British Columbia First Nations forge partnership to participate in Seabridge Gold’s KSM project – by Amanda Strutt (Mining.com – January 26, 2023)

https://www.mining.com/

British Columbia’s Tahltan Nation and Nisg̱a’a Nation announced Thursday that they have joined together in a new partnership that brings new life to a historic and centuries-old Peace Treaty, through the Treaty Creek Limited Partnership.

The partnership was announced on the final day of AME Roundup conference in Vancouver and will optimize the Nisga’a and Tahltan’s participation at the massive Seabridge KSM project.

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The Future Battlefields: Rare Earth Elements – by Ariel Cohen (Forbes Magazine – January 26, 2023)

https://www.forbes.com/

Sweden’s state-owned mining enterprise LKAB may have given the West hope in its quest for energy independence and containing China. Two weeks ago, LKAB announced it had discovered nearly one million metric tons of rare earth elements (REE).

REEs include 17 elements that are vital for advanced batteries, lasers, electronics, and all emerging technology of the 21st century, including the energy transition.

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Why bad news is good news for lithium stocks – by James Thomson (Australian Financial Review/Chanticleer – January 30, 2023)

https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/

Bullish new forecasts for lithium demand have coincided with setbacks to new supply projects. That’s ultimately good for prices, but not for the electric vehicle sector’s big ambitions.

It’s unlikely that many Australian investors are following the travels of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. But his current trip to South America underscores a new front in the global race for arguably the world’s hottest commodity: lithium.

Scholz signed an agreement with Argentina that is designed to help German industry secure lithium supplies from the South American giant. On Sunday, he was in Chile – the world’s second-largest supplier of lithium after Australia – seeking a similar deal.

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Miners Are Caught Between Rocks and Hard Places – by Clara Ferreira Marques (Bloomberg News – January 26, 2023)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

From Peru’s social unrest to Panama’s industry intervention, Latin America is becoming a trickier destination for big diggers.

Latin America has long been a favored destination for mining majors as a reliable source of metals, particularly copper. But increasingly, it’s becoming a trouble spot. From Chile’s tax hike to Peru’s social unrest and Panama’s intervention in a massive mine, all is not well.

The problem is clear enough. State infrastructure, pensions, education and health care were threadbare in much of the region even before a pandemic that exposed deep inequities.

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Grid Expert: Replacing Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant with Renewables ‘Can’t Be Done’ – by Carl Wurtz (Globe California – January 28, 2023)

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To go 100% renewable would drive electricity prices four to five times higher

With recent legislation limiting the lifetime of California’s last remaining nuclear power plant to eight more years, the debate about replacement power has once again been thrust to the forefront of environmental concerns: will higher emissions after the shutdown of Diablo Canyon doom California’s efforts to meet climate targets?

Though generating electricity with nuclear power produces no CO2, California agencies believe the answer is “no.” Every five years the California Air Resources Board (CARB) develops a plan to determine what sources will be needed to deliver clean electricity to 30 million customers.

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‘Posthistory’ depicts coal region history after King Coal was dethroned – by Ron Devlin (Republican Herald/Yahoo – January 28, 2023)

https://news.yahoo.com/

Jan. 28—POTTSVILLE — The history of anthracite coal in the southern fields usually goes something like this: Necho Allen discovers coal in 1790, igniting an economic engine that burns brightly for 150 years or so.

The black diamonds Allen’s campfire lighted while he slept atop Broad Mountain fueled the Industrial Revolution and remained a vital energy force through World War I and World War II.

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Germany falls behind in the global race for lithium – by Tobias Käufer (DW.com – January 28, 2023)

https://www.dw.com/en/

Berlin trails global powers like China and the US in acquiring lithium, a key component in electric vehicle batteries. German Chancellor Scholz will address the issue on his trip to South America this weekend.

Roughly 57% of the world’s lithium deposits are found in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Because it’s used in electric vehicle battery production, the natural resource is highly sought-after. Globally, the Chinese have invested billions to ensure their place at the front of the line. The US, too, is in a better position than its European partners.

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State-of-the-art healthcare complex officially coming to Moosonee – by Sergio Arangio (CTV Northern Ontario – January 28, 2023)

https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/

A project decades in the making is taking a major step forward in providing state-of-the-art healthcare to the James and Hudson Bay area.

