DoE awards $22 million to European company to begin rare earth demo plant

Under the General Mining Law of 1872 even foreign miners have carte blanche to rape the Black Hills, so they are. At least five transients want to poke the Black Hills but it's happening throughout the Intermountain West. 

A Wyoming strip mine intended to remove Bull Hill from the Bearlodge Ranger District of the Black Hills National Forest then replace it with a pile of waste rock could pollute the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers even worse than they are now. 

Without further permitting from the US Forest Service Europe’s GA Umwelt-und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH (UIT) proposes to use a $22 million award from the US Department of Energy to move rare earth oxides mined in 2015 and stored in those tanks clearly visible in the above photo. A demonstration-scale separation and processing plant is expected to cost $35-40 million and a site in Upton, Wyoming near the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) is a prime candidate.

In January of 2016, the Forest Service suspended the Draft Environmental Impact Study for the Wyoming Black Hills mountaintop-removal mine that would extract more minerals containing elements like neodymium and praseodymium from the Belle Fourche watershed. In 2017 Rare Element Resources said its mine just upstream of the South Dakota border in the headwaters of the Redwater River, a tributary of the Belle Fourche/Cheyenne, announced financial backing from General Atomics and applied for enough water for the mineral separation process despite widespread contamination in Crook County wells. 

The US is beginning to get religion on existing rare earth stocks and we have more buried in landfills than all other developed countries combined. Japan recovers most of her needs from the waste stream. 

Acid mine drainage can kill or cause birth defects in the birds and mammals that happen into contaminated standing water on these sites but Wyoming Senator John Barrasso and other Earth raping Republicans are working overtime to defund environmental protection, especially on public lands. 

Learn more at the Sundance Times.

No comments: