N.W.T. mining projects eye roads to get them up and running (CBC News North – November 26, 2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Two mining projects in the Northwest Territories looking to cash in on the growing demand for batteries that are key in the battle against climate change are inching forward.

Robin Goad, the president and CEO of Fortune Minerals, the company that owns the NICO project, a cobalt, bismuth, gold and copper deposit about 50 kilometres northeast of Whatì, provided an update on the project during a virtual appearance at a geoscience conference held in Yellowknife Thursday.

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How Congo could become low-cost, low-emissions producer of battery materials – report – by Staff (Mining.com – November 25, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

In a report launched at the DRC-Africa Business Forum 2021 taking place this week in Kinshasa, BloombergNEF (BNEF) states that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could leverage its abundant cobalt resources and hydroelectric power to become a low-cost and low-emissions producer of lithium-ion battery cathode precursor materials.

The research paper estimates that it would cost $39 million to build a 10,000 metric-tonne cathode precursor plant in the DRC. This is three times cheaper than what a similar plant in the US would cost, whereas if it were to be built in China or Poland, it would cost $112 million and $65 million, respectively.

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Chinese Miners in Talks to Access Vast Afghan Lithium Reserves – by Eltaf Najafizada (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – November 24, 2021)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Chinese firms are showing interest in exploiting Afghanistan’s vast untapped mineral resources as Beijing seeks a role in reconstructing the nation’s war-ravaged economy.

Afghanistan is sitting on deposits estimated to be worth $1 trillion or more, including what may be the world’s largest lithium reserves, a vital component for the energy-storage batteries that are driving the world’s transition away from fossil fuels.

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One of Mark Selby’s ‘most exciting days’ as Canada Nickel expands – by Staff (Mining Journal – November 24, 2021)

https://www.mining-journal.com/

The company completed 18 separate transactions to acquire or earn in to 13 target properties – including Sothman from Glencore – to consolidate district-scale potential in the Timmins region.

“Why are we doing this now?” Selby asked analysts rhetorically on a conference call, given Crawford was “already the largest nickel sulphide discovery since the 1970s”. “Very simply, nickel deposits generally fall into one of two categories, one-off deposits, or occur where you have multiple deposits occurring in clusters,” he said.

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RACE TO THE FUTURE: How the U.S. Lost Ground to China in the Contest for Clean Energy – by Eric Lipton and Dionne Searcey (New York Times – November 21, 2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Americans failed to safeguard decades of diplomatic and financial investments in Congo, where the world’s largest supply of cobalt is controlled by Chinese companies backed by Beijing.

WASHINGTON — Tom Perriello saw it coming but could do nothing to stop it. André Kapanga too. Despite urgent emails, phone calls and personal pleas, they watched helplessly as a company backed by the Chinese government took ownership from the Americans of one of the world’s largest cobalt mines.

It was 2016, and a deal had been struck by the Arizona-based mining giant Freeport-McMoRan to sell the site, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which now figures prominently in China’s grip on the global cobalt supply. The metal has been among several essential raw materials needed for the production of electric car batteries — and is now critical to retiring the combustion engine and weaning the world off climate-changing fossil fuels.

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After failing to find the motherlode, First Cobalt reinvents itself as a battery metal middle man – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – November 20, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

In early 2018, Trent Mell, chief executive of Toronto-based First Cobalt Corp., was riding high on hopes that his company would discover a motherlode of cobalt in North America — a key component in the cathodes of lithium-ion batteries.

Nearly three-quarters of the world’s cobalt is produced in the Democratic Republic of Congo, much of which comes from small-scale and artisanal mines, where the use of child labour, dangerous working conditions and other human rights abuses have been well-documented.

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Trudeau and Biden double down on efforts to destroy our economy – by Rex Murphy (National Post – November 23, 2021)

https://nationalpost.com/

Here is a perfect symmetry. Trudeau wants to kill the oil and gas industry. Biden wants to kill our auto industry. Simpatico. They are twins

The Three Amigos? I beg your pardon. Is that an appropriate nomenclature for a conclave of the three finest minds in the statesmanship of our present-day world? What ugly slur next — the Sombrero Summit? Enough of these careless and undignified representations.

Surely a meeting between leaders of the intellectual stamina of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and particularly that giant of international understanding and competence — a Churchill for our time — U.S. President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., calls for a more dignified, respectful designation than a play on some fifth-rate movie. Shame on the news wires and networks.

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Indonesia’s EV dreams at odds with deforestation pledge (Free Malaysia Today – November 16, 2021)

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/

JAKARTA: Global electric vehicle makers have set their sights on Indonesia, attracted by its abundant reserves of key EV battery ingredient nickel, government backing for the industry and the market potential of the world’s fourth most populous nation.

