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 →

Working with mining machinery is associated with a wide variety of hazards. Collisions between excavators, dump trucks, or caterpillar trucks and people or obstacles are a common cause of accidents. To avoid accidents the drivers must always have the entire area surrounding the vehicle in view. This causes constant stress... Read more →

DOE to award $30M to support production of rare earths and other critical minerals from coal-based resources

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $30 million to help lower the costs of the onshore production of rare earths and other critical minerals and materials from domestic coal-based resources. (DE-FOA-0002619) According to the US Geological Survey’s National Mineral Information Center, the United States imports more than... Read more →

Talon Metals successfully drilled 101.71 meters (333 feet) of high-grade nickel-copper mineralization at the Tamarack Nickel Project in Minnesota, grading 1.94% Ni; 1.84% Cu; 0.35 g/t Pd; 0.64 g/t Pt; and 0.62 g/t Au (1.61 g/t PGEt + Au) (3.04% NiEq). The drill hole was completed in partnership with a... Read more →

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has released a compilation of national-scale geological, geophysical and mineral resource datasets from Australia, Canada and the US through a collaboration between the three countries’ federal geological surveys. The data release includes more than 40 earth science data layers, including a new map of variations... Read more →

GM Back in the EV Spotlight

by Brent Wilson, CEO of Galvanic Energy Following the introduction of the EV1 in the mid-1990s, GM dabbled with electric hybrids but didn’t introduce its next fully electric car, the Chevy Bolt, until 2016. It could be said that although GM was a pioneer in the EV industry, the Detroit-based... Read more →

The US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is accelerating demand for critical minerals (lithium, cobalt and nickel) and copper that are vital to energy transition technologies. However, ensuring enough qualifying supply to meet that demand faces “considerable challenges,” according to a new analysis by S&P Global. The new study finds that... Read more →

In May 2023, metallurgical coal producer Ramaco Resources, in association with with researchers from the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and analysts at mining consultancy Weir International, released an independent Exploration Target report with technical assessment of rare earth elements (REE) found at its Brook Mine in... Read more →

IperionX receives key permits for development of titanium & rare earth mineral Titan Project in Tennessee

IperionX (earlier post) has received key development permits for the Titan Project in Tennessee. The Titan Project is the largest JORC-compliant resource of titanium and rare earth rich mineral sands in the US and represents a cornerstone asset for IperionX’s plans to re-shore a strong and sustainable domestic supply chain... Read more →

Foresight partners with global industrial equipment manufacturer on proof-of-concept for autonomous mining and construction trucks

Israel-based Foresight Autonomous Holdings, a developer of automotive vision systems, has signed a paid proof-of-concept (POC) project with the Chinese subsidiary of one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial equipment, heavy machinery, construction and mining equipment. The Fortune 500 company will evaluate Foresight’s QuadSight technology to provide autonomous capabilities... Read more →

Rio Tinto and the Simfer joint venture (Simfer) reached an important milestone by concluding key agreements with the Republic of Guinea (West Africa) and Winning Consortium Simandou (WCS) on the trans-Guinean infrastructure for the world class Simandou iron ore project. Simandou is home to the last known, largest and richest... Read more →

H2 Green Steel partners with Rio Tinto and Vale on direct reduction iron ore pellets and hot briquetted iron

Rio Tinto and H2 Green Steel, an industrial startup establishing large scale production of green steel, have signed a multi-year supply agreement for high-grade direct reduction iron ore (DRI) pellets from Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) operations. Rio Tinto will also purchase and on-sell a part of... Read more →

The lithium industry needs to invest $116 billion by 2030 if the world is to meet the ambitions targets set by governments and the largest automakers, according to a Benchmark analysis. This is more than double the $54-billion investment needed to meet Benchmark’s base case lithium demand scenario. This is... Read more →

Rio Tinto disclosed detailed information on 14 of its global tailings facilities and their progress towards conformance with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). These tailings facilities are those rated Very High or Extreme under GISTM classifications, based on the highest potential consequences in the extremely unlikely event... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) released its 2023 Critical Materials Assessment (2023 CMA), which evaluated materials for their criticality to global clean energy technology supply chains. Based on the results of the Assessment, DOE has determined the 2023 DOE Critical Materials List of energy-specific critical and near-critical materials through... Read more →

