A viable alternative to Chinese minerals hegemony

The long and winding road to building a Free-World rare-earths supply chain

Duggan Flanakin

Prompted by a worldwide chip shortage already impacting automobile production, President Biden in February signed an executive order directing a 100-day broad review of supply chains for critical materials for semiconductors and large-capacity batteries, including rare-earth elements. It builds on analyses, reports and executive orders initiated several years ago by the Trump Administration.

The stark truth that this review should highlight is that the U.S. and its Western allies have been left behind at the starting gate in a race only China seems to have realized was taking place. 

The Chinese began building their now-dominant supply chain decades ago. The U.S. has been 100% net import reliant on rare-earth elements, with 80 percent of those imports sourced from China.

Technology metals consultant Jack Lipton has described five steps in a total rare-earth supply chain. Mining comes first, followed by extraction of the rare-earths from mining concentrates and preparation of clean, pre-PLS (pregnant leach solution) mixed rare-earths products. (Actually, there is another step that precedes mining, at least in Western countries – gaining permission to mine – and it is often the most difficult and most time-consuming step of all.)

Mining companies typically perform these two steps, and sometimes the third – separation of mixed rare earths into individual oxides and blends. Specialized smaller companies typically handle step 4, manufacturing chemical products (such as phosphors and catalysts) and individual metals and alloys, as well as step 5, manufacturing rare-earth permanent magnets from rare-earth alloys.

China today controls roughly 80% of the world’s rare-earth production capacity, 43 percent of exports, and nearly 90 percent of refining. No other nation today has a functional complete rare-earth supply chain. This means the U.S. and its Western allies have a lot of catching up to do; Western nations have also failed to develop and carry out strategic minerals strategies.

One reason for these strategic shortcomings has been strong opposition to mining, and especially to the very word “radioactive” (for rare-earth deposits linked to thorium and uranium found in monazite ores) from constituencies opposed to environmentally challenging mining practices.

Energy consultant David Blackmon recently asserted that, “There will be no successful ‘energy transition’ or ‘Green New Deal’ implementation in the United States,” unless companies are allowed to access this country’s own plentiful supplies of copper, nickel, cobalt and rare-earth minerals. Yet, he laments, the most strident proponents of decarbonization and renewable energy are often the most strident opponents of domestic mining of these critical minerals.

Anti-mining sentiments remain strong, especially among environmental pressure groups and professional staff at regulatory agencies. For example, a recent article pointed out that offshore wind turbines that are essential to President Biden’s call for 30,000 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind by 2030 require 63,000 pounds of copper per turbine – 8 tons of copper per megawatt of energy output.

World copper prices jumped in May to an all-time high of $10,440 per metric ton, a number perhaps buoyed by Biden Administration decisions to pause the permitting of two major U.S. copper mines – the Rio Tinto/BHP Group Resolution Copper joint venture in Arizona and the PolyMet NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals mine in Minnesota. Notably, PolyMet began its quest for permits 17 years ago after leasing mineral rights for the NorthMet deposit in 2000.

This slow-walked approach to energy and materials policy cannot stand if the U.S. is to build reliable, affordable supply chains for critical materials. TechMet Chairman and CEO Brian Menell recently stated, “To remain a leader in the energy and automotive areas, the U.S. must secure adequate supplies of the metals necessary to power the 21st Century’s industrial revolution.”

Menell’s company “builds projects that produce, process and recycle ‘technology metals’ critical for electric vehicles, renewable energy systems and energy storage.” He urged the federal government to work with the private sector to enhance supply chains among partners and allies. He called for “massive funding” to transform the U.S. critical metals industry and ramp up global production to help meet geometrically growing demand.

There is a sense of urgency in Menell’s comments, affirmed by Andrew Miller, product director at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Miller told NPR’s Marketplace that, sure, “you can build a new electric vehicle factory in a couple of years,” but “to fund, start and refine the processing from a new raw material facility, you’re looking at five to seven years.” And that’s with fast-track permitting that steamrolls citizen and pressure group opposition.

In a four-part series addressing Chinese dominance in the rare-earths industry, Jamil Hijazi and James Kennedy explained that China built its rare-earth industry as part of a carefully designed nationalistic strategy for world domination, one not motivated by the quest for private profits.

Now, with their market share dominance, “China uses opaque subsidies to eliminate any profit potential for competitors. No profit potential, no competitors, China’s metallurgical monopoly remains secure and uncontested.” Even more daunting, the lack of non-Chinese processing, refining and metallurgical capacity means the world sells China its low value ore-concentrate and China sells back much higher value end products.

Menell points out that China’s rare-earths dominance is “the result of decades of successful central planning, to secure the minerals required to develop technologies across strategic sectors such as energy, auto and defense.”

President Biden’s executive order supporting the concept of resilient, diverse, secure supply chains is certainly admirable. However, Menell says, the United States must make the supply of critical minerals a central part of both domestic and foreign policy.

Menell notes that the Biden Administration also needs to educate the American public that the mining and processing of critical materials can be done with much lower environmental impacts by American companies than by Chinese firms, and that America’s economic well-being depends heavily on an integrated rare-earths value chain.

“The United States cannot afford to be a bystander in the most significant transformation of the global industrial and technological landscape since the invention of the steam engine,” Menell emphasized.

Failure to take bold, ongoing action will doom the USA – and other Western nations – to submission to China’s iron grip on 21st Century technology.

Unchallenged, China could choose to expand its empire southward and eastward, as Western voices are muted by their utter dependence on Chinese “generosity” in supplying materials for smart phones, wind turbines, electric vehicles, defense and aerospace technologies, and more. China could also continue to force U.S. and other Western companies to “share” their most valuable corporate and national security secrets, and even their profits, with their Chinese “benefactors.”

