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Morningstar - February 21, 2021
By Alistair MacDonald One of mining's heavyweights is betting on batteries to power his comeback. Mick Davis, a key figure in ...
have pushed many miners to expand into the metals used to make batteries, such as lithium, cobalt, graphite and nickel. The last big secular

One of mining’s heavyweights is betting on batteries to power his comeback…Mick Davis, a key figure in the megamergers ofBHP Ltd. and Billiton as well as Glencore and Xstrata, is raising money to invest in companies that mine the metals required to store power…His wager: Efforts to move to low-carbon energy will require more batteries and provide a permanent shift in metals demand…Once the preserve of consumer products, batteries are disrupting the automotive and energy industries by enabling electric vehicles and making it possible to store wind and solar power. Those trends have pushed many miners to expand into the metals used to make batteries, such as lithium, cobalt, graphite and nickel…Mr. Davis said he realized the strength of the move toward greener fuels several years ago as global leaders criticized the Trump administration’s environmental policies, including withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord…Donald Trump shone a light that there is a global consensus, that this was an inevitable direction of travel, and I wanted to be into it,” he said…Mr. Davis’s new fund Vision Blue Resources Ltd. has so far raised $60 million and plans to amass a war chest of several hundred million…“There is a secular change in demand, not driven by GDP growth but by a consensus in government,” he said…Mr. Davis said he wants to invest in projects that he could help to bring to fruition, scale up quickly and that don’t require big investments in infrastructure, such as roads and train tracks…He expects demand for battery metals to be driven by electric vehicles and the need to store energy from renewable sources, whose output can be volatile…Mr. Davis said mining has changed since he was in charge at Xstrata. Pressure from investors means that miners are more focused on returning cash than investing in new projects, he said….“One thing that has also changed is companies that own assets that have large carbon footprints are going to struggle to gain shareholders,” he said, adding that investing in battery metals is a way to capture demand for commodities.

The World Economic Forum - February 19, 2021
Realizing the energy transition will require navigating several major challenges. These include geopolitical concerns, ...
Democratic Republic of Congo controls 60% of the planet’s cobalt — another critical element used in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

Innovation is often more about chasing after the shiny and new rather than improving on existing technologies. Nevertheless, the looming challenge of evolving from fossil fuels to renewable energy faces the immutable laws of physics and chemistry – and, ironically enough, environmental hurdles – that may be overlooked by today’s energy experts and policy-makers…The pursuit of discovering cleaner ways to power the globe while reducing emissions has impacted the geopolitical framework, including the rivalry between the US and China. Given China’s near monopoly on many rare-earth materials, including 17 minerals used in numerous industrial and military applications, Beijing is currently poised to reap the lion’s share of the benefits as it leapfrogs the West in the production of electric vehicles (EVs) in lieu of petroleum-powered cars. Indeed, Beijing currently produces 80% of the world’s lithium and 60% of the rare-earth materials required for EV batteries…As was observed in America’s dependence on foreign entities to produce essential medical supplies at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US' dependence on China for its supply of materials critical to manufacturing high-tech products such as EVs, cell phones, computers, solar panels, wind turbines and the F-35 fighter jet (each aircraft requires 415kg of rare-earth materials, according to the US Department of Defense) are forcing the US' economic and national security experts to reimagine vulnerable supply chains controlled by unfriendly nations…In addition, Russia is home to around 22% the world’s rare-earth reserves, while the Democratic Republic of Congo controls 60% of the planet’s cobalt — another critical element used in the production of lithium-ion batteries. Moreover, Congo’s mining industry is plagued by corruption, military conflict, and the exploitation of child labour…In our quest to protect the planet by reducing our carbon footprint, it is important to note that our world currently depends on fossil fuels for 84% of its energy needs. Getting to the Holy Grail of net-zero emissions will be a heavy lift, particularly from a technological and cost-benefit standpoint. According to a recent Wall Street Journal essay, when “chemistry, physics and materials science, as well as carbon capture, hydrogen fuel, digitization, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, robotics, software [and] data analytics” are factored in, the scope of our hurdles are enormous, if not overwhelming…This underscores the need for countries to rethink their reliance on sole-source suppliers of materials critical to their safety and security. Some of these threats may be balanced by nations' domestic reserves of these chemicals and metals, along with reserves held by allied countries.

Yahoo Finance France - February 21, 2021
Ford car Car companies’ rush to go all-electric is likely to drive an arms race between manufacturers as they fight to source the exotic ...
materials needed for electric cars, is also the second biggest source of cobalt and lithium, behind the Democratic Republic of the Congo and

Car companies’ rush to go all-electric is likely to drive an arms race between manufacturers as they fight to source the exotic materials needed to produce batteries for the eco-friendly vehicles…In the past fortnight industry giants GM and Ford have detailed plans to stop making cars powered by conventional internal combustion engines over the next decade or so…Britain’s biggest car maker, Jaguar Land Rover, has also set out similar plans, following on from Volvo, which expects to be fully electric by 2030…However, these ambitions will exacerbate an existing shortage in rare materials such as graphite, lithium and cobalt used in the production of batteries for electric cars…Even before the latest round of pledges to go electric by manufacturers, the EU had identified the risks the industry faces…In a report released in the autumn, it honed in on Europe’s lack of resources for materials critical to the production of electric vehicles…The EU warned that China, which is the biggest supplier of 10 materials needed for electric cars, is also the second biggest source of cobalt and lithium, behind the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chile, for each of the materials. China is also the world’s biggest supplier of graphite…According to the EU’s analysis, titled Critical Raw Materials Resilience: Charting a Path Towards Greater Security and Sustainability, for Europe to meet targets for EV batteries and energy storage even before the latest announcements from the car makers, supplies of lithium will need to rise almost 20 times and five times for cobalt by 2030…The report said that the EU needs to “reduce dependency and strengthen diversity and security of supply”, warning that “if not addressed, this increase in demand may lead to supply issues”.

EVs & Energy Storage
BNN Bloomberg - February 22, 2021
out cars that produce emissions, will help increase demand for commercial electric vehicles like Xos. “Fleets have to begin planning for

Xos, a maker of electric commercial vehicles, has agreed to go public through a merger with a blank-check company, NextGen Acquisition Corp., according to a statement viewed by Bloomberg News. The deal values the combined equity at $2 billion, the companies added…To support the transaction, the special purpose acquisition company will raise $220 million from investors including Janus Henderson Group Plc and a group of truck dealers led by Thompson Truck Centers…Some of Xos customers include United Parcel Service Inc., armored car service company Loomis AB and transportation company LonestarThe deal will provide the company with $575 million in gross proceeds, the statement said. “That money is going to be used to build vehicle assembly and battery manufacturing capacity and to continue to work on next-generation battery systems and other technologies,”...A parade of electric vehicle makers have done deals with SPACs as startups seek to bulk up and raise cash to help develop their products and get an edge in an increasingly competitive space. Another electric truck-maker Lion Electric Inc. announced it would go public through a SPAC this year…In the consumer vehicle space, Lucid Motors Inc. is also close to announcing a SPAC deal, Bloomberg News reported, one of the most established electric vehicle companies to take this route…NextGen Acquisition was started by Mattson and former Carlyle Group executive Gregory Summe. It raised $375 million last fall in an initial public offering.

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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