Uranium price rally is a high-stakes bet on future of nuclear power – by Yvonne Yue Li, Will Wade and Stephen Stapczynski (Bloomberg News – September 22, 2021)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

After languishing at historical lows for the better part of the last decade, uranium suddenly came back from the dead. Prices have surged about 40% just in September, outpacing all other major commodities.

In just a few weeks, millions of pounds of supply was scooped up by the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust. It’s a massive bet on nuclear energy’s prominence in a carbon-free future. The problem is — at least for the investors who poured more than $240 million into the fund — the debate is still raging over whether and how nuclear can come to the forefront.

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Cassels Brock, Stikeman Elliott and Blakes advising on US$370 million mining deal – by Angelica Dino (Canadian Lawyer – September 22, 2021)

https://www.canadianlawyermag.com/

Deal involving Vancouver miner will consolidate one of the largest new gold districts in Nevada

To consolidate one of the largest new gold districts in Nevada, AngloGold Ashanti is buying out Vancouver-based Corvus Gold Inc. for a total transaction cost of US$370 million.

Acting for Corvus is Blakes Cassels & Graydon, Cassels Brock & Blackwell and Dorsey & Whitney. The Cassels Brock team includes Jen Hansen, Jeffrey Roy, Jackson Phillips, David Overall, Chris Norton and Chris Hersh. Stikeman Elliott is advising AngloGold.

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Top 10 largest uranium mines in the world in 2020 – report – by Vladimir Basov Vladimir Basov (Kitco News – September 22, 2021)

https://www.kitco.com/

As Kitco reported previously, the world’s total uranium production amounted to 47,731 tonnes in 2020, a significant 13% decline over 2019 (54,742 tonnes), and the lowest level of global uranium output in more than a decade.

Based on data by the World Nuclear Association, Kitco ranked the world’s top ten largest uranium mines by reported / estimated production in 2020. These biggest mines are ready to ride the rising uranium wave.

1. Cigar Lake, Canada. 3,885 tU.

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Pure Gold stumbles in Ontario’s notoriously tricky-to-mine Red Lake mining district – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – September 23, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Pure Gold Inc. is struggling to produce gold at a profit, the latest junior to encounter technical problems in Ontario’s notoriously tricky-to-mine Red Lake region.

The Vancouver-based gold miner, which is backed by industry heavyweights such as Eric Sprott and Robert McEwen, has experienced a slew of issues underground since starting up its Madsen mine in Red Lake, about 550 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.

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Sensible greens would back natural gas – by Gwyn Morgan (Financial Post – September 21, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

In a previous column (July 22) I pointed out that, since switching coal-fuelled power plants to natural gas cuts CO2 emissions in half, exporting liquified natural gas (LNG) to displace coal both benefits our economy and reduces global emissions.

Also: that since converting gasoline and diesel-fuelled vehicles and ships to natural gas cuts emissions by 25 per cent, providing incentives to achieve that could substantially decrease domestic emissions, as well.

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Surging Fertilizer Costs Risk Making Food Even Pricier Next Year – by Elizabeth Elkin (Bloomberg News – September 20, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — Most people don’t give fertilizer a second thought — except maybe when driving through a particularly fragrant agricultural area. But with prices for some synthetic nutrients at their highest levels since the financial crisis, it could mean weaker harvests and bigger grocery bills next year, just as the world’s supply chains start to recover from the pandemic.

A perfect storm of events — from extreme weather and plant shutdowns to new government sanctions — have hit the chemical fertilizer market this year, slamming farmers already buckling under the strain of rising costs to produce food.

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OPINION: Europe’s power crisis is an expensive reminder that renewable energy has its limits – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – September 18, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Europe’s power crisis was just a matter of time – and that time has come. Natural gas and electricity prices are setting record highs virtually every day, and businesses and households have gone from getting annoyed to being terrified as the bills land like hand grenades.

The continent’s power system was an accident waiting to happen, in good part because its purported virtues – vast amounts of climate-friendly renewable energy and waning numbers of climate-unfriendly coal-fired plants – were less robust than advertised.

