Study finds shortage of critical metals could put the brakes on electrification in Europe

The growing adoption of electric cars in Europe is leading to an increase in the use of the critical metals required for components such as electric motors and electronics. With the current raw material production levels there will not be enough of these metals in future—not even if recycling increases,... Read more →

LG Energy Solution and Green Technology Metals Limited (GT1), an Australia-based, North America-focused multi-asset lithium business, signed an equity subscription agreement and an offtake term sheet in relation to future production from GT1’s flagship Seymour Project in North America. (Earlier post.) GT1’s main 100%-owned Ontario Lithium Projects comprise high-grade, hard... Read more →

Ford enters long-term lithium supply deals with SQM, Albemarle and Nemaska

Ford has signed long-term lithium supply agreements with Albemarle, SQM and Nemaska Lithium. SQM. The agreement between Ford and SQM will ensure the supply of battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, essential components to manufacture high-performance electric vehicle batteries. The origin of SQM's lithium should help Ford vehicles to qualify... Read more →

Komatsu and Toyota Motor launched a joint project to develop an Autonomous Light Vehicle (ALV) that will run on Komatsu’s Autonomous Haulage System (AHS). To realize further safety and productivity improvements in mines by running autonomous haul trucks and automated ALV controlled by AHS, Komatsu and Toyota are launching an... Read more →

The US Geological Survey (USGS) will invest more than $5.8 million to map critical-mineral resources in Alaska in partnership with the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys. The funding comes largely from a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment in the USGS Mineral Resources Program’s Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI),... Read more →

Australia-based Allkem and US-based Livent announced a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals valuing the combined company at US$10.6 billion (A$15.7 billion). The merger will create a leading global lithium chemicals producer that will target large automotive companies and look to accelerate supply growth in Canada... Read more →

EPA proposing mercury rule for taconite iron ore processing plants

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for taconite iron ore processing plants that include new emission standards for mercury as well as revising the existing emission standards for hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride. Taaconite is a low-grade... Read more →

The Cobalt Institute’s Cobalt Market Report, prepared by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, finds that cobalt market conditions have weakened substantially since the price peak in 2022. This dynamic will likely remain through to 2024, the report says, as a plentiful and growing supply surplus maintains pressure on prices. However, in the... Read more →

Adamas Intelligence: market for magnet rare earth oxides to increase five-fold by 2040; undersupply expected

Following a latent demand pop in 2021 that saw the materialization of some pent-up demand from the year prior, Adamas Intelligence data indicates that global consumption of NdFeB magnets increased just 1.9% year-over-year in 2022, suppressed by global economic headwinds and regional pandemic-related challenges. Now, in its latest annual report... Read more →

In association with researchers from the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and analysts at mining consultancy Weir International, metallurgical coal producer Ramaco Resources released an independent Exploration Target report with technical assessment of rare earth elements (REE) found at its Brook Mine in Wyoming. Following eighteen months... Read more →

International Nickel Study Group forecasts increasing surplus of nickel in market this year

The International Nickel Study Group (INSG) reported world primary nickel production of 2.610Mt in 2021 and 3.060Mt in 2022. INSG forecasts this to reach 3.374Mt in 2023. The estimates do not include any adjustment factor for possible production disruptions. INSG said that world primary nickel usage was 2.779Mt in 2021... Read more →

Vulcan Energy and Nobian to form JV for Central Lithium Plant

Vulcan Energy Resources signed a Term Sheet agreement with Nobian GmbH (Nobian) for the formation of a 50/50 joint venture over, and equity financing of, Vulcan’s Central Lithium Plant (CLP), which forms part of Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium Project (earlier post). The strategic partnership is subject to the parties entering... Read more →

