May 17, 2020

Mine Sites: 6 Jaw Dropping Aerial Images You Have to See

Diavik Diamond Mine
Mine site
2 min
Mine Sites: 6 Jaw Dropping Aerial Images You Have to See
Mining is crucial to our everyday way of life. It not only provides essential materials needed to power our civilization, but its a major supporter to o...

<p>Mining is crucial to our everyday way of life. It not only provides essential materials needed to power our civilization, but it&rsquo;s a major supporter to our economy and job creation.</p>

<p>&bull;&nbsp;<a href="…] The 5 Deadliest Minerals Ever Mined</a></p>

<p>&bull;&nbsp;<a href="… Things You Didn&#39;t Know About the Mining Industry</a></p>

<p>We take you on an aerial journey through the world&rsquo;s most fascinating and significant mining operations.</p>

<p><strong>Potash Extraction Facility (Utah, USA)</strong></p>

<p>Located 20 miles west of Moab, Utah, this&nbsp;<a href="">Potash</a>&nbsp;mine began in 1964 as an underground excavation until it was converted in 1970 to a solar evaporation system. The mine produces roughly 700-1,000 tons of Potash per day.</p>

<p>The electric blue coloring of the evaporation ponds is due to the dye used to absorb and retain heat from the sun.</p>

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<p><strong>Diavik Diamond Mine (Northwest Territories, CA)</strong></p>

<p>One of the most fascinating mining sites in all of Canada is the Diavik Diamond Mine. Located on an island in the middle of Lac de Gras, the mine is primarily accessible by air with a seasonal winter road available for only two months of the year. During the seasons, the diamond mine will turn from blue and green tranquility in the summer to a barren ice desert in the winter.</p>

<p>The Diavik Diamond mine produces approximately eight million carats per year.</p>

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<p><strong>Soquimich Lithium Mine (Chile)</strong></p>

<p>Located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, the Soquimich Lithium mine looks more like colorful textiles than an actual mining site. The aerial image displays the beautiful colors of the brine pools and processing areas of the&nbsp;<a href="… on the Atacama salt flat, the world&rsquo;s second largest salt flat.</p>

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<p><strong>Bingham Canyon Mine (Utah, USA)</strong></p>

<p>The title for world&rsquo;s largest excavated hole belongs to Rio Tinto&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="… Canyon Mine</a>, otherwise known as Kennecott Copper Mine. Since 1906, the mine has produced more than 19 million tons of copper, including millions of ounces of gold, silver, and molybdenum.</p>

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<p><strong>Garzweiler Surface Mine (North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany)</strong></p>

<p>Straight out of a Transformer movie, the Garzweiler Surface mine in Germany is one of the biggest mining operations on the face of the Earth. The mine site, which resembles a dystopian future, is located in North-Rhine Westphalia and the inspiration behind the&nbsp;<a href="… 288</a>&nbsp;&ndash; a mega machine with the ability of excavating 240,000 tons of ground a day.&nbsp;</p>

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<p><strong>Mir Mine (Mirny, Russia)</strong></p>

<p>The&nbsp;<a href="… Diamond mine</a>&nbsp;is the world&rsquo;s second-largest excavated hole. Located in Mirny, Eastern Siberia, Russia, the former open pit diamond mine is an astonishing 1,722 feet deep, and 3,900 feet in diameter. &nbsp;</p>

<p>The history of the Mir mine has reached mythical proportion. The airspace above the mine is restricted due to alleged incidents of helicopters falling from the sky because of air temperature differences and unexpected current.</p>

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Jul 20, 2021

British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars

3 min
The ever-increasing need for electric vehicles is mounting pressure on British Lithium as the 2035 deadline inches closer

The British demand for lithium is set to reach 75,000 tonnes by 2035 as the government works towards their ban on the sale of high-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles within the UK. This comes as automakers worldwide continue to insist on the benefits electric vehicles will have on slowing the rate of climate change. 

It is estimated that the UK will require 50,000-60,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year by 2035 for battery production to satisfy government needs. This is assuming production remains at 1.2 million vehicles per year, and the amount of lithium required does not increase.

British Lithium, which hopes to begin constructing a quarry to produce 20,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year in a $400 million investment, are not without competitors, both within the UK and abroad. 

Competition For Lithium Rises In Europe 

After only five years after its initial launch, Cornish Lithium is setting its sights on becoming a UK powerhouse in mining lithium, aiming to begin commercial production in under four years. Jeremy Wrathall, a former investment banker and current managing director of Cornish Lithium, had the future in mind when founding the company. 

“In 2016, I started to think about the electric vehicle revolution and what that would mean for metal demand, and I started to think about lithium,” he said in an interview with AFP. “A friend of mine mentioned lithium being identified in Cornwall, and I just wondered if that was a sort of unrecognised thing in the UK.”

Lithium was first discovered in Cornwall around 1864 and has not been mined again since 1914 when it was produced as an ingredient in fireworks. Now, however, Cornish Lithium is reportedly in the testing stage to see if the metal can be produced commercially to meet the growing demand required for the electric car sector. 

Despite Cornwall’s close historic ties to mining lithium, Wrathall insists that the project is purely commercial. 

Cornish Mining Revival For Lithium Production

“It’s not a mission that drives me to the point of being emotional or romantic,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we do get this technology otherwise Europe has got no lithium supply.”

The European Commission has also stated their goal to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to aid the environment. That being said, the majority of lithium extraction currently relies on power provided by environmentally damaging fossil fuels─a slight contradiction. 

Alex Keynes, from the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment, is adamant that mining for lithium should be done sustainably. 

“Our view is that medium-to-long term, the majority of materials including lithium should come from efficient and clean recycling.

“Europe from a strategic point of view should be looking at securing its own supply of lithium.”

Despite growing competition from abroad, British Lithium Chairman, Roderick Smith, continues to place importance on the mining of lithium within the UK. 

“Imagine what the UK economy would look like if we lost our automotive industry,” Smith says. “The stakes are high for the UK.”

Smith expects the UK to compete with other European countries to secure a lithium battery plant in the near future.

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