Category: Mineral Foundations of the Energy Transition

In the Race for Space Metals, Companies Hope to Cash In 5/8/2024

In the Race for Space Metals, Companies Hope to Cash In

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Angel Abbud-Madrid contributes to this article about how mining asteroids could, in theory, reduce the burden on Earth’s resources.  Potential applications of space-mined material abound: Asteroids contain metals like platinum and cobalt, which are used in electronics and electric vehicle batteries, respectively. Although there’s plenty of these materials on Earth, they can be more concentrated on asteroids than mountainsides, making them easier to scrape out.   May 8, 2024.

Is Green Growth Possible? 4/30/2024

Is Green Growth Possible? 

Environmental data scientist Hannah Ritchie is featured on the Ezra Klein Show, a New York Times podcast, discussing how climate technology is increasingly catching up to the world’s enormous need for clean energy and with a few changes, a more sustainable future.  The Payne Institute is mentioned as a key research organization looking at the amount of resources available to support a clean energy transition using solid data science.  April 29, 2024.  

Revitalizing the future economy: Critical mineral derivatives could bring stability 4/29/2024

Revitalizing the future economy: Critical mineral derivatives could bring stability

Payne Institute Student Researcher Reese Epper, Sustainable Finance Laboratory Program Manager Brad Handler, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how despite very likely high demand growth for some minerals, recent price drops give poor signals to investors.  Slower-than-expected growth in the electric vehicle sector, especially in China, combined with supply increases, has weighed heavily on the prices of several critical minerals. Given the long lead times to develop new supply sources, investments in mining these minerals must begin now. Yet, in the face of low prices, the mining industry is delaying projects, scaling back work and suspending operations.  April 29, 2024.  

The United States’ Strategy for Securing Critical Minerals Supplies: Can It Meet the Needs of the IRA? 4/9/2024

The United States’ Strategy for Securing Critical Minerals Supplies: Can It Meet the Needs of the IRA?

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Raphael Deberdt published this policy brief about how the United States reliance on foreign supplies of raw and processed critical minerals is pressing Washington to devise a strategy to secure short-, medium- and long-term solutions. Pressure only increased with the booming demand spurred partly by the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) policies. April 9, 2024.

The price of copper has been rising. That’s good news for the economy. 4/9/2024

The price of copper has been rising. That’s good news for the economy.

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange is featured on this podcast about the rising cost of copper. We say pretty regularly that if you want to figure out which way the global economy is headed, you should take a look at the price of copper. Because copper is used in so many things — power lines, appliances, vehicles, wind turbines, EV batteries. You get the picture. There is so much demand for the metal right now, the price of copper futures is at its highest since the middle of 2022. April 9, 2024.

Colorado School of Mines, Chevron announce partnership for Global Energy Future Initiative 4/8/2024

Colorado School of Mines, Chevron announce partnership for Global Energy Future Initiative

Mines Global Energy Future Initiative Vice President John Bradford contributes to an article about a new partnership between the Colorado School of Mines and Chevron to support the Mines Global Energy Future Initiative.  Through this partnership, Chevron will sponsor research projects and participate in steering committees and working groups, adding industry expertise to solve complex problems related to the energy transition. April 8, 2024.

Boom goes uranium in Utah — again 4/7/2024

Boom goes uranium in Utah — again

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange contributes to this article about the latest concerns of the La Sal Complex, a Uranium mine 32 miles southeast of Moab.  The mine has been opened and closed and opened again over the years. The price of uranium has increased recently, and so has uranium production in Utah. The mining and processing of uranium have ignited old concerns.  April 7, 2024.

US ratification of the ocean treaty will unlock deep sea mining 4/2/2024

US ratification of the ocean treaty will unlock deep sea mining

Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how hundreds of former political and military leaders are calling for the US Senate to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the impetus being to open up deep sea mining to supply critical minerals needed for clean energy and military technologies. Deep seabed resources include highly valued minerals such as cobalt, nickel, and rare earths.   April 2, 2024.  

Nuclear Power is Tribal Power 3/19/2024

Nuclear Power is Tribal Power

Payne Institute Native American Mining and Energy Sovereignty (NAMES) Initiative Program Manager Rick Tallman, Fellow Richard Luarkie and Director Morgan D. Bazilian write about how with the newly found bipartisan political will for American nuclear power, the U.S. is poised for a uranium mining boom once again. As the inevitable debate ensues, what is often not appreciated is the essential need to gain support from our Native American communities from the very start and through the developments.  March 19, 2024.

Projecting demand for mineral-based critical materials in the energy transition for electricity 3/18/2024

Projecting demand for mineral-based critical materials in the energy transition for electricity

Payne Institute Student Researcher Gabriel Collins, Faculty Fellow Carol A. Dahl, Student Researcher Maxwell Fleming, Student Researcher Michael Tanner, Student Researcher Wilson C. Martin, Kabir Nadkarni, Fellow Sara Hastings-Simon and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how mapping the changing energy landscape toward net zero and understanding the critical material needs to support the transition are essential for demanders and suppliers as well as policy makers seeking to orchestrate the transition. They provide such decision makers for electricity markets with a transparent tool that can be easily understood and modified as our transitional knowledge improves.  March 18, 2024.