Pentagon asks Congress to fund mining projects in Australia, U.K. – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – May 11, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

May 11 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Defense has asked Congress to let it fund facilities in the United Kingdom and Australia that process strategic minerals used to make electric vehicles and weapons, calling the proposal crucial to national defense.

The request to alter the Cold War-era Defense Production Act (DPA) came as part of the Pentagon’s recommendations to Congress for how to write the upcoming U.S. military funding bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act.

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Russia Struggles to Find New Buyers for Commodities as Europe Severs Links – by Georgi Kantchev (Wall Street Journal – May 5, 2022)

https://www.wsj.com/

With Europe weaning itself off Russian oil, natural gas and coal, President Vladimir Putin has ordered a full-scale reorientation of Russia’s commodity exports by shipping more cargoes to Asia, building new pipelines and expanding railroad links to the East.

But in redrawing its exports map, Moscow faces significant hurdles, putting its sanctions-stricken economy further at risk. European Union officials this week are preparing a sixth round of sanctions that aim to undercut Russia’s energy exports.

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Russia Produces a Third of the World’s Diamonds. Now They’re Coming Under Scrutiny – by Lisa Abend (Time Magazine – May 3, 2022)

https://time.com/

No one would ever call the atmosphere on Antwerp’s Hoveniersstraat relaxed. Each day, millions of euros worth of diamonds pass through the export offices and exchanges that line its 300 barricaded meters, and the traders who move along its length, clutching innocuous-looking plastic bags laden with gems, tend to eye outsiders with suspicion.

But ever since the war in Ukraine began, Hoveniersstraat has been even more tense than usual. As the world’s oldest and largest hub for the trade, it—and Antwerp as a whole—has held its breath each time the European Union has announced a new set of sanctions against Russia. And now, with a sixth round imminent, traders in Belgium’s second largest city are again worried that their luck may soon run out.

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Angela Merkel’s nuclear folly fuelled Putin’s ambitions in Ukraine – by David Welch (Globe and Mail – April 28, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

For every euro of military aid that Germany has given to Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion, it has paid €200 for Russian energy imports. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called this “blood money.” Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski recently declared it “inadmissible from a political and moral point of view.”

It is also tragic and unnecessary. For this, we can blame former German chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany finds itself in an awkward position because of its heavy dependence on Russian coal, oil, and natural gas.

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Column: Europe urgently needs an accelerator in critical metals race – by Andy Home (Reuters – April 29, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – Europe is running out of time to secure the metals it needs to power the energy transition. The region’s import dependency for enabling metals was already high and has turned critical since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has historically been a major supplier of aluminium nickel and platinum to the European market, while the European Union had high hopes of folding Ukraine into its battery sector build-out. Even worse, what Russia calls its “special operation” has sent European power prices soaring, forcing energy-intensive aluminium and zinc smelters to close or reduce output.

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Korea offers six reactors to Poland (World Nuclear News – April 25, 2022)

https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/

Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) has submitted to Poland what the country called a “technical and price offer” for the construction of six APR-1400 reactors.

The KHNP delegation was led by CEO Jeong Jae-hoon with support from head of business development Yoosik Nam. Their offer provided for “the construction of six APR1400 reactors with a total capacity of 8.4 GW, the first of which could start operating in accordance with the schedule adopted in the Polish Nuclear Power Programme, i.e. in 2033,” said the Polish Ministry for Climate and Energy.

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European electric car makers have a Russian nickel problem – by (Grist.org – April 22, 2022)

https://grist.org/

Europe may need Russian nickel to meet its climate goals — and Indigenous activists may need Europe to hold a Russian mining giant to account.

About two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, a metal that plays a key role in batteries for electric vehicles, or EVs, was thrust suddenly into the spotlight. On March 8, the price of nickel doubled within hours on the London Metal Exchange, prompting the world’s leading metals market to shut down trading for the material.

The price spike occurred amidst fears that nickel from Russia, the world’s third-largest producer of the metal, would soon become “untouchable due to sanctions risk,” as one group of analysts put it.

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The [Resource] History of Donbass’ Donetsk and Luhansk Regions – by Patricia Claus (The Greek Reporter – February 22, 2022)

Greek News

When Russian President Vladimir Putin officially recognized the independence of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, known together as the Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, it was yet another pivotal, wrenching moment in the long and turbulent history of the area.

