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Critical Minerals News

MRC looks to partner with Mitsubishi in Europe

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th May 2022 ASX-listed Mineral Commodities (MRC) has struck a memorandum of understanding with Japanese major Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) to collaborate on graphitic anode materials supply in Europe. The two companies will explore collaboration opportunities under two phases. 

South32 targets 20% output growth by 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th May 2022 Diversified miner South32 is expecting production volumes to grow by nearly 20% in the next financial year, compared with its 2021 production levels. CEO Graham Kerr told delegates at the Bank of America Global Metals, Mining & Steel Conference that the growth in output targeted for 2023 would... 

An image of South32 CEO Graham Kerr
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Cobalt for use in EVs outstrips other end uses for first time in 2021

By: Donna Slater     17th May 2022 Last year, the cobalt market grew in an unprecedented fashion, rising 22% on the year prior, with this upward trend expected to continue, rising by about 13% a year for the next five years, says cobalt sustainability organisation the Cobalt Institute. For the first time, cobalt demand from... 

Minexx appoints responsible sourcing manager

By: Donna Slater     17th May 2022 Minerals blockchain platform Minexx has appointed Dominique Kayigire responsible sourcing manager – a newly created position – to further accelerate the company’s ability to secure mineral supply chains, from being mined to the point at which they are used in electronic products.   He joins... 

Law firm drawing on giga-scale hydrogen project experience to derisk new ventures  

By: Martin Creamer     17th May 2022 Lack of expertise about getting giga-scale hydrogen projects off the ground is a big problem in the industry, say Allen & Overy South Africa’s Alessandra Pardini and Alexandra Cluver, who believe they know how best it should be done from experience gained through project managing three of the... 

Pictures supplied
International law firm speaks to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer on giga-scale hydrogen projects. Video: Nicholas Boyd.

Trafigura wants to build lithium business to tap battery boom

By: Bloomberg     17th May 2022 Trafigura Group said its plan to invest in a new UK lithium refinery will mark the start of the trading giant’s foray into buying and selling the crucial battery metal. Last week’s agreement to back the plant being developed by startup Green Lithium brings the world’s top independent commodities... 

Trafigura wants to build lithium business to tap battery boom

Pilbara and Calix get A$20m MMI funding

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th May 2022 Lithium miner Pilbara Minerals and its joint venture (JV) partner Calix have given a A$20-million grant from the Australian government under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) to help fund the Mid-Stream project. Pilbara Minerals and Calix in May this year inked a memorandum of... 

Image shows Australian currency

Oz Minerals takes an option over Kalkaroo

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th May 2022 Copper/gold miner Oz Minerals has inked a term sheet with fellow listed Havilah Resources to option the Kalkaroo copper project, in South Australia. Oz Minerals will have 18 months to evaluate the potential of the Kalkaroo project, and the option to acquire the project for A$205-million. 

Sibanye-Stillwater hoists first tons from R4bn 4 000-job K4 platinum project 

By: Martin Creamer     16th May 2022 The first tons have been hoisted at Marikana K4, Sibanye-Stillwater’s high-return resumed platinum group metals  (PGM) project, which was largely predeveloped and equipped when acquired from the now defunct Lonmin in 2019. “The K4 project is an unrivalled, top-tier project in the PGM industry,... 

Picture supplied.
The K4 headgear of the new platinum group metals shaft.

Lithium sector needs $42bn as pivot from China adds costs

By: Bloomberg     16th May 2022 The global lithium industry needs as much as $42 -billion of investment by the end of the decade in order to meet demand for the crucial battery-making material, with attempts to build supply chains outside of China subject to much higher costs, according to a data and market-intelligence... 

South Africa’s high-flying Jubilee creating 800 mostly long-term jobs in Zambia 

By: Martin Creamer     16th May 2022 Diversified metal recovery business Jubilee, which is rolling out an investment of R786-million in South Africa and Zambia, has offered employment and contractor opportunities to more than 800 people in Zambia, the most of which are long term, the company stated in a release on Monday. In Zambia,... 

Screenshot of website image and enhancement
Copper and cobalt in Zambia and platinum group metals and chrome in South Africa.

Consolidated Zinc formalises lithium buy

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th May 2022 ASX-listed Consolidated Zinc has formalised an agreement to acquire Westoz Lithium, which holds exploration tenements prospective for lithium, rare earth elements and base metals, in Western Australia. The company told shareholders on Monday that the acquisition of Westoz was an exciting... 

