Archive | United States Mining

China’s control of rare earth minerals another challenge for President-elect Biden – by Tom Jurkowsky (Capital Gazette – November 22, 2020)

Tom Jurkowsky is a retired Navy rear admiral who served on active duty for 31 years.

In a recent presentation, Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite said he thought “China is probably the greatest threat to our country that Americans do not understand.”

He added he believes what we are seeing emerge is a threat beyond any comparison ever in the history of our country.

Braithwaite was addressing the military threat that China poses. We have addressed the exponential growth of the Chinese military on these pages, along with other issues such as our dependency on China for pharmaceutical products; our reliance on China for countless consumer products, due in part to our diminished manufacturing base; and even Wall Street investing in Chinese companies. Continue Reading →

US coal miners call on Trump to move on – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – November 24, 2020)

Support from coal miners helped Donald Trump win the US presidency four years ago. Now, the leader of the nation’s top mining union is calling on Trump to “move on”, adding that ongoing efforts to challenge vote counts and pressure state elections officials are a “threat to our entire form of government and the American way of life.”

While the US General Services Administration — the federal agency that allows the transition process to begin — said late on Monday President-elect Joe Biden’s team could get in touch to begin changeover, Trump continues to hold on to power.

Trump tweeted on Tuesday he would soon present evidence of widespread ballot fraud and other wrongdoing in “great detail” in a “big lawsuit”. Continue Reading →

Nickel, Nickel, Nickel — Diving Into Green Nickel With Talon Metals – by Zachary Shahan (Clean Technica – November 21, 2020)

As you may recall, several months ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed some rather strong interest in nickel, a need for nickel. I talked about the matter a bit with mineral mining and market experts at RK Equity — see here, here, and here. We’ve covered nickel in various other ways as well.

However, more recently, I connected with a top North American company in this arena and was lucky to get the opportunity to dig in much deeper. Below is an interview with Sean Werger, President of Talon Metals Corp., and Vince Conte, CFO of Talon Metals Corp. If nickel interests you, have a look!

1) Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently made a plea for nickel, but especially more “efficiently mined” nickel and environmentally friendly nickel. (“Wherever you are in the world, please mine more nickel and … go for efficiency, obviously environmentally-friendly nickel mining at high volume. Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time, if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way.”) Regarding efficiency, what do you take that to mean? What is he implying? Continue Reading →

Opinion: Strategic vigilance and rare earth elements – by Mackubin Owens (The Providence Journal – November 17, 2020)

Mackubin Thomas Owens is a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.

On Sept. 30, President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency in the mining industry with the goal of incentivizing “the domestic production of rare earth minerals [also called rare earth elements (REEs)] critical for military technologies while reducing American dependence on China.”

The EO states that the country’s heavy reliance on critical minerals from foreign adversaries constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.

Trump ordered the appropriate departments to study the matter, examining the feasibility of government grants for production equipment, as well as tariffs, quotas or other import restrictions against China and other foreign adversaries. Continue Reading →

A Copper Mine vs. Sacred Apache Land: The Story in Words and Images – by Eliza Griswold (New York Times – November 17, 2020)

OAK FLAT: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West – by Lauren Redniss

Naelyn Pike, a skateboard aficionado and teenage Apache activist, arrived in Washington in 2013 to testify before Congress. When she passed through the metal detector in the Capitol, the tin jingles on her traditional dress set off the alarm.

She was speaking that day to a Senate subcommittee about the fate of Oak Flat, a vast plot of southeastern Arizona that is sacred to the San Carlos Apaches and lies above one of the largest known untapped veins of copper in the United States.

Since 2005, members of the San Carlos Apache tribe have been battling both a mining company and the federal government to keep the copper untouched. Not only would building the mine entail the collapse, or subsidence, of the tribe’s ceremonial land, but since the group’s spiritual identity is tied to that land, its members viewed the prospective demise of Oak Flat as a larger act of erasure and a violation of their religious freedom. Continue Reading →

Donald Trump’s loss relieves fears of future U.S. steel tariffs under Biden – by Bobby Hristova (CBC News Hamilton – November 8, 2020)

Hamilton’s steelworkers and those tied to the industry can sleep easier knowing Donald Trump lost the U.S. presidential election — and his tariffs on steel likely won’t be returning anytime soon.

Roughly 40,000 Hamilton jobs hinge on the steel industry and Keanin Loomis, president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said he’s excited by the idea of Canada and the U.S. becoming allies again with Joe Biden in office.

“The spectre of tariffs that was constantly hanging over our heads for the last couple of years is now gone, so when you look at the damage that could have been done over the next four years, if [Trump] had been elected, I think we avoided a lot of uncertainty,” Loomis said in an interview on Sunday. Continue Reading →

How Biden’s Win Affects Commodities Hit by Trade Wars, Tariffs – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – November 8, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — It’s been a tumultuous four years for U.S. commodity industries that found themselves a key focus of the White House through its aggressive trade policy agenda.

From steel and aluminum tariffs to grain subsidies to boosting exports of liquefied natural gas, very few corners of the global commodities market eluded Donald Trump’s attention.

There was at least one memo, executive order, pronouncement or tweet bringing some sort of attention to uranium, soybeans, and rare earths, the kinds of materials that haven’t received attention from American presidents in years. Continue Reading →

China sends warning it can cripple US defence system by turning off rare earths tap – by Robin Bromby (Small – October 28, 2020)

Small Caps

China is reported to be cutting off rare earth supplies to the United States defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin and other American companies in retaliation for the companies supplying Taiwan with military hardware.

