Unusual scenes at Tesla mine as officials race to understand

The Minerals Management Service ordered a review into Tesla’s lithium production last year

Government officials are scrambling to identify an erratic swarm of violent incidents at a mine run by the US Department of Energy’s giant government-owned energy company, so that they can find out what’s happening at a facility that is the US’s largest producer of rare earths.

“We’re really concerned with what’s going on at Mountain Pass,” a federal environmental investigator said on condition of anonymity.

You may have heard of these rare earth metals, which are used in Tesla’s electric motors and many other devices.

In March, it was reported that a safety inspector for the California-based battery company found evidence of “psychotic behavior” and evidence of extreme anxiety when she inspected workers in the mine.

A March 16 report in the Los Angeles Times cited a memo written by an employee identified as a “counselor” who warned that workers were experiencing a “tsunami” of psychotic symptoms resulting from the elevated levels of sodium in the mine.

The agency, which oversees the mine in southern California, has been seeking to carry out a comprehensive environmental, safety and health review of Mountain Pass, a report from Business Insider’s Andy Kiersz said.

Tesla said in a February statement that none of its employees have been diagnosed with any mental illness or ailment. Tesla also said the mine’s conditions have been reported to government regulators before.

NASA Scientists were alarmed in March after a “noise wall” inside the mine created by the mining operations began emitting an artificial whine.

And last month, a worker who had been blinded by welding fumes fell 18 feet and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Here’s what else we know about the mine.

The man who has headed the federal office overseeing the mine for more than a decade has stepped down.

In January, DOE Secretary Rick Perry gave the newly installed acting director of the Mine Safety and Health Administration five weeks to find out what’s going on at the mine and fix any problems.

Just how important are rare earth metals?

They are a group of elements that make up the constituents of an array of materials, including power-generating turbines, magnets, earbuds, and lasers. They’re also the only metal that is extremely difficult to get into through conventional means. You can’t just, say, dig up a manhole cover and mix it with lanthanum, tellurium, and gadolinium from the mining of ore.

Rare earth minerals are found in generally mountainous environments in China, Australia, Mexico, Russia, and other countries.

China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of rare earths. It also has the most of the world’s mining experience.

“China is the planet’s fastest growing economy and one of the largest consumer of global commodities,” said Peter Atherton, the managing partner at Art-synergy Ventures, a cleantech consulting firm. “Therefore, in order to achieve world competitive position in this ever-changing international metal market, the use of rare earths and their derivatives are being aggressively promoted.”

The word climate change is frequently used to refer to the goal of keeping global warming at two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). But the difficulty of reaching that target is attributed to such factors as the depletion of Earth’s depleting supply of rare earth minerals. “Ultimately, a 2.0 degree [Celsius] world temperature increase will likely result in falling adoption of renewable energy and increasing dependence on fossil fuels,” a Yale University study found in April.

Tricatoni said during a Feb. 12 congressional hearing on rare earth metals that Chinese exports of the metal will rise almost 30% between now and 2020, from 270,000 tons in 2017 to 375,000 tons in 2020.

I’ve got a connection with Mountain Pass. Can you help me tell us what’s going on?

I’m a self-proclaimed climate change skeptic, so I have deep skepticism about the notion that climate change is man-made.

But if you’ve lost interest in the oil-and-gas industry, you might also think about the mine below me, or just about any other small geologic place that’s both rare and unusual. When I visit an upstate New York area that’s the same size as 9/11, I learn about something “ancient” somewhere.

Plus, it’s worth another

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