Energy Transition Faces Metal Supply Deficit, Canada Miners Say – by Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg News – September 29, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — The world needs more mines to meet demand for copper and other battery metals required to shift to less polluting energy sources — even if such moves are seen as environmentally unappealing, according to Hudbay Minerals Inc. financial chief.

Any credible prognosis shows that copper faces a structural deficit of five to seven million tons starting in the next three or four years, Hudbay Chief Financial Officer Steve Douglas said Wednesday at Bloomberg’s Canadian Fixed Income Conference. And yet, any energy transition can’t happen without copper, he said.

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Mining is essential to low-carbon transition – by Pierre Gratton (Winnipeg Free Press – September 29, 2021)

Pierre Gratton is president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada.

WHAT do the green technologies essential to getting us to net-zero, such as solar panels, wind turbines, nuclear energy and electric car batteries, all have in common? A dependence on metals, like nickel, iron, cobalt, uranium, zinc and copper, to function.

The question is not whether we require minerals and metals to reach our climate goals, but rather if Canada will become the supplier the world needs.

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Manitoba must do more to encourage mining – by Joseph Quesnel (Troy Media – August 9, 2021)

Joseph Quesnel is a senior research associate with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

The Manitoba mining industry received some good news recently, but the province still needs to reform its mining policies for the sector to thrive.

Despite some progress over the years, the province continues to have a hostile climate for investment: this needs to change.

Vale Ltd. recently announced a $150-million investment to extend nickel mining activities in Thompson by a decade. The company will also engage in some aggressive exploration drilling of known ore bodies to extend the life of the mine even further.

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Vale to spend $150M to extend life of Thompson mining operation – by James Snell (Sudbury Star – August 3, 2021)

Vale Canada Limited has announced a $150 million infrastructure investment to extend the life of its Thompson mining operation by 10 years. The company is also carrying out aggressive exploration drilling to potentially extend the mine’s life beyond 2040.

The $150 million will cover phase one of the Thompson mine expansion, Vale said in a statement. Phase one includes infrastructure development – ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution that will allow the company to mine deeper and longer.

Phase one could increase production by 30 per cent. The company plans to access lower portions of its primary ore body in phase two.

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Manitoba needs to up its mining game – by Joseph Quesnel (Winnipeg Sun – July 9, 2021)

Joseph Quesnel is a senior research associate with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

There is some good news for mining in Manitoba, but the province needs to reform its mining policies for the sector to thrive. Despite some progress over the years, this province still has a hostile climate for investment and this needs to change.

Vale recently announced it is making a $150 million investment to extend current nickel mining activities in Thompson, Man., by a decade. At the same time, the company will be engaging in some aggressive exploration drilling of known ore bodies to extend the life of the mine even further.

This is good news because a few years ago, the mining operation in Northern Manitoba was set to shut down. This announcement provides a welcome injection of new capital into northern Manitoba.

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Editorial: Mine extension announcement good for remaining Vale employees (Thompson Citizen – July 7, 2021)

Last week’s announcement that Vale Manitoba Operations is spending $150 million on the first phase of a mine extension and exploration project in Thompson is good news, even if it won’t have much effect on the size of the local workforce.

The money being spent to construct a new ventilation raise, extend power distribution underground and increase backfill capacity so that mined areas can be filled in and mining start in new areas faster will go mostly to contractors, Manitoba Operations general manager Gary Annett told the Thompson Chamber of Commerce June 30, but will also extend the mine life by 10 years and result in up to 30 per cent more production.

That provides stability to the people who survived the job-shedding of the past few years at Vale and, perhaps, the possibility of more jobs down the road if nickel prices take off in concert with electric vehicle production and sales.

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Vale pumping millions into Thompson mining activities – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – June 30, 2021)

The future of the mining industry in Manitoba received a major boost on Tuesday as Brazilian mining giant, Vale, said it is investing $150 million that will extend current mining activities in Thompson by 10 years.

But that will just be a prelude to what could turn into close to $1 billion of new investment over the next decade to significantly expand mining operations in the northern Manitoba city into 2040.

The Phase 1 work is already underway upgrading ventilation, building increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution that should be completed by 2023.

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Vale spending $150 million on first phase of Thompson mine extension project – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – June 29, 2021)

Vale is spending $150 million on the first phase of the Thompson mine extension project, which will extend current mining activities by 10 years, the company announced June 29.

“Aggressive” exploration drilling of known orebodies is also continuing, which could mean ore extraction could continue well past 2040, Vale says.

Work to be completed during the first phase of the project includes construction of new ventilation raises and fans, increasing backfill capacity and adding power distribution infrastructure. Vale expects the changes to improve current production levels by 30 per cent.

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Championing a Green Energy Revolution through High-Grade Cu-Ni-Co-Zn Projects in the World’s Best Mining Jurisdictions – by Stephen Mlot, P.Eng (June 2, 2021)

Murchison Minerals Limited (TSXV: MUR) is a company founded by industry veterans and following a plan for discovering and building resources for the Green Energy Revolution through high-grade Cu-Zn and Ni-Co projects in Canada’s best mining jurisdictions.

