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Articles on Mining

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An aerial view of pools of brine that slowly evaporate, leaving behind lithium and other minerals, in the SQM mine in the San Pedro de Atacama desert, in northern Chile, on April 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

The importance of critical minerals should not condone their extraction at all costs

The temptation to justify critical minerals mining at all costs is a dangerous fallacy. The social and environmental impacts of poorly mined critical minerals are dire.
Aerial view of the Pinto Valley copper mine, located on private and U.S. national forest lands in Gila County, Ariz. Wild Horizon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Gold, silver and lithium mining on federal land doesn’t bring in any royalties to the US Treasury – because of an 1872 law

Hard rock minerals like gold, silver, copper and lithium on public lands belong to the American public, but under a 150-year-old law, the US gives them away for free.
The Supreme Court of Canada ordered the federal government back to the drawing board on its Impact Assessment Act. But the legislation got a lot of things right in an era of climate change and related issues. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada’s Impact Assessment Act must be both Constitutional and ensure a sustainable future

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the federal Impact Assessment Act needs amendments for Constitutional compliance, but the court’s recommended approach is no longer viable.
Mining an asteroid probably won’t look exactly like mining does on Earth, but some principles will stay the same. posteriori/iStock via Getty Images

NASA’s robotic prospectors are helping scientists understand what asteroids are made of – setting the stage for miners to follow someday

Upcoming NASA missions will help scientists understand the composition of asteroids – which could inform companies one day hoping to commercially mine asteroids.
An ambitious clean energy transition requires more of the metals and minerals used to build clean energy technologies. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

How recycling could solve the shortage of minerals essential to clean energy

The demand for the minerals needed to build clean energy technology currently exceeds the available supply. If this issue continues, governments may find it hard to reach their clean energy targets.
Waterways and communities for miles around Idaho’s Bunker Hill mine were contaminated with lead after the 1973 fire. gjohnstonphoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus

50 years after the Bunker Hill mine fire caused one of the largest lead-poisoning cases in US history, Idaho’s Silver Valley is still at risk

A fire and decades of silver and lead mining created the largest contiguous Superfund site in the nation in what today is one of the fastest-growing states. It includes popular Lake Coeur d’Alene.

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