The Week in Metals: Yes, The Mexican Border Wall is Happening

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Not only is the Trump administration asking for bids for its promised southern border wall, but the Department of Homeland Security has also added specifications to its request for proposals. DHS wants “a concrete wall structure or structures, nominally 30-ft. tall, that will meet requirements for “aesthetics, anti-climbing and resistance to tampering or damage.” If only the Night’s Watch were able to request an aesthetically pleasing wall!

DAPL Could Start Pumping Oil Next Week

The Dakota Access Pipeline can continue construction of the final eight miles of the project underneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota, a federal judge ruled this week, likely marking the end for legal objections from the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes challenging it. Any future legal challenge would only be heard after March 13, when developer Energy Transfer Partners says it can start pumping oil through the new pipeline. Apparently the less-completed of the two pipelines that President Trump approved in his first days in office, the Keystone XL, won’t require American-made steel, either.

Reuters/CME Group Pull Out of the Silver Fix

Nearly three years ago, Thomson Reuters and the CME Group outbid others for the chance to provide the physical silver benchmark platform that now manages the London Bullion Metal Association’s daily silver price. Now? They want out. Why? Apparently, they’re not making any money. Well, what’s that got to do with the price of silver?

Lithium Fever: There’s Batt’ries in Them Thar Hills!

What’s the next big metals investing bubble? Steel? Gold? Nope, it’s lithium, as in the metal in that lithium-ion battery in your phone or your gasoline/electric hybrid car. Everybody thinks lithium is the cat’s pajamas because forecast demand for electric cars and more smartphone batteries has done nothing but go up in the last year. Junior miners and investors have got the fever just like they once did for rare earths. The problem? Forecast supply has done nothing but go up, too.

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