Wildfires force miners in Quebec and Labrador to halt operations – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – June 6, 2023)


Mining companies operating in Canada’s Quebec continue on Tuesday to evacuate employees and halt exploration work as at least 164 forest fires tear through the province and Labrador West, including 114 considered out of control.

About 200 military personnel were on the ground on Tuesday morning, while the provincial government said an emergency order banning access to wooden areas remains in place. Patriot Battery Metals (TSX-V: PMET) (ASX: PMT) said it halted drilling and surface exploration field activities until the fire situation near its Corvette lithium project in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region improves.

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Canada’s mining sector brainstorms lunar resource extraction (Equipment Journal – June 5, 2023)


The unique skill sets of Canada’s mining industry may someday help propel space exploration beyond the Earth’s moon. Recently, the Sudbury, Ontario-based Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) hosted a webinar to explain the opportunity and challenges in extracting resources on the moon.

“Mining and mineral resource exploration and taking advantage of resources on the moon is going to happen for sure in the very short term,” said Chamirai Nyabeze, Vice President of Business Development and Commercialization at CEMI.

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Indigenous development groups kick off study for lithium processing plant – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – June 6, 2023)


Minodahmun Development and Three Fires Group shoulder their way into the BEV supply chain

Two Indigenous economic developments groups – one in northwestern Ontario and one in southwestern Ontario – are teaming up to break into the battery electric and lithium supply chain in a big way.

Greenstone-based Minodahmun Development LP it is teaming up with the Three Fires Group of Kettle Point to form a “Mines to Battery” partnership that involves advancing the concept of a lithium refinery. The two entities posted a joint news release on the partnership, June 6.

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Teck Receives Interest in Coal Business as Glencore Circles – by Jacob Lorinc (Yahoo/Bloomberg – June 6, 2023)


(Bloomberg) — Teck Resources Ltd. received several proposals for deals involving its coal operations, as the Canadian miner works to draw up a new plan for splitting off the business while rejecting a bid from Glencore Plc.

Teck’s plans to exit coal and create a standalone base-metals company suffered a blow in April when it failed to win enough shareholder support for a complicated spinoff proposal. It maintains that separating from its coal assets will create the most value for shareholders, and is now under pressure to develop a plan more appealing than Glencore’s $23 billion offer for the entire company, especially with the prospect of a sweetened bid on the way.

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Chinese mining company Sinomine planning Manitoba lithium refinery, eyeing Korea’s LG as joint venture partner – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 6, 2023)


Chinese mining company Sinomine Resource Group Co. Ltd. is considering building a lithium refinery in Manitoba, and is looking at teaming up with Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd. in an attempt to assuage any national-security concerns on the part of the federal government.

Last year, Beijing-based Sinomine put its Tanco lithium mine into production in Manitoba. It currently ships unrefined lithium concentrate from the site to China for use in the country’s electric-vehicle industry. China dominates the processing of lithium, with roughly a 60-per-cent share of the global market.

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Vale is ‘supplier of choice’ for automobile battery-grade nickel – by Len Gillis (Sudbury.com – June 6, 2023)


Company needs to keep up with the battery electric vehicle demand by expanding nickel and base metal operations in Sudbury by spending billions of dollars

Alfredo Santana, Vale’s chief operating officer for the company’s North Atlantic operations, told the Sudbury BEV In Depth conference last week that as his company has now become the nickel supplier of choice for the electric vehicle battery market, there will be an economic pay off with expansion of mining operations in Sudbury.

Santana was one of several speakers on the roster during the two-day conference held at Sudbury’s Cambrian College from May 31 to June 1.

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China’s EV Battery Sector Is Preparing a New Breakthrough – by Annie Lee (Bloomberg News – June 5, 2023)


(Bloomberg) — One of China’s top battery-makers reckons it has cracked a technology to provide even cheaper and more powerful packs for electric vehicles. Gotion High-Tech Co. recently unveiled a lithium-iron-manganese-phosphate battery — LMFP for short — which it says will power an EV for 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) on each charge. Until now, it’s largely the more expensive nickel-cobalt batteries have provided that kind of range.

“It’s an upgrade, it’s a leap for energy density,” Cheng Qian, executive president of Gotion’s international business unit, said in a phone interview from Tokyo.

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How new lithium extraction technology could help us meet electric vehicle targets – by Katie Brigham (CNBC.com – June 5, 2023)


The world contains vast quantities of lithium, an integral element in electric vehicle batteries. And though lithium is commonly mined from hard rock, the majority of the world’s lithium reserves are actually found in brine, extremely salty water beneath the Earth’s surface.

Today, brine mining involves evaporating the brine in massive, extravagantly colored pools over a series of about 18 months, leaving high concentrations of lithium behind. It’s a simple but inefficient process that takes up vast swaths of land and is ecologically disruptive.

