5E and Gold Fields Ramp Up; US Steel Goes Green: Mining Updates

5E and Gold Fields advance in mining; US Steel and CarbonFree collaborate, focusing on sustainability and economic impact.

By Max Weldon

4/3, 17:37 EDT
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Gold Fields Limited
United States Steel Corporation

Key Takeaway

  • 5E Advanced Materials launches operations aiming for an initial production of 2,000 short tons of boric acid and lithium carbonate, with future expansion plans.
  • Gold Fields begins production at Salares Norte, expecting to produce 250,000 gold equivalent ounces in 2024 at costs between $1,790 and $1,850 per ounce.
  • US Steel partners with CarbonFree for low-emission steel products; construction starts summer 2024 with operations kicking off in 2026.

Advancements in Mining and Materials

The mining and materials sector is witnessing significant advancements, with companies like 5E Advanced Materials and Gold Fields making notable progress. 5E Advanced Materials has completed the commissioning of its facility, now operational 24/7, aiming to produce 2,000 short tons of boric acid and lithium carbonate initially, with plans to expand to 9,000 short tons. This development is crucial for securing funding for phase one operations and integrating the Lithium Skid Unit. Gold Fields, despite the challenges of constructing at 4,500 meters altitude during a global pandemic, has begun operations at its mine, expecting a quick payback and substantial cash flow contributions. The mine anticipates producing 250,000 gold equivalent ounces in 2024, with costs between $1,790 and $1,850 per ounce, and aims to increase output to 580,000 ounces by 2025.

Strategic Investments and Environmental Commitments

Companies are making strategic investments to bolster their operations and commit to environmental sustainability. United States Steel is focusing on low-emission steel products, with construction set to start in summer 2024. American Battery Technology has received a grant to support its efforts in battery materials manufacturing and lithium-ion battery recycling, aiming to enhance America’s critical material recycling and refining infrastructure. These initiatives not only aim to improve operational efficiency but also demonstrate a commitment to reducing environmental impact.

Economic and Social Impacts

The mining sector's developments are set to have profound economic and social impacts. Gold Fields' Salares Norte mine is expected to create 900 jobs and generate nearly $800 million in taxes over its lifespan, with a significant focus on gender inclusion and environmental sustainability. The mine's implementation of filtered tailings technology and a photovoltaic solar plant underscores its commitment to minimizing ecological footprints. Additionally, the establishment of cooperation agreements and collaborations with educational institutions aims to strengthen the local labor market and ensure the project's long-term sustainability.