Canada Emerges as Cornerstone of North American Battery Supply Chain – by James Frith (Bloomberg News – October 19, 2021)

A North American Battery Supply Chain Emerges

Hi all, James Frith here again this week. I want to look at how Canada is re-positioning itself to take advantage of the growing electric vehicle supply chain, after years of overlooking the battery industry.

Despite having all of the critical ingredients for lithium-ion batteries — nickel, cobalt, lithium, graphite — Canada doesn’t have any EV cell or component manufacturing; and it has only about 10% of the battery demand of the U.S.

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China’s Zijin Mining acquisition of Neo Lithium will likely trigger full national security review, expert predicts – by Niall McGee (Octobewr 13, 2021)

Canada’s Neo Lithium Corp. has agreed to a $960-million acquisition by Chinese state-owned Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd., a deal one security expert predicts will trigger an in-depth national security review by Ottawa.

Toronto-based Neo Lithium is developing a lithium mine in Argentina and hopes to eventually supply the silvery white metal to the electric vehicle industry. A 2019 prefeasibility study predicts the company’s 3Q mine could generate a 50-per-cent return on investment after it goes into production.

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Lithium Deal Shows China’s Accelerating Race for Battery Metals – by Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg News – October 11, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Lithium has gotten so hot that even China’s gold miners want a slice of the market, sky high valuations and all. Zijin Mining Group Co., a major Chinese gold and copper producer, announced on Friday its first foray into the booming lithium sector with its C$960 million ($770 million) purchase of Neo Lithium Corp.

It’s just the latest in a series of recent acquisitions, mostly involving Chinese bidders for South American assets owned by Canadian firms, amid surging demand for the key ingredient used to power electric vehicles.

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Ivanhoe keeps DRC copper mine expansion ahead of schedule – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – October 12, 2021)

Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) said on Tuesday that expansion of its Kamoa-Kakula mine in Democratic Republic of Congo, the biggest copper operation to come online in decades, is ahead of scheduled, with full production now expected in the second quarter next year.

Construction of the mine Phase 2’s concentrator plant was originally expected to finish in the summer of 2022, the company said. The 3.8 million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) facility, a “carbon copy” of the Phase 1 plant, has been designed to double production to about 400,000 tonnes of copper a year.

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We’re in a massive market bubble — and when it pops a lot of investors will get wiped out – by Frank Giustra (Toronto Star – October 12, 2021)

“Stock market bubbles don’t grow out of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality, but reality as distorted by a misconception.” — George Soros

Here I go again, sounding like a broken record. A couple months ago, I wrote an article noting that we are likely in the final act of the biggest stock market bubble in history.

But given there is so much at stake, I feel an obligation to repeat myself. In doing so, I know I will draw the ire of many market participants. It’s a given that Chicken Littles are never very popular when everyone is having a good time.

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Vale sees no near-term spinoff of base metals unit – by Staff (Sudbury Star – October 10, 2021)

The chief executive of Vale SA said on Thursday the Brazilian iron ore miner is not looking into a near-term spinoff for its base metals, and the company later said the unit needs to be “transformed” before that longstanding plan can be carried out.

“We are not talking about a spinoff yet. The problem here is the size of the business,” said Eduardo Bartolomeo, Vale’s chief executive officer, as part of the Financial Times’ Mining Summit.

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Top 10 business risks and opportunities for mining and metals in 2022 – by Paul Mitchell (EY Global Mining & Metals – October 7, 2021)

Disruption is fast reshaping the mining and metals sector’s perception of where the biggest challenges – and paths to growth – may lie, according to our annual review of risks and opportunities in the global mining and metals sector (pdf).

The climate crisis and rising stakeholder expectations are increasingly significant forces of change. Environment and social took the number one spot in our rankings for the first time, followed by decarbonization and then license to operate (LTO), which had held the top position over the past three years.

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World’s top mining companies, including Canada’s Barrick Gold and Teck, pledge net-zero emissions by 2050 – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – October 6, 2021)

The world’s biggest mining companies, including Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp. and Teck Resources Ltd., are collectively committing to cut their emissions to net zero by 2050, as they face increasing pressure from investors and environmentalists to mine metals responsibly.

Net zero means companies either emit no greenhouse gases, or offset their emissions by removing a corresponding amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Many of the current global climate commitments stem from the 2015 United Nations climate conference in Paris, which saw signatory countries vow to keep a rise in global temperatures to 1.5 C above preindustrial levels.

