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Precious Metals found in Swiss Sewers

Flushing your money down the drain seems like an insane idea, but panning for gold in wastewater might sound even crazier. It seems as though the Swiss have recently caught on that the latter is not actually such a wild idea after all. The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) analyzed the wastewater from 64 treatment plants in the country. They reported 43 kg of gold, 3000 kg of silver, and over 2700 kg of rare earth elements. Explanations for the metals content varies, including crop irrigation, dental work, and car washes; the researchers suggested the significant...

Recent Surge in Nickel: All about EV’s…or is it?

Nickel prices have surged, gaining more than ten percent on the LME last week, 28 percent in 2017. Although EVs have been causing an impact on the nickel market, the nickel demand from batteries only takes up about three percent of the 2 million tonne annual market. Stainless steel accounts for 85 percent of the world’s nickel consumption, a demand that is forecast to increase by 3% per year, due to production in China. China accounts for about half of global stainless steel production, at 1.1 million tonnes. Nickel demand for batteries in EVs has received a lot of attention,...

The Impact of EVs on Nickel Miners

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are already making a strong impact on the mining industry, causing many companies to reevaluate their commodities and rethink their strategies. However, it looks like some mining companies may be in a better position than others. High-grade nickel is required in the batteries used in EVs; nickel powders are particularly well suited. Ferronickel and nickel pig iron grades are considered to be unsuitable for battery production, while nickel sulfates are the ideal candidates. Some of the lower-grade nickel mines will miss out on this market, or require their nickel to be refined to a higher grade, prior...

New Copper Mine Coming Onstream in Australia

This month, production is set to begin at the Capricorn Copper mine in Australia, a joint venture between a private equity fund EMR Capital and Lighthouse Minerals. Few copper mines have come onstream recently, part of the reason of the projected warnings of a shortfall in supply. The production of this mine is expected to be 25 000 to 35 000 tonnes of copper per year....

BHP looks at Exploration to meet the Copper Demand of EVs

Projections for electric vehicles suggest that they will eventually require 105 kg copper. More than 750 000 EVs were sold worldwide last year, which would mean approx. 80 000 tonnes of copper used to manufacture these vehicles alone. EV sales are also projected to grow to 140 million by 2035, which translates to 14 million tonnes of copper. BHP is looking at this growth, and preparing for the increase in demand of copper. They believe the best way to achieve this is through exploration. They are looking at different ways to mine, by alliances and partnerships with various exploration companies,...

New Project for China’s Jinchuan Group: Raw Materials for Electric Vehicles.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are increasingly becoming major topics of discussion. Whether it’s the next car you’ve been eyeing up or forecasting prices on the metals market, EVs are creating a buzz, that’s about to turn into a full-on roar. The Jinchuan Group of China recognizes the growth of this sector and is starting a new project to produce raw materials for EV batteries. This project is developing in Guangxi, projected to produce 30 000 tonnes of nickel and 3 000 tonnes of cobalt in the next 2 years, figures they plan to quintuple by 2025. The Jinchuan Group is currently the...

Auction for $2 Billion Peruvian Copper Project

The Michiquillay copper project in Peru is taking bids, with an auction set for December 20th. Over 20 companies are already signed up for the public auction, the first in over a decade in Peru. Copper prices are rising, which will make this an interesting and competitive auction for this mineral deposit. Companies have up until November 2ndto sign up and eventually bid on this project, estimated to produce 200 000 tonnes of copper per year....

Mineral Exchange Opens for Concentrates

Open Mineral Exchange (OME) launched on September 1st of this year, and already has almost 30% of the tradable supply and demand of base and precious metal concentrate registered. The idea behind this exchange is that mining and smelting companies can deal directly and source metal concentrates without a middleman. This online platform allows for a mine to sell concentrate directly on the OME, affording efficient global negotiations and contracts. The OME also provides trade services including assaying, insurance, surveying, and transportation....

Metal Powders for Industrial Furnaces: Big Energy Savings

Metal powders have many uses industrially, but have been quoted for a potential new use in industrial furnaces, for their ability to hold their form at high temperatures, and their resistance to oxidation. High temperature heat treatment is an important step in products manufactured for integrated circuits, in smartphones, solar cells, and many steel and aluminum based products. Some materials designed to be components of these systems will deform overtime with heating, as heat treatment can involve temperatures up to 1 250ºC. Sandvik Materials Technology (SMT) has developed two materials by powder metallurgy which have optimum microstructure, stability, and strength...

Indium finds new home in Rechargeable Batteries

A recent academic publication in Angewandte Chemie has demonstrated the possibility for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with increased power and capacity. Groups working with Ravishankar Sundararaman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Lynden A. Archer at Cornell University, demonstrated this improved capacity ability of lithium ion batteries, facilitated by an indium coating on the lithium electrode. This coating prevents side-reactions from occurring between the electrode and the electrolyte. Indium is widely popular for its use in indium-tin-oxide (ITO): a thin coating used for liquid crystal and flat-panel displays, along with other applications including smart windows, and thin film photovoltaics. Indium is gaining...