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Biden wants minerals for electric vehicles mined in the U.S.

Apr 4, 2022
The White House invoked the Defense Production Act to foot the bill for mining feasibility studies.
Key parts of electric vehicle batteries utilize nickel and cobalt, which typically come from Russia, China and other countries. Biden now wants to boost domestic supplies of the minerals.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The renewable energy transition has companies looking out to sea

Sep 27, 2021
Nodules on the ocean floor are rich in cobalt, nickel, manganese and copper. But deep-sea mining has raised environmental concerns.
Patania II is GSR’s seabed mining robot with hoses that suck up polymetallic nodules. Here, it’s being lowered into the Pacific earlier this year so that it can roam the seabed.
Courtesy of GSR

Lithium may fuel a mining revival in England's Cornwall

Oct 19, 2020
Tin mining in Cornwall ground to a halt more than 20 years ago. Now the county has discovered what may be a rich new source of underground wealth.
The harbor at Mullion Cove, Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Hugh R Hastings/Getty Images

Murray Energy is the latest coal mining firm to declare bankruptcy

Oct 29, 2019
The decline in coal-fired power plants began with older facilities about a decade ago. Now even younger plants are being retired.

Trump's Greenland interest throws mining into focus

Aug 22, 2019
Greenland might not be for sale, but it is open for business. And that could mean a boom for its mining industry.
Nuuk Harbour, Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.
Martin Zwick/Getty Images

In Houston, a growing debate about flooding and sand mining

Dec 31, 2018
In business-friendly Texas, lawmakers could crack down on sand mines amid flooding concerns.
Excavators dig massive pits at the River Aggregates sand mine near Houston, Texas.
Travis Bubenik for Marketplace

Why Western tech companies want more control over minerals in Africa

Modern electronics rely heavily on one thing: lithium ion batteries. With carmakers gearing up to increase electric vehicle production, the demand for lithium ion batteries doesn’t appear to be slowing down. These batteries rely on an increasingly important supply of the metal cobalt. Most cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central […]

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Why investing in coal companies may not help the people living in coal country

Jan 11, 2018
When we subsidize coal companies, does that make it back to the people living in coal country? In her reporting for Quartz, economics writer Gwynn Guilford found that the answer may be a loud, resounding “no.” For her article “The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal,” Guilford reported on the […]

Uranium companies in the U.S. are hoping demand will return

Dec 26, 2017
Could there be a uranium boom on the horizon? If there is, it would help coal-heavy Wyoming.
Nichols Ranch Manager Bernard Bonifas reaches into one of the hundreds of tan boxes dotting the landscape at the Nichols Ranch uranium mine. They keep injection and recovery wells insulated during Wyoming’s harsh winters. 
Madelyn Beck/ for Marketplace

Wind power cuts into Nebraska's increasing use of coal

Aug 8, 2017
Nebraska is the only state in the lower 48 using more coal for generating electricity than it did a decade ago.
 Caterpillar front-loading machinery operates on mounds of coal.
Luke Sharrett/Getty Images