Column: Low global copper stocks jar with market’s downbeat mood – by Andy Home (Reuters – September 21, 2022)

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) – London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses saw 11,200 tonnes of copper arrivals on Tuesday, the largest single-day warranting since June. Inflows have totalled over 35,000 tonnes so far this month but have been largely offset by departures. Headline stocks of 118,000 tonnes are up by only 3,625 tonnes on the end of August.

LME inventory remains ultra-low by any historical yardstick, representing just two days’ worth of global usage. But this is not just an LME phenomenon. Registered inventory with both the CME and Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) is also super low and between them the three exchanges hold just 200,000 tonnes of metal.

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A Great Copper Squeeze Is Coming for the Global Economy – by James Attwood (Bloomberg News – September 21, 2022)

The price of copper — used in everything from computer chips and toasters to power systems and air conditioners — has fallen by nearly a third since March. Investors are selling on fears that a global recession will stunt demand for a metal that’s synonymous with growth and expansion.

You wouldn’t know it from looking at the market today, but some of the largest miners and metals traders are warning that in just a couple of years’ time, a massive shortfall will emerge for the world’s most critical metal — one that could itself hold back global growth, stoke inflation by raising manufacturing costs and throw global climate goals off course. The recent downturn and the under-investment that ensues only threatens to make it worse.

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Indonesia’s electric vehicle batteries dream has a dirty nickel problem – by Rodrigo Castillo, Lilly Blumenthal, and Caitlin Purdy (Brookings Education – September 21, 2022)

Indonesia—the world’s largest nickel miner—is making moves to become a key player in the electric vehicle supply chain. Most of Indonesia’s nickel output is currently Class 2 nickel, a low-purity type used for stainless steel.

The country’s government and the mining sector are determined to transform its nickel industry to meet the rising demand for Class 1 nickel, a crucial component for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.[1] EVs are widely viewed as a pillar of the transition toward renewable energy sources since they typically have a smaller carbon footprint over their lifespan than gasoline-powered vehicles.

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Australia ‘too far behind’ to make EV batteries: lithium giant – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – September 19, 2022)

Albemarle boss Kent Masters says it will be hard for Australia to make the leap from mining key ingredients to making batteries for electric vehicles.

That’s despite the company having just built one of the world’s biggest and most advanced lithium hydroxide plants – estimated to have cost more than $2 billion – at an industrial park south of Perth.

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Officials saying little about Tesla-to-Sudbury reports – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – September 20, 2022)

An online industry publication says officials with the EV giant had scouted Sudbury as a possible site for a factory that would manufacture batteries or battery materials

If Tesla is indeed looking to set up shop in Sudbury, it seems we will have to wait a bit longer for more details. Last month, an online industry publication said officials with the EV giant had scouted Sudbury as a possible site for a factory that would manufacture batteries or battery materials.

Citing “multiple sources with knowledge of the matter,” Electric Autonomy Canada said high-level Tesla reps visited local Vale operations last month as “part of a larger location-scouting mission by Tesla in Ontario and Quebec to seek out potential manufacturing locations.”

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Dig This: The Shift To EVs Requires A Massive Expansion Of Battery Metal Mining – by Alan Ohnsman (Forbes Magazine – September 19, 2022)

The ongoing transition away from fossil fuels will likely trigger shortages of some key metals used in electric vehicle batteries requiring hundreds of new mines. This is according to industry experts who expect demand for EV batteries to spike to tens of millions of units annually in the years ahead.

A projected sixfold surge in demand for lithium-ion batteries over the next decade means up to 384 additional graphite, lithium, nickel and cobalt mines may be needed by 2035 to supply all those new EVs, industry forecaster Benchmark Minerals said in a report. Even a big increase in battery recycling, as planned by companies including Redwood Materials and Li-Cycle, would only cut the number of new mines to 336, according to Benchmark.

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[Luca Giacovazzi] Meet the Forrest young gun who shot down BHP – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – September 16, 2022)

Luca Giacovazzi is a rising star in the Andrew Forrest business empire and boss of Wyloo Metals which stared down BHP in the bidding war for green minerals deposits in Canada.

Wyloo Metals wunderkind Luca Giacovazzi has made a lot of money for Andrew Forrest since making his first big pitch to the iron ore billionaire, and he might end up costing BHP plenty.

Giacovazzi, then just 27, called his first presentation slide pack Nickel: Get its mojo back in what was a risky move given Forrest’s painful memories from his Anaconda Nickel venture.

