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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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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Risks involved in speed of nationwide EV rollout: Honda CEO – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – June 1, 2023)


Sourcing critical minerals, EV affordability among issues for manufacturers and automakers, says Jean Marc Leclerc

In his keynote address to a rapt Sudbury audience, Honda Canada president-CEO Jean Marc Leclerc was polite but pointed in his message: in prioritizing speed over practicality in its push for a nationwide adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), Ottawa is putting in jeopardy the very goals it’s striving to achieve.

“While speed is important, it cannot be our only goal or measure of success,” Leclerc said during the 2023 BEV In Depth: Mines to Mobility conference taking place at Cambrian College on June 1. “Making the jump to EVs is, in a word, complex, with many risks involving consumers and stakeholders across the electrification supply chain.”

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China’s Auto Export Wave Echoes Japan’s in the ’70s – by Niall Ferguson (Bloomberg News – June 4, 2023)


Will electric vehicles change the world as much as railroads and internal-combustion engines did in centuries past?

Revolutions in transportation are rare and can define epochs. This has been true since men figured out how to ride horses (6,000 years ago) and to construct vehicles with wheels (just over 5,000 years ago).

How did the steam engine change the world? A lot. How did the internal combustion engine change the world? A lot. So how will battery-powered electric vehicles change the world? Probably a lot — but, if history is our guide, not necessarily in the ways we now anticipate.

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OPINION: End game nears in the battle for Canada’s last diversified mining giant, and the odds do not look good for the pursuer – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – June 2, 2023)


The Phoney War was the period early in the Second World War, when there were few battles on the Western Front. The relative calm ended when Germany invaded France in the spring of 1940.

The battle for Teck Resources, Canada’s biggest diversified mining company, is definitely in the phoney war stage. After a raucous start, a whole lot of nothing has happened for weeks in the campaign that will ultimately determine the shape of Canada’s base metals industry. There are signs that a renewed assault on Teck could start soon, one that will make or break the effort by Switzerland’s Glencore to make Teck its own as it strives to become one of the world’s top producers of the metals needed to propel the green energy revolution.

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Sudbury lithium mine developer looks for infrastructure funding to reach the EV market – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 1, 2023)


Frontier Lithium’s PAK Project has a 24 years of mining life, but it needs government to fund the path forward

Tucked up in a remote corner of northwestern Ontario, Frontier Lithium and president-CEO Trevor Walker are sitting on one of the largest, highest grade and mine-ready lithium projects in North America.

The Sudbury-based exploration company has two massive spodumene-bearing lithium deposits about 175 kilometres north of Red Lake, near the Manitoba border. And there’s tons of potential to develop it into a district scale-sized operation.

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How Lack of Copper Could Slow the Energy Transition – by James Attwood (Washington Post/Bloomberg – June 1, 2023)


Avoiding a climate catastrophe is often portrayed as a question of political will. Yet the push to reduce carbon emissions is also a daunting technical challenge. Retooling power and transportation systems to run on renewable energy will require far more copper than the companies able to produce it are currently equipped to deliver.

The question is whether a traditionally cautious mining industry will embrace the scale of investment needed to rewire the world. Failure would throw the transition to cleaner power sources off course.

1. Why is copper so important?

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Minnesota plans rewrite of rules for copper-nickel mining near popular wilderness (Associated Press – June 1, 2023)


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota regulators have concluded that state rules governing where copper-nickel mines can be built are insufficient to protect the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from noise and light pollution, creating another potential obstacle to the proposed Twin Metals mine in northeastern Minnesota.

But the Department of Natural Resources declined as part of that decision Wednesday to declare a watershed that flows into the Boundary Waters off-limits to copper-nickel mining altogether, which had been a goal of the environmental group that challenged the regulations, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

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China’s Monopoly over Critical Minerals – by Katherine Wells (Georgetown Security Studies Review – June 1, 2023)


As part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has taken to investing in critical mineral mines globally. One of these investment hotspots is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In 2020, the DRC was the world’s largest cobalt miner, producing 41 of all cobalt resources.

