The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles written by Shane Lasley


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  • Aerial shot of Tesla’s lithium-ion battery gigafactory in Nevada.

    First US graphite AAM production begins

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 21, 2024

    Syrah begins production of lithium-ion battery anode material for Tesla and others at Vidalia. A major milestone in breaking America's reliance on China for the minerals critical to the clean energy transition has been reached with the start of operations at Syrah Resources Ltd.'s Vidalia graphite anode materials plant in Louisiana. Being the primary material used for anodes, graphite is the single largest ingredient that goes into the lithium-ion batteries powering electric...

  • A Nexys mapping system being carried in a backpack at a construction site.

    The Nexys for next-gen mine mapping

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 21, 2024

    Exyn Technologies unveils a new 3D mapping solution to dock with its industry-leading autonomous drones and other delivery systems. Whether carried in a backpack, on the back of a Boston Dynamics Spot robot dog, or docked with one of its own state-of-the-art autonomous drones, Exyn Technologies' new Nexys modular 3D mapping system offers unmatched flexibility, speed, and accuracy for surveying and inspecting mines, construction sites, and other demanding environments. As a...

  • A miner registers at desk at sign that reads “For Freedom’s Sake” in 1943.

    DOD increases Idaho antimony funding

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 21, 2024

    Pentagon agrees to invest an additional $34.6 million to establish a domestic source of metalloid critical to military and civilians. To help break America's reliance on China and Russia for the antimony needed for military hardware and munitions, the U.S. Department of Defense has conditionally agreed to invest up to an additional $34.6 million into Perpetua Resources Corp.'s Stibnite gold-antimony mine in Idaho. "This latest award from the Department of Defense brings us a...

  • Jars of colorful terbium, dysprosium, holmium, and erbium rare earth oxides.

    Canada doubles down on rare earths tech

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 20, 2024

    NRCan invests $5 million in SRC's REE separation plant. With a C$5 million (US$3.7 million) investment into Saskatchewan Research Council's (SRC) rare earth processing and separation facility in Saskatoon, Sask., Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is doubling down on its support of technologies that will help bolster Canada's leadership in responsible production of critical minerals needed for the clean energy and digital economy. "Separating these rare earths is instrumental in... Full story

  • A cobalt blue Chevy Silverado battery-electric pickup.

    GM, Panasonic secure clean NA graphite

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 20, 2024

    Invests in Nouveau Monde Graphite and locks up 85% of the zero-carbon lithium-ion battery anode material to be made in Canada by NMG. General Motors and Panasonic Energy have entered into a deal with Canada-based Nouveau Monde Graphite (NMG) for a supply of low-carbon graphite anode material produced in North America for the lithium-ion batteries powering their electric vehicles. As part of a larger deal that spurred a total of $87.5 million in new investment and sent NMG... Full story

  • Close-up of an electric vehicle charging on a snowy winter day.

    Fluorspar: the forgotten battery mineral

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 19, 2024

    Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecasts more than 1.6 million metric tons of fluorspar per year will be needed for lithium-ion batteries by 2030. While Elon Musk has not yet implored the mining sector to "please mine more fluorspar," the demand for this mineral critical to lithium-ion batteries has been rising with the adoption of electric vehicles and is expected to continue its upward trajectory through the end of the decade. "While cobalt, nickel, and lithium hog the... Full story

  • Four executives and dignitaries from Japan and British Columbia, Canada.

    FPX Nickel attracts global investments

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 16, 2024

    Pair of minerals offers potential to lower carbon emissions from mining nickel at Baptiste deposit. The prospect of producing low-carbon nickel needed for lithium-ion batteries and stainless steel at FPX Nickel Corp.'s Baptiste project in central British Columbia has captured the attention of a broad array of global corporations and investors. A road-accessible project about three miles (five kilometers) from rail connected to the deep-water port at Prince Rupert, B.C., the...

  • Business leaders with safety glasses in front of Ucore’s RapidSX demo plant.

    Canada invests $4M in rare earths tech

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 16, 2024

    Natural Resources Canada formalizes funding of Ucore's RapidSX REE separation demo plant in Ontario. In support of a homegrown technology that will help bolster Canada's leadership in responsible production of critical minerals needed for the clean energy and digital economy, Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) Critical Minerals Research, Development, and Demonstration program is investing C$4.2 million (US$3.1 million) into Ucore Rare Metals Inc.'s RapidSX rare earths...

