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BNN Bloomberg - September 22, 2022

The Biden administration plans to use a gathering of resource-rich nations to spur new investment as part of its bid to shift the supply chain for rare-earths minerals away from China. The Minerals Security Partnership between the US, EU, Japan and other wealthy nations is holding a ministerial meeting Thursday at the United Nations General Assembly with nations that possess minerals such as lithium, manganese and cobalt…The developing nations taking part include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, the Philippines, Tanzania and Zambia. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to chair the meeting The initiative, launched in June, is designed to funnel investment toward developing countries with mining projects that adhere to stricter environmental, social and governance standards. “We created this to deal with a supply chain vulnerability that we’ve known has existed a long time,” Under Secretary of State Jose Fernandez said in an interview in New York. “But the pandemic has taught us that these vulnerabilities need to be addressed and minimized. And what we’re hoping to do is to galvanize investment, financing and other agreements.”…The critical mineral supply chain remains almost totally dominated by China, which controls most of the market for processing and refining minerals such as cobalt, lithium and other rare earths…In the coming months, the US intends to continue meeting with mineral-rich nations and identify some of the first mining projects to benefit from the minerals security pact.

U.S. House of Representatives - September 20, 2022
... September 20, 2022 Press Release Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) introduced the Monitoring and Investigating ...

Congressman Ken Calvert introduced the Monitoring and Investigating Nations Exploiting States (MINES) Act, H.R. 8911. The MINES Act would hold China and Russia accountable for their efforts to monopolize critical mineral resources around the world, particularly in developing nations…“Reliable access to critical minerals is essential to America’s economic and national security,” said Rep. Calvert. “The MINES Act will give the United States additional tools to assess the growing exploitation of critical minerals in small states by China and Russia. America must be clear-eyed about the Chinese and Russian aggression when it comes to consolidating critical mineral resources.”…“It’s hard to overstate just how tight of a stranglehold Russia and China are developing on resources supply chains worldwide,” said Ranking Member Westerman. “While the Biden administration locks up sustainable mining here in the U.S., our adversaries are wasting no time stepping into that void and controlling critical minerals around the globe. As our daily lives become more and more dependent on these minerals, supply chain instability becomes more and more of a national security issue. Congressman Calvert’s legislation would implement much-needed oversight on the actions of Russia, China, and other adversaries, directing USGS to provide regular reports to Congress so we can take appropriate action. We can’t afford to let this issue slide. It’s essential that we know exactly what’s going on overseas so we can eliminate long-term threats to America.”…Requires annual reports for the next five years on the role of Russia, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and state-sponsored companies in planning, financing, and operating critical minerals mines in countries on which the United States is dependent for mineral imports and evaluating the national security risks thereof…The Energy Act of 2020 (Public Law 116–260) defined critical minerals as those which are essential to the economic or national security of the United States; have a supply chain that is vulnerable to disruption; and serve an essential function in the manufacturing of a product, the absence of which would have significant consequences for the economic or national security of the United States.

EVs & Energy Storage - September 22, 2022

The world’s biggest maker of electric-vehicle batteries, China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., is considering a third factory in Europe, the company’s president in the region said…“We are thinking about this, but currently there is no clear decision or activity,” Matthias Zentgraf told Bloomberg News in an interview, saying internal discussions are already underway…The Ningde, Fujian-based company last month announced plans to build a second European EV battery plant in Hungary, investing 7.3 billion euros ($7.2 billion) in partnership with Mercedes-Benz Group AG. The facility has a planned output of 100 gigawatt hours and will also supply Volkswagen AG, BMW and Stellantis NV. CATL expects it to be ready within five years…CATL has maintained a lead over rivals, including the world’s second-biggest cell producer LG Energy Solution Ltd…The battery maker has also been looking at sites in Mexico and the US to supply Tesla Inc., Ford Motor Co. and others, though that process has been delayed in part due to political tensions between China and the US, Bloomberg reported in August. - September 23, 2022
Belgian chemical producer Umicore this week opened Europe's first battery cathode active materials gigafactory, a move that may start to ease fears about Europe's reliance on Asia for battery chemicals but still leaves a long way to go before full supply chain resilience is in sight.

Belgian chemical producer Umicore this week opened Europe's first battery cathode active materials gigafactory, a move that may start to ease fears about Europe's reliance on Asia for battery chemicals but still leaves a long way to go before full supply chain resilience is in sight…Since the founding of the European Battery Alliance five years ago, there have been a succession of announcements in Europe about battery gigafactories. So far, announced battery gigafactory capacities in Europe are about 522GWh by 2025, according to data collected by Argus, but not a single mass-scale cathode-active material plant has opened until now. Argus expects European electric vehicle (EV) sales to increase to 8.67mn by 2030, a rise from just 2.26mn in 2021…There are others on the way. BASF, the European chemical giant, has two plants under construction in Europe. It broke ground on a plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, in late-2020 and plans to open later this year, expanding by 2024. Another plant in Harjavalta, Finland, is expected to fully open in 2023. In total, both will provide enough cathode-active materials for 400,000 vehicles…Much of the interest around gigafactories and the surrounding supply chains has been around EVs, but cathode-active materials will also play a role in energy storage, an industry necessary to energy transition. 

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.