The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles from the January 3, 2024 edition

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  • Evan Willing and Tyler Dabney set up tantalum cold spray equipment.

    Wisconsin makes fusion tantalum coating

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 20, 2024

    UW researchers explore capacity of tantalum cold spray technology to protect fusion reactors, prevent hydrogen loss. On the coattails of mankind's breakthrough in fusion technology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is preemptively preparing a technology that could further stabilize the potential energy of a man-made micro-sun with a spray coating technology that could simultaneously maintain temperature integrity while also extracting the very fuel of a star – hydrogen. "...

  • Two roughly AA-sized sodium-ion batteries on top of a pile of table salt.

    Sodium-ion batteries promise potential

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 20, 2024

    The world's transition away from fossil fuels to sustainable green energy sources is rapidly increasing the demand for economical storage methods that has thus far centered on lithium-ion batteries. The limited availability in the West of lithium and other critical metals, such as cobalt and rare earth elements, raises significant concern about the sustainability of the lithium-ion technology. One potential alternative may be the sodium-ion battery. According to the European...

  • Periodic table symbol for copper with graph representing rising prices.

    Mine closures and delays impact copper

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 20, 2024

    Copper has had a wild ride in 2023, going from expected surplus to deficit within the last few months due to labor disputes, environmental protests, and volatile demand. The supply-demand roller coaster in 2023 was reflected in the price of this energy metal, which dropped from a high above $9,400 per metric ton last January to fluctuating to lows of around $7,800 in May and again in October before rebounding above $8,700 by year's end. Part of the reason for the late 2023...

  • Lights from Energy Metals’ White Mesa Mill reflect off a pond at night.

    Energy Fuels starts up three uranium mines

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 6, 2024

    More than 20 countries gathered for the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, better known as COP28, agree that nuclear energy has a major role to play in achieving the global goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy endorsed by these nations gathered in Dubai for COP28 includes global resolutions to work together to advance a goal of tripling nuclear energy capacity by 2050 and encourages international financial...

  • Ex-CIA executive Kevin Higgins.

    ReElement enlists former CIA executive

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 5, 2024

    Enlisting the expertise of a former senior executive at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and national security expert to its board of directors, ReElement Technologies Corp. is better positioned to launch its patented rare earths and critical minerals separation and purification technology beyond the borders of the United States. A former intelligence community senior executive who retired from the CIA after 30 years of distinguished service, Kevin Higgins brings ample...

  • 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

  • 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...

  • Periodic table entry for lithium on a map of Africa, Asia, and Australia.

    KoBold on a four-continent lithium hunt

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 2, 2024

    Silicon Valley-based KoBold Metals is using the latest machine learning technology to expand its search for lithium across four continents that includes projects in the United States, Canada, Australia, South Korea, and Zambia. KoBold's interest in lithium began in Canada, where the high-tech mineral exploration company, backed by funding from Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and others, detected this critical battery metal near Glencore's Raglan nickel mine in northern Quebec. The...

  • Technicians monitor autonomous mining equipment on large computer displays.

    OEMs offer solutions to mining challenges

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 2, 2024

    Alongside the industries they complement, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have been tasked with staying ahead of the curve, assessing emerging market trends and technology, and developing best practices and solutions for the future. Their supportive services and specialized equipment have played an integral role in bringing mining operations into the future. Tomorrow's mines and their backers bank on three pillars – efficiency, safety, and sustainability. This primaril...