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The Globe and Mail - September 22, 2022
When South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol meets Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in coming visit, how best to counter China over critical exports expected to top agenda

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is using an official visit to Canada to try to gain access to Canadian critical minerals that could bolster the Asian country’s high-tech and manufacturing industries as it seeks to reduce dependence on China.

The London Free Press - September 21, 2022

The drive to fix the automotive industry’s supply chain could be a boon for Canadian suppliers—but it won’t be easy. The push for zero-emission electric vehicles means automakers will have to source new kinds of parts at a rate never before seen. At the same time, they have to fix the vast automotive supply chain broken by a global pandemic that exposed just how vulnerable it is to events beyond their control…Automakers are looking locally for new suppliers that can provide both stability and electric-vehicle expertise. But as it builds a local supply chain, the industry will have to fix its existing issues like lack of inventory, weak contracts, and poor visibility up and downstream…“The latest jargon is ‘glocalization’,”…Building a new supply chain for EVs while repairing the issues with the existing system will require companies to think differently, focusing more on stockpiling, renegotiating contracts and making more parts in-house. But if they can do it, advocates say it could be a big opportunity for Canada…For decades, automakers have run on the “just in time” manufacturing model, which categorized excess inventory stockpiles as wasteful and inefficient. When Toyota first brought the method to Canada in 1988, it was heralded by automakers as “a whole new concept of work.” …But the downside has always been vulnerability to unexpected disasters. Eleven years ago, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and made it nearly impossible for any major automaker to get red or black paint. Emergency events of the past two years—not just COVID-19 but a fire at a major chipmaker, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a megaship getting stuck in the Suez Canal; a trucker blockade at the border—have each exposed potential blockages in a low-inventory, globalized manufacturing strategy…When the pandemic hit, automotive supply chains were thrown into chaos. Shortages of everything, particularly semiconductors, meant vehicle production plummeted in 2020 and has yet to fully recover. AutoForecast Solutions data tracked by CIBC estimates nearly 3.7 million fewer vehicles will be produced by automakers this year due to the chip shortage alone…Chinese company CATL is the top manufacturer of EV batteries, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company dominates the semiconductor industry, leaving both supply chains particularly vulnerable to trade conflict with China, said University of California Los Angeles distinguished professor Christopher Tang, who studies the topic…In addition to improving supplier visibility and negotiating better contracts, the auto industry may also see increased vertical integration as companies try to seize control of their supply chains. For instance, auto companies are increasingly investing directly in mining projects for critical minerals like lithium and cobalt that could feed into their EV battery plants…She noted that the U.S. government has developed a national strategy around EV batteries. Its recent blueprint specifies that some parts of the supply chain, like accessing critical minerals, will require the help of allies, while others will be highly prioritized to grow domestically. Canada could benefit from something similar, she said. 

EVs & Energy Storage - September 21, 2022

Just over half of passenger cars sold in the US will be electric vehicles by 2030, according to a report from BloombergNEF, thanks in part to consumer incentives included in the $374 billion in new climate spending enacted by President Joe Biden…Those incentives, among them a point-of-sale tax credit of up to $7,500 for a new EV purchase, are likely to boost the pace of adoption, BloombergNEF analysts found in the report. Prior to passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August, projections for EV sales by 2030 2030 came in at 43% of the US market. With the climate-spending measure in place, that estimate was revised upwards to 52%..In 2021, electric vehicles accounted for less than 5% of sales in the US, below the global rate of nearly 9% and well below the adoption rate in countries like China, where plug-ins currently account for roughly 24% of new car sales…The three automakers with the most domestic battery production coming online in the near term—Tesla, GM, and Ford—are set to benefit most from the new law, according to the report. At the insistence of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, the IRA restricts the full $7,500 credit to vehicles assembled in North America, with additional phased-in thresholds for manufacturing batteries in North America…In the new report, analysts noted that these requirements “will take time to adjust to,” particularly as automakers contend with critical minerals and battery rules.

Reuters - September 22, 2022
California's choice of 2035 as the deadline to end gasoline-only new car sales was the "sweet spot" that will sharply cut emissions but was also realistic for the industry, the head of the state's clean air regulator said on Tuesday.

