U.S. Oak Ridge Laboratory, home of super-secret nuclear weapons work during World War II, is auctioning off artifacts from the Manhattan Project. Among them, massive magnets called “D-Rings,” used to separate bomb-grade uranium, each one containing 11-tons of copper coil. (To the London copper thieves: that’s a lot of downspouts!) The story notes that pre-auction interest is driven by the value of copper in today’s global market.
Note to potential purchasers: You need to be a U.S. citizen – and you’ll need to agree that your copper recovery process can be observed under the watchful eye of Department of Energy officials.
From our point of view, if someone’s going through that much trouble to recover copper for resale today, shouldn’t we ask whether our policymakers are doing all they can to help new supply enter a hungry market?