Australia’s Northern Territory: red earth paved with gold? – by Andrew Tunnicliffe (Mining Technology – January 24, 2022)

Covering more than 1.3 million km2, around 17% of the Australia’s entire land mass, the Northern Territory (NT) is home to some of Australia’s most alluring natural phenomena: Alice Springs, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and the spectacular Uluru or Ayres Rock.

Its uniquely red terrain – cast against the often sunny skies – is awash with historical Aboriginal culture too; much of the land is owned by the Aboriginal people comprising a wide assortment of tribes. However, those cultures have often clashed with state and federal governments , particularly when it comes to matters associated with land and its use.

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Canada absent from global conversation on deep-sea mining – by Natasha Bulowski (National Observer – January 2022)

Environmental groups want the Canadian government to call for a moratorium on deep-sea mining, joining countries like Chile and the EU Parliament.

Companies around the globe want to mine metals such as cobalt, manganese, nickel, and copper deep on the ocean floor, but hundreds of scientists warn the area is under-researched and its impacts on delicate ocean ecosystems could be devastating.

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NIMBYism Is Global, And That’s A Problem For The Energy Transition – by David Blackmon (Forbes Magazine – January 23, 2022)

It’s one of the grand ironies in the whole energy transition narrative: The same class of left-leaning activists who promote wind and solar and electric vehicles (EVs) as the solution also oppose the mining of the lithium and other critical minerals necessary to make them work.

EVs cannot displace internal combustion engine autos without lithium. The EV industry has irrevocably tied itself to lithium-ion technology for its batteries: Without plentiful and affordable supplies of lithium, the industry will fail.

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Analysis-Rio Tinto has few options to save Serbia lithium mine, none good – by Clara Denina (Yahoo Finance – January 24, 2022)

LONDON (Reuters) – Rio Tinto has only bad options as it tries to salvage its $2.4 billion Serbian lithium project after the country’s leaders bowed to environmentalists and cancelled it last week.

The Anglo-Australian miner could sue the government, a step likely to fail and further antagonise Belgrade, or bet that pro-mining politicians emerge victorious in April parliamentary elections, a result that would embolden opponents.

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Secret Cities and Atomic Tourism – by Tim Leffel (Perspective Travel – No Date)

In the race to develop the atomic bomb that would end World War II, scientists toiled in instant cities hidden from maps and public view. Our editor dives into the world of experimental reactors and prefab housing to revisit a time when secret places could really stay secret.

Imagine you work in a city that isn’t on any map, in a house that has no postal address. You go to work each day not really knowing the purpose of what you are doing or how it fits into the jobs of the thousands of other people going to work each day around you.

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Australians win the bid for White River gold mine – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 21, 2022)

Silver Lake Resources beats out unknown bidder for ownership of Sugar Zone operation

Australia’s Silver Lake Resources have been chosen the owner of Harte Gold’s struggling Sugar Zone Mine near White River.

Perth-based Silver Lake announced Jan. 21 that its bid for the three-year-old underground operation and its expansive, mineral-rich gold property has been accepted, coming out of the auction stage of the creditor protection process.

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Foreign takeover rumour of Sask. potash company Nutrien a non-starter, says prof – by Jason Warick (CBC News Saskatoon – January 20, 2022)

Speculation rose following the departure of Nutrien’s CEO in early January

More than 11 years after a failed takeover, Australian mining giant BHP could once again have its eyes on Saskatoon-based Nutrien, the world’s largest fertilizer maker.

Don Bilson, head of event-driven research at New York-based Gordon Haskett Research Advisors, made the suggestion this week in an interview with Bloomberg.

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Political instability in the DRC may affect global battery supply chain – report – by Staff ( – January 20, 2022)

A new report by Fitch Solutions states that the increased risk of instability between the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s cabinet and parliament could add pressure to the global battery supply chain over the next few quarters.

The African country is responsible for the lion’s share of the global cobalt output, which added up to around 68% of global cobalt production in 2020.