  • An ore hauling ship being loaded at an industrial facility at night.

    US remains reliant on mineral imports

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 16, 2024

    Despite investing billions of dollars, US continues to rely heavily on China and others for its supply of critical minerals. The 2024 edition of U.S. Geological Survey's annual Mineral Commodity Summaries shows the United States has made little headway in breaking its reliance on China and other overseas nations for the minerals and metals critical to the nation's clean energy ambitions, economic well-being, and defense. "Our mineral import dependence continues to be a gaping...

  • A lone geologist explores rock outcrops in an arid environment.

    BHP selects 2024 Xplor accelerator cohort

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    Six early-staged explorers selected for the innovative mineral discovery accelerator enjoy $500,000 grant, technical experts, BHP's network. As part of its innovative approach to accelerating the discovery of minerals critical to the energy transition, BHP has selected six companies to join the second cohort of its Xplor program. Launched by the mining giant in the fall of 2022, BHP Xplor is a unique program that offers funding and technical support to early-stage mineral...

  • Fully equipped army soldier enters area with smoke and fire at night.

    Pentagon prioritizes critical minerals

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    Reshoring mineral supply chains lost to globalization is a key part of DOD National Defense Industrial Strategy The urgency to onshore critical mineral supply chains in the United States has begun to shift away from a need to secure reliable sources of the minerals and metals needed to support the nation's economy and clean energy ambitions toward the need for these same mined commodities to defend American ideals and interests at home and abroad. "Establishing a fully... Full story

  • Artist rendering of CTR’s Lithium Valley Campus on shores of the Salton Sea.

    Groundbreaking start for Lithium Valley

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    EV executives and dignitaries from the Salton Sea to the White House joined CTR to break ground on the Lithium Valley Campus in SoCal. In a landmark event that marks the start of a clean supply of lithium to support America's clean energy transition, industry executives and political dignitaries joined Controlled Thermal Resources on the groundbreaking of the Lithium Valley Campus at its Hell's Kitchen geothermal lithium project in the Salton Sea region of Southern...

  • Green brucite crystals in a white carbonate host rock.

    CO2 Lock races to solidify carbon capture

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 1, 2024

    Clean tech startup advances method to turn CO2 into rock for geological timescale storage. As mining companies around the world endeavor to meet the rocketing demand for minerals needed to build the clean energy infrastructure to slow global warming, CO2 Lock Corp. is racing to put minerals back into the ground for the same purpose. CO2 Lock was formed by FPX Nickel Corp. in 2022 as a clean technology startup focused on carrying forward research into transforming atmospheric...

  • David Turk testifies during a Senate committee hearing.

    Senators grill Turk on mine investments

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 31, 2024

    Sens. Murkowski, Manchin contend administration is misinterpreting Congress intent when it comes to funding domestic mining projects. While the U.S. Department of Energy is investing billions of taxpayer dollars into establishing robust battery material processing and battery manufacturing capacity in the United States, the federal agency has done little to support domestic mines that would feed critical minerals into domestic electric vehicle supply chains. Sen. Lisa Murkowsk...

  • A graphic showing a rechargeable battery half-filled with graphite.

    NMG makes world-class graphite purchase

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 24, 2024

    Nouveau Monde Graphite to buy 100% interest in the Lac Guéret graphite deposit. In a strategic move that positions Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. to further ramp up its capacity to offer a reliable and environmentally sound supply of graphite for the lithium batteries powering electric vehicles, the Canadian mining and processing company has acquired full ownership of Mason Resources Inc.'s world-class Uatnan graphite project in Quebec. Uatnan is a road-accessible project about...

  • A miner in safety gear plugs an electric underground loader into a charger.

    Codelco orders Epiroc digital solutions

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 24, 2024

    World's largest copper producer is implementing digital solutions to optimize safety and productivity; lays groundwork for automation. The world's top copper producer, Codelco, has turned to Epiroc to provide digital solutions that will improve productivity, sustainability, and safety at its mines in Chile. State-owned Codelco has long worked closely with Epiroc to provide equipment and digital solutions at its copper mines. Last August, this longtime business relationship...

  • Hands hold a disc of epitaxial graphene semiconductors.

    A graphene paradigm shift for electronics

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 20, 2024

    As silicon reaches its limits, Georgia Tech and Chinese researchers have created graphene semiconductors that may usher in new era of next-gen electronics. Silicon, which has been the foundational material for computers and electronics over the past seven decades, is reaching its limits in terms of making the next generations of faster and smaller electronic devices. The creation of the world's first graphene semiconductor by a team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of...