Duggan Flanakin, director of policy research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), began his career as chief editor for scientific research at the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

4.7 17 votes
Article Rating
124 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jon R
May 31, 2021 2:13 pm

I pledge 100% pixie dust by 2025!

Redge
Reply to  Jon R
May 31, 2021 11:14 pm

And the UK pledges100% pixie dust and 600% unicorn farts by 2022!

Martin
Reply to  Redge
June 1, 2021 2:51 am

I hear that Carrie Antoinette has opened a unicorn farm in the garden of No.10

markl
May 31, 2021 2:15 pm

We have the resources, we just need to execute. Yes it will increase prices in the short term but stave off monopolies by other countries before it’s too late. As usual, a few ecozealots stand in the way. We already handed off our chip manufacturing so taking it back should be easy.

Jon R
Reply to  markl
May 31, 2021 2:30 pm

Orrrr we could just not use so many batteries?!

MarkW
Reply to  Jon R
May 31, 2021 6:30 pm

Both need to be done.

Walter Horsting
May 31, 2021 2:20 pm

Jim Kennedy has been pounding the pavement on these points.

https://youtu.be/fLR39sT_bTs

Robert of Texas
May 31, 2021 2:27 pm

Now THIS is actually a dangerous situation 100% caused by man…in this case by people in the U.S. and other Western countries. It isn’t a giant exaggeration like climate change.

The U.S. should develop a policy of in-sourcing a large amount of critical raw resources and the production of critical military parts. It will take 20 years to execute to a point where we can resist a blockade, and that requires are wonderful government to actually stay focused. I am not holding my breathe.

If we can manage to kick start mining in the U.S., then we should be able to do the same with building nuclear power plants completely negating the need for anymore green energy.

David A
Reply to  Robert of Texas
June 1, 2021 3:25 am

“ It isn’t a giant exaggeration like climate change.”.

However it is directly connected to the CAGW scam, which China played very well.

We had a President that understood all this, had made our nation energy independent, eliminated thousands of red tape laws, and new how to change your 20 year requirement by two thirds.

May 31, 2021 2:37 pm

One way to reduce the dependence on a tenuous supply chain is to stop making a lot of the things that require rare earths, starting with windmills and electric vehicles. Simple but not easy of course.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Rafe Champion
May 31, 2021 2:54 pm

REO permanent magnets are used in a LOT of places besides windmills and EVs. It is a national security issue just like steel and aluminum. But Biden is no Trump, so despite his EO ‘study’ do not expect anything to happen.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 3:04 pm

“But Biden is no Trump, so despite his EO ‘study’ do not expect anything to happen.”
Trump was in charge for four years. What did that do for rare earths?

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 31, 2021 3:53 pm

The DOD under Trump approved funding for the Phase 1 construction planning work on the Lynas Corp heavy rare earths separation facility in Texas. 

Work also progressed on the Rare Element Resources’ Bear Lodge Project in Wyoming, which has key critical rare earths as well as an estimated 40+ year mine life.

There were some other important advancements that don’t quite meet your strict standard of “rare earths”, but certainly help civilization.

Under the Trump administration, Lithium Americas Corp’s Nevada lithium mine was approved.

The Rio Tinto Ltd Arizona copper mining project was also approved.

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
May 31, 2021 6:16 pm

“Work also progressed on the Rare Element Resources’ Bear Lodge Project”
Not really. According to the company’s website
“the US Forest Service is preparing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the site, the draft of which was completed in January 2016 and is now suspended. The Company completed its applications for two key permits/licenses with a goal of receiving them at the same time as the final record of decision, the decision document for the EIS, which is currently on hold until markets support resumption of the process.”

MarkW
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 31, 2021 6:33 pm

Trump followed the law.
1) Just the opposite of what most liberals claim.
2) Just the opposite of what most liberals do.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
May 31, 2021 10:05 pm

Masters of Projection—they are always guilty of everything they accuse conservatives of doing.

David A
Reply to  MarkW
June 1, 2021 3:29 am

President Trump followed the law, while legally eliminating thousands of red tape laws that helped create national weaknesses and harmed the environment.

MarkW
Reply to  David A
June 1, 2021 10:47 am

Yes, however those he couldn’t eliminate, he followed. Unlike the Democrats who just ignore the laws they don’t like.

Geoman
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
June 2, 2021 4:45 pm

I would love to see Mountain Pass in California opened up – plenty of rare earth elements there, remote location, but it is in California. Ever notice that environmentalists wants a great number of things, but never expect to have to sacrifice anything for it?

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 31, 2021 4:03 pm

Republicans in the Senate and House also introduced some rare earth funding bills. The ORE Act in the Senate would let mining companies deduct from their tax bill the costs of building rare earths mines, processing facilities and equipment purchases. It would also let electronics manufacturers deduct 200 percent of the cost of U.S. rare earth products, including magnets, a measure designed to entice companies to buy fewer of the strategic minerals from China and more from the United States.

I believe neither the ORE Act in the Senate or the RARE Act in the House received a single Democrat vote in committee.

Geoman
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
June 2, 2021 4:46 pm

Just exempt rare earth mines from the permitting process. You won’t have to give them a dime in tax breaks – mines will open widely within a couple of years.

David Kamakaris
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 31, 2021 5:02 pm

Trump was smart enough not to fall for the renewable, excuse me, unreliable energy craze. He thought, correctly, that if we became energy independent, then much of the nonsense going on in the rest of the world wouldn’t matter, such as the Iranian droning of the Saudi oil facility. But now, thanks to Biden and people like yourself who are wetting their pants over some phony climate change scam, the Chinese will soon have us by our throats the way OPEC did in the 70’s. Way to go, Nick.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  David Kamakaris
May 31, 2021 5:11 pm

Now give a citation supporting your scurrilous assertion. Or be gone.

MarkW
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 6:34 pm

Some celebrity said it, therefore it happened.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 7:29 pm

His own words.
..
“the noise causes cancer”

I have no love for Trump, but you, like pretty much every media outlet, have just cut out parts of what he said. They also often completely misrepresent what he said.

