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WVU partners with Extreme Endeavors to mine rare earth elements from acid mine drainage

Article written by Veronica Ogbe for WDTV.

From decades of mining in West Virginia, over 40 percent of the states rivers are too polluted to be safely used for drinking water or to support aquatic life, according to Appalachian Mountain Advocates. Mike Masterman, owner of Extreme Endeavors, is partnering with WVU’s Water Research Institute to provide a solution that would benefit the environment and the economy. 

Read Full Article: WVU partners with Extreme Endeavors to mine rare earth elements from acid mine drainage

The Rush for Rare

Article written by Debra McCown Thomas for Mining People Magazine.

The term “Rare Earth Elements” is somewhat of a misnomer. These elements – a group of 17 metals that are commonly used in producing electronics – aren’t actually all that rare. 

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How coal mine waste could help build your next phone

It aims to turn a major pollutant of streams and ponds – acid mine drainage – into badly needed minerals for everything from smartphones and electric cars to jet fighters and satellites.

If it works, at a price that can earn companies a profit, the process would provide a major incentive for companies to clean up waters and streams, cut costs for the mining industry, and plug a strategic hole for the United States, which currently imports most of those minerals from China.

Read Full Article: How coal mine waste could help build your next phone

'Stories of the Ohio' panel shares insights from collaborative reporting project

The project’s first phase began last May and ended this month with contributing journalists, nonprofit leads and community members coming together at West Virginia University’s Media Innovation Center to celebrate their work so far, which includes more than 20 multimedia pieces that cover the Ohio River’s environment, economy and culture.

The panel shared their own experiences working and living along the Ohio – the progress they’ve seen in healthy water levels and wildlife growth, how to handle new threats like the impacts of climate change, and redirecting the narrative from warning against the river’s dangers to reinvigorating the region’s tourism.

Read Full Article: 'Stories of the Ohio' panel shares insights from collaborative reporting project

Wastewater from fracking: Growing disposal challenge or untapped resource?

Natural gas production in the US is at an all-time high, according to the latest reports from the US Energy Information Administration. But the dramatic growth of shale gas over the past decade, made possible by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has led to huge volumes of salty wastewater called brine or produced water.

As the fracking industry improves its efficiency by drilling ever-longer horizontal wells, it also increases the amount of water it uses to fracture the rock to release the gas. The fracturing process uses on average about 45 million L of water for a single horizontal well, according to the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC), a group of state oil and gas regulators and environmental protection agencies.

Read Full Article: Wastewater from fracking: Growing disposal challenge or untapped resource?