Glencore warns of nickel job losses unless labour costs controlled – by Brad Thompson, Tom Rabe and James Hall (Australian Financial Review – July 12, 2024)

Global mining heavyweight Glencore says the future of its nickel and cobalt operations in Australia will hinge on keeping a lid on labour and energy costs and access to infrastructure.

In what shapes as another blow to Anthony Albanese’s critical minerals ambitions, Glencore warned it was closely monitoring the situation and the future of its Murrin Murrin mine in Western Australia, which employs about 1500 people and is the nation’s biggest source of cobalt.

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OPINION: To stop the violence in Congo, we need to end the black market for the minerals in our phones – by Robert Rotberg (Globe and Mail – July 12, 2024)

Robert Rotberg is the founding director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s program on intrastate conflict, a former senior fellow at CIGI and president emeritus of the World Peace Foundation.

Africa has more than its fair share of horrendous humanitarian emergencies. Today, half of Sudan’s 47 million people are experiencing severe hunger; 755,000 face starvation. Somalis and northern Ethiopians are also food-short, as are many millions of Malawians, Zambians and Zimbabweans. However, after Sudan, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the neediest region. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), a staggering 23.4 million Congolese suffer from severe hunger.

The peoples of the three eastern Congolese provinces of South Kivu, North Kivu and Ituri are especially endangered. In North Kivu alone, the WFP says that 720,000 people have lost their homes and livelihoods due to regional violence. It estimates that nearly 3 million children in the region are acutely malnourished. Cholera is rife, too, and epidemics of Ebola recur.

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No one in Washington believes Trudeau’s empty NATO promises anymore – by John Ivison (National Post – July 12, 2024)

Trudeau has lost his power to seduce and Canada’s standing has been lost, as allies far poorer than this country live up to their promises

Justin Trudeau is so schooled in the art of denial that he now tries to deflect inescapable truths. In Washington Thursday, at the conclusion of the NATO summit there, the prime minister unveiled what his defence minister, Bill Blair, called a “credible, verifiable path to two per cent” spending of gross domestic product on defence by 2032.

Let’s leave aside the fact that the plan is neither credible nor verifiable. Trudeau was asked if he was worried that the political problems that have dogged him this week will now hang over this country for the next eight years.

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Bolivian President Alleges Failed ‘Coup’ Attempt All About Lithium – by Alex Kimani Oil – July 7, 2024)

Last week, a significant political crisis unfolded in Bolivia after soldiers led by Army Commander General Juan José Zúñiga engulfed the Bolivian government palace using armored vehicles, calling to “restore democracy and free political prisoners.”

The attempted coup lasted only a few hours with leftist President Luis Arce quickly installing a new brass who called off the troops. However, the authenticity of the coup has come into question, with former president and Arce’s onetime mentor Evo Morales claiming it was staged in a bid to strengthen Arce’s position, “Lucho lied and deceived the Bolivian people and the entire world with this kind of coup or self coup,” Morales said in a speech on Sunday, referring to Arce by his nickname.

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Yukon minister says cyanide found in creek near mine spill, after firm issues denial – by Ashley Joannou, (Bloomberg/Canadian Press – July 5, 2024)

Elevated levels of cyanide have been detected in a waterway after an equipment failure and slide of ore at Victoria Gold’s Eagle Mine last week, the Yukon’s minister of energy, mines and resources said.

A government expert said at the same briefing on Thursday that 300 million litres of cyanide solution had escaped containment in the June 24 incident and there was “significant” risk of a further slide at the mine.

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High suicide rate exists among miners, research indicates – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – July 8, 2024)

Local study revealed one in 10 had considered taking their own lives, and a similar percentage had PTSD

A recent report from the U.S. that points to a high suicide rate among miners comes as sobering but not surprising news to folks locally who have done some of their own research on mental-health issues within the industry.

“It’s not a shock but it continues to sadden me that we are seeing those kind of numbers,” said Michel Lariviere, a Laurentian Unversity professor who co-authored a study through the Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health on levels of stress, depression and suicidal tendency among workers in this field. “And in a community that is still very much a mining community, it reflects on collective wellbeing for an entire city.”

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BHP’s Nickel West closure could mark end of Australian nickel industry, analyst says – by Emily JB Smith and Ethan French (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – July 11, 2024)

The closure of mining giant BHP’s nickel operations in Western Australia will have ripple effects far and wide and could signal “the end of the Australian nickel industry”, according to a prominent mining analyst.

BHP announced yesterday it would begin suspending operations at the Kwinana nickel refinery in Perth, the Kalgoorlie smelter and its major mines at Mt Keith and Leinster in the state’s Goldfields from October. BHP said market conditions were to blame for its decision to either redeploy or offer redundancies to 1,600 of its frontline workers, while hundreds more contractors would be impacted.

