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Reuters - August 11, 2022
General view of Nevada Copper's Pumpkin Hollow copper mine in Yerington, Nevada, U.S., January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Bob Strong/File Photo Aug ...

Miners will struggle to expand operations in the United States in record time to meet a deadline for sourcing key minerals domestically or from select countries as set out by a bill likely to be passed on Friday, companies and industry watchers said…The requirement is part of a sweeping bill that includes climate and clean energy policies and rules on electric vehicle (EV) battery materials such as cobalt, lithium, nickel and graphite. The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on the measure Friday…"Considering it takes seven years to build a mine and refining plant but only 24 months to build a battery plant, the best part of this decade is needed to establish an entirely new industry in the United States," said Simon Moores, chief executive of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence…The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes a $7,500 tax credit for new electric vehicles, but to win the full credit, EV makers have to source in 2023 at least two-fifths of battery materials from the United States or free trade agreement (FTA) partners such as Canada, Chile and Australia or recycle it in North America…The United States is home to some of the world's largest automakers, including Ford Motor and General Motors, as well as automotive parts suppliers, but limited home-grown battery manufacturing and refining capacity…New U.S. mining projects have faced stiff opposition from local communities and environmentalists, underscoring the broader tension in the United States as resistance to living near a mine clashes with the potential of EVs to mitigate climate change…"It's grounded on national security considerations, on the challenges posed by the energy transition and there is no way the world is going to get to carbon neutrality by 2050 unless there is more raw materials…"There is a contradiction there but the wave seems to be moving in the direction of realizing that these projects need to be done."…Efforts by the United States and Europe to build an independent supply chain for the key minerals used in EVs have accelerated with heightened tensions between the West and China and Russia, while the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the risks from supply chain shutdowns and shortages…Companies are under pressure to reduce their carbon footprint but complex battery supply chains require materials cross multiple continents in different stages of processing before a finished battery ends up in an EV…Last year, the White House said it would rely on allies to secure the minerals needed for EV batteries, noting at the time that the country "cannot and does not need to mine and process all critical battery inputs at home.".."Since the market is global in nature and spot prices predominate, the larger effect (of the bill) is to push firms serving the U.S. market to deepen investments into relevant FTA partners, namely Canada and Australia," said Fitch Solutions commodities analyst Nick Trickett.

Regina Leader-Post - August 12, 2022

South Korea’s biggest electric-car battery makers and Hyundai Motor Co. have expressed concern over new US legislation aimed at boosting domestic production of EVs and reducing the use of Chinese materials, moves they say could hurt their competitiveness…Korean trade ministry officials met with Hyundai Motor, LG Energy Solution Ltd., Samsung SDI Co. and SK On Co. to listen to their “concerns and difficulties” about the measures in the US’s tax and energy bill, the ministry said in a statement Thursday. Chief among these are the need to assemble EVs in North America and to quickly end a reliance on China for the battery supply chain in order for the vehicles to qualify for a maximum $7,500 tax credit…South Korean battery makers source most of their materials from China, and finding new sources could be difficult amid surging demand and short supply. Meanwhile, all the EVs Hyundai currently sells in the US and Europe are made in Korea. The automaker plans to open its first US plant in Georgia in 2025…Korean battery makers hold around 30% of the global market and supply carmakers including Tesla Inc., General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Rivian Automotive Inc…“The cost for making batteries will rise as companies will have to spend more on a new supply chain,” said Kim Min-Ji, senior researcher at state-run Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade. “It’s not easy to change a metal supplier, and it’s even harder to refine metals at a low cost, which China does, especially in an eco-friendly way.”…South Korean battery makers, which use chemistries like nickel, cobalt, manganese or aluminum, imported more than 80% of the key minerals from China in 2020, according to the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade. Japan also imported 80% of its hydroxide lithium and 96% of manganese from China for making batteries, the institute said. 

Reuters - August 11, 2022
Tesla electric vehicles are shown at a sales and service center in Vista, California, U.S., June 3, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo ...

