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 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.
Huge open-cut mining pits would be turned into reservoirs to hold water for renewable energy storage. It would give the sites a new lease on life and help shore up our low-emissions future.
Extractive mining is predicted to increase drastically by 2060.
Extractive mining disrupts the balance of the planet’s ecosystems and is set to rise. Could urban mining or degrowth help curb unsustainable practices?
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
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.
Icebergs floating in the ocean near Svalbard, an Arctic island chain on the edge of Norway’s proposed exploitation zone.
Norway has become the first nation on earth to allow deep-sea mineral exploration. But opening this industry could put Norway in murky legal waters.
Labourers load sacks of cobalt onto bicycles at Mutoshi mine in July 2021.
Cobalt is a critical component in the production of batteries, smartphones, jet engines and electric vehicles. Yet miners who risk their lives digging it up receive almost none of the profits.
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
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.
More and more motorists are opting for bigger EVs – but there are several environmental concerns to consider.
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
Upcoming NASA missions will help scientists understand the composition of asteroids – which could inform companies one day hoping to commercially mine asteroids.
Sunrise Opera House.
Australia has a massive opportunity to reduce global emissions by as much as 9%, all while renewing its heavy industries and economy. But to seize the opportunity, government needs to move fast.
Australia has a once-in-a-decade opportunity to fix environmental law. A new Wentworth Group report says the cumulative impacts from multiple projects must be considered.
For towns built on mining, mine closures have huge impacts. Because mines inevitably close, communities should be involved from the start in planning for that time.
Newly announced closures of Glencore’s copper and zinc mines in Mt Isa will add to a huge number of former mines in Australia. A 2020 study by Monash University’s Resources Trinity Group found more than…
Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/AAP
The Biden Administration’s signature climate legislation is unleashing a wave of clean energy investment, along with some opportunities and risks for countries like Australia.
Argyle Diamond Mine / AAP
More than 90% of the world’s pink diamonds came from a single mine that closed in 2020. Geologists are only now beginning to understand the forces that create the rare, highly prized gems.
An ambitious clean energy transition requires more of the metals and minerals used to build clean energy technologies.
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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
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.
The Productivity Commission seems to be against manufacturing, even the making of batteries using local materials. The new team at the top might help it think more broadly.
Crab on polymetallic nodules.
NOAA Ocean Exploration
Deep sea metallic nodules could help us shift to clean energy. But we don’t know how much damage it will do to ecosystems
Rogaland, Norway, may have the world’s largest phosphate rock reserves.
Harvepino / shutterstock
For now, phosphate rock mining is dominated by China and Morocco.