Archive | Graphite Mining

U.S. faces hurdles in push to build electric vehicle supply chain – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters Canada – May 14, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

(Reuters) – The United States faces stiff challenges as it moves to create its own electric vehicle supply chain, industry analysts say, with the extent of the country’s metal reserves largely unknown and only a few facilities to process minerals and produce batteries.

Legislation making its way through the U.S. Congress aims to help offset those gaps, but China remains the global EV sector leader, a dominance seen by some as difficult to supplant. Even some U.S. mines are caught in China’s orbit, with domestic production of so-called rare earth minerals reliant on Chinese processing and now caught up in the U.S.-China trade conflict.

“China has a huge head start,” said Gavin Montgomery, a battery and mining analyst at the Wood Mackenzie consultancy. “They’ve just been at this a lot longer than the rest of the world.” Continue Reading →

Tesla Manager Sees Risk of Battery-Minerals Shortage in Future – by Laura Millan Lombrana and Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – May 2, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Booming demand for electric vehicles and insufficient investment in mines could result in a global shortage of minerals needed to manufacture rechargeable batteries in a few years’ time, a Tesla Inc. representative told U.S. officials and mining executives in a meeting in Washington.

Prices for some of the minerals, which include graphite, cobalt, lithium and nickel, could increase as a result of the high demand and the limited supply, Tesla global supply manager of battery metals Sarah Maryssael said in a closed-door presentation Thursday confirmed by the company.

Investment is important to ensure there is sufficient supply for the industry to grow, she said. Funding for projects to mine these minerals in certain countries has been challenging in the past, Maryssael said at the presentation. Continue Reading →

Europe aims to take its place on the global EV battery production stage – by Amanda Stutt (Mining.com – March 28, 2019)

http://www.mining.com/

The European Commission is eyeing opportunities within the EU’s minerals and mining sector, and has put forward, in its Strategic Action Plan (SAP) on batteries, a comprehensive set of targeted measures to make Europe a global leader in sustainable battery production and use.

The SAP focuses on including raw materials research and innovation, financing and investment, standardization, regulation, and trade and skills development to secure a sustainable supply of battery raw materials.

In his opinion piece in the EU Observer, Raw Materials: ‘holy grail’ of 21st century industrial policy, Maros Sefcovic, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union, said that Europe has world-leading technologies as well as high environmental and social standards, and that the EU aims to ensure that mining is no longer the polluting industry of the past. Continue Reading →

U.S. Loosing Global Battery Arms Race that is Critically Dependent on Nickel, Cobalt and Lithium – by Simon Moores (Benchmark Mineral Intelligence – February 5, 2019)

  • Written Testimony of Simon Moores, Managing Director, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
  • For: US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • Hearing: Tuesday, February 5 2019, at 10:00a.m. Room 366, Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.
  • Subject: Outlook for energy and minerals markets in the 116th Congress.

We are in the midst of a global battery arms race in which the US is presently a bystander.

Since my last testimony only 14 months ago, we have reached a new gear in this energy storage revolution which is now having a profound impact on supply chains and the raw materials that fuel it.

The advent of electric vehicles (EVs) and the emergence of battery energy storage has sparked a wave of lithium ion battery megafactories being built. Continue Reading →

Canadian miner and First Nation work together on “new wonder material” project – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – October 7, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

In a moment where Canada is moving forward with a few different energy projects that involve complex consultation processes with communities, Ontario-based Zenyatta Ventures announced the launching of a partnership with the Constance Lake First Nation for the development of the Albany Graphite Project.

Located in northeastern Ontario, about 30 kilometres north of the Trans-Canada Highway, the Albany Graphite Deposit is thought to be the largest ultra high-purity graphite deposit in the area.

During the exploration phase, two vertical, carrot-shaped breccia pipes that extend some 500 metres and are open at depth were discovered. Now that such a phase is over, Zenyatta considered it was appropriate to start the development stage by involving the Constance Lake First Nation in a more active role. Continue Reading →

Dissident shareholders take control of Zenyatta Ventures – by Norm Tollinsky (Northern Ontario Business – May 18, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

A group of dissident shareholders of Zenyatta Ventures took control of the graphite junior mining company at a special meeting in Toronto May 11, turfing four of the six directors, including president Aubrey Eveleigh and executive chairman Keith Morrison.