The European Union and South Korea have raised concerns about proposed U.S. tax credits for purchases of electric vehicles, saying they may discriminate against foreign-made vehicles and breach World Trade Organization (WTO) rules…Under the $430 billion climate and energy bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Sunday, Congress would lift the cap on the existing $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicle purchasers but impose restrictions, including barring vehicles not assembled in North America from receiving the credit…The ban on tax credits for vehicles assembled outside of North America would take effect as soon as President Joe Biden signs the legislation…The proposed legislation also includes provisions aimed at preventing use of battery components or critical minerals derived from China…"We think it's discriminatory, that it is discriminating against foreign producers in relation to U.S. producers," said European Commission spokesperson Miriam Garcia Ferrer. "Of course this would mean that it would be incompatible with the WTO."…South Korea also said on Thursday that it has expressed concerns to the United States that the bill could potentially violate WTO rules and a bilateral free trade deal. South Korea's trade ministry said in a statement that it has asked U.S. trade authorities to ease battery component and final vehicle assembly requirements…The EV tax break is part of the Inflation Reduction Act, which is likely to be passed by the House of Representatives on Friday and then sent to Biden for his signature.  

The Financial Post - August 11, 2022

Copper production in Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa’s top miner of the metal, surged by 51% in the first quarter of 2022, and cobalt output rose by 37%, central bank statistics showed on Thursday…The central African country produced 572,983 tonnes of copper and 28,990 tonnes of cobalt in the first three months of the year, the statistics showed…Congo is the world’s leading miner of cobalt, a mineral used in batteries for electric vehicles and other electronic devices. 

EVs & Energy Storage
Reuters - August 12, 2022
People walk past the R&D centre of Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) in Ningde, Fujian province, China, December 16, 2016. Picture ...

China's CATL said on Friday it would build a 7.3 billion euro ($7.6 billion) battery plant in Hungary, Europe's largest so far, as the world's biggest electric vehicle battery maker gears up to meet growing demand from global automakers…CATL said that construction of the 100 GWh (gigawatt hours) plant in the eastern Hungarian city of Debrecen, its biggest overseas investment, would start this year after receiving approvals, and should last no more than 64 months…Once built, it is set to be Europe's largest battery cell plant and CATL's second in the region, making battery cells and modules for carmakers including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Stellantis and Volkswagen…The expansion comes as European automakers accelerate a transition to electric vehicles in their home markets, prompting surging demand for batteries from local suppliers and causing a run on supply deals to avoid production bottlenecks…Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla have all announced or started to implement major battery expansion plans in Europe to secure access to vital cells and raw materials and support their electrification strategies…As of end of 2021, CATL had an annual battery production capacity of 170.39 GWh, with 140 GWh capacity under construction. The company said previously it aims to install a total of 670 GWh annual capacity by 2025.

InsideEVs - August 12, 2022
EV startup posted a revenue of $364 million and said it had 98,000 reservations for the R1T and R1S as of June 30, 2022.

Rivian Automotive has released the financial results for the second quarter of 2022, and the company continues to burn through cash at an even higher rate than before…The startup said it has received a total of 98,000 pre-orders from the United States and Canada for the R1T pickup and R1S SUV. The company also has the initial order for 100,000 EDV electric delivery vans from Amazon, which received the first batch of the vehicles last month…Speaking of the R1T and R1S, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said during the Q2 conference call the R1 series is not likely to benefit from tax incentives in the new Inflation Reduction Act bill passed by the US Senate. However, he noted that Rivian could qualify for subsidies of up to $40,000 per vehicle for large electric commercial vans similar to the ones it is building for Amazon…Furthermore, the company’s future R2 line of consumer vehicles, due out in 2025, should also qualify for tax credits because they will have a domestic battery supply chain…Rivian maintains it production forecast of 25,000 vehicles for this year. In Q2 2022, the EV maker built 4,401 vehicles and delivered 4,467—mostly R1T electric pickups. 

The New York Times - August 12, 2022
The climate and energy package awaiting final approval by Congress aims to achieve two goals that are not always compatible: Make electric ...

The climate and energy package awaiting final approval by Congress aims to achieve two goals that are not always compatible: Make electric vehicles more affordable while freezing China out of the supply chain.

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.