Coal Country Purification: US plans are sketching as much as possible …

Coal Country Purification: US plans are sketching as much as possible …


Cosam Mullins mined coal for most of his working life on the western hills of Virginia. Now that it’s hard to find a job in the mining industry, he’s clearing up the turmoil left by the industry.

The 68-year-old woman operates a bucket loader in a valley in the town of Clinchco, Virginia, scraping red rock waste dumped years ago by a failed coal miner.

As locals say, cleaning a large “gob pile” for $ 17.50 an hour before overtime is less than what you’ve earned in decades as a miner. But that’s salary.

“I don’t know what to do if this job is gone,” Malins said.

Appalachian, the center of the U.S. coal mining industry, could face a surge in jobs like Malins if President Joe Biden succeeds in ambitions to move the U.S. to a cleaner energy economy to combat climate change. There is sex.

As part of that effort, the Biden administration wants to spend about $ 16 billion to begin cleaning isolated oil and gas wells and abandoned mine sites. Many of these have leached toxins into the soil and released greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. .. There are up to millions of abandoned wells and tens of thousands of mining sites.

Included in the $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package being discussed in Congress, this proposal could help transform areas that have been environmentally and economically damaged by the drilling and mining boom and bust cycle. There is sex.

Purification operations will not last forever, but fossil fuel-producing regions such as Appalachia and parts of the west will buy valuable time to diversify their economies into new ones, the government says.

Waste coal is loaded onto trucks at the abandoned mine landfill site in Klinchico. | Reuters

The White House sees the proposal as strengthening a more comprehensive program for investing in the energy community, including the provision of critical infrastructure such as broadband internet, which is also included in the bipartisan bill. increase.

Last week, the US Department of Commerce announced an additional $ 300 million for the devastated coal, oil, gas, and power plant communities. It is intended to be used for revitalizing new industries, expanding existing industries, infrastructure development and workforce training.

“I’m glad someone recognized the problem,” said Malins, his 20-year-old son Troy, and the regional director of Savage Services, a private company that employs about 30 other workers in Clinchico. One Lee booth said.

Scott Freshwater, 62, owner of ConServ Inc in West Virginia, said Biden’s plans would help his business. More than one-third of his 80 employees block leaky wells, and the rest are working on projects such as compressor station and pipeline maintenance.

“This federal funding will accelerate this job,” he said.

However, some say that cleanup work alone may be too little, too temporary, and too little payment to make a big impact.

“The only way to completely replace endangered work is to have a major manufacturing center in a coalfield area that employs hundreds at a time for decades instead of dozens at a time for four to five years. It’s about establishing, “said spokesman Phil Smith. United Mine Workers of America on behalf of coal workers in the United States.

Critics say funding may correspond to taxpayer bailouts for industries that should have been forced to wipe out their own turmoil.

West Virginia-based environmental consulting firm Downstream Strategies reports that the government’s proposed funding for coal purification will create about 2,700 new jobs in West Virginia, Ohio, and Virginia. That is.

Waste piles are common at former mining sites throughout Appalachia and are smoldering from place to place due to the inclusion of trace amounts of flammable coal.

They are also structurally dangerous. The Clinchico mountain is up to 12 meters thick and is at risk of collapsing like any other feature of an abandoned mine. Last year, in Dante, a few miles away, heavy rains struck the entrance to an abandoned coal mine, causing two landslides and temporarily evacuating 16 homes.

Workers operate a drill rig at a gas well plug site in Roane County, West Virginia. | Reuters
Workers operate a drill rig at a gas well plug site in Roane County, West Virginia. | Reuters

“It’s detrimental to economic development,” said Erin Savage, senior program manager at Appalachian Voices, a non-profit advocate for mine regeneration.

“Why do you want to go where you have to worry that certain mine features can hurt your investment and build a new business?”

Many of the companies that ran mines have long gone — bankruptcy due to the ups and downs of the infamous volatile industry, forcing the federal government to pay a lot of cleaning costs.

Biden’s infrastructure bill was established before 1977 to deal with the cleanup of abandoned mines, but is struggling to keep up with costs in a federal program of underfunding called abandoned mine land (AML). Inject about $ 11.3 billion.

The bill also has something to do with the industry. It could reduce coal production fees that mining companies have to pay to secure funds for cleanup, but critics say it increases pressure to bankrupt the company.

