US coal use is rebounding under Biden like it never did with Trump – by Will Wade (Bloomberg News – October 12, 2021)

Donald Trump vowed to revive the coal industry, but it’s President Joe Biden who’s seeing a big comeback of the dirtiest fossil fuel. U.S. power plants are on track to burn 23% more coal this year, the first increase since 2013, despite Biden’s ambitious plan to eliminate carbon emissions from the power grid.

The rebound comes after consumption by utilities plunged 36% under Trump, who slashed environmental regulations in an unsuccessful effort to boost the fuel.

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Updated critical minerals list a boon for Australian miners – by Matthew Cranston (Australian Financial Review – October 10, 2021)

Washington| Australian miners stand to benefit from the addition of nickel to a critical minerals list designed to help the US fix supply gaps in batteries and other energy technologies.

Australia produces 24 per cent of the world’s nickel, according to government data, and the metal’s inclusion on the list could spur development of new mines and expansion of existing sites both in the US and Australia. The metal is used to strengthen alloys found in batteries, electronics, military hardware and a range of energy technologies.

Nickel processing is dominated by China.

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Pentagon adds graphite to stockpile list – by Shane Lasley(North of 60 Mining News – October 8, 2021)

As another signal foreshadowing the growing demand for graphite, the Pentagon has added this lithium-ion battery ingredient to its newest National Defense Stockpile Acquisitions List.

Published by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency on Oct. 4, this list calls for DLA’s strategic materials department to acquire up to 900 metric tons of graphite to store in government stockpiles over the coming year.

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U.S. Coal Mines Are Running Out of Miners Just as Demand Booms – by Will Wade (Bloomberg News – October 6, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Just when the world is clamoring for more coal, U.S. suppliers are facing a shortage of miners. The number of coal miners in the U.S. has been sliding for years, and is down about 8.6% from before the pandemic.

People who have left are reluctant to come back and young people are even more wary about taking a job in an industry that they’ve consistently been told has no future given the global push toward clean energy.

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Former Kirkland Lake CEO to take copper junior Arizona Sonoran public in Canada – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – October 7, 2021)

Arizona Sonoran Copper Company Inc. is looking to raise $60-million in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, hoping to cash in on investor enthusiasm for one of the best-performing metals this year.

Run by former Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. chief executive officer George Ogilvie, the private-equity-owned junior filed paperwork to go public on Wednesday. Arizona Sonoran hopes to revive a copper mining camp in Arizona that ran dry in the 1980s. London-based Tembo Capital Management Ltd. and Resource Capital Funds of Denver are the biggest shareholders.

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In search of ‘Lithium Valley’: why energy companies see riches in the California desert – by Aaron Miguel Cantú (The Guardian – September 27, 2021)

Standing atop a pockmarked red mesa, Rod Colwell looks out at an expanse of water that resembles a thin blue strip on the horizon. The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, has come and gone at least five times in the last 1,300 years, most recently in 1905, when floodwaters from the Colorado River refilled its basin.

A mid-century resort destination, the lake has since become an environmental disaster zone. Its waters, long fed by pesticide-laden runoff from nearby farms, have been steadily evaporating, exposing a dusty shoreline that kicks up lung-damaging silt into the surrounding communities of the Imperial Valley, where rates of asthma are alarmingly high.

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U.S. Coal Miners Could Be Next in Line for Industry Bailouts – by Leslie Kaufman (Bloomberg News – September 20, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — There isn’t much that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Sierra Club agree on, but one of those rare things is a measure that’s part of the bipartisan infrastructure package to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives later this month that would fund $11.3 billion to remediate coal mines abandoned before 1977.

It’s essentially a taxpayer subsidy of a polluting industry and yet it has plenty of support on both sides of the political aisle.

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How to Fix Florida’s Phosphate Problem – by Blair Wickstrom (Florida Sportsman – September 22, 2021)

Dave Markett, a Tampa Bay fishing guide who regularly fishes Piney Point, told those in attendance at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s 2021 Redfish Summit that, “We need to hold the people that are responsible for our water degradation accountable and that they pay a price.”

