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Critical Minerals News

Australian govt invests heavily in critical minerals projects

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th March 2022 The federal government on Wednesday announced over A$243-million in funding support for four critical minerals projects under the Collaboration Stream of the A$1.3-billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative. The four projects are expected to create over 3 400 jobs over time and cement Australia’s... 

Alpha's $30m Uranium One deal on ice

By: Mariaan Webb     15th March 2022 TSX-V-listed Alpha Lithium has provisionally suspended closing of a $30-million transaction that would have seen Uranium One buying a 15% stake in the Tolilar Salar project, in Argentina, citing recent challenges. Uranium One is a subsidiary of Russian State-owned group Rosatom. Alpha Lithium... 

Alpha's $30m Uranium One deal on ice

Scoping study on Sovereign’s rutile project confirms multi-decade low-cost operation

By: Darren Parker     15th March 2022 The initial scoping study on Sovereign Metals’ Kasiya rutile project, in Malawi, has confirmed a multi-decade operation providing a stable supply of rutile and graphite, while contributing significantly to the economy of Malawi, Soverign Metals revealed on March 15. Kasiya is among the largest... 

EcoGraf mulls demerger of some Tanzanian assets

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th March 2022 Diversified battery anode materials company EcoGraf has unveiled plans to demerge its battery cathode materials subsidiary, Innogy. The ASX-listed EcoGraf told shareholders that it would separately listed Innogy on the ASX to provide shareholders with direct exposure to a nickel focussed... 

Equivalent of a Koeberg arising in solar projects – AmaranthCX  

By: Martin Creamer     14th March 2022 The equivalent of a Koeberg power station is arising in the form of new largely mine-linked private-sector solar power photovoltaic projects across Southern Africa, according to AmaranthCX director and founder Paul Miller, whose company is working on the second edition of its electronic map of... 

Creamer Media screenshot
AmaranthCX director Paul Miller interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Mercedes-Benz partners with Neometals JV

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th March 2022 Luxury vehicle manufacturer Mercedes-Benz will partner with ASX- and Aim-listed Neometals’ battery recycling joint venture, Primobius, for the design and construction of a battery recycling plant. Mercedez-Benz said that it has founded a subsidiary called LICULAR, which will cooperate with... 

Rio makes $2.7bn offer for Turquoise Hill

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th March 2022 Mining major Rio Tinto has made a non-binding proposal to acquire the remaining 49% interest in Turquoise Hill Resources for $2.7-billion. Under the terms of the proposed transaction, Turquoise Hill minority shareholders would receive C$34 in cash per Turquoise Hill share, representing a premium... 

Image shows the Oyu Tolgoi openpit operation

As EV demand rises, Biden officials warm to new mines

By: Reuters     14th March 2022 US regulators are warming to approving new domestic sources of electric vehicle battery metals, as Washington bids to avoid a reliance on strategic minerals imports similar to that on crude oil. US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and other officials speaking at this week's CERAWeek energy... 

An image of US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

Senators urge Biden to invoke defence act for battery materials

By: Bloomberg     14th March 2022 US Senators sent a bipartisan letter to the Biden administration Friday afternoon asking the President to invoke the Defense Production Act to accelerate production of battery materials that are needed to power electric vehicles. The letter, signed by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republicans Lisa... 

IGO/Western Areas deal delayed

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th March 2022 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent volatility in the nickel market, has resulted in a delay in ASX-listed Independence Group (IGO’s) takeover of fellow listed Western Areas. Western Areas on Monday told shareholders that in response to the recent significant nickel price... 

Aus and India hunt for critical minerals

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th March 2022 The Australian government has allocated A$5.8-million to a new three-year investment partnership with India, which could unlock mutual benefits for both countries from Australia’s world-leading critical minerals sector. “Australia and India are natural partners sharing mutual strategic and... 

Nickel Mines cancels A$18m SPP amid market volatility

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th March 2022 ASX-listed Nickel Mines has shelved plans for an A$18-million share purchase plan (SPP), despite applications far exceeding its target. The company in February announced the SPP as part of a larger A$225-million funding plan to finance the acquisition of an initial 30% stake in the Oracle... 

Vital starts share trading in Canada

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th March 2022 Junior Vital Metals will on Friday start share trading on the OTCQB Venture Market under the ticker VTMXF. Vital told shareholders that its primary listing would remain on the ASX. 

