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Critical Minerals News

The battery metal really worrying China is lithium, not nickel

By: Bloomberg     4th April 2022 Nickel has captured much of the limelight among battery metals in recent weeks, and understandably so. Wild price swings, including an unprecedented 250% advance over two trading sessions amid a short squeeze, and concerns tied to Russia’s role as a key supplier have added to longstanding worries... 

Minerals Council ending century-long relationship with Johannesburg CBD

By: Martin Creamer     4th April 2022 Minerals Council South Africa has begun a new era by moving into modern premises in Rosebank, Johannesburg, and closing a century-long chapter in Johannesburg’s central business district (CBD). The historic Minerals Council building, on Hollard Street– which was constructed in 1921 – will be sold. 

Creamer Media picture.
Photo by Creamer Media
Historic Minerals Council building, on Hollard Street.

Comet acquires Glencore project, hopes to raise cash

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th April 2022 Junior Comet Resources has struck a deal with diversified major Glencore to acquire the Mt Margaret copper project, in Queensland, and has announced plans to raise A$50-million. Under the terms of the agreement, third-party company Minerals Mining and Metallurgy (MMM) would pay Glencore... 

Australia's energy exports on the rise - report

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th April 2022 Australia’s resources and energy export earnings are forecast to surge to a record high A$425-billion for 2021-22. Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said the latest forecast, from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ March 2022 edition of the Resources and Energy... 

Image shows coal exports at port

Oz Minerals increases shaft capacity at Prominent Hill

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th April 2022 Copper gold miner Oz Minerals on Monday announced a decision to increase the hoisting shaft capacity at its Prominent Hill mine from 6-million tonnes a year to 6.5-million tonnes a year. The ASX-listed miner told shareholders that project optimisation works identified the opportunity to increase... 

Sibanye-Stillwater highlights battery grade nickel sulphate fetching price premium 

By: Martin Creamer     1st April 2022 Precious metals mining company Sibanye-Stillwater on Friday highlighted the quality elevation of its price-discounted nickel sulphate crystals to price-premium battery grade through the introduction of the Thakadu Battery Materials operation into the Base Metal Refinery in North West province.... 

Creamer Media screenshot
Sibanye-Stillwater operation highlighted during Bank of America conference virtual site visit.

White Cliff buys lithium project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st April 2022 Junior White Cliff Minerals has signed a binding agreement to acquire the Abraxis lithium project, in the Pilbara. The company on Friday said that it would acquire Abraxis Mining, which holds three adjacent tenements covering 294 km2 in the Pilbara, in exchange for A$40 000 in cash and a... 

Biden invokes Cold War powers to boost EV battery production

By: Bloomberg     1st April 2022 The Biden administration announced it will invoke Cold War powers to boost domestic production of materials for batteries needed to power electric vehicles and the transition to renewable energy, a move intended to improve US competitiveness in a market dominated by China. The decision adds... 

An image of US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

Platinum supply on downhill slope – Northam  

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2022 Platinum group metals (PGMs) mining company Northam Platinum displayed graphs during Thursday’s presentation of half year results, which indicate that PGMs supply is on a hiding to nothing on the way to 2040. “There’s a systematic global primary supply problem and the scarcity of both new PGM... 

Creamer Media screenshot
Northam Platinum half-year results presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Biden’s battery-metal push does nothing to ease mining permit bottleneck

By: Bloomberg     31st March 2022 The US is set to give the mining industry a key tool to boost domestic production of metals behind the energy transition -- but nothing that speeds up efforts to dig ore out of the ground. President Joe Biden is poised to add battery metals to the list of items covered by the 1950 Defense... 

An image of US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

Tesla dodges nickel crisis with secret deal to get supplies

By: Bloomberg     31st March 2022 The invasion of Ukraine has added to agita among electric-vehicle makers over the supply of nickel, a critical ingredient in EV batteries, since Russia is one of the world’s biggest producers. But Tesla Inc. had already been scouring the globe for the metal, signing pacts with several nickel... 

An image of a Tesla electric car charger

Biden poised to use Cold War powers to boost battery metals

By: Bloomberg     31st March 2022 President Joe Biden is poised to invoke as soon as this week Cold War powers to encourage domestic production of critical minerals for electric-vehicle and other types of batteries, according to people familiar with the matter. The White House is discussing adding battery materials to the list... 

