Column: [Ring of Fire] Leading our own prosperity: What are we doing in our territory? by Marten Fall First Nation Chief Bruce Achneepineskum (Thunder Bay – September 27, 2023)

For as long as I can remember, Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN) has had a strong desire to develop a road that would connect our remote northern community to the Ontario provincial highway network and advance our vision of building a sustainable and thriving community in the north. I remember having conversations about the road with former Chief Eli Moonias and community Elders. Looking back, we discussed the prospects of the road and what it would mean for our community, but the path forward was unclear. There were also concerns that the road would bring more challenges than opportunities to our community.

When the Ring of Fire mineral deposits were discovered, we thought that there was an opportunity here to achieve our vision. Former Chief Eli Moonias always maintained that these minerals are part of MFFN’s traditional territory, and therefore their development requires guidance and direction from MFFN. Nevertheless, he agreed to participate in the Regional Framework Agreement with the Government of Ontario, because he wanted to work with neighbouring First Nations on this opportunity to provide benefits to the region as a whole.

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Codelco in talks with Australia’s Lithium Power – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 28, 2023)

Australia’s Lithium Power International (ASX: LPI) confirmed on Friday it is engaged in talks with Chilean state-owned copper miner Codelco about a potential deal to jointly mine for the battery metal in the South American country.

Chile announced in April a new national lithium strategy, which calls for public-private partnerships for future lithium projects. Under the new model, the state takes a controlling stake in operations considered strategically significant, while private firms can retain control of projects in non-strategic areas.

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Ontario prepares to go big on nuclear, with demand for electricity poised to soar – by Mike Crawley (CBC News Toronto – September 28, 2023)

Costs of expanding nuclear power plants could ultimately run into the hundreds of billions of dollars

Demand for electricity across Canada is forecast to double in the next 25 years, and all the signs from Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government indicate that nuclear energy will supply the biggest portion of the province’s additional power needs.

Key factors driving that demand include the auto sector’s looming transition to electric vehicles and the push for industries to reduce their carbon emissions.

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Yields Spike and Gold Shrugs. What’s Driving Bullion Now? – by Eddie Spence and Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg News – September 24, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — What determines the price of gold? For much of the past decade the answer was easy: the price of money. The lower rates fell, the higher gold climbed, and vice versa.

Gold is the quintessential “anti-dollar” — a place to turn for those who distrust fiat currency — so it seemed natural that prices would rise in a world of low real interest rates and cheap dollars. Or when rates went up, gold, which pays no yield, naturally became less attractive, sending prices tumbling.

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Ring of Fire developer Wyloo Metals rebrands to Wyloo – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 27, 2023)

Australian company decides to place its global mineral assets under one banner

Australia’s Wyloo Metals has again rebranded its mineral assets in Ontario’s Ring of Fire. The Perth-headquartered mine developer has decided to place its Canadian and Western Australian mine and exploration properties under the single banner of Wyloo.

Privately owned Wyloo acquired the assets of Toronto’s Noront Resources in April 2022, which comprises the Eagle’s Nest nickel project and its chromite properties, 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

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Exclusive: Brazil mineral rights dispute casts shadow on Sigma Lithium expansion -by Fabio Teixeira (Reuters – September 28, 2023)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 28 (Reuters) – A Brazilian court injunction is halting the sale or mining of two plots of land where takeover target Sigma Lithium (SGML.V) is planning open pits, according to court documents seen by Reuters.

Vancouver-based Sigma Lithium is one of the hottest names in Brazil’s budding lithium sector – a pioneer in sustainable mining practices and, according to the firm, a potential acquisition target for some of the world’s top carmakers.

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Questions linger a year after Canada placed curbs on foreign companies to protect critical minerals – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – September 24, 2023)

Industry uncertainty remains with Ottawa’s divestment orders dominating discussions in the mining world over the past year

Canada shocked its mining sector a year ago with a policy that changed the way the industry viewed investment opportunities from foreign businesses. The policy, released in October, made it more difficult for foreign businesses, either owned or influenced by “non-like-minded” nations, to own or take a stake in Canada’s critical minerals sector, saying that such a situation could be considered “injurious to national security” under the Investment Canada Act (ICA) and, therefore, trigger an extended government review.

Canada considers 31 minerals, including lithium and copper, as critical due to the key roles they are expected to play in the gradual transition away from energy produced from fossil fuels.

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$67 Billion of Rare Minerals Is Buried Under One of the World’s Biggest Carbon Sinks – by Vipal Monga (Wall Street Journal – September 28, 2023)

A fight is brewing in Canada about how, or whether, to dig out materials essential for EV batteries that lie deep beneath vast peat bogs

The pace of the global transition to electric power depends on the future of a remote region in Canada known as the Ring of Fire.

