Peter Marrone has few regrets as he prepares to exit Yamana Gold after a nearly 20-year run – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 17, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Peter Marrone has few regrets as he prepares to walk away from the big Canadian gold mining company he founded and is now poised to sell to a pair of Canadian precious metals companies.

Last week, Toronto-based Yamana YRI-T agreed to sell itself to Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. and Pan American Silver Corp. for US$4.8-billion. That offer topped an earlier and deeply unpopular bid by South African miner Gold Fields Ltd., which was originally worth US$6.7-billion.

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A new mine could position Quebec as a lithium leader, but its rocky past worries locals – by Kate McKenna (CBC News Montreal – November 15, 2022)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/

It could be a boon for a small community, but critics brace for impact after history of failures and spills

In an expansive open-air pit 550 kilometres northwest of Montreal, 100-tonne trucks criss-cross the climbing roads, preparing for the mine to open.

The chalk-white veins of those rocks have metals inside, including one of the most sought-after minerals in the world: lithium, a key component of electric car batteries.

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Turquoise Hill delays vote on Rio Tinto acquisition indefinitely, as Quebec regulator studies side deal with dissidents – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 10, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. is indefinitely postponing the shareholder vote on the proposed $4.2-billion takeover of the company by Rio Tinto PLC as Quebec’s top securities regulator, the Autorité des marchés financier (AMF), studies whether a backdoor deal Rio cut with dissident shareholders is legal.

“The AMF considers the transaction as currently structured to raise public interest concerns,” Montreal-based Turquoise Hill said in a release on Wednesday.

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Archer Exploration raises $10M for nickel hunt in Canada – by Staff (Canadian Mining Journal – November 8, 2022)

https://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Archer Exploration (CSE: RCHR) has announced its fully subscribed $10 million private placement offering, previously announced in October.

The offering will consist of 4.5 million in non flow-through units of Archer at a price of $0.66; about 4.2 million flow-through units at a price of $0.75 unit; and 2.9 million charity flow-through units at a price of $1.38 each. Aggregate gross proceeds of the offering are expected to be at least $10.1 million.

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Gold Fields ends effort to acquire Canada’s Yamana, which has backed Agnico Eagle-Pan American takeover bid – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 9, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

South Africa’s Gold Fields Ltd. has ended its flawed attempt to acquire Toronto-based Yamana Gold Inc., handing victory to Canadian precious metals miners Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. and Pan American Silver Corp.

In late May, Johannesburg-based Gold Fields proposed buying Yamana for US$6.7-billion in stock, a 42-per-cent premium to Yamana’s market price. The deal was poorly received, with Gold Fields shares losing as much as 40 per cent in the months that followed, and two of its biggest shareholders, VanEck and RWC Partners Ltd. (known as Redwheel), denounced the deal as making no sense strategically.

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OPINION: The case for subsidizing Quebec aluminum smelters gets harder and harder to make – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – November 2, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Rio Tinto chief executive officer Jakob Stausholm last month had a downbeat message for the mining giant’s Canadian aluminum operations with prices for the lightweight metal plummeting by almost half since briefly hitting a record high earlier this year.

“It is actually very difficult to have a profitable aluminum industry in North America at this time because Russian aluminum is flowing in,” Mr. Stausholm told Bloomberg News. “Right now we have the lowest aluminum price this year and you would have thought the Russia-Ukraine crisis would have led to higher prices in aluminum.”

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Quebec miner aims to weaken China’s grip on electric vehicles with graphite deal -by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – October 24, 2022)

https://financialpost.com/

Nouveau Monde inks agreement with one of world’s biggest battery makers

The “main limiting factor” of an emerging strategy to offset China’s dominance of the battery supply chain for electric vehicles (EVs) will be the Asian powerhouse’s grip on the market for graphite, said the head of a Canadian company attempting to become a significant supplier of the material.

Democratic countries in North America and Europe have begun using their spending and regulatory powers to ensure EV production occurs close to home, or at least in places where they wield influence. The effort is a response to the growing animosity between Beijing and the United States and its allies.

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Probe Metals finds ‘remarkable consistency’ at Val-d’Or gold project’s Monique – by Staff (Mining.com – October 18, 2022)

https://www.mining.com/

Probe Metals (TSXV: PRB) says drilling at its Val-d’Or East project’s Monique deposit in Quebec has returned “significant” gold intercepts that are likely to expand the area of the strike and increase its resource update due by year’s end.

Highlights from the results of 45 new holes showed “continued strike and depth expansion with significant gold intercepts along the Monique gold zones,” Probe, a Toronto-based explorer, said in a press release on Tuesday.

