Mexico’s ‘shock’ new mining law hurts juniors most – by Henry Lazenby (Northern Miner – May 3, 2023)

Canadian juniors in Mexico were blindsided by a new mining regime on Apr. 29, after the Mexican Senate rushed through a contentious bill that experts say will deter investment.

Under the new mining law, companies have to deal with an increased burden of pre-consultation, impact studies and water concessions, among other things. The new law also requires financial commitments (bonding) that will be difficult to meet for junior explorers.

Read more

Nighthawk soars on NWT gold project’s two-year payback – by Colin McClelland (Northern Miner – April 26, 2023)

Shares in Nighthawk Gold (TSX: NHK; US-OTC: MIMZF) jumped more than 20% after the company said its Colomac project in the Northwest Territories could pay for itself in about two years.

The open-pit project 200 km north of Yellowknife estimates annual production of 290,000 oz. of gold selling for US$1,600 each to generate US$464 million a year compared with estimated capital costs of $654 million, the company said in a preliminary economic assessment released on Wednesday. The after-tax payback period is pegged at 2.1 years.

Read more

Australian junior miner grows its lithium bank in northwestern Ontario – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – April 19, 2023)

Green Technology Metals boasts two lithium deposits as Sioux Lookout-area project shows growth potential

Green Technology Metals, an Australian exploration upstart, is boosting its storehouse of lithium resources in northwestern Ontario. The company posted a first-time resource estimate for its Root Project, situated northeast of Sioux Lookout, and one of their two leading properties.

The maiden estimate for Root is 4.5 million tonnes at 1.01 per cent lithium oxide, along with 110 parts per million tantalum pentoxide, all in the inferred category. It stems from an almost 15,000-metre drilling program that the company kicked off on the property last August.

Read more

B.C.’s mining rights claims system being challenged by province’s top court – by Justine Hunter (Globe and Mail – April 11, 2023)

British Columbia’s long-standing system for awarding mining rights is being challenged at B.C. Supreme Court this week in a judicial review that will test the strength of the province’s Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Two cases being heard together, brought by the Gitxaała and the Ehattesaht First Nations, argue that mining claims awarded under the Mineral Tenure Act violated the provincial government’s legal obligation to seek “free, prior and informed consent” before allowing development within the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples.

Read more

The Drift: Nickel remains a key exploration driver in the Sudbury basin – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – April 11, 2023)

Two junior miners look to breathe new life into dormant metal properties

Nickel remains the driving force in Sudbury’s mineral exploration scene. A pair of local junior miners with big ambitions to put two former mine properties into production are posting some encouraging exploration results.

Magna Mining reported high-grade nickel and copper drill hits from a diamond drilling program carried out last fall at its Crean Hill property on the west end of the Sudbury basin. The last of the assay results were released last month.

Read more

Battery Metals Snapshot: Eight juniors on the hunt – by Marilyn Scales (Northern Miner – April 7, 2023)

Without adequate supplies of battery metals, the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 cannot be reached. Here are eight companies who are on the hunt for the metals in North and South America.

Brunswick Exploration

Brunswick Exploration (TSXV: BRW) is a junior on a mission to find and develop a hard rock lithium source. This company concentrates its efforts on greenfield exploration, looking for new and undiscovered deposits. It has land packages in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces that host at least 125 pegmatite dykes.

Read more

First Nations’ court challenge to B.C.’s mineral rights system begins today (CBC News British Columbia – April 3, 2023)

Province says it is committed to modernizing the system in consultation with Indigenous people

A challenge by two First Nations against the way British Columbia grants mineral claims begins in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday morning, marking the first legal test of the province’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

The Gitxaała and Ehattesaht First Nations have sued the province over its Mineral Tenures Act, which currently grants mineral claims for a nominal fee via an online system and does not include initial consultation with Indigenous people.

Read more

More companies hunting for lithium in northern Saskatchewan – by Doug Lett (Prince Albert Now – March 31, 2023)

Northern Saskatchewan is well known for producing uranium that’s used around the world, and has been home to a number of gold mines. But there’s a push now for critical minerals demanded by the energy transition— and one of them is lithium— a soft silvery white metal that is critical for batteries and electric vehicle production.