Francis Dubé, Brian Bosse and Eric Wallman were elected to replace them. Everleigh resigned as CEO on April 17 but had remained with the company as interim president and director as Zenyatta began a search for his successor.

The Thunder Bay-based exploration company owns the high-purity Albany graphite project, west of Hearst.“For a group of dissident shareholders to band together and unseat extremely entrenched incumbents is rare to say the least,” commented one shareholder at the meeting. Continue Reading →

Dormant Swedish Mine Comes Alive in Rush for Car Batteries – by Niclas Rolander and Jesper Starn (Bloomberg News – April 3, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The global race to develop batteries for electric cars is reaching deep into the pine forests of central Sweden, where a dormant graphite mine is getting a new lease on life.

Woxna, situated about 160 miles (259 kilometers) north of Stockholm, was mothballed in 2001 amid a slump in prices. Now, a Canadian company called Leading Edge Materials Corp. is preparing to revive operations.

Though graphite has grabbed fewer headlines than other battery components like lithium and cobalt, whose prices have surged in recent months, the carbon material makes up a large part of the raw material costs. Continue Reading →

Graphite’s sterling history in eastern Ontario – by Jen Glanville (CIM Magazine – December 20, 2017)

http://magazine.cim.org

A successful Ontario graphite mine is forever submerged under Black Donald Lake

Before the 1867 construction of the road that led deep into the Black Donald Mountains, located about 120 kilometres west of Ottawa, the untamed region was considered wild by settler society. Eventually the growth of immigrant populations in the Ottawa area forced a westward expansion of Opeongo Road and soon Irish, Poles and Germans settled the region.

John Moore was one of the first European settlers of the mountainous frontier. He was offered a plot of land near Whitefish Lake. One day in 1889, while strolling on his property, he slipped on a rocky outcrop and made a life-changing discovery. A sampling of the brittle dark rock confirmed Moore had uncovered a graphite deposit.

Graphite was much needed in the industrialized 19th century. The mineral is heat-resistant, making it an ideal lubricant for motors and a good liner in crucibles containing molten steel. Continue Reading →

Beyond lithium — the search for a better battery – by Nic Fildes(Financial Times – January 7, 2018)

https://www.ft.com/

As the world’s power needs grow, the search is on for better battery technology — not just to keep smartphones charged for longer, but to run electric cars and to store energy produced by solar and wind power.

For the last 25 years, the lithium-ion battery, has held sway. Packing a large amount of energy into a relatively small space and weight, these are in greater demand than ever for mobile phones and electric cars. In fact, 2017 has been, in the words of HSBC’s Paul Bloxham, a nirvana for lithium.

The price of the commodity has been driven 240 per cent higher. Batteries accounted for 35 per cent of lithium use in 2015, up from 25 per cent in 2007, with electric vehicles, phones and personal computers accounting for 60 per cent of that market. Continue Reading →

Trump’s order on critical minerals could be a boon for juniors – by William Clarke (Industrial Minerals – January 5, 2018)

http://www.indmin.com/

A drive to secure supplies of materials used in the defense sector offers opportunities for new miners, but obstacles with permitting must still be overcome.

Unites States President Donald Trump has called for an end to the country’s reliance on foreign sources of critical minerals, including battery materials and rare earths, in a move which could be boon to mining juniors.

The US should increase efforts to identify and exploit domestic resources of critical minerals, Trump said in an executive order signed on December 20, 2017. “It shall be the policy of the Federal government to reduce the nation’s vulnerability to disruptions in the supply of critical minerals, which constitutes a strategic vulnerability for the security and prosperity of the United States,” the order said. Continue Reading →

The German Auto Industry’s Darkest Secrets – by Melanie Bergermann, Simon Book, Alexander Busch and Martin Seiwert (Handelsblatt Global – November 3, 2017)

https://global.handelsblatt.com/

German consumers purchasing a new electric car may be buying a few extras they didn’t reckon with – such as child labor, corruption and police brutality.