Rio Tinto commits $150M to Center for Future Materials led by Imperial College London

Rio Tinto has committed $150 million to create a Center for Future Materials led by Imperial College London to find innovative ways to provide the materials the world needs for the energy transition. The ‘Rio Tinto Center for Future Materials’ will fund research programs to transform the way vital materials... Read more →

Rio Tinto to acquire copper exploration assets and enter joint venture with Codelco in Chile

Rio Tinto has agreed to purchase Pan American Silver’s stake in Agua de la Falda S.A. (ADLF), a company with exploration tenements in Chile’s prospective Atacama region, and to enter a joint venture with Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) to explore and potentially develop Agua de la Falda’s... Read more →

Africa’s mined lithium production output is set to increase more than ten-fold this decade, according to Benchmark’s Lithium Forecast. This will increase the region’s strength in the supply of critical minerals beyond cobalt, which the continent has historically dominated. Benchmark’s Lithium Forecast shows that the region is expected to account... Read more →

NETL framework for assessing economic viability of recovering REEs from unconventional sources

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has created a framework to assess the economic viability of recovering rare earth elements (REEs) from unconventional feedstocks such as coal and coal waste—an advance that is part of NETL efforts to unlock new domestic sources of critical minerals (CM) that can ease US... Read more →

Canada-based Vortex Energy has completed a hydrogen storage capacity assessment for the East and West Salt Structures at the Robinsons River Salt Project. The work was done by the company’s contracted consultant partner, RESPEC Consulting, a geology, geophysical and engineering consultancy with direct experience in underground hydrogen storage caverns. Salt... Read more →

DoD awarding Graphite One $37.5M to support graphite mining and processing in Alaska

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) for Industrial Base Policy (IBP), through its Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization office, will award Graphite One (Alaska) $37.5 millon to support the development of a domestic advanced graphite supply chain solution anchored by the company’s Graphite Creek resource. The... Read more →

DOE to award $32M for FEED studies for production of rare earths and critical minerals and materials from coal

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $32 million for Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) studies for two different sizes (intermediate-scale and demonstration-scale) Rare Earth Element (REE) Facilities that demonstrate the extraction, separation, and refining from coal and coal by-products to high purity individual or binary rare earth metals (REM)... Read more →

Brazil-based metals and mining multinational Vale announced a partnership with Wabtec Corporation to advance the decarbonization of Vale’s rail operations. The deal includes an order for three of Wabtec’s FLXdrive battery locomotives and a collaboration to test ammonia as a potential clean, alternative fuel to replace diesel. The three 100%... Read more →

The energy transition requires a massive increase in the supply of critical materials, yet supply chains remain vulnerable to a range of geopolitical risks. Although there is no scarcity of reserves for these energy transition minerals, global capabilities for mining and refining them are limited. Supply disruptions could impact the... Read more →

Stellantis N.V. and NioCorp Developments Ltd. have signed a rare earth offtake term sheet. The objective is to enter into a definitive rare earth supply agreement to support Stellantis’ commitment to build resilient supply chains and reach carbon net zero by 2038 and to help accelerate NioCorp’s path to commercial... Read more →

Imerys, a global leader in mineral-based specialty solutions, and British Lithium, a private company having developed a processing route to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate from mica in Cornish granite, (earlier post) have formed a joint venture with the objective of creating the United Kingdom’s first integrated producer of battery-grade lithium... Read more →

Stellantis signs offtake terms with and invests in Kuniko for low-carbon nickel and cobalt sulfate

Stellantis N.V. and Australia-based Kuniko Ltd announced the signing of a binding offtake term sheet agreement securing a 35% future production offtake of nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate from Kuniko’s Norwegian exploration projects for a term of nine years. Kuniko’s projects located in Norway are targeting three fundamental metals for... Read more →

General Motors and Australia-based Element 25 Limited announced an agreement for Element 25 to supply up to 32,500 metric tons of manganese sulfate (MnSO4) annually to support the annual production of more than 1 million GM EVs in North America. Under the agreement, GM will provide Element 25 with a... Read more →

