US government approves mining of ‘critical’ mineral in Utah

By Morgan Smith, Associated Press


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Facing heightened pressure from the Trump administration to bolster critical mineral mining operations on American soil, the U.S. government has approved a mining project at the end point of a river in central Utah to extract a mineral commonly used in fertilizer.

Bureau of Land Management officials held a news conference Tuesday to announce the project, which will allow Canadian mining company Crystal Peak Minerals to extract potassium-rich potash at a dry lakebed called Sevier Playa about 180 miles (290 kilometers) southwest of Salt Lake City.

Joseph Balash, assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management, said the project reflects a return to prosperity in America’s rural communities.

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