Gowganda silver, cobalt explorer starting pilot plant to make electric vehicle battery material – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 19, 2021)


A junior mining company with ambitious plans to be a Northern Ontario supplier of material for electric vehicle manufacturers said it’s a step closer to realizing those plans.

Toronto’s Canada Silver Cobalt Works announced last week that a first-stage pilot plant of its cobalt extraction technology will be built by SGS Canada at its metallurgical and analytical labs at Lakefield in southern Ontario.

The cobalt sulphate and refined material produced from their proprietary and environmentally friendly Re-20X process is used in the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

How Pakistan lost $6 billion on a gold mine – by Fm Shakil (Asia Times – January 18, 2021)


PESHAWAR – Pakistan’s US and France based real estate assets are at risk of confiscation as a United Kingdom court moves to enforce an arbitration tribunal decree that fined it US$5.9 billion for retracting a 28-year old gold exploration contract with foreign mining companies.

This month, a British Virgin Islands’ court-ordered to establish a value on the Roosevelt Hotel in New York and the Scribe Hotel in Paris as part of an attachment process of the properties owned by Pakistan International Airlines Investment Ltd (PIAIL), a state-run company officially registered in the British Virgin Islands.

In July 2019, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a World Bank-run arbitration tribunal, hit Pakistan with a $5.9 billion fine for revoking in 2011 a gold-cum-mineral exploration license held by Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), a joint venture of Barrick Gold Corporation of Australia and Antofagasta PLC of Chile. Continue Reading →

Kabanga, Tanzania to develop world’s largest nickel deposit – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – January 19, 2021)


British miner Kabanga Nickel, formerly known as LZ Nickel, has inked a framework agreement with the government of Tanzania to develop the world’s largest battery-grade nickel sulphide deposit, in the country’s northwestern.

As part of the deal, the parties have created a joint company called Tembo Nickel Corp., which will mine, process and refine class 1 nickel with cobalt and copper co-products.

Kabanga Nickel is the new entity’s majority owner with an 84% stake. Tanzania owns the remaining 16%, which is the government’s usual stake in all of the country’s mining projects. Continue Reading →

Revenge of the miners – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – January 18, 2021)


Long scorned as environmental villains, miners now saviours in green transition: Robert Friedland

One year from now, when the next Association of Mineral Exploration (AME) Roundup conference is held, mining legend Robert Friedland expects the backdrop will be a world in economic recovery and the beginning of what many commodities analysts predict will be a mining supercycle.

And that will be very good indeed for miners, junior exploration companies, and for Vancouver, which is a global mine financing hub.

“A year from now, when we have the next Roundup, I’m hoping we see a vibrant, recovering world economy,” Friedland said in a keynote speech at the opening Monday of the first-ever virtual Roundup conference. Continue Reading →

China’s Rare Earths ‘Slump’ A Sign Of Domestic ‘Hoarding’ For EV Batteries, And More – by Kenneth Rapoza (Forbes Magazine – January 17, 2021)


China loves to be in everybody’s strategic supply chains. Rare earths is one of them. These are the minerals, often dug out of mines in Africa, that China controls. They go into your iPhone. They go into the Panasonic battery that powers your Tesla.

China’s rare earth exports fell to 35,448 tons last year from 46,330 tonnes in 2019, customs data showed on Thursday. China blamed the pandemic for weak demand. The 2020 exports were the lowest since 2015, according to Reuters.

But there may be more to it than the pandemic. For those China watchers, and competitors, looking for tears in the fabric, the slump has a little less to do with the pandemic than Beijing may be letting on. Continue Reading →

Queen’s Park moving too fast for Matawa chiefs on Far North Act repeal – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 18, 2021)


Three First Nation chiefs contend COVID-19 and the safety of their communities are more pressing issues right now than Premier Doug Ford’s legislative agenda to develop the Far North.

Marten Falls’ Bruce Achneepineskum, Webequie’s Cornelius Wabasse and Eabametoong’s Harvey Yesno are rejecting the province’s Jan. 14 deadline for taking comments on coming revisions to the Far North Act.

In a joint statement last week, the chiefs said despite the outbreak of the pandemic last March, the Queen’s Park bureaucracy has pressed on with legislative, policy and regulatory changes that put the interests of government, industry and investors ahead of the area communities. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto, Fortescue hit pay dirt as prices surge – by Sarah Turner and Jenny Wiggins (Australian Financial Review – January 18, 2021)


Another stunning rally in iron ore prices is set to put a rocket under profits for the major iron ore producers, showering shareholders with dividends, shoring up the sharemarket and helping the government restore its pandemic-ravaged finances.

Last week, the spot iron ore price reached $US172.36 a tonne, up 1.3 per cent on the previous session according to Fastmarkets MB. Iron ore futures on the Singapore exchange traded at $US170.15 a tonne at the end of the week – the highest since their inception in 2013 – after rallying nearly 10 per cent since the start of the year.

William Curtayne, portfolio manager at Milford Asset Management, said that if iron ore prices were held at about $US165 a tonne there would be large-scale upgrades to the earnings expectations of the iron ore miners. Continue Reading →

First Nations Seek To Intervene In Court Challenge Of Coal Policy Removal – by Jeremy Appel (Toronto Star/Alberta Native News – January 18, 2021)


(ANNews) – The Bearspaw, Ermineskin and Whitefish First Nations are among those looking to intervene in a court challenge to the United Conservative government’s rescinding of a policy that placed restrictions on coal mining in Alberta.

