Energy Transition & Next Mining Boom in America

Tabrez ahemad

The Covid-19 pandemic has made one thing clear. America has to be more domestically dependent on its resources. 

Senator Lisa Murkowski says that the time has arrived for America to reverse the dependency by cultivating domestic resources as much as possible, especially when the world countries are directing their development towards cleaner, less polluted, and environmentally friendly energy sources to save the Earth.

Joe Biden- the President of America, has announced the mission of making America a zero-emission country by 2050 and half of the cars sold in 2030 to be electric vehicles. Hence the lithium metal used in batteries is needed more than ever. According to the estimations, the demand for lithium will be 40 times greater in 2040 relative to 2020. Hence energy transitions are leading us to the next American mining boom. 

The Statistics of the Current American Mining Industry:

The mining industry of America has witnessed historical golden days. America was once number one in mining and getting minerals such as Gold, Copper, Silver, Brass, stone, Iron Ore, Coal, and many more. Currently, America is in the sixth position. 

The number of current open mines in the United States of America is 12,714, attributing nearly 57 billion US dollars to the domestic Economy. This extraction comes from the 278 active metal mines as of 2020. With 539,000 jobs in mining employment statistics, the mining industry is also a big player in providing domestic jobs. 

Different Mining Methods and machinery:

There are three types of significant mining processes as follows. 

Open-Pit Mining:

This method is the most common as it only requires digging and maintains exposure to the surface. This method comes into play when the target minerals are near the surface and have large ore bodies.

Underground Mining:

Underground mining is practical when we are going the ores below the surface of the Earth safely and economically. We create a horizontal or vertical tunnel to go underground. These tunnels are named adit, shaft, or decline. 

Underwater Mining:

As the name suggests, this mining process is necessary for the ores or minerals within an aquatic environment. It needs thoughtfulness as you need to take care of the ecosystem too. 

Generally, companies use purpose-designed ships to drill 100-140 meters below sea level. 

All mining companies use drills, long walls, shearers, draglines, shovels, dozers, graders, wheel dozers, haulage systems, roof bolters, feeder breakers, utility vehicles, and mining bearings as machinery for all their mining projects. 

The Next American Mining Boom:  

Mining in America has always been a great resource of wealth & power. But recent announcements will surely lead it to the next boom. As the demand for lithium will increase in the coming decade, America has already started mining lithium at the Thacker Pass, the tip of the caldera in Nevada. The country is also looking forward to uranium mining as one of its most essential minerals for years to come. 

Although the Native Americans are protesting as it is harmful in terms of the environment, they say that it will harm the water and air quality in local areas & also affect the wildlife ecosystem. 

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