Massive rare earth discoveries could mean a new mining rush in the Mountain West – by Will Walkey (Jackson Hole Community Radio/Wyoming Public Media – June 1, 2023)

Down a bumpy dirt road next to a small meandering creek in southeast Wyoming lies the site of a potentially massive rare earth mineral mine. These elements are used in many emerging technologies, including cell phones and solar panels, and they’re a growing part of the future of extractive industry in the Mountain West.

But mining them here and in other places around the region is sure to have big impacts on nearby communities and the environment. This site in the Laramie Mountains is remote. Just a couple of ranches are visible below, and the desolate hillsides contain cacti, animal droppings, shrubs and rocks. A few wooden stakes remain from previous surveys of the land.

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Federal court allows international mining giant to oppose tribes in Oak Flat lawsuit – by Debra Utacia Krol (Arizona Republic – May 31, 2023)

The U.S. District Court in Arizona granted mining giant Resolution Copper permission on Monday to join the U.S. government as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by grassroots group Apache Stronghold.

The Native organization has been fighting to prevent Resolution from building a huge copper mining operation that would obliterate Oak Flat, one of the Apaches peoples’ most sacred sites. Oak Flat, or Chi’chil Biłdagoteel, “the place where the Emory oak grows,” is also culturally important to other Southwestern tribes, and is one of Arizona’s remaining riparian zones and a popular site for recreational users.

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Coal firms owned by family of West Virginia governor sued over unpaid penalties – by John Raby and Denise Lavoie (Associated Press – May 31, 2023)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Thirteen coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice are being sued over unpaid penalties for previous mining law violations that the federal government says pose health and safety risks or threaten environmental harm.

Justice, who was not named in the lawsuit, accused the Biden administration of retaliation. A Republican two-term governor, Justice announced in April that he is running for Democrat Joe Manchin’s U.S. Senate seat in 2024. He will face current U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney in the GOP primary.

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Decarbonization ambitions ignite debate over mining, permitting – by Robert Zullo (Iowa Capital Dispatch – May 31,2023)


The decarbonized, electrified future envisioned by the Biden administration, state governments, automakers, utility companies and corporate sustainability goals depends to a huge degree on minerals and metals.

Lots more lithium will be needed for car and truck batteries, as well as the big banks of batteries that are increasingly popping onto the electric grid to balance the intermittency of wind and solar power. Those batteries, as well as wind turbines and solar panels, also need copper, cobalt,, nickel, zinc and “rare earth” elements used in electric car motors and other clean technologies, among other materials.

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Proposed protections for Grand Canyon spark fight over uranium mining – by Maxine Joselow (Washington Post – May 24, 2023)

To mine or not to mine? That’s the question near the Grand Canyon.

On Saturday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited land near the Grand Canyon that tribal leaders and environmentalists want to permanently protect as a national monument. The visit immediately reignited a decades-old debate over the costs and benefits of uranium mining in this iconic landscape.

Tribes and conservation groups argue that new mining threatens to pollute aquifers and contaminate water supplies. The mining industry disagrees and counters that America must reduce its reliance on Russia for uranium, which fuels the nuclear reactors that provide about half of the nation’s carbon-free electricity.

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Exxon Joins Hunt for Lithium in Bet on EV Boom – by Benoît Morenne and Collin Eaton (Wall Street Journal – May 21, 2023)

Oil giant quietly laid plans this year for producing mineral in Arkansas

Exxon Mobil is bracing for a future far less dependent on gasoline by drilling for something other than oil: lithium. The Texas oil giant recently purchased drilling rights to a sizable chunk of Arkansas land from which it aims to produce the mineral, a key ingredient in batteries for electric cars, cellphones and laptops, according to people familiar with the matter.

Lithium is far removed from the fossil-fuel business, which has powered Exxon’s profits for more than a century, and signals the company’s assessment that demand for internal combustion engines could soon peak, the people said. It would also mark a return for the company to an industry it helped pioneer almost 50 years ago.

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U.S. defensive posture not bad for Canadian miners – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – May 19, 2023)

Canadian projects eligible for Defense Production Act financing, says U.S. ambassador

Vast U.S. government spending powers unleashed through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Defense Production Act (DPA) and intended to kickstart a made-in-America green industrialization effort have Europeans worried they will be shut out of a U.S. green-tech bonanza.

The IRA contains protectionist language that favours American-made components for things such as electric vehicles. Canadians have likewise raised concerns that Canadian companies will be shut out of the U.S. market, or that the Canadian government will not be able to match lavish American subsidies.

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Gold Rush California: How & Where To Pan For Gold In The Golden State – by Maria Bou Ink (The Travel – May 23, 2023)

There are not many profitable vacations, but if tourists go prospecting for gold, they never know.

The Golden State has everything, from Redwoods to Hollywood, from mountains to deserts, from wild natural experiences to coastal road vacations. Without some unexpected hidden wonder, tourists’ journeys would not be complete. They may have visited well-known tourist destinations and sites like Yosemite National Park, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the eerie Winchester Mystery House, but California has a lot more to offer.