Markett went on to demand that “phosphate needs to be funding the cost of seagrass restoration,” and ended with a dire prediction: “We are one tropical storm away from a disaster of unimaginable proportions.” Agree. And agree.

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U.S. miners decry mineral royalty plan floated in Congress – by By Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – September 16, 2021)

(Reuters) – U.S. mining companies are blasting proposals in Congress that would set royalties for copper, lithium and other minerals extracted from federal land, with executives saying the measures would hurt domestic production of the building blocks for solar panels, electric vehicles and other green technologies.

The House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee added language to the proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation spending measure last week that would set an 8% gross royalty on existing mines and 4% on new ones. There would also be a 7 cent fee for every ton of rock moved.

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The ‘infrastructure deal’ America must make with itself – by Ivan Sascha Sheehan (The Hill – August 27, 2021)

As part of President Biden’s ambitious plan for the U.S. to effectively address climate change, for the country to transition to net-zero emissions by 2050 there has been a whole-of-government push to incorporate more and more renewable generation into the national grid.

In addition, newly-released details of the bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal “opens the gateway,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) contended in his review, to a near-term reconciliation package that will “accomplish much more on climate.”

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US coal stocks boom as free cash expected to flow on higher prices – by Taylor Kuykendall and Gaurang Dholakia (SP – September 13, 2021)

U.S. coal companies’ stock prices have rallied in 2021, and producers of the bulk commodity could book significant positive free cash flow in the second half of 2021 and in 2022.

Coal demand from power producers and steelmakers has been rebounding from lows hit during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in part due to high natural gas prices and expectations of increased infrastructure spending.

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Feds deal another setback to Arizona copper mine by upholding jaguar habitat – by KIMBERLY SILVERIO-BAUTISTA (KTAR News – September 6, 2021)


WASHINGTON – Federal regulators on Friday rejected a mining company’s request to reduce critical habitat for endangered jaguars in the Santa Rita Mountains on land that overlaps the footprint of the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine.

The decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the latest setback for Hudbay Minerals Inc., which has been working for more than a decade to get permission to open the mine that it says could create thousands of jobs and bring billions in economic development to the region.

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The US is digging into its tax toolkit to rebuild its rare earth industry – by Mary Hui ( – August 16, 2021)

To build a full rare earth supply chain, it’s sometimes not enough to just mine, extract, and process ores. Far away from project sites where heavy machinery dig deep into the earth, small tweaks to the tax code could align incentives and spur production to boost a domestic industry.

That’s the thinking anyway behind a bipartisan bill introduced in the US Congress last week, which would provide tax credits for the domestic production of permanent rare earth magnets.

The “Rare Earth Magnet Manufacturing Production Tax Credit Act,” put forward by Democratic representative Eric Swalwell and his Republican colleague Guy Reschenthaler, would give a tax credit of $20 per kilogram of rare earth magnet produced domestically in the US. The tax credit increases to $30 per kilogram if all component rare earth material is produced or recycled in the US.

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Column: U.S. infrastructure bill targets critical minerals supply – by Andy Home (Reuters – August 12, 2021)

LONDON (Reuters) – The United States’ $1 trillion infrastructure package is undoubtedly good news for industrial metals. More money for upgrading highways, railways and power grid systems will mean more demand for steel, copper and aluminium.

But when it comes to battery metals and critical minerals, the bipartisan bill is as much about boosting domestic supply as demand.

A total $6 billion is earmarked for battery materials processing and manufacturing projects with another $140 million allocated for a rare earths demonstration plant, part of a broader investment drive across the full length of the metallic supply chain.

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It’s time to end the US steel and aluminum tariffs – by Marc L. Busch (The Hill – August 9, 2021)

In an interview with Bloomberg last week, Sec. of Commerce Gina Raimondo said that U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs had done the trick. Folks were back to work, and producers had increased output.

What about the threat that Europe will increase its retaliation by year’s end if the Biden administration doesn’t end the tariffs? Raimondo said the U.S. is willing to deal but that “to simply say ‘no tariffs’ is not the solution.” Actually, it is.

Raimondo’s statement is the stuff of negotiations. After all, the U.S. isn’t going to start its talks with the European Union (EU) by unilaterally disarming.

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