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M&A heats up in a deeply oversold mining sector – by David Erfle (Kitco News – October 1, 2021)

In a sector where investor confidence is extremely low, mining companies re-kindled efforts to explore alliances and partnerships to bring promising projects online and share the risk between parties during the recently concluded in-person Colorado mining conferences.

On Tuesday, global miners Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd (AEM) and Kirkland Lake Gold (KL) announced that they have agreed on a merger of equals, with the combined company to continue under the former’s name.

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Environment minister restores federal assessment of Alberta coal mine – by Bob Weber (CBC News Edmonton – October 1, 2021)

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has reinstated his decision to subject a thermal coal mine expansion in Alberta to a federal review after a court ordered him to rethink it.

“Following the reconsideration process, I have determined that the physical activities warrant [federal] designation,” Wilkinson said in a statement regarding the proposed Vista expansion project.

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Global Mining Symposium: Peter Marrone on Yamana’s ‘generational’ mines – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – September 29, 2021)

Global mining news

Peter Marrone, executive chairman and founder of Yamana Gold (TSX: YRI; NYSE: AUY; LSE: AUY), shared his views on the company’s ‘generational’ strategy and assets — mines with several decades of mine life — in a keynote interview at The Northern Miner’s Global Mining Symposium on September 24.

Marrone, who set up the company in 2003, noted that Yamana, which has five producing mines spread across Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Canada, has proportionally more generational mines than many of its peers and the number of generational mines its portfolio is disproportionate to its size.

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OPINION: Canada and the U.S. have a shared interest in securing self-sufficiency in critical minerals – by David Jacobson (Globe and Mail – October 4, 2021)

David Jacobson was the U.S. ambassador to Canada from 2009-2013 and is vice chair, BMO Financial Group.

Nineteenth-century British statesman Lord Palmerston once said, “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” It therefore follows that there is a natural rhythm to how and when nations choose to compete and when they choose to co-operate for the common good – even among long-time friends such as Canada and the United States.

With a new government elected in Canada, there is an opportunity to co-operate for the common good with the Biden administration on a number of key diplomatic and strategic initiatives with serious and long-term implications for both countries.

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Canadian miners pursue prospects in war-torn Tigray – by Geoffrey York and Zecharias Zelalem (Globe and Mail – October 4, 2021)

With a devastating war still raging on, the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia has become a land of famine, massacres and brutal destruction. Its suffering has led to allegations of genocide, threats of sanctions and fears of a humanitarian catastrophe.

But some Canadian gold-mining companies see Tigray as something else: a potential bonanza. Their jostling for mineral rights has continued even as the war deepens, with the miners confident that the region holds billions of dollars in gold.

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Silver, PGM Snapshot: Eight companies with an eye for precious white metal – by Marilyn Scales (Northern Miner – September 29, 2021)

Global mining news

Not all that glitters is gold. Sometimes it’s silver, platinum and palladium. The Northern Miner takes a look at eight companies active in the space.

Bayhorse Silver (TSXV: BHS; US-OTC: KXPLF) is the 100% owner of the past-producing Bayhorse silver mine 14 km from Huntington, Oregon in the United States. The company spent US$7.5 million to return it to production in 2018 and the company poured its first silver bar in February 2019. Because there is no mill on the site, the operation has a small environmental footprint.

The property has a known mineralized zone that was historically estimated to be 255 metres long, 25 metres wide, and 6.7 metres thick. It was previously estimated (not 43-101 compliant) to contain 150,000 tonnes of mineralization grading 585 to 690 grams silver per tonne, including a 30,000-tonne zone of rhyolite that has returned grades as high as 10,793 grams silver per tonne.

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There for you, on your worst day: Ontario Mine Rescue’s Ted Hanley on getting it right when everything goes wrong – by Herb Mathisen (CIM Magazine – September 29, 2021)

Editor’s note: CIM Magazine interviewed Ontario Mine Rescue’s Ted Hanley just weeks before the Totten mine rescue team successfully rescued the 39 miners trapped 4,130 feet underground.

You can’t crystal-ball everything. Ted Hanley, general manager of Ontario Mine Rescue, does his best anyway, as do the staffers and volunteers who work to save miners’ lives when accidents occur.

After all, the 92-year-old organization was created in response to a problem many should have seen coming. In 1928, fire crews were brought in from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to put out a fire at the Hollinger mine in Timmins because no local or provincial firefighters were capable of responding to the underground blaze.

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