UK, South Africa seek deeper cooperation on critical minerals – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – November 27, 2022)

London and Pretoria announced a partnership to promote the responsible exploration, development, production, and processing of critical minerals in South Africa.

In a media statement, both governments said that this new collaboration will start with the launching of regular ministerial and technical dialogues between South Africa’s Department for Mineral Resources and Energy and the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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Calgary-based company secures $27M in federal funding to develop lithium extraction in oilpatch – by Josh Aldrich (Calgary Herald – November 28, 2022)

The goal for E3 Lithium is to separate lithium from the aquifer of the Leduc reservoir for use in EV and battery technology

Calgary-based E3 Lithium has secured $27 million in federal funding to help the company continue to progress toward extracting lithium from the province’s old oilfields.

The funding announced Monday is part of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s Strategic Innovation Fund, which has put $6.8 billion toward 107 projects across Canada.

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Mining Coal in Your Garden Is a Lucrative Business in Poland – by Natalia Ojewska (Bloomberg News – November 27, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Polish taxi driver Grzegorz says his phone won’t stop ringing, such is the demand for his services. Yet it’s not a ride people want. Grzegorz has given up driving for a far more lucrative line of work as Poland grapples with energy shortages: illegal mining.

Around his home in the Lower Silesian city of Walbrzych, coal sits as little as a meter below the surface in fields, recreation areas and even gardens. A four-man team can unearth a ton in an hour and make 1,000 zloty ($220) each for half a day’s work, roughly 60% of what an average person earns in a week.

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OPINION: We built the railway in five years. So why are so many megaprojects now stalled? – Jackie Forrest (Globe and Mail – November 27, 2022)

Slashing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40 per cent to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050 is no small endeavour. Think long electricity transmission lines, carbon pipelines, hydrogen facilities and new critical mineral mines. The green shift will require hundreds of billions of dollars in new investments across the country.

It’s kind of like Canada’s first megaproject, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). It, too, was a colossal undertaking to build infrastructure across this vast, sparsely populated land from coast to coast. It, too, faced huge challenges.

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Global nickel cartel off the table as Canada’s trade minister rebuffs Indonesia’s approach – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – November 28, 2022)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is keen to strengthen Canada’s relationship with Indonesia, but not so much so that it’s willing to join the nickel cartel that the emerging Asian power is trying to get off the ground.

“It’s an idea that Indonesia has proposed to us, but we are not looking at that particular model in the way that they have proposed,” Trade Minister Mary Ng said after she and three fellow cabinet ministers released the government’s first ever Indo-Pacific Strategy in Vancouver on Nov. 27.

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Lithium exploration near Yellowknife could begin next year – by Sidney Cohen (CBC News North – November 29, 2022)

Li-FT Power Ltd. proposes drilling near Hidden Lake and Bighill Lake

Lithium exploration near two Yellowknife-area lakes popular with hikers and paddlers could begin in 2023. On Nov. 23, Vancouver-based Li-FT Power Ltd. announced it had amalgamated with 1361516 B.C. Ltd. to acquire the Yellowknife Lithium Project. The project comprises 13 mineral leases, including properties near Hidden Lake and Bighill Lake.

Li-FT Power’s CEO, Francis MacDonald, says the company aims to begin drilling as soon as it gets its permits and water license, carries out community engagement, and hires drill contractors.

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Top federal government official casts doubt on Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining development – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 29, 2022)

A top Canadian federal government official has raised doubts about whether Ontario’s Ring of Fire region will ever be developed, pouring cold water on a critical minerals project that the provincial government has championed and the United States administration has expressed interest in funding.

Jeff Labonté, assistant deputy minister for lands and minerals at Natural Resources Canada, told senior leadership at the Neskantaga First Nation in a meeting on Nov. 17 that it’s possible no mines will be built in the region, and that there is no guarantee Ottawa will ever come forward with the roughly $1-billion in funding needed for development to proceed.

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Toxic Towns: Don’t hold your breath – by Malone Mullin (CBC News Interactives – November 28, 2022)

In Baie Verte, N.L., a mine that once brought prosperity now symbolizes pain, suffering and death. Nobody knows how to get rid of it.

This is Part I of a three-part series on contaminated sites in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Émile Zola’s 1885 novel Germinal, a French mining town, filled with families dependent on coal, is plotting a strike. It’s not an idyllic existence, living in 19th-century Montsou. Workers and their families sleep in shacks, eat mostly bread and rarely embrace leisure.

