Is Yellowknife heading into a lithium rush? – by Talar Stockton (Cabin Radio – June 2, 2023)

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Lithium was once a forgotten element in the Northwest Territories. This summer, it’s sparking a hunt for profit.

For decades, nobody did much with the lithium-rich region east of Yellowknife. Suddenly, multiple companies are taking up the quest to find lithium and sending scouts to drill.
Drilling small holes across a property allows companies to get a sense of how large the deposit is beneath, and analyze samples for their lithium content.

For around half a dozen companies, that’s top of the to-do list. At least seven companies have NWT lithium projects in their early stages, most of them near Yellowknife. They hope to strike while the lithium iron is hot as demand skyrockets for the element’s use in the likes of electric vehicles.

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Revised plan for mining Mary River iron – by Rose Ragsdale (North of 60 Mining News – June 2, 2023)

Six months after the Canadian government rejected a plan to double approved output from the Mary River iron mine on Nunavut’s Baffin Island, the mine’s operator, Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., is working to get the green light to move ahead with a different proposal.

The new plan, which the company calls a “Sustaining Operations Proposal,” surfaced in December, about a month after federal Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal rejected the earlier plan Nov. 16 to expand operations and double approved shipping output from the mine to 12 million metric tons of iron ore annually.

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Book tour contributes debate around uranium mining – by Clint Fleury (NWO News Watch – May 17, 2023)

Dr. Warren Bernauer will be touring three locations in northwestern Ontario to promote his new book I Will Live for Both of Us: A History of Colonialism, Uranium Mining, and Inuit Resistance.

WINNIPEG – For those living in Dryden, Ignace and Thunder Bay, Dr. Warren Bernauer will be touring Northwestern Ontario to speak about a book he co-authored with Joan Scottie and Jack Hicks, called I Will Live for Both of Us: A History of Colonialism, Uranium Mining, and Inuit Resistance.

Bernauer, who currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Environment and Geography and the Natural Resources Institute, still calls Northwestern Ontario his home.

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Osisko cofounder Wares praises private equity, scolds debt financiers, nips NIMBYism – by Colin McClelland (Northern Miner – May 16, 2023)

Osisko Metals (TSX: OM; US-OTC: OMZNF) is part of a rising trend tapping private equity to help build projects, but it’s wary of the growing role of “predatory” debt financing.

Appian Capital Advisory, a London-based private equity firm with mining projects valued at US$3.6 billion, is investing $25 million for a quarter of Osisko’s Pine Point zinc-lead mine in the Northwest Territories.

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A northern solution to copper shortage – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – May 11, 2023)

The North of 60 Mining area hosts billions of pounds of copper ready to be delivered to a world craving this metal in sky-high demand for wiring the electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure that would enable the envisioned low-carbon future. Whether enough of these copper-rich projects are developed in time to circumvent a short circuit of the clean energy transition remains to be seen.

Global Market analysts such as S&P Global have predicted that copper production will need to double by 2035 to meet demands driven by global net-zero emission goals. This means that even if every current copper mine was still producing at today’s capacity in 12 years, enough new mines would need to come online to match that production – both highly unlikely scenarios.

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Celebrating 20 years of Diavik diamonds – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – May 12, 2023)

Rio Tinto reflects on extraordinary people, spirit and innovation behind Far North Canada diamond mine.

Rio Tinto celebrates the extraordinary people, award-winning innovation, and pioneering spirit behind the 20 years of producing brilliant diamonds at the Diavik Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

Discovered during the great Canadian diamond rush in the 1990s, Diavik began commercially producing diamonds in 2003. Over the ensuing two decades, Diavik has produced over 140 million carats of rough diamonds through a combination of surface and underground mining. Most of the diamonds recovered at Diavik are white gem quality stones, with a small quantity of yellow diamonds in the mix.

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Baffinland requests further production increase at Nunavut iron ore mine (Canadian Press/CTV News – April 25, 2023)

POND INLET, NUNAVUT – The owner of an iron ore mine on the tip of Baffin Island says it needs to again increase production to prevent job losses, and several federal cabinet ministers are calling on a Nunavut environmental assessment agency to prioritize the request.

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. wants to increase the amount of ore it’s allowed to truck and ship from its Mary River mine to six-million tonnes, from 4.2 million, for both 2023 and 2024. It says the increase is needed to ensure a stable supply of iron ore to customers and that if it’s not granted, it will have to scale back operations, including reducing employment.

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Nighthawk soars on NWT gold project’s two-year payback – by Colin McClelland (Northern Miner – April 26, 2023)

Shares in Nighthawk Gold (TSX: NHK; US-OTC: MIMZF) jumped more than 20% after the company said its Colomac project in the Northwest Territories could pay for itself in about two years.

The open-pit project 200 km north of Yellowknife estimates annual production of 290,000 oz. of gold selling for US$1,600 each to generate US$464 million a year compared with estimated capital costs of $654 million, the company said in a preliminary economic assessment released on Wednesday. The after-tax payback period is pegged at 2.1 years.

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N.W.T. rare earth mine owner halts construction of processing plant citing depressed market Social Sharing – by Francis Tessier-Burns (CBC News North – April 20, 2023)

The final cost of the plant has grown from $20 million to $60 million

Mere months after a visit from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promoting the importance of critical minerals, Canada’s only rare earth mineral mining project is stopping the construction of its processing plant in Saskatchewan.