His own words, in full this time:
“they say the noise causes cancer”

With your ethics, I could claim that your said of Trump

showing how brilliant he was

He didn’t say that the noise causes cancer, he said that someone else said it. If you can’t see the difference, you are blinded by TDS and should seek help immediately.

Last edited 19 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 9:03 pm

You can watch the man himself saying it here.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 1, 2021 12:05 am

As you do often do, you lie by omission, Nick.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 1, 2021 3:54 am

I suspect Trump said that as part of his odd sense of humor- regardless, it might not cause cancer but do you want a wind turbine next to YOUR home? The noise will drive you crazy and the shadows as the turbine turns if it’s between your home and the sun. And, it will drastically lower your home value.

David Kamakaris
Reply to  David Kamakaris
May 31, 2021 6:02 pm

Smart enough not to fall for the unreliable energy craze. What’s your excuse, Neil?

MarkW
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 31, 2021 6:32 pm

What is it about socialists, that they actually believe the president is a dictator that can do whatever he wants at any time?

saveenergy
Reply to  MarkW
May 31, 2021 10:47 pm

All presidents / prime ministers / leaders, want to be dictators, it’s why they run for office ! (look around the world at the present crop of dicks)

Politics is just like a bottle of milk, the cream rises to the top, tastes good for a short time … then the whole bottle goes sour, so you throw it out ASAP & replace with similar & strangely, the same happens (perpetual expensive chaos ).
If you carefully filter to remove the impurity’s & homogenize you get something that’s bland, but does the job efficiently & reliably for a long time with less waste, (that’s what we need in politics … I wont hold my breath ).

Last edited 19 days ago by saveenergy
Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  saveenergy
June 1, 2021 12:06 am

Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed regularly, and for the same reason.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
June 1, 2021 1:23 am

Politicians are likj a sewer, what comes out is a function of what goes in and we all know what floats to the top

Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 2:43 pm

In 2007, Vaclav Klaus (former president of the Czech republic) wrote the book Blue Planet in Green Shackles. This post describes some of those shackles.

The largest worked deposit of REOs in the US is the Mountain Pass open pit mine on the California Nevada border. It has millions of tons of estimated remaining REO reserves. When the Chinese jacked REO prices and also restricted supply to Japan in 2015, owner Molycorp (by then a unit of Chevron) invested $1.2 billion in REO ore processing upgrades to meet US environmental requirements that China just ignores. Just as the new processing facility was to come on line, China dropped REO prices and export restrictions, promptly bankrupting Molycorp. The mine and new processing facilities were bought out of bankruptcy for only about $20 million, mainly by two US hedge funds, as a small speculative investment in case the US ever does something about China REO hegemony.

It is not so easy escaping developed world green shackles. For example, the proposed Alaska Pebble Mine (copper, moly, gold) permit was denied by Trump under pressure from Don Jr to guarantee no damage to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, even tho given the mines near 20 year in development proposed extensive safety measures to protect this fishery meant any such were very unlikely.

China knows this well, and builds out its coal generation and REO capacity with relative impugnity.

Ron Long
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 3:03 pm

You are right on target, Rud. As a life-long mining exploration geologist I have seen, sometimes in a very frustrating way, the green shackles in action. The Pebble deposit in Alaska is located in the heart of the worst Giardia contaminated waters in the world, and there is not actual threat to salmon. Never mind, greenies can’t stand the thought of mining.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Ron Long
May 31, 2021 3:20 pm

Funny you mention Giardia (beaver fever, a gut parasite you do NOT want to get). My extended family bought (in about 1970) a ‘summer cottage’ (Canadian speak) on Lake Palmerston in southeastern Ontario, about 100 miles north of Kingston , about 70 miles out intp the Shield. For many years our water supply was a pump on the boathouse, with an intake hose just thrown into the lake, The water was that pure.

There were NO beavers—long ago trapped out. So Ontario Fish and Game reintroduced them , and pretty soon every creek draining into Palmerston was beaver dammed. And pretty soon the Giardia was so bad we were forced to drill a well away from the lake. Drilling a viable water well into Shield rock is a BIG deal. PITA.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 5:32 pm

“… a gut parasite you do NOT want to get).”

Ask me how I know.
John

GregK
Reply to  John Hultquist
June 1, 2021 12:47 am

A good way to get rid of excess kilos/pounds….persnal experience

Robert A. Taylor
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 3:40 pm

 1965-1995 Mountain Pass, U.S. was world leader in rare-earths. A radioactive spill contaminating a nature reserve in 1998, new environmental regulations, etc. led to shutdown in 2002. This video uploaded to YouTube in 2017 may be of interest: Neodymium And Rare-Earth Elements Are Humanity’s Future| Treasure Hunters | Spark @

H B
Reply to  Robert A. Taylor
May 31, 2021 11:15 pm

what is wind as a % of electrical generation 2020 claim/prediction 6%as at 2020 is this corect

Reply to  Robert A. Taylor
June 2, 2021 3:00 am

Excellent video…well worth a watch if one is interested in this issue. The credits say it was made in 2013 but it is still very relevant. One interesting fact is that a 5MW wind turbine uses 1 ton of rare earths…newer Chinese ones can use 4 t each.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 3:53 pm

“It is not so easy escaping developed world green shackles. For example, the proposed Alaska Pebble Mine (copper, moly, gold) permit was denied by Trump under pressure from Don Jr… “

Was Don Jr a green shackle?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 31, 2021 4:32 pm

Yes.

dk_
May 31, 2021 2:46 pm

Rare-earth to IC is just one essential supply chain. CCP has also invested internationally into other resource and logistics chains. For instance wood and paper, medicine and medical supplies, fisheries. Not to mention western media and entertainment outlets. Belt-and-road usury is quite well targeted to cornering the market on future resource development. From the U.S. point of view, the only available non-violent approach to correcting the problem happens to be the one we’ve just abandoned.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  dk_
May 31, 2021 2:56 pm

We did not abandon it. Biden stole the election, and HE abandoned it.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 3:40 pm

Do you have a single piece of evidence that would stand up in court for such a claim? Every official investigation into the US 2020 elections have found no evidence of fraud on the scale that would overturn the results in even a single state.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 31, 2021 4:21 pm

There have been no investigations at a scale that could prove such, and why do Democrats fight so to prevent such?

