Vale Base Metals names new CEO – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 23, 2024)

Former Barrick, Xstrata executive Shaun Usmar to steer Brazilian miner’s nickel, copper operations

Shaun Usmar, a mining executive with more than three decades of global experience, has been selected CEO of Vale Base Metals. He succeeds Deshnee Naidoo, who stepped down last March. Usmar will assume his new role at the end of this year and will be based in Toronto.

Vale Base Metals is a spinoff of Brazil’s Vale SA and runs its global base metals assets. It is one of the world’s largest producers of nickel, copper and cobalt with Canadian operations in Sudbury, Thompson, Man, and Voisey’s Bay, Labrador.

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Copper miners predict industry overhaul as end users rush to secure supply – by Harry Dempsey and Rachel Millard (Financial Times – July 21, 2024)

Executives see increasing signs of a shift to direct deals with cable manufacturers, car companies and other big buyers

The world’s largest copper miners predict closer collaboration with end users from carmakers to utilities, upending a hitherto fragmented supply chain as shortages of the metal crucial to green technologies are set to flare up in the years ahead.

Executives at leading mining groups see increasing signs of a shift to direct deals with cable manufacturers and other big buyers to secure supply of the “metal of electrification” at an affordable price.

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High Returns Lure Wealthy Investors to Fund Coal as Banks Exit – by Sharon Klyne (Bloomberg News – July 21, 2024)

(Bloomberg) — Wealthy Australians, in search of attractive investment returns, are emerging as an important pool of capital for financing coal projects shunned by banks due to environmental, social and governance concerns.

Income Asset Management Group Ltd. is one fund manager targeting the well-off in Australia to provide private loans to coal and other mining companies, offering investment returns of about of 12% to 13% per year.

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Canadian government intervention is harming the mining sector – by Kenneth Kaczkowski and Marc Levy (Globe and Mail – July 23, 2024)

Kenneth Kaczkowski is a mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) professional based in Munich, Germany. He has worked on global transactions in excess of $20-billion. Marc Levy has founded and sold several resource sector companies, with more than $950-million of public company exits; notably he sold Norsemont Mining to Hudbay Minerals Inc. for $520-million in 2011.

Commodity markets have been heating up over the past 12 months, prompting major mining companies to consider turning on their M&A engines. The market has seen some mega-deal announcements including BHP’s unsuccessful offer to take over Anglo-American, Newmont taking over Newcrest and Glencore acquiring Teck’s coal assets, which just gained approval from the Canadian government.

But the tail winds of the Glencore takeover of Teck’s coal assets have left a bitter taste in the market, owing to the Canadian government’s applying new rules limiting foreign takeovers of mining companies.

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GUEST ESSAY: This Dirty Industry Is Better Off Operating in America – by Stephen Lezak(New York Times – July 23, 2024)

Dr. Lezak is a researcher at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford who studies the politics of climate change.

Seventy years ago, the United States was the world’s leading producer of fluorite, a brilliantly multicolored mineral essential to industries such as steel. But the last American fluorite mine closed nearly 30 years ago, unable to compete with cheaper operations in places like Mongolia.

Although America has abundant deposits of many of the critical minerals that go into our vehicles, electronics and buildings, these materials are mostly mined abroad in poorer nations where labor is cheap (or worse, workers are enslaved) and environmental laws are more permissive, rarely enforced or easily sidestepped with bribes.

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Insight: Western miners push for higher metals prices to ward off Chinese rivals – by Ernest Scheyder and Pratima Desai (Reuters – July 22, 2024)

SALMON-CHALLIS NATIONAL FOREST, Idaho – The only U.S. cobalt mine sits fallow in the northern Idaho woods, a mothballed hunk of steel and dirt that is too expensive for its owner to operate because Chinese rivals have flooded global markets with cheap supplies of the bluish metal used in electric vehicle batteries and electronics.

Jervois Global, which dug the mine into the side of a nearly 8,000-foot (2,400-meter) mountain, watched helplessly last year as cobalt prices plunged after China’s CMOC Group opened the Kisanfu mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, pushing global production of the metal to an all-time high.

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Sale of B.C. coal mines to Glencore was bad deal for Canada: report – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – July 22, 2024)

MiningWatch report question’s Swiss mining giant’s track record

Canadian and British mining watchdogs are criticizing the Trudeau government’s approval of the sale of B.C. steel-making coal mines to Glencore Plc, saying it’s a bad deal for Canada.

On July 4, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, François-Philippe Champagne, approved the sale of 77 per cent of the B.C. metallurgical coal mines (Elk Valley Resources) owned by Teck Resources in the southeastern Kootenays to Glencore plc for $9.5 billion. The sale closed July 11.

