Head of New Lithium Giant to Focus on Supply Chain for Americas – by James Fernyhough (Bloomberg News – May 10, 2023)


(Bloomberg) — The soon-to-be chief executive of what will become the world’s third-biggest lithium producer says the new company will focus on building a supply chain in the Americas, as US automakers look for non-Chinese sources of the battery metal.

“America-centric is a big differentiator for us with customers, with investors,” Paul Graves said in an interview Thursday, a day after it was announced Livent Corp. will combine with Allkem Ltd. to create a $10.6 billion company. China, where US-based Livent has refineries, “will not be a focus of growth for us in the future,” he said.

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Gold Fields deal gives Osisko option to fast-track high-grade gold at Windfall – by Colin McClelland (Northern Miner – May 8, 2023)


The Windfall gold project in Quebec, boosted last week by a $600-million investment by Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI; JSE: GFI), may tweak plans to increase first-year production by a third, founding partner Osisko Mining (TSX: OSK) says.

The equal partnership would extend the undergound project’s ramp currently planned to run 630 metres deep to 800 metres instead, accessing ore grading about 9.1 grams gold per tonne rather than 8.1 grams, which could lift annual output to 400,000 oz. in contrast to 306,000 oz. in last year’s feasibility study, chairman and CEO John Burzynski said in a phone interview.

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Gold Fields inks joint development agreement with Canadian miner Osisko – by Marleny Arnoldi (MiningWeekly – May 2, 2023)


Diversified gold producer Gold Fields has partnered with TSX-listed Osisko Mining to develop and mine the Windfall project, in Québec, Canada. The agreement between the companies, with the joint venture (JV) to be called the Windfall Mining Group, involves Gold Fields acquiring a 50% interest in Windfall through a wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary.

Gold Fields has paid a $220-million, or C$300-million, cash consideration on signing, and will pay another $220-million on the issuance of key permits by the Canadian authorities for the project to be built and operated.

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Rio buys scandium project – by Esmarie Iannucci (MiningWeekly.com – April 28,2023)


PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner Rio Tinto has struck a $14-million deal with ASX-listed Platina Resources to acquire its Platina scandium project, in New South Wales. The project comprises a long-life, high-grade scalable resource that could produce up to 40 t/y of scandium oxide, for an estimated period of 30 years.

Rio currently produces scandium oxide from titanium dioxide production waste streams at Sorel-Tracy in Quebec. Once operational, the Platina scandium project will enable Rio Tinto to more than double its yearly scandium production.

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Tesla lines up for lithium as North America’s sole large-scale mine opens in Quebec – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – April 4, 2023)


Companies behind Sayona Quebec see a bright future for lithium, four years after original owner shuttered mine

Anyone looking for evidence of the green economy in Canada would do well to drive about six hours north of Montreal to the town of La Corne in the Abitibi region of Quebec, where the first — and for now the only — large-scale lithium mine in North America has begun operating.

Last week, Sayona Quebec, a joint venture between Australia’s Sayona Mining Ltd. and North Carolina’s Piedmont Lithium Inc., restarted North American Lithium’s mine, which shuttered four years ago when lithium prices crashed.

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Activist shareholders accuse Azimut Exploration of ‘squatting’ on Quebec lithium lands – by Henry Lazenby (Mining.com – March 16, 2023)


Two activist shareholders with ‘substantial’ holdings in Azimut Exploration (TSXV: AZM) have accused the junior of “squatting” on some of Quebec’s most prospective lithium lands.

Coloured Ties Capital (TSXV: TIE) and privately held Bullrun Capital this week issued a second open letter to Azimut’s founder, president and CEO Jean-Marc Lulin, accusing the geologist of refusing to acknowledge or engage with them about its detailed exploration plans for its James Bay lithium portfolio.

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Kiena digs deeper: Wesdome Gold Mines sets up historic Quebec gold producer for a new future – by Carolyn Gruske (CIM Magazine – February 27, 2023)


Just before CIM Magazine went to press, Wesdome Gold Mines announced that its company president and CEO, and our primary source for this article, Duncan Middlemiss, had resigned. Middlemiss’s resignation follows on the release of the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 production results and 2023 guidance, which was issued on January 17, 2023.

The report was a difficult one for the company. Beyond the delays at Kiena that Middlemiss notes in our profile, Wesdome’s main producer, Eagle River in Ontario, underperformed due to “the variability of the Falcon Zone, which negatively impacted our ability to accurately forecast near-term production” and production in Q4 fell short of expectations, partially because of “severe snowstorms hindering [Wesdome’s] ability to truck the high-grade ore to the mill.”

