Motor Mouth: America’s rush to EVs might kill the entire Canadian auto parts business – by David Booth ( – November 26, 2021)

‘Build Back Better’ may stimulate the American auto industry, but it will kill Canada’s

“This discriminatory action” could be the “death knell” of the Canadian auto industry . So says Flavio Volpe, and he should know, since he’s the president of the Auto Parts Manufacturers’ Association of Canada, the organization tasked with, amongst other things, enticing automakers and their associated suppliers to build their production plants here in the Great White North.

And if he says something could adversely affect the Canadian auto manufacturing business — which employs some 135,000 Canadians directly and another 400,000 in related industries — we should all be concerned.

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In Russia, Coal Is Still King. And The Government Wants Even More. – by Mike Eckel (Radio Free Europe – December 2, 2021)

The methane built up silently, first in the ceilings of the Russian coal shaft, then expanding downward, possibly undetected, until an errant spark ignited the cloud, setting off an explosion. Dozens of people — both miners and rescuers — were killed.

No, this wasn’t the tragedy that hit the Listvyazhnaya mine in Russia’s famed Kuzbass coal basin last week. This was another disaster that struck 11 years ago at another mine, Raspadskaya, about a three-hour drive to the southeast, also in the Kuzbass.

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China Set to Create New State-Owned Rare-Earths Giant – by Keith Zhai (Wall Street Journal – December 3, 2021)

China has approved the creation of one of the world’s largest rare-earths companies to aim to maintain its dominance in the global supply chain of the strategic metals as tensions deepen with the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter.

The new firm will be called China Rare Earth Group and will be based in resource-rich Jiangxi province in southern China as soon as this month, the people said. The new entity would be created by merging rare-earths assets from some state firms, including China Minmetals Corp. , Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. and Ganzhou Rare Earth Group Co.

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‘Almost like Star Trek’: New startup helps miners stare deep into the earth with cosmic rays – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – December 2, 2021)

A Vancouver-based company, with support from the government, says it is ready to commercialize a technology that harnesses invisible cosmic rays to stare deep into the earth and identify where the richest mineral and metal deposits are located.

Called “the world’s first Earth X-ray discovery platform,” Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster announced in November it had invested $5.6 million in a group of companies, led by Vancouver’s Ideon Technologies, trying to pioneer muon tomography.

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BHP extends Noront bid deadline again amid Wyloo talks – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – December 3, 2021)

BHP (ASX, LON, NYSE: BHP) has once again extended the deadline for Noront Resources’ (TSX-V: NOT) investors to accept or refuse its bid from December 14 to January 14, 2022, as talks with rival Wyloo Metals regarding the imminent takeover of the Canadian miner progress.

The world’s largest miner and the Canadian company have also amended a support agreement inked in July and amended on October 19 relating to Noront’s backing of BHP’s offer in order to extend the outside date in that agreement from December 14 to January 21, 2022.

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The Scramble for EV Battery Metals Is Just Beginning – by Stephen Wilmot (Wall Street Journal – December 2, 2021)

Making the global economy more environmentally sustainable will require a lot more natural resources. This is an irony the mining industry will need both to exploit and to defuse.

Electric vehicles highlight the problematic opportunity for miners. Although a Tesla or Porsche Taycan doesn’t have a tailpipe and usually generates much less carbon than a traditional car over a multiyear lifespan, its big lithium-ion battery requires more metal than an internal combustion engine.

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A new commodity squeeze could soon rival lumber’s recent historic shortage – by Mark Burton (Bloomburg News – December 1, 2021)

Tin is in the grips of one of the longest-running squeezes ever seen in commodities markets, and there’s little sign of it letting up. A relatively small market — used mainly for soldering in electronics — tin is often overshadowed by metals like copper and aluminum that are more widely used in manufacturing, infrastructure and the green-energy transition.

This year, though, tin has been red hot. Demand is booming and supply is sputtering, creating a chronic shortage of metal that’s been exacerbated by global logistics snarl-ups.

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Gold price briefly moves higher following disappointing 210K job gains in November – by Neils Christensen (Kitco News – December 3, 2021)

(Kitco News) – Gold prices are jumping higher, finding some new bullish momentum as fewer Americans-than-expected found work in November. Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said 210,000 jobs were created in last month, economists were expecting to see job gains of around 535,000.