But this move should not be read merely as a tit-for-tat against a few particular companies. It is, however, a clear signal to the US defence establishment that China holds the whip hand.

Rare earths are crucial in the manufacture of advanced weapon applications. Without them, the Chinese could hobble the US military (and the forces of its allies) while itself having full operational capacity in a time of conflict. Continue Reading →

ARGUMENT: How the United States Handed China its Rare Earth Monopoly – by Jamil Hijazi and James Kennedy (Foreign Policy – October 27, 2020)

At the end of September, U.S. President Donald Trump released an executive order amounting to an all-hands-on-deck call to end China’s monopoly on rare earths, the metals and alloys used in many high-tech devices.

It was high time; China’s dominance of these resources has resulted in the transfer of entire U.S. industries (medical imaging, for example), technologies, and jobs to China while also compromising the U.S. defense industry’s supply chain.

China didn’t always dominate the Rare Earth (RE) industry. In fact, up until 1980, 99 percent of the world’s heavy REs were a byproduct of U.S. mining operations for titanium, zircon, and phosphate. Continue Reading →

Robert Murray, Outspoken Coal Miner Who Battled EPA, Dies at 80 – by Will Wade and Tim Loh (Bloomberg News – October 26, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Robert Murray, a fourth-generation coal miner who became one of the embattled industry’s most outspoken advocates, has died. He was 80.

Murray died early Sunday morning at his home in St. Clairsville, Ohio, of a lung disorder, according to Michael Shaheen, the family’s lawyer. He was diagnosed in 2016 with coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease, and had been known to attend industry events with a portable oxygen container.

A native of Ohio coal country, Murray joined a mining company at 17 to help support his family. He rose through the ranks to become chief executive officer of North American Coal Corp., but was fired in 1987 after resisting an effort to trim the company’s obligations to retirees. Continue Reading →

Clean energy, EVs and the two sides of the US election – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – October 25, 2020)

Market analyst Wood Mackenzie published a report laying the cards on the table as to what the future of clean energy and electric vehicles may look like following the November 3 election.

On one hand, President Donald Trump is promising to maintain the status quo somehow favouring oil, gas and coal and rejecting the idea of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Contender Joe Biden, on the other hand, promises to launch a “clean energy revolution” whose goal is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Continue Reading →

Biden campaign tells miners it supports domestic production of EV metals – by Ernest Scheyder (Regina Leader Post – October 22, 2020)

Joe Biden’s campaign has privately told U.S. miners it would support boosting domestic production of metals used to make electric vehicles, solar panels and other products crucial to his climate plan, according to three sources familiar with the matter, in a boon for the mining industry.

The Obama administration enacted rigorous environmental regulations that slowed U.S. mining sector growth during its time in office. Biden, who served as Obama’s vice president and is well-regarded in conservation circles, has been expected to continue in that vein.

The U.S. Democratic presidential candidate also supports bipartisan efforts to foster a domestic supply chain for lithium, copper, rare earths, nickel and other strategic materials that the United States imports from China and other countries, the sources said. Continue Reading →

Tesla’s move into mining aimed at energising battery supply chain – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – October 20, 2020)

When Tesla held its socially distanced “battery day” last month at an outdoor parking lot in California, it invited executives from the two big US lithium companies, Livent and Albemarle.

As they sat in their allotted Model 3s watching Elon Musk on their in-car screens, he dropped a bombshell: the electric car maker was becoming a competitor.

Tesla, Mr Musk said, had acquired the rights to a 10,000-acre plot in Nevada where it planned to extract the metal using simple table salt, and would build a lithium refinery to supply a new factory in Texas. The next day Albemarle and Livent lost a combined $1.7bn in market value as their share prices plunged. Continue Reading →

Saving Wyoming coal communities: step one, change our image – by David Dodson (Casper Star Tribune – October 17, 2020)

Like it or not, much of America has a pretty poor opinion of coal. Two-thirds of Americans want the federal government to do more to reduce the effects of climate change, and three-quarters of our country want to see the country prioritize renewables over fossil fuels.

By the way, that view is not just held by liberal-Green New Deal-socialists. 49 percent of those who self-describe as “conservative” also want to see renewables prioritized over fossil fuels; and if that doesn’t surprise you, in states with coal mines, half the state’s population is in favor of phasing out all coal-fired power plants!

The Trump Administration did not bring back coal jobs for two reasons. First, as I’ve written in previous columns, coal’s true threat is not the Green New Deal but natural gas. Continue Reading →

Canada, Australia and U.S. launch the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – October 16, 2020)

Increasing concern about the need for non-Chinese supply chains has generated much talk but fewer tangible efforts. Recent news, however, outlines plans formulated by two of the world’s major mining countries along with the world’s largest economy.

Canada, Australia and the U.S. intend to work together on the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative. Following bi-national MOUs that the U.S. signed with each of the others, the CMMI intends to have the trans-national trio pool its knowledge, co-operate on research and provide publicly available info.

The collaboration calls for the three countries to:

-share data
-unify critical minerals analyses
-build on existing datasets
-identify gaps in knowledge
-learn more about critical minerals in different deposit types
-enhance working relationships Continue Reading →