Discussion papers

Discussion papers

The members of Essential Minerals Association commissioned the following Discussion Papers for the purpose of educating both the public and government on the issues facing the minerals industry. These Discussion Papers will hopefully engage people in conversation with the importance of supporting a strong minerals industry. Please contact us if you have any comments or suggestions.

Sustainable Road Salting – Environmental and Economic Considerations 

Studies have found that road surface condition is the single biggest safety factor during a winter event and that a 10 percent improvement in the surface friction of a roadway results in a 20 percent reduction in crashes. Road salt is a proven and cost-effective solution.  Overall, the use of road salt has been shown to reduce collisions and injuries.  

Silica in Bentonite – Geological Formation Influences Silica’s Inhalation Risk 

Research has shown that freshly fractured and geologically old (aged) quartz behave differently due to the biological activity of these materials. Studies show that quartz found in the bentonite was significantly less toxic than quartz, indicating that surface reactivity of quartz found in bentonite is considerably less reactive than that of freshly fractured quartz. The research studies show that the toxicological properties of quartz particles can vary significantly dependent on their surface characteristics.

Diesel Motors in Mining

Diesel engines are widely used in mining operations because of their high-power output and mobility. Many mine operators prefer diesel-powered machines because they are more powerful than most battery-powered equipment and can be used without electrical trailing cables which can restrict equipment mobility. With the continual expansion of the use of diesel engines in the mining industry and the uncertainties associated with the long-term effects of exhaust emissions on miners’ health, MSHA began assessing diesel particulate levels in mines in 1989.

Green Products from Industrial Minerals 

Several minerals are of particular importance in implementing the green transition. This applies to minerals are critical in climate and environmentally friendly energy production, minerals which are used directly in environmental applications, and which are of vital importance for modern technology. Many elements and minerals with unique properties are necessary for renewable energy, heat management, water purification, and carbon capture technologies.

Minimizing Environmental Impacts in Operations

As governments and corporations around the world look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their environmental impact, business leaders are pushing their companies to take a serious look at how they can reduce their environmental impact.

Minerals in Everyday Life

To understand the changing world of minerals, look to the ones that power the devices around you. Every component involved in today’s technology, including computers, smartphones, solar panels, and batteries originates from minerals. Advances in electronics are driving the recent explosion in mineral usage.

Importance of and Opportunities for Recycling All Electronic Equipment

The average American has numerous electronic products such as computers, mobile phones, televisions, and e-readers. Due to the relatively short life of these electronic devices, millions of tons of consumer electronics devices are ending up in landfill every year.1 Critical metals and minerals are found in all high-tech electronics. These rare materials are essential to the performance of electronic products we use in our everyday lives. With the increasing preference for more sustainable and environmental consumer products, recyclability has become an important requirement in their design and manufacturing.

Rare Earth Minerals – Our Most Strategic Mineral

The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that demand for rare earths will rise by more than three-fold by 2040 without concerted government policy and seven-fold in the sustainable development scenario due to the renewable energy language embedded in the Inflation Reduction Act. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous mismatch between the world’s climate goals and the availability or critical minerals. This paper will discuss the rare earths this country needs, and which countries controls them and why. Securing essential minerals supply is a social, environmental, and geopolitical problem that needs to be solved.

U.S. Lithium Mining – The Green Economy’s Vital Need

Interest in lithium has exploded in recent years because of its use in rechargeable batteries for electric and hybrid-electric cars, energy storage systems, lawnmowers, power tools and more. Lithium batteries also power laptops and cell phones due to their high charge density and lightweight. The U.S. will need far more lithium to achieve its clean energy goals. The mineral companies that mine, extract and process the chemical element are set to grow. However, these mining companies are encountering resistance to their production expansion from environmental & indigenous groups, and government regulatory agencies.

Discussion Papers in Development

  • Locally Sourced Minerals for a Strong American Economy
  • Importance of Essential Minerals on Manufacturing
  • Impact of Moving Essential Mineral Mining Offshore
  • How the U.S. Infrastructure Bill will affect Essential Minerals