Archive | United States Mining

Tiny Town Of Nucla Looks To A Future Without Mining And Sees Opportunity And Uncertainty – by Stina Sieg (Colorado Public Radio – June 24, 2019)

https://www.cpr.org/

Home to just a few hundred people, the town of Nucla, Colorado, isn’t just tiny. It’s far from just about everything. Tucked into the western edge of Montrose County, it’s 350 miles from Denver and 60 miles from the nearest stop light.

For generations, this area — known as the West End — was a hub for mining. Most famously, they dug for uranium here and the area saw a big boom thanks to the Cold War era. Later, coal arrived to support a local power plant.

“You think things are going to boom forever,” said Jane Thompson, a 62-year-old longtime local. “They’re always going to need uranium. They’re always going to need coal.” Continue Reading →

Trump Weighs Limits on Uranium Imports After Commerce Cites Security Risk – by Ari Natter and Jenny Leonard (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – June 20, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Commerce Department has recommended the White House take steps to protect the domestic production of uranium after finding the nation’s reliance on imports was a national security risk, said three people briefed on the matter.

Among the trade remedies recommended is to require nuclear power plants to purchase a minimum of 5% of the radioactive fuel from U.S. mines, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss non-public deliberations. Two of the people said an option under consideration would see the quota escalate by 5 percentage points a year.

A decision to impose the quotas would be a boon to the two small mining companies that petitioned the Commerce Department to take action, Energy Fuels Inc. and Ur-Energy Inc. The move would increase costs for nuclear reactor operators that are already struggling in the face of competition from cheaper sources of power generated by natural gas and renewables. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-United States aims to reshape the critical minerals world – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – June 19, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

China’s growing control of metals at the heart of the electric
transport revolution such as lithium and cobalt represents a
second front in the looming raw materials war.

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) – The United States has laid out its strategy to rebuild collapsed domestic supply chains for metals and minerals deemed “critical” to its defence and manufacturing sectors.

“A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals”, released earlier this month by the Department of Commerce, includes 61 recommendations, ranging from revamping mine permitting rules to stimulating recycling activities to forging alliances with “friendly” suppliers such as Canada and Australia.

This is very much work in progress. It’s only last year that the United States decided on what exactly constitutes a “critical” mineral. But added urgency has come from China’s veiled threats to use its dominance of rare earths production as a weapon in the broader trade stand-off with the Trump Administration. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Trump Administration Announces Strategy to Strengthen America’s Economy, Defense (U.S. Department of the Interior – June 4, 2019)

For the full report: https://bit.ly/2MMmLcC

Interior to Support Critical Minerals Strategy through Faster Permitting, Better Information, Nationwide Examination of Minerals Potential

WASHINGTON – Today, the Trump Administration released, “A Federal Strategy to Ensure a Reliable Supply of Critical Minerals,” to make America’s economy and defense more secure. The strategy directs the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to locate domestic supplies of those minerals, ensure access to information necessary for the study and production of minerals, and expedite permitting for minerals projects.

“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, today’s federal strategy lays out a blueprint for America to once again be a leader in the critical minerals sector,” said Secretary David Bernhardt.

“As with our energy security, the Trump Administration is dedicated to ensuring that we are never held hostage to foreign powers for the natural resources critical to our national security and economic growth. The Department will work expeditiously to implement the President’s strategy from streamlining the permitting process to locating domestic supplies of minerals.” Continue Reading →

Trump’s Biggest Move to End the ‘War on Coal’ Won’t Rescue the Industry – by Jennifer A Dlouhy (Bloomberg News – June 19, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

President Donald Trump is scaling back sweeping Obama-era curbs on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants burning coal, his biggest step yet to fulfill his campaign promise to stop a “war” on the fossil fuel.

Yet the Environmental Protection Agency’s rewrite of the Clean Power Plan, unveiled Wednesday in Washington, will do little to halt a nationwide shift away from coal and toward cheaper electricity generated by the wind, the sun and natural gas.

