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

‘Astronomical’ rare earth demand growth forecast ( – September 29, 2020)

Research and advisory services firm Adamas Intelligence is forecasting “astronomical” demand growth for certain rare earth minerals in the 2030s and has said that the supply-side of the industry is unlikely to keep up with the growing demand.

Demand for magnet rare earths, such as neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium, is rapidly growing, while surpluses of cerium and lanthanum are growing.

In a new report, the consultancy forecasts that magnet rare earth oxide demand will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 9.7%. The value of global magnet rare earth oxide consumption will rise five-fold by 2030, from $2.98-billion this year to $15.65-billion at the end of the decade. Continue Reading →

Australia’s Jervois to buy cobalt, nickel refinery in Brazil – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 29, 2020)

Australia’s Jervois Mining (ASX: JVR) is buying a nickel and cobalt refinery in Brazil from Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio for 125 million reais ($22.1 million) in an effort to transform the company into a producer and refiner of battery metals.

The miner said the São Miguel Paulista refinery, in São Paulo, had a production capacity of 25,000 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) of nickel and 2,000 mtpa of cobalt before it was placed on care and maintenance in 2016. Continue Reading →

Battery metal miners trying to tap electric car boom want Elon Musk to stop killing their buzz – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 26, 2020)

As investor anticipation mounted for Tesla Inc.’s much-hyped, self-proclaimed Battery Day on Wednesday, Trent Mell was upset just thinking about it.

Mell, chief executive of Toronto-based First Cobalt Corp., has spent three years trying to secure a ground floor seat in the burgeoning electric vehicle industry.

In 2017, his company bought a long-forgotten refinery in small-town northern Ontario that could, if everything goes right, produce five per cent of the world’s battery grade cobalt, about 25,000 tons, by 2021. It would be the first, and only, refinery in North America producing battery-grade cobalt. Continue Reading →

Cobalt will not be taken out of batteries anytime soon – First Cobalt – by Mariaan Webb ( – September 23, 2020)

Canada’s First Cobalt, which owns North America’s only permitted cobalt refinery, is confident that cobalt will continue to play an essential role in batteries, despite Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicting a future with no graphite and no cobalt.

Responding to Musk’s comments at the Tesla Battery Day on Tuesday, First Cobalt president and CEO Trent Mell said that cobalt would not be taken out of batteries anytime soon.

“Despite years of trying to remove cobalt from batteries, it has proven to be a formidable challenge, owing to its importance in keeping batteries safe and extending the life of cells,” he said. Continue Reading →

Tesla “battery day” a possible blow to cobalt miners – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 21, 2020)

Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla hosts its annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22, followed by the highly anticipated “battery technology day”, a worldwide live-streamed event during which the firm is expected to unveil its own new type of battery cell.

Speculation points to a cobalt-free battery that uses more of less costly metals such as nickel and manganese.

Tesla currently uses the nickel rich nickel-cobalt-aluminum cathode chemistry, which has a low cobalt content of about 5%, for their cars produced outside China. Continue Reading →

Ending China’s chokehold on rare-earth minerals – by James Mattis, James O. Ellis Jr., Joe Felter, and Kori Schake ( Opinion – September 18, 2020)


China dominates the global market in rare-earth minerals, producing 70% of the world’s exports. But this isn’t a gift of nature — it’s the result of 15 years of industrial policy.

The Chinese government identified a critical economic chokehold, invested in building companies, subsidized production to underprice and ultimately destroy competition, and then constructed a monopoly.

U.S. supply chains — both military and commercial — are almost wholly dependent on China for processed rare earths for our advanced weaponry and microelectronics. Continue Reading →

EU deal could forge shiny future for Canada’s low-carbon metals – by Chris Turner (Corporate Knights – September 16, 2020)

he Canada Nickel Company is a fledgling Ontario mining firm with a handful of leases in mineral-rich northern Ontario and ambitious plans to dig for nickel, cobalt and iron.

So it represents a particularly audacious move that the company recently announced the creation of a wholly owned subsidiary called NetZero Metals, charged with the task of mining those metals without a carbon footprint.

Green boasts can be a little suspect, especially since the net-zero goal is one that established players in industries like steel and oil have placed at the far end of a 30-year ramp. Continue Reading →

Chinese financier has a keen eye for Northern Ontario cesium – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 9, 2020)

Sinomine Resource Group inks cooperation deal with Power Metals to explore, develop rare earth metals properties

A Chinese mining investor is eyeballing a string of rare earth metal properties in Northern Ontario for a potential development partnership opportunity.

Sinomine Resource Group of Beijing has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Power Metals Corp. of Vancouver to finance and develop three properties containing cesium, lithium and tantalum elements near Cochrane, Dryden and Kenora. Power Metals owns three of the five cesium occurrences in Ontario.