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COLUMN: Mining sector could benefit from US green legislation – by Carol Hughes (Northern Ontario Business – September 14, 2022)

The Biden Administration in the U.S. just recently passed its landmark Inflation Reduction Act, an important piece of legislation as our neighbours to the south continue to feel the pinch of inflation that has gripped the world, much like Canada.

However, one of the most important parts of this legislation, and the part that will actually be of significant interest to people across Northern Ontario is how much the administration is investing in green energy, and how this will be a significant boon to the mining industry across the region and throughout the country.

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EV transition could add $48 billion to economy, but only ‘if Canada plays its cards right’ – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 15, 2022)

Canada needs to invest wisely to ensure it adds valuable jobs in key supply chain areas, report says

The federal and provincial governments have committed billions of dollars in recent years to entice private-sector investments in an electric-vehicle supply chain in Canada, but a new report suggests that may just be the beginning of what’s needed to succeed.

Clean Energy Canada and the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, two think-tanks respectively based at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and Western University in London, Ont., released a 28-page report this week that concludes the government needs to ramp up financial and policy support if Canada is to ever realize the full economic opportunities inherent in the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).

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Lithium price smashes new record as supply struggles to feed EV growth – by Annie Lee (Bloomberg News – September 16, 2022)

The surge in prices of lithium, the key battery material used to power electric cars, is seemingly unstoppable.

Lithium carbonate hit a fresh record of 500,500 yuan ($71,315) a ton in China Friday, according to data from Asian Metal Inc. Prices more than tripled in the past year, inflating the cost of batteries used in electric vehicles, with recent gains driven by strong demand and disruptions at a domestic producing hub.

Consumer support for new-energy vehicles has been gathering pace amid a global transition away from fossil fuels.

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The timing is finally right for Quebec’s lithium miners – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – September 14, 2022)

Global mining news

Quebec, more than any other province in Canada, has been ahead of the curve in working to join the EV economy. Its vast hydroelectricity infrastructure gives it an advantage in clean, low-carbon energy that is essential to “green” manufacturing, and it has supported the nascent battery industry with significant public investment.

It was also the first to outline plans for critical minerals exploration and production as well as for the development of a complete battery supply chain in-province — from mining through processing to manufacturing.

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Canada can build an electric vehicle industry worth $48B a year — but it must act now: report – by Don Pitts (CBC News Business – September 14, 2022)

Canada needs a strategy quickly in order to capitalize on payoffs in jobs and economic growth

As climate change shows its growing destructive power in floods and droughts worldwide, even strong advocates for the transition from using fossil fuels to battery-powered electric vehicles know EVs won’t be enough to fix the problem.

But as the North American auto show opens to glitz and fanfare, a new report from two reputable Canadian research groups says that Canada has a brief window to be a major player in transforming an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually into something more climate friendly — and to make money doing it.

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Charging up lithium mines in Canada – by Eric Niemi (Canadian Mining Journal – September 2, 2022)

The world is starting to see the beginning of a transformational phase in mining especially as it comes to lithium, a new hot commodity. While lithium has been used in some ceramics and glass, lubricating greases, continuous casting fluxes among others, its demand is growing with the rise of electric cars that use lithium-ion batteries.

In fact, electric vehicles, are now responsible for 71% of global demand for lithium, according to Natural Resources Canada. Before the battery rush over the past decade, lithium carbonate prices have been notoriously volatile. However, the winds are beginning to change in response to new demand from the green technology and automotive sectors.

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The Energy Transition Could Be Derailed By A Looming Copper Shortage – by Haley Zaremba (Oil Price – September 07, 2022)

“Think of copper as a common carrier, so to speak, of decarbonization. It is literally the wiring that connects the present to the future,” writes Nathaniel Bullard, BloombergNEF’s Chief Content Officer.

While many of us imagine renewable energies to be just that – infinitely renewable, with no use of finite resources – the reality is that solar planes, wind turbines, energy transmission infrastructure, batteries for energy storage, and motors for your electric cars and electric bicycles all rely on metals that are not infinitely sourceable.

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Standard Lithium retools operations after short seller’s attacks – by Ernest Scheyder (Yahoo Finance/Reuters – September 7, 2022)

Standard Lithium Ltd is trying to become the first new U.S. source of lithium for electric vehicle batteries in decades, a bullish target fueled in part by technical and engineering changes the company is making in response to accusations that its technology does not work.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Standard is among a wave of companies, including mining major Rio Tinto Ltd, trying to use direct lithium extraction (DLE) technologies to supply the battery metal to the EV industry.

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