Copper to surge at least seven-fold before this bull market is over – Goehring & Rozencwajg – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – May 11, 2021)

https://www.kitco.com/

(Kitco News) Copper is one of the leaders of this year’s commodities bull rally, and its price surge is far from over, according to Goehring & Rozencwajg Associates, which is projecting at least a seven-fold increase in copper before the bull rally subsides.

“We are strong believers that copper prices are heading significantly higher. After bottoming at $1.95 per pound in early 2016, copper prices have more than doubled.

Copper equities (as measured by the COPX ETF) have done even better, rallying over 200% — more than twice the increase of the S&P 500,” Goehring & Rozencwajg said in a report. Continue Reading →

Neskantaga First Nation calls for halt to environmental study process on Ring of Fire road – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – May 10, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Moonias, a frequent critic of the Ring of Fire planning process, said
local leadership already have enough on their plate with an ongoing
health emergency, a community water crisis, and the “marginalization of our
voices” in the EA process.

Neskantaga First Nation is calling for a halt to all the environmental assessment (EA) processes in the Ring of Fire.

Chief Wayne Moonias is demanding a “pause” in the process until the pandemic is over when meaningful consultation can take place on the proposed north-south corridor to access the Far North mineral belt.

In a letter to provincial Environment, Conservation and Park Minister Jeff Yurek, Moonias expressed his displeasure that the early stages of the provincial EA process is about to begin the Northern Road Link, the middle section of the Ring of Fire road, between Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations. Continue Reading →

Ocean mining frenzy drives $2.9 billion merger – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – May 11, 2021)

https://biv.com/

Littering the abyssal plain of the Pacific Ocean are an estimated 21 billion tonnes worth of polymetallic nodules containing high grades of manganese, nickel, copper and cobalt – the so-called “battery metals” that Tesla (Nasdaq:TSLA) has warned may soon be in short supply.

They sit on top of the sea floor just waiting to be hoovered up, and several companies, including one from Vancouver, DeepGreen Metals, is in the race to begin harvesting them.

Getting the 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 that U.S. President Joe Biden has committed to will require a massive shift to renewable energy and electric cars. Continue Reading →

Down the rabbit hole with a federal budget fuelled by fantasy – by John Ivison (National Post – May 12, 2021)

https://nationalpost.com/

Fast said he worries the largest spending budget ever will create a
financial burden that will undermine the prospects of the future
generations to live the Canadian dream.

In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts is synonymous with the idea of arbitrary justice. “Sentence first; verdict afterward,” she pronounced.

The concern among some senior public servants is that Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has used Lewis Carroll’s fantasy novel as inspiration for her first budget. Spend first; specify objectives, with measurable metrics to guide performance afterward.

Nearly a month after the “recovery plan for jobs, growth and resilience” was unveiled, it is becoming the target for resounding criticism from people who have been involved in preparing previous budgets, some of whom say it is more focused on the political fortunes of the Liberal Party than on rebuilding the economy post-pandemic. Continue Reading →

Editorial: The cost of the Wolverine minesite – by Lewis Rifkind (Yukon News – May 9, 2021)

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The price of a decent wolverine fur goes for about $1,000 these days. Wolverine fur trim on hoods is highly desirable because it repels water. This means a frost-free hood on those cold days when Yukoners go outside.

Regrettably, there is a mine in the southeast Yukon of the same name that does not repel water and is costing Yukon residents a lot more than a single animal fur to treat its wastewater. This beast is known as the Wolverine Mine.

The Wolverine Mine site is located in the southeast Yukon on the Robert Campbell Highway between Ross River and Watson Lake. It produced mainly lead, zinc and some other metals for three years, and was last operated back in 2015. Continue Reading →

What Impact Will India’s ‘Clean Energy’ Shift Have on Its Minerals Economy? – by Lou Del Bello (Science The Wire India – May 12, 2021)

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Despite what we often hear, the energy transition is not as simple as building solar panels and wind turbines everywhere. It requires an overhaul of some of the key systems underpinning our economy, minerals being one of them.

In a new report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) takes stock of which and how much mineral resources we’ll need as we decarbonise the world’s energy architecture.

I spoke with Jagabanta Ningthoujam, manager with RMI-India, who specialises on electricity, batteries and hydrogen. Formerly associated with the World Bank’s Climate Smart Mining Facility, he discusses the global race for mineral access through an Indian perspective. Continue Reading →

Glencore boss warns of future China dominance in electric vehicles – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – May 12, 2021)

https://www.ft.com/

US and Europe risk being left behind unless they secure cobalt supplies for batteries, says Ivan Glasenberg

The car industry in the US and Europe risks being left behind by their Chinese rivals unless they secure supplies of cobalt, according to the world’s biggest producer of the key battery metal.

Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg told the FT Future of the Car Summit on Wednesday that western carmakers would be naive to think they could always rely on China to supply the batteries for electric vehicle fleets.

Glasenberg said Chinese companies had been quick to realise the vulnerability of their supply chains and “tied up” lots of cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cobalt is a metal needed in the lithium-ion batteries used in longer-range electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

Indonesia says no new coal plants from 2023 (after the next 100 or so) – by Hans Nicholas Jong (Mongabay.com – May 12, 2021)

https://news.mongabay.com/

JAKARTA — Indonesia says it will stop building new coal-fired power plants after 2023 to meet its carbon-neutral goals — but the more than 100 plants to be built by then will still be churning out CO2 decades after that.