Republicans, including Senator Joe Manchin of the Democratic Party of West Virginia and Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, the top coal producer, cut open pit mining fees by almost one-third from 2012 levels. I’m proposing to do it.

The senator did not respond to a request for comment on the rate cut.

Some affected communities are already feeling the impact of cleanup.

Daniel Kestner, Virginia Mining and Mineral Energy Department’s Regeneration Program Manager, said the Appalachian landfill coalfield has attracted tourists in recent years, including riders on all-terrain vehicles attacking the Elk population reintroduced into the hills. He said he was starting.

But the new influx of federal funds requires ambitious goals, including economic diversification, Kästner said.

“It must be flexible enough to be used not only for landfills, but also for applications such as battery storage and solar power plants, and when there are wind power options.” He said. He said the money could also be spent on agricultural projects and parks.

What matters to Malins and his son Troy is the work itself.

“I hope we have enough work to do this in our lives,” said Troy Mullins.

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Germany uses line “white gold” as an automaker …

Germany uses line “white gold” as an automaker …


In anticipation of the rapidly growing demand from the German electric vehicle industry, utilities and mining companies are also striving to expose lithium trapped in boiling water underground springs thousands of meters below the Rhine. I will.

Geologists estimate that the Upper Rhine Plain in the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany spans an area 300 kilometers long and 40 kilometers wide and holds enough lithium for more than 400 million electric vehicles. It is one of the largest deposits in the world.

This could reduce the reliance of the German auto industry, also in the region, on imported lithium, and early talks with automakers are underway.

But skeptics question economics and can be more noisy in densely populated Europe than the remote Australian and South American deserts that were previously sources of lithium. I am suffering from the opposite possibility.

Vulcan Energy Resources, a German-Australian start-up, says it can supply carbon-neutral lithium based on geothermal energy extractions used in up to five power plants planned for construction.

The German utility Energie Baden Wuerttemberg AG (EnBW) already has a geothermal power plant and is investigating whether lithium can be a beneficial by-product.

“The lithium deposits we are talking about are huge and their properties are ideal for our goal of producing high quality lithium on a large industrial scale in Germany,” said Vulcan Energy Resources co-founder. Horst Kreuter said.

The company plans to invest 1.7 billion euros (224 billion yen), which has raised about 75 million euros so far, to build a geothermal power plant and facility for extracting lithium.

By 2024, two sites have the potential to extract 15,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide annually. Then, in the second phase after 2025, we are aiming for annual production of 40,000 metric tons at up to three additional sites.

Cluter says he is already in talks with cathode and battery manufacturers, as well as the automotive industry.

A geothermal power plant operated by the German power company Energie Baden Wuerttemberg AG in the town of Bruchsal, Germany. | Reuters

He receives strong support from Hancock Prospecting, led by Chairman Gina Rinehart, one of Australia’s leading investors.

In an email statement, Hancock Prospecting focused on a lithium project that “potentially produces high quality products at competitive costs” and assisted Balkan in developing a pilot plant. He said he was doing it.

Lithium is often referred to as white gold as a component of batteries needed for a low-carbon economy.

However, its economics has a checkered history. Projects were often behind schedule and their prices fluctuated in response to supply bottlenecks and excesses.

Prices soared this year as demand from the electric vehicle sector began to outpace supply.

Kreuter predicts that lithium will be able to maintain prices at least at current levels. “By 2025, we will calculate in-house at a market price of $ 13,000 per ton of lithium hydroxide,” said Kreuter, who said that extraction costs in Germany “much much more” without making it more specific. It is below. “

The European Union relies on electric vehicles to help achieve its climate goals. Last year, the company added lithium to its list of important raw materials and launched plans to guarantee supplies to support green recovery.

The European Commission, an EU executive, estimates that Europe will need up to 18 times more lithium than it does today by 2030 and 60 times more by 2050.

So far, most of the lithium is imported from a region of South America known as the Lithium Triangle, from which it is produced by evaporation. Salar, Or Salt Flats.

Australia’s Hard Rock Lithium is extracted depending on the energy-intensive process, in addition to the carbon cost of shipping it around the world.

