Deep sea miner insists it has enough cash despite missing $200m – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – November 22, 2021)

The Metals Company has enough cash to complete the “important work” needed to secure a permit to mine deep in the Pacific Ocean, according to its executive chair, despite an investor’s failure to hand it an agreed $200m in funding.

Gerard Barron said the deep-sea miner could finance its operations until the third quarter of 2023, when it expects to apply for a licence to collect so-called nodules, or rocks, containing energy transition metals such as nickel and copper from the seabed.

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‘Certainly better than nothing’: lukewarm reaction from northern Ontario leaders to new revenue sharing plan – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – November 25, 2021)

Premier Doug Ford promised resource revenue sharing during 2018 election campaign

The Ontario government has fulfilled a campaign promise by returning some mining and forest revenue to towns and cities in the north, but some municipal leaders say it isn’t enough.

The new Northern Ontario Resource Development Support Fund will split $15 million among the 144 cities and towns and townships of the north every year for the next five years.

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Rio Tinto now sole owner of Diavik Mine – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – November 19, 2021)

In a deal that bolsters certainty for the future of the Diavik Mine and Northwest Territories’ economy, Rio Tinto has acquired full ownership of this iconic diamond operation in Canada’s Arctic.

Rio Tinto’s 40% partner in Diavik, Dominion Diamond Mines, filed for insolvency protection under the Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act at the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020.

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Building skills and shovelling money: life as a Northern Indigenous miner in the ’80s and ‘90s – by Derek Neary ( – November 24, 2021)

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Ted Tsetta spent close to 30 years working at various Northern mines. He was employed by Subarctic Welding when he heard from a recruiter at the Polaris zinc mine on Little Cornwallis Island, approximately 100 kilometres north of Resolute Bay, in what is now Nunavut (it was still the Northwest Territories at the time).

“I got a call and I said, ‘Sure, I’ll go,’ I’m not going to hesitate in the mining industry,” Tsetta says. “I took that chance right off the bat.” He remembers his first day of work as a labourer at Polaris was Oct. 5, 1981. He was 19 and pulling in more than $3,000 every two weeks.

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Seeing is believing: what stone enhancements are acceptable? – by Christa Van Eerde (The Jewellery Editor – March 12, 2019)

The aim of this article is to explain the most common enhancements or treatments for the ‘big three’, which are acceptable and within what parameters.

Most of the ‘big three’ gemstones – emeralds, rubies and sapphires – are in some way enhanced or treated. Only the very pure, perfectly coloured and flawless can escape any type of enhancement, and this is reflected in their record-breaking prices.

Perfection comes at a cost; the most valuable untreated ruby, the 25.59-carat Sunrise Ruby (below) fetched $30.3 million, which is just over $1 million per carat at Sotheby’s in Geneva in May 2015, far outstripping any price paid for a colourless diamond.

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Winners and Losers of David Suzuki-gate and the Coastal GasLink pipeline battle – by David Staples (Edmonton Journal – November 24, 2021)

Here is one fact about the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline in northwest British Columbia that may not be top of mind just yet: All 20 elected Indigenous groups across the 670 km route have signed agreements supporting the pipeline.

That’s right, 20 out of 20, 100 per cent, though the pipeline is still not supported by one smaller group led by Wet’suwet’en hereditary clan leaders. Without knowing that 100 per cent of elected Indigenous council support the project, there’s no way for any of us to fully grasp what’s happening in this pipeline dispute, correct? It’s vital context. That’s why I’m focusing on it.

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Chinese Miners in Talks to Access Vast Afghan Lithium Reserves – by Eltaf Najafizada (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – November 24, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Chinese firms are showing interest in exploiting Afghanistan’s vast untapped mineral resources as Beijing seeks a role in reconstructing the nation’s war-ravaged economy.

Afghanistan is sitting on deposits estimated to be worth $1 trillion or more, including what may be the world’s largest lithium reserves, a vital component for the energy-storage batteries that are driving the world’s transition away from fossil fuels.

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Trends troubling for north’s economic future (Kirkland Lake Northern News – November 24, 2021)

For report:

Northern College has released an in-depth economic study outlining key barriers to economic expansion and recovery in Northern Ontario following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 24-page study, entitled Coming Back From Covid: A Plan to Rebuild Northern Ontario, was created in partnership with The StrategyCorp Institute of Public Policy and Economy, and was designed to provide an overview of past, current and future economic issues being faced by Ontario’s north.