MarkW
Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 31, 2021 6:38 pm

Ah yes, the standard left wing line. The results are rejected even before the investigation begins, because your party leader has already told you what to believe.

philincalifornia
Reply to  MarkW
May 31, 2021 7:25 pm

Yep, they all just recycle/parrot the orangemanbad, 80 judges, Trump’s false claims smokescreens.

Neil, if you want to actually know what the state of play is, you will have to do some work. To use a science analogy, the Maricopa case is currently at the Experimental Procedures phase, to be followed by Results and Discussion and then the Conclusions. They only need one person facing a 10-year sentence to rat on the puppeteers and tip over the first domino.

The reason 80 Judges ruled that there was no evidence presented was because there was no evidence presented. This is new more thoughtful warfare. Pity the wimps in Georgia couldn’t man up too.

Cliff Hiilton
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 31, 2021 4:48 pm

Izaak Walton

Name one investigation.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 31, 2021 5:06 pm

Yes. Glad you asked. There have been NO official audit investigations although two are now underway. There have been some simple ‘official’ recounts that recount sham ballots.
I have six different SETS of evidence to counter your claim.None of which any court has yet fully considered.

The first set is circumstantial, which a jury is still allowed to consider (think J&J talcum powder verdict, now on appeal). It comprises stuff like no president won since Kennedy unless taking Florida, Ohio, and Iowa. Trump won all three. Or there are since about 1970 17 indicator counties. Trump won 16 of 17.

Second is historic comparisons. In Obama’s second term election, he won (if I recall correctly) by about 2 million less than his first. Trump garnered about 10 million more than his first. And to place a reverse spin, Obama won his second with over 10 million less ‘votes’ than Biden, yet took about 417 counties. Biden supposedly won with over 10 million more votes than Obama, yet took only about 270 counties. You do that math.

Third is direct visual (via CCTV) impropriety. This was recorded in Atlanta about 11pm (the fake water main break prior to hidden mail ins drug out from beneath a covered table, then multiply counted when no poll observers were present. Ruby and her daughter are their names. And Detroit, when not once but twice an election van pulled up loaded with ballots to unload about 330 AM, no chain of custody, no one there to attest, unloading two vans worth of ‘late’ ballots.

Fourth is all the thousands of observer sworn affidavits about various improprieties in MI, PA, GA…not the least of which is no folds on mail ins—impossible. That is something the AZ audit is now checking and the low res GA preliminary audit has already confirmed by about (court testimony) 21%.

Fifth is the Antrim Michigan lawsuit court ordered audit based on down ballot ‘anomalies’ where it has already been shown about 5000 votes were Dominion machine switched from Trump to Biden. The same is now emerging in Windham, NH. It may also be shown in the PA recent primary, and in Maricopa AZ.

Sixth is legal challenges. The WI SC has ruled that the Dane and Milwaukee county instructions concerning ‘indefinitely confined’ including CoVID 19 were WI unconstitutional. In 2018, there were about 80k no ID required ‘indefinitely confined’ ballot requests. In 2020, there were over 240k. Biden took WI by about 20k. And to further the WI legal point, in many precincts in Milwaukee it has already been shown there were more ballots counted than registered voters. You do that math.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 8:15 pm

Rud,
None of those sets of evidence are valid.

1) The former bellwether counties are no longer representative of the country as a whole being significantly whiter and less well educated than the US as a whole. Hence it is no surprise that Trump won them while losing the election. See:
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/where-did-all-the-bellwether-counties-go/

2) Discussions about counties won are irrelevant since the clear shift has been for urban dwellers to vote Democrat while rural voters to vote republican. And given the huge population disparity between rural counties and urban ones it is no surprise that Biden could get more votes than Trump while winning fewer counties. Also you historical comparison would imply that it was Trump who was trying to steal the election since otherwise how else do you explain his getting more votes in 2020 than in 2016?

3) The supposed double counting has been debunked by republican officials in Georgia. See for example:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/07/technology/suitcases-ballots-georgia-election.html
the point to note is that even if the votes were doubled counted originally they would not have been double counted during the hand recount.

4) A number of sworn affidavits from around the country do not necessarily add up to a number of votes sufficient to change the
result. In MI for example Biden won by 150 000 votes. Even a few thousand irregular ballots will not change the result.

5) There is no court ordered audit in Antrim. Again see
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/05/14/fact-check-michigan-did-not-authorize-forensic-audit-2020-election/5057526001/

6) The legal challenges are around how people voted not that those people voted fraudulently. These people voted in good faith using methods that were declared legal at the time. Turning around and trying to throw out their ballots after the election just because you don’t like the result is sour grapes. Furthermore the claim that in Milwaukee more people voted than were registered has been shown to be false again and again.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 31, 2021 10:13 pm

What is your rational explanation for digital systems that store votes as floating-point numbers instead of unsigned integers?

What is your rational explanation for negative votes?

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 31, 2021 10:36 pm

“Organizations like the New York Times, who have now as much as said we didn’t believe it because it came from the Trump administration, are truly fake news and are operating in a political space devoid of science.” — Mike Pompeo

GregK
Reply to  Izaak Walton
June 1, 2021 12:57 am

And why did the Democrats not try to rig congressional voting as well ? Republicans picked up 15 House of Reps seats and could have picked up Georgia if their candidate was even half competent

dk_
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 31, 2021 5:12 pm

Responding to this particular commenter against my better judgement, I’m quite sure that there’s more evidence of malfeasance in the 2020 election in 6 months in several key jurisdictions than in any of the multiple years of whining about stolen elections without evidence by two particular Democratic candidates that has been ongoing, respectively, since 2000 and 2016.