Zulkifli Zaini, CEO of state-owned electricity utility PLN, said there would be no more new thermal plants after an ongoing program to add 35,000 megawatts (MW) to the national grid — powered mostly by coal — is completed.

That program, rolled out in 2015, calls for building 117 new coal-fired power plants, with only 2,000 MW coming from renewable energy sources. Continue Reading →

Centerra Gold to pursue international arbitration against Kyrgyzstan after former Soviet state takes aim at Kumtor mine – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 12, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Centerra Gold Inc. is pursuing an international arbitration suit against Kyrgyzstan, after the former Soviet state indicated it was getting ready to nationalize a giant gold mine wholly owned by the Canadian company.

On Friday, Toronto-based Centerra said that, in the space of 24 hours, the landlocked country in Central Asia passed a new law through parliament that allows the government to seize external control of mining assets granted under concessions when there are safety concerns.

Centerra’s Kumtor mine is the only asset in the country that qualifies under the criteria. Continue Reading →

Minnesota copper project in limbo as officials launch permits review – Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – May 11, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has agreed to reconsider its decision to renew 13 prospecting permits in Minnesota, which could have allowed Antofagasta’s Twin Metals to expand its proposed copper-nickel mine at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The move by the federal agency, part of the US Department of the Interior, comes in response to a lawsuit filed last year by conservation groups. They challenged a four-year extension of the permits, granted by former President Donald Trump.

“After the horrendous years of the Trump administration, federal officials now appear focused on rational, science-based decision making,” Marc Fink, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Agnico Eagle embraces reduced operations for its new western Nunavut mine – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – May 112, 2021)

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Agnico Eagle Mining Ltd. plans to stick to a schedule of reduced operations into 2022 for its recently acquired Hope Bay gold mine, says general manager Eric Steinmetzer.

The new owner’s plans for Hope Bay include completing an overview of the entire operation on the property’s three gold deposits, Doris, Madrid and Boston. Analysts are now on site, looking at the full economic potential of the entire ore body, Steinmetzer said.

That analysis will take at least a year to complete, he said, and suggest whether or not Agnico Eagle needs to design a new mill or simply undertake an upgrade of the existing mill. Continue Reading →

Diamond Dealer Jared Holstein on the Limits of Ethical Sourcing – by Victoria Gomelsky (JCK Online.com – May 12, 2021)

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Don’t come to Jared Amadeo Holstein (pictured) expecting to find answers about ethical diamond sourcing. The San Francisco–based diamond, colored stone, and estate jewelry dealer, aka D’Amadeo, specializes in post-consumer recycled diamonds and colored stones, historical cuts, and known-source gemstones, but he makes no claims about his diamonds’ ethics.

“The word ethical is weighted and freighted and should be used very carefully,” Holstein tells JCK, admitting that he has persistent doubts about the how the goods he’s bought have come to market and the impacts they’ve had on people and the planet along the way.

“But being involved, buying goods that I’m not comfortable with buying, allows me to have conversations with people that are good,” Holstein says. “Everyone just needs to ask questions. It is all of our duty to press industry and to press producers for better information.” Continue Reading →

Killing Line 5 will only make people realize how much we need fossil fuels – by Tasha Kheiriddin (National Post – May 12, 2021)

https://nationalpost.com/

This seems like a bad week to be in the pipeline business. On Friday, a cyberattack shut down the American Colonial Pipeline network, which carries 2.5 million barrels a day of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel to 14 states.

A criminal gang called “DarkSide” is accused of holding data for ransom; it is not clear whether Colonial paid up, but the company expects to “substantially” restore service by the end of this week.

By then, however, another major pipeline could be shut down, not by extortion, but by government fiat. Michigan has ordered the closure of Enbridge’s Line 5, a pipeline carrying nearly half of the light crude oil, light synthetic crude oil and natural gas liquids consumed in Ontario and Quebec. Continue Reading →

Australian Government commits $20m to resources strategy (Australian Mining – May 10, 2021)

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The Australian Government has unveiled a $20 million Global Resources Strategy to expand the reach and reputation of the country’s resources industry.

Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the strategy would assist Australia’s resource sector in supplying to new global markets during the world’s recovery from COVID-19.

“Australia’s resources sector more than lived up to its reputation as a dependable, resilient and efficient supplier of major commodities to the world throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pitt said. Continue Reading →

OPINION: The infrastructure war between China and the United States is fuelling the commodities rally – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – May 12, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

There are all sorts of wars, a shorthand term beloved by politicians, economists and journalists. There is the trade war, the diplomatic war, the new Cold War, the war against the pandemic.

Yet another one is on the horizon – the infrastructure war – and it goes a long way to explain why commodity prices are soaring, with some of them, including copper and iron ore, hitting record prices in recent days. The war could trigger a new commodities “super cycle,” if we’re not in one already.

The infrastructure war is as much geopolitical as economic. It pits America against China, each of which is trying to lock up the resources required to rebuild their infrastructure and ramp up the transition to a clean economy, which will require vast amounts of copper, cobalt, nickel, zinc and steel to produce everything from electric vehicles (EVs) and wind turbines to “smart” power grids and solar panels. Continue Reading →