September Newsletter – 06.09.2021


  • Barrick, NovaGold closer to Donlin mine decision
  • Namibia top court hands Deep-South small win in battle for copper project
  • Obscure precious metal takes center stage for platinum giants
  • LME launches digital sustainability passport, begins with aluminum
  • Aluminum makers in India plead for coal as power squeeze bites
  • Nissan develops technology to halve recycling cost of rare earths

Barrick, NovaGold closer to Donlin mine decision

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Donlin Gold project, Alaska, being developed by Novagold, which recently joined EY’s Canadian Mining Index.

Joint venture partners Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: GOLD) and NovaGold Resources (TSX: NG) have published the first results of their 24,000-meter drilling program for their Donlin gold project in Southwest Alaska, which will likely provide the final data needed for an optimized mine plan at the 39-million-ounce gold asset.

The primary objective of the 2021 drill program is to complete the necessary work to validate and increase confidence in recent geologic modeling concepts at Dolin.

Having completed 18 drill holes, plus additional partial results for another 11 holes, the partners have detected significant new high-grade drill hole intercepts that hint of potential feeder zones for the larger system.

Namibia top court hands Deep-South small win in battle for copper project

Canada’s Deep-South Resources (TSX-V: DSM) has scored a small but key win in its battle to renew the company’s prospecting licence for the Haib copper project in Namibia, as the country’s High Court has ruled no permits over the same area can be granted for now.

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The Haib copper deposit is in the extreme south of Namibia close to the border with South Africa, which is defined by the course of the Orange River

The Vancouver-based miner took the country’s Ministry of Mines and Energy to court in July after it refused to renew the company’s permit.  The company initially believed the denial was a misunderstanding but was then told it was due to its “inability” to advance to prefeasibility and complete the proposed drilling program as planned.

Deep-South maintains it has clearly demonstrated meeting all the criteria to justify a renewal. It insists the ministry was kept well-informed and had not objected to a proposed change to an upgraded preliminary economic assessment and a full feasibility study, which was already started.

Obscure precious metal takes center stage for platinum giants

The rise of rhodium, the world’s most expensive precious metal, has made it the No. 1 revenue stream of the biggest platinum miners.

While the metal is well shy of its March peak, rhodium still accounted for 45% of Anglo American Platinum Ltd.’s first-half revenues. That’s more than platinum and palladium put together. For parent Anglo American Plc, the silvery-white metal generated more revenue than the diamonds mined by its De Beers business or the copper it extracts in Chile and Peru.

The scarcity of rhodium — a byproduct of platinum and palladium mining — and its unparalleled ability to curb nitrogen oxides from car exhaust fumes pushed up prices as stricter pollution laws boost demand. In March, it climbed to a record $29,800 an ounce, making it 17 times more valuable than gold.

LME launches digital sustainability passport, begins with aluminum

The London Metal Exchange (LME), the world’s biggest industrial metals market, has launched a register to digitally store sustainability credentials and other characteristics of metals trading on its platform, beginning with aluminum.

The digital credential, known as the LMEpassport, stores electronic Certificates of Analysis (CoAs) or quality assurance documents based on a metal’s size, shape, purity and other characteristics.

It also allows users to disclose information on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) credentials, including carbon footprint, water use and social impact.

The exchange said existing paper and PDF format documents can be easily scanned and integrated into the platform, transforming previously unstructured data into information that can be queried and reported on.

Aluminum, which requires huge amounts of power to smelt, is one of the most carbon-intensive metals, emitting an average of 16.5 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of production. In contrast, steel processing, while a much bigger polluter overall, emits just 2.3 tonnes per tonne.

Aluminum makers in India plead for coal as power squeeze bites

India’s aluminum makers are calling on state-run Coal India Ltd. to restore supplies of the fuel, after the producer cut back shipments to prioritize deliveries to power plants amid surging electricity demand.

The producers, typically among the largest industrial electricity consumers, face severe disruption if smelters experience outages and have few alternatives to domestic coal, according to the Aluminium Association of India.

“Resorting to imports at such a short notice is not feasible,” said the group, which includes Hindalco Industries Ltd. and state-run National Aluminium Co. Ltd. Global seaborne coal prices are surging, with physical coal cargoes in Australia’s Newcastle port close to a record high.

A crunch on coal supply highlights the commodity’s importance in India, which burns the fuel for about 70% of its power needs. The nation is forecast to increase consumption in the next few years, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s targets a vast increase in renewables.

Nissan develops technology to halve recycling cost of rare earths

Japan’s Nissan Motor Co Ltd has developed a new technology to halve the cost of recycling rare earths used in magnet motors for electric vehicles (EVs), the company said on Friday.

With tension simmering between China and the United States, automakers are trying to reduce their reliance on a key driver of the EV revolution – permanent magnets that power electric engines, as most are made of rare earth metals from China.

Automakers are also concerned about huge price swings of the metals and environmental damage in the supply chain.

Nissan, collaborating with Katsunori Yamaguchi, a professor at Waseda University, established a new recycling technology to recover rare earth compounds in high purity and efficiency without dismantling the motor, which is the conventional way.


Link for more detailed information

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