Stellantis N.V. and exploration and development company Alliance Nickel (formerly GME Resources) signed a binding offtake agreement for the supply of 170,000 tons of nickel sulfate and 12,000 tons of cobalt sulfate in total over an initial five-year period. This represents approximately 40% of forecast annual production of the NiWest... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $5 million in funding (DE-FOA-0002784, Topic E) to evaluate the feasibility of extracting rare earth and other high-value trace critical minerals from macroalgae. Seaweeds accumulate trace metals in such an efficient way that this... Read more →

Glencore will acquire 30% of Hydro’s Brazilian alumina refinery Hydro Alunorte and Hydro’s 5% ownership in the Brazilian bauxite producer Mineracão Rio do Norte (MRN). MRN is Brazil’s largest bauxite producer. Glencore will also acquire an additional 40% stake in MRN, which is currently owned by Vale. This 40% interest... Read more →

Rio Tinto has entered into a binding agreement to acquire the Platina Scandium Project (PSP), a high-grade scandium resource in New South Wales, from Platina Resources Limited for $14 million. The project, near Condobolin in central New South Wales, contains a long life, high-grade scalable resource that could produce up... Read more →

Finnish Minerals Group increases its holding in the Keliber lithium project

Sibanye-Stillwater announced that as part of a previously announced rights issue to secure the outstanding equity funding for its Keliber Lithium project in Finland (earlier post), the Finnish Minerals Group (which manages the Finnish State’s mining industry shareholdings), will increase its holding in the Keliber project from 14% to 20%,... Read more →

On the foundation of their 2021 collaboration agreement and of technical work achieved together over the past two years, Nouveau Monde Graphite and Caterpillar signed definitive agreements for Caterpillar to supply NMG’s Matawinie Mine with an integrated solution that covers a zero-exhaust emission fleet, supporting infrastructure, and service. Caterpillar is... Read more →

According to the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, China-based Gochin Company company seeks to invest US$10 billion in Afghanistan’s lithium mining sector. According to the Ministry’s press release, the Chinese company suggested that if it is awarded the lithium mining contract, the company will invest in several significant Afghan... Read more →

Chile President Gabriel Boric announced that his government will nationalize the country’s lithium industry, with the objective of increasing wealth for the country, and developing a key industry as a fundamental step to link Chile’s economic development with the change towards a green economy at a global level. Boric outlined... Read more →

Euro Manganese has produced high-purity electrolytic manganese metal (HPEMM) from its demonstration plant at the Chvaletice Project in the Czech Republic. (Earlier post.) An external laboratory has confirmed the first HPEMM sent for testing has met the target specifications and was at 99.9% Mn metal purity. High-purity manganese sulphate (HPMSM)... Read more →

GM leads $50M funding round in EnergyX; advanced lithium extraction and refining technology

GM Ventures is leading a $50-million Series B financing round in EnergyX, and has entered into a strategic agreement to develop EnergyX’s lithium extraction and refinery technology. (Earlier post.) The collaboration is focused on unlocking the North American supply of lithium by using EnergyX’s direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology portfolio... Read more →

Aquatech awarded contract for lithium refining process at Thacker Pass project

Aquatech recently was awarded a contract for the lithium refining and purification process plants by Lithium Americas Corp. for the Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada (earlier post). Aquatech has commenced work on the project, which includes multiple process trains incorporating evaporation and crystallization systems for the purification and chemical... Read more →

Tesla has published its Master Plan Part 3, an outline of a proposed path to reach a sustainable global energy economy through end-use electrification and sustainable electricity generation and storage. (Earlier post.) Tesla estimates the overall manufacturing cost to reach the sustainable global energy economy at $10.4 trillion, which will... Read more →

Elcora engages Lab 4 to design and build its Vanadium Pilot Plant

Elcora Advanced Materials (earlier post) has engaged Lab 4 to begin the test work and process design for its Ermazon Vanadium Project in Morocco with the goal of production of vanadium pentoxide. This work will progress in three stages: Initial characterization to prove the physical processing of the vanadinite source... Read more →

Jervois suspends final construction at Idaho Cobalt Operations

Jervois Global Limited will suspend final construction and full concentrator commissioning at its 100%-owned Idaho Cobalt Operations mine (ICO) in Idaho (earlier post) due to continuing low cobalt prices and US inflationary impacts on construction costs. ICO’s mineral resource and reserve is the largest and highest grade confirmed cobalt orebody... Read more →

PT Vale Indonesia Tbk and China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. announced an agreement with Ford Motor Co., creating a three-party collaboration to advance more sustainable nickel production in Indonesia and help make electric vehicle batteries more affordable. All three companies are making equity investments in the Pomalaa Block High-Pressure Acid... Read more →

Rio Tinto and First Quantum Minerals (FQM) have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture that will work to unlock the development of the La Granja copper project in Cajamarca, Northern Peru, one of the largest undeveloped copper resources in the world. Source: FQM La Granja is a... Read more →

E-Tech Resources, a rare earth exploration and development company developing its Eureka Rare Earths Project in Namibia, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire an 85% interest in exclusive prospecting license 8748 (EPL 8748). EPL 8748 is located in the Erongo Mining Corridor of Namibia which lies adjacent to,... Read more →

Liontown Resources, an emerging battery minerals producer based in Australia, has rejected an unsolicited, conditional and non-binding indicative proposal from Albemarle Corporation, in which Albemarle would acquire all of the shares in Liontown at a price of A$2.50 per share—valuing the company at approximately US$3.7 billion. The proposal represented a... Read more →

IBC Advanced Technologies, a developer of highly selective separations products, engineered systems and processes based on Molecular Recognition Technology, announced Phase One results of the Direct Lithium to Product (DLP) pilot plant currently operating at Salar de Maricunga, Chile. The Pilot Plant has undergone validation testing and begun Phase One... Read more →

Volvo Trucks and mining company Boliden are joining forces to implement electric truck transport in underground environments. The Swedish mining group Boliden is becoming one of the first in the world to start using battery-electric trucks for heavy underground transport starting 2023. In mining environments, the electric trucks can deliver... Read more →

Elcora receives confirmation of already extracted 5,500 metric tons of manganese on existing mine in Morocco

Elcora Advanced Materials has begun operations on the 16 km² manganese mining concession in Morocco for which it had acquired exclusive rights earlier. (Earlier post.) The SGS-certified African Laboratory for Mining and Environment (AFRILAB) team evaluated onsite that already extracted Manganese (Mn) piles contain about 5,500 metric tonnes of manganese... Read more →

Emerging lithium producer Sayona Mining Limited reported the successful production of the first saleable spodumene (lithium) concentrate at its North American Lithium (NAL) operation in Québec, Canada. NAL is a brownfield open pit mining operation with a concentrator, with more than C$400 million having been invested in the operation by... Read more →

CTR signs MOU with Fuji Electric for delivery of multiple geothermal power facilities at Hell’s Kitchen; $1.4B, 330 MW

Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) (earlier post) and Fuji Electric Corp. of America (FEA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to complete multiple Equipment, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contracts for the delivery of geothermal power facilities at CTR’s Hell’s Kitchen Lithium and Power Project located in Imperial County, California. The EPC contracts... Read more →

Elcora options to purchase existing manganese mine in Morocco; additive to Atlas Fox

Elcora Advanced Materials has signed, through its Ermazon SARL wholly owned subsidiary, a binding agreement with exclusive long-term mining production rights and option to purchase a 16 km² manganese mining concession in Morocco. This manganese deposit had been mined until a few years ago when COVID rules prevented further development.... Read more →

Rio Tinto begins underground production at Oyu Tolgoi; 4th largest copper mine in world by 2030

Rio Tinto has begun underground production from the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in the Gobi Desert. (Earlier post.) Oyu Tolgoi is expected to become the fourth-largest copper mine in the world by 2030, operating in the first quartile of the copper equivalent cost curve. Since the agreement between the Government... Read more →

Canada awarding more than $344M for critical minerals development

The Government of Canada will award more than $344 million in funding to suport five new critical minerals programs and initiatives. The five are: Critical Minerals Technology and Innovation Program. $144.4 million for the research, development, demonstration, commercialization and adoption of new technologies and processes that support sustainable growth in... Read more →

Canadaa-based Electra Battery Materials Corporation announced an updated mineral resource estimate (2023 MRE) for its Iron Creek Cobalt-Copper Project located in the Idaho Cobalt Belt, a 34-mile-long formation containing some of the largest primary cobalt deposits in North America, that paves the way for additional exploration activities and development of... Read more →

Lithium chemicals derived from hard rock sources such as spodumene can be more than three times as carbon-intensive as that from brine sources, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s (Benchmark Minerals’) Lithium ESG Report. Hard rock sources of lithium currently make up 60% of global mined lithium supply and are forecast... Read more →

International Copper Association pledges to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050

In a new roadmap launched by the International Copper Association (ICA), members have aligned on an ambition to reach net zero in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2050, and work toward the same goal for Scope 3 emissions. The Copper—The Pathway to Net Zero roadmap builds on previous... Read more →

JARE investing AUD200M in Lynas Rare Earths; heavy rare earths for Japan

Australia-based Lynas Rare Earths Limited has signed new agreements with Japan Australia Rare Earths B.V. (JARE). The new agreements will further strengthen the Lynas balance sheet and support funding of capital projects designed to meet accelerating global demand for rare earth materials. JARE was co-founded in 2011 by Sojitz Corporation... Read more →

Prairie Lithium is receiving $1,074,000 CAD from the Critical Mineral Research Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) program from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) for further development of its direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology. The funding, along with matching funds from Prairie Lithium, will be invested into the development of the Company’s proprietary... Read more →

Elcora receives manganese production license in Morocco

Canada-based battery materials company Elcora Advanced Materials has received, through its Ermazon SARL wholly owned subsidiary (purchased in December 2021), a manganese exploitation license from the Moroccan government for the Atlas Fox Deposit in the country. This license allows Elcora to mine, extract, process and sell manganese from its 16... Read more →

UN delegates reach agreement on protecting marine biodiversity in international waters

Delegates of the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) have finalized a text to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, calling it a “breakthrough” after nearly two decades of talks. Already being referred to as the... Read more →

Australia-based Green Technology Metals Limited (GT1), a Canadian-focused multi-asset lithium business, signed a binding option agreement to purchase an 80% interest in the Junior Lake Project from Landore Resources Canada, which comprises 591 staked mineral claims on 10,856 Hectares (109km2) of tenure located adjacent to the Flagship Seymour Project (Seymour)... Read more →

Iran announces first lithium reserve in country; projected 8.5 million tonnes

Iran’s Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade recently announced that the country has discovered its first lithium reserve, in Qahavand in Hamedan province. The reserve is believed to hold 8.4 million tons of lithium; if realized, this would rank Iran behind Chile (11 millions tons) and ahead of Australia (7.9... Read more →

Vancouver-based Ultra Lithium announced the brine sampling results from a drill hole at its 100% owned Laguna Verde brine lithium project in Catamarca Province, Argentina. Drill hole LV22-04 assayed up to 417 parts per million (ppm or mg/L) lithium (Li) from two rounds of sampling completed in January – February... Read more →

Lithium Americas begins construction at Thacker Pass

Lithium Americas Corp. has begun construction at its 100%-owned Thacker Pass lithium project in Humboldt County, Nevada, following the receipt of notice to proceed from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Construction at Thacker Pass commenced following the favorable ruling from the US District Court, District of Nevada for the... Read more →

Ballard Power Systems and First Mode announced a purchase order for Ballard to supply First Mode with 30 hydrogen fuel cell modules—totaling 3 megawatts—to power several hybrid hydrogen and battery ultra-class mining haul trucks. This is the equivalent of approximately 4,000 horsepower. The 30 Ballard hydrogen fuel cell modules will... Read more →