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One of Mark Selby’s ‘most exciting days’ as Canada Nickel expands – by Staff (Mining Journal – November 24, 2021)

The company completed 18 separate transactions to acquire or earn in to 13 target properties – including Sothman from Glencore – to consolidate district-scale potential in the Timmins region.

“Why are we doing this now?” Selby asked analysts rhetorically on a conference call, given Crawford was “already the largest nickel sulphide discovery since the 1970s”. “Very simply, nickel deposits generally fall into one of two categories, one-off deposits, or occur where you have multiple deposits occurring in clusters,” he said.

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‘It’s as if we’re in Mad Max’: warnings for Amazon as goldmining dredges occupy river – by Tom Phillips (The Guardian – November 24, 2021)

Environmentalists are demanding urgent action to halt an aquatic gold rush along one of the Amazon River’s largest tributaries, where hundreds of illegal goldmining dredges have converged in search of the precious metal.

The vast flotilla – so large one local website compared it to a floating neighbourhood – reportedly began forming on the Madeira River earlier this month after rumours that a large gold deposit had been found in the vicinity.

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RACE TO THE FUTURE: How the U.S. Lost Ground to China in the Contest for Clean Energy – by Eric Lipton and Dionne Searcey (New York Times – November 21, 2021)

Americans failed to safeguard decades of diplomatic and financial investments in Congo, where the world’s largest supply of cobalt is controlled by Chinese companies backed by Beijing.

WASHINGTON — Tom Perriello saw it coming but could do nothing to stop it. André Kapanga too. Despite urgent emails, phone calls and personal pleas, they watched helplessly as a company backed by the Chinese government took ownership from the Americans of one of the world’s largest cobalt mines.

It was 2016, and a deal had been struck by the Arizona-based mining giant Freeport-McMoRan to sell the site, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which now figures prominently in China’s grip on the global cobalt supply. The metal has been among several essential raw materials needed for the production of electric car batteries — and is now critical to retiring the combustion engine and weaning the world off climate-changing fossil fuels.

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Coal phase-out may take longer than countries are willing to admit – report – by Staff ( – November 23, 2021)

A new report by Wood Mackenzie states that despite countries agreeing to phase down coal at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, thermal coal demand is expected to rise until the mid-2020s.

“Under our base case Energy Transition Outlook (ETO), which is aligned to a 2.7°C warming TO scenario, demand for thermal coal will peak in 2025 at just over 7 billion tonnes, falling by just 5% to 6.7 billion tonnes in 2030,” Julian Kettle, who is senior vice president and vice-chair of metals and mining at WoodMac, wrote in the report.

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Gold price faces a new wave of selling pressure watch support at $1,761 – analysts – by Neils Christensen (Kitco News – November 23, 2021)

(Kitco News) – The gold market is struggling to find some footing as prices slide further below $1,800 an ounce again and analysts are expecting to see some further pain in the near term.

The gold market continues to digest the White House’s news that President Joe Biden will re-nominate Powell to be head of the Federal Reserve. Following the announcement, markets have increased their expectations that the U.S. central bank will tighten interest rates more aggressively in 2022.

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Afghan Gems Have a Future, a Longtime Dealer Says – by Victoria Gomelsky (New York Times – November 22, 2021)

In 1972, Gary Bowersox, a Vietnam War veteran who had owned several retail jewelry stores in Hawaii, paid his first visit to Afghanistan. Determined to grow his burgeoning gem dealing business, he was attracted by the country’s 7,000-year-old deposits of lapis lazuli at Sar-i-Sang in Badakhshan Province, which for millenniums have drawn traders to this ancient crossroads on the border of what is now Tajikistan.

It would become the first of many trips, the most recent of which was less than three months before the Taliban regained control of the country and Western forces withdrew their troops.

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GUEST COLUMN: Country with ‘widespread human rights abuses’ to become vice-chair of Kimberley Process – by Sam Lewis (Professional Jeweller – November 23, 2021)


The country of Zimbabwe is set to become the vice-chair of the Kimberley Process in 2023, according recent reports. Zimbabwean publication NewsDay stated that a vote was held in Moscow earlier in November. Russia is the current chair.

But, asks Ryan Atkins, CEO of Nightingale, is Zimbabwe the right country to head up the Kimberley Process? It’s common knowledge for those in the diamond industry that the Kimberley Process scheme is in somewhat of an existential crisis at the moment.

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