MarkW
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 31, 2021 6:37 pm

There have been no “official” investigations.
But what what’s a lie or two when you have a paycheck to protect.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
May 31, 2021 10:25 pm

Do you have your Fauci-approved double mask affixed over your face?

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 1, 2021 10:51 am

How impressive. One guy’s opinion and the case is over.
So long as that one person is saying what you want to believe.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 31, 2021 10:10 pm

Izaak the Idiot puts in an appearance.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Izaak Walton
June 1, 2021 6:21 am

What level of evidence is required in the Court of Izaak?

Go study up on the lawsuit of Dr. Shiva in Mass.

Neil Lock
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 4:58 pm

Rud, there is no evidence the election was “stolen.” As a trained lawyer, don’t you think the countless lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign would have shown SOME evidence? Or, as a trained lawyer, don’t you recognize that all of the lawsuits were frivolous, and your orange skinned hero is just a plain sore loser?

Last edited 19 days ago by Neil Lock
Rud Istvan
Reply to  Neil Lock
May 31, 2021 5:30 pm

As a trained lawyer, I would have thought some would have been heard because they had both standing and probable cause. None have been. SCOTUS deferred PA as not ripe before the election, and then moot thereafter. A Dodge.

But some are slowly now proceeding. For example WI has ruled the Dane and Milwaukee county ‘indefinitely confined’ instructions concerning C-19 were per WI constitution unconstitutional. That calls into question the about (240k 2020 minus 80k 2018) or 160k No ID WI because ‘indefinitely confined’ ballots. AZ has ruled its Senate does have State constitutional authority to demand an audit and enforce its subpoenas thereto.

As a simple aside, if Maricopa County was clean they would welcome the audit instead of fighting it tooth and nail, then say, we told you it was all ok. Their actions say just the opposite. Ditto now Fulton county,GA. Ditto now Antrim county, MI.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 10:15 pm

Another idiot, or Izaak with a brand-new sockpuppet.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 10:39 pm

The Arizona legislature, you silly person.

MarkW
Reply to  Neil Lock
May 31, 2021 6:40 pm

It really is fascinating how liberals keep trotting out the same tired arguments, no matter how many times they get shot down.

The lawsuits were tossed out, usually under claims of lack of jurisdiction, or by declaring that since the election was over, looking into claims of fraud no longer made any difference.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
May 31, 2021 10:16 pm

Liar.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
June 1, 2021 10:53 am

Not a single one was rejected on the basis of the evidence presented.
As you already know. But then facts were never what you were after.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Neil Lock
May 31, 2021 10:14 pm

Afraid of the truth?

Or just paid to post?

MarkW
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
June 1, 2021 10:53 am

He has to go back to his cell master for the latest talking points memo.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
June 1, 2021 12:41 pm

He spouts them word-for-word.

dk_
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 5:06 pm

Rud,
Agreed, although we may have an academic discussion on whether Joe Biden has ever been personally capable of anything other than pawnship. But unless the effect is countered, the result will be no different than if the election result was proper. At least U.S. and Western Europe will have to clean our own houses, until then we’re losing ground.

I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, … so help me God.

  • The “foreign and domestic enemies” clause was added mostly because of the civil war, and the Confederacy’s revolt against the Union and a much demonized Lincoln.
  • It wasn’t used to negate any oath because of a proved stolen election in 1960, nor contested elections e.g. in 2000 or 2016.
  • I’ve left out the enlisted oath portion that declares intent to obey orders of “the President and the officers appointed over me,” mostly because of the absence of an obvious alternative when that office might be held by a domestic enemy to the constitution.

Happy Memorial Day.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 5:37 pm

Neil, Your definition of clown show is obviously very different than mine. When it is finished, we will both learn which of us is the clown.

And, I did not just assert ‘stolen’. If you will reread a long comment above, I proffered six separate lines of evidence that any jury would be entitled to consider as proof. Perhaps any one line individually is not convincing. But times six?. Not that any actual jury ever will, since we are in unprecedented extrajudicial constitutional territory.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 10:41 pm

Gavin Newsome? Is that you under the mask?

MARTIN BRUMBY
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 1, 2021 1:13 am

Rud, it occurs to me that there is an extremely small possibility that the Dems, in fact, didn’t steal the election.

But, all credit due to them, any rational person would have to admit that it certainly wasn’t for want of trying.

David A
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 1, 2021 3:46 am

If so, then what are you worried about? Why the universal democratic resistance to audits and voter ID laws.

MarkW
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 6:42 pm

Let me guess, in your “mind”, a clown show is any investigation into something you don’t want revealed.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
May 31, 2021 10:19 pm

Do you believe all the lies put out by the Rachel Madcow propaganda machine?

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
May 31, 2021 10:21 pm

How much of your paycheck are you willing to donate to the Green Raw Deal?

10%?
20%?
40%?
80%?

Be honest, for once in your life.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
May 31, 2021 10:45 pm

BIDEN PLEASE LET US IN!

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 10:17 pm

“What am I signing?”

Still excited with your vote selection?

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 10:17 pm

You are nothing but a liar shilling for the criminals.

Nick Schroeder
May 31, 2021 2:49 pm

Back in ’11 & ’12 I worked on cobalt, copper, gold and iron ore projects for a mining, O&G engineering company. All of this was old news to the industry back then.

Flanakin barely scratched the surface of the huge amounts of energy, complexity, water and mess associated with mining. One project was FEED for a large copper operation in Panama powered by a pair of 150 MW coal burners with barge unloading 150 miles away on the coast.

