Deadly and Wildly Profitable, Uranium Fever Breaks Out – by Geoffrey Morgan and Jacob Lorinc (Bloomberg News – June 12, 2024)

The radioactive metal’s price is up 233%, revealing the speed at which the world is embracing nuclear power once again.

Along the western edge of Canada’s Saskatchewan province, by a bend in a lake ringed by endless stands of black spruce, a small outpost has been carved out of the forest to mark what just might be the hottest new mining project on Earth today. It is a desolate, unforgiving spot.

Even in April, the snow is still caked hard to the ice that coats the lake. Bone-chilling winds howl day and night. And there are no towns or villages or, for that matter, signs of life at all — beyond the occasional black bear or wolf — within a 50-mile radius.

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A New Chinese Megaport in South America Is Rattling the U.S. – by Ryan Dubé and James T. Areddy (Wall Street Journal/ – June 14, 2024)

CHANCAY, Peru—In this serene town on South America’s Pacific coast, China is building a megaport that could challenge U.S. influence in a resource-rich region that Washington has long considered its backyard.

The Chancay deep-water port, rising here among pelicans and fishermen in small wooden boats, is important enough to Beijing that Chinese leader Xi Jinping is expected to inaugurate it at the end of the year in his first trip to the continent since the pandemic.

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Nevada Copper shareholders face loss of investment as Elliott Investment circles to provide emergency bankruptcy funding – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 12, 2024)

Nevada Copper Corp. shareholders are poised to lose their entire investment, with the struggling Canadian miner seeking bankruptcy protection, and hoping to secure emergency financing from U.S. hedge fund Elliott Investment Management.

The Vancouver-based company has struggled for years to ramp up production at its Pumpkin Hollow copper mine in Nevada. Earlier this year, the company told investors it was a going-concern risk and was running a dangerously high debt load against a dwindling cash position. As of the end of March, Nevada Copper held only US$300,000 in cash, had a working-capital deficit of US$115.4-million, and total debt of approximately US$262-million.

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As affordability crisis hits home, growing majority of Canadians deem oil and gas critical to economy – by Chris Varcoe (Calgary Herald – June 12, 2024)

Almost three-quarters of Canadians consider oil and gas to be important to the country’s economy today

Despite a polarized energy debate and a torrent of criticism toward the oil and gas sector, Canadians’ opinion about the industry’s importance isn’t eroding like a sandcastle facing shifting tides. In fact, it’s growing stronger.

During a keynote address to open the Global Energy Show in Calgary on Tuesday, well-known pollster Nik Nanos says the data is clear: more Canadians are supporting the industry, as “meat and potato” issues such as affordability, jobs and inflation hit home.

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Researchers get $5M to find nickel, other metals, in Sudbury mine waste – by Staff (Sudbury Star – June 10, 2024)

The idea is they can be used to help make batteries for electric vehicles while reducing the environmental impact of tailings areas

A research arm of Laurentian University will get $5 million to find ways of recovering nickel, cobalt and copper from mine waste in Sudbury that can be used to make batteries for electric vehicles. Jonathan Wilkinson, the federal minister of Energy and Natural Resources, made the announcement in Sudbury on Monday.

The money will go to the Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corp – or MIRARCO – based at Laurentian University.

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Mining industry confident of carve out on federal government’s capital-gains tax changes – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 12, 2024)

The Canadian mining industry is optimistic that Ottawa will carve out an exception for the sector around coming changes to the capital-gains tax that it hopes will pre-empt a large drop in financings.

As of June 25, capital gains made by Canadian investors are set to be taxed at two thirds, up from one half, for gains above $250,000. Owing to a tax quirk associated when selling flow-through shares, the pending changes will deter high-net-worth individuals from investing in the mining sector, according to Pierre Gratton, president of the Mining Association of Canada.

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Vale showcases greenhouse that helped regreen Sudbury – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – June 12, 2024)

Company celebrates 50th anniversary of the Godfrey Drive greenhouse that helped the massive Sudbury regreening project

For more than half a century, Vale’s greenhouse on Godfrey Drive in Copper Cliff has been making a beautiful contribution to the community. Vale Base Metals held a celebration June 6 to mark 50 years for the greenhouse in Copper Cliff and the company’s contribution to the regreening of Sudbury.

The facility on Godfrey Drive was built 50 years ago by INCO, but a previous company greenhouse existed in Copper Cliff before that, providing plants and seedlings throughout the community.

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Critical Metals to acquire controlling stake in world’s biggest rare earth project – by Staff ( – June 10, 2024)

Critical Metals Corp. (Nasdaq: CRML) has signed an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in the Tanbreez project in Greenland, the largest rare earth deposit in the world.

