Indonesia’s EV battery aspirations unearth mining waste problems – by Ursula Florene (Kr-asia.com – January 14, 2021)

https://kr-asia.com/

By catering to the global hunger for EVs and its domestic economic growth, Indonesia risks destroying its own environment.

Indonesia is one of the world’s top producers of battery minerals and the first global producer of nickel, an essential component to produce lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. That places the country at the core of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.

Home to 25% of the world’s nickel resources, Indonesia also has rich resources of cobalt and copper, other essential minerals for battery production. Based on its assets, the country is developing its own EV industry and has plans to become a global EV battery production hub.

Under President Joko Widodo’s administration, Indonesia is set to begin EV domestic production by 2021 or 2022 with the goal of exporting 200,000 EVs by 2025, or about 20% of the estimated total of exported cars. Continue Reading →

Elite Diamond-Buying Club Shrinks as De Beers Culls Old Clients – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – January 14, 2021)

https://www.msn.com/

(Bloomberg) — De Beers has cut off some of its long-term diamond buyers, marking one of the biggest shakeups in the way the miner sells gems since the end of its monopoly 20 years ago.

De Beers staff spent Wednesday calling its 80-odd handpicked customers, with some told they will be losing their seat at the industry’s top table, according to people familiar with the situation.

The world’s biggest diamond supplier has spent more than a year mulling the changes, which are designed to funnel more stones into fewer hands, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks were private. Continue Reading →

Kirkland Lake Gold boss calls 2020 performance ‘best year ever’ – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 13, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Pandemic-related challenges faced by the Kirkland Lake Gold team in 2020 have left the big boss suitably impressed. In reflecting on the past year, president-CEO Tony Makuch was pleased with the “solid results” in gold production in releasing the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year results.

The Toronto-headquartered gold miner reported all three of its cornerstone mines at Macassa and Detour Lake in northeastern Ontario, and Fosterville in Australia, achieved their highest production rates in the last quarter of 2020.

“Looking at our operating performance, in many respects our team had its best year ever in 2020,” said Makuch in a Jan. 12 news release. Continue Reading →

Northeastern Ontario refinery could accept Congo cobalt by late 2022 – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 12, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

The owners of a renovated cobalt refinery in northeastern Ontario have signed a supply agreement with Glencore to receive unprocessed cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by late 2022.

Toronto’s First Cobalt announced it has signed a five-year supply contract with Glencore AG to ship material from Kamoto Copper Company, its subsidiary in the DRC, starting in the fourth quarter of 2022. Glencore has helped finance First Cobalt’s plant-reopening plans.

A second supply agreement is in the works after First Cobalt inked a memorandum of understanding with IXM S.A., a subsidiary of China Molybdenum Co. (CMOC), to source cobalt from the Tenke Fungurume Mine in the DRC. The parties are working toward reaching a definitive contract. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

Mushkegowuk chiefs call for moratorium on development within Ring of Fire (Timmins Daily Press – January 12, 2021)

https://www.timminspress.com/

Chiefs say development activities should be halted until plans are in place to “ensure sensitive wetlands and watersheds are protected”

Mushkegowuk Council chiefs are calling for a moratorium on development in the Ring of Fire until there are studies and plans in place that will ensure mining operations will have no environmental or ecological impact on traditional lands.

They want a moratorium until a “proper protection plan through a comprehensive study based on best science and traditional ecological data” is implemented.

The focus of any study would include major rivers such as the Attawapiskat, Albany, Ekwan and Winisk and thousands of streams that flow into the Hudson Bay and James Bay. Continue Reading →

Canada Nickel signs deal to process at Kidd Met site – by Andrew Autio (Toronto Star – January 11, 2021)

https://www.thestar.com/

Upstart mining firm Canada Nickel Company said it is very excited about a new MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) they have entered into with Glencore Canada Operation to potentially use the Kidd concentrator and metallurgical site for its exciting new nickel project north of Timmins.

The non-binding agreement was officially announced on Monday. “We’ve been in discussions over the last couple of months,” Canada Nickel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Selby told The Daily Press.

Canada Nickel Company has a 100 per cent ownership in the Crawford Project located approximately 40 kilometres north of the city. Continue Reading →

How a retired Indian professor took on a mining giant – and won (AlJazeera – January 7, 2021)

https://www.aljazeera.com/

Thoothukudi, India – She spearheaded a decades-long campaign against a copper smelter over alleged environmental contamination in the south Indian seaside town of Thoothukudi.

Sterlite Copper, the Indian subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, a global mining and metals conglomerate, was forced to shut its plant in 2018, thanks to a sustained and spirited fight led by 67-year-old teacher-turned activist Fatima Babu.

The plant’s shuttering, said Fatima, “has boosted the morale of the townspeople, which is a very very big thing for us”. “But we would want Sterlite to pay for the damage it has done.” Continue Reading →

Quebec crafts plan to advance critical and strategic minerals sector – by Erik Richer La Flèche (Canadian Mining Journal – January 6, 2021)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Quebec has a modern, diversified, and somewhat dirigiste economy, where the Quebec government is not afraid to assume a central role. For decades now, the provincial government has attempted to identify economic sectors that – in its opinion – have a promising future.