One major obstacle is that the general public is misinformed even brainwashed by the naive, clueless, science illiterate, freelance, woke twit and twat journalism majors of the lying, fact free, fake news MSM left wing, coup de’tat, propaganda machine.

MARTIN BRUMBY
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 31, 2021 3:13 pm

There is another problem, as well as the GangGreen anti- mining crew, corrupt and incompetent regulators and malicious “scientific” advisors (mostly getting funds from the West’s enemies).

It is the same problem that will lead to Biden’s inquiry into the origins of Covid strangely finding that the CCP is actually as innocent as new fallen snow.

Remember Hunter’s laptop?

Just how much dirt does Xi Jinping and his evil gang have on Biden?

My guess is:-
Quite enough to ensure that any US Covid inquiry or any move to challenge China’s grip on REOs will be about as much good as the Durham report.

DMacKenzie,
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 31, 2021 5:31 pm

Nick,
Haha, tell us what you really think instead of masking it with politeness.

saveenergy
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
May 31, 2021 11:12 pm

“One major obstacle is that the general public is misinformed even brainwashed by the naive, clueless, science illiterate, freelance, woke twit and twat journalism majors of the lying, fact free, fake news MSM left wing, coup de’tat, propaganda machine.”

The other major obstacle is that the general public is misinformed even brainwashed by the naive, clueless, science illiterate, freelance, woke twit and twat journalism majors of the lying, fact free, fake news MSM right wing, coup de’tat, propaganda machine.

And while the left & right / blue & red idiots are slogging it out, trying to beat each other into a pulp like stupid kids in the playground, the sensible Chinese are going through the bags & pockets,taking everybody’s money !

David A
Reply to  saveenergy
June 1, 2021 3:50 am

If you are referring to the RINOS in our government I will not disagree.

Jean Parisot
May 31, 2021 2:59 pm

Boring machine! Rare Earths like sandworm leechings.

Ron Long
May 31, 2021 3:07 pm

Good report, even if distressing. As a former President of a uranium exploration company I can assure everyone that modern personal dosimeters guard against radiation problems. We never exceeded 10% of allowable employee exposure. We also checked the houses of all neighbors to our projects for radon gas accumulations and found one with a problem (open the doors and windows every day, especially when the wind is blowing), Think of radiation detectors in the context of having an alert for Covid-19 or HIV, wouldn’t that be popular?

Cliff Hiilton
May 31, 2021 4:43 pm

I, as the President of these, somewhat, United States, would pull the plug on electric cars, wind turbines and solar arrays. Do this for a period of 50 years. Use our cheap NatGas and coal. Continue to build upon efficiencies on the ICE. China can eat it’s supply chain. I would demand building mines in every Blue states; the “not in my backyard” folks. Once China has heeled, I would use any resource which make economic sense, to generate energy.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Cliff Hiilton
May 31, 2021 5:39 pm

This simple solution is the best statement on the topic.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Cliff Hiilton
May 31, 2021 6:04 pm

Cliff, as much as I like your recommendations, I disagree. Nothing will stop this illogical climate nonsense short of a complete (and costly) train wreck. So we need one or more of those, hopefully just inCA or UK. February TEXAS ERCOT just showed how complete and convincing the train wreck(s) will have to be. Sad, but I am prepped for same at our north Georgia mountain retreat, having just sold my even better prepped Wisconsin dairy farm, in part since a bit far from Fort Lauderdale after I relocated from Chicagoland to here.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 31, 2021 8:29 pm

Rud, I thought I read on the weekend that Texas isn’t going to change anything, steady as it goes?

I bought a house here in calgary, trying to get some renovations done and the three tubs I chose are ~120 day delivery

Because shortage of basic materials due to the February flustercluck.

And they aren’t going to change anything?

Walter Sobchak
May 31, 2021 4:47 pm

The first thing we must do is to strangle the last lawyer with the entrails of the last environmentalist.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 31, 2021 5:05 pm

It pains me when people call these nut-case activists “environmentalists”. I have always considered myself an environmentalist, but the label has been hijacked by the Green movement. A real environmentalist loves nature and parks and forests, but also realizes we need resources to continue our way of life. We appreciate hunters who cull herds and animals that would become unhealthy populations if not managed. Create more wildlife preserves? You Bet! And open more mines too.

Yep, I love wild untamed wide open lands like in Alaska, and I still support drilling and mining if done responsibly. (Check the results of 1860;s through about 1960’s for irresponsible types of mineral extraction) There has to be some kind of balance.

I love my National Parks, and I love my Ford F-150. I choose both!

MarkW
Reply to  Robert of Texas
May 31, 2021 6:45 pm

Robert, I would classify you as a conservationist, not an envirnomentalist.

philincalifornia
Reply to  Robert of Texas
May 31, 2021 7:41 pm

I’m an environmentalist and a scientist and yes, those crackpots, liars and thieves have polluted both those areas, and I’m sure many more.

…. and still you have people, who can’t be bothered to switch their brains on, coming on here and supporting their parrot speak.

Christ, they can’t even speak English – there’s a new sign off the 880 freeway by the Oakland Coliseum that says “Stop Asian Hate”, from the people who think you can deny climate. F^ckwits.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Robert of Texas
June 1, 2021 4:05 am

“A real environmentalist loves nature and parks and forests, but also realizes we need resources to continue our way of life.” Exactly! I’ve been to many American wilderness areas and most of the national parks- but I’ve managed timber sales since Nixon was in the White House. We need both. Here in MA, the enviros want to end all logging- especially those who already own nice wood homes loaded with nice wood furniture.

TonyL
May 31, 2021 4:57 pm

This is a very long story, indeed. Where to start?
Some Old-Timers will know this, many others here at WUWT will not.

Mr. Peabody: Sherman, set the WAYBAK machine to 1950.
Sherman: Yes, Mr. Peabody, 1950 it is.