  • Computer rendering of the Stardust Power lithium refinery plant.

    Muskogee to be home to Stardust refinery

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 16, 2024

    Oklahoma port town selected as ideal location to build refinery that produces battery-grade lithium for energy transition. Further solidifying its plans to offer a domestic supply of the lithium needed for America's energy transition, Stardust Power Inc. has selected Southside Industrial Park in Muskogee, Okla., as the home of a refinery that is slated to produce enough battery-grade lithium for roughly 1 million sedan sized electric vehicles per year. "When fully operational,...

  • A pile of goldenrod-colored powder containing mixed rare earth elements.

    Ucore to process Defense Metals REEs

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 15, 2024

    A sample of mixed rare earths from Wicheeda project to be processed through Ucore's RapidSX demo plant in Ontario. In a milestone along the path to establishing a complete rare earth elements supply chain in North America, Defense Metals Corp. will ship a mixed rare earth carbonate sample from its Wicheeda project in British Columbia to Ucore Rare Metals Inc.'s RapidSX REE commercialization and demonstration facility in Ontario for processing. "We expect to ship a mixed rare...

  • Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a speech at Vitals’ REE plant.

    Top 10 Metal Tech News articles of 2023

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 4, 2024

    From Trudeau's visit to Vital REE plant to a Chinese firm buying Vital stock and Canada rare earths, MTN counts down the 10 most popular articles of 2023. From the energy transition driving enormous new demand for technology metals to advances in technologies that make the mining of those materials more efficient and sustainable, 2023 was a big year for tech metals and mining tech news. Here are the 10 most popular Metal Tech News articles of 2023: No. 10 - Trudeau tours Vital... Full story

  • Burst of green northern lights over a crusher at the Nechalacho rare earth mine.

    Chinese firm buys Canada's rare earths

    Shane Lasley, Data Mine North|Updated Jan 3, 2024

    Shenghe acquires ore stockpile that symbolized a shift away from China for REEs critical to North America's green energy and high-tech sectors. High-grade ore dug up from a small open pit at Vital Metal Ltd.'s Nechalacho project in the summer of 2021 marked the start of Canada's first rare earth elements mine and the first link in an REE supply chain that was envisioned to be completely independent of China. "The combination of our efforts clearly work together towards the...

  • Closeup of column filled with fluids used to separate rare earth elements.

    Rare earth separation move, counter move

    Shane Lasley, Mining News|Updated Jan 2, 2024

    On the same day that China bans exports of REE processing tech; Ucore, RER hit milestones on cleaner and more efficient methods. In a move to hold onto its dominant position as the world's supplier of rare earths, China is now banning the exports of technologies for the processing and separation of this tightly bonded group of 15 elements needed for green energy, high-tech devices, and countless industrial and household goods. While China maintains a strong position in the...

  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal on an American flag backdrop.

    Department of homeland mineral security

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 1, 2024

    Agency founded to fight terrorism views mining and critical minerals as vital to economic, national security of the homeland. For most Americans, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conjures up images of an intelligence agency borne from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that employs TSA airport screenings, border checkpoints, and internet monitoring to protect Americans from terrorist threats, both foreign and domestic. And these airport, border,... Full story

  • Pile of grey powder for use in the cathodes of iron-based lithium batteries.

    Mitra Chem speeds iron-based US batteries

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 22, 2023

    GM-backed tech, battery materials company ships initial iron-based cathode samples to global EV and battery makers. One month after closing a $60 million Series B round of financing led by General Motors, Mitra Chem has already shipped multiple samples of commercial-grade lithium-manganese-iron-phosphate (LMFP) cathode active material to major global electric vehicle manufacturers and battery makers. Led by Vivas Kumar, an engineer who previously served as a senior manager on...

  • A bulk commodities ship equipped with large white cylinders with Teck logo.

    Teck takes CO2 reductions to high seas

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 22, 2023

    Collaborates with Oldendorff to install innovative wind propulsion system on vessel that delivers BC steelmaking coal. The pending sale of its steelmaking coal business to commodities giant Glencore has not slowed Teck Resources Ltd.'s push of new technologies that will lower the carbon dioxide emissions footprint of shipping the bulk commodity used to transform iron ore to steel. To lower the CO2 emissions of shipping coal from its mining operations in southeastern British...

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