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Critical Minerals News

The EV race is turning a gold rush haven into a battery hub

By: Bloomberg     8th August 2022 Gold has long dominated the Western Australian city of Kalgoorlie, born in a late 19th Century prospecting rush and home to one of the world’s largest-open pit mines, nestled right next to residential streets. Blasts to dislodge precious-metal laced rock from the more than two-mile long Super Pit... 

Oz Minerals rejects BHP's A$8.4bn offer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th August 2022 Copper miner Oz Minerals has rejected a surprise A$8.4-billion takeover bid from diversified miner BHP. BHP submitted a non-binding indicative proposal to Oz Minerals at the end of last week, to acquire all of the company’s shares at a price of A$25 a share. The offer represented a 32.1% premium... 

Image shows Oz Minerals' Prominent Hill mine

Lithium miner ioneer finds workaround for wildflower that’s stalling US project

By: Bloomberg     5th August 2022 A lithium supplier for Ford Motor and Toyota Motor expects to clear an environmental hurdle involving a rare flower next year, paving the way for deliveries to electric-vehicle makers ahead of looming shortages of the battery metal. ioneer seeks to build its Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project... 

Lithium miner ioneer finds workaround for wildflower that’s stalling US project

MP Materials profit more than doubles on higher rare earths prices

By: Reuters     5th August 2022 Rare earths miner MP Materials reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday due to rising demand and prices for the materials used to make electric vehicles and a range of consumer goods. The Las Vegas-based company posted second-quarter net income of $73.3-million, or 38c a... 

Lithium exports reached record heights in June - ABS

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2022 A deep dive by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) into the Australian lithium sector has shown that lithium concentrate exports reached a record high in the month of June, reaching A$1.16-billion. This was up 1 189% or A$10.7-billion from the month of June in 2021. 

New records set for Aus resource exports

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2022 New trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that Australia’s resources sector had posted another record year of exports, with total resources and energy exports were worth a record A$414-billion, in seasonally adjusted terms, in the 2021-22 financial year. This meant... 

Image shows operations at the port of Port Hedland

Diamond mine sewage plant near completion

5th August 2022 Water and wastewater treatment solutions provider WEC Projects announced in June that it would soon complete the installation of a new WEC Model B packaged sewage treatment plant at the Mothae Diamond Mine, located in the Maluti mountains 214 km from Maseru, in Lesotho. The mine is 70% owned by... 

a Model B conventional activated sludge treatment plant designed and supplied by WEC Projects to a diamond mine in Lesotho
MODEL PRODUCT The Model B conventional activated sludge treatment plant was selected as the solution of choice for a diamond mine in Lesotho

More governments are warming to rare earths funding, Lynas says

By: Bloomberg     4th August 2022 Lynas Rare Earths said more developed nations could invest in new capacity for the critical minerals, after the US government agreed $120-million of funding for the company’s planned facility there. Governments in Western Europe, the US, and Japan are newly focused on creating more resilient... 

Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze
Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze

Albemarle's lithium sales surge after supply contracts renegotiated

By: Reuters     4th August 2022 Albemarle, the world's largest producer of lithium for electric vehicle batteries, raised its annual forecast on Wednesday and reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit after it renegotiated supply contracts for the metal at higher prices. The results reflect the rising demand for lithium... 

Sayona tracking well at NAL

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2022 The restart of the North American Lithium (NAL) operations, in Québec, remained on track for first spodumene concentrate production in the first quarter of 2023. ASX-listed Sayona Mining said on Thursday that some 30% of the NAL plant and equipment upgrades have now been completed, with some... 

Sayona tracking well at NAL

Lithium demand assured - Pilbara Minerals

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2022 Lithium miner Pilbara Minerals was positive on the growth expectations for global lithium demand. Newly appointed MD and CEO Dale Henderson told delegates at the Diggers and Dealers conference that Pilbara Minerals estimated that global lithium demand would require at least 18 projects the size... 

Lynas unveils new spending plans in Australia

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2022 Rare earths miner Lynas has used the Diggers and Dealers conference to announce a A$500-million initial expansion of its Mt Weld mine and concentrate plant, in Western Australia. Lynas MD and CEO Amanda Lacaze said on Wednesday that in order for Lynas to meet the forecast growth in rare earth... 

