One-half of the critical minerals story – by Sander Grieve, Steven D. Bennett, Zirjan Derwa, and Martin Ignasiak (Canadian Mining Journal – January 9, 2023)

While it is not clear the world has changed, a recent frenzy of activity demonstrates the way Ottawa sees the world has vastly changed. Observers of Canada have borne witness for many years to many foreign and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) sizing up middle powers like Canada with increasing appetite.

The Government of Canada has come to the public revelation that critical minerals are, for lack of a better word, critical to economic growth, energy transition and transformation and the security of Canada and its allies.

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Business leaders urge Three Amigos to move past trade disputes, embrace ‘Team North America’ approach – by Steven Chase (Globe and Mail – January 9, 2023)

Mr. Volpe said there is not yet sufficient infrastructure in place –
lithium production and battery production – to meet the earliest targets
for zero emissions without buying from China. “If we’re actually going
to meet those targets, we’re gonna meet them with Chinese batteries.
Maybe Chinese vehicles,” he said.

Business leaders are urging Justin Trudeau and his U.S. and Mexican counterparts to adopt more of a “Team North America” approach when they meet in Mexico City this week: to move beyond a growing list of disputes including energy, autos and dairy, and craft a continental plan for industries such as electric vehicles.

The Prime Minister, U.S. President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will get together for the North American Leaders’ Summit on Tuesday to talk about boosting trade and investment and building a better supply chain to fuel the continent’s electric-vehicle production. It’s the 10th such meeting – also known as the Three Amigos summit – since they began in 2005.

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In The Mojave Desert, California, The Rebirth Of America’s Only Rare Earth Mine – by David Sadler (Globe Echo – January 3, 2023)


On the road that leads from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, through the Mojave Desert, the place goes unnoticed, between some Joshua trees, after the borders of the State of California. Five years ago, the Mountain Pass mine, bankrupt and abandoned, had only eight employees. Now it’s a beehive.

At the bottom of a 150-meter chasm, a Caterpillar truck, which seems very small, climbs up from the rocks: the monster weighs more than 100 tons. It is crushed in a crusher, then lifted by water, which makes it possible to isolate a precious ore, which is then roasted and chemically treated with salt water.

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Podcast Reveals Modern Day Slavery at CCP-Controlled Cobalt Mines in the Congo – by Bryan Jung (The Epoch Times – December 28, 2022)

A revealing podcast has again brought to light the problem of slavery at Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-owned cobalt mines in the Congo and the hypocrisy of green energy advocates.

Siddharth Kara, author of Cobalt Red: How The Blood of The Congo Powers Our Lives and a visiting Harvard professor, told his host Joe Rogan about his research and findings after his visit to the mines in the Democratic Republic of The Congo (DRC). He explained to Rogan the brutal connection between lithium battery powered devices and their source of origin in the CCP-controlled cobalt mines.

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Ottawa’s crackdown on Chinese investment in the critical minerals sector left out major miners, critics say – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – December 24, 2022)

This past summer, Power Metals Corp. chief executive officer Johnathan More fielded questions from the federal government about the roughly 5-per-cent equity position Chinese state-owned Sinomine Rare Metals Resources Co. held in his tiny exploration company. What struck him was how naive some of the queries were.

“They were coming at us saying, ‘Oh, they’re buying your company, they’re taking you over?’” he said. “I’m like, ‘no.’ This is how uneducated the government is.” Patiently, Mr. More explained that Sinomine owned a tiny, non-controlling stake, worth a mere $1.5-million.

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OPINION: Will the mining industry really follow Ottawa’s lead on critical minerals? – by Heather Exner-Pirot (Globe and Mail – December 16, 2022)

Heather Exner-Pirot is a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

Canada’s long-awaited critical minerals strategy, released last week by Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, puts a plan behind the $3.8-billion the government previously announced to support critical minerals development and generally accelerate mining projects.

But while it’s encouraging to see Ottawa backing the natural resource sector in a big way, the question now is if the mining sector is interested in pursuing projects in Canada.

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The Drift: Sudbury mining camp remains active with explorers – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – December 14, 2022)

New sources of nickel and platinum keep the drills turning this winter

Nickel and base metals continue to drive exploration in the Sudbury mining camp with a handful of junior miners preparing for winter drill programs.

Magna Mining, the redevelopers of a decommissioned INCO property near Whitefish, reported some high-grade nickel hits this week from its first drilling program at the former Crean Hill Mine. The Sudbury junior miner acquired the shuttered underground mine last month and launched a maiden 2,000-metre program this fall.