Murchison is operating in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Quebec, based on those provinces’ rich variety of metal deposits, as well as the positive fiscal and operational environment for mineral exploration and development. In its 2020 Annual Survey of Mining Companies the Fraser Institute ranks those jurisdictions as the top two in Canada and in the top ten globally.

The Green Energy future is not just about electric vehicles and battery power. Clean energy goes beyond this to include Wind, Solar, Hydrogen Energy Cells, Geothermal and even Nuclear. Other drivers of the future will be the electrification of everything, the 5G interconnection of devices (managed by AI systems), and energy-efficient systems.

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Mineral development fund providing $230K for diamond drilling of property near Snow Lake (Thompson Citizen – February 18, 2021)

Wolfden Resources Corporation announced Feb. 18 that it is getting $230,000 from the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund (MMDF) to support diamond drilling at its Rice Island property near Snow Lake.

The 2,611-hectare Rice Island property was explored by drill programs conducted by Inco in 1949-50 and 1967 and Wolfden says the nickel-copper-cobalt deposit has not been explored using modern high-resolution techniques.

“We appreciate the generous grant. It’s a strong endorsement for Wolfden and the potential to expand the deposit,” said Wolfden CEO Ron Little in a press release.

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(Lynn Lake, Manitoba) Is this the next major nickel sulphide discovery? ( – February 12, 2021)

Lynn Lake is one of Canada’s largest nickel producing regions, having mined in the order of 22.2 million tons at 1% nickel and 0.5% copper between 1953 and 1976, when the bottom fell out of the nickel price and mining ceased.

In 2015 Corazon took the strategic step of consolidating the entire Lynn Lake nickel field under its ownership – the first time this world-scale nickel belt had been controlled by one company – and set about the systematic exploration of the project.

This has included multiple phases of drilling, supported by detailed targeting work, led by world-leading nickel sulphide expert Dr Larry Hulbert.

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Vale commits $23 million for diamond drilling, other work related to Thompson mine extension project – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – February 10, 2021)

Vale Manitoba’s proposed Thompson mine extension project doesn’t have the green light from the company’s board of directors just yet but $23 million has been allocated towards it over the next six months in an en effort to collect more information on which to base a final decision.

Some of the money will be spent on diamond drilling to try to determine the precise extent of the footwall deep and hanging wall ore body, Manitoba Operations general manager Franco Cazzola told the Thompson Chamber of Commerce at their Feb. 10 meeting.

“Our project right now sits at 50 per cent inferred and 50 per cent indicated [resources],” Cazzola said. “When you have an inferred resource … the ore body is not quite as well-defined as you’d like it to be and so in order to to that you actually have to do more diamond drilling, pull more cores.”

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Scrap metal company must pay for buying stolen nickel worth millions, Manitoba judge rules – by Cameron MacLean (CBC News Manitoba – February 1, 2021)

A Manitoba metal recycling company is on the hook after buying hundreds of thousands of pounds of stolen nickel worth millions of dollars, a judge ruled.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Shauna McCarthy awarded mining company Vale Canada Ltd. a summary judgment against Urbanmine, Inc., which purchased and resold 483,396 pounds of nickel stolen from a compound in Thompson, Man., over the course of nearly 10 months between July 2012 and May 2013.

In her decision on Aug. 27, 2020, McCarthy also awarded Vale a default judgment against the Schwartz Bros. construction company and a number of its employees, all but one of whom pled guilty to criminal charges related to the thefts and were ordered to pay restitution.

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Silver Elephant acquires nickel project in Thompson belt – by Mariaan Webb ( – January 25, 2021)

Toronto-listed Silver Elephant has high hopes and aspirations for its new Minago project, in Manitoba, which could supply the “insatiable” demand for Class 1 nickel from the electric vehicle (EV) industry.

The company announced on Friday that it had entered into a binding agreement to acquire the project, located in the Thompson nickel belt (TNB), from Victory Nickel for $11.68-million, consisting of $6.68-million in credit against secured debt owed to Silver Elephant and $5-million in shares.

“The Minago acquisition immediately propels Silver Elephant to the forefront of the nickel sulphite mining space to supply much needed Class 1 nickel for long-range, high-intensity, fast charging NMC 811 (80% nickel, 10% manganese, 10% cobalt) cathode standard in lithium batteries to fuel mass EV adoption,” Silver Elephant’s VP exploration and Canadian operations, Dan Oosterman, said in a statement.

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Province providing $300,000 for mineral exploration activities near the Manitoba/Ontario boundary – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – January 14, 2021)

A mineral exploration company is receiving $300,000 from the provincial government to help fund its drilling program in Manitoba’s remote northeast.

BWR Exploration said in a Jan. 7 news release that it learned Dec. 30 that it would be receiving the funding from the Manitoba Mineral development Fund once it provides confirmation of required permits and licensing for the proposed exploration and of additional funding.

“We are pleased to see that the Manitoba government shares BWR’s vision of the economic potential that the Little Stull Lake area has, that can create near and long-term jobs for the nearby communities of Gods River and Gods Lake Narrows, thus strengthening the provincial economy and establish mutually rewarding partnerships between Indigenous communities and mineral exploration companies designed to stand the test of time,” said BWR’s CEO Neil Novak.

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