Piedmont Lithium and Sayona Mining formalise restart plans for NAL – by Will Owen (Global Mining Review – July 4, 2022)


Piedmont Lithium has announced that the board of directors of Sayona Quebec Inc. (SYQ), which is owned 75% by Sayona Mining (Sayona) and 25% by Piedmont, authorised the restart of spodumene concentrate production at its North American Lithium (NAL) project located near Val-d’Or, Quebec.

The NAL restart will feature significant operational upgrades totalling approximately US$80 million aimed at improving product quality and plant utilisation. Long-lead equipment was ordered and detailed design engineering commenced in late 2021 based on our jointly planned timeline.

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JPMorgan Exits Nickel Saga as Tycoon Shrinks ‘Big Short’ – by Alfred Cang and Jack Farchy (Bloomberg News – June 28, 2022)


(Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. no longer has any exposure to the nickel bet that rocked global metals markets earlier this year, after a drop in prices on the London Metal Exchange allowed the tycoon at the center of the squeeze to exit his positions with the bank.

JPMorgan emerged as a central player in the fallout from March’s nickel chaos because it was the largest counterparty to the massive short position held by Chinese entrepreneur Xiang Guangda’s Tsingshan Holding Group Co.

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Does Canada have what it takes to become a global EV innovation hub? – by Tony LaMantia (Automotive World – July 1, 2022)


Tony LaMantia argues the case in favour of turning Canada into an EV mobility hub

The news that Stellantis and LG Energy Solutions are partnering on a Canadian electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facility was transformative for the automotive industry in Canada.

It’s a CA$5bn (US$4.1bn) investment—the biggest single automotive investment in Canadian history. It will have an annual production capacity of 45 gigawatt hours and will create 2,500 jobs. It’s a pillar for the foundation of Canada’s EV ecosystem, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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Mining Industry Warns Energy Transition Isn’t Sustainable – by Irina Slav (Oil Price.com – July 03, 2022)


The energy transition has been set by politicians as the only way forward for human civilization. Not every country on the planet is on board with it, but those that are have the loudest voices. And even amid the fossil fuel crunch that is beginning to cripple economies, the transition remains a goal.

It is no secret that the transition—at the scale its architects and most fervent proponents envisage it—would require massive amounts of metals and minerals. What does not get talked about so much is that most of these metals and minerals are already in short supply. And this is only the start of the transition problems.

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Imperial Oil joins E3 on pilot project to extract lithium in Alberta – by Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – June 23, 2022)


Imperial Oil Ltd. has joined a pilot project to extract lithium in Alberta, lending its energy expertise in the quest to recover the critical mineral from a once-prolific oil formation.

Calgary-based Imperial said on Thursday that it is investing $6.35-million to acquire warrants in E3 Lithium Ltd., giving it a window into plans to pump what the companies hope will be lithium-rich brine from the aquifer under the sprawling Leduc formation.

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Lithium plant developer zeros in on Thunder Bay refinery site – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 29, 2022)


Avalon Advanced Materials making purchase offer on city property to start refinery construction by 2023

The developer of a much-anticipated lithium processing plant in Thunder Bay said he’s narrowed down his city-wide search to one property that fits the bill. But Don Bubar, president and CEO of Avalon Advanced Materials, isn’t disclosing the specific site just yet as his company is in the process of making a purchase offer to the property owner.

Bubar delivered an update on Avalon’s Separation Rapids Project in northwestern Ontario and its refinery plans for Thunder Bay with an online presentation at the Emerging Growth Conference last week. “It’s all coming together pretty nicely,” said Bubar.

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Post Noront takeover, Wyloo gets to work on Ring of Fire assets: Exclusive interview – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – June 29, 2022)

Global mining news

Wyloo Metals made a big splash last year with its battle against Australian behemoth BHP for control of Ring of Fire junior Noront Resources. The private, Western Australia-based company, owned by Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Tattarang investment group, outlined its vision for Noront’s high-grade nickel-copper-PGM Eagle’s Nest project early on.

The miner plans to build a net-zero mine that would process the nickel in-province and create a ‘future metals hub’ while awarding $100 million worth of contracts to First Nations-owned businesses and establishing a training and employment centre for northern and Indigenous communities.

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Nickel mining is key for electric vehicles. Experts say the industry can be greener (CBC Radio – June 25, 2022)


Making the most of already mined elements can help meet future demand while reducing carbon emissions

Greg Dipple wants to turn the waste from nickel mines into large-scale carbon sinks. The idea, which he has developed over two decades, would help reduce the environmental impact of mining for metals that are highly sought after for electric vehicle batteries.

“We can see a pathway towards nickel mining in the future where it produces a net positive environmental benefit from the context of greenhouse gases,” said Dipple, a professor at the University of British Columbia and founder of Carbin Minerals, an environmental services company.

