the country halted operations in response to government mandates and concerns over the welfare of workers.

Because the transportation sector is the largest end user of aluminum, accounting for around 35% of aluminum consumption, it is easy to see why so many market participants expressed concern over the lingering effects coronavirus would have on the health of the industry. Continue Reading →

State, Campbell County pursue rare earth opportunities – by Greg Johnson (Wyoming Tribune Eagle – July 7, 2020)

https://www.wyomingnews.com/

GILLETTE — As flagging coal and oil revenues continue to implode the Wyoming budget by hundreds of millions of dollars, momentum is growing for a more down-to-earth solution.

A push to resurrect the nation’s ability to produce and refine rare earth elements has made some people wonder whether that also could be the phoenix that rises from the ashes of the Powder River Basin’s legacy coal mining industry.

More specifically, from the ash produced by area coal-fired power plants. Typically a waste product of burning coal to make electricity, coal ash also contains rare earths, which are elements with unique properties that are essential for many technologies like electronics, health care equipment and national defense. Continue Reading →

Why Canada faces fresh U.S. aluminum tariffs – by James McCarten (Globe and Mail – July 6, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The United States is once again threatening to spark a fresh tariff war with Canada over aluminum exports, despite the debut of a renegotiated North American trade agreement that was supposed to usher in stability in the midst of an international economic crisis.

Precisely why remains a mystery to trade and industry insiders, although it’s likely the result of a convergence of disparate factors: COVID-19, international metals arbitrage, President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and US$16.3-billion worth of Russian aluminum.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Jean Simard, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association of Canada, coming as it does with the coming into force of USMCA – the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which formally replaced NAFTA this week. Continue Reading →

Politics, pandemics and Russian aluminum: why Canada faces fresh U.S. tariffs (National Post – July 03, 2020)

https://nationalpost.com/

The Canadian Press – WASHINGTON — The United States is once again threatening to spark a fresh tariff war with Canada over aluminum exports, despite the debut of a North American trade agreement that was supposed to usher in stability in the midst of an international economic crisis.

Precisely why remains a mystery to trade and industry insiders, although it’s likely the result of a convergence of disparate factors: COVID-19, international metals arbitrage, President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and $16.3-billion worth of Russian aluminum.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Jean Simard, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association of Canada, coming as it does with the coming into force of USMCA — the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which formally replaced NAFTA this week. Continue Reading →

U.S. plan to slap tariffs on Canadian aluminum faces a powerful adversary — the beer lobby – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 27, 2020)

https://business.financialpost.com/

As the Trump Administration considers reimposing a 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum, it finds itself at odds with a powerful constituency — beer manufacturers.

On Thursday, Jim McGreevy, chief executive of the Washington, D.C.-based Beer Institute, joined by executives from the American Beverage Association, the Can Manufacturers Institute, and the Aluminum Association, expressed their strong opposition to a tariff or even a quota on Canadian aluminum, in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“Constraints on imports of aluminum from our country’s closest ally, whether in the form of a quota or a tariff, will significantly increase the cost of aluminum in this country,” the executives wrote. Continue Reading →

Only mill in the US able to process uranium-rare earth ores open for business – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – June 28, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

As the US pushes to dilute China’s monopoly and develop a domestic rare earth supply, Colorado-based Energy Fuels (TSX: EFR) is working towards being at the forefront in the race.

Energy Fuels is the owner of the White Mesa Mill in Utah, the only fully-licensed and operating conventional uranium mill in the United States. The facility is normally used to process radioactive ore and produce yellowcake but now some areas are likely to be transformed to allow for the processing of uranium-rare earth ores.

“Our rare earth elements program intends to make the mill available for miners to process their uranium-rare earth ores in the US. Such a facility does not currently exist,” Mark Chalmers, president and CEO of Energy Fuels, told MINING.COM. Continue Reading →

Government doesn’t know how much gold, silver, copper is being mined on federal lands: watchdog – by Rachel Frazin (The Hill – June 25, 2020)

https://thehill.com/

The federal government doesn’t know how much gold, silver and copper is being mined on public lands, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog, found that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service do not keep track of how many minerals are extracted under “locatable hardrock mine operations” because companies that operate these mines do not need to pay royalties to the federal government.

“Federal agencies do not generally collect data on the quantity of minerals extracted from locatable hardrock mine operations—which account for 83 percent of the total number of mine operations authorized to produce minerals on federal lands,” the GAO report said. Continue Reading →

U.S. threatens new tariffs on Canadian aluminum unless metal exports curtailed – by Adrian Morrow (Globe and Mail – June 24, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Trump administration officials are threatening to reimpose tariffs on Canadian aluminum if Ottawa does not swiftly agree to cut the amount of the metal exported to the U.S., said three industry sources on both sides of the border with knowledge of the confidential discussions.