“Lithium is the hottest exploration commodity in the world right now,” said Warren Stenyer, CEO of Vancouver based ALX Resources. “Hotter than uranium, gold, nickel, copper,” he said.

Read more

BC exploration spending hits ten-year record – by Mariaan Webb (Mining Weekly – March 8, 2023)

Exploration spending in British Columbia reached C$740-million, surpassing the previous ten-year high of C$681-million seen in 2012, with copper being the driving force behind the record-setting year.

Conversely, the number of projects and total metres drilled decreased by 24% and 20%, respectively, from the previous year as exploration shifted toward earlier stage activities, EY’s seventh yearly British Columbia mineral and coal exploration survey has found.

Read more

North America’s bid to onshore rare earth supply – by Luisa Moreno (PV Magazine – March 7, 2023)


Dr Luisa Moreno is president of Vancouver-based rare earth miner Defense Metals Corp.

With the electric vehicle market expected to drive demand for 200,000 tons of rare earth elements in North America through 2030, work is being put in by industry and policy makers to restore the region’s rare earth element supply chain.

Efforts are being made in Canada and the US to shift dependency away from Chinese rare earth element reserves. There are many reasons why North America is looking to onshore its processes, one of the biggest being concern around potential supply chain choke points in the event China decides to cut off rare earth element supply due to geopolitical wrangles.

Read more

McEwen Copper attracts investments from Stellantis, Rio Tinto – by Mariaan Webb (Mining Weekly – February 28, 2023)

McEwen Copper, a subsidiary of McEwen Mining, on Monday announced two separate transactions that provide a significant financial boost for its Los Azules project, in Argentina.

The company announced that automaker and mobility group Stellantis had invested 30-billion Argentine peso (about $150-million) to acquire shares of McEwen Copper in a two-part transaction that closed last week.

Read more

No more free entry?: A legal challenge by two First Nations threatens BC’s mineral claim system. – by CBA National/ABC National – February 27, 2023)

It all used to be so simple. Way back in the Wild West days of mineral exploration in Canada, prospectors searching for surface signs of gold, silver or copper would cut down trees at four corners of a small plot to “stake” a claim. All a claim-jumper had to do was knock down the stumps.

It’s harder now — many jurisdictions have moved their claims online, making claim-jumping much less likely. But the basic model of “open entry” underlying exploration rights — the model that allows virtually anyone to stake an exploration claim simply by clicking on a map and paying a fee — remains the dominant model for mining regulation in Canada. In British Columbia, it’s under attack.

Read more

Australian explorers rush to join Canada’s lithium boom – by Tim Treadgold (Small Caps – February 23, 2023)

Small Caps

The call of Canada is being heard clearly by Australian lithium hopefuls, with some of the best-known names from the Aussie mining boom heading north to ride a wave driven by the US Government’s trade protection policies.

Ken Brinsden, the key man in growing Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) from penny dreadful to $13 billion member of the ASX’s top 50, is the leading Australian lithium export as chairman of the Quebec-focussed Patriot Battery Metals.

Read more

Queen’s Park provides stimulus funding in the hunt for much-needed critical minerals – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 16, 2023)

Ontario Junior Exploration Program offers exploration funding for junior miners

There’s a looming global crunch for high-tech metals to feed the electric vehicle industry and not enough mines currently in production to meet that increasing demand.

To incentivize more exploration in Ontario, the provincial government announced in Sault Ste. Marie that it has invested $5.8 million to help a handful of exploration companies hunt for critical metals like nickel, copper, cobalt and lithium. The funding will be delivered through the Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP) as part of a special critical minerals stream, launched in 2021.

Read more

Alberta miner replaces Chinese investor that Ottawa barred from owning Canadian assets – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – February 16, 2023)

Lithium Chile regrets losing ‘an incredible shareholder,’ COO says

Lithium Chile Inc., one of three Canadian miners affected by Ottawa’s snap decision to block Chinese investment in critical minerals, said the order has been satisfied, although it regrets losing an “incredible shareholder” that supplied valuable expertise.

Chengze Lithium International Ltd. had purchased a 19.4 per cent stake in Lithium Chile, making it one of the Calgary-based company’s largest shareholders. Chengze sold its shares to Gator Capital Ltd., a Toronto-based firm that focuses on investment consulting and asset management. The transaction was completed for about $34.5 million, or 91 cents per share.

Read more