In 1950, the United States still echoed and reverberated with the shocks of WWII. The effort had literally been unlike anything the world had seen. The US needed to do certain things to win the war. The question was could it do those things. The answer was Yes, It Could. The reason was that the US had heavy industry and industrial strength unmatched by any other country on the planet. We built ships, aircraft, tanks, and all the rest in overwhelming numbers. Also critical was the fact that the US was rich in most (but not all) of the raw materials needed.
The Upshot:
Americans knew “In Their Bones” that healthy and vibrant heavy industry and manufacturing were critical to National Security. As was access to the raw materials. Americans just knew that their material prosperity guaranteed their National Security.

Over time the lesson was forgotten.
It seems to have been a policy, both written and unspoken to de-industrialize the US from about 1980 or 1990 on. The resulting degradation has been slow, steady, and cumulative.

A few examples, even all together seem hardly significant, yet are barely a start.
Item 1:
Question: In 1970, which company did more Chemical R+D than anybody else?
You might guess Dow Chemical, or DuPont, perhaps. Wrong!
#1 in Chemical R+D was General Motors.
#2 was (no kidding) IBM (!!!!)
In ~1973 the R+D tax credit was eliminated, and almost overnight all the Chemical R+D programs in business and industry were shut down and eliminated. It would be only a matter of time before the US lost it’s competitive edge.

Item 2:
Around 1998 Congress introduced the Foreign Profits Tax. Apparently, double taxing corporate profits was not enough. (Tax the money once as corporate profits, then when disbursed as dividends tax it again as personal income.) The Foreign Profits Tax would tax the money once more as it was repatriated back into the US. US corporations could not take that, so the money stayed overseas. Eventually they needed to use that money. What to do? They shipped the jobs overseas so wages could be payed with the offshore money.
What had been a slow stream of offshoring became a torrent.

Item 3:
Around 2000, Micron Technologies wanted to build a new ultra-clean memory chip fab line in southern California. They got Red-Taped to death. Even after they got the EPA to agree in principle, the opposition would not stop. CARB, the California Clean Air Resource Board kept making unreasonable and unjustifiable demands. It became all too clear that this facility would never be approved. If you could not build an ultra-clean fab facility, you could not build *anything*. Micron set up the new facility in Malaysia.
Intel, Apple, Texas Instruments, Motorola, all took note.

I could go on. The story of the AlCan Highway. More about Rare Earths and Thorium.
This is enough for now.

May 31, 2021 5:26 pm

The rise and fall of opulence and power is a cyclical phenomenon with a historical record. The success of hard work, innovation, and ambition yields cultural, political, economic, and eco wacko goofiness and a consequent decline that yields political and economic power. The irrational economics, social activism and eco wacko goofiness of the West is best understood in this context.
It is a civilization in decline.

The rise of China at the expense of the West must also be understood in this context. So comical has been their fall that the West now seeks to destroy the capitalism that created it to “save the planet from climate change”.

https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/05/16/grantham-institute-climate-change/ .

David A
Reply to  Chaamjamal
June 1, 2021 4:02 am

Looking carefully your last sentence may be a sequence violation.

The decline of the US over the last 35 years or so is directly related to earth day ideology, which is related to and sponsored by Communist Ideology. They are not “ now” seeking, but Have Been seeking to destroy capitalism all along.

DHR
May 31, 2021 6:52 pm

Mr. Flanakin, if you truly believe only monzonite ores are all the natural materials that are “radioactive”, you are truly wrong. Everything you eat, breath, walk on, live in, or fly in is radioactive. Absolutely everything. It is only a matter of degree, some things less so and some more so.

TonyL
Reply to  DHR
May 31, 2021 8:40 pm

???????
DHR writes:
Mr. Flanakin, if you truly believe only monzonite ores are all the natural materials that are “radioactive”

Confusion here. The author absolutely makes no such claim.

This is exactly what the author states:
One reason for these strategic shortcomings has been strong opposition to mining, and especially to the very word “radioactive” (for rare-earth deposits linked to thorium and uranium found in monazite ores)

The author merely notes that some monazite ores are radoiactive due to the presence of Th and/or U. As I recall, the radioactivity was used as a pretext to shut down mining, or at least make the mining of rare earths as difficult and expensive as possible. The government agencies responsible used the rabid anti-nuclear stance of the environmental movement as political cover. At the time, rare earths were nothing more than a niche market and so were seen as acceptable collateral damage in the all-out war against nuclear power.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  TonyL
June 1, 2021 12:53 pm

A bit late. The Mountain Pass ore is bastnesite. It is still mildly radioactive because of associated thorium.

Pat from kerbob
May 31, 2021 8:20 pm

“ the most strident proponents of decarbonization and renewable energy are often the most strident opponents of domestic mining of these critical minerals.”

Because stupid

alastair gray
May 31, 2021 11:35 pm

Slightly at a tangent, Why the need for Rare Earths in wind turbines?. As far as I know a synchronous induction motor such as powers most plant and machinery and which has no permanent magnets is among the most efficient energy conversion machines around with efficiency about 90% . The process of course works in reverse with motion converted to electrical energy.
As far as I know conventional coal fired and nuclear electrical generators do not use permanent magnets.

Now as I understand it a permanent magnet motor for cars has 2 vital characteristics
1) high starting torque at low revs so fast get away
2) lower weight
Both of these are important in a vehicle but I can not see the importance in a wind turbine application. Also in a wind turbine the weight and construction cost might be reduced by either
1) Taking a mechanical drive down the tower and putting the generator (perhaps combining the mechanical output of several units) on the ground.
2) Running a hydraulic pump at each windmill site and pumping it all through one single generator turbine -like a hydro station which would have the advantage of making wind power synchronous.
There may be very good reasons for the wind industry using the configuration that it does and I would welcome an informed dissertation from a qualified engineer on the subject

David A
Reply to  alastair gray
June 1, 2021 4:06 am

Upvoted, because a well constructed logical question which admits potential ignorance deserves praise.

alastair gray
Reply to  David A
June 1, 2021 1:43 pm

What does upvoted mean?

griff
June 1, 2021 12:38 am

Well yes: that the US is a declining state and that China is the new world power has been obvious for some time…

as has the growth in rare earth etc supplies outside China as demand increases

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
June 1, 2021 10:01 am

According to the recently (May 2021) published report from the IEA on The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy.

