Tarnished Wawa gold company out to ‘rebuild the trust’ of shareholders – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – May 17, 2024)


Red Pine Exploration takes no questions during webcall but still touts Wawa exploration project

Though Red Pine Exploration’s reputation has taken a severe hit, the Toronto gold company still believes in the untapped mineral potential of its Wawa Gold Project, said board chair Paul Martin.

In a May 15 webcall to shareholders, the Wawa gold explorer began the campaign to dig itself out of an emerging scandal involving published drill assay results that the company alleges were tampered with by former CEO Quentin Yarie.

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Nickel, guns and foreign powers: How France’s New Caledonia reached the brink of ‘civil war’ (Politico.eu – May 16, 2024)


Violent protests have erupted in France’s South Pacific archipelago as decades-old tensions come to a head.

PARIS — Nickel-rich New Caledonia could have been France’s Eldorado. Instead, it has once again turned into a security time bomb. Ongoing violent protests in the French overseas territory in the South Pacific, which have already led to the death of five people around the Caledonian capital of Nouméa, have put the French government on high alert.

President Emmanuel Macron canceled several official events to hold emergency meetings, and declared a state of emergency giving the executive branch more powers to keep the situation under control. “The situation remains very tense,” French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal warned Thursday following a new emergency meeting, after the local representative for the French state said a “civil war” was imminent.

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Ottawa, Washington join forces to fund junior Canadian critical-minerals companies in face of trade war with China – by Naill McGee (Globe and Mail – May 17, 2024)


Ottawa and Washington have teamed up for the first time to invest in two Canadian mining exploration companies, as both governments attempt to bolster the North American critical-minerals supply chain in the face of an escalating trade war with China.

Ontario cobalt developer Fortune Minerals Ltd. and Quebec graphite exploration company Lomiko Metals Inc. have been awarded about $32.4-million in combined funding, the U.S. and Canada said in a joint statement Thursday. The Canadian contribution is part of the $3.8-billion in funding for the critical-minerals sector that was unveiled in the 2023 federal budget and is coming from Natural Resources Canada.

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Billionaire-backed KoBold, Midnight Sun team up for Zambia copper discovery – by Henry Lazenby (Northern Miner – May 2024)


KoBold Metals, a U.S.-based startup supported by high-profile investors such as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, is venturing into Zambia’s rich copper belt. In February it partnered with Canada’s Midnight Sun Mining (TSXV: MMA) to explore the promising Dumbwa target within the Solwezi copper project.

This strategic alliance will leverage KoBold’s advanced data science techniques and Midnight Sun’s extensive local experience. The goal is for KoBold to earn a 75% stake in the Dumbwa target by investing US$15 million in exploration and making US$500,000 in cash payments over 4.5 years.

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Gold rockets above $2,400 as commodities catch fire, analysts see no end in sight – by Ernest Hoffman (Kitco News – May 17, 2024)


(Kitco News) – Gold prices are continuing their upward trend on Friday, and with the decisive break above $2,400 per ounce shortly after 10 am EDT, analysts and traders are wondering how high the yellow metal can run in the current environment.

Adam Button, head of currency strategy at Forexlive.com, said that this recent move is a continuation of the broader rally, and it’s being driven by the same source.

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Congo Demands International Embargo on Rwandan Mineral Exports – by Michael J. Kavanagh (Bloomberg News – May 15, 2024)


(Bloomberg) — Democratic Republic of Congo called for an international embargo of metal exports from neighboring Rwanda, whose government it accuses of using rebel groups to steal its natural resources.

All mining products from Rwanda should be considered “blood minerals,” because their sale allegedly supports conflict in eastern Congo, Mines Minister Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi said in a May 8 statement released on Tuesday. “All stakeholders, including end consumers of mining products,” should commit to a responsible supply chain, and “an embargo be decreed against Rwanda,” she said.

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Opinion: We’re falling further behind China in critical minerals – by Heather Exner-Pirot (Financial Post – May 16, 2024)


China is working hard to maintain its control of the rare earths markets that are critical to net-zero. We’re barely in the game

At the time, the opening of a small rare earths mine in the Northwest Territories in 2021 was heralded as an important step in breaking China’s monopoly over this strategic commodity. Rare earths are used in everything from electric vehicles and cell phones to wind turbines and jet engines.

China currently extracts more than 60 per cent of rare earth elements and processes as much as 90 per cent of global supply. The case of Vital Metals and the Nechalacho mine show just how far it’s willing to go to maintain a stranglehold on the rare earths market. What was once a hopeful story is now a cautionary tale.