Although not the largest producer of copper – Chile produces 27 percent of the global copper production – the DRC boasts the highest-quality copper reserves in the world, with mines estimated to contain copper with grades above 3 percent, 2.4 percent higher than the average supply globally. The mining industry is central to the DRC’s economy, making up over 90 percent of its exports.

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Future of battery electric vehicles the focus at Sudbury conference – by Amanda Hicks (CTV News Northern Ontario – June 1, 2023)


The second annual battery electric vehicle (BEV) conference is under way at Cambrian College in Sudbury. Day 1 of the two-day Mines to Mobility Conference began Wednesday, drawing out leaders in mining, automotive and supply.

Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre said the conference is huge for the city. “It not only showcases what we do in Sudbury, but all the resources we have here. But having the world come here and have that discussion about battery electric vehicles and the future of it,” Lefebvre said. Devin Arthur, president of the EV Society of Greater Sudbury, said some of the challenges in the EV industry is a lack of supply.

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North to reap the rewards of BEVs, minister tells delegates – by Len Gillis (Sudbury.com – June 1, 2023)


Ontario Mines Minister George Pirie tells delegates to Sudbury battery electric vehicle conference that Northern Ontario’s mining industry is going to power the future in a sustainable and clean energy fashion

Just as the discovery of oil in Texas fuelled the U.S. economy for a century and a half, so will the critical minerals of Northern Ontario fuel the electric vehicle economy of this province in the years to come.

That was part of the message Wednesday when Ontario Mines Minister George Pirie spoke to the second annual BEV-In-Depth conference being held to promote the battery electric vehicle industry in Sudbury and the rest of Ontario. Pirie’s speech was nothing short of a rally-the-team pep talk for Northern Ontario mining.

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Miners lining up to take legal action against Mexico’s reforms (BN Americas.com – June 2, 2023)


At least 10 mining companies are presenting or preparing to file injunctions against reforms to four Mexican laws that impact mining and took effect at the beginning of May, a legal expert with knowledge of the matter told BNamericas. The deadline to present the measures expires next week, according to the lawyer, who asked not to be identified.

“There are many companies that are already preparing their injunction requests. Initially, the injunctions are against those provisions that are called self-enforcing, which by the mere entry into force of the law are already applicable and, therefore, represent a grievance,” the legal expert said in an interview.

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How this tiny Ontario city became an important node in the global supply chain for critical minerals – by Aimée Look (Financial Post – May 29, 2023)


Kingston has become an unlikely hub for minerals recycling amid a talented labour pool, shipping access, and close proximity to auto manufacturers

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s first visit to Canada earlier this year included only two stops. The main one, of course, was Ottawa, where she met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and addressed Parliament.

Von der Leyen’s second stop was a bit of surprise. Dignitaries of her stature would normally add Toronto or Montreal to their itineraries. Instead, Trudeau and von der Leyen motored two hours southwest to Kingston, Ont., Canada’s 24th largest city, according to Statistics Canada, with a population of about 173,000 people.

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Sudbury company applies for lithium processing plant permit – by Aya Dufour (CBC News Sudbury – June 1, 2023)


If the company obtains environmental approvals, construction could start in 2024

Lithium is one of the key ingredients of electric vehicle batteries, and while Ontario has promising deposits and manufacturing plants, it does not have any processing facilities for this mineral. But that could soon change.

Frontier Lithium, a Sudbury-based exploration company, has recently applied for permits to build a pilot lithium processing plant in the Township of Nairn and Hyman, west of Sudbury. Vice President of Operations Graeme Goodall says the proposed facility will be small-scale.

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The new Cold War is already here based on commodity supply strategies of major economies, says Liberum – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – May 31, 2023)


(Kitco News) Looking at the latest commodity supply strategies of major economic powers, a new Cold War has already begun, according to the investment bank Liberum. And the U.S., EU, and Japan have identified ‘critical’ commodities required to guarantee stable economic growth, Liberum analysts said in their latest commodity report.

“Now, they’re moving to secure the supply chains of these inputs, mainly by activating old trade alliances,” the bank’s analysts Tom Price, Ben Davis and Yuen Low wrote Tuesday.There are also a lot of new U.S.-led deals happening in the critical metals space.

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