MetalMiner Week in Review: AK Steel, ATI; Spotted Owl on Steroids

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It’s been quite an interesting week here at MetalMiner, from ticking off folks at AK Steel to releasing our monthly MMI data for February to reading about the new “Spotted Owl on Steroids” controversy – this time surrounding miners and the greater sage-grouse.

1. AK Steel Cooking Its Own Goose


First, let’s turn to a waterfowl species reference and our set of stories on the US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) market:

Based on our reporting in these stories, we heard we attracted the ire of AK Steel – yet they didn’t dispute our main angle: that their anti-dumping case against foreign producers is actually hurting them, because their biggest customers will move production across borders to get access to cheaper GOES material.

For aluminum and copper updates – and the sage-grouse story – click below to continue.

2. Can You Actually Take Aluminum Premium Risk Off the Table?


Another big story for all US aluminum buyers out there, in two parts:

You can’t afford to leave any hedging option unexplored, and the CME Group’s new contract is certainly one of them for all sizes of purchasing organizations.

3. Copper, In-Depth


4. And Finally We Bring You…Spotted Owls on Steroids

Of course, we’re talking about the greater sage-grouse. As a birder (yes, I know, all taunts and teases are welcome), this story couldn’t help catching my eye.

In a recent development, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service apparently withdrew 17 million acres of land from the US Mining Law, setting it aside as protected habitat for the greater sage-grouse, which may climb onto the Endangered Species List.

And clearly, US mining interests are ticked.

According to a Mineweb article, “the [America Exploration & Mining Association] suggested that the BLM and Forest Service’s real purpose ‘is NOT sage-grouse conservation’…rather, the so-called conservation measures are designed to: Find another way to implement the draconian land use restrictions in the aborted Wild Lands Policy and Secretarial Order 3310; Dramatically reduce and even prevent mining, energy development (both conventional and renewable), grazing, and multiple-use of public lands.”

“Because the Greater Sage-grouse habitat covers nearly 60 million acres in 11 western states, the proposed land use restrictions and prohibitions will cause economic devastation to communities across the west—just like the Spotted Owl caused in the Northwest but on a much larger scale,” the association contends.

I love birds, and I don’t make my money primarily through mining, so I of course side with the BLM and USFS; then again, a lot is at stake for the domestic mining industry. Where do you stand on the issue? Leave a comment!

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