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Under pressure, Justin Trudeau announces when Canada expects to hit military spending commitments to NATO – by Alex Ballingall (Toronto Star – July 12, 2024)

“Mike Johnson, the Republican Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said this week that it is “shameful” for Canada to keep riding his country’s military coattails.”

WASHINGTON — After enduring criticism over Canada’s level of defence spending during this week’s NATO summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismissed the alliance’s key metric for military contributions — which several allies have touted as a vital reflection of each country’s agreed fair share — as little more than a “crass mathematical calculation.”

In a heated justification of Canada’s defence policies, Trudeau pushed back against the suggestion that the amount spent on military expenses by his government has been a “political problem” at the summit. He said Canada has “stepped up massively” and committed more than $175 billion to defence — much of it over the next two decades — since he took office in 2015, and expressed skepticism in the relevance of the NATO benchmark that asks all members to spend at least two per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defence.

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Canada’s gold exports to China rise, shining through the trade tensions – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – July 9, 2024)

Precious metals now represent Ontario’s largest export to the country

China’s demand for gold has risen in the past few years, helping to usher in record-breaking prices and a growing trade relationship with Canada for the shiny metal.

In the past, interest rates in the United States and flows into or out of gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were used by many analysts as a quick way to predict the direction of the gold price. In recent years, though, U.S. interest rates rose and gold-backed ETF holdings contracted, which should have softened gold prices, but the price of bullion reached all-time highs, currently at US$2,371 per ounce.

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Canadian critical mineral shares fall after tighter M&A criteria – by Divya Rajagopal (Reuters – July 8, 2024)

TORONTO, July 8 (Reuters) – Shares of Canadian companies that mine critical minerals such as copper and uranium fell on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)on Monday as investors assessed the potential impact of Canada’s announcement last week that it would restrict large mergers and acquisitions in the sector.

Last Thursday, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne cleared London-listed Glencore’s takeover of the coal unit of Teck Resources under strict conditions after taking into account the “net benefit” that the deal would carry for Canadians.

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Opinion | Canada Is a NATO Scofflaw – by The Editorial Board (Wall Street Journal/ – July 11, 2024)

The Trudeau government free rides on everyone else’s defense dollars, even as threats in the Arctic grow.

Canada is a member of the G-7 group of leading democracies, but why? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t leading anything, and he won’t even commit his country to meet its minimum obligation as a member of NATO.

When we wrote last year about Canada’s status as a defense scofflaw, it created a stir in Ottawa. But the Trudeau government remains as much a deadbeat as ever.

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Grassy Narrows First Nation to launch legal action against Ontario to mandate consultation on mining claims – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 11, 2024)

A Northern Ontario First Nation plans to launch a legal action against the province later this week aimed at requiring the mining industry to consult with the Indigenous people before staking claims.

Ontario’s free-entry system makes it easy for individuals and companies to file a claim online in return for a nominal fee. On Friday, Grassy Narrows will hold a press conference at Queen’s Park, announcing that it has served the province in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

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Canada is struggling to complete large natural resources projects, says C.D. Howe report – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 4, 2024)

Report says governments need to make timely permit approvals, respect division of powers, to encourage investment

Canada’s permitting delays and regulatory uncertainty is a cooler when it comes to attracting investment in major infrastructure projects.

“Canada’s current regulatory permitting system is slow, subject to seemingly random process and policy changes and deters potential investors,” summarized a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute entitled, “Smoothing the Path: How Canada Can Make Faster Major Project Decisions,” co-authored by Charles DeLand and Brad Gilmour.

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GoviEx Uranium has mining licence in Niger revoked, shares plummet – by Staff ( – July 4, 2024)

GoviEx Uranium (TSXV: GXU) no longer has rights over the perimeter of the Madaouela mining permit following the Niger government’s decision on Thursday to withdraw its licence, dealing a big blow to the development of one of the world’s largest uranium projects.

The Vancouver-based uranium miner had feared that its licence could be revoked if mining could not start by July 3, 2024, a deadline set by Niger’s military leaders who came into power around this time last year.

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Canada’s Move to Protect Mining Sector Shields Takeover Targets – by Jacob Lorinc (Bloomberg News – July 5, 2024)

(Bloomberg) — Canada is making it harder for foreign firms to acquire its biggest mining companies, potentially taking some of the global industry’s attractive takeover targets off the table.

The Canadian government will only approve foreign takeovers of large Canadian mining companies involved in critical minerals production “in the most exceptional of circumstances,” according to the latest guidelines from Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

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