Located underneath a distant, swampy expanse of spruce forests and meandering rivers in Northern Ontario that is cut off from major roads, the Ring of Fire is seen by industry and government officials as one of the world’s most important untapped sources of nickel, copper and cobalt—metals essential for making the batteries that power electric vehicles.

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Opinion: China needs to pay a higher price for its coal plants – by Gwyn Morgan (Financial Post – September 26, 2023)

Take the carbon taxes off the shoulders of Canadians and transfer them to carbon-spewing Chinese imports

In my last column, in early July, I wrote about the irony that a self-described “progressive” Liberal government kept in power by a deeply socialist NDP, both supposedly dedicated to protecting the poor, was fighting a war on carbon emissions whose costs, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has calculated, fall disproportionately on lower-income Canadians.

Since then we’ve had a devastating wildfire season, so it’s understandable that Canadians may be wondering if high and rising carbon taxes are a sacrifice we simply must make in order to fight climate change.

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Indigenous leaders rebuff minister, again demand meeting with premier on mining agenda – Aidan Chamandy (The Trillium – September 26, 2023)

The Land Defence Alliance shot down an offer to meet with Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford last week

Indigenous leaders from the Land Defence Alliance came to Queen’s Park on Tuesday to keep pressuring the premier to meet with them on the government’s mining policies — including the marquee Ring of Fire project — after rejecting a meeting with Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford.

The Alliance is made up of five First Nations communities — Neskantaga, Muskrat Dam First Nations, Wapekeka, Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows), and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake).

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Tracking Quebec’s next lithium mines – by Blair McBride (Northern Miner – September 26, 2023)

As Canada’s emerging hotspot for lithium development, Quebec hosts almost half the country’s 409 active lithium projects and its most advanced projects. That includes Canada’s second producing lithium mine (outside Sinomine’s Tanco operation in Manitoba): Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA; US-OTC: SYAXF) and Piedmont Lithium‘s (NASDAQ: PLL; ASX: PLL) North American Lithium project, which started production in March.

The Northern Miner built an infographic comparing the progress of five top lithium projects in La Belle Province, tracking progress across key milestones from 2018. Quebec’s next producing mine looks to be a tie between Sayona and Piedmont’s nearby Authier project, and Livent (NYSE: LTHM) and Nemaska Lithium‘s (TSX: NMX; US-OTC: NMKEF) Whabouchi operation.

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Why G7 sanctions on Russian diamonds are a body blow for Surat industry – by Jumana Shah (India Today – September 27, 2023)

Gems and jewellery industry apex body GJEPC’s decision to suspend transactions with Russian state miner Alrosa is expected to further squeeze the job market in hub Surat, which has already witnessed some 28 deaths by suicides recently

The G7, a grouping of some of the world’s most developed economies (US, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, UK and Japan), is on the verge of mandating certificates for the sale of polished diamonds to ensure that diamonds mined by Russian state mining company Alrosa do not reach the market. This is to ensure that all external funding to Russia’s war on Ukraine is effectively cut off.

While the countries, particularly the US, had declared sanctions on Alrosa immediately after the war commenced in February 2022, it was recently claimed that Surat-based firms continued to buy roughs (rough unpolished mined diamonds) from the company.

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How the wheels came off for SA’s platinum group metal miners – by David McKay (MiningMX – September 27, 2023)

Homepage 2023

We didn’t see it coming” are not the words investors typically want to hear. But it was a refreshingly honest take from Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne, when asked about the decline in platinum group metal (PGM) prices that led to his company calling off its 18-month pursuit of Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat).

Tearing up the tarmac one day, wheel-less the next. So often that’s the story of commodities. But in PGMs — a niche, yet critically important family of metals that supply the global car industry — the past three years have been quite the ride. To be clear, Dunne’s dismay wasn’t about a market correction. That much was anticipated — rather, it was the speed and extent of that correction.

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Glencore to stop funding New Caledonia nickel mine as Indonesian supply surges – by Harry Dempsey and Leila Abboud (Financial Times – September 27, 2023)

Local industry extracting a key metal for electric car batteries is under pressure from rising production elsewhere

Mining and trading giant Glencore is to stop financing a lossmaking nickel mine in New Caledonia, as growing Indonesian production of a key metal in electric car batteries squeezes rivals.

Closure of the mine would be a blow to the French territory’s economy — mining accounts for 6 per cent of its GDP — and further concentrate global nickel production in Indonesia, where the supply chain is largely controlled by Chinese companies.

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Ontario Teachers’ Bid for Lithium Stake on Hold After Lawsuit – by Jacob Lorinc and Paula Sambo (Bloomberg News – September 27, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — A dispute between two mining firms has cast uncertainty on a Canadian pension fund’s bid to invest in one of the world’s largest lithium projects.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan was nearing a deal to buy a bundle of battery metals royalties from New York-based Orion Resource Partners that includes a royalty on future revenues from the Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada, according to people familiar with the matter.

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