Image shows Australian currency

Liontown confident on Kathleen Valley delivery

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2022 Lithium developer Liontown Resources was confident that it could execute its Kathleen Valley project, in Western Australia, within the set timeframe and within the new budget. The miner at the end of June took a final investment decision on the Kathleen Valley project, but flagged a cost... 

Anglo’s big on-site solar, off-site wind plan lays foundation for green hydrogen  

By: Martin Creamer     3rd August 2022 The planned construction by Anglo American of on-site solar plants and off-site regional wind farms is designed to create a renewable energy ecosystem that reduces Scope 2 emissions and lays the foundation for green hydrogen production – “a hugely ambitious piece of work, and not one that is... 

Anglo American CE Duncan Wanblad.
Anglo American results covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Furnace refurb key to Nickel West success

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2022 Mining major BHP said on Wednesday that a furnace rebuild at its Kalgoorlie nickel smelter would be fundamental to the future of the Nickel West operations. Speaking at the Diggers and Dealers conference, BHP Nickel West asset president Jessica Farrell said that to scale operations at Nickel... 

Royal Bafokeng applauds President’s energy plan, nears decision on solar  

By: Martin Creamer     2nd August 2022 Royal Bafokeng Platinum CEO Steve Phiri on Tuesday applauded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s energy plan, which involves the introduction of new generation capacity to the grid as quickly as possible to give Eskom the required headroom to carry out much-needed maintenance on its ageing coal fleet.... 

Royal Bafokeng Platinum CEO Steve Phiri.
Royal Bafokeng Platinum CEO Steve Phiri interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Western Areas assets a buffet of opportunity for IGO

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd August 2022 Six weeks out of completing the acquisition of Western Areas, ASX-listed Independence Group (IGO) was working on ways to optimise and increase profitability from the newly acquired assets. Speaking at the Diggers & Dealers conference, IGO MD and CEO Peter Bradford said that the company was... 

Volt restarts Ukraine production

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd August 2022 Graphite production has restarted at the Zavalievsky graphite mine and processing plant, in Ukraine. ASX-listed Volt Resources on Tuesday said that the export of graphite products to central and eastern Europe will commence later in August with sales revenue planned to be received soon... 

President Ramaphosa’s got it right, says ex-Eskom CEO on new energy plan  

By: Martin Creamer     1st August 2022 African Rainbow Energy and Power CEO and former Eskom CEO Brian Dames concurs fully with the energy plan unveiled by President Cyril Ramaphosa. “I think he’s got it right,” was Dames's summing up of the President's energy initiative during a discussion at the Coal & Energy Transition Day, covered... 

Creamer Media screenshot image.
Coal & Energy Transition Day covered by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

ioneer strikes another offtake deal

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st August 2022 Lithium boron developer ioneer has inked a binding offtake agreement with the joint venture between majors Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic Corporation, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES). Under the offtake agreement will supply PPES with 4 000 t/y of lithium carbonate from the... 

Orion capital raise progressing

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th July 2022 JSE- and ASX-listed Orion Minerals has received firm commitments for the first two tranches of about $6-million of a placement targeting up to $20-million, while discussions with potential participants for the third tranche are continuing. On June 22, Orion announced that it was undertaking a... 

Walkabout, Wogen ink amended deal to offtake full nameplate Lindi Jumbo capacity

By: Donna Slater     29th July 2022 ASX-listed energy minerals developer Walkabout Resources has signed a new amended binding sales, purchase and marketing agreement with high-value raw materials trader Wogen Pacific for the supply of all exported graphite production from its Lindi Jumbo graphite project, in southeast Tanzania.... 

Company’s expertise wins multimillion-rand project

By: Mandisa Nyathi     29th July 2022 Diversified engineering company Iritron has defied the odds brought on by supply chain challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, by winning a multimillion-rand, cross-border project that will assist Gabon-based manganese mining company Comilog increase its yearly tonnage, says Iritron CEO... 

An image of Alwyn Rautenbach
ALWYN RAUTENBACH The semiconductor shortage prompted Iritron to look for alternative component suppliers

Mining duo plan $290m lithium project investment in Argentina

By: Reuters     28th July 2022 Miners Ultra Argentina and China's Zangge Mining will invest $290-million in northwest Argentina to explore and develop potentially lucrative lithium deposits, the government said late on Wednesday. The plan to produce lithium carbonate, a major component in rechargeable batteries, will start... 

