Rio Tinto has approved a $77-million pre-feasibility study (PFS) to progress development of the Rhodes Ridge project, one of the world’s best undeveloped iron ore deposits, in the East Pilbara in Western Australia. Location of Rhodes Ridge in Western Australia. The commencement of a PFS follows completion of an Order... Read more →

Australia has a unique billion-dollar opportunity to create a new industry to support mine closures and transitions, generating employment opportunities for regional and Indigenous communities, according to a new report developed by the national science agency, CSIRO. New insights drawn from mining industry databases and CSIRO analysis project an annual... Read more →

Rio Tinto approves new solar farm and battery storage to power its Amrun bauxite operations on Cape York

Rio Tinto has approved a new 12.4MW solar farm and 8.8MVa/2.1MWh of battery storage to provide renewable energy for the Amrun bauxite operations near Weipa in Queensland, Australia. The 12.4MW solar farm and battery storage are part of Rio Tinto’s global decarbonization strategy and ongoing efforts to reduce emissions at... Read more →

China is rich in rare earth elements and has dominated global rare earth mining and production since the 1990s. Its neighbor, Myanmar, is also a country rich in rare earth elements. In 2012, China’s Central Government implemented a strategy to shift away from mining and to focus instead on the... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced results of the most comprehensive analysis to date quantifying the domestic lithium resources in California’s Salton Sea region. Conducted by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (earlier post), the analysis found that with expected technology advances, the Salton Sea region’s total resources could produce... Read more →

Euro Manganese secures $100M in financing from Orion Resource Partners to support development of Chvaletice manganese project

Euro Manganese signed definitive agreements with OMRF (BK) LLC, which is managed by the Orion Resource Partners Group, for US$100 million in non-dilutive financing to advance the development of the Chvaletice Manganese Project in the Czech Republic. (Earlier post.) The US$100 million funding is split into two US$50-million components: A... Read more →

Caldera Holding licenses ORNL’s membrane solvent extraction technique to separate rare earth elements in mined ore

Caldera Holding, the owner and developer of Missouri’s Pea Ridge iron mine, has entered a non-exclusive research and development licensing agreement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to apply a membrane solvent extraction technique (MSX) developed by ORNL researchers to mined ores. MSX provides a scalable, efficient way to separate... Read more →

Altilium secures £700k+ in UK funding for research on recovery of copper and rare earths from mine waste

Altilium, a UK-based clean technology group, has secured more than £700,000 (US$889,000) in UK government innovation funding for two collaborative research projects focused on the recovery of copper and Rare Earth Elements (REE) from mine waste. Building on its work to recover lithium and other critical battery materials from end-of-life... Read more →

Ivanhoe Mines has been granted 22,195 square kilometers of greenfield prospecting rights for exploration in the Moxico and Cuando Cubango Provinces of Angola. The extensive package of prospecting rights covers highly prospective, greenfield copper exploration ground approximately equivalent to half the size of Switzerland (41,285 km2). Ivanhoe’s exploration activities are... Read more →

Standard Lithium Ltd., a near-commercial lithium development company, recently shared performance results from its Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) process at its Demonstration Plant (Plant) near El Dorado, Arkansas. Initially commissioned in May 2020, the plant has operated on a 24/7 basis since then (aside from turnaround due to equipment upgrades... Read more →

United H2 Limited (UHL), has formed a hydrogen exploration business, Voyager H2, with a group of engineering partners to capitalize on geologic hydrogen (earlier post) deposits available across Poland and other European regions along with Africa, South America, North America and Australia. With its first hydrogen exploration unit being prepared... Read more →

Komatsu to acquire American Battery Solutions

Komatsu, through its wholly owned subsidiary in the US, Komatsu America Corp., has agreed to acquire American Battery Solutions, Inc. (ABS), a battery systems manufacturer headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. Komatsu is planning to close the acquisition on 1 December 2023, on the condition that all necessary procedures for the closing... Read more →

Nornickel and Rosatom to look into SMR potential in Norilsk

Nornickel and the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom will consider the possibility of setting up low-capacity nuclear power plants to supply energy to the Norilsk Industrial District. The agreement of intent and cooperation to build small nuclear power plants has been signed by Nornickel’s President Vladimir Potanin and Rosatom’s Director... Read more →