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Construction begins on Sudbury’s newest mine – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – July 19, 2024)

Development on phase one of Magna Mining’s Crean Hill project now underway

On an old brownfield site west of Sudbury, earth-moving equipment has started carving out the early structure of what will eventually become the city’s newest nickel-copper mine.

Work on Magna Mining’s Crean Hill project, located about a 30-minute drive west of Sudbury, got underway in mid-July. A warm, sunny afternoon on July 18 gave company executives the perfect opportunity to show off their development plans to a group of visitors.

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Wall Street is balanced and cautious on gold next week, Main Street remains optimistic about price gains – by Ernest Hoffman (Kitco News – July 19, 2024)

(Kitco News) – Precious metals traders rode a roller coaster of optimism and greed higher this week, as markets cemented expectations for a rate cut from the Federal Reserve at their September meeting. But gold prices may have pushed too high too quickly, with the ensuing pullback dragging the yellow metal right back to where it started.

Spot gold opened the week trading at $2,411.65 before moving down to test support near $2,400 per ounce shortly after 3:00 am early Monday morning. This level of support held, and it started the precious metal’s upward climb.

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Boyd, Roosen, Quartermain: It takes grit, invention, luck to make the big time – by Henry Lazenby (Northern Miner – July 17, 2024)

Perseverance, a focus on geology and financial discipline and some good breaks are what’s needed to make a mining titan, some of the industry’s leaders told a conference put on by former Sprott CEO Rick Rule.

Industry legends including Canadian mining luminary Robert Quartermain, Agnico Eagle Mines  chair Sean Boyd, Osisko Development  chair and CEO Sean Roosen, and Vizsla Copper CEO Craig Parry discussed the backstories behind their multibillion-dollar successes.

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Chile copper, lithium mines rattled by 7.4-magnitude quake – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – July 19, 2024)

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit northern Chile on Thursday night, 45 km outside San Pedro de Atacama, where the majority of the country’s vast copper and lithium mines are located.

The main quake hit at 9:50 p.m. local time, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and has been followed by at least five aftershocks ranging from 4.2 to 5 magnitude. The seismic activity shook homes and led to power outages, but there have been no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.

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Governor of eastern Congo’s gold-rich province bans mining activities to ‘restore order’ (Associated Press – July 19, 2024)

The governor of the South Kivu province in eastern Congo on Friday ordered the suspension of all mining activities to “restore order” in the mineral-rich region, which is plagued by violence from armed groups.

Mining activities are suspended until further notice because of “the disorder caused by mining operators,” Gov. Jean-Jacques Purusi Sadiki said in a statement, without providing further details.

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The Current State of the Diamond Market Is…Not Good – by Rob Bates (JCK On Line – July 18, 2024)

JCK Online

Both the natural and lab-grown diamond sectors are hurting right now, industry members acknowledged at a panel on “The Current State of Diamond Market,” held July 16 during the Initiatives in Art and Culture’s 14th annual Gold + Diamond Conference in New York City.

“Business is quiet for both natural and lab-grown,” said Ronnie Vanderlinden, president of Diamex, which deals in both products. “There’s struggles at the moment. Liquidity is not strong. The U.S. market is the strongest market in the world right now. We hope that by the time September comes around, consumers will wake up and there will be better demand for both natural and lab-grown.”

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African countries must make their voices heard on deep-sea mining – by Rashid Sumaila (Al Jazeera – July 19, 2024)

Africa stands at a pivotal moment where its decisions could profoundly influence the trajectory of the industry and the preservation of marine ecosystems.

With negotiations to adopt rules and regulations for commercial deep-sea mining in international waters resuming this week at the International Seabed Authority (ISA), African countries have an extremely important role to play in the future of this industry and the health of our ocean.

ISA, as a UN-affiliated institution, was established in the 1990s to ensure that developing countries would benefit financially from deep-sea mining when/if it starts, ensuring equity in the benefits derived from global commons. As this debate progresses, Africa stands at a pivotal moment where its decisions could profoundly influence the trajectory of this industry and the preservation of marine ecosystems.

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Yukon contemplating seizing control of Eagle mine site as Victoria Gold runs low on storage for contaminated water – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 19, 2024)

The Yukon government is contemplating seizing control of Victoria Gold Corp.’s Eagle mine site, as doubts grow about the company’s ability to prevent further environmental damage after a catastrophic heap-leach failure last month.

Four million tonnes of cyanide-laced rocks collapsed June 24 at an outdoor heap-leach processing facility at the gold mine in central Yukon. Two million tonnes of material breached the company’s containment zone and elevated levels of cyanide were later found in a water body adjacent to the mine.

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