Category: Minerals and Metals Initiative

Nuclear Renaissance Technologies and Policies for the Future of Nuclear Power 6/16/2022

Nuclear Renaissance: Technologies and Policies for the Future of Nuclear Power

Payne Institute Fellow William Nuttall has published his second edition of his book that discusses nuclear power is low carbon and reliable, but in recent years it has struggled to play a strong role in global plans for electricity generation in the 21st century. Many of those involved with nuclear power and environmental agencies see controlled expansion of nuclear plants as the most environmentally friendly way of meeting growing energy demands. In the UK policy makers must recognise concerns around severe accidents and radioactive wastes and balance these against the risks arising from other energy technologies. In addition, energy policy-makers must ensure that energy supplies remain affordable for all in society. How might new nuclear power stations help meet emerging policy needs?  June 16, 2022.

Analysis of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Peru under Climate Impacts Using System Dynamics Modeling 6/16/2022

Analysis of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Peru under Climate Impacts Using System Dynamics Modeling

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Sebnem Duzgun contributes to this article where they propose a system dynamics (SD) model to examine the dynamics of an informal artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) supply chain that has interactions with the illegal gold supply chain in the Amazon rainforest region, Madre de Dios (MdD), Peru.  June 16, 2022.

US increases production to catch China in global battery race 6/9/2022

US increases production to catch China in global battery race

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributes to this article about how as battery-powered electric vehicles become a mainstay on the nation’s highways — and a key piece of President Biden’s environmental policy — the U.S. is facing a formidable challenge in its efforts to compete in the global battery race. June 9, 2022.

Challenges in Accurately Tracking Copper Trade Flows 6/9/2022

Challenges in Accurately Tracking Copper Trade Flows

Payne Institute Mineral Supply Chain Researcher Zach Krause writes about how copper is among the most heavily traded commodities world-wide. The trade volume of copper in combination with the environmental impact of the mining industry has drawn increased attention to the processing and trade of copper and other primary metals. Moreover, copper is a metal that is essential to the energy transition as a component of renewable technologies.  June 9, 2022.

Four Mines faculty members named Fulbright Scholars 6/6/2022

Four Mines faculty members named Fulbright Scholars

Payne Institute Faculty Fellows Neal Sullivan and Marte Gutierrez were named Fulbright Scholars for the coming year.  Dr. Gutierrez’s award will take him to the University of Chile, where he will conduct research with faculty there on the impacts of climate change on landslides, rockfalls and mudflows in Chile. The research will identify localities in Chile and provide mitigation solutions for amplified geological hazard potential from climate change. Dr. Sullivan will be spending seven months at the Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. The work he plans to conduct there will be similar to what he and his team work on at the Colorado Fuel Cell Center: developing next-generation materials for “green” hydrogen production. WASM’s work is supported by Western Australian companies, including Fortescue Metals Group, which has pledged to become Asia’s supplier of carbon-free green hydrogen over the coming decades.  June 6, 2022.

Coal prices are way up and long-term commitments from customers are hard to find 6/2/2022

Coal prices are way up and long-term commitments from customers are hard to find

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange is featured on this podcast about how Saudi Arabia is ready to start pumping more oil onto the market, which could bring oil prices down a bit. But oil and gas aren’t the only fossil fuels in tight supply.  A lot of miners are having to tell customers that even if they wanted to sell them coal at these high prices, they just don’t have any ready and they have to fulfill their prior commitments.  June 2, 2022.

Sweltering India turns to superheating coal for cooling 6/2/2022

Sweltering India turns to superheating coal for cooling

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributes to this article about how India has experienced a series of unusually early and prolonged heat waves this year. To cool off, the country has leaned on the fuel most responsible for the blazing temperatures.  Coal generation is surging to meet the demands of cooling systems like fans and some air conditioning, prompting a scramble by the Indian government to reopen mines and secure tons of coal imports to produce electricity.  Scientists say that as the planet warms, heat waves are becoming more frequent and severe.  June 2, 2022.

In a Bid to Save Its Coal Industry, Wyoming Has Become a Test Case for Carbon Capture, but Utilities are Balking at the Pricetag 5/29/2022

In a Bid to Save Its Coal Industry, Wyoming Has Become a Test Case for Carbon Capture, but Utilities are Balking at the Pricetag

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange contributes to this article about how under a 2020 law, utilities must generate some of their power from coal plants fitted with technology that captures carbon, but in recent filings to regulators, two companies are warning about the cost and environmental impacts.  May 29, 2022.

Lithium Is Key to the Electric Vehicle Transition. It’s Also in Short Supply 5/26/2022

Lithium Is Key to the Electric Vehicle Transition. It’s Also in Short Supply

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributes to this article about how the element lithium, a lightweight substance, is a critical component in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are used in most personal electronics and electric vehicles. And in the last year, it’s gotten expensive.  Lithium has shot up 432% year over year, hitting nearly $62,000 per metric ton in April.  The price spike is due to the booming electric vehicle market, which is putting demand pressure on battery producers, which in turn puts demand pressure on the minerals suppliers.  May 26, 2022.

Mines launches new research center with Peruvian partner university 5/24/2022

Mines launches new research center with Peruvian partner university

The Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Paul Santi, Director of the Mines Institute for Initiatives in Latin America, is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo (UNT), located in Trujillo on the Pacific coast of northwest Peru.  This new collaboration agreement on May 9 to establish the Center for Research in Sustainable Resources (Centro para Investigación en Recursos Sostenibles) and to begin the first phase of collaborative research projects involving research teams and students based in the U.S. and in Peru.  May 24, 2022.