To get to net-zero, we will need to make mining ‘nature-positive’, says mining council chief – by Oliver Balch (Reuters – January 27, 2023)

https://www.reuters.com/

January 27 – The field of sustainable business is littered with apparent oxymorons: “clean coal”, “ethical tobacco”, “responsible gambling”, and now, the latest in this illustrious list, “nature-positive mining”.

That’s right. An industry that revolves around “breaking ground” to extract natural resources is anxious to position itself as a defender of the natural environment. It sounds like poppycock, but could it just be possible?

Read more


Peru’s violent protests imperil 30% of its copper output – by James Attwood(Bloomberg News – January 27, 2023)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

An upsurge in the violent protests wracking Peru is crimping copper output in the world’s No. 2 supplier, with about 30% of its production at risk at a time of low global stocks and high prices.

One copper mine is offline after demonstrators stormed the site, another has seen shipments choked by roadblocks, while others have slowed operations as a precaution to manage scarce supplies of fuel and other inputs, according to industry group SNMPE.

Read more


Government regulatory duplication slowing progress in the Ring of Fire – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – January 27, 2023)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Ring of Fire Metals CEO Steve Flewelling seeks balanced, faster approach to advance Far North nickel project

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson wants to avoid government duplication with the provinces in regulations and permitting in order to bring new critical mineral mines into production quicker. So does Ring of Fire Metals CEO Steve Flewelling.

But when it comes to proposed mine development in the James Bay region, Wilkinson insisted last month that no shortcuts will be taken in safeguarding the environment, protecting fragile peatlands, and in respecting the rights of Indigenous people and communities near any proposed mine site.

Read more


Will the Fed stop gold’s run? Gold price sees longest weekly winning streak since the summer of 2020 – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – January 27, 2023)

https://www.kitco.com/

(Kitco News) Gold is looking to close Friday with its sixth weekly gain — the longest winning streak since the summer of 2020 when gold hit new record highs above $2,000 an ounce. But the question is whether the precious metal can maintain its rally as analysts see inevitable profit-taking in the short term.

One argument analysts raise for next week is why wouldn’t gold investors take some profits off the table after seeing stellar gains this January.

Read more


Three new B.C. mines aim to pour first gold in 2024 – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – January 25, 2023)

https://biv.com/

Of eight new mines or expansions in the queue, one is on Nisga’a Nation treaty land

There are currently eight new mines or mine expansions in the queue in B.C. worth a total investment of $6.6 billion, according to Premier David Eby, who spoke Monday at the Association of Mineral Exploration (AME) Roundup conference.

Two of those new mines are aiming to be in production in a little over a year from now, and one is unique in that it will be the first mine to be built on Nisga’a Nation treaty land.

Read more


Peru’s violent protests imperil 30% of its copper output – by James Attwood (Bloomberg News – January 27, 2023)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

An upsurge in the violent protests wracking Peru is crimping copper output in the world’s No. 2 supplier, with about 30% of its production at risk at a time of low global stocks and high prices.

One copper mine is offline after demonstrators stormed the site, another has seen shipments choked by roadblocks, while others have slowed operations as a precaution to manage scarce supplies of fuel and other inputs, according to industry group SNMPE.

Read more


Federal gifts for the nuclear and mining industries – by Mark Winfield (Policy Options – January 25, 2023)

Policy Options

The government needs a more transparent and evidence-based approach to decision-making when assessing choices for decarbonization.

Canada’s nuclear industry got an important pre-Christmas gift from the federal government in the form of the announcement of its decision not to conduct an assessment under the 2019 Impact Assessment Act of a proposed small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) at the Point Lepreau site in New Brunswick.

The Lepreau SMR proposal has been highly controversial, given its reliance on technologies where the performance, costs and risks are essentially unknown. Moreover, serious questions have even been raised about whether the project, intended to reprocess fuel from the Lepreau CANDU reactors, would violate the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Read more


A Copper Mine Could Advance Green Energy but Scar Sacred Land – by Clifford Krauss (New York Times – January 27, 2023)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Tribal groups are fighting an Arizona project whose backers say increasing the supply of copper, crucial to batteries, would reduce fossil-fuel use.

SUPERIOR, Ariz. — As Wendsler Nosie finished his evening prayers sitting before a mesquite fire, a ceremonial yucca staff festooned with eagle feathers by his side, he gazed sternly toward a distant mesa where mining companies hope to extract more than a billion tons of copper.

