June 14, 2021

ECOVAP: A Win-Win for the Rare Earth Market that is Critical for Green Energy

ECOVAP: A Win-Win for the Rare Earth Market that is Critical for Green Energy

June 14, 2021

ECOVAP is proud to have provided a financial/environmental win-win to a large producer in the rare earth mining business (see Mining Case Study).  This article summarizes the growing environmental importance of rare earths as critical elements in wind and solar power, EV cars and energy storage, and in dramatically reducing the weight of all transportation vehicles.  On the other hand, rare earth mining itself is very environmentally challenging, particularly in the water of tailings ponds: "for every ton of rare earth produced, there are 2,000 tons of mine tailings”.  As a result, 95% of the industry has migrated to the relatively lax or unenforced environmental regulations in China.  However, as China increasingly addresses these environmental challenges, the concern is that rare earth costs will increase significantly such that green, renewable power becomes less competitive.

Read article:

Rare Earth Elements: A Resource Constraint of the Energy Transition

Latest News

Federal Government Releases Seismicity Report Studying Possible Federal Regulations
January 2023
The attached comprehensive report (dated 1/13//23) on human-induced earthquakes from injection wells was prepared for the US Congress. Given the continued rise in the number and severity of these earthquakes, as well as their ability to cross state lines, the US Congress is considering more oversight: a.) amending the UIC program "to require consideration of induced seismicity"; b.) if the “federal government should have a role in regulating underground fluid injection activities"; and, c.) various other possible funding/regulatory options. EcoVAP is helping the oil/gas sector (and others) stay ahead of this increasing state - and possibly now federal - scrutiny by reducing the volume of produced water by over 90% using practically no energy or other operating cost: https://www.ecovap.com/case-studies/oil-gas-operation.
Tailings Pond Volumes Increasing with Lower Grade Ores
January 2023
The world’s 29,000-35,000 active, inactive and abandoned tailings storage facilities (“TSFs”) contain approximately 534 billion cubic meters (~14 trillion gallons) of wastewater. With recent catastrophic failures, there is increasing regulatory scrutiny of TSF safety, but these efforts are challenged by ever-increasing amounts of TSF wastewater due to mining successively lower grades of ore (see article below) and also due to increased weather volatility. Hence, the number of TSF failures is expected to continue to increase. EcoVAP’s proven technology for evaporating this wastewater, thus reducing or practically eliminating the volume of wastewater at any TSF, can help reduce the operational cost and environmental risk of tailings wastewater disposal.
EcoVAP Solution for Coal Power Compliance with Coal Ash Rule
November 2022
In November 2023, the environmental law group Earthjustice released a 212-page report on the difficulties of coal fired thermoelectric plants in complying with the Coal Ash Rule. The new report (an update from the initial 2019 report), estimates that "91% of coal plants are causing unsafe levels of groundwater contamination”, but also highlights many coal-fired power generators that have already or are planning to remedy these problems. With the ability to dewater tailings ponds, EcoVAP has proven its ability to provide a low cost, environmentally friendly means of dramatically remedying this challenge, with one client achieving an 85% reduction in land footprint and a 40% decrease in handling costs (see https://www.ecovap.com/case-studies/thermoelectric-power-plant).
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska
WASHINGTON POST
MARCH 2021
Army Corps denies permit for massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska