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Financial Times - June 11, 2019
The US and allied countries have launched an international effort to encourage responsible development of materials needed for new energy technologies, including lithium, copper and cobalt, as they attempt to ensure future supplies of critical resources. The move comes in response to growing

A shift in the global energy system away from fossil fuels — driven by cost reductions that are making new technologies increasingly competitive, and by government policies to fight global warming and local pollution — is expected to result in steep increases in demand for some metals and other materials…The World Bank estimated in 2017 that action to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2C from pre-industrial levels could mean a seven-fold increase in demand for cobalt and an 11-fold increase in demand for lithium by 2050. In the past few years, Chinese companies have been moving to secure supplies of these materials, buying up mines in countries from Australia to South America. Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a research firm, said the importance of technologies including electric vehicles and battery storage meant that “whoever controls these supply chains controls industrial power in the 21st century”. Concern about mineral supplies has been growing in the US administration and in Congress, and has been heightened by China’s warnings of plans to curb exports of rare earths…Mr Moores said the US was clearly lagging behind China in building up supply chains for these critical materials. 

Scientific American Blog Network - June 10, 2019
The U.S. needs to widen its consideration of critical materials past a limited understanding of security in a deeply interconnected world
fundamental building blocks of the energy transition: lithium, cobalt and nickel for batteries, and materials for solar power and wind

The U.S. is 100 percent import-reliant on 14 minerals and metals that are essential for defense technologies, consumer goods and clean energy technology, and 50 percent or more reliant for another 30, according to the U.S. Geological Survey…These numbers go beyond the recent headlines on rare earths to illustrate fundamental building blocks of the energy transition: lithium, cobalt and nickel for batteries, and materials for solar power and wind turbines. In many of these areas, China has become the dominant world player. The issue is not geological resource constraints, but on whether domestic focus on mining production, processing and manufacturing should be prioritized…The links to energy are increasing as the energy transition—a move toward a low-carbon, battery and solar energy–intensive energy system—continues apace. It also appears clear that whatever form the energy transition takes, it will be more mineral-intensive than in the past…But how do we measure security or criticality in a meaningful way? The methodology used in the U.S. list essentially boils down to if it is deemed "essential" and if it is estimated to have a supply chain risk…The U.S. is not the only country or region to consider mineral criticality. Japan, the European Union and the Australians have all produced critical minerals lists…Additionally, some of the tools developed during the early oil shocks, such as the development of the International Energy Agency, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and sending the Navy's Fifth Fleet to protect key supply choke points (such as the Strait of Hormuz), are now being considered to protect access to critical materials…Finally, policy must take into consideration issues across the supply chain from raw materials through final manufacturing in an interconnected world. A narrow focus on domestic “dominance” will not be sufficient, nor useful in addressing mineral criticality. The lessons from the energy sector are attractive as an analogy—a thoughtful application in a very different sector is required.

Kitco - June 10, 2019
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sidelines of the 121 Mining Investment conference in New York. In particular, cobalt is needed to preserve the longevity of batteries, said

“Cobalt is part of making sure that battery is safe and that it lasts a long time,” Berman said. “When you remove it, then you’ve got all these other issues, you’ve got the longevity issue, you’ve got the safety issue that has to be addressed.”

EVs & Energy Storage
PV Magazine - June 10, 2019
Plans for a 531 MW / 2125 MWh battery system are buried in the BLM’s assessment of the 690 MWac Gemini Solar project.

Last week, one of the largest solar and battery projects in the world just got one step closer to approval. On Friday the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the colossal Gemini Solar Project, a behemoth planned for 11 square miles of the Nevada desert northeast of Las Vegas off Interstate 15…However, buried in the description is a casual mention that there has been an upgrade to the scale of the battery storage component, with a mammoth 531 MW / 2125 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery planned accompany the 690 MWac of solar that will be deployed…This would make it the largest battery system known to pv magazine; larger even than the 409 MW / 900 MWh battery that Florida Power and Light is planning, or the 495 MW battery that is planned as part of the Juno Solar project in West Texas – neither of which have yet been installed…the developer does not appear to have made the final decision as to technology, with the EIS stating that the technology “may be” lithium ion…Assuming it can get all the approvals in time, the developer plans to begin construction in October 2019, and could complete the first phase in 2021, with the remainder of the project planned to come online in 2022 or 2023. 

For further information about the NICO Project and its Mineral Reserves, please refer to the Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for NICO, entitled "Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for the NICO-Gold-Cobalt-Bismuth-Copper Project, Northwest Territories, Canada", dated April 2, 2014 and prepared by Micon, which has been filed on SEDAR and is available under the Company's profile at


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The materials appearing in this email contain forward-looking information. This forward-looking information includes, or may be based upon, estimates, forecasts, and statements as to management’s expectations with respect to, among other things, the size and quality of the Company’s mineral resources, progress in permitting and development of mineral properties, timing and cost for placing the Company’s mineral projects into production, costs of production, amount and quality of metal products recoverable from the Company’s mineral resources, anticipated revenues, earnings and cash flows from the Company's mineral projects, demand and market outlook for metals and coal and future metal and coal prices. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is given, and is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of required permits and regulatory approvals, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, fluctuating metal and coal prices, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, the possibility that production from the Company's mineral projects may be less than anticipated, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, uncertainties related to metal recoveries and other factors. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Inferred mineral resources are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that mineral resources will be converted into mineral reserves. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information because it is possible that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forms of forward-looking information will not be achieved by the Company. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update them or revise it to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.