Nickel Mines starts commissioning of fourth line

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th May 2022 ASX-listed Nickel Mines has started commissioning the fourth rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) line at its 80%-held Angel Nickel project, in Indonesia. Each of Angel’s RKEF lines has a nameplate capacity of 9 000 t/y of nickel metal, equating to 750 t of nickel metal per month. 

Things looking interesting for platinum despite surplus  

By: Martin Creamer     16th May 2022 What the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) is forecasting for 2022 is a reduced but still large platinum surplus of 627 000 oz. But this surplus is extremely vulnerable to the issues the WPIC thinks may play out, particularly: 

Picture supplied
World Platinum Investment Council Research Director interviewed by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer. Video Darlene Creamer.

Positive PEA for New Brunswick manganese project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th May 2022 TSX-V-listed Manganese X has announced positive results from an independent preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Battery Hill project, near Woodstock, New Brunswick. The project is set to produce battery-grade high-purity manganese sulphate (HPMSM). The study determined that Battery... 

Neometals JV signs deal with Mercedes-Benz

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th May 2022 ASX-listed Neometals on Friday announced that its joint venture with SMS Group, Primobius, had inked a conditional, binding agreement with Mercedes-Benz subsidiary LICULAR to develop a battery recycling plant. Mercedes-Benz in March tapped Primobius as its technology partner for the design and... 

Copper Mountain avoids Eva sale speculation

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th May 2022 Dual listed Copper Mountain Mining has refused to be drawn into speculation that it was intending to sell its Eva copper project, in Queensland. The miner was responding to media reports that it was making moves to divest the asset. 

Canada launches call for proposals for critical mineral development

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th May 2022 Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson on Wednesday announced a call for proposals for the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration Programme (CMRDD). This component of the programme would provide C$10.95-million in funding for pilot plants and projects to... 

Labour commits A$100m into battery development in election promise

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th May 2022 Australian Labour leader Anthony Albanese on Thursday made a A$100-million equity commitment for a battery manufacturing precinct in Queensland, as part of his election promise for the May federal election. Albanese also vowed to create a Powering Australia Industry Growth Centre to provide... 

Wodgina produces first spodumene concentrate

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th May 2022 ASX-listed Mineral Resources (MinRes) has marked first new spodumene concentrate production at its Wodgina lithium project, in the Pilbara. Wodgina is one of the world’s largest known hard rock lithium deposits and operates under the MARBL joint venture (JV), which is an unincorporated JV... 

Mining drives WA budget

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th May 2022 A strong resources sector, which has continued to operate through much of the Covid-19 pandemic, along with higher commodity prices has assisted in Western Australia in reporting an expected operating surplus of A$5.7-billion for 2021-22. Premier Mark McGowan on Thursday pointed out that the... 

Pentagon asks Congress to fund mining projects in Australia, UK

By: Reuters     12th May 2022 The US Department of Defense has asked Congress to let it fund facilities in the United Kingdom and Australia that process strategic minerals used to make electric vehicles and weapons, calling the proposal crucial to national defense. The request to alter the Cold War-era Defense Production Act... 

Pentagon asks Congress to fund mining projects in Australia, UK

Rio produces new critical mineral in Utah

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th May 2022 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has started tellurium production at its Kennecott copper operation in Utah, becoming one of only two US producers of the critical mineral used in advanced thin film photovoltaic solar panels. The tellurium will be refined in North America by 5N Plus, a global producer... 

Minimum of 14 000 jobs a year from South Africa’s first hydrogen corridor 

By: Martin Creamer     11th May 2022 South Africa’s first hydrogen corridor now under development has the potential to generate a minimum of 14 000 jobs, $400-million in gross domestic product and $900-million in taxes a year by 2050. In an addition, there is potential to grow platinum group metal (PGM) demand by between 1% to 2%... 

Creamer Media picture.
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council hydrogen briefing from left Allan Seccombe, Roger Baxter and Fahmida Smith.

Chinese miners and battery makers team up in rush for lithium

By: Bloomberg     11th May 2022 Chinese miners and battery makers are forging closer ties as the accelerating shift to electric vehicles highlights the shortage of a metal that’s key to the clean-energy revolution. Lithium jumped more than 400% in China over the past year, unnerving Beijing and sparking a flurry of deals from... 