First Nations chiefs, community members and government officials gathered for a ground breaking ceremony at Northern College’s Moosonee campus Thursday, to celebrate that development is now underway to replace the area’s outdated regional hospital with a modern healthcare complex.

“Certainly a historic moment, a moment that everyone’s been waiting for for 25-plus years,” said Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA) CEO, Lynne Innes, in an interview the next day.

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Rio Tinto apologises for losing radioactive capsule in Australia – by Monica Miller, Lucy Hooker & Phil Mercer (BBC News – January 30, 2023)

https://www.bbc.com/

Mining giant Rio Tinto has apologised for losing a tiny radioactive capsule that went missing as it was being transported across Western Australia. An emergency hunt for the device, which is about the size of a pea, is under way along the 1,400km (870 mile) route.

The capsule contains a small quantity of radioactive Caesium-137, which could cause serious illness to anyone who comes into contact with it. That could include skin damage, burns or radiation sickness.

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China’s mining ambitions in Afghanistan haunted by militants – by Mifrah Haq (Nikkei Asia – January 26, 2023)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

ISIS-K steps up threats and attacks as Beijing eyes oil and copper

Escalating threats from Islamist militants are casting doubt on the future of big-money Chinese mining projects in Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas (CAPEIC) signed a 25-year oil extraction deal with the Afghan Taliban authorities for the Amu River oil field in northwestern Afghanistan. The company is expected to invest $150 million in the first year of the contract and $540 million over three years.

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The mining conundrum — responsibly sourcing green technology minerals in conflict zones – by Kim Polley (Daily Maverick – January 29, 2023)

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Responsible sourcing should be at the top of the agenda for multinationals. But many green technologies — which we advocate in our war on climate change — rely on the use of minerals sourced in high-risk areas with poor human rights records.

In the last 12 months, the world came out of a heightened state of pandemic panic and headed directly into climate crisis consciousness. Amid a tornado of messages predicting the end of the world, it’s no wonder that people are scrambling to find someone to blame. And predictably, big business makes an outsized climate catastrophe target.

Practically speaking, stakeholder expectations around safety, environmental management, decarbonisation and corporate responsibility have become increasingly difficult to navigate.

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Political turmoil is tearing Peru apart (The Economist – January 30, 2023)

https://www.economist.com/

Two months of often violent protest threaten democracy’s survival

For the past few weeks the cry of “Dina asesina! Dina asesina!” has rung out across the streets of several of Peru’s bigger towns and cities. It is unfortunate for the country’s president that her first name rhymes with the Spanish word for “murderer”.

Dina Boluarte is the legal, constitutional head of state. But since she took over on December 7th at least 58 people have died during protests, 46 of them civilians in clashes with the security forces, according to the ombudsman’s office. Her name has become toxic, and for many Peruvians her government has lost any legitimacy.

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Protesters in Azerbaijan outraged over alleged mine pollution – by Dave Gordon(Toronto Sun – January 29, 2023)

https://torontosun.com/

SHUSHA, Azerbaijan — An unlikely group of youth, eco-activists and religious leaders find themselves at the centre of the latest in a long series of disputes between bitter enemies, Azerbaijanis and Armenians.

For nearly 50 days, Azerbaijani protesters have expressed outrage at seven mining companies – including a Canadian one – railing against alleged decades-long environmental damage.

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To get to net-zero, we will need to make mining ‘nature-positive’, says mining council chief – by Oliver Balch (Reuters – January 27, 2023)

https://www.reuters.com/

January 27 – The field of sustainable business is littered with apparent oxymorons: “clean coal”, “ethical tobacco”, “responsible gambling”, and now, the latest in this illustrious list, “nature-positive mining”.

That’s right. An industry that revolves around “breaking ground” to extract natural resources is anxious to position itself as a defender of the natural environment. It sounds like poppycock, but could it just be possible?

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Peru’s violent protests imperil 30% of its copper output – by James Attwood(Bloomberg News – January 27, 2023)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

An upsurge in the violent protests wracking Peru is crimping copper output in the world’s No. 2 supplier, with about 30% of its production at risk at a time of low global stocks and high prices.

One copper mine is offline after demonstrators stormed the site, another has seen shipments choked by roadblocks, while others have slowed operations as a precaution to manage scarce supplies of fuel and other inputs, according to industry group SNMPE.

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