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Michiquillay Copper Project in Peru – Bid won by Southern Copper

The Michiquillay copper project in Peru had 10 companies signed up to bid for the $2 billion project. Southern Copper won the auction, with their proposal to contribute $400 million to the government, and pay 3% royalties. This project is located in the northern region of Peru, and estimated at 1.1 billion tonnes of copper with an average grade of 0.629% copper with reported concentrations of gold, silver, and molybdenum....

Mining Mergers & Acquisitions hit 4-year High

Global mining and metals deals hit 4-year high in 2017, rising 15% from 2016 to a total of $51 billion of deals last year. These transactions were mainly coal and steel, but iron ore, lead, silver, and zinc all had increased activity last year. It is expected due to battery technologies that cobalt, copper, and lithium will have increased deals this year....

LME to ban metal sourced with child labour

Recently, much attention has been drawn to the reports of child mining of cobalt in Africa, particularly in the DRC. The outcry from various public groups has led to the London Metal Exchange (LME)’s decision to remove some companies from their list of approved metal suppliers if they don’t meet the industry standards.  Late last year, the LME had producers provide them with details of their sourcing, auditing and certification to compare against LME contracts. The exchange made a statement that they are “committed to facilitating the implementation of recognized responsible sourcing standards for its listed producers.” The industry does...

EV Battery Makers to Rely on Cobalt Supply from Old Phones

Cobalt demand from electric vehicles (EVs) is forecast to grow to 95,000 tonnes by 2026, up from 12,000 tonnes last year, according to consultants CRU Group. Cobalt prices are also expected to rise alongside this trend. In order to combat the rising cost of cobalt, Samsung SDI has been working to adjust their EV batteries such that they contain over 90% nickel and only 5% cobalt. The South Korean battery manufacturer is also looking to recover cobalt from old smart phones for EV production. Approximately only 5-10% of smartphones are collected for re-use and recycling; last year only 7,100 tons...

Cobalt Streaming Deal in Canada – Bids for $500M

Cobalt is a metal that has been gaining a lot of attention in the past year; it is now valued at over 80,000 USD per tonne (February 2, 2018). Currently, 100,000 tonnes of cobalt are produced annually, and forecasts suggest an increase in demand. Cobalt is mainly produced as a byproduct of copper and nickel mining, which means growth and development of cobalt relies on the demand of those metals. Vale has made a deal with the Bank of Montreal (Canada) to raise $500M from bidders for future cobalt production at Vale’s mine in Voisey Bay, Labrador. The upfront payment...

The Mining giant continues to grow: Rio Tinto sets-up new Office in Mongolia

The Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia is a joint venture between the Government of Mongolia (34%) and Turquoise Hill (66%), a majority-owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto. This is financially the largest mining project in Mongolia, and Rio Tinto intends to dig for more. Rio Tinto has set up an office in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar to focus on local exploration and networks, with plans to employ as many as 80 staff this year. Mongolia is a country known to have massive sources of untapped minerals and is notably next door to China, the world’s top copper consumer.  Rio...

Great Atlantic Resources Drilling in New Brunswick, Canada

It was announced that this spring, Great Atlantic Resources will begin drilling for lead, zinc, copper, and silver at its Porcupine site. The mine is located approximately 50 km west of Miramichi in New Brunswick, an eastern Canadian province. The preliminary drill holes and samples taken in 2012 showed areas that had high zinc and lead concentrations, with one sample showing 20.7% lead, 6.89% zinc, 2.04% copper, and 122 grams/tonne silver. The current site is approximately 2,830 hectares, but the Porcupine project is expanding, running further north to areas with reported lead sulfide mineralization. This region of New Brunswick contains...

Water Supply Challenges Copper Miners

Our natural resource supply is constantly being challenged by our rate of consumption and extraction. Decreasing ore grades are not the only problem that copper miners are facing.  The amount of water required to process and refine copper also increases as ore grades decrease.  Some copper mines are already aware of this challenge and are starting to use an increasing amount of recirculated water and seawater for their processes, and less surface and underground water. Although the operational and maintenance costs of desalination plants can be high, the costs for installation and transport is lower, which when coupled with cost...

The Clean Technology Sector and its ties to Mining

With an increasing shift towards a low-carbon economy, it looks as though mining will play a vital role. Various metals and minerals are key to increased infrastructure growth for solar, wind, and battery power. For example, a three megawatt wind turbine requires 100 tonnes of steel and 80 tonnes of coal. Not only are mines tied to the clean technology sector because of the demand of materials, mines are also are receiving pressure from investors to be more sustainable, with a smaller environmental footprint. One great example of a mining company making this shift is Goldcorp, who is building the...

Canada’s QMC Quantum Minerals Proposes to Mine Lithium

It’s no secret that lithium is in high demand, due to the trend of electric vehicles (EV) and clean energy. Many companies and start-ups are looking to mine this metal with the intention for use in batteries, but deposits are often too small to be financially feasible. QMC has acquired a historic lithium mine in Manitoba, Canada and is preparing for pilot testing, with the intention to start drilling in early 2019. Historic data from the mine shows 87% recovery, and production of high-grade concentrate, 5.9% lithium oxide. The lithium mineralization starts directly on the surface and stretches down to...