India wants to open up for lithium mining in batteries quest

By: Bloomberg     28th July 2022 India is seeking to change laws to allow private miners to extract lithium, the key ingredient for batteries used for electric vehicles and energy storage, as the nation aims to be more self-sufficient in green technologies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government wants lawmakers’ approval for... 

Australia's Pilbara Minerals raises spodumene concentrate output amid strong EV demand

By: Reuters     28th July 2022 Lithium miner Pilbara Minerals said on Thursday it raised its spodumene concentrate output by more than half in the June quarter compared with the prior three-month period, amid "exceptionally strong" demand for battery raw materials. The Australian company produced 127 236 t of spodumene... 

Euro Manganese' Czech project proves viable

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th July 2022 A feasibility study into the Chvaletice manganese project, in the Czech Republic, has validated the project’s economics, ASX- and TSX-listed Euro Manganese said on Thursday. The feasibility study into the tailings reprocessing operation estimated that it would have an operating life of some 25... 

Syrah gets DOE funding for US expansion plans

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th July 2022 Graphite developer Syrah Resources has secured a $102-million loan facility from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to support the financing of the expansion work at its Vidalia active anode material (AAM) facility, in Louisiana. Syrah said on Thursday that finalisation of the binding loan... 

Radical renewables, hydrogen ramp-up needed, coal energy transition day hears 

By: Martin Creamer     27th July 2022 A radical ramp-up of renewable energy and green hydrogen capacity will be needed by 2040 to take South Africa towards a net-zero climate change commitment, the Coal & Energy Transition Day heard on Wednesday. On the coal-fired power front, South Africa would from the 2040s/2045s need to have... 

Creamer Media screenshot.
Photo by Creamer Media
Presidential Climate Change Commission executive director Chrispian Olver.

World-first hydrogen haul truck operational from August – Anglo Platinum  

By: Martin Creamer     27th July 2022 The pilot world-first hydrogen haul truck launched early in the year, has had some final changes made to it before it heads into the pit and goes into operational mode from August. Meanwhile, the second prototype is already underway, where learnings from the first truck are being taken into the... 

Anglo American's nuGen truck.
Anglo Platinum CEO Natascha Viljoen interviewed by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Race to secure battery metals heats up as GM, Ford ink deals

By: Bloomberg     27th July 2022 Undeterred by the slowing global economy, buyers of key components in the powering of electric vehicles are stepping up efforts to lock in supplies, with two of the world’s biggest automakers signing direct deals with producers of so-called battery metals. General Motors announced three deals... 

Rio invests in starter project at Rincon

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th July 2022 The board of miner Rio Tinto has approved a $190-million investment to develop a small starter battery-grade lithium carbonate plant at its Rincon project, in Argentina. Rio in April completed the $825-million acquisition of the project, which is located in the heart of the lithium triangle in... 

Lower commodity prices hit Rio's bottom line

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th July 2022 Mining major Rio Tinto has seen a 28% drop in profits after tax for the interim period of 2022, and a 26% fall in underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), when compared with the same period in the 2021 financial year. The miner on Wednesday reported a... 

Image shows Rio Tinto branded lanyards

Mincor announces leadership transition

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th July 2022 Nickel miner Mincor Resources on Wednesday announced that MD an CEO David Southam would step down. Mincor told shareholders that the decision reflected Southam’s view that this is a logical stage in Mincor’s lifecycle for a leadership transition with the company returning to nickel production... 

IGO revenue rises in June quarter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th July 2022 Battery metals miner Independence Group (IGO) has reported a 13% increase in sales revenue and an 11% increase in underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for the quarter ended June. Sales revenue in the June quarter reached A$277.9-million, up from the... 

Image shows a nickel mine

Environmental groups ask Tesla to stop nickel plans in Indonesia

By: Bloomberg     26th July 2022 Environmental groups urged Tesla on Monday to reconsider its plans for nickel investment in Indonesia, the world’s top producer of the material, as ESG scrutiny mounts in an industry crucial to the electric vehicle revolution. In an open letter addressed to CEO Elon Musk and shareholders, dozens... 

Havilah and Oz Minerals advance Kalkaroo deal

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th July 2022 ASX-listed Havilah Resources has executed definitive transaction documents with fellow listed copper/gold miner Oz Minerals and its exploration arm Oz Exploration over the Kalkaroo copper project, in South Australia. Under the agreement, Oz Minerals will have 18 months to evaluate the potential... 

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