Serving the High Plains

Articles written by Jim Constantopoulos

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  • U.S. can't rely on China for mining needs

    Jim Constantopoulos, Guest columnist|Jan 24, 2024

    Rare earth minerals are more abundant than their name suggests. Mineral-rich deposits are scattered around the United States, but our country has only one rare earth mine, in Mountain Pass, Calif. There are other potential mineable deposits, but they are many years away from starting production. To meet our increasing need for rare earths, we rely on imports, mainly from China -- and that’s boneheaded given the brittleness of U.S.-China relations and our own resources. U.S. policymakers are well aware of the peril to our national security a...

  • Time to address China supremacy of vital minerals

    Jim Constantopoulos, Guest columnist|Nov 8, 2023

    At the close of World War II, the United States revealed one of the secrets to the Allied success. It was the discovery in 1942 of a large tungsten deposit in the hills outside of Yellow Pine, Idaho. Tungsten is a rare mineral used to harden artillery shells. With those shells, enemy armored vehicles and tanks were blown up. Tungsten was also used to harden bullets, and its discovery in Yellow Pine was credited with having shortened the war by at least one year and saved the lives of a million American soldiers. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower sent...

  • US should shore up its mineral supply chains

    Jim Constantopoulos, Guest columnist|Apr 20, 2022

    There may have been a time when lawmakers could look at the source of a shipment of imported uranium and ignore it. But that’s ancient history now. Nearly 50 percent of the uranium used at U.S. nuclear power plants is imported from Russia and two of its closest allies, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. These imports, should they continue, will have dramatic consequences for our politics and society -- but only if our government does nothing about it. With Russia’s murderous invasion of Ukraine -- and the possibility that Vladimir Putin could retaliate...

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