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Gold price drops as Powell talks ‘gradual’ tapering, downplays Evergrande contagion concerns – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – September 22, 2021)

https://www.kitco.com/

(Kitco News) The gold market saw its earlier gains reversed as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell talked about “gradual” tapering while downplaying China’s Evergrande contagion effect on the U.S. market.

On Wednesday, the Fed said it may soon start tapering its $120 billion in monthly asset purchases, with central bank officials showing growing support for raising interest rates in 2022.

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Barrick options South Uchi project from Kenorland Minerals – by Jackson Chen (Northern Miner – September 20, 2021)

Global mining news

Kenorland Minerals (TSXV: KLD) announced that it has entered into a property option agreement with Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) with respect to the company’s South Uchi project in Ontario.

Under the option agreement, Barrick can earn an initial 70% interest in the project by spending a total of $6 million on mineral exploration within six years, of which $3 million are guaranteed expenditures within the first three years.

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South African Court Ruling May Revive Mining Investor Interest – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – September 22, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — South Africa’s High Court struck down some changes to mining regulations that govern Black ownership targets, in a move that could potentially revive investor interest in the sector.

In 2018, Mines Minister Gwede Mantashe adjusted the rules to stipulate that an ownership target of 26% for Black investors in South African mining companies would remain in perpetuity, so miners that had previously met the threshold would need to find new Black shareholders if the original ones exited their holdings.

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Local History: ‘Broad envelopes’ of undeveloped graphite ore – by Susanna McLeod (Kingston Whig Standard – September 21, 2021)

https://www.thewhig.com/

Carbon in the form of flake graphite may have a lustre ranging from dull to metallic. In gradations of black to grey, the flat plates with hexagonal edges seem more drab than eye-catching.

The non-metallic element has vast applications and potential, from the common pencil lead to industrial and aerospace purposes, and beyond. Located in the Precambrian Grenville Province, eastern Ontario seemed to be a prime area for a graphite mine. About 70 kilometres from Kingston, the Portland Graphite Mine drew the interest of resource companies since the mid-1900s. Then the attention quietly vanished.

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OPINION: China’s Evergrande mess is spreading and hurting big mining companies. The iron ore and steel party is over – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – September 22, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A 40-second video made in August in the southern Chinese city of Kunming provides a graphic account of the country’s housing bubble. It shows controlled explosions turning 15 apartment towers into rubble. They were built seven years ago and never occupied.

Since then, China’s housing woes have been exposed by the liquidity crisis at Evergrande, the world’s most indebted housing developer. The company’s shares are in freefall – they are down more than 85 per cent in the past year – and S&P Global Ratings said a default on bond payments is “likely.”

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‘A wild time’: Why commodities are in a supercycle of volatility – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 22, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

For months, economists have debated why the price of so many commodities — from aluminum, iron ore and copper to natural gas and lumber — have been so volatile: Are these the first signs of structural shifts in supply chains related to the energy transition, or just temporary blips?

There’s consensus on a few points: The pandemic, by halting and then restarting supply chains, threw supply and demand fundamentals out of whack, and pushed many commodity prices up.

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Mining stocks carnage as iron ore, copper prices fall – by Staff (Mining.com – September 20, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

Iron ore extended its slump below $100 a tonne and copper prices dropped in New York on Monday as China stepped up restrictions on industrial activity and fears about the collapse of the country’s largest property developer intensified.

According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China were changing hands for $92.98 a tonne, down 8.7% from Friday’s closing. Prices have collapsed about 60% since hitting a record in May, and are below three figures for the first time in more than a year.

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Norman B. Keevil, Teck’s chairman emeritus, unsentimental about possible sale of miner’s coal business – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – September 20, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Norman B. Keevil likely won’t be shedding any tears if Teck Resources Ltd. sells its core coal business. Teck’s chairman emeritus, who first joined Canada’s biggest base metals company in the 1960s, says Teck has always evolved with the times, dipping into one commodity, then moving on to another, based on market demand.

“You should read my book. It’s called Never Rest on Your Ores,” Mr. Keevil said in an interview. “Teck started as a gold company, and then it became a copper company.

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