Australia-based Galan Lithium Limited, a developer of high-grade lithium brine projects in Argentina, signed a binding term sheet with a wholly owned subsidiary of Glencore for offtake for up to 100% of its premium lithium chloride concentrate from the Hombre Muerto West (HMW) lithium project and the offer to provide... Read more →

Rare Element Resources (RER), a company seeking to advance the Bear Lodge Rare Earth Project in northeast Wyoming, announced that the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has finalized its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of the company’s planned rare earth processing and separation... Read more →

ExxonMobil aims to be a leading lithium supplier for EVs by 2030; drilling first lithium well in Smackover Formation in Arkansas

Exxon Mobil Corporation announced plans to become a leading producer of lithium, a key component of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Work has begun for the company’s first phase of North America lithium production in southwest Arkansas, an area known to hold significant lithium deposits. First production is targeted for 2027.... Read more →

South Korea-based POSCO Holdings and Invest Alberta signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to further the company’s ventures in Alberta. As part of the agreement, POSCO Holdings is considering investing in the exploration, development, and commercialization of oil-field brine lithium in Alberta. POSCO Holdings will commence exploring prospects in the... Read more →

Rio Tinto and Codelco complete Nuevo Cobre exploration joint venture agreement; focus on copper

Rio Tinto completed the acquisition of PanAmerican Silver’s stake in Agua de la Falda and entered a joint venture with Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) to explore and potentially develop the company’s assets in Chile’s prospective Atacama region. (Earlier post.) The acquisition, announced on 1 August 2023, comprises... Read more →

The US Geological Survey (USGS) will invest more than $3.1 million to map critical mineral resources in Arizona in partnership with the Arizona Geological Survey. The funding comes in part from an investment by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in the USGS Mineral Resources Program’s Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI),... Read more →

Australia to expand critical minerals financing by US$1.3B

In late October, the Albanese Government in Australia announced a A$2 billion (US$1.3 billion) expansion in critical minerals financing to solidify Australia’s position as a world leading provider, help the transition to net zero, boost the economy and support more jobs and opportunities for Australians. Critical minerals, including rare earths,... Read more →

DOE to award $5M to 3 projects to explore critical mineral extraction from ocean macroalgae

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $5 million in funding to three projects to evaluate the feasibility of extracting Rare Earth Elements (REEs) and Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) from macroalgae for use in energy applications. REEs are critical to produce high performance electric motors and generators, and PGMs... Read more →

Wabtec and its launch customer, Roy Hill, a leading iron ore miner majority-owned by Australia’s Hancock Prospecting, have unveiled the FLXdrive battery locomotive, the first 100% battery-powered, heavy-haul locomotive for mainline service. FLXdrive battery locomotive. This locomotive has been painted pink (as are all locomotives produced for Roy Hill) in... Read more →

Graphite processor Urbix secures strategic investment from mining investor Appian Capital

Urbix, Inc., a US-based developer of graphite processing technology, has secured a significant strategic investment from funds managed by Appian, an investment advisor to long-term value-focused private capital funds that invest solely in mining and mining-related companies. In addition to the investment into Urbix, the parties have executed a JDA... Read more →

Elcora and Mincape partner to develop manganese mining operations in Morocco for EV battery market

Elcora Advanced Materials and Mincape SARL are partnering to establish manganese mining operations in Morocco and West Africa. This collaboration aims to support the ever-expanding EVbattery market and secure a sustainable source of high-quality manganese ore. Manganese can play a pivotal role in enhancing the energy storage capabilities and overall... Read more →

Emissions associated with mining operations in Africa’s Copperbelt can be quantified from space, according to new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The new open-access study is published in Geophysical Research Letters, and shows for the first time that satellite monitoring can provide valuable information on... Read more →

Sibanye-Stillwater approves the development of second phase of Keliber lithium project