  1. Cobalt: ” High reliance on DRC for production and China for refining (both around 70%) is set to persist, as only a few projects are under development outside these countries”
  2. Rare Earth Elements: “Dominance of China across the value chain from mining to processing and magnet production”

So not right again Griff

Dean
June 1, 2021 1:22 am

Long lead times on new mines is nothing new. As a recent graduate mining engineer in the early 90s I remember reading a Canadian study which looked at thousands of mining projects and found that the exploration and approval (both internal and government) process took on average 150% of the production life of the project.

A 20 year mine took 30 years to be found, understood, approved and constructed.

The approvals side of things has gotten a lot worse over the last 30 years.

Joseph Zorzin
June 1, 2021 3:47 am

The solution to this problem is stop building the wind and solar industries!

Ewin Barnett
June 1, 2021 4:35 am

Then there factor of the amount of time it takes to go from a geologist identifying a possible deposit until the first pound of metal is produced. This can range from 10 to 20 years. Some permits can take two years from application to approval. Permits are required for most steps that involve moving dirt or even for drilling cores. One of the effects of government has been to distort project economic considerations so that only the largest deposits with the highest grade ore deposits can be developed. Capital expenses for such projects start at $100 million. Just notice the lesson of the Pebble mine project in Alaska, a project to develop the largest copper deposit that was recently denied a critical permit by the federal government.

Loren C. Wilson
June 1, 2021 4:44 am

Between California and the Feds, the one permitted mine in the US was shuttered. With the environmental regulations, they can’t compete with Chinese operations. Why do the Greens think that their Nimbyism results in a less pollution when they close a facility in the western world? The demand does not go away. They don’t abandon electronics and windmills. The production just moves to countries that don’t care about the environment and act irresponsibly. The US has more deposits but developing them faces insurmountable regulatory barriers.

pablo
June 1, 2021 4:56 am

quote: “Biden’s request for 30,000 megawatts of electricity [….] 8 tons of copper per megawatt of energy produced”
What is a “megawatt of electricity”? are we talking about power, energy or what? maybe it is the peak power capacity?
And what is the “megawatt of energy” supposed to be, instead?
This seems nonsense to me.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  pablo
June 1, 2021 6:47 am

Because it is nonsense.

Jeffery P
June 1, 2021 7:16 am

I am all in favor of review of our supply chain issues. It make no sense to be so dependent upon our global adversary, that is, the People’s Republic of China. With China asserting it’s dominance over Hong Kong, it’s more important than ever that find new sources of raw materials, microchip and rare earth metals.

What I am not in favor of is top-down, central planning industrial policy. The government has a poor record of picking winners and losers. Policy is too susceptible to the influence of big money and the bureaucracy has it’s own agenda.

Peter Morris
June 1, 2021 7:20 am

Any plan that involves our Federal Government spending tax dollars to compete with the Chinese is doomed to failure. The current government is absolutely filled with clowns who want nothing more than to “get their share,” then retire with their untouchable pension.

There’s just no way that kind of sloth and arrogance can get anything done at all. The only way we could get back in the game is to unburden the free market. Sure you might get a little extra pollution, but nothing compared to the wastelands China is currently developing inside its own borders.

Our own government is the problem, not the solution.

Greg61
June 1, 2021 7:47 am

The environmental movement and alarmists in general are racist to the core. They demand we have these substances, then demand we get them from BIPOC countries with no labour laws, refusing to allow any mining or processing in the West. What could be more racist?

June 1, 2021 8:36 am

Pebble mine here in Alaska. Ambler Road to access the mining district in the southern Brooks Range W of Fairbanks.

One of the things the greens have done for decades is stretch and expand federal lands (National Forests, Wilderness Areas, National Parks, National Monuments, etc) to encompass known finds of minerals. The other thing they have done is carefully select those expansions so as to limit to prohibit access to those finds. Pretty cute trick. Time to reverse that. Cheers –

chris
June 1, 2021 1:23 pm

if only we had a President who could win a Tariff War against China. I heard they are “easy to win”, but evidently that’s not so.

Oh well, at least the farm corporations got $60B on our way down.

June 1, 2021 3:29 pm

One of the BBC’s eco-propagandists gushing about the rapid advent of electric cars:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-57253947

No mention whatever of the minerals crunch that will bring the drive of the e-car to a crunching stall before it has even cleared the driveway.

Is he in denial of the imminent mineral bottleneck? Or can he really not know?

There’s a glorious e-car fiasco on the way, just a few months down the road. It will be the funniest black comedy in decades.

Last edited 18 days ago by Hatter Eggburn
June 1, 2021 3:35 pm

Some sweetly ironic contradictions brewing in gubmint policy to mining of fossil fuels and battery related minerals. Fossil fuels will play the role of wife while e-minerals will play that of the mistress.

Geoman
June 2, 2021 4:42 pm

Building out a mine is a process of a few years. Getting permits is a decade of work.

Simple solution: Executive order exempting mines of critical minerals from the NEPA and permitting process. They are not exempt from environmental regulations – they must still meet clean air and water standards, But they are exempt from the permitting process.

People get the two confused – absent a permit the mine gets to pollute all it wants! Nope. You can ditch the permit and simply regulate at the point of compliance, where the discharge enters the rivers or air. Very simple, and very easy.

%d bloggers like this: