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Cobalt - October 21, 2020
Kettle, Vice Chairman of Metals and Mining, Wood Mackenzie Long-dated returns from investing in mining and processing sit uneasily against

An investment of over $1 trillion will be needed in key energy transition metals – aluminium, cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium – over the next 15 years just to meet the growing demands of decarbonisation…Wood Mackenzie, in a new report, says the figure is double what was invested over the last 15 years….While the coronavirus pandemic has slowed climate change mitigation efforts this year, governments across the world are using stimulus packages to either kick-start or accelerate their decarbonisation journeys, WoodMac points out…“One can argue about both the pace and scale of the energy transition but the criticality of metals to its realisation is without question, says Julian Kettle, Wood Mackenzie’s Vice Chairman of Metals and Mining. “Put simply, the energy transition starts and ends with metals. If you want to generate, transmit or store low/no-carbon energy you need aluminium, cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium.”…In a note, Kettle says the fundamentals for several metals are deteriorating, with prices for most well below long-term incentive levels as investors are not convinced that the road to recovery is assured…Long-dated returns from investing in mining and processing sit uneasily against the need for certainty of regular dividend payments or the near-term gains that can be made from other popular asset classes, Kettle says, and this hampers the ability of boards to undertake the necessary long-term decisions needed to develop the supply that high-growth energy transition related commodities demand.

The Hill - Blogs - October 21, 2020
We need to act now to establish a critical mineral supply chain in the United States, and to make sure we can manufacture defense ...
China could cut our access to critical minerals at any time — here's why we need to act

BY SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TEXAS) AND GOV. MIKE DUNLEAVY (R-ALASKA)…But medical supplies and medications aren’t the only products the Chinese control that the United States depends on. China has also consolidated the global supply chain for critical minerals, including rare earth elements. These are minerals critical to our national security and our way of life — from the weapons that our military needs to ensure our national security, to the batteries that power the modern global economy. The supply chain that China controls spans everything from the very top — where minerals are mined or recycled or recovered — to the final steps of manufacturing. Over the years, the Chinese Communist Party systematically came to dominate the entire process, and had already begun using that dominance against us before the pandemic hit…But jumpstarting an industry that barely exists is exponentially more difficult, because China has been seeking to control the critical minerals sphere since it became clear they would have an enormous role to play in high-tech economies. Bringing the supply chain to the United States requires granular knowledge of the industry, because investors are sitting on the sidelines of the critical minerals industry for different reasons than they’re sitting on the sidelines of the pharmaceutical industry. To fix this, we have to convince investors to get into a market where they are justifiably afraid China will undermine them at every point of the supply chain…At any time, China could cut off our access to rare earth elements and critical minerals. We need to act now to establish a critical mineral supply chain in the United States, and to make sure we can manufacture defense technologies and support our military. Our national security depends on it.

Metal Bulletin - October 21, 2020
Trafigura is preparing to table an offer for Brazilian miner Vale’s embattled nickel and cobalt operations (VNC) in the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, sources told Fastmarkets on Tuesday October 20. Fastmarkets understands that the Geneva, Switzerland-headquartered trading

Trafigura is preparing to table an offer for Brazilian miner Vale’s embattled nickel and cobalt operations (VNC) in the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, sources told Fastmarkets on Tuesday October 20…A source said that current negotiations were sufficiently advanced that a credible, funded offer could be made to Vale very soon.

EVs & Energy Storage
Financial Times - October 22, 2020
When Tesla held its socially distanced “battery day” last month at an outdoor parking lot in California, it invited executives from the two...

Tesla, Mr Musk said, had acquired the rights to a 10,000-acre plot in Nevada where it planned to extract the metal using simple table salt, and would build a lithium refinery to supply a new factory in Texas…But industry insiders and observers remain sceptical that the car group can pose a serious competitive threat to established lithium producers. They say Tesla’s plan is unlikely to bear fruit for years and is instead designed to put pressure on the industry, which is dominated by five companies, to ramp up production…Tesla, according to analysts at Citigroup. Energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie says $50bn needs to be invested in lithium over the next 15 years to meet battery demand if the world is to meet the targets of the Paris climate accord. But lithium producers have struggled to expand in the face of three years of falling prices…Without further investment Tesla risks being short of lithium and facing a potential price surge over the next decade…He also has doubts over the plan to mine lithium from clay deposits in Nevada — a process Mr Musk summarised at the Battery Day as: “We take a chunk of dirt out the ground, remove the lithium and put the chunk of dirt back where it was.”…“Our view is that they [clays] are uneconomical given pricing today and how we forecast pricing and the access to the other resources that we have,” he said on a recent call with analysts. Tesla would also need federal permits to begin mining in Nevada, itself a process that can take years, according to another lithium executive. Mr Moores believes the true aim of the Battery Day statement was to kickstart the building of a US-based supply chain for lithium. China refines and processes 80 per cent of the world’s battery materials and also dominates production of battery components such as cathodes and anodes…Cutting out China’s role would allow Tesla to integrate supplies completely from basic raw materials to batteries, he said, in a throwback to Henry Ford, who bought up rubber plantations in the Amazon to supply the material used in tyres. 

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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