On Oct. 29, 2020, the government added the exploration and mining of minerals to the list when it released the Quebec Plan for the Development of Critical and Strategic Minerals (2020-2025).

The critical and strategic minerals sector now joins several others that the government has recently recognized as growth opportunities, including food production and transformation, electricity exports, green hydrogen, the electrification of transportation and batteries. Continue Reading →

Chinese companies are betting heavily on Democratic Republic of Congo’s mines – by Jevans Nyabiage (South China Morning Post – December 27, 2020)

https://www.scmp.com/

Chinese companies are betting big on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s mining industry as copper prices surged to a seven-year high driven by China’s strong recovery and the push for electric cars.

Chinese mineral mining and exploration giant, China Molybdenum Co. (CMOC), cemented its grip on the DRC’s mining industry after it acquired Arizona-based mining company, Freeport-McMoRan’s indirect 95 per cent interest in the Kisanfu copper-cobalt deposit for US$550 million.

The Chinese company said Kisanfu, located in Lualaba province, was one of the world’s largest, highest-grade undeveloped cobalt and copper projects, containing about 6.3 million tonnes of copper and 3.1 million tonnes of cobalt. Continue Reading →

Nickel Outlook 2021: Strong Demand Recovery Ahead, Supply to Increase – by Priscila Barrera (Nickel Investing News – December 17, 2020)

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Despite the uncertainty brought by the coronavirus pandemic, nickel rebounded sharply this year from Q1 lows seen after COVID-19-related lockdown measures.

Positive investor sentiment around the use of nickel in electric vehicle (EV) batteries surged, although analysts still expect demand from the battery industry to lag behind steel demand for some time.

As the year comes to a close, the Investing News Network (INN) asked analysts in the field for their thoughts on what’s ahead for the base metal. Read on for their predictions. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Winners of the 2020 Tom Peters Memorial Mine Reclamation Industry Award and $5,000 Student Bursary Announced (Ontario Mining Association – January 12, 2021)

The Canadian Land Reclamation Association – Ontario Chapter has announced the winners of the 2020 Tom Peters Memorial Mine Reclamation Industry Award and Student Bursary. The annual awards were established in 2007 to encourage the pursuit of excellence in mine reclamation and to recognize and promote, to the mining industry and environmental community at large, outstanding achievement in the practice of mine reclamation in Ontario.

This year’s industry prize went to Kirkland Lake Gold’s Detour Lake Mine for their project entitled The Detour Lake Mine Research and Progressive Reclamation Program. With a projected life of mine to 2040 (or longer), the Detour Lake Mine initiated, in 2012, a progressive reclamation effort, supported by a long-term multidisciplinary research program.

The extensive efforts of this program continue to address several aspects critical to successful mine reclamation, including ecosystem restoration with native species and the management of metal leaching and acid rock drainage from mine waste materials. Continue Reading →

Cobalt explorer primed for action in 2021: Fuse Cobalt expects to follow up on “spectacular” drill results from 2018 – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 8, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

An anticipated surge of interest in electric vehicles and the revival of a cobalt refinery has lit a fire under Vancouver’s Fuse Cobalt to get back into the field in northeastern Ontario.

The rebranded junior miner is preparing for an active year on its exploration properties, northeast of the town of Cobalt.

The company, formerly known as LiCo Energy Metals, changed its name last year and took complete ownership of two properties after negotiating the termination of an option agreement with Surge Exploration. Continue Reading →

[Rio Tinto] The blast felt around the world – by Lynn Greiner and Carolyn Gruske (CIM Magazine – January 11, 2021)

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

Rio Tinto’s destruction of 46,000-year-old rock shelters sacred to the local Indigenous population in Australia’s Juukan Gorge during mine expansion, although legal, not only tarnished the company’s reputation and cost senior executives, including the CEO, their jobs, it triggered an inquiry in the Australian parliament and renewed focus on the nature of free, prior and informed consent.

The initial blasting and the reaction sent shockwaves through the international mining community, especially since there seemed to be a discrepancy between what the mining company considered to be consent to go ahead with the project and what the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people understood.

“We have operated on PKKP country under a comprehensive and mutually agreed Participation Agreement since 2011,” Rio Tinto wrote in a statement after the caves’ destruction. “At Juukan, in partnership with the PKKP, we followed a heritage approval process for more than 10 years.” Continue Reading →

James ‘Jim Bob’ Moffett, Who Helped Build Freeport-McMoRan, Dies at 82 – by Collin Eaton (Wall Street Journal – January 11, 2021)

https://www.wsj.com/

Wildcatting geologist followed intuition to earth’s natural resources, drew ire of environmental groups

James “Jim Bob” Moffett, an oil wildcatter turned mining prospector who helped build Freeport-McMoRan Inc. into a natural-resources giant, has died at age 82.

Mr. Moffett died on Friday night in Austin, Texas. His health had declined in recent years, and he had contracted Covid-19, according to his older son, James R. “Bubba” Moffett Jr.

A former football player at the University of Texas, Mr. Moffett parlayed a geology degree into fast riches as he showed an affinity for finding oil and natural gas in Louisiana. Oilmen such as William “Tex” Moncrief Jr. and the late T. Boone Pickens Jr. recognized him as one of America’s great wildcatters, now a rare breed. Continue Reading →