Pro-China Agents Posed as Activists to Protest US, Canada Mines – by Margi Murphy (Bloomberg News – June 28, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Pro-Chinese agents posed as concerned local residents on social media to try and spark protests over the opening of rare earth mines in the US and Canada, cybersecurity researchers said in a new report.

The fake Twitter and Facebook accounts were created to give China, the largest producer of rare earth minerals, a competitive advantage, cybersecurity research company Mandiant disclosed on Tuesday.

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Column: U.S. forms ‘friendly’ coalition to secure critical minerals – by Andy Home (Reuters – June 30, 2022)

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – A metallic NATO is starting to take shape, though no-one is calling it that just yet. The Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) is in theory open to all countries that are committed to “responsible critical mineral supply chains to support economic prosperity and climate objectives”.

But the coalition assembled by the United States is one of like-minded countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany with an Asian axis in the form of Japan and South Korea.

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Chinese bots spread disinformation about Canadian rare earths company in targeted attack, report alleges – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 28, 2022)

A prominent U.S. cybersecurity firm is alleging that Chinese government-funded campaigns are spreading disinformation about Canadian rare earths miner Appia Rare Earths & Uranium Corp. in an attempt to cement China’s dominance in the sector and crush Canadian ambitions.

Virginia-based Mandiant Inc., which was founded by former U.S. government security experts, said in a report that Toronto-based Appia and two other rare earth companies, Lynas Rare Earths Ltd. and USA Rare Earth LLC, were targeted by an online network called Dragonbridge, a front for the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

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NEWS RELEASE: Minister Wilkinson Launches Discussion Paper to Inform Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy (Natural Resources Canada – June 14, 2022)

TORONTO, June 14, 2022 /CNW/ – Critical minerals are essential to powering the green, digital economy of tomorrow. Increasing demand and constrained supply of these all-important minerals are presenting Canada with a generational economic opportunity, and the Government of Canada is committed to seizing that opportunity while delivering on its ambitious climate and nature goals.

Building on the government’s nearly $3.8-billion commitment on critical minerals in Budget 2022, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, released the Government of Canada’s Discussion Paper to inform Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy.

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Internal DND study calls green technology minerals 21st-century ‘oil weapon’ – by Chris Arsenault and Philippe Le Billon (CBC News Business – June 20, 2022)

Skyrocketing demand for copper, lithium and rare earths sparks geopolitical race, worrying environmentalists

Minerals needed to power the green transition from fossil fuels could become “the 21st-century version of the ‘oil weapon,'” warns an internal study commissioned by Canada’s Department of National Defence.

There is widespread agreement among scientists that drastic cuts in fossil fuel consumption are needed to stave off catastrophic climate change — and a transition to electric cars, wind and solar power form key pillars of this shift.

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Yellen Urges Less Dependence on Other Nations for Key Supplies – by Christopher Condon and Danielle Bochove (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – June 20, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US should work on shifting its dependence away from some rival nations for supplies of critical inputs as global supply-chain logjams have hurt the domestic economy.

“We saw during the pandemic that our supply chains were very brittle and really lacking in resilience,” she said Monday.

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Canadian explorer continues to advance project’s copper-nickel-cobalt plus PGM, clean energy potential (Mining Weekly – June 20, 2022)

With significant demand and potential in Canada for high-grade palladium, platinum, rhodium, copper, nickel and cobalt, Canadian North Resources Inc. (CNRI) is at late-stage exploration and development of its mining property in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, in Canada, namely the Ferguson Lake project.

The company, which owns 100% of the project, has a mandate to create shareholder value from the advancement of its Ferguson Lake project, which holds substantial resources of copper (0.46-billion indicated and 0.95-billion inferred pounds), nickel (0.32-billion indicated and 0.55-billion inferred pounds) and cobalt (37-million indicated and 62-million inferred pounds) plus palladium (1.08-million indicated and 2.12-million ounces) and platinum (0.18-million indicated and 0.38-million inferred ounces).

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How Russia’s War Is Putting Green Tech Progress in Jeopardy – by Paul Hockenos (Yale Environment 360 – June 16, 2022)

The European Union relies heavily on Russia to supply nickel and other metals for electric vehicle batteries and other renewable technologies. War-related price increases and shortages of these metals could hinder Europe’s drive to sharply cut emissions by 2030 and beyond.