California is full of unexpected surprises, from its odd attractions to its unique and distinctive landmarks. One of its unusual things to do is gold panning. When James W. Marshall discovered gold flakes in 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, the California Gold Rush officially got underway.

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The U.S. Needs Minerals for Electric Cars. Everyone Else Wants Them Too. – by Ana Swanson (New York Times – May 21, 2023)

The United States is entering an array of agreements to secure the critical minerals necessary for the energy transition, but it’s not clear which of the arrangements can succeed.

For decades, a group of the world’s biggest oil producers has held huge sway over the American economy and the popularity of U.S. presidents through its control of the global oil supply, with decisions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries determining what U.S. consumers pay at the pump.

As the world shifts to cleaner sources of energy, control over the materials needed to power that transition is still up for grabs.

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Newmont Seals $19 Billion Newcrest Takeover in Top Gold Deal – by Harry Brumpton and Dinesh Nair (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – May 15, 2023)

Newcrest Mining Ltd. has agreed to a takeover deal with Newmont Corp. worth about A$28.8 billion ($19.2 billion) to create the world’s biggest gold producer.

Newcrest shareholders will get 0.4 shares in Newmont for every Newcrest share they own, giving them 31% ownership of the combined group, the Melbourne-based company said Monday, confirming a Bloomberg News report Sunday. The deal gives Newcrest an implied enterprise value of A$28.8 billion, which includes net debt.

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US support for nuclear power soars to highest level in a decade – by Akielly Hu (Grist/ – May 10, 2023)

As the country looks to decarbonize, nuclear’s popularity continues to climb

AGallup survey released in late April found that 55 percent of U.S. adults support the use of nuclear power. That’s up four percentage points from last year and reflects the highest level of public support for nuclear energy use in electricity since 2012.

The survey found that Republicans are more likely to favor nuclear energy than Democrats, consistent with previous Gallup polls. Experts say that partisan divide is particularly visible at the state level, with more pro-nuclear policies adopted in Republican-controlled states than left-leaning ones.

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Elon Musk and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott break ground on Tesla lithium refinery – by Lora Kolodny ( – May 8, 2023)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined Texas Governor Greg Abbott to break ground at the site of the electric vehicle maker’s new lithium refinery in Corpus Christi on Monday. Tesla plans to invest $375 million to build the facility on the Gulf coast that will help it secure a domestic supply of lithium hydroxide, a key ingredient used to make batteries for its electric vehicles, and its home- and utility-scale batteries.

Musk said that Tesla is aiming to produce enough battery-grade lithium at the refinery to manufacture one million vehicles per year, and to produce more lithium than the rest of North America’s refining capacity combined there.

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North America’s Mining Industry Booms, Creating New Production Jobs – by Staff (Skillings Mining Review – May 3, 2023)

Mining News

In response to the increased demand for minerals and metals, mining companies in North America have increased their production in recent years. This has resulted in the creation of numerous jobs in the industry, especially in the production sector.

The increasing demand for minerals and metals used in renewable energy technologies is one of the propelling forces behind the rise in mining production. As the world transitions to healthier energy sources, the demand for metals such as copper, nickel, and cobalt, which are used in electric vehicles and battery storage systems, has increased. This has increased production at mines throughout North America, from copper mines in Arizona to nickel mines in Ontario.

The high prices of metals such as gold and silver also contribute to the growth of the mining industry in North America. The COVID-19 contagion’s impact on the economy has caused investors to seek out safe-haven assets like gold, which has increased demand and prices. This has increased production at gold mines in North America, including Nevada and Alaska.

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UPDATE 1-Rio Tinto under ‘immense pressure’ to develop US copper project (Reuters – May 4, 2023)

MELBOURNE, May 4 (Reuters) – Rio Tinto Ltd is under “immense pressure” from the U.S. government to develop its Resolution copper project in the United States, given the copper it holds accounts for a quarter of all U.S. reserves, its chair Dominic Barton said on Thursday.

Copper is vital for the transition to green energy but the project in Arizona is opposed by all of the state’s tribal councils, including the San Carlos Apache because it would destroy a heritage site of religious significance.

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Ray Dalio: The U.S. and China are on ‘the brink of an economic resources war’ – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – May 01, 2023)

(Kitco News) The U.S. and China are on the brink of war, billionaire and Bridgewater’s founder Ray Dalio warned in a letter he penned on LinkedIn. “We are on the brink of an economic resources war,” the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund wrote last week. And the two nations are beyond “the ability to talk,” he said.

Dalio pointed out that the two nations are close to a sanctions war and/or military war. And even though neither side wants a conflict, one is pretty probable. “A) each side is very close to the other’s red lines, b) each side is using brinksmanship to push the other at the risk of crossing each other’s red lines, and c) politics will probably cause more aggressive brinksmanship over the next 18 months,” Dalio wrote.

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