Mining company collaborates with Thunder Bay-area First Nations – by Gary Rinne (tbnewswatch.com – January 14, 2021)

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/

THUNDER BAY —A company that’s exploring mining claims in the Greenwich Lake and Tartan Lake area northeast of Thunder Bay says it has advanced its working relationship with three area First Nations.

Clean Air Metals Inc. hopes to develop platinum/palladium/copper/nickel deposits around its Thunder Bay North Project, about 50 kilometres from the city.

The property is accessible via logging roads branching off Highway 527, and is roughly 70 kilometres from Impala Platinum’s Lac des Iles mine.

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The essential role of platinum group metals in ‘greening’ the world needs highlighting – by Martin Creamer (MiningWeekly.com – January 12, 2021)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The ‘greenness’ that South Africa can help bestow on the world needs hard sell now, Mining Weekly can today report.

While South Africa’s amazing platinum group metals (PGMs) continue their decades-long task of cleaning the air of the world’s cities in the autocatalytic convertors of vehicle exhausts, their elevation to an even higher zero-emission role inside fuel cells and green hydrogen electrolysers has begun.

At the same time, virtually every major global investor has been mandated to direct investments towards making the world a ‘greener’ place.

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Thunder Bay palladium hunter reaches an understanding with local First Nations – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 11, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Clean Air Metals signs agreement with three communities to explore, develop Thunder Bay North Project

A Thunder Bay palladium junior miner has signed an early-stage cooperation and development agreement with three area First Nations in northwestern Ontario.

Clean Air Metals signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Fort William First Nation, Red Rock Indian Band, and the Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek (formerly Rocky Bay First Nation) revolving around exploration activity at the company’s Thunder Bay North project.

The almost-30,000 hectare exploration property sits on the traditional territories of these three communities. The company is running a 30,000-metre drill program at its Thunder Bay North Project, where two palladium deposits – Current Lake and Escape Lake – have been identified in the vicinity of Greenwich Lake and Tartan Lake.

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Platinum deficit to reach 1.2 moz in 2020 – report – by Jackson Chen (Mining.com – November 18, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Despite strong quarter-on-quarter recovery in supply, the global platinum market is set to experience a second consecutive year of deficit at just over 1.2 million ounces in 2020, according to the World Platinum Investment Council’s (WPIC) latest quarterly report.

A stellar rebound in automotive demand and sustained strong investment demand for precious metals lifted platinum demand well above supply in Q3 2020, leaving the quarter in a deficit of 709,00 ounces.

Both sides of the market showed strong recovery during the quarter, with supply and demand up by 48% and 75%, respectively, over Q2 2020.

Recovering supply

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Nigerian Billionaire Plans to Dig Platinum Mine in Zimbabwe – by Godfrey Marawanyika (Bloomberg News – November 10, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — Bravura Holdings Ltd., owned by Nigerian billionaire Benedict Peters, has $1 billion available for the development of a platinum mine in Zimbabwe, its country manager said.

The 3,000 hectare (7,413-acre) concession where it plans to dig the mine is in Selous, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare and close to existing platinum mines.

“From where we are now, we will go to resource definition, after that we will go to resource modeling, after mine development and then mine construction,” Lionel Mhlanga, Bravura’s manager in the southern African country, said in an interview at the mine on Nov. 6. “Those are all things that should happen in the next 18 months.”

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Want to have a say on the Marathon mine’s EA? – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 9, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Ottawa wants your feedback on a proposed open-pit palladium and copper mine near the north shore of Lake Superior.

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (formerly the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency) and the Government of Ontario are resuming an environmental assessment (EA) for Generation Mining’s proposed open-pit palladium mine near the town of Marathon.

The EA was placed on hold in 2014 at the request of Stillwater Canada, then the proponents of the mine project. The federal and provincial review panel that was established to assess the project was disbanded.

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Russian Plan to Dig Biggest Zimbabwe Platinum Mine Advances – by Godfrey Marawanyika (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – September 23, 2020)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — A project that aims to develop Zimbabwe’s biggest platinum mine has cleared a significant hurdle, with the African Export-Import Bank completing a due diligence study allowing it to proceed with a $500 million syndicated funding program.

While some work has started on the mine, with $100 million spent to date including exploration costs, a significant amount of investment will now be needed if Great Dyke Investments, owned by Russia’s Vi Holding and Zimbabwean investors, is to complete the $2 billion project.

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South Africa’s platinum miners, reeling from years of curtailed investments, take blow from coronavirus pandemic (South China Morning Post/Bloomberg – August 9, 2020)

https://www.scmp.com/

South Africa’s gold industry has been dying slowly for years. As the coronavirus undercuts the already fragile case for investment, its platinum mines may be next.