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Agnico Eagle raising the gold production bar in the Abitibi – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 21, 2023)


Mine expansion at Detour Lake and Kirkland Lake figure prominently in gold production plans

There are more ounces to be pulled from the Abitibi gold belt, says Agnico Eagle. The Toronto gold company maintains it can produce more than two million ounces out of this region of northeastern Ontario and western Quebec by 2025, an area where Agnico got its start in the late 1950s. Agnico has five mines within this 32,000-square-kilometre area.

In a Feb. 17 conference call with analysts, Agnico management said it believes 2023 is an exciting year to advance a pipeline of projects and start to expand production at its existing operations while keeping production and total costs down to a low of $800 an ounce.

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Caution urged as mining companies eye critical minerals below Quebec boreal forest – by Stéphane Blais (Toronto Star/Canadian Press – February 8, 2023)


MONTREAL – About one million square kilometres of Quebec is covered by boreal forest, roughly 70 per cent of the entire province. In the north, where ecosystems are less likely to have been altered by human activity, those forests have been accumulating and sequestering immense quantities of carbon for centuries.

“In the boreal environment, the forest decomposes very slowly, even more slowly than in the tropics,“ said Xavier Cavard, who holds a research chair in forest carbon management at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

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Tesla Deal for Lithium From Quebec Could Intensify Housing Shortage in Northern Mining Towns – by Kristian Gravenor (CoStar News – February 6, 2023)


Though surrounded by endless expanses of land, northern mining towns in Quebec are running out of permissible space to build much-needed housing and other property types required for growing cities.

It’s a problem expected to intensify as the region faces an influx of anticipated workers from a major new contract with U.S. manufacturer Tesla and an increase in mining for materials used to make batteries for electric vehicles. Tesla announced a deal last month to buy spodumene concentrate, a source of lithium and important raw material needed for electric vehicle batteries, from the Sayona Mine 560 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

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Cree mother wonders how mining development in northern Quebec will affect food supply – by Stephane Blais (CBC Montreal/Canadian Press – February 7, 2023)


Project would deprive the Cree of certain hunting grounds

Heather House studies full-time through McGill University’s distance education program, and when she is not immersed in books, she is raising her eight children with her husband in Chisasibi, the northernmost community in Quebec accessible by road.

Feeding a family of eight children, two parents, and two elders in such a remote community where grocery prices are among the highest in the country would be a major challenge if it were not for access to the land for hunting, fishing, trapping and berry picking.

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Hailed as green energy source, northern Quebec lithium project divides Cree – by Stephane Blais (CBC News Canada – February 6, 2023)


‘If the water becomes contaminated by the mine, I don’t see how we can limit the damage’

Type the word “Nemaska” into a search engine and most results refer to Nemaska Lithium, the company that sought bankruptcy protection in 2019 before being partly bought out by the Quebec government’s investment agency. The episode resulted in tens of thousands of small investors losing significant savings.

However, Nemaska is above all a Cree community in the heart of the boreal forest, more than 1,500 kilometres from Montreal. They share their territory with a wide variety of species, and caribou herds have long visited the area, drawn by its abundance of lichen.

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Where trapping is still a way of life, Quebec lithium projects spark fears for future – by Stéphane Blais (Global News/Canadian Press – February 6, 2023)


As Freddy Jolly’s pickup truck travels the dusty roads through the spruce forests outside Nemaska, Que., the one radio station fades in and out, and Jolly fills the gaps between country ballads with conversation. “There are fewer moose than before due to logging,” Jolly says as he scans the horizon.

This is Eeyou Istchee in northern Quebec, the traditional land of the James Bay Cree, with a surface area equivalent to two-thirds of France. The 65-year-old Cree hunter and trapper knows the land well and has agreed to take a visitor to see sites where lithium mines are under construction.

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NAL offtakes in the pipeline – Piedmont – by Esmarie Iannucci (MiningWeekly – February 1, 2023)


PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The joint venture (JV) partners of the North American Lithium (NAL) operation, in Quebec, are hoping to finalise offtake agreements over the project by the end of March this year.

Global lithium developer Piedmont Lithium president and CEO Keith Phillips told Mining Weekly Online that at 130 000 t/y, Piedmont would be the biggest buyer of NAL product, of which nearly half would be sold to third-party buyers.

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Arsenic in the air, fear and anger on the ground – by Eric Andrew-Gee (Globe and Mail – January 23, 2023)


As research shows carcinogens in their children’s bodies, people in Rouyn-Noranda are demanding more loudly that the local copper smelter – long exempt from provincial emissions rules – should clean up its act

Ethan Valois is eight now, and the arsenic levels in his body have started to come down. He and his parents live in Rouyn-Noranda, Que., home to a copper smelter that emits the known carcinogen at levels about 30 times higher than the provincial limit.

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