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Race to the Bottom: Deep Sea Mining Is the Next Frontier – by Christina Lu (Foreign Policy – June 26, 2022)


The untapped trove of metals on the ocean floor might be the key to a greener future—or an environmental catastrophe.

To power the energy revolution, nations have stripped their lands for the metals crucial to build everything from Teslas to wind turbines. The hunt for cobalt has left a trail of pollution and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while Zambia’s copper mining industry has poisoned nearby rivers. In nickel-rich Indonesia, mining has generated enough runoff to dye the country’s waters red.

Many countries have now set their sights on a new market: the deep ocean floor. These depths potentially hold an untapped trove of metals—nickel, cobalt, copper, and manganese—tucked into polymetallic nodules, potato-shaped deposits that are millions of years old. Mining these riches, they say, is the key to a greener future. Some are already fiddling with the lock.

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Sayona and Piedmont approve C$98m Quebec lithium restart – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – June 28, 2022)


Emerging lithium producer Sayona Mining has cemented plans to get its North American spodumene production off the ground in 2023, following a formal agreement of the North American Lithium (NAL) restart programme.

Sayona Quebec, which is 75% owned by Sayona and 25% by Piedmont, has formally authorised the restart of spodumene concentrate production at the NAL operation, in Quebec, requiring significant plant and infrastructure upgrades.

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The new Atlantic Canada exploration boom – by Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco (CIM Magazine – June 14, 2022)


Gold, clean-energy metals and even salt offer the promise of a bright future

Canada’s Atlantic region is experiencing a mining exploration rush the likes of which has not been seen in the area since the 1990s boom that followed the discovery of the nickel-bearing deposit at Newfoundland’s Voisey’s Bay. Once again, Newfoundland and Labrador is leading the way with more than 100,000 mineral claims staked in 2021 – the second largest annual claims total in the province’s history after 1995.

This time, the majority of exploration companies descending on the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are looking for gold instead of nickel. A handful of others, however, are not setting their sights on the precious metal but on critical minerals and metals that are vital for decarbonization of modern technologies.

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The race is on to make EV batteries truly sustainable – by Mike Finelli (Fortune Magazine – June 23, 2022)


The electric vehicle battery supply chain that has been built over the last 20 years will not be the same one that carries us through the next 20 years. With demand for EVs growing rapidly, fundamental changes are needed to address the ethical and sustainable challenges in creating EV batteries.

As a growing number of Americans trade in their gas guzzlers for environmentally friendly EVs, auto manufacturers and those who create EV batteries should prepare to go under the American consumer’s microscope on issues like semiconductor supply chains, carbon footprints in manufacturing, and circularity.

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Nickel, Tesla and two decades of environmental activism: Q&A with leader Raphaël Mapou – by Nick Rodway (Mongabay.com – June 22, 2022)


GORO, New Caledonia – Known widely as the “Madagascar of the Pacific,” New Caledonia is coated in remnant Gondwana rainforest and surrounded by reefs rich in marine life that constitute one of the largest marine parks on earth. It is a French territory located approximately 1,470 kilometers (900 miles) northeast of Brisbane, Australia.

Despite its size, New Caledonia punches far above its weight ecologically. It houses the longest continuous barrier reef in the world and is internationally renowned for its plant species, over 80% of which are endemic. The territory is also one of the world’s largest producers of nickel and holds a quarter of the earth’s known reserves.

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PDAC 2022 features a heavy emphasis on optimizing the mining world for the EV revolution – by Mehanaz Yakub (Electric Autonomy – June 20, 2022)


As the world moves toward electrification and electric vehicles, many discussions at PDAC, the annual international mining conference in Toronto, centred around Canada’s opportunity to leverage its unique resource base and policy environment to supply the critical minerals that will drive the revolution forward

After going virtual for the previous two years, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention, one of the mining industry’s largest annual conferences, returned in person this year, with thousands of executives, suppliers, investors and government officials attending the three-day event.

With stakeholders flooding to the conference from around the world, PDAC 2022 offered the first real in-person opportunity to marry the mining industry and the electric vehicle transition with Canada at the centre of the conversation.

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Lithium Battery Valley emerges in Quebec – by Shane Lasley (Metal Tech News – March 16, 2022)


Becancour, a small Quebec town along the shores of the St. Lawrence River about midway between Montreal and Quebec City, is rapidly emerging as an epicenter for producing the advanced materials needed for lithium-ion batteries powering the electric vehicle revolution.

This rural Canadian town of around 12,800 people surfaced in the battery space about a year ago when Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. announced plans to build a facility there to produce the coated spherical purified graphite that goes into the anodes of lithium-ion batteries. Now, General Motors, POSCO Chemical, and BASF are setting up shop to produce cathode active materials and lithium battery recycling in this strategic Quebec locale.

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