South Africa-based Sibanye-Stillwater approved the commencement of the second phase of its Keliber lithium project which includes the construction of the concentrator and the development of the Syväjärvi open pit mine in Päiväneva in Finland. (Earlier post.) Delivery of ore from the Syväjärvi open pit mine will be timed to... Read more →

UK APC awards £89M to 20 net zero projects; hydrogen off-road vehicles, Li scale-up and new EV battery

The Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC) has awarded £89 million (US$109 million) of funding to 20 net zero tech projects including hydrogen-powered offroad vehicles, a new lithium scale-up plant and revolutionary new EV battery systems. The funding package includes four collaborative R&D projects, five scale-up projects to assess if businesses... Read more →

Ontario and Nevada to increase collaboration on EVs, mining, critical minerals

Ontario and Nevada are strengthening their economic relationship through a new partnership that will increase trade, attract investments and strengthen supply chains in both jurisdictions. The new Economic Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will support joint promotion of electric vehicles, advanced manufacturing, critical minerals and other priority sectors. Ontario Premier... Read more →

Outokumpu, a global supplier of sustainable stainless steel, has been exploring opportunities to secure sustainable molybdenum supplies from western suppliers as a part of its long-term strategy for value-chain integration. Molybdenum is a critical and strategically important raw material for Outokumpu’s stainless steel production. Molybdenum improves the corrosion resistance; stainless... Read more →

Neste and leading stainless steel producer Outokumpu are deepening their cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Outokumpu will replace the fossil fuels used by its Kemi mine and Tornio steel mill and the contractors on these sites with Neste MY Renewable Diesel. Outokumpu manufactures the world’s lowest-emission stainless steel. Its... Read more →

Endolith secures $1.1M DOE grant to accelerate microbially-based lithium extraction

Endolith, a subsidiary of Cemvita, secured a $1.1-million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to harness microbes for sustainable mining. This funding will be directed towards the optimization and expansion of sustainable lithium extraction with an eye towards field deployment alongside industry partner Arizona Lithium, and supporting companies, Lithium... Read more →

Nornickel begins extraction of ore 2km deep

Nornickel, Russia’s leading metals and mining company, has begun extraction at the Glubokaya (Deep) shaft of the Skalisty (Rocky) mine, reaching depths of 2 kilometers. This move will enable Nornickel to substantially boost extraction of the most valuable and rich ore. To initiate the extraction, the company connected two independent... Read more →

Vale and Petrobras to partner on the development of low-carbon solutions, including sustainable fuels

Mining giant Vale signed a protocol of intent with Petrobras to develop low carbon solutions, taking advantage of the technical expertise of both companies and their synergies. The partnership is for a two-year period and will assess joint decarbonization opportunities, including the development of sustainable fuels—such as hydrogen, green methanol,... Read more →

Albemarle and Caterpillar partner on sustainable mining technologies and operations with focus on Kings Mountain lithium mine

Albemarle Corporation signed agreements with Caterpillar to collaborate on solutions to support the full circular battery value chain and sustainable mining operations. The collaboration aims to support Albemarle’s efforts to establish Kings Mountain, NC as the first zero-emissions lithium mine site in North America. These efforts include utilization of next-generation,... Read more →

IEA Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Summit delivers six key actions for secure, sustainable and responsible supply chains

Almost 50 countries from continents across the world—including large and emerging critical mineral producers and consumers—convened with leaders from industry, investment and civil society at the first IEA Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Summit to share experiences and discuss effective courses of action on critical minerals to ensure rapid and... Read more →

Sumitomo Metal Mining to collaborate with Nano One, make C$16.9M strategic investment; focus on LFP and NMC CAMs

Nano One Materials, a clean technology company with patented processes for the sustainable production of lithium-ion battery cathode materials, and Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM), a leading vertically integrated miner, refiner and producer of cathode active materials (CAM), agreed to a strategic equity investment in Nano One by SMM of C$16,879,949.85... Read more →

Global copper company First Quantum Minerals Ltd. has contracted with MECS, Inc. (MECS), a subsidiary of Elessent Clean Technologies, for the Kansanshi Smelter Expansion at the Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi, Zambia. The MECS scope will include a redesign of the existing sulfur-burning sulfuric acid plant into a copper smelter off-gas... Read more →

