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National Post - April 5, 2021
It's estimated that China will control 67 per cent of global capacity to build lithium-ion batteries by 2030

Mining executives and national security experts are warning the federal government about China’s domination of strategic mineral supplies, saying Ottawa needs to better protect supply chains for modern technology that relies on them like electric vehicles and smart phones…The witnesses are sounding the alarm as Canada-China relations deteriorate over the detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. The impasse has revealed China’s willingness to inflict economic pain by restricting Canadian exports…Pierre Gratton, head of the Mining Association of Canada, described an “increasingly uncomfortable reliance” on China for commodities, particularly for rare earths and other critical minerals. He said China declines to “play by our rules” in the development of those minerals, effectively undercutting the free market…Gratton urged policymakers to create a framework to develop and then protect Canadian supply chains for batteries and other products, and recommended the federal government establish a $250-million program over five years to incentivize investment in demonstration projects…“If we can get to it and create the right conditions, we could be in a very, very strong place going forward.”…Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne last week updated the federal government’s foreign takeover guidelines involving rare earths and critical minerals, effectively lowering the threshold for what would trigger a national security review…Earlier this month, Natural Resources Canada released a list of 31 minerals now designated as strategic, everything from copper to cobalt to tellurium…Committee witnesses also warned that competition to secure critical minerals will only intensify as demand for electric vehicles and electronics grows…Simon Moores, managing director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, said China is likely to possess 67 per cent of global capacity to build lithium-ion batteries by 2030, due in large part to significant investments the country has made, including in so-called “mega factories.” North America, by comparison, will have just 12 per cent of the market, according to BMI research…“We are in the midst of a global battery arms race, where the world’s major economies are building a base to the energy storage revolution,” Moores said…Witnesses pressed Ottawa to release a national strategy on the development of critical minerals and to deepen ties with Europe, the U.S. and Japan to strengthen its non-Chinese supply chains… “We will definitely have to expand. Not only do we need to promote the auto industries into making EVs, which means promoting them with consumers, but we also have to support the development of that supply chain,” she said. “The processing of the minerals, the development of the battery cells, the battery materials, all need to be brought together and incentivized.”

The Conversation (US) - April 6, 2021
Wind turbines and fighter jets both rely on imported critical minerals. When U.S. companies build military weapons systems, electric ...

When U.S. companies build military weapons systems, electric vehicle batteries, satellites and wind turbines, they rely heavily on a few dozen “critical minerals” – many of which are mined and refined almost entirely by other countries…That level of dependence on imports worries the U.S. government…Natural disasters, civil unrest, trade disputes and company failures can all disrupt a mineral supply chain and the many products that depend on it – making many critical minerals a national security priority…The U.S. has increased its strategic planning and investment in reliable supply chains in recent years, particularly as China has moved to increase control over critical mineral exports, but the U.S.‘s own mining and recycling of these minerals is still small…Critical minerals earn their name from their vital role in products Americans rely on every day…The U.S. critical minerals list has changed since it was first created by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1973. Many of the same minerals are there, including rare earth elements and lithium, but their relative importance in 1973 was for petroleum refining and making glass, among other goods…The list today reflects the essential role that renewable energy, electric vehicles and advanced defense technologies have in the U.S. economy – and the specialized alloys, magnets and catalysts that enable them. These include batteries and electric motors, but also missile guidance systems, communications and even satellites…Now, with President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan promising an expansion of electric vehicles and renewable energy, “green” legislation becoming more likely and climate change becoming a priority, critical mineral supply chains are again in the spotlight…The amounts of lithium, cobalt, graphene, indium and other critical minerals needed for low-carbon technologies alone are expected to increase anywhere from 100% to 1,000% by 2050…These estimates are concerning on their own, but when combined with military needs, industrial needs and the decline of U.S. mining, it paints a troubling picture for U.S. supply shortages…Countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, which made headlines in the past due to mineral sales that financed armed conflict, are not particularly appealing partners for U.S. companies. The DRC is responsible for producing more than 70% of the world’s cobalt, used in almost all rechargeable lithium ion batteries that power everything from cellphones and laptops to electric vehicles, and China has invested heavily in the region…The ability of the United States to drive demand – but hesitation to get involved with “risky” nations or commit to domestic production – means the U.S. is reliant on countries that are more willing to accept those risks. China now controls 80% of the world’s lithium-ion battery material refining, 77% of the world’s battery cell capacity and 60% of the world’s battery component manufacturing…The U.S. has lots of room to improve its support for critical mineral markets and trade agreements. Biden’s 100-day review of the critical mineral supply chains is a good start…Expanding recycling and reuse of critical minerals can also increase sustainability and make minerals more available for U.S. use. One way to encourage recycling programs is to shift responsibility from waste managers to major producers like Apple and Samsung…International agreements can also be written in ways that require responsible mining. U.S. companies, similarly, can do more to ensure that they aren’t purchasing from unsustainable sources or supporting practices that encourage the abuse and exploitation of developing economies…The U.S. can also expand its exploration for critical minerals. 

Canadian Mining Journal - April 5, 2021
to learn if you want to get to 20 million. If you think artisanal mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a bad ESG look, you

Elon Musk and his merry band of executive vice-president had plenty of advice for the mining and metals industry at the company’s Battery Day event last September, where the road map to a $25,000 Tesla was laid out…How easy it is to mine lithium (just add salt), just how much of it there is in Nevada (enough for 300 million EVs), how to be environmentally friendly (“put the chunk of dirt back where it was”) and, given these facts, why miners haven’t been trying harder…MINING.COM used data from Adamas Intelligence, which tracks demand for EV batteries by chemistry, cell supplier and capacity in over 90 countries, to calculate the deployment of raw materials in Tesla cars on a sales-weighted basis in 2020…By extrapolating those numbers, the company’s use of raw materials, if it was producing 20 million cars a year instead of the 500,000 vehicles it made last year, was determined…Tesla’s models use on average around 45 kg of nickel – NCA (nickel cobalt aluminum) and NCM811 (nickel manganese cobalt). The numbers are based on the assumption that roughly 20% of Tesla newly sold cars would be equipped with LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries through 2030…And if, as expected, Tesla moves to NCMA chemistries in China, nickel use would go up slightly and cobalt would go down marginally…When Tesla makes 20 million cars in a year it will need more than 30% of global mined nickel production in 2019 (2020 saw a 20%-plus reduction in output) for its batteries…Likewise, with cobalt – the metal that dare not speak its name at Tesla – the requirement of more than half the globe’s production before 2030, is irrelevant (at least in theory).

EVs & Energy Storage
The Guardian - April 6, 2021
Plug-in vehicle sales account for almost 14% of all new car sales in March
of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Buyers picked up 22,000 electric cars and another 17,000 plug-in hybrids, which combine a battery

UK electric and hybrid car sales hit record levels in March, traditionally the biggest month of the year for motor dealers, as demand for greener vehicles surged despite overall trade remaining lower than before the pandemic…Sales of battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids accounted for a combined 13.9% of the market, up from 7.3% a year earlier, in a sign of the accelerating switch to cars with lower carbon exhaust emissions, according to preliminary data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)…Buyers picked up 22,000 electric cars and another 17,000 plug-in hybrids, which combine a battery with an internal combustion engine…However, the pandemic has depressed sales for more than a year, and the latest data shows last month’s numbers were still down about 37% below average March levels of 450,000 between 2010 and 2019…The market has improved compared with March 2020, when the first lockdown began, with new car registrations rising 11% last month to 284,000.

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.