A bumpy road for metals and mining – by Alex Brinded (Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining – November 27, 2023)


Post London Metal Exchange Week 2023, Wood Mackenzie hosted a briefing on the risks and opportunities for metals and mining amid accelerated energy transition pressures.

‘The current metals super-cycle, which is a major component of the global energy transition, could stall due to a gloomy global macroeconomic environment, geopolitics and a lack of investment in new production facilities,’ according to analysts from Wood Mackenzie.

Speaking at a briefing in London, Nick Pickens, Research Director of Global Mining at the firm, highlighted that US$200bln of new mining projects are required by 2030, as well as more efficient and creative methods of recycling existing scrap metals.

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Three of Canada’s major critical mineral projects are in Sudbury – by Staff (Sudbury Star – November 22, 2023)


They are Glencore’s Onaping Depth project, Vale’s Copper Cliff Deep project and KGHM’s Victoria Mine project

The federal government has launched a $1.5-billion fund for critical minerals infrastructure, while simultaneously highlighting close to 500 projects nationwide that are generating jobs and growing a greener economy. The funding announcement this week coincided with the release of an annual report on major projects underway across the country in the fields of energy, forestry and mining.

Three of the big mining projects are in Sudbury: Glencore’s Onaping Depth project, with an estimated capital cost of $1 billion to $2.5 billion; the Copper Cliff Deep project being pursued by Vale, pegged at $750 million to $1B; and a revived Victoria Mine project being undertaken in the Whitefish area by Polish company KGHM, at a projected cost of $1B to $2.5B.

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Trudeau’s green energy policy means more mining – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – November 26, 2023)


A typical electric vehicle and its battery requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle

One of the many ironies of the Trudeau government’s clean energy strategy is that it means dramatically increasing the number of mining operations in Canada and approving them far more quickly than in the past.

What’s driving the need for a mining boom is the Trudeau government’s edict that 60% of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in Canada must be electric by 2030, increasing to 100% in 2035, along with 35% of new medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2030 and, where feasible, 100% by 2040.

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Mining tycoons battle over lithium’s ‘corridor of power’ in Australia – by Nic Fildes and Harry Dempsey (Financial Times – November 26, 2023)


Local billionaires disrupt consolidation as industry positions itself for boom in mineral vital to electric cars

The vast tracts of desert in Western Australia, which have yielded gold, nickel and iron ore to prospectors in decades past, have now become a major battleground for miners of lithium, a key raw material for batteries as the world transitions to greener energy.

A struggle for control of the resource has been ignited this year as multinational companies have clashed with Australian mining billionaires over a series of takeover attempts in two of the remotest parts of the state.

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Ivanhoe to start copper exploration in Angola – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – November 27, 2023)


Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) said on Monday it planned to kick off exploration activities in Angola next year as it has secured rights over an area the size of Switzerland for an initial period of five years.

The Canadian miner has been granted 22,195 square kilometres of prospecting rights for exploration in the country’s Moxico and Cuando Cubango provinces, covering what Ivanhoe calls “highly prospective”, greenfield copper exploration ground. Activities are expected to commence following team mobilization in early 2024, the company said.

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BHP looks to take potash plant nuclear – by Matthew Cranston (Australian Financial Review – November 26, 2023)


Washington | BHP is considering nuclear energy to power what will be the world’s biggest potash mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, in a move that would help the Australian mining giant achieve its net-zero emissions target by 2050.

A decision to pursue nuclear generation in a country where it has long been part of the energy mix raises further questions about Australia’s own interest in the clean but controversial energy alternative.

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Will the Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund have impact? The miners behind 3 northern projects hope so – by Aya Dufour (CBC News Sudbury – November 22, 2023)


Companies say the money could help accelerate production timelines for priority metals

The long-awaited Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund (CMIF) launched on Monday, and several northern Ontario mining companies are hopeful their projects will be selected by Ottawa.

With $1.5 billion available over the next seven years, there is a lot of money at play. Up to $300 million is available in the first call for proposals, which ends in late February. The program has two streams. One focuses on pre-construction and project development, and the other looks at infrastructure deployment.

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Electra Battery Materials waiting on funders to help launch Temiskaming cobalt refinery – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 23, 2023)


Toronto plant developer looks to lock up US$60 million to start supplying North American battery manufacturers

Electra Battery Materials will continue to hold off on completing the last phases of construction its Temiskaming cobalt refinery until it can secure the remaining US$60 million to finish the job.

“We’ll be very careful before we press start,” said Trent Mell, the company’s president-CEO in a recent conference call and webcast on its third-quarter performance. Most of the refinery’s remaining equipment, ordered and fabricated overseas, has arrived on site but won’t be installed until project financing comes through.