The U.S. is experiencing “a wave of coal retirements — and we don’t think we’re near the end of it,” said Nicholas Steckler, head of U.S. power for BloombergNEF. “Coal is inferior to natural gas in many ways today — it’s less flexible, it’s higher cost, even its fuel is generally more expensive, and, of course, it’s dirty. It has so many reasons stacked against it.” Continue Reading →

British Columbia: Canadian mining company liable for pollution flowing from Kootenays to U.S. – by Bob Keating (CBC News British Columbia – June 18, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/

Top U.S. court denies Teck’s appeal; miner now on the hook for legal costs, cleanup

Vancouver-based mining giant Teck has run out of appeals after polluting the Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt in Washington State for decades from its huge lead-zinc smelter in Trail, B.C.

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear Teck’s appeal of the case brought by the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) in Washington State. The CCT successfully argued Teck used the Columbia River in southeastern B.C. as a “convenient disposal facility for its wastes.”

“This is a battle that the Colville Tribes has been fighting for at least 20 years,” said CCT Chairman Rodney Cawston. The Supreme Court’s decision to not hear Teck’s appeal leaves a previous ruling in place, awarding over $8 million in legal costs to the tribes. It also makes Teck responsible for cleaning up the damage from decades of pollution. Continue Reading →

Virginia ban on uranium mining upheld by U.S. Supreme Court – by Andrew Chung (Reuters U.S. – June 17, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The largest-known U.S. uranium deposit will remain firmly under ground after the Supreme Court on Monday upheld Virginia’s ban on mining the radioactive metal, rebuffing a challenge backed by President Donald Trump’s administration to the 1982 moratorium.

In a 6-3 decision that underscored states’ rights, the justices affirmed a lower court’s ruling that threw out a lawsuit by Virginia Uranium Inc and other owners of the massive deposit valued by the company at $6 billion on private land in southern Virginia.

The company, seeking to exploit the deposit, contested Virginia’s power to enact the ban, saying the policy should have been preempted by federal law governing nuclear energy. Virginia Uranium is a subsidiary of Vancouver, British Columbia-based Virginia Energy Resources. Continue Reading →

U.S. senators to Horgan: clean up B.C.’s mining mess – by Sarah Cox (The Narwhal – June 13, 2019)

The Narwhal

Eight American senators have written to B.C. Premier John Horgan urging him to address downstream contamination from the province’s metal and coal mines.

The letter — an unprecedented joint undertaking from all senators from the four states bordering the province, including both Republicans and Democrats — outlines concerns about potential environmental and economic impacts from B.C. mines that pollute rivers flowing into the U.S.

“As you know, Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Montana have tremendous natural resources that need to be protected against impacts from B.C. hard rock and coal-mining activities near the headwaters of shared rivers, many of which support environmentally and economically significant salmon populations,” the senators wrote in the two-page letter, released Thursday. Continue Reading →

US, CANADA, AND AUSTRALIA TEAM UP TO MITIGATE METAL SHORTAGES CAUSED BY SHIFT TOWARDS CLEAN TECHNOLOGY – by Staff (PV Buzz.com – June 12, 2019)

https://pvbuzz.com/

A shift in the global energy system away from fossil fuels is expected to result in steep increases in demand for some metals and other materials

Concern grows over the increase in consumption of some metals to support the shift towards clean energy and electric vehicles.

Clean energy technologies often rely on certain key metals which will be needed if they are to continue to expand. Two metals, in particular, lithium and cobalt, have seen supply chain fears in recent years, although many other metals are used.

In order to mitigate this problem, the U.S, Canada, and Australia have launched an international effort to help find new deposits of these key minerals. Continue Reading →

Trump administration signals support for uranium mining that could touch Grand Canyon – by Miranda Green (The Hill – June 12, 2019)

https://thehill.com/

The Trump administration is signaling a renewed push to consider uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, a move that would undoubtedly ignite a political fight involving environmentalists and the mining industry.