Beset by power and water shortages, alongside whipsawing government policies, South African producers have cut spending over the past decade on mines responsible for 75 per cent of global platinum supply.

The virus is accelerating that trend, damping demand for the catalytic converters that are the largest users of the metal, while stimulus packages push carmakers to speed a shift to electric vehicles.

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Pandemic Helps Russia Tighten Its Grip on a Key Strategic Metal – by Yuliya Fedorinova and Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – July 2, 2020)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — As the coronavirus pandemic pummeled demand from key customers in the auto industry, Russia’s biggest mining company quietly tightened its grip on the palladium market.

MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC was already the No. 1 miner of the metal used in autocatalysts, but the crisis has allowed it to gain market share. That’s because Nornickel’s Russian operations have barely missed a beat, while its main rivals in South Africa are struggling to ramp up production after shuttering mines during a national virus lockdown.

“Norilsk Nickel has always been considered as the last company to die,” said Artem Bagdasaryan, an analyst at BCS Global Markets. “The pandemic only highlights it.”

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Electrum fund boosts stake in Nickel Creek Platinum – by Carl A. Williams (Northern Miner – June 9, 2020)

Global mining news

The Electrum Strategic Opportunities Fund has increased its interest in Nickel Creek Platinum (TSX: NPC; US-OTC: NCPCF) to 33.88% following the closure of the second tranche of a private placement.

The mining-focussed private equity fund based in New York is part of the Electrum Group founded by billionaire Thomas Kaplan.

The fund purchased nearly 21 million units at a price of 5¢ per unit, raising $1.1 million of Nickel Creek’s total equity raise of $1.53 million.

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Platinum giant to enter battery space in ‘due course’ – by Michael McCrae (Kitco.com – May 27, 2020)

https://www.kitco.com/

(Kitco News) – Despite the rise of electric vehicles, platinum group metals still have a good 10 years in front of them, and an entry by the world’s largest primary producer of platinum, Sibanye-Stillwater, into the battery space is planned in “due course,” said CEO Neal Froneman. Froneman spoke to Kitco last week.

Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE:SBSW) timed its entry into the platinum group metals space perfectly by picking up discounted platinum assets in the mid-2010s.

Sibanye-Stillwater, which was spun out of South Africa’s Gold Fields in 2013, picked up Anglo American’s Rustenburg for $95 million in 2015. It also purchased South African platinum miner Aquarius for $294 million 2016.

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Junior miner dives into Thunder Bay-area platinum, palladium project: Clean Air Metals kicks off two years of exploration drilling near Lac des Iles Mine – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – May 25, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

A rechristened junior mining company is taking its first stab at exploring for platinum and palladium on a property halfway between Thunder Bay and the Lac des Iles Mine.

Clean Air Metals began its first round of drilling last week on its Thunder Bay North Project, roughly the same time the Thunder Bay company began trading for the first time on the TSX Venture Exchange.

The Thunder Bay North Project is located 60 kilometres southeast of Impala’s Lac Des Iles Mine and 40 kilometres northeast of the city. Highway 527 cuts through the western portion of the project area.

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Brace for volatility as virus grips platinum, palladium markets: JM – by Peter Hobson (Reuters U.S. – May 18, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Platinum and palladium markets will be tight this year as the coronavirus pandemic hammers supply and demand, materials maker Johnson Matthey said on Monday, declining to give full-year forecasts and saying prices will be erratic.

Production of the metals, used to reduce vehicle emissions, and their consumption by auto makers could fall by around one-fifth in 2020 but the course of the virus is too uncertain to give precise numbers, the company said in a report.

Temporary dislocations as the new coronavirus impacts different places at different times could have the biggest influence on prices, Rupen Raithatha, Johnson Matthey’s director of market research, said.

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COLUMN-Can coronavirus pandemic tame the wild palladium market? – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – April 20, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) – COVID-19 has roiled industrial metal markets with lockdowns around the world eviscerating demand, forcing mine closures and upending supply chains.

It’s been a wild ride for the likes of copper, aluminium and zinc, all of which have plunged to multi-year lows.

So too for the precious metals complex with gold slumping in early March before rocketing to seven-year highs earlier this month as investors sought shelter from the macro storms.

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Lac des Iles Mine on lockdown – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – April 10, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Impala Canada has placed its Lac des Iles mine (LDI) site into quarantine and will be shutting down operations for an undetermined period.

After a visit by Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) officials to the remote property, 90 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, late on April 9, the company decided to use this period to temporarily shut down the underground mining and milling operation after one confirmed case of COVID-19 with a worker was reported earlier this week.

A spokesperson with the palladium mining company said health officials determined there was potential for the virus to be incubating within individuals at the site.

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