Katharina Gerber, Product Manager of Vulcan Energy Resources, is working on a geothermal water sample in the town of Eggenstein near Karlsruhe, Germany. | Reuters
Katharina Gerber, Product Manager of Vulcan Energy Resources, is working on a geothermal water sample in the town of Eggenstein near Karlsruhe, Germany. | Reuters

In Europe, Portugal is the largest producer of lithium, but its miners sell almost exclusively to the ceramic industry, preparing to produce the high-quality lithium needed for batteries.

Even geothermal energy has been criticized in Germany because of the link between lithium production and geothermal energy, but its proponents say it is guaranteed to be an environmentally friendly solution.

Geothermal drilling in 2007 expanded the gypsum underground layer to the extent that houses were lifted and damaged in the beautiful village of Schwarzwald, Staufen.

Thomas Koelbel, a geothermal energy expert at Utility EnBW, who plans to extract lithium from an existing plant in the town of Bruchsal, also in the Black Forest region, said the company could do everything it could to prevent local opposition. Said that he did.

“We have shown at our factory in Bruchsal that there is no extra noise that puts a strain on our neighbors. There are no emissions,” he said.

EnBW estimates that 900 metric tons of lithium are available annually at the Bruchsal site. Lithium will be produced for testing from prototypes around the end of the year, and the feasibility of the project will be finalized by 2024.

That said, some investors are still hesitant because they are wondering how quickly commercial-scale extraction of lithium from hot water can be developed in Europe.

“Looking at Balkan’s project development plans, one might argue that it’s pretty novel. Even investing in traditional lithium projects over the last few years hasn’t been easy to do,” said Canaccord Genuity in Sydney. Analyst Reg Spencer said.

However, the prospect of offsetting the cost of lithium production from the sale of geothermal energy could lead to “very low cost lithium production,” he said.

The automotive industry is also interested, but not dependent on it.

A spokeswoman for Mercedes-Benz AG, part of Daimler AG, said the situation was as soon as the company was in early negotiations and Balkan could analyze the first exploration material and provide reliable forecasts for deliveries. Said to reevaluate.

A BMW spokeswoman said the company was monitoring trends in the global lithium market and did not rule out the purchase of lithium in Germany if quality, delivery, social and environmental standards were appropriate. It was.

All parties acknowledge that it will take some time before a significant amount is delivered.

Michael Schmidt of the German Mineral Resources Agency (DERA) said that if production expectations for three to four years were met, it would be just in time to alleviate the supply bottleneck expected in mid-2010.

He predicts that in the years leading up to 2024, domestic lithium demand will increase to 9,000 metric tons per year in slow e-mobility deployment scenarios and 32,000 metric tons per year in fast scenarios.

Germany imported about 5,300 metric tons last year.

“One ton of lithium, which Germany does not need to import from abroad, is better for the industry,” Schmidt said.

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Israeli IAI is entering a joint venture with Australian mining services …

Israeli IAI is entering a joint venture with Australian mining services …


Israeli IAI launches joint venture with Australian mining services company

April 22, 2021

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has launched a joint venture with Bis, Australia, to launch a new company, Auto-mate, which provides autonomous systems for the mining industry.

This partnership combines Bis’ operational and logistics capabilities with IAI’s autonomous technology. IAI’s technology is used in large off-road vehicles in remote areas and in harsh environments, making it ideal for mining operations.

Auto-mate provides a solution tailored to the requirements of each mining operation. Auto-mate’s system can connect any asset to a fleet management system, regardless of the level of automation, type, brand, or age of the asset.

This system improves the safety and productivity of the mining industry and provides users with detailed data to optimize their operations.

Interoperable and scalable system Yoav Turgeman, IAIVP and CEO of ELTA, said: “Auto-mate provides a flexible approach to automation, providing multiple levels of automation ease across all transportation assets and accessories in one central command center.”

“The team was excited to work with another leader in innovation to bring this product to the Australian and global markets,” said Brad Rogers, CEO of Bis. “We are excited to work with IAI to work on the industry’s first mining automation.”

The Australian Trade Promotion Agency has played a vital role in achieving the IAI and Bis JV. The Austrade Agency provided market and customer research and analysis, linked the IAI with relevant industries and government officials within Australia, and targeted JV affiliates.