President Trump’s decision to declare uranium a critical mineral for national security purposes, coupled with a Commerce Department recommendation to mine reserves of a key component to nuclear weapons, has environmentalists worried that the reversal of an Obama-era ban on mining near the cherished national park is imminent.

“It’s not a secret that uranium mining companies have pined after the Grand Canyon for a long time,” said Amber Reimondo, energy program director at Grand Canyon Trust. “The last time there was a uranium price spike in 2007, over 10,000 mining claims were filed.” Continue Reading →

U.S. says it will help boost world minerals output to reduce reliance on China (Reuters U.K. – June 11, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to help countries around the world develop their reserves of minerals like lithium, copper and cobalt, the State Department said on Tuesday, part of a multi-pronged strategy to reduce U.S. reliance on China for materials crucial to high-tech industries.

Washington grew more concerned recently about dependence on mineral imports after Beijing suggested using them as leverage here in the trade war between the world’s largest economic powers.

This would interrupt the manufacture of a wide range of consumer, industrial and military goods, from mobile phones to batteries and fighter jets. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Mining still essential for U.S. economy – by Gary Wolfram (Detroit News – June 4, 2019)

https://www.detroitnews.com/

Recently my son and I visited my 95-year-old father in Tucson, Ariz., and took him to Tombstone, “The Town Too Tough to Die.” While most people are familiar with the gunfight at the OK Corral, it is unlikely that they know that Tombstone came into existence because a young prospector discovered silver there and mining operations that made it one of America’s last boom towns. Its population grew from about 100 to 14,000 in just a few years.

Mining has long been an important industry in the U.S., with gold and silver being the minerals that received the most attention. Today mining in the U.S. employs more than 1.5 million people and adds $466 billion to gross domestic product.

In 2017, mining operations generated an estimated $17 billion in federal, state and local taxes. It is essential that this industry remain competitive, especially given the importance of mining in providing resources for electricity generation and the minerals necessary for manufacturing, health care and defense technology. Continue Reading →

Coal miners’ union urges silica regulation to curb black lung – by Jan Pytalski (Reuters U.S. – June 6, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

PIPESTEM, W.Va. (Reuters) – The head of the national coal miners’ union on Thursday urged the Trump administration to impose regulation on silica dust in mines, which researchers believe is responsible for a resurgence of black lung disease in central Appalachia.

The demand from United Mineworkers of America president Cecil Roberts comes as President Donald Trump tries to pump up U.S. coal production, mainly by rolling back regulations he deems burdensome to the industry.

“We are seeing the most serious levels of black lung, mainly caused by silica and there are no silica standards out there,” Roberts told Reuters on the sidelines of a black lung disease conference in West Virginia. “We desperately need more.” Continue Reading →

U.S. report urges steps to reduce reliance on foreign critical minerals – by Andrea Shalal and Valerie Volcovici (Reuters U.S. – June 4, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday recommended urgent steps to boost domestic production of rare earths and other critical minerals, warning that a halt in Chinese or Russian exports could cause “significant shocks” in global supply chains.

The report includes 61 specific recommendations – including low-interest loans and “Buy American” requirements for defense companies – to boost domestic production of minerals essential for the manufacture of mobile phones and a host of other consumer goods, as well as fighter jets.

It also called for closer cooperation with allies such as Japan, Australia and the European Union, and directed reviews of government permitting processes to speed up domestic mining. Continue Reading →

Pentagon seeks funds to reduce U.S. reliance on China’s rare earth metals – by Phil Stewart and Andrea Shalal (Reuters U.S. – May 29, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department is seeking new federal funds to bolster domestic production of rare earth minerals and reduce dependence on China, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, amid mounting concern in Washington about Beijing’s role as a supplier.

The Pentagon’s request was outlined in a report that has been sent to the White House and briefed to Congress, said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews, a Pentagon spokesman.

Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements used in both consumer products, from iPhones to electric car motors, and critical military applications including jet engines, satellites and lasers. Continue Reading →