Such ambitions are on parade at the ongoing Indonesia International Auto Show, on the outskirts of Jakarta. Automakers from China, South Korea and elsewhere are counting on the Indonesian government’s push to increase EV sales, one of the ways in which Jakarta hopes to reduce the country’s CO2 output as it aims for net zero emissions by 2060.

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China Moly says green push to unleash extraordinary metal demand – by Annie Lee (Bloomberg News – November 18, 2021)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Global efforts to mitigate climate change will put metals like copper at the center of a sustained period of “extraordinary” demand growth that miners will struggle to meet, according to China Molybdenum Co.

Despite short-term volatility due to potential interest rate hikes and the tapering of quantitative easing measures, copper will enter a decade-long bull market, Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer Chaochun Li said in an interview.

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A Power Struggle Over Cobalt Rattles the Clean Energy Revolution – by Dionne Searcey, Michael Forsythe and Eric Lipton (New York Times – November 20, 2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/

The quest for Congo’s cobalt, which is vital for electric vehicles and the worldwide push against climate change, is caught in an international cycle of exploitation, greed and gamesmanship.

KISANFU, Democratic Republic of Congo — Just up a red dirt road, across an expanse of tall, dew-soaked weeds, bulldozers are hollowing out a yawning new canyon that is central to the world’s urgent race against global warming.

For more than a decade, the vast expanse of untouched land was controlled by an American company. Now a Chinese mining conglomerate has bought it, and is racing to retrieve its buried treasure: millions of tons of cobalt.

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Northern Ontario plays integral part in auto supply chain – Fedeli – by Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles (North Bay Nugget – November 19, 2021)

https://www.nugget.ca/

Northern Ontario has become an integral part of the auto supply chain, says Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli. The industry, mostly centralized in southern Ontario, is moving north thanks to the increase in production of electric cars.

The provincial government released the next phase of its auto strategy Wednesday that is expected to secure production mandates for hybrid and electric vehicles, to create a domestic battery ecosystem, and position Ontario as a North American automotive innovation hub.

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Battery-grade nickel demand to grow as world sets sights on low-carbon future – by Simone Liedtke (MiningWeekly.com – November 19, 2021)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

The global green transition and electrification of transport has started a paradigm shift in the demand dynamics of metals, which are required for a low-carbon future, and are set to experience a significant boost in demand in the coming decade at least, says research agency Fitch Solutions.

Battery-grade nickel, or Class 1 nickel (which contains more than 99.8% nickel content), used in rechargeable batteries is a major beneficiary, especially as the configuration of lithium/nickel/manganese/cobalt (NMC) oxide batteries used in electric vehicles (EV), is changing, with a shift from a 1:1:1 ratio (meaning nickel, manganese and cobalt were used in the same proportion) to 5:3:2, and then to the latest 8:1:1 (with eight parts nickel to one part of manganese and cobalt each).

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Biden’s bad green policy supply chain – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – November 20, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

With all the policy angst about global supply chain crises that threaten various physical aspects of the international economy, from the movement of goods through vital ports to rising inflation to production bottlenecks, there’s another kind of supply chain crisis in the works.

That’s the supply of bad ideas that are streaming like flood waters into economic policy from the climate policy ocean. A prime demonstration of the ideological pileup is the chain-link of ideas driving U.S. President Joe Biden’s plans for the U.S. auto industry.

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Ontario EV plan aims for more production, battery plants – by Jeff Gray and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 18, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has unveiled an electric vehicle strategy that aims to have the province produce 400,000 electric cars and trucks a year by 2030 and attract two or three battery plants.

The plan, released on Wednesday at a campaign-style event at auto parts maker Linamar in Guelph, Ont., about 100 kilometres west of Toronto, says the province will partner with the industry to prepare it to make the “car of the future” and “establish and support a battery chain ecosystem” using the mineral wealth in Northern Ontario.

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Clean energy faces its own supply chain crisis – by Justine Calma (The Verge – November 17, 2021)

https://www.theverge.com/

The future of energy in America will depend on whether the US can break free from its dependence on other countries that dominate clean energy supply chains. To reach the Biden administration’s energy and environmental goals, the US will have to dramatically scale up its mining and manufacturing, lawmakers argued today during a joint hearing of the House Energy Subcommittee and the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee. They also raised serious concerns about the US’s ability to do so.

“The sustainable economy of the future will definitely need to be built and manufactured. The question that remains to be seen is whether it will be manufactured by Americans,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) in his opening statement.

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