Putin signed documents purportedly declaring the regions were no longer part of Ukraine after Russian-speaking separatist leaders of the regions had appealed for the declaration hours earlier.

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What some see as the real reason behind Russia’s battle for Donbas – by Allan Woods (Toronto Star – April 20, 2022)

https://www.thestar.com/

It is a region with complex and bloody history — and resource wealth

It’s a Russian battle for resources that has been cast as a humanitarian crusade, in the view of some.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented his bid to control the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine as an attempt to save Russian-speaking souls trapped in a foreign and hostile land.

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The world needs more Canadian resources – by Diane Francis (Financial Post – April 18, 2022)

https://financialpost.com/

Governments must step aside and facilitate, not sabotage, the mobilization of Canada’s natural endowments to fight inflation and to play a prominent role in a righteous cause

The great resource reset is underway, as punitive sanctions against Russia strand its natural resource and agricultural production and offer opportunities to resource-rich countries such as Canada, Australia and the United States.

Russia is being isolated by financial restrictions and the noose looks to be tightening as the European Union mulls even tougher restrictions on imports of Russian coal, oil and natural gas. Just as significant are the sanctions that prohibit Russia’s access to U.S. dollar transactions, as well as to the companies, capital, technology and expertise that have built its resource industries.

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Column: Copper may be too relaxed about Russian supply threat – by Andy Home (Reuters – March 23, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – Doctor Copper has sat serene amid the chaos engulfing London Metal Exchange (LME) trading this month.

The London copper market was briefly shaken by the margin meltdown that triggered the March 8 suspension of the LME nickel market with a short-lived spike up to a new all-time high of $10,845 per tonne. But since then LME three-month copper has done little more than tread water, last trading at $10,340 per tonne.

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We Don’t Need Nickel From Russia – by Johnna Crider (Clean Technica – April 15, 2022)

https://cleantechnica.com/

We don’t need nickel from Russia. There is a critical need for nickel and other EV battery metals worldwide, but we don’t need to get it from Russia. In March 2022, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas shared worries about Russia’s outsized role in the nickel supply chain for EVs.

CNBC’s Phil LeBeau then discussed the note from Jonas. Jonas noted that Ford announced a target of 2 million EV unit sales by 2026, and that this will require a lot of EV battery metals. The question he posed was where Ford would source all of these raw materials. LeBeau pointed out that everyone in the auto industry has been talking about this issue for quite a while.

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Russian nickel, palladium, chromium exports a headache for Germany – by Arthur Sullivan (DW.com – April 11, 2022)

https://www.dw.com/en/

Russian gas and oil are by far the most significant exports Moscow sells to Germany. Yet other important raw materials are also under the spotlight because of the war in Ukraine.

Almost all the debate surrounding Germany’s economic ties with Russia since the invasion of Ukraine has focused on gas and oil. With good reason — Germany buys more Russian oil and gas than any other European country, making energy Russia’s most lucrative import to Germany by far.

However, many German companies rely on a steady supply of other Russian exports, particularly raw materials such as nickel, palladium, copper and chromium.

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Kinross finds buyer for Kupol mine complex in what analyst calls ‘messy exit’ from Russia – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – April 6, 2022)

https://financialpost.com/

Highland Gold to pay US$680 million for complex that would have accounted for 13% of Kinross’s 2022 gold production

Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corp. is unloading its Russian mine and exploration assets in a sale that will provide a new test of the reach of western sanctions.

Highland Gold Mining Ltd., one of the largest Russian gold miners, which once counted billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich as a major shareholder, has agreed to pay US$680 million for the Kinross mine complex that would have accounted for 13 per cent of its 2022 gold production.

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Metals World Agonizes Over War But Keeps Buying From Russia – by Jack Farchy, Mark Burton and James Attwood (Bloomberg News – April 4, 2022)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — Last month, 13 copper-industry representatives at the London Metal Exchange were asked whether Russian metal should be blocked from its warehouses. Ten of them said “yes.” But when advisory groups for nickel and aluminum discussed the same question, the general consensus was “no.”

The LME, which is the ultimate decision-maker, says it won’t take action that goes beyond government sanctions — which, so far, have left most of the metals industry untouched.

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