The removal of the 1976 coal policy, which expressly forbids open-pit mining over a large area, was done quietly and without consultation in early 2020.

It’s come to attention as a result of Australian company Riversdale Resources’ planned open-pit coal mine in Crowsnest Pass’s Grassy Mountain on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Continue Reading →

Canadian firms operate in China’s Xinjiang region – by David Green and Nathan Vanderklippe (Globe and Mail – January 18, 2021)


At least three publicly traded Canadian resource companies have active projects and plans in China’s western Xinjiang region, where authorities have locked up large numbers of Muslims in centres for skills training and political indoctrination.

Canadian companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the region in the past two decades, according to a foreign government analysis obtained by The Globe and Mail.

The government is a member of the Five Eyes security alliance, which includes Australia, Canada, Britain, the United States and New Zealand. The document came from a source whom The Globe agreed not to identify because they were not authorized to release the analysis publicly. Continue Reading →

International media unimpressed by Canada’s vaccine rollout and they’re right – by Warren Kinsella (Toronto Sun – January 16, 2021)


Uneven, bumpy and sluggish. A big political blunder. Confusing. A lack of action. A flawed vaccine plan.

The words above? They’re actual quotes. And they’re not from the pages of newspapers, like this one, who aren’t big fans of Justin Trudeau’s government.

They’re what international media have been saying about Canada’s vaccine rollout. The Washington Post, CNN and Bloomberg, respectively. And there’s a lot more criticism internationally, too, if you go looking for it. Continue Reading →

Robert Friedland opens Remote Roundup: ‘In our world, the geologists are the gods’ – by Alisha Hiyate (Canadian Mining Journal – January 18, 2021)


The Association for Mineral Exploration opened up its Remote Roundup – its first virtual conference in the event’s 38-year history – with special guest speakers that included a keynote talk from Robert Friedland, founder and executive co-chairman of Ivanhoe Mines.

Speaking from Singapore, where the mining entrepreneur (and previously frequent traveller) noted he has been “stuck” for the past 10 months, Friedland’s address touched on a number of hot topics, including ESG, increasing demand for battery minerals for the green economy, and the importance of junior mining companies.

Starting with the current state of affairs for miners, Friedland noted that investors have largely abandoned mining and flocked to the tech space, notably investments in broadband internet, the cloud, and other disruptive technologies over the the past 20 years. Continue Reading →

How Canada should respond to Joe Biden’s Keystone XL decision – by Adam Radwanski (Globe and Mail – January 19, 2021)


Joe Biden is poised to begin his presidency with a wake-up call for Canadians who expect him to compromise his climate agenda in the name of diplomacy.

The president-elect’s apparent plan to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion as one of his first actions after Wednesday’s inauguration, laid out in leaked transition documents, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

It’s what he promised during last year’s U.S. campaign, it’s easy to act on and failing to do so swiftly would have sounded alarms within the Democratic Party’s base. Continue Reading →

Lithium CEO sees ‘evolution’ in mining toward green, clean energy future – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 15, 2021)


The spread of the global pandemic and other geopolitical events have underscored the importance of international supply chains.

A new industry group engaged in the critical minerals side of the Canadian mining industry wants to promote value-added manufacturing opportunities by building a resilient national supply chain that feeds materials to the clean energy, electric vehicle, communications, medical and aerospace sectors.

The Canadian Critical Minerals and Materials Alliance (C2M2A), launched Jan. 14, contends Canada has enough mineral wealth in rare earth elements, lithium, cobalt, and graphite, combined with the intellectual know-how, to promote this country as a global clean technology manufacturing hub. Continue Reading →

Timmins Mayor George Pirie highly optimistic about mining’s future – by Kevin Vincent (Mining Life – January 15, 2021)


Ask the mayor of Timmins about the state and future of mining in Timmins and you are in for a lesson on global economics. Timmins is undergoing a huge boost to its mining sector and George Pirie couldn’t be happier for the entire region.

Pirie, the former President and CEO of Placer Dome Canada, played a pivotal role in early talks with Kirkland Lake Gold on their decision to move its Canadian Operations Centre and more than 120 jobs to Timmins, a project Pirie quietly initiated when he was first elected in 2018.

Add to that, the announcement of IAMGOLD’s billion-dollar Cote Lake Mine south of Timmins, and a massive uptick in exploration in the Timmins camp, and you have an extremely robust picture that any mayor would welcome. Continue Reading →

Outcry as Trump officials to transfer sacred Native American land to miners – by Annette McGivney (The Guardian – January 16, 2021)


As one of its last acts, the Trump administration has set in motion the transfer of sacred Native American lands to a pair of Anglo-Australian mining conglomerates.

The 2,422-acre Arizona parcel called Oak Flat is of enormous significance to the Western Apache and is now on track for destruction by what is slated to be one of the largest copper mining operations in the United States.

Steps for the controversial land transfer from the US government, which owns the land, to the miners were completed on Friday morning, when a final environmental assessment was published. The government must soon transfer title to the land. Continue Reading →