In a recent news release, Vital Metals, owner of the N.W.T.’s Nechalacho mine project, said the current scale of operations at its North T pit “will not achieve positive cash flow from the project.” Now the company is looking for new funding sources and partners “to potentially build a sustainable business model for the Saskatoon business.”

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Yellowknife emerging as EV metals hub – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – April 10, 2023)

The Northwest Territories capital city of Yellowknife is emerging as a northern link in North America’s electric vehicle supply chain. Already home to Canada’s only rare earths mine, a 160-kilometers (100 miles) area around this northern mining town happens to be enriched with the lithium and cobalt that is in massive demand for EV batteries, along with numerous other minerals critical to both Canada and the United States.

A roughly 9,600-square-kilometer (3,700 square miles) area that extends 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Yellowknife to Vital Metal Ltd.’s Nechalacho rare earths mine is riddled with hardrock lithium sources known as pegmatites.

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Excerpt from Ring of Fire: High-Stakes Mining in a Lowlands Wilderness – by Virginia Heffernan (April 6, 2023)

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A valuable discovery under the world’s second-largest temperate wetland and in the traditional lands of the Cree and Ojibway casts light on the growing conflict among resource development, environmental stewardship, and Indigenous rights

When prospectors discovered a gigantic crescent of metal deposits under the James Bay Lowlands of northern Canada in 2007, the find touched off a mining rush, lured a major American company to spend fortunes in the remote swamp, and forced politicians to confront their legal duty to consult Indigenous Peoples about development on their traditional territories. But the multibillion-dollar Ring of Fire was all but abandoned when stakeholders failed to reach a consensus on how to develop the cache despite years of negotiations and hundreds of millions of dollars in spending. Now plans for an all-weather road to connect the region to the highway network are reigniting the fireworks.

In this colorful tale, Virginia Heffernan draws on her bush and newsroom experiences to illustrate the complexities of resource development at a time when Indigenous rights are becoming enshrined globally. Ultimately, Heffernan strikes a hopeful note: the Ring of Fire presents an opportunity for Canada to leave behind centuries of plunder and set the global standard for responsible development of minerals critical to the green energy revolution.

EXCERPT: Ring of Fire – Transformative Changes For First Nations Embracing Mining Development – by Virginia Heffernan

If you journey north from the coastal communities of Moose Factory and Attawapiskat, hugging the curvaceous eastern shoreline of James and then Hudson Bay, you eventually reach the inlet that leads to the hamlet of Baker Lake in Nunavut. It’s the geographic centre of Canada. Baker Lake has been transformed by gold mining over the past decade.

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Troubled Canadian diamond mine Ekati gets new life as Australian company takes control – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 16, 2023)

Burgundy is paying US$136 million to assume control from Arctic Canadian

The Ekati complex, a star-crossed diamond mining operation in Northwest Territories, is getting a new life. Ekati has changed hands several times in the past decade, and has struggled in recent years. But Australia’s Burgundy Diamond Mines Ltd. sees promise, announcing this week that it would pay US$136 million to assume control from Ekati’s current owner, Arctic Canadian Diamond Co. Ltd.

The deal is expected to close in April. Burgundy, based in Perth and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, said in a press release that the current life-of-mine plan supports operations until 2028, and that investments could further extend mining. In 2022, Ekati delivered US$494 million in revenue and 4.1 million karats of diamonds were recovered, the press release said.

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Yukon gov’t to appeal court decision quashing approval of mining project near Mayo (CBC News North – March 16, 2023)

Supreme Court found that consultation with First Nation over Metallic Minerals’ project was inadequate

The Yukon government is appealing a court decision that quashes the approval of a mining project near Mayo, Yukon. It’s the latest in an ongoing dispute between the territorial government and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun (FNNND) over a project in the First Nation’s traditional territory.

The First Nation filed a petition to the Yukon Supreme Court in 2021, soon after the Yukon government gave the green light to Vancouver-based Metallic Minerals Corp.’s project. The quartz exploration project is to happen over 10 years on 52 claims located north of Mayo.

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Deal over access to ore dock in Skagway, Alaska, ‘critical’ to Yukon, premier says (CBC News North – March 8, 2023)

Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai is calling a potential new deal that would secure access to the ore dock in Skagway, Alaska, “very, very good news for Yukon.” “I’m very proud. I mean, this is a great example of our government taking on something … that’s very critical to the Yukon and to Canada and having the capacity, I guess I would say, to come up with a solution and get this done.”

Skagway recently accepted the terms of the agreement that would see the Yukon government put more than $17 million US toward upgrading one of the town’s docks. For the Yukon, it’s a vital facility for companies to be able to ship ore mined in the territory.

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Indigenous groups lead the renewable transition in northern Canada – by Jesse Chase-Lubitz (Yahoo News – February 28, 2023)

A solution to climate change is emerging in one of the regions most affected by it. In Nunavut — the northernmost territory of Canada — a coalition of Indigenous communities is transitioning the region away from diesel and toward renewable energy.

In 2018, Nukik Corporation, which was formed by individuals in the Indigenous Inuit population, started planning the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link, a set of electricity and fiber-optic transmission cables. The link would connect the vast regions of rural northern Canada to a southern Canadian renewable energy grid in the province of Manitoba.

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