The properties involved are Case Lake, 80 kilometres east of Cochrane; Paterson Lake, 60 kilometres north of Kenora and close to Avalon’s Separation Rapids lithium property; and Gullwing-Tot Lakes, 30 kilometres northeast of Dryden. Continue Reading →

U.S., Europe Face Hurdles to Cut China Reliance for Rare Earths – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – September 5, 2020)

Bloomberg) — The U.S. and Europe’s ambition to boost production of rare raw materials used in electric vehicles and wind turbines and reduce dependence on China will face obstacles, including higher costs and environmental concerns.

Two U.S. Congressmen this week introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at reducing dependence on China for rare earths, similar to what Senator Ted Cruz introduced in May.

The European Union stepped up a push to become less reliant on imported raw materials, with the European Commission vowing to create a raw-materials alliance by the end of the year due to their importance in growing industries. Continue Reading →

What to know about critical minerals – the key to our clean energy future – by Andrea Willige (World Economic Forum – September 2020)

When we think about the global switch to renewable energy, minerals are not the first thing that spring to mind. But they are crucial building blocks for all kinds of clean-energy infrastructure, from wind turbines and solar panels to electric vehicles and the batteries that power them.

Earlier this year, the World Bank predicted a 500% increase in the production of minerals such as graphite, lithium and cobalt by 2050 to feed the energy transition.

As in so many other industries, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light little-known weaknesses in global mineral supply chains for clean energy. For example, in Peru, a major world supplier of copper, mining came to a halt due to the country’s confinement measures. In South Africa, lockdown significantly disrupted the global production of platinum, another essential mineral in many clean-energy technologies. Continue Reading →

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS MOUNT OVER USE OF NICKEL IN EVS – by Kieran Ahuja (Sunday Times Driving – September 7, 2020)


OF COURSE, as something that has been widely touted as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, the green credentials of pure-electric vehicles have often been called into question.

A large amount of the conversation around this has revolved around the use of cobalt, which is used to aid conductivity and structural stability in lithium-ion batteries, enabling them to last for as long as they do.

However, production of cobalt is sometimes conducted in territories where a blind eye is turned to ethical mining practices, in places such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which produces around 60% of the world supply. Continue Reading →

Lawmakers Seek to Curb U.S. Reliance on China for Rare Earths – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – September 1, 2020)

U.S. House lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing dependence on China for rare earths used in everything from electric vehicles to missiles to wind turbines.

The legislation co-authored by Republican Lance Gooden and Democrat Vicente Gonzalez, both of Texas, is similar to that introduced in May by Senator Ted Cruz.

The measure would give tax incentives for companies involved in the mining, reclaiming and recycling of critical minerals and metals from deposits in the U.S. Continue Reading →

EU sounds alarm on critical raw materials shortages – by Michael Peel and Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – August 2020)

Brussels/London – The EU’s over-reliance on imports of critical raw materials threatens to undermine crucial industries and expose the bloc to supply squeezes by China and other resource-rich countries, the European Commission will warn member states this week.

Shortages of elements used to make batteries and renewable energy equipment could also threaten the bloc’s target of becoming climate neutral by 2050, a report by the Brussels executive will say.

The document is part of an urgent focus in Europe on security of imports of vital goods, as the coronavirus pandemic triggers transport disruption and growing tensions between western capitals and Beijing. Continue Reading →

Saskatchewan building rare earth processing plant, capitalizing on emerging industry – by Anna McMillan (Global News – August 27, 2020)

Construction has begun on a facility expected to put Saskatchewan at the fore of an emerging industry in the mining sector.

The province has invested $31 million to build a rare-earth element processing facility in north Saskatoon, owned and operated by the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC).

“In the future, rare-earth elements are going to play a major role in powering the 21st century,” Premier Scott Moe said at a news conference on Thursday. Continue Reading →

Pebble confirms potential for critical mineral production – by Jackson Chen ( – August 20, 2020)

Northern Dynasty Minerals’ (TSX: NDM) controversial Pebble project in southwest Alaska may turn out to be not just a prominent producer of base and precious metals, but also a strategic mineral required by the US to secure military dominance.

In an updated mineral resource estimate for the proposed mine in the Bristol Bay region, it was revealed that the Pebble deposit contains substantial quantities of rhenium – a metal used in jet engines and other military applications and for producing high-octane fuels – adding to the massive accumulations of copper, gold, molybdenum and silver already confirmed by previous studies.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) considers rhenium to be a strategic metal and confirms the US currently relies on foreign producers for 82% of its rhenium needs. Continue Reading →