MineOne Ordered to Stop Operations Near US Military Site

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  • US President Joe Biden has blocked a Chinese-owned Bitcoin mining firm from setting up a new unit near E. Warren Air Force Base
  • MineOne Partners land purchase has been halted on national security grounds
  • The government conducted an investigation following a public tip, identifying the presence of high-risk, foreign-sourced mining equipment

US President Joe Biden yesterday issued an executive order prohibiting a property deal involving a group of companies involved in Bitcoin mining who wanted to operate near a critical Air Force base. MineOne Partners Limited, which is primarily owned by Chinese nationals, wanted to open a new site close to Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, home to the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, but this was vetoed by the president who warned that the deal risked national security. The veto comes amid growing concerns over Chinese industrial spying.

MineOne Banned From Buying Land

MineOne had hoped to acquire a 12.06-acre site in Cheyenne, Wyoming, which they wanted to develop for high-tech cryptocurrency mining operations. The exact location of the site is unknown, but Francis E. Warren Air Force Base sits directly to the west of the city of Cheyenne, raising concerns about potential espionage.

As President Biden noted in a statement, “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that the acquisition might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

Concerns were heightened when it was discovered that the deal had not been initially reported to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which only investigated after receiving a public tip. Subsequent findings revealed the presence of specialized, foreign-sourced equipment on the site, capable of facilitating espionage activities due to its proximity to strategic military installations.

“The proximity of the foreign-owned Real Estate to a strategic missile base and key element of America’s nuclear triad presents a national security risk,” Biden explained.

Area to Be Stripped of Equipment

This situation underscores the complexities and risks of foreign investments near critical national infrastructure, particularly when it involves countries with strained relations with the US

As a remedy, President Biden has ordered the divestiture of all interests in the property by the involved parties, known collectively as the Purchasers. They are required to remove all related equipment and undo improvements made to the site, ensuring the area is stripped of any assets that could pose security risks.

The Purchasers are also barred from accessing the site, with strict controls and ongoing oversight by CFIUS to enforce compliance. In taking this action, the government made it clear that it will take necessary measures to prevent any future transactions that could threaten national security, demonstrating a rigorous stance on protecting critical domestic assets from foreign exploitation.