Eventually, they’re consumed by the massive beast whose tendrils reach deep underground. The mine, named Le Voreux, holds such sway over the townspeople’s lives that it transforms into a character in itself; figuratively speaking, by the end of the book, it eats its servants alive.

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Canada’s top five federal contaminated sites to cost taxpayers $4.38-billion to clean up – by Emily Blake (Globe and Mail/Canadian Press – November 28, 2022)

With a cost estimate of $4.38-billion, remediation of the Giant Mine, one of the most contaminated sites in Canada, is also expected to be the most expensive federal environmental cleanup in the country’s history.

The figure, recently approved by the Treasury Board of Canada, spans costs from 2005 until 2038, when active remediation at the former Yellowknife gold mine is anticipated to end. That includes $710-million the federal government said has already been spent, but does not include costs for long-term care and maintenance.

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Copper’s Biggest Mystery Is Finally Cracking – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – November 26, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — The warnings keep getting louder: the world is hurtling toward a desperate shortage of copper. Humans are more dependent than ever on a metal we’ve used for 10,000 years; new deposits are drying up, and the type of breakthrough technologies that transformed other commodities have failed to materialize for copper. Until now.

In what could prove a game changer for global supply, a US startup says it’s solved a puzzle that has frustrated the mining world for decades. If successful, the discovery by Jetti Resources could unlock millions of tons of new copper to feed power grids, building sites and car fleets around the globe, narrowing and possibly even closing the deficit.

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Chinese Mining Deals Under Review as Congo Targets Windfall Profits – by David Malingha (Bloomberg News – Novemeber 22, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — The Democratic Republic of Congo wants a mining deal it signed with China more than a decade ago to be reworked, with a view to securing all the funding that was pledged for infrastructure projects and a share of windfall profits.

A review of the 2008 minerals-for-infrastructure contract that includes the Sicomines copper-cobalt mining project should ideally be concluded by year-end, Congolese Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde said in an interview in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, during the COP27 climate summit. Additional payments were warranted because the project was making super-profits due to a surge in commodity prices, he said.

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The nuclear renaissance, reborn: Exploration activities are on the uptick as uranium is, once again, in demand – by Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco (CIM Magazine – November 23, 2022)

After a crushing 11-year downturn, the uranium sector is experiencing the beginning of a revival. Many are hoping that this is the one that turns the sector into a key player in the decarbonized economy of the future.

The last time junior uranium explorers had so much reason to be optimistic was in the years between 2004 and 2008. Duane Parnham, executive chairman and CEO of the Toronto-based uranium junior exploration company Madison Metals, recalls that excitement is what got him into the sector after attending the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) annual convention in 2006.

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Graphite poised to do a lithium – by Frik Els ( – November 23, 2022)

Pressure on carmakers in the EV battery supply chain is only building.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) faced with an 8-fold increase in lithium prices, convulsions on the nickel market and ever-present worries about cobalt supply from the Congo, are being forced to look downstream to secure supply for their ambitious expansion plans.

Andy Miller, chief operating officer of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, told an annual industry gathering in Los Angeles last week that soaring lithium prices and LME nickel market turmoil are signs of the huge momentum that is building in the battery supply chain.

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Norway House community members voice concerns on potential northern Manitoba nickel mine – by Ethan Butterfield (CBC News Manitoba – November 22, 2022)

Members of Norway House Cree Nation raised concerns about information sharing, environmental impacts and community employment at a consultation for a potential nickel mine in the area.

Last Thursday, Flying Nickel Mining Corporation and the Government of Manitoba hosted a public consultation around the Minago Nickel Project — a possible development following a memorandum of understanding that was signed by the First Nation’s chief and Flying Nickel in February. The mine could be under construction starting in 2024.

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Opinion: Nuclear energy — We CANDU it and we should – by Chris Keefer (Financial Post – November 24, 2022)

Chris Keefer, a physician, is president of Canadians for Nuclear and director of Doctors for Nuclear Energy.

CANDU, the made-in-Canada nuclear reactor technology that powered the Ontario coal phaseout, North America’s greatest greenhouse-gas reduction, is the victim of a bizarre form of reverse protectionism that favours overseas supply chains and technologies over homegrown ones.

The federal government recently announced a 30 per cent “Clean Technology Investment Tax Credit” to incentivize spending on a range of clean-energy technologies, such as wind, solar and storage.

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