The young man shyly moves his T-shirt down over his belly, hiding the scars from the operation and the exit holes. His fellow South Africans call Mzoxolo Magidiwana, 24, “dead man walking” because he will never recover from the injuries he suffered when police opened fire on him and his fellow workers five years ago. Bullets tore into his stomach and his right arm no longer has any strength; nor can he walk properly anymore.

Mr. Magidiwana was one of the leaders of the 3,000 miners who went on strike on August 12, 2012 to protest poor working conditions and low pay at the Marikana platinum mine some 100 kilometers from Johannesburg in South Africa.

The workers were being paid just €400 ($464) per month for back breaking work. Below ground, they had to contend with constant accidents and dust that made them ill. Above ground, they were breathing the toxic fumes coming out of the platinum smelter. Continue Reading →

Electric vehicle ambitions spark race for raw materials – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – October 23, 2017)

https://www.ft.com/

Manufacturers are scrambling to seal long-term deals for supply of lithium, cobalt and nickel

As carmakers gear up to electrify their fleets, a new scramble for resources is under way to ensure there is enough raw material for a rapid expansion of battery production.

Electric car batteries rely on a host of materials — from lithium to nickel, cobalt and graphite — while some cars also use motors that require rare earths.

Prices have soared rapidly over the past year, with cobalt, a greyish metal mostly mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, up more than 190 per cent over the past 18 months. Carmakers and battery producers are rushing to lock in supply agreements from mining companies for the metals as forecasts for consumer uptake of electric vehicles increase and governments launch policies to back a shift away from combustion engines. Continue Reading →

Mad About Madagascar’s Mining Potential – by Christopher Ecclestone (InvestorIntel.com – October 18, 2017)

https://investorintel.com/

With the eclipse of Tanzania as a mining destination the hunt is on for amenable jurisdictions in East Africa. In recent years the rising stars have been Mozambique and to a lesser extent, Madagascar.

The last month saw the full court press of the great and good of Madagascar descend upon London for a day of interaction with London investors in the energy and mining sectors. We attended in the company of NextSource Materials Inc. (TSX: NEXT | OTCQB: NSRC) (formerly Energizer Resources) which has a graphite project and a vanadium deposit in the country.

The event had a certain element of cloak and dagger to it with the location of an event only being released a few days before the event to the hundreds of people attending, somewhat like a house-rave in the 1980s. Continue Reading →

Finalists gather in the race for graphite production – by Christopher Ecclestone (InvestorIntel.com – October 11, 2017)

https://investorintel.com/

The “Big Beasts” of the Canadian mining scene are neither as evident nor as prominent as they used to be. Some have reconfigured their activities for the new reality of markets since 2011. One of the “Big Beasts” that temporarily disappeared from the scene and has now resurfaced is Sheldon Inwentash.

He is famed for his management of Pinetree Capital which, at its peak, commanded a market cap of over $1 billion and held a rather daunting 400 plus names in its portfolio. Pinetree Capital can be said to be the proto-mining hedge fund in the Canadian space and it revolutionized the resource investment model.

Pinetree veterans are spread across Toronto, churning out deals, raising hundreds of millions of dollars, and managing funds and mining companies themselves. In its heyday Pinetree was famous for having seeded companies such as Queenston Mining (acquired by Osisko Mining Corp. for $550mn), Aurelian Resources (acquired by Kinross for $1.2bn), and Gold Eagle Mines (acquired by Goldcorp for $1.5bn). Continue Reading →

Electric vehicles trigger search for lithium and cobalt – by Chris Tomlinson (Houston Chronicle – September 27, 2017)

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/

Automakers this summer touted plans to offer more electric vehicles, with Mercedes-Benz announcing it will spend $1 billion to add a battery factory to its plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Ford is investing $4.5 billion in electric vehicle production, Volkswagen has promised 30 electrified models, and Volvo plans to go all electric or hybrid by 2019. Even Porsche will offer a battery-powered sports sedan called Mission E in 2020.

Automakers expect to sell 20 million all-electric vehicles in 2030, according to conservative estimates, prompting questions about where the raw materials will come from to make all of those batteries. Continue Reading →