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Battery electric vehicles transforming modern mining – by Hugh Kruzel (Sudbury Star – June 5, 2023)


Pace of change surprises observers, Sudbury conference hears

Traditionally, the mining industry has been slow – even loathe – to adopt change. However, the way the industry has taken to battery electric vehicles in the last three to five years represents nothing less than a paradigm shift, a Sudbury conference was told last week.

“We are changing how mining is done,” said Dale Rakochy of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions. “We realized we were checking off so many boxes with deploying EV technology,” Rakochy said.

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Top Ten Australian juniors exploring in Canada – by Sarah Hahn (Northern Miner – June 5, 2023)


1 Winsome Resources – Market Cap: $257.6 million

Lithium explorer and developer Winsome Resources (ASX: WR1) is focused on advancing its flagship Cancet project, located in the James Bay region of Quebec, 155 km east of the town of Radisson.

To date, 5,216 metres have been drilled across 59 holes on the 200-sq.-km project. After conducting metallurgical test work, the company believes it can produce low-cost, low-impact concentrate at Cancet. Winsome plans to increase the project’s lithium tonnage by exploring additional targets identified to the east and west.

The company’s portfolio includes four other projects in Quebec: Adina and Sirmac-Clappier in the James Bay region, and Decelles and Mazarac near Val-d’Or.

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COLUMN-LME aluminium stocks battle comes with a Russian twist – by Andy Home (Reuters – June 5, 2023)


LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) – There was another raid on London Metal Exchange (LME) aluminium stocks last week. While headline inventory MALSTX-TOTAL fell by a marginal 1,475 tonnes over the holiday-shortened week, available stocks slumped by 19% thanks to 83,875 tonnes of net cancellations.

It was the second swoop on exchange stocks of aluminium in the space of a month after the mass cancellation of 132,700 tonnes of metal on May 10. LME on-warrant stocks have fallen from over 500,000 tonnes in the middle of April to a four-month low of 324,650 tonnes.

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Every man and his dog is looking for lithium in Canada right now. Which ASX companies have joined the craze? – by Josh Chiat (Stockhead – June 4, 2023)


Back in ye olden days they told explorers, vagabonds and wayward youth to ‘Go West’ in search of a better life. Now the catchphrase for down on their luck ASX explorers is ‘Go North’, spreading like a virus across its moose populated plains in search of today’s go-to metal, lithium.

But is much of it moose pasture? Thanks to Twitter’s Viking Trader we have a running weekly commentary on the number of ASX explorers taking the plunge in Canada’s vast outback. According to Viking Trader, he counted 21 greenfields projects on the ASX just one week earlier. A craze to rival the Monster Mash.

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Canada’s Mediocracy – by Diane Francis (Diane Francis Substack – June 5, 2023)


In January, most Canadians were embarrassed after their federal government announced that four Leopard tanks would be given to Ukraine as it fights for its very existence, as well as Europe’s. Four more came a month later, but these were measly gifts, considering that Canada is wealthy, home to the second largest Ukrainian diaspora in the world, and America has given disproportionately more to Kyiv.

It’s also fair to assume that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not phoned President Joe Biden or NATO or Ukraine offering help along the way, or suggesting that Canada will ship substantially more energy to help reduce energy inflation and replace Russian fossil fuels. Trudeau has been in power since 2015 and yet to meet NATO military spending commitments.

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EV Makers Confront the ‘Nickel Pickle’ – by Jon Emont (Wall Street Journal – June 4, 2023)


Large amounts of the mineral are needed for electric car batteries, but getting it out of the ground and refining it often requires clearing rainforests and generating large amounts of carbon

In the electric-vehicle business, the quandary is known as the nickel pickle. To make batteries for EVs, companies need to mine and refine large amounts of nickel. The process of getting the mineral out of the ground and turning it into battery-ready substances, though, is particularly environmentally unfriendly.

Reaching the nickel means cutting down swaths of rainforest. Refining it is a carbon-intensive process that involves extreme heat and high pressure, producing waste slurry that’s hard to dispose of.

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Who is keeping coal alive? (The Economist – June 4, 2023)


The financiers saving the world’s dirtiest fuel from extinction

Mountains of coal are piled beneath azure skies at the port of Newcastle, Australia. Giant shovels chip away at them, scooping the fuel onto conveyor belts, which whizz it to cargo ships that can be as long as three football pitches. The harbour’s terminals handle 200m tonnes of the stuff a year, making Newcastle the world’s biggest coal port.

Throughput is roaring back after floods hurt supply last year. Aaron Johansen, who oversees NCIG, the newest, uber-automated terminal, expects it to stay near all-time highs for at least seven years. Rich Asian countries, such as Japan and South Korea, are hungry for the premium coal that passes through the terminal. So, increasingly, are developing ones like Malaysia and Vietnam.

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