Volkswagen might as well hang a “sold out” sign on the doors of its European and U.S. factories. The world’s second-largest manufacturer of electric automobiles announced last month that any plug-in ordered after May won’t find its way to customers’ garages before 2023.

The German carmaker’s sales of nearly 100,000 battery electric models in the first quarter landed it behind only Tesla, but far from the pace needed for the 700,000 it planned to roll off its assembly lines this year. And Tesla, too, like almost all other EV carmakers, says it is highly unlikely to hit 2022’s sales targets.

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World cannot allow Russia, China to dominate critical minerals market: Wilkinson – by Mia Rabson (Victoria Timines Colonist/Canadian Press – June 16, 2022)

OTTAWA — The strategic mistake made in allowing Russia to have global dominance in oil and gas cannot be repeated as the world looks to massively ramp up production of critical minerals, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson asserted this week.

Demand for critical minerals and metals — such as lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt and copper — is exploding as demand climbs for everything from smartphones and laptops to wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars.

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‘Rapid development’ of mines ‘urgently required’ – Canada’s resources minister – by Kip Keen ( – June 14, 2022)

Accelerating mine development could be a pressing issue for the country’s left-leaning Liberal Party government as it looks to support the energy transition, said Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

Wilkinson’s call to action at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto on mine timelines is a rare example of a top Liberal official calling for the need to fast-track more Canadian mining projects, after the government has made critical minerals a priority in recent years.

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PDAC 22: Canada places bets on critical minerals – by Jax Jacobsen (Mining Magazine – June 14, 2022)

Canada committed to building an end-to-end supply chain, says minister

The global drive towards electrification and electric vehicles places Canada in a prime position to provide critical minerals, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) on June 13.

“Canada is home to almost half of listed companies in the mining and minerals space, with a combined market cap of C$520 billion, and ranks in the top five producing countries for critical minerals,” Wilkinson said.

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Canada set to ramp up protectionism against China in critical minerals amid domination by Asian superpower in key metals for clean energy transition – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 15, 2022)

Canada is set to take a far more protectionist trade stance against China, as it teams up with the United States and other Western countries in a concerted effort to secure supplies of critical minerals that are key to a lower carbon future.

Since the early 2000s, China has directed its state-owned companies to invest abroad to secure long-term supplies of critical minerals and it has invested billions in Canada as part of that program.

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How the “demon metal” gave Canadian mining a bad name – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – June 2, 2022)

The word cobalt came from kobold, a variant of the German word kobalos, a satyr and shape-shifter of Greek mythology who mocked the work of humans. By the Middle Ages, miners in the dark depths reported that touching the metal burned their fingertips, a sure sign that demons were watching them. And so the “demon metal” it became.

Cobalt – with a capital C – is synonymous with the silver rush of over a hundred years ago in northern Ontario. The town of Cobalt got its start when silver was discovered in 1903, and that mining rush outshone any gold rush in the previous 200 years.

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Congo Sees Surge in Mining of Metals for Green-Energy Transition – by Michael J. Kavanagh (Financial Post/Bloomberg – June 3, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Democratic Republic of Congo could see about 10 new mines for metals key to powering the green-energy transition within four years, according to the director of the country’s mining registry.

About 500 of the nation’s mining permits are in advanced development and will soon lead to new projects for lithium and cobalt — battery metals driving the electric vehicle revolution — while mines for copper, tin, tantalum and tungsten will also be built, Jean Felix Mupande told a conference in the southeast city of Lubumbashi. Congo is already the world’s No. 1 cobalt producer and Africa’s biggest copper miner.

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Opinion: The Undersea Trove for Electric Vehicles – by Dennis Blair (Wall Street Journal – June 2, 2022)

Mr. Blair, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, is a former director of national intelligence and commander of U.S. Pacific Command. He is chairman of SAFE, an energy-security organization.

President Biden recently invoked the Defense Production Act to boost supplies of the minerals needed to power electric vehicles and reduce America’s oil dependency. Yet, even with this welcome executive action, the U.S. can’t produce enough of some minerals, such as nickel.

America must rely on undependable, often hostile foreign-controlled sources for these key materials. There is an alternative: finding politically safe, economically viable and ecologically responsible ways to get these minerals somewhere else, including the depths of the oceans.

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