The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Articles written by K. Warner

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  • Blue-colored lithium brine fills square holes cut into white salt flats.

    The 'white gold' rush for lithium

    K. Warner, For Data Mine North|Updated Sep 13, 2023

    Lithium is an indispensable element in the clean energy transition for several key reasons; like all alkaline metals on the periodic table, it has one more electron than it strictly needs, and this tendency to shed electrons makes it well-suited for passing them back and forth between cathode and anode, charging and discharging thousands of times without degradation. Pure lithium does not occur in nature, but traces are found throughout nearly all igneous rocks, mineral... Full story

  • Computer-generated image of a solid-state battery on a circuit board.

    Solving solid-state batteries

    K. Warner, For Data Mine North|Updated Sep 13, 2023

    While most leaders in the clean energy sector strongly indicate the concept of solid-state batteries is better, a few hurdles have long held this superior rechargeable battery in the realm of pacemakers and smartwatches, and out of electric vehicles where they are desperately needed. Solid-state technology replaces the liquid electrolyte in lithium batteries with a solid ceramic or polymer material. This increases energy density, stability, and heat resistance. For EV... Full story

  • Green northern lights above a nickel mine during a winter night in Canada.

    Nickel's evolving role in clean energy

    K. Warner, For Data Mine North|Updated Sep 13, 2023

    While lithium has been the poster child for optimism and controversy in equal measure, nickel has its own crucial role to play in the batteries powering the clean energy future – increasing range and capacity – but is traditionally carbon-heavy to produce. For nickel, the industry's focus has been twofold – obtaining enough and moving the needle between untenable quantities of emissions from mining and processing and the battery and alloying metal's necessary inclusion in ne... Full story

  • Male and female industrial employees working on a jobsite.

    Mining industry short on tech skills

    K. Warner, For Mining News|Updated Jul 13, 2023

    The world's leading mining companies have a big problem – with the industry being transformed by a mad rush to acquire raw materials supporting the worldwide energy transition, and mining companies' sweeping moves to drastically reduce their own carbon footprints, the future of labor is becoming more of a hybrid of specialized technical skillsets and traditional experience. Just as the average miner no longer counts a pick and shovel among his toolkit, the miner of today w...