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No national security issue in Chinese takeover of Canadian lithium company: Liberals – by Joan Bryden (Canadian Press/Sask Today – January 20, 2022)

OTTAWA — The pending takeover of a Canadian lithium mining company by a Chinese state-owned company raises no national security concerns, federal Liberals argued Thursday.

Liberal MP Andy Fillmore, parliamentary secretary to Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne, told a House of Commons committee that the Industry Department reviewed last fall the proposed takeover of Neo Lithium Corp. by China’s Zijin Mining Group Ltd.

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NEO Performance Materials chief Constantine Karayannopoulos on the importance of those rare earth elements found at the bottom of the periodic table – by Howard Green (Toronto Star – January 20, 2022)

How well do you remember your periodic table from chemistry class? If you’re like me, not very well. What stumps me in particular are 17 elements called rare earths with names such as erbium, cerium and lanthanum.

As we move toward a greener economy, these elements are crucial if we want more electric vehicles, wind turbines and other green machines. At the moment, most of the world’s supply of rare earths comes from China. Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated he wants to protect our rare earth deposits from foreign takeovers.

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The World’s Massive Need For More Solar Panels Has One Shiny Catch – by Clare Watson (Science Alert – January 21, 2022)

There’s a major catch to the world’s need for solar panels, a new analysis suggests. The booming solar panel market – which is critical for a clean energy future – could demand close to half the world’s aluminum by 2050. Thankfully, there are ways we can mitigate this.

Unlike more precious metals, such as the lithium and cobalt used in rechargeable batteries, the scarcity of aluminum is not the issue; in fact, it is the most abundant metal on Earth. But the production of pure aluminum which is used in solar panel frames comes with a huge energy cost that could translate to bulk emissions.

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What a Tesla Deal Might Mean for the Tamarack Mining Project in Northern Minnesota – by Walker Orenstein (Twin Cities Business – January 20, 2022)


One of the selling points for several proposed copper and nickel mines in Minnesota has been that the metal can help power green technology like solar panels, electric vehicles and windmills. But that possibility has always been somewhat hypothetical, or at least hard to quantify for the controversial projects.

PolyMet Mining says metal from its proposed mine near Hoyt Lakes would be a commodity sold on a world market. But while there is high demand for things like EV batteries, there is no guarantee how much, if any, of the product would be used for domestic green technology.

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Ottawa on the hook for $4-billion tied to abandoned mines’ cleanup in the North – by Kevin Philipupillai (Hill Times – January 20, 2022)

NDP MP Lori Idlout says the Liberals need to hold companies accountable. ‘Our communities can’t continue to be disregarded when the profit is gone and we’re left to clean up the mess that a multi-billion dollar company made.’

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is responsible for $4-billion in environmental liabilities for mines abandoned by private operators in the territories, according to the federal government’s public accounts for 2020-21. This figure represents the amount required to bring 162 contaminated sites back up to current minimum environmental standards. But in extreme cases the remediation costs may extend into perpetuity.

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COAL MINING: Banned in Meghalaya, rat-hole mining continues unchecked in Assam’s forests, commission finds – by Rokibuz Zaman ( – January 20, 2022)

A one-man judicial commission, looking into allegations of illegal mining in Assam’s Digboi forest division, has found that rat-hole mining, an unscientific and dangerous technique in which workers enter deep tunnels around three or four feet high to extract coal, is flourishing unchecked in the region.

The area examined by the one-man commission of Justice Brojendra Prasad Katakey overlapped with parts of numerous ecologically sensitive zones, including the Dehing Patkai elephant reserve, which contains within it the Dehing Patkai National Park. Though rat-hole mining has been banned in neighbouring Meghalaya since 2014, numerous instances of it have been recorded there.

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China’s rare earth metal monopoly is a threat to the US – by Sean Durns (Washington Examiner – January 21, 2022)

China’s monopoly on rare earth minerals is a danger to the United States. Newly proposed legislation, however, seeks to circumvent that threat.

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare how dependent the U.S. is on Chinese manufacturing and goods, including what are termed “rare earths,” a group of metals used to make magnets found in electronics, weaponry, and vehicles.

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