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Canada, other G7 nations launch sustainable mining alliance at COP15 nature meeting – by Jacob Serebrin (Canadian Press/Moose Jaw Today – December 12, 2022)

MONTREAL — Canada and other G7 countries have formed a new alliance to compel mining companies to adopt more environmentally sustainable and socially responsible standards, as the Western world ramps up its critical mineral supply chains.

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced the agreement on Monday at the COP15 biodiversity talks in Montreal. The deal involves countries that are trying to reduce China’s dominance in the critical mineral field.

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Canada joins critical minerals alliance to avoid reliance on ‘authoritarian states’ – by John Woodside (National Observer – December 10, 2022)

As concerns about China’s dominant economic position in industry mount, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is unveiling a new international alliance aimed at securing the critical minerals needed to transition off fossil fuels.

Wilkinson announced the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance Monday at the United Nations biodiversity conference underway in Montreal, days after Canada published its critical minerals strategy to grow the sector domestically. The new alliance includes Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and Japan.

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Uranium exploration supported in Canadian critical minerals strategy (World Nuclear News – December 13, 2022)

The Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy was released on 9 December by Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson, who said it will position Canada as “the global supplier of choice for the critical minerals and clean technologies needed for the green, digital global economy”.

Uranium appears on the list of 31 minerals currently considered by Canada to be “critical”. To be on the list, a mineral must either be essential to the country’s economic security and its supply is threatened; required for the national transition to a low-carbon economy; or a sustainable source of highly strategic critical minerals for Canadian partners and allies.

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Opinion: Don’t assume Canada will ace the mining transition – by Phil Bazel and Jack Mintz (Financial Post/Yahoo Finance – December 13, 2022)

Contemporary policy rhetoric, including last week’s presentation by the federal minister of natural resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, suggests we are on the verge of a great energy transition away from fossil fuels toward cleaner, renewable sources of electric energy.

Electric vehicle mandates and fuel efficiency regulations are expected to lead to widespread adoption of electric cars in the coming decade. In addition, the growth of carbon taxes at the consumer and industrial level creates incentives to shift from coal, oil and gas to wind and solar, with increased reliance on battery technology and electric-powered vehicles and processes as a result.

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Opinion: A generational economic opportunity for Sudbury, Northern Ontario – by Viviane Lapointe (Sudbury Star – December 15, 2022)

Sudbury MP says Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy is a roadmap to creating significant wealth and sustainable jobs for Northern Ontario

As many of you may know, I was born in Elliot Lake, the proud daughter of a miner. Representing Sudbury, I can tell you it still runs through my veins.

Mining has always been one of Canada’s economic cornerstones. Today, this sector matters more than ever. There is growing global appreciation that a cleaner, net-zero global economy cannot be achieved without mineral extraction. Specifically, critical minerals. They are the building blocks for a green and digital economy. They are the building blocks for the future.

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Yukonomist: The past, present and future of mining and the Yukon economy – Part 2 – by Keith Halliday (Yukon News – December 11, 2022)


Last week, Part 1 of this column looked at the past and present of Yukon mining as well as two game changers that could be powerful tailwinds for the Yukon’s biggest private-sector industry: geopolitics and climate change.

Allies from Berlin to Washington are clamouring for secure supplies of critical minerals from locations that are secure, stable and blessed with high environmental and social standards such as the Yukon.

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There will be no environmental shortcuts taken in the Ring of Fire, says federal minister – Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – December 9, 2022)

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Ottawa and the provinces must work together to expedite the regulatory and permitting processes that bring new mines into production in a timely way.

But federal approvals for this industrial developments won’t be granted at the expense of cutting corners from an environmental perspective and in a manner that disrespects the rights of Indigenous people and communities.

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Sudbury can help Ottawa’s critical mineral strategy, officials say – by Mia Jensen (Sudbury Star – December 10, 2022)

Canada is home to 31 minerals that the government considers critical, including nickel

As the federal government prioritizes critical mineral extraction, local officials are emphasizing the need to take advantage of the opportunities available in Sudbury.

“Mining has always been one of Canada’s economic cornerstones,” said Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe. “Today, this sector matters more than ever. There is a growing global appreciation that a cleaner, net-zero global economy cannot be achieved without mineral extraction, specifically, critical minerals, the building blocks for the future.”

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