Archive | Cobalt, Critical, Strategic and Rare Earth Minerals and Metals

Prof says rare earth elements facility in Saskatoon could stabilize supply chain in North America – by Scott Larson (CBC News Saskatoon – March 4, 2021)

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

A new processing facility being built in Saskatoon could be part of the solution to a recent global shortage of computer chips and semiconductors for vehicles and electronics.

There are 17 rare earth elements: cerium, dysprosium, erbium, europium, gadolinium, holmium, lanthanum, lutetium, neodymium, praseodymium, promethium, samarium, scandium, terbium, thulium, ytterbium and yttrium.

These naturally occurring minerals are key components in modern electronics. They are used in making everything from electric cars to cell phones and wind turbines. Continue Reading →

U.S. Needs a Strong Defense Against China’s Rare-Earth Weapon – by James Stavridis (Bloomberg News – March 4, 2021)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

James Stavridis is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, and dean emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

You could be forgiven if you are confused about what’s going on with rare-earth elements. On the one hand, news reports indicate that China may increase production quotas of the minerals this quarter as a goodwill gesture to the Joe Biden administration.

But other sources say that China may ultimately ban the export of the rare earths altogether on “security concerns.” What’s really going on here?

There are 17 elements considered rare earths — lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, scandium and yttrium — and while many aren’t actually rare in terms of global deposits, extracting them is difficult and expensive. Continue Reading →

Biden’s Hopes for Rare Earth Independence at Least a Decade Away – by Joe Deaux and Stephen Lee (Bloomberg News – February 26, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — Joe Biden’s ambition to make the U.S. less dependent on other nations for rare earths and minerals critical to the clean energy transition will take years to accomplish.

A review of the U.S. critical minerals and rare earths supply chain that the president ordered this week is likely to show that even with sweeping changes the nation is at least a decade from becoming self sufficient.
That will mean turning to countries such as Canada, which has the the largest number of rare earth projects in the world, according to Gareth Hatch, managing director of Strategic Materials Advisors Ltd. Continue Reading →

China’s Weaponization of Rare Earths Is Bound to Backfire – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – February 23, 2021)

https://www.bloombergquint.com/

(Bloomberg Opinion) — There was a time when China could cause the world to tremble by threatening its supply of rare earths. It’s long in the past.

That’s reason not to worry too much about news that Beijing is planning to ban exports of technology for refining the suite of minor metals. Such a move, if taken, is likely to backfire even more spectacularly than its previous attempts to weaponize the trade in rare earths itself.

In 2010, a dispute between China and Japan over which country owns a group of islands off the northeast coast of Taiwan caused Beijing to impose export restrictions on all 17 rare earths. Continue Reading →

Will America Trade Energy Independence for China Rare Earth Extortion? – by Larry Bell (KMJ Now – February 2021)

https://www.kmjnow.com/

The Biden administration’s feckless “Build Back Better” plan to throttle back U.S. fossil energy needed to reliably power our industry, air condition our homes and fuel our transportation in exchange for literally charging forward with a transition to intermittent and unreliable “green energy” reliance upon China for vital rare earth material-dependent electronics will not end well for America.

Rare earths are 17 indispensable metals used in an endless variety of 21st Century technologies, including, the manufacturing of domestic and strategic military airplanes, computers and smart phones, electricity generation and transmission systems, advanced weapon guidance systems, and yes, “Green New Deal” priorities like solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries for utility-scale energy storage and electric vehicles (EVs).

U.S. automakers are racing to China as an opportunity to cash in on the Democrat plan to transform America’s transportation to 100% EVs. Continue Reading →

Battery metals are critical over the next decade, Roskill says – by Carl A. Williams (Northern Miner – February 18, 2021)

Global mining news

The growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is driving the increasing demand for lithium, nickel and cobalt – critical metals used as cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries in the automotive, energy and electronics industries.

According to Deloitte’s Electric Vehicle Trends, EV sales are forecast to grow from 2.5 million in 2020 to 11.2 million by 2025, and to 31.1 million by 2030. Analysts from Roskill, a commodity research firm and a leader in critical materials supply chains, provide an outlook on battery metals’ markets over the next decade.

Lithium

Global demand for lithium carbonate — one of two primary forms of lithium used in EVs — is expected to exceed one million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2026, according to David Merriman, an expert on EV and battery materials at Roskill. Continue Reading →

WORLD BANK NEWS RELEASE: Mineral Production to Soar as Demand for Clean Energy Increases (May 11, 2021)

 

For Report: https://bit.ly/3bl6pkb

The more ambitious climate targets, the more minerals needed for a clean energy transition

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2020 — A new World Bank Group report finds that the production of minerals, such as graphite, lithium and cobalt, could increase by nearly 500% by 2050, to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies. It estimates that over 3 billion tons of minerals and metals will be needed to deploy wind, solar and geothermal power, as well as energy storage, required for achieving a below 2°C future.

The report “Minerals for Climate Action: The Mineral Intensity of the Clean Energy Transition” also finds that even though clean energy technologies will require more minerals, the carbon footprint of their production—from extraction to end use—will account for only 6% of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by fossil fuel technologies.

The report underscores the important role that recycling and reuse of minerals will play in meeting increasing mineral demand. It also notes that even if we scale up recycling rates for minerals like copper and aluminum by 100%, recycling and reuse would still not be enough to meet the demand for renewable energy technologies and energy storage. Continue Reading →

Legacy mine tailings present mineral recovery opportunity for junior miner – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 17, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Avalon Advanced Materials acquires closed Kapuskasing mine, Matheson processing plant as part of $16-million property package deal

A lithium exploration company wants to dig into a mine waste pile to recover valuable critical minerals that are used in fertilizer applications.