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Global coal phase-out to cost between $200 billion, $2 trillion – study – by Staff (Mining.com – May 16, 2024)


Over $200 billion will be given as compensation to workers and local communities affected by coal phase-out programs globally, new research has found. This estimate excludes India and China, as the two largest coal users currently do not have phase-out plans.

According to a recent paper in Nature Communications, if China and India decide to phase out coal as fast as needed to reach the Paris climate targets and pay similar compensation, it would cost upwards of $2 trillion.

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Seeking Access to Congo’s Metals, White House Aims to Ease Sanctions – by Eric Lipton (New York Times – May 16, 2024)


A deal to allow the Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler to cash out his mining positions in the Democratic Republic of Congo has enraged human rights activists and some government officials.

Three years after Biden administration officials tightened sanctions on a billionaire Israeli mining executive for corrupt business practices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they have reversed themselves and are offering the executive a deal they hope will bolster the supply of a metal vital to electric vehicles.

The plan would allow the executive, Dan Gertler, to sell off his remaining stakes in three giant copper and cobalt mining operations in Congo. Once Mr. Gertler sells his positions, the Biden administration hopes Western-leaning companies will be more willing to invest in Congo, perhaps delivering a greater supply of cobalt to the United States as automakers race to increase domestic production of batteries.

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Anglo Ditching De Beers Is Hard Blow for Troubled Diamond Market – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – May 14, 2024)


(Bloomberg) — The diamond industry has already been feeling the heat. Prices have slumped, Russian sanctions are threatening trade and the emergence of lab-grown gems is eating into some key traditional markets. Now, the sector’s most dominant name is being cast adrift.

Anglo American Plc on Tuesday said it will spin off or sell its De Beers business, ending an almost century-long relationship with the industry’s most famous name. The move, part of a wide12)r restructuring to fend off a $43 billion approach from BHP Group, is a seismic shock for the diamond world.

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Stellantis in talks with Vale to invest in Indonesian nickel smelter – by A. Anantha Lakshi and Harry Dempsey (Financial Times – May 13, 2024)


Deal would bring rare western investor to world’s biggest producer of commodity critical to electric cars

Stellantis is in talks with Vale and China’s Huayou Cobalt to invest in a nickel smelter in Indonesia and secure supplies of the battery metal critical to its electric vehicle expansion plans, in a deal that if finalised would bring a rare western investor into Indonesia’s nickel industry.

Stellantis, owner of the Peugeot, Fiat and Jeep brands, is in discussions with Vale Indonesia to invest in a high-pressure acid leaching plant that converts low-grade nickel ore to battery-grade metal, three people familiar with the matter said.

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Junior gold company Red Pine vows to regain investor trust after accusing former CEO of tampering with gold assay data – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 16, 2024)


Junior gold company Red Pine Exploration Inc. RPX-X is vowing to work to regain the trust of investors after accusing its former chief executive officer of tampering with its gold assay data over the course of a decade.

Toronto-based Red Pine first raised questions about its assay figures on May 1, saying it found inconsistencies in some of its drilling results at its Wawa gold project in Ontario. The company’s stock immediately lost 60 per cent of its value.

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New Far North gold hunter stresses Indigenous collaboration – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – May 15, 2024)


ONGold sprang from Northern Superior Resources with plans to explore James Bay property

There’s a new gold exploration player operating in the Ring of Fire area of the James Bay lowlands region. And ONGold is placing an emphasis on establishing solid ties with Indigenous communities, beginning with its selection of its first CEO and filling out the boardroom seats.

ONGold is a spinoff company of Northern Superior Resources. Its shares went live last week and are now trading on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V) trading under the symbol ONAU. Northern Superior remains the largest shareholder at 72 per cent.

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Copper can’t be mined fast enough to electrify the US – by Morgan Sherburne (Michigan News – May 15, 2024)


Copper cannot be mined quickly enough to keep up with current U.S. policy guidelines to transition the country’s electricity and vehicle infrastructure to renewable energy, according to a University of Michigan study.

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law in 2022, calls for 100% of cars manufactured to be electric vehicles by 2035. But an electric vehicle requires three to five times as much copper as an internal combustion engine vehicle—not to mention the copper required for upgrades to the electric grid.

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US Blames China’s CMOC for Predatory Tactics Behind Cobalt Glut – by Michael J. Kavanagh (Bloomberg News – May 14, 2024)


(Bloomberg) — China’s CMOC Group Ltd. is being accused by a top US official of using “predatory” tactics to depress prices of a key battery metal by flooding the market with cobalt from Democratic Republic of Congo mines.

“What we’re seeing now, I feel, is a variation of predatory pricing,” Jose Fernandez, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, said Monday at a conference in New York sponsored by the Cobalt Institute industry group.

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