Equinox welcomes First Nations, Ontario Premier for gold pour at new Greenstone mine – by Staff (Canadian Mining Journal – June 20, 2024)


Equinox Gold (TSX: EQX; NYSE American: EQX hosted First Nation and Ontario government dignitaries at its Greenstone mine for a gold pour on June 18, 2024, at the mine site near Geraldton, Ont.

The Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario; the Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs and First Nation Economic Reconciliation; Yvette Metansinine, Chief of Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek; Sonny Gagnon, Chief of Aroland First Nation; Sheri Taylor, Chief of Ginoogaming First Nation; and Judy Desmoulin, Chief of Long Lake #58 First Nation, were in attendance.

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The Dirty, Deadly Price We Pay for Clean Cars – by Janet Paskin, Yang Yang, Naomi Ng and Jessica Beck (Bloomberg News – June 17, 2024)


(Bloomberg) — Never miss an episode. Follow The Big Take Asia podcast today.

Indonesia’s nickel business is booming. The metal is a key component in electric car batteries, but its success has a dark side. The country’s nickel mines and processing plants have a history of fatal accidents, with workers being run over by forklifts and burnt to death in smelter fires.

Today on The Big Take Asia, host Janet Paskin speaks with Bloomberg Businessweek editor Matt Campbell about his investigation into the mines. He found that nickel sourced from these plants are present in the supply chain that feeds virtually every major seller of EVs, and is an indispensable part of the car industry’s green revolution.

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China’s EV drive accelerates in Latin America – by Margaret Myers (East Asia Forum – June 2024)


Margaret Myers is director of the Asia and Latin America Program at the Inter-American Dialogue.

As the United States slaps tariffs on Chinese electronic vehicles (EV) and the EU increases its own protective measures, the Latin American market remains relatively open to imports of Chinese cars and investment in local EV production and critical minerals. Efforts in Washington and Brussels to level the EV playing field will likely result in trade diversion to Latin America and other regions, encouraging a process already well underway.

China has been active in expanding its capacity in overseas EV sales and manufacturing, with a growing focus on developing markets. Even amid protectionist measures in the Global North, China’s total exports of low-cost EVs jumped 102 per cent year-on-year from 2021 to 2022, with Chinese companies exporting nearly 630,000 fully electric vehicles in 2022.

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US lithium clay projects secure backing despite extraction hurdles – by Henry Lazenby (Northern Miner – June 20, 2024)

Global mining news

The United States’ great hope for domestic lithium supply could lie in the massive-scale, long-life sediment-hosted deposits in its southwestern region. And even with tricky metallurgy to overcome and higher price tags than brine or hard rock deposits, experts say that with federal backing, these operations could become the continent’s energy transition backbone.

Most of the country’s sediment-hosted lithium projects are in Nevada. Projects like Lithium Americas’ (TSX: LAC; NYSE: LAC) Thacker Pass, Ioneer’s (NASDAQ: IONR; ASX: INR) Rhyolite Ridge, and Century Lithium’s (TSXV: LCE) Clayton Valley have big potential that’s drawing strategic investment.

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Striking a Balance: The Philippines’ Path to Sustainable Critical Minerals Development – by Rocco Cartusciello (The Diplomat – June 21, 2024)


Manila is under pressure to begin exploiting its rich mineral deposits, but it needs to carefully consider the likely social and environmental costs.

The demand for critical minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and rare earth elements, has surged in recent years due to their role as essential components for modern technologies and green energy solutions. Under the Paris Agreement, meeting the world’s climate stabilization goal requires quadrupling mineral requirements for renewable energy technologies by 2040.

The Philippines, with largely untapped reserves of copper, gold, nickel, zinc, and silver, stands to economically benefit from this global surge in demand, necessitating greater investment in its mining sector. Currently, only 5 percent of these reserves have been explored, and just 3 percent are covered by mining contracts.

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EV transition drives Indonesia’s ‘dirty’ nickel boom – by A. Anantha Lakshmi (Financial Times – June 20, 2024)


Environmentalists accuse Jakarta of prioritising mining of key commodity over nation’s biodiverse rainforests

In just four years, Indonesia’s nickel industry has undergone a transformation — becoming a pivotal supplier of the commodity critical to electric vehicle batteries. But, as its importance grows, so has the south-east Asian nation’s reputation as a producer of “dirty” nickel.

Indonesia is now the world’s dominant supplier of the metal, following a boom triggered by President Joko Widodo’s ban on exports of raw nickel ore, in a bid to force foreign businesses to invest in the country and set up domestic processing plants.

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Investing in Africa’s Copperbelt – The Race for EV Metals (Gulf Africa Review – June 21, 2024)


U.S., Japanese, and European companies are investing in Africa’s Copperbelt, employing cutting-edge technology to extract essential electric vehicle metals like copper and cobalt.