That mine could help address climate change by helping the United States replace fossil fuels and combustion engines with renewable energy and electric cars. But to Mr. Nosie, a former chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, it’s the latest insult in a bitter history.

Read more


Indonesia pushing for OPEC-style nickel cartel – by James Guild (Asia Times – January 26, 2023)

Home

Indonesia wants much more for its ore as demand for nickel used in lithium-ion batteries set to explode in new electric vehicle era

Indonesian Minister of Investment Bahlil Lahadalia suggested that Indonesia is looking into forming an OPEC-style cartel for nickel and other inputs used in battery production.

Nickel is becoming a hot commodity as it is a key input in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries needed for electric vehicles (EVs) — and Indonesia has the world’s largest nickel ore deposits.

Read more


Mosaic yet to finalize a date to restart its Canadian potash mine – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – January 27, 2023)

https://financialpost.com/

Resumption will depend on when the company’s current inventory drops enough to restart operations for the long term

Mosaic Co. says the full resumption of its potash mine in Saskatchewan, where production was curtailed in December, will depend on when the company’s current inventory drops enough to restart operations for the long term.

The Tampa, Fla.-based company said in a Dec. 6, 2022, statement that it had “temporarily curtailed” its Colonsay potash mine in Saskatchewan as its inventory levels were sufficient to meet near-term demand. It added that it expected to restart its mill by early 2023.

Read more


Shift to Mined vs. Man-Made Graphite Raises Shortage Risk for EVs – by Scott Patterson and Amrith Ramkumar (Wall Street Journal – January 25, 2023)

https://www.wsj.com/

Natural graphite is greener than synthetic, leading auto makers to turn to mines for the mineral

Mining companies are ramping up supplies of critical minerals for rechargeable batteries such as lithium, cobalt and nickel. Graphite, a key battery component, has largely been overlooked.

That is about to change. Some of the world’s biggest auto and battery makers and the U.S. government are racing to secure graphite supplies amid looming signs of shortages of the mineral suitable for batteries. So far graphite prices haven’t reflected the tight supply.

Read more


Mining the Northwest: Greenstone mine builders pleased with the pace of progress – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 26, 2023)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

$1-billion construction project hits two-thirds mark, first gold pour on tap for 2024

More than 2.5 million tonnes of material has been removed during the construction of the Greenstone Gold open-pit mine outside Geraldton in northwestern Ontario.

Pre-production mining started last September with four haul tracks and giant excavating shovel working the site located at the intersection of Highways 11 and 584, a few kilometres south of the town. The removed material comes in the form of gold ore, waste rock and overburden.

Read more


Feds slap 20-year mining ban on land near Boundary Waters – by Dan Kraker (MPR News – January 26, 2023)

https://www.mprnews.org/

The U.S. Department of the Interior issued a 20-year mining moratorium Thursday on 225,000 acres of federal land near the Boundary Waters, dealing a further blow to the proposed Twin Metals mine near Ely, Minn. and other potential mines for copper, nickel and precious metals within the watershed of the canoe wilderness area.

The decision is the latest milestone in a long and contentious tug of war over mining near the popular wilderness area that has spanned more than six years and three presidential administrations.

Read more


Canadian miners facing big tax hikes as mineral-rich countries look to cash in on commodities boom – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 27, 2023)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

First Quantum Minerals Ltd.’s tussle with Panama over taxes is a microcosm of a global phenomenon that threatens the profitability of some of Canada’s biggest mining companies, but worst-case scenarios of sites being nationalized will be the exception, not the rule, experts say.

Earlier this month, The Globe and Mail reported details of a tentative agreement between First Quantum and the Central American country that would see the big Canadian copper miner pay as much as eight times more in taxes.

Read more


Albemarle calls for high lithium prices to fuel EV industry growth – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – Janaury 24, 2023)

https://www.reuters.com/

Albemarle Corp (ALB.N) on Tuesday called for lithium prices to remain high indefinitely in order to help the mining industry develop new sources of the electric vehicle (EV) battery metal and fuel the green energy transition.

The push for higher prices by the world’s largest lithium producer is likely to exacerbate the growing tension between EV manufacturers and mining companies that supply the materials crucial for the all-electric shift, with high metals prices threatening EV profitability.

Read more