A new study by an international team of researchers estimates that 23 million people may be affected by potentially dangerous concentrations of toxic waste from metal mining contamination on rivers and floodplains across the world. A paper on the study is published in the journal Science. Firefighters from Minas Gerais... Read more →

Talon Metals, through its wholly owned subsidiary Talon Nickel (USA) LLC, has entered into a definitive agreement with the Department of Defense’s Office of Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization to accelerate and expand the company’s efforts to discover and secure additional domestic supply of nickel for the growing US... Read more →

DOI interagency working group proposes overhaul of 151-year-old mining law; 4 - 8% royalties on hardrock mining

The US Department of the Interior-led Interagency Working Group on Mining Laws, Regulations, and Permitting (IWG) released its final report containing recommendations to reform and improve the way mining is conducted on US. public lands. The report will inform efforts to modernize the Mining Law of 1872 and related federal... Read more →

DoD awards Albemarle $90M to boost US lithium production

The US Department of Defense approved a $90-million grant to Albemarle Corporation to help support the expansion of domestic mining and the production of lithium for the US battery supply chain. The funding will be provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, utilizing... Read more →

US DFC approves $150M conditional loan commitment for Balama graphite mine in Mozambique

The US Development Finance Corporation’s (DFC’s) Board of Directors approved the provision of up to $150 million in financing to Twigg Exploration and Mining—a wholly-owned subsidiary of Australia-based Syrah Resources Limited—to fund investments in the company’s graphite mining and processing operation in Balama, Mozambique. (Earlier post.) The DFC loan is... Read more →

Tantalex Lithium Resources, a Canada-based exploration and development stage mining company, received and executed a term sheet from Glencore International AG for a marketing offtake agreement for the lithium to be produced from its Manono Lithium Tailings Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Tantalex is engaged in the... Read more →

Demand for manganese in batteries is set to grow over eight-fold this decade, due to new battery chemistries and rising electric vehicle sales, according to Benchmark’s Manganese Sulphate Market Outlook. Manganese is a crucial element in nickel cobalt manganese (NMC) cathodes and can be used to improve the range of... Read more →

Albemarle confirms non-binding agreement to acquire Liontown at US$4.32B

Albemarle Corporation confirmed that it will be working toward the execution of a binding agreement to acquire Australia-based battery minerals company Liontown Resources Limited; the Revised Proposal values Liontown at A$6.6 billion or US$4.32 billion on an equity value basis. In March, Liontown Resources, an emerging battery minerals producer based... Read more →

Report: Japan and UK to invest jointly in critical minerals in Africa

The Nikkei reports that Japan and the UK are set to make joint investments in critical minerals in Africa and other places. The two countries will also establish a framework for discussing economic security at the ministerial level, with a focus on supply chains. The two countries reportedly aim to... Read more →

Hyundai Motor Group partners with Korea Zinc on nickel value chain for EV batteries

Hyundai Motor Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Korea Zinc. The Group will cooperate with Korea Zinc, Korea’s leading non-ferrous metal smelting company, in a comprehensive collaboration across the nickel value chain. The partnership includes joint sourcing of nickel raw material, processing of nickel raw material, and ensuring... Read more →

Australian lithium producer, Pilbara Minerals Limited and Australian environmental technology company, Calix Limited, will construct and operate a mid-stream demonstration plant in a joint venture. The project aims to demonstrate the potential to reduce carbon emissions intensity for the hard-rock lithium supply chain via the creation of a high-purity lithium-rich... Read more →

Mineral Resources (MinRes) recently entered into a joint development agreement with Lithium Australia to develop further Lithium Australia’s LieNA technology for the extraction of lithium from fine and low-grade spodumene, improving mining efficiency, sustainability and potential profitability. The LieNA process is essentially a caustic digest of spodumene. In effect it... Read more →

Rio Tinto and First Quantum complete La Granja joint venture transaction

Rio Tinto and First Quantum Minerals have completed a transaction to form a joint venture that will work to unlock the development of the La Granja project in Peru, one of the largest undeveloped copper deposits in the world. (Earlier post.) La Granja is a complex orebody located at high... Read more →