The gold market was in positive territory ahead o of the report and have pushed higher in initial reaction to the weaker-than-expected employment numbers. February gold futures last traded at $1,775.7 an ounce, up 0.74% on the day.

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China’s plan to end its Australian iron ore dependency – by Michael Smith (Australian Financial Review – December 2, 2021)

Tokyo | China will boost domestic iron ore production by 30 per cent, significantly ramp up investments in overseas mines and strengthen scrap steel recycling under a plan designed to break Beijing’s dependency on Australia’s most valuable commodity export.

China’s top steel industry executives and senior government officials outlined a strategy for achieving the five-year targets in an article published this week, which highlights the Chinese government’s frustration with volatile iron ore prices and its desire to follow Japan’s lead by investing heavily in offshore mines.

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OPINION: Coal went from investor pariah to luvvie in one year. How did that happen as the planet warms up? – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – December 3, 2021)

A year ago, the world’s biggest resources companies were apparent slaves to the ESG movement. Many of them were open to ejecting their dirtiest fossil fuels from their portfolios to attract the cherished “green” premium offered by investors who wanted to own more climate-friendly companies.

Today, these very same companies are resisting the pressure to ditch their fossil fuels in the name of making their environmental, social and governance credentials more attractive – and they are getting away it.

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Canada is being short-changed by climate bookkeepers – by Diane Francis (Financial Post – December 2, 2021)

The whole country is a gigantic carbon sink with an abundance of natural features that decarbonize the world

Canada’s new minister of the environment, Steven Guilbeault, has an opportunity to do something meaningful about climate, but he must scrap the irrational and inaccurate assumptions swallowed whole by his predecessor.

The first major reform needed is to toss out the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, introduced in Parliament on Nov. 19, 2020, which formalizes Canada’s commitment to the UN to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.

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Timmins mayor looks to broker responsible resource development relationship between Mushkegowuk Chiefs and Queen’s Park – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – December 2, 2021)

George Pirie wants to create treaty round table to discuss environmental protections and future of resource development in coastal areas.

Timmins Mayor George Pirie said he’s hosting a “historic meeting” this week between provincial cabinet ministers and First Nation leadership to discuss the future of development and sustainability on the Hudson and James Bay coastal regions.

A news release from Pirie’s office said the Dec. 3 meeting is for the purpose of establishing a treaty round table and memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ontario government and Mushkegowuk, regarding responsible resource development in these areas of Northern Ontario.

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Canada must once again grab its share of the auto industry, despite U.S. protectionism – by Dimitry Anastakis (The Conversation – December 2, 2021)

Dimitry Anastakis is Professor and LR Wilson/RJ Currie Chair in Canadian Business History, University of Toronto.

The news that Tesla recently reached the extraordinary valuation of US$1 trillion shows yet again that the automobile industry remains a huge economic force shaping the planet.

Tesla’s growth also reflects how the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) marks the fifth great wave of automotive investment since 1900. Despite not owning any car companies, Canada has benefited immensely from every previous wave thanks to shrewd policy-makers who used every tool possible to gain a fair share of the auto market.

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Tailings pond collapse affects world’s highest human settlement – by Staff ( – December 3, 2021)

The collapse of a tailings facility in Peru’s Ananea district has destroyed a segment of the main road that connects the area with the neighbouring La Rinconada district, the highest human settlement in the world located in the southeastern Puno region.

According to local media, the San Antonio mining cooperatives are responsible for the maintenance of the tailings storage facility that collapsed on November 26.

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OPINION: In Northern Ontario, governments engage in a two-faced climate change response – by Tanya Talaga (Globe and Mail – December 3, 2021)

As land defenders work to prevent a pipeline from ripping through Wet’suwet’en territory in British Columbia, cast your eyes to Northern Ontario, where First Nations are also trying to push back against colonial governments looking to plunder the land.

Just a month after Canada talked a good game at the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit – but many years after Indigenous people first sounded alarms about the perils of what Canadians were doing to the land – two potential climate change catastrophes are playing out on Treaty 3, Robinson Superior and Treaty 9 territories. That territory comprises most of the area in Ontario north of Lake Superior.

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