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Australian miner bails on Quebec rare earth projects amid First Nation resistance – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – October 13, 2022)

https://financialpost.com/

Vital Metals bills itself as Canada’s first rare earth producer and decision to ditch projects could be significant

Australia’s Vital Metals Ltd. walked away from two Quebec-based projects earlier this week due to objections from the Kebaowek First Nation, the latest evidence that maximizing Canada’s potential to be a player in the energy transition will require a more sophisticated relationship with Indigenous communities.

The Sydney-based company had signed an $8-million agreement with Montreal-based Quebec Precious Metals Corp. (QPM) in August last year to acquire 68- and 100-per-cent interests in the Kipawa and Zeus rare earth projects situated in Quebec’s Témiscamingue region, about 90 kilometres northeast of North Bay, Ont.

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Rio Tinto, Ottawa to invest $737-million in titanium and scandium project in Quebec – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – October 11, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Rio Tinto Group and the federal government are planning to invest a combined $737-million to modernize a large Quebec metals processing plant that could see the giant Anglo-Australian miner dramatically cut its emissions and become one of the first North American producers of the critical metal titanium.

Rio Tinto, one of the world’s biggest mining companies, said in a release Tuesday it will invest up to $515-million into the Sorel-Tracy, Que., facility over the next eight years. Ottawa is planning to kick in as much as $222-million for the project over the same time frame.

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‘Beginning of a great clash’: Controversy over Canada’s last copper smelter highlights bumpy green transition – by Marisa Coulton (Financial Post – October 7, 2022)

https://financialpost.com/

Residents harbour a love-hate relationship with the plant that simultaneously nourishes and poisons their community

For years, the residents of Rouyn-Noranda, Que., a picturesque city of 42,000, some 630 kilometres northwest of Montreal, have contemplated the twin smokestacks that simultaneously nourish and poison their community.

The Horne smelter is owned by Baar, Switzerland-based energy giant Glencore PLC, and is believed responsible for higher rates of lung cancer in the region. It also contributes to lower birth weights, as well as higher rates of diabetes and heart disease, a recent provincial health study showed.

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How a Quebec graphite mine is dividing a community’s support for the EV revolution – by Neal Rockwell (Globe and Mail – October 9, 2022)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The Matawinie mine is part of a larger plan to make Canada into a manufacturing hub for lithium ion batteries. But some worry the project isn’t as clean as it claims to be

The Matawinie graphite mine, located about two hours north of Montreal, is a small part of an ambitious government plan to make Canada into a manufacturing hub for lithium ion batteries. Electric cars can’t function without somewhere to store electricity, the thinking goes, meaning this country needs battery supply chains if it hopes to stay relevant in a future without fossil fuels.

But the mine has not yet begun producing graphite at commercial scale. It is still in the early phases of construction and – like many Canadian resource projects – it is riven with controversy.

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A promising future in la belle province – by Dinah Zeldin (CIM Magazine – September 26, 2022)

https://magazine.cim.org/en/

While gold continues to shine, explorers are drawn to new frontiers and the potential for battery metals

Quebec has a rich history of gold mining: the first gold nuggets were discovered in the Beauce region in 1835. Since 1901 explorers have flocked to the Abitibi region in search of the precious metal.

Today the gold camps in the Abitibi remain the main hub of exploration activity, but some explorers are venturing farther afield into northern Quebec. Simultaneously, changing market demands and strong government support have increased interest in looking for other commodities.

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How a Quebec Lithium Mine May Help Make Electric Cars Affordable – by Jack Ewing (New York Times – September 20, 2022)

https://www.nytimes.com/

The project also illustrates how difficult it is to get lithium out of the ground and break China’s dominance in processing the metal and turning it into batteries.

About 350 miles northwest of Montreal, amid a vast pine forest, is a deep mining pit with walls of mottled rock. The pit has changed hands repeatedly and been mired in bankruptcy, but now it could help determine the future of electric vehicles.

The mine contains lithium, an indispensable ingredient in electric car batteries that is in short supply. If it opens on schedule early next year, it will be the second North American source of that metal, offering hope that badly needed raw materials can be extracted and refined close to Canadian, U.S. and Mexican auto factories, in line with Biden administration policies that aim to break China’s dominance of the battery supply chain.

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The timing is finally right for Quebec’s lithium miners – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – September 14, 2022)

Global mining news

Quebec, more than any other province in Canada, has been ahead of the curve in working to join the EV economy. Its vast hydroelectricity infrastructure gives it an advantage in clean, low-carbon energy that is essential to “green” manufacturing, and it has supported the nascent battery industry with significant public investment.

It was also the first to outline plans for critical minerals exploration and production as well as for the development of a complete battery supply chain in-province — from mining through processing to manufacturing.

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