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Uranium sector ‘scrambling’ to fill supply gap – by Colin McClelland (Northern Miner – November 21, 2023)


The price of uranium will hit triple-digits for the first time since 2007 as nations weaning off oil and seeking energy security deplete nuclear fuel supplies, the world’s largest investment fund in the physical metal says.

The spot price for uranium should rise from US$80 per lb. this week to US$100 or more per lb. within a year to 18 months, John Ciampaglia, CEO of Sprott Asset Management, which runs the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust (TSX: U.U for $US; U.UN for $CAD), said by phone on Monday. The trust holds 62 million lb. of yellowcake uranium valued at US$4.9 billion.

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Rare earth discoveries mean coal mines could have a key role to play in the energy transition – by Anmar Frangoul (CNBC.com – November 24, 2023)


From Pennsylvania to the north of England, coal mines helped to power the Industrial Revolution, turbocharging the economic growth of countries around the world. Today, however, the production and use of coal has become a thorny issue, with critics slamming the fossil fuel’s huge impact on the environment.

Organizations like Greenpeace describe coal as “the dirtiest, most polluting way of producing energy.” From the UN Secretary General to the International Energy Agency, talk of phasing out coal is becoming increasingly common.

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A Tahltan champion: For Freda Campbell, building strong community relations with Indigenous people drives better projects – by Alice Martin (CIM Magazine – November 27, 2023)


Freda Campbell, who is a proud member of the Tahltan Nation, never expected that working in the mining industry would allow her to connect with her home on an even deeper level. Her first contact with the mining world was a happy coincidence.

In 1992, when Campbell was in the last semester of her associate degree in business administration at Camosun College in Victoria, B.C., she met Jack Thompson, the president of Homestake Mining Company, who visited one of her classes to talk about job opportunities in mining.

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Battle for Influence Rages in Heart of Wagner’s Operations in Africa – by Elian Peltier (New York Times – November 26, 2023)


The death of the mercenary group’s leader has created a window of opportunity in the Central African Republic for Western powers to offer an alternative.

In palmier times, the leader of the Wagner group, Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, appeared at a Russian cultural center in the capital of the Central African Republic, sitting with schoolchildren and promising them free laptops.

But Mr. Prigozhin’s death in August has rattled the mercenary group’s once-cozy relations with the Central African Republic, which is now weighing offers from Russia and Western countries, including the United States, to replace Wagner as its primary security guarantor.

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Time to Tackle the Diamond Industry’s Pre-Pandemic Challenges – by Avi Krawitz (Rapaport Magazine – November 23, 2023)


Economic headwinds, Chinese caution and the threat of lab-grown are the trade’s current concerns. But the recurring difficulties that existed before Covid-19 have not gone away.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same,” wrote French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in 1849. The famous proverb is understood to mean no matter how tumultuous a situation is, some underlying patterns remain consistent.

The diamond industry must keep this in mind as it navigates the current market slump. Can the trade learn from the past and bring about a sustainable improvement? While US economic weakness, rising competition from lab-grown diamonds and the slowdown in China sparked the downturn, market inefficiencies over the past 15 years have also contributed.

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OPINION: How have we grown numb to the suicide of Indigenous children? – by Tanya Talaga (Globe and Mail – November 27, 2023)


“There have been at least 599 reported deaths by suicide in 30 Northwestern Ontario First Nations between 1986 and June, 2023 – a staggering number that is already out of date as I write this.”

In another world, the death of 11-year-old Elaina Cecilia Nancy Beardy would have shaken Canada’s smug belief that this country offers all its children a good and safe start. Her death would have been the lead story on newscasts and in newspapers, inspiring governments and all of society to move mountains to ensure this never happens again.

Instead, Elaina’s death by suicide on Oct. 28 scarcely received any public mention or attention outside of her family’s northern Ontario communities of Kingfisher Lake First Nation and the neighbouring Sachigo Lake First Nation, situated about 350 km and 450 km north of Sioux Lookout, respectively.

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Tearing up the Earth for EVs and a fossil-fuel future – by John Chilibeck (Sudbury Star – November 24, 2023)


Study shows hundreds of new mines would have to open to find metals needed to meet Canada’s and other countries’ targets for more electric vehicles

The world will have to open 388 new mines within the next decade to meet government objectives for electric vehicle purchases, an unlikely scenario given how difficult and time-consuming it is to site such operations, warns a new study.

The Fraser Institute report, released Thursday, raises a daunting question: are mining rules too stringent, particularly in Canada and other rich countries, to electrify much of our energy needs and get vehicles with traditional combustion-fuel engines off the road?

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