Avalon Advanced Materials is picking up four industrial minerals properties in Northern Ontario, including a former phosphate mine near Kapuskasing and a processing plant in Matheson.

Toronto-based Avalon announced Feb. 17 that it has signed a binding letter of intent to acquire a privately owned numbered company, 2333382 Ontario Inc. Continue Reading →

We need raw material diplomacy, not conflict – by Günther Maihold (IPS Journal – February 18, 2021)

https://www.ips-journal.eu/

Trade in valuable minerals often fuels violent conflicts. The EU’s new approach to raw material diplomacy could change that

While blood diamonds are certainly the most well-known ‘conflict raw material’, they are by no means the only one. The proceeds from their sale have, for example, been used to finance and prolong violent conflicts in Africa.

But if the European Commission should get its way, the banning of such raw materials would be expanded to strategic ones – through a new EU regulation on conflict minerals.

Raw materials are an indispensable part of modern economies and geopolitical competition. Naturally, that leaves them in high demand. However, mining and exploiting them is often linked to high social and environmental costs in many countries of the Global South. Continue Reading →

China eyes rare earth export curbs for US defense – FT – by Staff (Mining.com – February 16, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

China is looking into curbing the exports of rare earth minerals that are crucial to US defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin for the manufacture of sophisticated weaponry and F-35 fighter jets, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Industry executives said government officials had asked them how badly companies in the US and Europe would be affected if China restricted rare-earth exports during a bilateral dispute, FT reported.

China currently accounts for 70% of global production of rare earths, controlling 90% of the $4 billion global market. Continue Reading →

Why Rare Earths May Leave Europe and U.S. Vulnerable – by Joe Deaux and Justina Vasquez (Bloomberg News – February 17, 2021)

https://www.bloombergquint.com/

(Bloomberg) — Rare earths are among the most critical raw materials on the planet, yet few people can name them or know what they do. They are used to make so-called permanent magnets that create a field for motors to run in perpetuity.

These are in everything from lithium-ion batteries to electric vehicles, wind turbines and missile guidance systems. They’re fundamental as they help transfer energy into movement.

They represent a vulnerability for the U.S., which is 80% reliant for rare earths on imports from China, and also for Europe. Now they risk becoming a contentious issue in U.S.-China trade itself. Continue Reading →

10 Top Manganese-producing Countries – by Melissa Pistilli (Investing News – February 2, 2021)

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Manganese market volatility has become the norm for the top manganese-producing countries in recent years, and 2020 was no different.

After a sharp decline in 2019, COVID-19 lockdowns sent the manganese price soaring in May of last year before a crash brought it down in the second half of the 12 month period.

Looking forward into 2021 and beyond, the metal is strongly dependent on demand from China, which requires large amounts of electrolytic manganese to produce steel for construction. Interest in battery applications for manganese could also be a positive force moving forward. Continue Reading →

Biden DOE pick ‘enthusiastically supportive’ of US critical mineral policies – by Jacob Holzman (S&P Global Market Intelligence – January 2021)

https://www.spglobal.com/

In a signal of how the Biden administration will tackle U.S. mining, U.S. Energy Secretary nominee Jennifer Granholm voiced unerring support for marshaling the powers of the federal government to ensure steady domestic supplies of critical minerals, including lithium and cobalt.

Granholm, a former governor of a state legendary for its auto industry, said at her Jan. 27 Senate confirmation hearing that she was “enthusiastically supportive” of policy efforts geared toward boosting U.S. mining of materials integral to national security, including those used to produce lithium-ion batteries.

Her words echoed a national policy first set forth under the Trump administration then enacted by Congress to bolster domestic supplies of minerals in order to combat foreign influence over supply chains. Continue Reading →

[Kabanga Nickel/Tanzania] Green technology boost for African mining – by Martin Creamer (MiningWeekly.com – January 26, 2021)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The key to unlocking value of Kabanga Nickel and enabling the full beneficiation of new era metals in Tanzania is an environment-friendly hydrometallurgy process that eliminates smelting and thus slashes the need for electricity.

The Kabanga Nickel Hydromet process – which takes ore to refined metals at lower capital and operating costs cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emission by 80% and eliminating sulphur dioxide (SO2) emission altogether – is seen as a game changer for Tanzania, by providing the maximum in-country value-add to the East African nation.

Once developed, Kabanga will produce class 1 nickel and cobalt products – two of the key elements used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries – and London Metal Exchange grade A copper cathode. Continue Reading →

Developing a market for scandium oxide – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – January 21, 2021)

Global mining news

If you blinked you might have missed the news last week but it was extraordinary: Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO; LSE: RIO) and the Quebec government announced they are building a commercial-scale demonstration plant to produce scandium oxide in Canada – the first scandium oxide plant in North America.

As Alisha Hiyate, the editor-in-chief of the Canadian Mining Journal and Diamonds in Canada magazine pointed out in her article about the new plant on Jan. 14, scandium oxide is used to make high-performance aluminium alloys for the aerospace, defence and 3-D printing industries, and in the production of solid oxide fuel cells. Scandium-enriched alloys are stronger, lighter, corrosion-resistant and weldable.

Rio Tinto will be extracting the critical material from tailings it has generated from processing titanium dioxide. The mining company discovered the scandium oxide in mineralized material from its Lac Tio ilmenite mine in the French-speaking Canadian province five years ago, figured out a way of producing scandium oxide at a purity level of over 99.99%, and last year produced its first aluminum-scandium master alloy. Continue Reading →