Tanbreez hosts 28.2 million tonnes of total rare earth oxides (TREO) in 4.7 billion tonnes of material, according to internal company estimates. The asset is expected to contain more than 27% heavy rare earth elements (HREE) and Critical Metals says efforts to convert the internal resource to U.S. SEC standards are being made.

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Investors should heed growing supply after uranium’s recent runup – by James Cooper (Northern Miner – June 10, 2024)

Global mining news

Uranium prices surged from just over US$50 per lb. in April 2023 to more than US$100 per lb. by January 2024. Since then, there has been a moderate pull-back; uranium is now consolidating just above US$90 per pound.

So is it too late for investors to join the uranium bandwagon? Well, that depends. Last year’s terrific run was driven by strong demand outlooks. Uranium, the fuel for nuclear reactors, has benefitted from renewed interest in building global nuclear capacity. That’s partly due to the push to go green.

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Polish-Czech coal mine deal having positive environmental effects (Notes From Poland – June 9, 2024)

Notes from Poland

An agreement between Poland and the Czech Republic to end an environmental dispute over the Turów coal mine, which sits on the Polish side of their shared border, is being successfully implemented and is having a positive effect, the countries have confirmed.

In particular, an underground barrier installed by the mine’s owner, Polish state energy group PGE, has resulted in groundwater levels on the Czech side of the border rising. Their earlier decline had been one of the main complaints from Prague, which took the issue to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in 2021.

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Quebec residents against graphite mine fear powering Pentagon, environmental ruin – by Joe Bongiorno (CBC News Montreal/Canadian Press – June 9, 2024)

Mining company Lomiko Metals Inc. plans to begin construction in Laurentians by 2027

In Quebec’s Laurentians region, a few kilometres from a wildlife reserve and just outside the town of Duhamel, lies a source of one of the world’s most sought after minerals for manufacturing electric vehicle batteries: graphite.

Since Lomiko Metals Inc., a mining company based in Surrey, B.C., announced plans to build a graphite mine in the area, some residents living nearby have protested the project, fearing the potential harm to the environment.

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Forget Copper and Gold as Steel-Making Raw Material Outperforms – by Paul-Alain Hunt (Bloomberg News – June 12, 2024)

(Bloomberg) — Manganese, an essential steel-making ingredient, has outstripped copper, gold and many other commodities this year after a cyclone halted exports from the world’s second-largest mine in March.

Prices of 44% grade manganese ore have almost doubled since the start of the year, beating gains of 15% in copper, 12% in gold and almost 30% in tin.

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Never Rest On Your Ores: The Road To Restoring Canada’s Mining Industry – by Alp Bora (Forbes Magazine – June 12, 2024)

Founder & CEO of Alp Bora & Co., Alp Bora talks about mining, sustainability and corporate culture.

“Who earned it? Eh? I thought so. Your father. You stand on dead men’s legs. You’ve never had any of your own.” —The Sea-Wolf, Jack London

Canada’s mining industry is walking on dead men’s legs. The country inherited a mining legacy and set modern standards, but evidence suggests action is needed to renew it. Metal production in Canada has become irregular due to the depletion of reserves and more dependence on imports, and production of Canadian refined metals such as nickel, zinc, lead, and copper has fallen since 2005.

A Chinese saying goes “wealth does not last beyond three generations.” It was a generation ago that China made their policy to dominate metals and refining. Meanwhile, Canada has rested on its legacy and sold some of its more profitable companies. I believe this has endangered the country’s mining future and economy.

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Two small communities are competing to receive Canada’s inventory of nuclear waste. They can’t be sure what they’ll get – by Matthew McClearn (Globe and Mail – June 10, 2024)

Two Ontario municipalities are vying to become hosts for an underground disposal facility for Canada’s nuclear waste. Both must formally announce in the coming months whether they’ll accept the facility – but they cannot know exactly what wastes they’d be agreeing to receive.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) designed its $26-billion facility, known as a deep geological repository, to receive spent fuel from Candu reactors located in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. This year, it plans to choose between the last two sites still in the running: the Municipality of South Bruce, Ont., located more than 120 kilometres north of London; or near Ignace, Ont., a town of 1,200 more than 200 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.

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Yukonomist: Why Alaska has 4 times more people than the Yukon, NWT, Nunavut and Greenland combined – by Keith Halliday (Yukon News – June 10, 2024)

Everyone knows about the population disparity, but do they know why?

Last week, I looked at Whitehorse’s role as the “moose in the room” when talking about the Yukon population. Almost 80 per cent of Yukoners live in what Statistics Canada charmingly calls the “Whitehorse Census Agglomeration.”

But if Whitehorse was in Alaska, it would only be the fifth largest borough. The Whitehorse agglomeration is significantly smaller than Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough.

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