Miner celebrates record year in production, safety

By: Cameron Mackay     11th March 2022 Last year was exceptional for mineral sands miner Kenmare Resources in terms of safety, production and sales. Kenmare Resources MD Michael Carvill enthuses that many factors contributed to this success in 2021, citing the quality of the Moma titanium deposit, in Mozambique, the growth programme... 

Image of Kenmare Resource's Wet Concentrator Plant B
AFRICAN MILESTONE Moving WCP B 23 km by road in one piece represents the largest transportation of a piece of mining equipment in Africa to date

Miner capitalises on strong price environment

By: Cameron Mackay     11th March 2022 Heavy minerals miner Base Resources is aiming to maintain efficient mining at its Kwale mineral sands mining operation, in Kenya, so that it can capitalise on a strong price environment. “Our Kwale Operation has been consistent since we began mining in 2013, and this enables us and our customers... 

Image of a mine worker and conveyor belt carrying mined material
AFRICAN EXPLORATION Base Resources is pursuing several near-mine and regional exploration opportunities

Company begins producing, selling rutile

By: Cameron Mackay     11th March 2022 Heavy mineral sands miner PYX Resources started production and sales activity of natural rutile from its Mandiri deposit in central Kalimantan, in Indonesia, in January. The rutile is being sold to customers in the country as a by-product of PYX’s primary zircon production operation. 

Image of ilmenite, rutile and zircon sands
VITAL MINERALS Rutile is being sold as a by-product of PYX’s primary zircon production, while production and sale of leucoxene and ilmenite will follow later this year

Gratton says Canada should do more to seize mining opportunities 

By: Mariaan Webb     10th March 2022 Canada has long been the dominant global mining nation – in mineral production, mining finance, mining services and supplies, and sustainability and safety, but Mining Association of Canada (MAC) president and CEO Pierre Gratton has warned that there are signs this position is slipping. Citing... 

MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton has warned that Canada's position as mining leader is slipping
MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton has warned that Canada's position as mining leader is slipping

Lithium Americas CEO says mining reform needed for EV metals supply

By: Reuters     10th March 2022 The United States should do more to streamline permitting of new mines for electric vehicle metals and not expect to rely solely on recycling of old batteries for supply, the CEO of Lithium Americas said on Wednesday. "You have to actually build out all the infrastructure and get these materials... 

Freeport-McMoRan plans aggressive copper investment in south-west US

By: Bloomberg     10th March 2022 Freeport-McMoRan plans to invest “aggressively” in copper mines in the southwest US after prices of the metal rose so high that many old operations are now profitable again, CEO Richard Adkerson said at the CERAWeek gathering in Houston, this week. Copper’s rise to a record high “has made these... 

Piedmont's second plant in the US proves a hit

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th March 2022 A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) by dual-listed Piedmont Lithium into a proposed merchant lithium hydroxide plant to expand its US manufacturing capacity to 60 000 t/y of lithium hydroxide, and demonstrated positive economics. Piedmont on Thursday told shareholders that the results of the... 

Triton sets near-term target for Ancuabe

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th March 2022 ASX-listed Triton Minerals has completed the strategic review and desktop study into its Ancuabe graphite project, in Mozambique, revealing on Thursday that it was hoping to be in production by the September quarter of 2023. The strategic review considered various alternatives to bring Ancuabe... 

Share sell off undermines community’s influence on regional job sustainability – RBPlat  

By: Martin Creamer     8th March 2022 Platinum group metals (PGM) mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri on Tuesday criticised the sell-off of RBPlat shares by Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) to Northam Platinum as an undermining of the direct significant influence of the 300 000-strong Bafokeng community on... 

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Royal Bafokeng Platinum results covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Lithium squeeze has Sigma looking to double Brazil capacity

By: Bloomberg     8th March 2022 With battery makers screaming out for new supplies of lithium, a Brazilian-focused company is raising its initial output projection and turning toward a second-stage development. Sigma Lithium expects to churn out 240 000 metric tons of lithium concentrate a year from the fourth quarter at its... 

Royal Bafokeng Platinum delivers record production, best-ever earnings

By: Martin Creamer     8th March 2022 Platinum group metals company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) on Tuesday delivered record production and earnings in the 12 months ended December 31. The RBPlat board has declared a gross cash final dividend of 535 c per share, equating to R1.5 billion. This is in addition to the interim... 

Creamer Media picture
Photo by Creamer Media
Royal Bafokeng Platinum CEO Steve Phiri

Canada forges new EV supply chain path in bid to secure growth

By: Bloomberg     8th March 2022 Canada, a major car and parts producer, is bolstering its battery and electric vehicle supply chain to ensure future growth for its vital $10-billion auto industry. On Monday, General Motors and Posco Chemical announced a $400-million investment in a new Quebec facility to produce cathode active... 