The Australian Trade Promotion Agency has been working with IAI since 2013 to find autonomous / robot mining partners in Australia and introduce potential partners and agencies. For the past few years, the Australian Trade Promotion Agency has helped the IAI expand its presence in Australia and advised on ways and opportunities to expand its role within Australia’s defense ecosystem.

Learn more about Investing in Australia Or Contact the Australian Trade Promotion Agency For more information.

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Arizona’s mining is fighting the economy and EV against results …

Arizona’s mining is fighting the economy and EV against results …


Earlier last year, Darin Lewis paid $ 800,000 to a hardware store in a small town in Arizona. There, the mining giant Rio Tinto PLC wants to build one of the largest underground copper mines in the world.

Rio purchased materials from Lewis’ Superior Hardware & Lumber for the resolution mining site, accounting for one-third of the store’s sales and helping to keep it afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. I am.

But U.S. President Joe Biden mine last month in response to Native American concerns about destroying the sanctuary and environmentalists worried about devouring water in a drought. Put the project on hold.

This has fueled anxiety among Lewis and others in Superior, Arizona. They want to enjoy the economic benefits of a mine that harvests over £ 40 billion in copper.

“I sank everything I had in this place,” Lewis said in his store, surrounded by hammer drills, wrenches, and other merchandise. “If this mine doesn’t open, we’ll definitely be devastated.”

In canceling the project, Biden overturned his predecessor Donald Trump’s decision to give Rio land for mining. Biden ordered further government analysis of the project.

The ongoing battle puts conservationists and Native Americans in dire straits against local officials and residents who support their financial interests. Complex discussions are a precursor to the upcoming battle as the United States aims to manufacture electric vehicles that use twice as much copper as internal combustion engines. The resolution mine can meet about 25% of Cooper’s demand in the United States.

“Save Oak Flat” can be found at the water tower in San Carlos, Arizona. | Reuters

The Arizona conflict is concentrated in the Oak Flat campsite, and some Apaches consider it the home of the gods known as Gaan. A site near the San Carlos Apache settlement hosts religious ceremonies to celebrate the growth of teenage girls. Many Apaches bury their ancestors under volcanic rocks.

In 2014, the Obama administration and Congress launched a complex process aimed at giving Rio 3,000 acres of federal land, including campgrounds, in exchange for Rio’s nearby 4,500 acres. Biden has suspended the transfer.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

“When Rio arrives at this place, the mine will kill the angels and gods who live here,” said Wenslanoshi, a member of the San Carlos Apache tribe who has led protest camps on the site for 18 months. The sign there describes the land known in Western Apache as Chi’chil Bildagoteel as a physical embodiment of the Earth’s spirit.

Nosy gained widespread support for his cause, helped by the growing worldwide attention to indigenous rights. Rio itself contributed to the bombing of Australia’s culturally important Aboriginal rock shelter last year.

If the land exchange is approved, Rio said the campsite would remain open for decades to come before the underground mine would cause craters to swallow the site. The company also said it would seek the consent of the project’s tribes and study ways to prevent craters.

Vicky Peacey, Senior Permitting Manager for the Rio Project, said:

Based in Australia and the United Kingdom, Rio is a rocky cliff overlooking Superior, with other cultural sites, including Apache Leap, where Apache died suddenly to avoid being captured by the U.S. military in the late 19th century. I also promised to protect it.

“American Copper”

Superior politicians, a town of 3,000 residents who voted almost 2: 1 for Democrat Biden in a Republican majority county last November, are now urging the president to change his mind.

If Biden approves, the land exchange will allow the town of Superior to purchase more than 600 acres to diversify the local economy by expanding airports, developing industrial parks and building affordable housing. Authorities say it is important.

“President Biden will have to make a courageous decision,” said Democratic Mayor Mira Besic.

She said the mining industry is essential to achieving Biden’s goal of expanding EV production. “We’ll need more American copper,” she said.

The area has long been popular with hikers and campers, but is well known as the “Copper Corridor” with mines such as Freeport-McMoran.

The closure of the magma copper mine in 1996 has devastated the superior economy. Authorities are now fixing their hopes in the resolution. Since the first discovery of the copper deposit in 1995, Rio and its minority partner BHP Group PLC have spent more than $ 2 billion drilling exploration tunnels and dismantling old magma smelters. They haven’t produced copper yet. BHP declined to comment.