The global demand for electric vehicle (EV) metals has spurred a surge in investments in Africa’s Copperbelt, a region straddling Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Companies from the U.S., Japan, and Europe are increasingly leveraging advanced technologies to identify and extract critical minerals such as copper and cobalt, challenging China’s dominance in the region.

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Niger revokes French nuclear group’s licence at major uranium mine (Al Jazeera – June 21, 2024)


Removal of Orano licence highlights tensions with France, with Russia said to be eyeing the major site.

Niger’s military government has revoked the operating licence of French nuclear fuel producer Orano at one of the world’s biggest uranium mines, as it continues to cut ties with former colonial power France.

State-owned Orano said on Thursday that it had been ordered out of the Imouraren mine in northern Niger which sits on an estimated 200,000 tonnes of the metal, used for nuclear power and weapons.

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Cobalt Conundrum: India’s Deep-Sea Mining Push Challenges China’s Dominance, Sparks Tensions With Sri Lanka – Analysis – by Girish Linganna (Eurasia Review – June 21, 2024)


India is rushing to get permission to explore a cobalt-rich underwater mountain located in the middle of the Indian Ocean. However, there are other countries interested in the same area. Sri Lanka is also looking to mine precious minerals there, adding to the competition.

Cobalt is a critical mineral used in rechargeable batteries for smartphones, laptops and electric vehicles. It also plays a key role in making alloys for jet engines, gas turbines and cutting tools. Additionally, cobalt is used in medical implants and as a catalyst in the chemical industry.

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Copper Frenzy Draws Mining Giants to Argentina After Milei’s Reforms – by Jonathan Gilbert and James Attwood (Bloomberg News – May 22, 2024)


(Bloomberg) — Global mining heavyweights including Lundin Mining Corp., Glencore Plc and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. are piling into Argentina as a new government intent on luring foreign investment propels the companies closer than ever to opening up vast copper deposits in the red-hued Andes.

It’s part of a colossal wave of spending needed worldwide to prevent a supply crunch for the metal, a critical component of the electrification push to slow climate change.

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Mining M&A stokes coal race against cleaner power – by Antony Currie (Reuters – June 20, 2024)


MELBOURNE, June 20 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Coal is doomed, or so the energy thesis goes. Many banks, insurers and investors have backpedalled from or abandoned the carbon-belching fossil fuel, prompting companies that excavate it to complain they cannot get mainstream or affordable financing.

One corner of the industry, however, is burning strongly: the coking, or metallurgical, variety used to make steel. For sellers, it’s a diamond underneath the growing pile of mining M&A. Buyers, however, are in a race against low-emissions alternatives to justify their strategies.

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Agnico Eagle looks underground at Detour Lake pit – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 20, 2024)


Agnico Eagle sizes up $1-billion investment to construct underground exploration ramp, expand mill production

Agnico Eagle is on a path to upsize its Detour Lake mine, near the Quebec border, into a one-million-ounce per year gold producer.

The Toronto gold company has posted a preliminary economic assessment and a new mine plan that involves digging beneath its current open-pit operation to tap into a “high-grade core of mineralization” and follow a gold system that tracks west on its property.

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Ring of Fire roads inch closer as four First Nations sign deals with Ontario – by Jack Hauen (The Trillium – June 20,2024)


Roads far south of mineral deposits to be improved by First Nations workers starting this year, Ford said

Four First Nations have signed an agreement with the province to improve roads from their communities to the provincial highway network — part of the Ford government’s plan to unlock key mineral deposits in Ontario’s north.

Premier Doug Ford announced deals on Tuesday with Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Aroland First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation and Long Lake #58 First Nation that will see Ontario improve all-season roads that connect the communities to the provincial road network and add money for training and infrastructure.

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Matthew Hart on mayhem in the diamond industry.

The diamond world was stunned when De Beers, the storied diamond miner, announced this month it was ditching its lab-grown diamond business. De Beers had been selling lab-grown gems online through its Lightbox brand for six years, at prices its competitors found hard to beat.

But the lab-grown diamond price was crashing, and De Beers will now focus its $94 million Oregon diamond factory away from gemstone production and onto something much more exciting: diamonds for targeted industrial uses.

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Federal gov’t, Saskatchewan swipe sale of N.W.T. rare earth metals from Chinese buyer – by Rose Danen (CBC News North – June 19, 2024)


Vital Metals sells stockpile to Saskatchewan Research Council for $3.3M

Vital Metals announced Monday that it’s selling its stockpiled rare earth material to the Saskatchewan Research Council for $3.3 million. This material comes from the North T deposit at the Nechalacho mine, 110 kilometres from Yellowknife.

Natural Resources Canada, along with Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, directly facilitated this transaction, which has the effect of keeping rare earth materials out of Chinese hands.

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