An image of the White House

Arizona Lithium raises cash for Big Sandy future

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st March 2022 ASX-listed Arizona Lithium has announced a A$32.5-million capital raise to fast track the development of its Big Sandy project, in the US. The company on Thursday said it had received firm commitments for the placement of 185.6-million shares, at a price of 12.5c each, with the shares to be... 

Conditions met for Afrimat to acquire Vermiculite mining right

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2022 Aim-listed Galileo Resources has received confirmation that all conditions for JSE-listed Afrimat to acquire the Vermiculite mining right from Glenover have been met and that Glenover has elected for the Vermiculite mining right consideration to be paid in cash, of which R10-million (about £523... 

Critical minerals, infrastructure and jobs big takers in Budget

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th March 2022 The Australian resources sector has welcomed the government’s investment initiatives unveiled in the 2022-23 Budget. The 2022-23 Budget measures include a A$200-million spend over five years for the Critical Minerals Accelerator Initiative, and a A$50.5-million spend over three years for a... 

Image shows Australian flag and crest

Lake Resources gets offtake interest from Japan

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th March 2022 Lithium developer Lake Resources has inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan’s Hanwa Co. for the supply of up to 25 000 t/y of lithium carbonate over a ten year period. The MoU would allow for a minimum 15 000 t/y offtake from Lake Resource’s Lake Kachi lithium project,... 

Nickel Mines brings another furnace online

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th March 2022 ASX-listed Nickel Mines has started the commissioning of the third of four rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) lines at its 80%-owned Angle nickel project, in the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP). Having announced the maiden nickel pig iron (NPI) tap from the first RKEF line in late... 

Rio completes Rincon buy

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th March 2022 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has completed the $825-million acquisition of the Rincon lithium project, in Argentina, following approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). A binding agreement to purchase the project from Rincon Mining, a company owned by funds managed by the... 

Image shows Rio Tinto logo

Green hydrogen energy supply to local communities envisaged by Anglo 

By: Martin Creamer     28th March 2022 The green hydrogen footprint being developed by Anglo American could be extended to provide low-cost and efficient energy to local communities. Anglo, which is advancing towards using green hydrogen to replace diesel in the huge haul truck it is building at Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena... 

Creamer Media picture taken at South Africa Investment Conference
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani.

Weekly Commodities Market Wrap

28th March 2022 Coal markets continue to stabilise, with the back end of the curve having come up significantly in recent weeks. A great opportunity for coal producers to start locking in some forward pricing. Crude oil prices are looking tired, with Brent struggling to hold the $120 mark. With no shortage of... 

Weekly Commodities Market Wrap

Davis’ Vision Blue leads £40m fundraising to revive historic UK tin mine

By: Mariaan Webb     28th March 2022 Vision Blue Resources (VBR), the specialist financing vehicle established by mining industry veteran Sir Mick Davis, on Monday announced a £25-million investment in Cornish Metals - a company reopening the historic South Crofty tin mine in the UK. VBR would purchase 138 888 889 units in TSX-V-... 

An image of the headgear at South Crofty
South Crofty in Cornwall, UK

Sienna excited about new lithium discovery at Blue Clay

By: Mariaan Webb     28th March 2022 Exploration company Sienna Resources has made a new lithium discovery on its Blue Clay project, in Nevada, encountering lithium values as high as 1 230 ppm. The discovery was made during its maiden drill programme at Blue Clay, which consists of 150 contiguous claims totalling 1 190 ha... 

WA miners contributed A$100bn to Australian economy - CME

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th March 2022 Data released by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy for Western Australia (CME) has shown that the mining and resources sector had contributed some A$100-billion to the Australian economy. The CME said on Monday that an analysis of 56 Western Australian resources sector companies has found the... 

Goulamina demerger a step closer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th March 2022 ASX-listed Firefinch on Monday told shareholders that it would proceed with the demerger of its Goulamina lithium project, in Mali, after transferring the exploitation license into the joint venture (JV) company with Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium. The transfer triggers a $170-million funding package,... 