More than half of the buildings in downtown Superior are empty. Some Tesla Inc charging stations hint at the town’s desire to be part of the EV boom. Nikola Corp. And Lucid Motors are building their own EV plant within 80km.

Miners will perform maintenance work 2066 meters underground at Resolution Copper Exploration Mine Shaft 10 in Superior, Arizona in March. | Reuters
Miners will perform maintenance work 2066 meters underground at Resolution Copper Exploration Mine Shaft 10 in Superior, Arizona in March. | Reuters

Rio has promised to hire 1,400 full-time workers with an average annual salary of over $ 100,000. This is almost half the population of a town whose median income is one-third below the national average.

“The sacred thing for my community is that people have jobs and homes,” said Mayor Besic.

According to the Governor of Arizona, the mine will boost state, local and federal tax revenues by $ 280 million annually, adding $ 1 billion to the state’s economy.

According to a survey, Rio pays only $ 350,000 a year to the town, well below the $ 1 million required each year to strengthen police, fire and road maintenance.

Rio has agreed to pay more to the town to guarantee superior water supply and donate $ 1.2 million to the school district. Without Rio’s support, Steve Estatico said schools in districts with 13% fewer enrollments since 2016 could be closed.

“For the past few years, Rio has had to learn that the host community cannot be taken for granted,” Besic said.

A dead end story

Terry Rambler said San Carlos Apache, one of the first Native American tribes to support Biden’s presidential election, negotiated with Rio because the tribal council favored direct negotiations with the U.S. government. Said not.

Rio’s bronze chief, Bold Barter, said he would like to negotiate directly with the tribe when he visited Arizona as early as June, if pandemic restrictions allowed.

“We are hearing concerns from everyone,” Baatar told Reuters. “There is no mine until we make every effort to seek consent.”

Former President of the San Carlos Apache tribe, Dr. Wendslano Sisina (left), is praying for Daniel Mendoza at Chichilville Dagotil (Oak Flat Campground Apache name) in the Tonto National Forest near Miami, Arizona. .. | Reuters
Former President of the San Carlos Apache tribe, Dr. Wendslano Sisina (left), is praying for Daniel Mendoza at Chichilville Dagotil (Oak Flat Campground Apache name) in the Tonto National Forest near Miami, Arizona. .. | Reuters

Not all local Native Americans are against mines. Some members of the White Mountain Apaches, reserved just north of San Carlos Apache, say they do not consider the campsite a sacred place.

“The belief that this site is religious, that’s news for me,” said Alvena Bush, councilor White Mountain Apache, who supports the project.

Water worries

Rio dug a mine near 2km underground on his land near the campsite. The bottom of the shaft provides a staging ground for future mining operations.

Miners drain water from nearby chalcopyrite deposits to facilitate extraction. Over 600 gallons of water per minute is pumped into surface treatment plants for use in local agriculture.

Rio plans to mine copper using a technique known as block caving. It involves carving a cave from a large piece of rock, which collapses under the weight of the rock above, creating a crater 3 km wide and 304 meters deep.

Sandra Rambler, an elder of the San Carlos Apache tribe, has a picture of her mother talking to former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar during her visit to Oak Flat in San Carlos, Arizona in 2009. | Reuters
Sandra Rambler, an elder of the San Carlos Apache tribe, has a picture of her mother talking to former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar during her visit to Oak Flat in San Carlos, Arizona in 2009. | Reuters

According to an environmental survey by the US Forest Service, this method can damage the aquifers that supply two local springs. The report says that the entire mine will have less groundwater available in the area, which has been hit by drought since the late 1990s.

“This land wouldn’t be worth it without the right water,” said Henry Munoz, who heads a group of retired senior miners who opposed the project.

Biden will decide later this spring whether to give Rio land for mining. Hardware store owner Lewis wants his plight to be taken into account in all competing interests.

“If there’s one thing I want to say to President Biden, it’s going to be’open the mine,'” he said.

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Israeli IAI is entering a joint venture with Australian mining services …

Founded mining company looks for VET partner in Egypt


International gold producers are looking to Australia-based Registered Training Institutes (RTOs) for curriculum offerings. This curriculum supports training in mobile plant technical skills and must be internationally accredited and recognized in Egypt. The RTO oversees the provision and auditing of site-based programs to ensure compliance with international frameworks.

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