California's choice of 2035 as the deadline to end gasoline-only new car sales was the "sweet spot" that will sharply cut emissions but was also realistic for the industry, the head of the state's clean air regulator said on Tuesday…"We had to be cognizant of where the automakers are, where the supply chains are, where the production facilities are," California Air Resources Board (CARB) chair Liane Randolph told Reuters in an interview during Climate Week, a summit that takes place alongside the U.N. General Assembly...In August, CARB said it would require all new vehicles sold in California by 2035 to be electric or plug-in hybrid electrics (PHEVs) after Governor Gavin Newsom issued a 2020 executive order directing the move…President Joe Biden has called for 50% of all new vehicle sales by 2030 to be EVs or plug-in hybrids but not endorsed a phase-out date. - September 22, 2022
Dire predictions of blackouts in California during a fearsome heat wave this month never came to pass, with technology -- and a dose of community spirit -- helping the creaking grid through its most testing period ever.

Dire predictions of blackouts in California during a fearsome heat wave this month never came to pass, with technology -- and a dose of community spirit -- helping the creaking grid through its most testing period ever…The mercury topped 110 Fahrenheit (43 Celsius) on consecutive days, as a thrumming heat dome parked itself over the western United States…But the grid never failed, thanks in part to the state's quietly acquired battery fleet…"Batteries stepped in and... played a critical role" in rebalancing electricity demand, said Weikko Wirta, director of operations at AES Southland, a 400 megawatt installation at Long Beach near Los Angeles…The huge electricity storage facility, which resembles an enormous server farm, is one of the largest in the state…Sunny California has abundant solar energy at its disposal, and harnesses a growing amount of the rays that land on its rooftops…During daylight hours, solar and other renewables provide around 30 to 40 percent of the state's electricity needs…But as the sun dips, there can be a shortfall -- especially on very hot days when air conditioners are switched on as everyone gets home from work and school…"When the solar goes away at the end of the day, (batteries) stepped right in to fill that void between four o'clock in the afternoon... and 10 o'clock at night," said Wirta…Over the last two years, battery storage capacity has increased tenfold; at the peak of the heat wave, these batteries were able to put 3,300 megawatts into the grid…"That's more combined power than the state's largest power plant... which is rated at about 2200 megawatts," said Mike Ferry, research director at the UC San Diego Center for Energy Research.

Electrek - September 21, 2022
Chinese automaker Changan Automobile has launched a new electric vehicle that strongly resembles the Tesla Model 3, but it starts at just $ ...

Chinese automaker Changan Automobile has launched a new electric vehicle that strongly resembles the Tesla Model 3, but it starts at just $26,000…Tesla has had some issues with Chinese companies getting “inspired” by its designs in the past. Those vehicles are often referred to as “Tesla clones.”…Changan Automobile, a state-owned automaker, recently launched the Shenlan SL03, a small electric sedan. The front end of the vehicle where the bonnet meets the fascia looks very similar to the Tesla Model 3…The vehicle’s dimensions are also extremely similar to the Model 3. It is only about 4 inches longer, but it has virtually the same wheelbase, width, and height…Also, the interior is very minimalist and features a large horizontal center display like in the Model 3…The display also appears to feature a user interface that mirrors Tesla’s…Software features, especially the user interface, is the most often copied feature used by Tesla clones…In terms of specs, the base version comes with a range of 515 km (320 miles) based on the Chinese standard. A bigger battery pack is also available with a longer 705 km (438 miles) range…Those options are comparable to what Tesla used to offer before it stopped taking orders for the longer-range Model 3 in China – presumably because of an extended backlog of orders.

Reuters - September 21, 2022
Belgian firm Umicore sees its newly inaugurated battery materials plant in Poland potentially powering 3 million electric vehicles (EVs) in ...

Belgian firm Umicore sees its newly inaugurated battery materials plant in Poland potentially powering 3 million electric vehicles (EVs) in the second half of the decade, it said on Wednesday…The company said it saw potential to increase the plant's annual production capacity in gigawatt hours (GWh) to over 200 GWh in the second half of the decade, the equivalent of 3 million electric vehicles…"The current energy crisis will be a facilitator of electrification," Chief Executive Officer Mathias Miedreich said during a press conference, adding that "customers' electric vehicles are selling like never before"…Umicore is betting on supplying carmakers with battery materials to meet growing EV demand as the European Union pushes towards net-zero emissions…The new plant is powered by a nearby onshore wind farm, Umicore said.

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.