Elon Musk says Tesla open to buying a mining company

By: Reuters     11th May 2022 Tesla is open to buying a mining company if producing its own supply of electric vehicle (EV) metals would speed up worldwide adoption of clean energy technologies, CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday. Concern is mounting across the EV industry that there may not be enough supply of lithium, nickel,... 

Australian Vanadium looks at divesting noncore assets

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th May 2022 ASX-listed Australian Vanadium has inked an option with unlisted Mining Green Metals (MGM) for the sale of its Coates project and Nowthanna Hill project tenements, in Western Australia. The Coates project holds exploration potential for base metals, gold and platinum group elements, while the... 

Minerals Council spells out members’ commitment to climate change mitigation 

By: Martin Creamer     11th May 2022 Members of Minerals Council South Africa have agreed to commit to a climate change response strategy that will reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and achieve a net zero emission by 2050 or earlier. Minerals Council South Africa senior health and environment executive Nikisi Lesufi on Tuesday... 

Creamer Media picture
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council South Africa senior health and environment executive Nikisi Lesufi, closest right, with Minerals Council's Allan Seccombe, left.

South Africa keen to harness hydrogen economy opportunities, President Ramaphosa tells Indaba  

By: Martin Creamer     10th May 2022 It was just amazing to see the innovation that the mining industry is capable of scaling up, President Cyril Ramaphosa told the Investing in African Mining Indaba in his enthusiastic address on Tuesday. “Last week, I attended the launch by Anglo American of the world’s largest hydrogen-powered... 

Creamer Media picture taken of screen
Photo by Creamer Media
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Investing in African Mining Indaba.

DRC seeking to encourage investment in mining and local beneficiation

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th May 2022 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde has stressed his government’s commitment to responsibly managing the country’s mineral resources, facilitating investment in mining and promoting local minerals beneficiation. He was addressing the Mining Indaba 2022... 

KGL completes capital raise

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th May 2022 Copper developer KGL Resources has raised A$23.04-milion of a A$24.2-million target. The company in April announced a one-for-six non-renounceble entitlement offer, riced at 37c a share, to fund front-end engineering design (FEED) work at the Jervois copper project, in the Northern Territory,... 

Sibanye bides time on battery metals push as asset prices soar

By: Bloomberg     10th May 2022 Sibanye Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman plans to resume battery-metals acquisitions within two to three years, once inflated asset valuations come down. The veteran dealmaker wants to make the metals that are key to powering the electric-vehicle revolution a third pillar of Sibanye’s operations,... 

Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman
Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman

Evolution signs offtake deal at Chilalo

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th May 2022 ASX-listed Evolution Energy Minerals has inked a binding offtake agreement with China’s Yichang Xincheng Graphite Co (YXGC) for the sale of 30 000 t/y of coarse flake graphite from its Chilalo graphite project, in Tanzania for the first three years of operation. “We are delighted to sign this... 

Orion Minerals a step closer to funding and refining

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th May 2022 Dual listed copper developer Orion Minerals has entered into a non-binding term sheet for $87-million in funding to advance the development of its Prieska copper/zinc mine, in South Africa, and has secured an exclusivity agreement to develop a specialist battery product refining facility in the... 

Orion's Prieska mine

Kicking the China habit: South Korea hunts tungsten treasure

By: Reuters     9th May 2022  Blue tungsten winking from the walls of abandoned mine shafts, in a town that's seen better days, could be a catalyst for South Korea's bid to break China's dominance of critical minerals and stake its claim to the raw materials of the future. The mine in Sangdong, 180 km southeast of Seoul, is... 

Rio produces first scandium oxide in North America

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th May 2022 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has produced its first tach of high purity scandium oxide at its North American operations. Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) produced the high purity scandium oxide at its commercial scale demonstration plant in Sorel-Tracy, following the completion of commissioning... 

Green hydrogen can be produced in South Africa immediately, coal conference hears

By: Martin Creamer     6th May 2022 The generation of green hydrogen is achievable in South Africa immediately and is not a complicated process, Sasol just transition office head David Kawesha said on Friday. “You just need the renewable energy resource, electrolysers to split water, and that’s really what the basic process is,”... 

Picture taken by Creamer Media
Photo by Creamer Media
McCloskey's Southern African Coal Conference panel from left moderator Randy Fabi, Tracey Davies, Steve Nicholls, Jan Oberholzer and David Kawesha.
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