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

https://www.mining.com/

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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New fund a ‘massive signal’ Ontario’s open for business: CEO – by Maija Hoggett (Timmins Today – November 24, 2022)

https://www.timminstoday.com/

A company advancing a large nickel-cobalt project in Timmins is already planning its applications for a new provincial fund. Today, Minister of Mines and Timmins MPP George Pirie was at Northern College to launch the Critical Minerals Innovation Fund.

The two-year, $5-million initiative is “to support research, development and commercialization of technologies, processes and solutions for critical minerals,” said Pirie.

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

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(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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How the state of Wyoming could supply the US with rare earth elements Amanda Stutt (Mining.com – November 18, 2022)

https://www.mining.com/

Already a wind energy powerhouse, the state of Wyoming’s economy is 65% tied to mining — most of that coal mining. Wyoming has been the top coal-producing state since 1986, accounting for about two-fifths of all coal mined in the United States in 2020, but the industry has seen its reputation blackened.

Industry innovators, however, are tapping coal and its waste streams to extract rare earths, 17 essential elements to realizing an electrified economy. Mining them can be challenging as materials needed are either not yet mined, or are latent in old coal mines.

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Some junior mining companies say they are left out from Ontario’s critical minerals strategy – by Jonathan Migneault (CBC News Sudbury – November 16, 2022)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

Ontario Junior Exploration Program offers companies up to $200,000

Some junior mining companies say they haven’t benefited from Ontario’s critical minerals strategy, which aims to build a homegrown supply chain for electric vehicles and their batteries.

The strategy would connect northern Ontario’s mineral resources – which include important metals like nickel, cobalt and lithium – to battery and vehicle manufacturing in the south.

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Canada’s mining industry is officially in the clutches of USA and China – by Manu Gupta (TFI Global – November 14, 2022)

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Mobile phones, cameras, computers, aircraft, LEDs, fighter jets, tanks, and satellite communications systems. All these products need one important ingredient. To function, they are all dependent on rare-earth minerals. And one might easily grasp that anyone in possession of resources that are so crucial, has a clear geopolitical edge.

History tells us that there has always been a race to control valuable resources, and a power struggle over these rare earth minerals is unavoidable in the future. And trust us when we say, Canada will be the centre of this colossal geopolitical struggle.

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Canada deals itself a blow in cutting China out of critical minerals – by David Olive (Toronto Star – November 10, 2022)

https://www.thestar.com/

Ottawa has just shown tangible resolve in declaring Canada off-limits to Chinese ownership of Canadian critical minerals. These are minerals essential to the production of electric vehicles (EVs), cellphones, laptop computers, and power from alternative energy technologies.

It’s by no means certain that this recent prohibition is in Canada’s interests. More on that later. Last week, Ottawa ordered Chinese companies to divest their ownership in three junior mining firms based in Canada. The firms plan to develop lithium deposits in Canada, Argentina and Chile.

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U.S. military weighs funding mining projects in Canada amid rivalry with China – by Alexander Panetta (CBC News World – November 13, 2022)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/

Canadian companies told they qualify under Defense Production Act

The United States military has been quietly soliciting applications for Canadian mining projects that want American public funding through a major national security initiative.

It’s part of an increasingly urgent priority of the U.S. government: lessening dependence on China for critical minerals that are vital in everything from civilian goods such as electronics, cars and batteries, to weapons.

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The Mining Gap: Critical Minerals and Geopolitical Competition – by Gregory Brew and Morgan Bazilian (Just Security – November 7, 2022)

https://www.justsecurity.org/

This week, world leaders are gathering in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt for COP27, the 27th annual United Nations conference on climate change. This year’s conference carries with it the weight of the climate challenge, an enormous threat facing humanity, but also comes at a time of growing volatility in global energy markets, rising energy prices, a food security crisis, and war.

As a result, countries both rich and poor will be focused on immediate security and economic threats. While Russia’s war in Ukraine has convinced policymakers of the necessity of divesting from volatile oil markets, the lack of readily available raw materials and supply chain issues continue to impede rapid transitions toward clean energy.

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Federal government moves to cut China out of Canadian critical mineral industry – by Mia Rabson (Canadian Press/CBC News Politics – November 2, 2022)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/

China a dominant player in critical minerals refining and processing battery cell components

After a national security review, Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne is ordering three Chinese resource companies to sell their interests in Canadian critical mineral firms. Champagne’s order comes less than a week after he said Canada would be limiting the involvement of foreign state-owned companies in the industry.

Critical minerals and metals, such as lithium, cadmium, nickel and cobalt, are essential components of everything from wind turbines and electric cars to laptops, solar panels and rechargeable batteries.

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China’s Rare Earth Metals Monopoly Could Be Coming to an End – by John Feng (Newsweek – November 2, 2022)

https://www.newsweek.com/

After decades of geopolitical tensions over access to oil, the transition to clean energy is setting up a global competition over another natural resource: rare earth elements.

The 17 metals, which aren’t scarce but are hard to find in economically viable concentrations, are significant to greening economies of the future and the defense industrial base of the United States and others.

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Ottawa cracks down on foreign state-owned investments into Canadian critical minerals industry after facing criticism it went too easy on China – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – October 29, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The federal government is tightening the rules to make it considerably harder for foreign state-owned firms to invest in Canadian critical-minerals companies, after it faced harsh criticism earlier this year for allowing too much Chinese investment into domestic resource firms.

Effective immediately, transactions involving investments by state-owned firms into Canadian critical-minerals companies will only be approved on an “exceptional basis,” the government of Canada said in a release.

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Teck Resources’ oilsands exit will allow it to lean into ‘low-carbon metals,’ says CEO – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – October 27, 2022)

https://financialpost.com/

Miner sells its 21.3% stake in Fort Hills oilsands site to Suncor for $1 billion

Teck Resources Ltd. announced its long-telegraphed exit from Alberta’s oilsands Thursday, in a deal to sell its 21.3 per cent stake in the Fort Hills project to Suncor Energy Inc. for $1 billion.

Fort Hills, the most recently constructed oilsands mine located north of Fort McMurray, Alta., has been plagued by a series of operational and market glitches that restricted it from full production since operations started in 2018. When the deal goes through, Suncor will own a 75.3 per cent stake in the project with France’s TotalEnergies SE holding the remainder.

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Will Africa’s metals boom suffer the same curse as oil? (The Citizen/AFP – October 26, 2022)

https://www.thecitizen.co.tz/

Mechanical diggers are hard at work in the bleak landscape of the Moanda open-cast mine in Gabon, using giant jaws to rip out manganese and then dump the ore into trucks with a crash.

“We’re lucky here in Moanda. We find it about five to six metres (about 18 feet) below the surface,” said manager Olivier Kassibi, whose mine yields 36 tonnes of manganese each day.

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How the DRC became the battleground of a proxy war over precious resources – by Andres Schipani (Financial Times – October 27, 2022)

https://www.ft.com/

Local and foreign-backed forces are waging a deadly offensive in the mineral-rich heart of Africa

Some residents of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo simply call it la guerre sans fin — the war without end. One morning in August, Abigael Bahati felt it in her skin as she searched for cassava leaves close to the village of Kanombe.

“I was hungry and I had gone to look for food but I was caught,” says the 28-year-old mother of an 18-month-old baby. “They took me away and raped me,” she recalls, adding that others fled in fear of their lives.

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