Morgan Stanley flags EV demand destruction as lithium soars

By: Bloomberg     25th March 2022 Electric vehicle battery makers will need to raise prices by almost 25% due to soaring lithium carbonate prices, leading to crimped margins and possibly demand destruction, according to Morgan Stanley. Chinese prices for lithium carbonate, the key ingredient in many batteries, have jumped... 

Broken Hill battery gets approved

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th March 2022 Energy provider AGL has taken an investment decision on it’s A$41-million Broken Hill battery with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to provide A$14.84-million in funding for the project. The 50MW / 50 MWh lithium-ion large scale battery will be equipped with grid forming inverters... 

MMG commits to $600m DRC cobalt expansion

By: Mariaan Webb     24th March 2022 Base metals miner MMG has approved a $500-million to $600-million expansion of its Kinsevere operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), extending the mine life for at least another 13 years. The Kinsevere expansion project will bring yearly production of copper cathode up to 80 000 t... 

An image of the plant at night
The Kinsevere operation in the DRC

Keliber receives mining permit for Rapasaari deposit

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th March 2022 Finish explorer and developer Keliber, in which Sibanye-Stillwater is a large shareholder, has been granted a permit to mine lithium ore from its Rapasaari deposit and for the placement of a concentrator plant in the Päiväneva area. The Rapasaari deposit is located about 2 km south-east of... 

Mining firm backed by Bezos and Gates to begin Greenland drilling

By: Reuters     24th March 2022 Mineral exploration company KoBold Metals, backed by billionaires including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, said on Thursday it would begin drilling in Greenland for critical materials used in electric vehicles. KoBold, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to hunt for raw... 

Eagle Mountain raises funds for US exploration

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th March 2022 Copper/gold explorer Eagle Mountain Mining is hoping to raise A$16-million through a share issue to fund exploration work at its Oracle Ridge copper mine, in Arizona. The ASX-listed company told shareholders it had received firm commitments for the placement of 35.5-million shares, at a price of... 

New study cuts Thunderbird costs

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th March 2022 A new bankable feasibility study (BFS) into the Thunderbird mineral sands project, in Western Australia, has simplified the process flowsheet, resulting in lower capital costs and reduced margins. ASX-listed Sheffield Resources on Thursday reported that joint venture vehicle Kimberley Mineral... 

IEA wants mandate broadened to include critical minerals to avert new Russia-like vulnerabilities  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2022 The head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has called for an expansion of the organisation’s mandate and membership to enable it to support the global transition to a “clean and secure” energy future and to ensure that the world’s climate goals do not become “another victim of Russia’s... 

IEA executive director Fatih Birol
IEA executive director Fatih Birol

Vale Canada to supply nickel to Northvolt

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd March 2022 Diversified resources group Vale has announced a multi-year supply agreement with European battery developer Northvolt for low-carbon nickel products from its Canadian operations. Executive VP of base metals, Deshnee Naidoo, says the supply agreement is a strategic milestone for Vale, as it... 

Vale Canada to supply nickel to Northvolt

GGG launches legal battle over Kvanefjeld

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd March 2022 ASX-listed Greenland Minerals (GGG) has requested arbitration in its dispute with the governments of Greenland and the Kingdom of Denmark, over the future of its Kvanefjeld rare earths project. The Greenland government in November banned uranium mining, impacting the development of the... 

Image shows a hand holding rare earth minerals

Piedmont prices capital raise at $65 a share

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd March 2022 Lithium miner Piedmont Lithium on Wednesday announced the pricing of an upsized underwritten public offering of 1.75-million common stocks, revealing that it was aiming to raise some $113.7-million, with the stocks priced at $65 each. Piedmont earlier this week flagged the capital raise to help... 

Cobalt Blue starts underground development

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd March 2022 ASX-listed Cobalt Blue has started underground development at the Pyrite Hill operation, in New South Wales, to support demonstration plant activities. Some 3 500 t to 4 000 t of ore will be mined at Pyrite Hill to support 20 weeks of continuous operation of the demonstration plant, the company... 

Piedmont to raise cash for lithium drive

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd March 2022 US-based lithium miner Piedmont Lithium has announced plans to raise capital to help restart operations at the North American Lithium (NAL) operations, in Quebec. Nasdaq and ASX-listed Piedmont told shareholders that it would conduct a public offering of some 1.5-million shares of its common... 

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