Brazil selects Centaurus' Jaguar as ‘strategic’ project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th March 2022 Brazil has selected the Jaguar project as a “strategic minerals” project, recognising its status as a significant long-life nickel sulphide project, ASX-listed Centaurus Metals reported on Monday. The Strategic Minerals Policy is part of the Investment Partnership Programme, a new Brazil... 

Ukraine invasion sets back Musk's dream for cheaper EVs, for now

By: Reuters     7th March 2022 Surging raw materials costs, made worse by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, could set back the dream of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and other auto executives to roll out more affordable electric vehicles. Rising prices of nickel, lithium and other materials threaten to slow and even temporarily reverse the... 

An image of Elon Musk
Surging raw materials costs could set back the dream of Tesla CEO Elon Musk to roll out more affordable EVs.

Decarbonisation standing out as key metals/mining value driver – Wood Mackenzie  

By: Martin Creamer     4th March 2022 As pressure mounts for the world to align meaningfully with the 1.5 °C global temperature rise scenario, decarbonisation is standing out as a key driver of metals and mining value. “This has strengthened our view that the mining industry now has a clear pathway towards long-term transformative... 

Creamer Media screenshot taken during webinar.
Wood Mackenzie future facing mined commodities forum covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Coal leading Australian resource exports - ABS

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th March 2022 The latest trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that coal continued to lead the surge in Australia’s export earnings for January. The ABS’ International Trade in Goods and Services data for January 2022 shows total resources and energy exports were worth... 

Image shows a coal loader at port

Decarbonisation creating greatest investment opportunity of our lifetime – Sibanye-Stillwater   

By: Martin Creamer     3rd March 2022 The decarbonising of the global economy to prevent climate change is going to create the greatest investment opportunity of our lifetime. It will also leave behind the companies that do not adapt – regardless of what industry they are in. 

Supplied picture
Sibanye-Stillwater presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer.

Global signs decade offtake with shareholder

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd March 2022 ASX-listed Global Lithium Resources has signed a ten-year spodumene concentrate offtake agreement with Suzhou TA&A Ultra Clean Technology Co. Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, Suzhou TA&A will acquire and take delivery of no less than 30% of available product from Global Lithium’s... 

Sibanye-Stillwater delivers another record performance with highest-ever dividend

By: Martin Creamer     3rd March 2022 Precious metals mining company Sibanye-Stillwater in 2021 delivered another record financial performance, with revenue of R172.2-billion and adjusted earnings before interest taxation depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of R68.6-billion. Revenue was 35% higher than for 2020 and Ebitda 39%... 

Creamer Media picture.
Photo by Creamer Media
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman

Nickel market eyes fate of Siberian metal as sanctions bite

By: Bloomberg     3rd March 2022 The biggest risk in battery materials from Russia’s increasing economic isolation centers on supplies of top-notch Arctic nickel controlled by the country’s richest man. Russia is a major producer of the metal that will be needed in huge quantities as the world’s auto fleet goes battery-powered.... 

Canada govt to help fund Electra battery park study

By: Mariaan Webb     3rd March 2022 The government of Canada has made a C$250 000 financial commitment in support of the recently announced battery materials park study, TSX-V-listed Electra Battery Materials has announced. The study was initiated last month as a partnership with the Ontario government, Glencore and Talon Metals... 

ESG slowing down as energy transition highlights mining as indispensable – RMF  

By: Martin Creamer     2nd March 2022 The energy transition is highlighting mining as an indispensable industry, said Responsible Mining Foundation (RMF) CEO Hélène Piaget in opening a webinar on 'Responsible Mining Index (RMI) Report 2022', which reports a slowdown in economic, environmental, social and governance (ESG). “Yet there... 

Creamer Media screenshot.
Responsible Mining Foundation report covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Commissioning of NextSource’s Madagascar graphite project delayed

By: Mariaan Webb     2nd March 2022 Phase 1 of the Molo graphite project, in Madagascar, has been delayed and the process plant will now only be commissioned in the September quarter, Toronto-listed NextSource reported on Tuesday. The company explained that although the processing plant, which was fabricated and constructed at an... 

FBICRC punting a battery-powered future

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd March 2022 The Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) has outlined a plan for Australia to benefit in the expected surge in demand for batteries, which is expected to grow at least nine or ten-fold over the next decade, to be worth an estimated $133-billion to $151-billion by 2030.... 

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