Deputy U.S. trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish told Canadian Ambassador Kirsten Hillman in a Friday phone call that Canada has until July 1 to agree to export control measures, such as quotas, or Robert Lighthizer, the administration’s trade chief, will recommend that President Donald Trump reimpose tariffs, one of the sources said.

A Canadian government official said Ms. Hillman discussed aluminum and steel exports with top officials in Mr. Lighthizer’s office on Friday. Continue Reading →

What’s next for coal country? – by Mason Adams and Dustin Bleizeffer (Energy News – June 23, 2020)

https://energynews.us/

Coal communities in Appalachia and Wyoming are vital revenue engines for huge portions of the rural U.S., and they face devastation with little time to adjust to new realities.

Coal country in the United States is in the midst of a historic transition. Whether it’s Welch, West Virginia; or Cumberland, Kentucky; or Gillette, Wyoming, communities that have built their cultures and economies around coal face a future without it.

This transition is not one most coal communities would have chosen, and because of the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s transpired much sooner than anticipated.

The decline that many coal communities expected to stretch years into the future has instead arrived, seemingly, overnight. Coal’s demise was already baked into market and policy forces driving toward cleaner energy for the past 20 years, according to analysts. Continue Reading →

U.S. mining lobby in push to preserve tax break repealed by Democrats – by Pete Schroeder and Michelle Price (Reuters U.S. – June 24, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. mining industry is spearheading a lobbying effort to protect a $160 billion pandemic tax break after congressional Democrats largely repealed the provisions in their recent stimulus bill, according to emails and a letter seen by Reuters.

The tax provision folded into the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March has been criticized by Democrats and public advocacy groups as a stealth giveaway for the wealthy. Its exact provenance in the legislation and which interested parties advocated for it remain unclear.

On Monday, more than 70 industry associations wrote to Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Republican-led Senate finance committee on taxation and his Democratic counterpart Ron Wyden, raising concerns that “some in Congress are seeking to reverse these changes” and urging the senators to leave them in place. Continue Reading →

Europe Targets U.S. Coal, Farms in Election-Year Trade Staredown – by Bryce Baschuk (Bloomberg News – June 23, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — Transatlantic relations could reach a new low next month as the European Union readies tariffs on billions of dollars of American exports aimed at politically important industries for President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress.

The EU has asked the World Trade Organization to give it the green light to place levies on $11.2 billion of U.S. products over a long-running aircraft subsidies dispute. A ruling is expected as soon as July and the EU is planning to target coal producers, farmers and fisheries, in addition to the makers of aircrafts and parts.

The potential flashpoint comes at a sensitive time, with companies struggling under historic virus-induced recessions and as the November presidential election draws sensitive industries, especially in the American heartland, into ongoing trade conflicts. Continue Reading →

Trump considering reinstating tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel imports – by Adrian Morrow (Globe and Mail – June 19, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The Trump administration is floating the possibility of reimposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum imports amid lobbying from American producers, and has been in talks with Ottawa.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer told congressional hearings Wednesday that rising metals imports are “a problem with Canada that we’re working on.”

“There have been surges on steel and aluminum,” he said. “It’s something that’s of genuine concern.” Continue Reading →

Column: Friend or foe? Canadian imports split U.S. aluminium sector – by Andy Bell (Reuters U.K. – June 19, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – A surge in Canadian aluminium imports “is destroying what remains of the United States industry”. The dramatic warning comes from the American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA), which represents Century Aluminum and Magnitude 7 Metals, two of the last three remaining primary producers in the United States.

The solution, they argue in a May 27 letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, is to revoke Canada’s exemption from import tariffs.

The U.S. Aluminum Association (AA), which has a much larger membership including the country’s third producer Alcoa, vehemently disagrees. Continue Reading →

Some U.S. aluminum producers are again pushing for tariffs on Canada as others warn of ‘great Canadian distraction’ – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 17, 2020)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Tensions around aluminum appear to be rearing their head again even as the new NAFTA is only weeks away from taking effect

Just weeks before Canada’s long-negotiated trade agreement with the U.S. and Mexico is set to take effect, there’s mounting speculation that Washington is preparing to re-introduce tariffs on Canadian aluminum in what’s likely to cause a political uproar with serious economic fallout for the domestic industry.

The U.S. is the primary export destination for Canada’s $13-billion aluminum industry, accounting for 83 per cent of its trade in 2018.

Nonetheless, in recent weeks, aluminum future prices on the Chicago Mercantile Market have risen, which some analysts attribute to behind-the-scenes lobbying efforts by two U.S. aluminum producers, pressure from other aluminum producing countries, and the likelihood that U.S. President Donald Trump will impose new restrictions on Canadian aluminum. Continue Reading →