Elcora delivers first 500-tonne 37%+ manganese order

Elcora Advanced Materials has successfully delivered its first order for 500 metric tons of 37% + high-quality manganese from Morocco. (Earlier post.) In March, Elcora began operations on the 16 km² manganese mining concession in Morocco for which it had acquired exclusive rights earlier. Already extracted Manganese (Mn) piles on... Read more →

Rio Tinto investing nearly $1B in Kennecott copper operations

Rio Tinto is investing in its Kennecott operation near Salt Lake City, Utah, to strengthen its supply of copper in the United States by increasing production from underground mining and improving the health of key assets. The Kennecott integrated copper mining operation includes a concentrator, smelter and refinery and tailings... Read more →

Globally, the battery industry needs to invest at least $514 billion across the whole supply chain to meet expected demand in 2030, and $920 billion by 2035, according to a new analysis by Benchmark. Demand for lithium ion batteries is forecast to grow to 3.7 terawatt-hours by 2030, up from... Read more →

Lithium Power International to sell Australian subsidiary to Albemarle for AUD$30M

Lithium Power International Limited has entered into a binding agreement to sell its wholly-owned Australian subsidiary, Western Lithium Ltd (WLI) (100% owner of a number of tenements, including through its subsidiary, CMC Lithium Pty Ltd, in Western Australia) to Albemarle Lithium Pty Ltd (an Australian subsidiary of Albemarle Corporation). WLI... Read more →

Volkswagen, Stellantis and Glencore are supporting the purchase of the Atlantic Nickel nickel sulfide and the Mineraçao Vale Verde copper mine in Brazil by ACG, a London-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), for US$ 1 billion. Critical minerals mined at the Brazilian sites will be refined in Europe and North... Read more →

In a new report, the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) announced its support for a moratorium on deep-sea mining. The report, which assesses evidence on future critical minerals needs, the potential for recycling and technology innovation, and the environmental impact of deep-sea mining finds that there is much uncertainty... Read more →

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US production of uranium concentrate (U3O8) in the first quarter of 2023 totaled 2,511 pounds. This is 75% lower than first quarter 2022 production and a drop of 99% from fourth quarter 2022 as no material was produced this quarter at the... Read more →

Government of Ontario awards Li-Metal C$1.4M to advance lithium metal production

Li-Metal Corp., a developer of lithium metal and lithium metal anode technologies for next-generation batteries (earlier post), has been awarded more than C$1.4 million in grant funding from various programs sponsored by the Government of Ontario to develop and commercialize its lithium metal production technology. The funding consists of a... Read more →

Aclara Resources, a development-stage company that focuses on heavy rare earth mineral resources, has started the continuous operation of its newly constructed pilot plant for the Penco Module near Concepcion, Chile. The company produced the first sample of high purity Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE) concentrate after a successful commissioning... Read more →

Green Battery Minerals (GEM) and Volt Carbon Technologies (VCT) have signed a preliminary mineral processing agreement. GEM had provided Volt Carbon with a single 5 kilogram sample of crushed feedstock that was obtained from GEM’s 100%-owned Berkwood Graphite project in Québec, Canada. Volt Carbon processed the sample using its proprietary... Read more →

Nornickel presents market review of nickel and platinum group metals

Russia-based Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, presented its eleventh review of the nickel and platinum group metals (PGM) markets based on the fundamental analysis of world economic and industry data. Nickel. In early 2023, nickel has been... Read more →

Rio Tinto has successfully completed the full transition of its heavy machinery from fossil diesel to renewable diesel at its Boron, California operation, making it the first open pit mine in the world to achieve this milestone. The change to renewable diesel brings an anticipated CO2 equivalent reduction of up... Read more →

Rio Tinto to invest US$395M in Pilbara desalination plant

Rio Tinto plans to invest US$395 million in a seawater desalination plant in the Pilbara, Western Australia, to support future water supply for the company’s coastal operations and communities in the region. The proposed Dampier Seawater Desalination Plant, which remains subject to Commonwealth and State Government approvals, will be located... Read more →

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 →