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The Flow of Natural Resources and Raw Materials
There are many reasons to harvest our raw materials that already exist in this country, rather than importing them whenever possible or possible. When there are reasons that prevent us from collecting those natural resources within our own country, then and only then should we look to our trading partners to supply such raw materials and resources. When we can mine such raw materials within our borders and transport them short distances to processing facilities, manufacturing plants, refineries, energy power plants, and shipping ports or railroads for export quickly and cost-effectively. In the last 40 years in our country, we have seen most of our mining losses. Some were due to the federal Clean Water Act of 1972, which was meant to prevent pollution from things like strip mining.
Many other mines, drilling rigs and plants were shut down due to the cost. This is often due to the global market price of minerals or natural resources. Due to regulations, labor costs, labor unions, OSHA regulations, etc. many mines closed. Some examples of cost problems in mining are overwhelming. In reviewing the status of a recently closed gold mine in Butte, MT, we found that the mine was closed due to the increasing energy costs of crushing the rock to extract the gold. Energy costs went from $280,000 per month to 1.6 million per month. Sure there were other issues though Imagine getting that electricity bill and trying to manage your expenses? With mining and other heavy industries requiring unpredictable energy costs, price increases on top of excessive regulation are the death knell.
Now that people in many countries have protested against mining, it is easier to protest against gold and silver because it is associated with greed because those minerals are also considered legal tender. One of the first gold mines in the country, the Reed Gold Mine in Charlotte is a great mine to visit. In the 1820s there were more than 300 gold mines in North Carolina. This of course long before the 49’ers of CA. The Reed Mine was active until 1912. A total of 13 gold mines in Canada have closed over the past two years due to falling gold prices or depletion of ore. In most of North America it is no longer feasible to collect gold under the conditions required, unless it can be collected with other precious metals and the remaining material can be further sifted for iron, copper or other metals. There are many places on Earth where many metals appear very close together. Like many industrial endeavors, mining can often cause air pollution. While what is not used much during mining is piled up and often seeps into the ground when it rains, other minerals released are more concentrated than normal downstream water.
This is because minerals have been buried for centuries in layers from previous periods. In the old Berkeley Pit, a closed copper mine not far from the Sunlight Gold Mine in Montana, rainwater was mixing with minerals at the bottom of the pit and containing arsenic, which is highly toxic to humans. and animals. Although arsenic is a poison, it is part of natural minerals in nature and is common in the area. Small traces are not bad, but once they become excessive, it becomes a cause of danger.
Transportation costs are also important in mining. Most of the mines still in business today are located very close to major railroad lines, with all the rules and regulations in place some mines still exist in the United States; Borax in Daggett, CA. The borax mine was moved from the Harmony Borax Works mine in Death Valley, the second hottest place on earth with a temperature of 134 degrees, in the 1880s, the famous 20-mule team borax trains hauled their load 165 miles along the railroad. should be counted This is an example of why the transportation factor is important in mining efficiency to keep costs down for factories using raw materials or natural resources.
If you look at above ground mines in North America, those with direct rail service can compete if scale and market prices remain stable. Many other factors must also be considered, for example, if your other countries do not have the same regulations for environmental control, they can often sell those raw materials to other countries who can sell their finished products, such as special alloys, steel, etc. At a lower cost than your companies can produce. which will appear during dumping; By selling their products at lower prices, they incur production costs. Many countries encourage such industries by providing huge tax breaks or subsidies to those industries and/or companies. There are several reasons for this, sometimes to insure that the companies are in the business of selling products to government agencies of countries for infrastructure projects. At other times it is to appease laborers and provide jobs. Sometimes this is in retaliation for a perceived or actual trade war by another trading partner country, which is boosting one of its other industries. Global trade dynamics continue; industry, peace, standard of living of the population, flow of money, raw materials and natural resources; are quite extensive, as you might have guessed.
Looking at above ground coal mines; Gillette, WY; You can see a good example of how mining works when everything is correct. Hundreds and hundreds of full trains leave weekly for coal-fired power plants across the country. The economies of scale in such mines are incredible, fun to watch and very serious, every second counts, it is now a pure science of efficiency. It’s incredible how far we’ve come in the last few centuries. The world’s deepest coal mine is 5000 feet down in the UK. Many in the United States are over 1200 feet deep, most of which are closed and few remain. Alabama has a mine, the deepest vertical shaft coal mine in North America, with workings 2,140 feet below the surface. Coal mines in Washington State, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Alabama have a hard time competing with Gillette WY’s incredible economies of scale above ground mining. Underground coal mines can be very dangerous. Gases and coal dust are present underground, and if a fire breaks out, it steals away all the oxygen. The recent rescue of coal miners in PA captured the world’s attention as rescue workers and rescuers worked non-stop to stay alive until every man was out.
Mining is a dangerous business and requires safety and high costs in productivity. Ground machinery and robotics have made many mining endeavors in the United States more profitable and safer. As we have discussed environmental issues are also under discussion. The only question is that things have changed significantly in the mining industry in the United States over the last 25 years; Did it change too fast? The reason we won World War II was our industrial production, we had the raw materials and the will and we could do it all here, are we positive we want to lose that ability in the future, after all it is. A still brutal world, mankind certainly hasn’t killed off its own species, there will be more wars. A key issue in mining is the competition from third world countries and our environmental regulations that are littering the environment. Today in the United States, we have new innovations to protect the environment without reducing processes. These new methods are expensive at the initial capitalization of the project, but are usually amortized over a significant period of time once started. Many colleges are churning out environmental engineers who specialize in mining. .
Doing so allows mining to be done properly, but environmental laws are not the only regulations that miners face, there are also OSHA laws and countless other regulations.
This country has salt mines, uranium mines, zinc, lead, molybdenum, iron ore, copper, silver, gold, aluminum etc. Some of the things you should be mining are old computers, refuse and disposal of automobiles and aluminum. On old planes parked in the desert.
The United States can compete, if we let go of the attitude and frivolous lawsuits, bad lawmaking, and delays caused by bogus regulations that are supposed to help the people when they serve no free man. If you’ve read Ayn Rand’s books, you might be aware of this. All the minerals we have are in different places of the world. There is a need to change our approach to mining issues as a whole, there are some smart entrepreneurs, sophisticated equipment, smart industry consultants who can and will get the job done without pollution, without harming the environment and yet change it. Significant profit. Who wins? We do, because global prices of raw materials and resources dictate the cost and efficiency of having these resources and materials in the country before they can be made into something. We should be helping these brilliant problem solvers figure out how to do it right in the name of profit, right now we are regulating and not listening to these new technologies and the ideas of the savvy.
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