News

CBMM champions another novel use for niobium: disc brakes
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Brazil’s CBMM published a study comparing the use of niobium versus molybdenum in disc brakes for vehicles. The company showed that 0.11% Nb can replace 0.22% Mo.

IEA: rising prices undermining critical material security
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The IEA released preliminary 2021 data that shows that spiking prices for critical materials are undermining the year-on-year reductions in technology costs that have been driving growth in clean energy uptake.

EU turns to offshore wind power to reinforce future energy security
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The EU has launched its REPowerEU action plan which includes significant investment commitments for offshore wind projects and infrastructure.

Another busy week for nickel in Indonesia
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Nickel Mines has started commissioning the fourth nickel pig iron rotary kiln electric furnace line at its Angel Nickel project, while China’s CNGR Advanced Material plans to invest in three new matte projects.

Heavy mineral sands operators capture monazite REE value
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Australian-based heavy-minerals-sand company, MRG Metals, announced its intention to explore for REEs and uranium across three exploration licenses in Mozambique.

Kibo to deploy VRFB energy storage in Southern Africa
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Kibo Energy has signed a five-year agreement with Enerox (CellCube) to develop and deploy long-duration energy storage solutions in Southern Africa.

Trident switches to lithium-ion technology
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The mining equipment OEM company is now providing lithium-powered batteries for locomotives used in global mining operations, offering improved performance and reducing emissions.

Manganese X reports positive PEA results
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Manganese X’s flagship Battery Hill project has received positive results for its PEA resulting in the go-ahead for phase II of the project.

Mining Indaba sees discussion of energy challenges & opportunities
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Mining Indaba returned to Cape Town following a two-year break owing to COVID-19. This year’s overarching theme was the ‘Evolution of African Mining: Investing in the Energy Transition, ESG, and the Economies’.

Gallium prices surge to decade highs
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With gallium demand soaring and metal producers holding firm in China, gallium prices have skyrocketed and are now up more than 50% year on year.  Prices now sit at over US$500/kg.

Rio Tinto starts tellurium production in USA
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Rio Tinto has started producing tellurium at its Kennecott copper operation in Utah, becoming one of only two US producers of the critical material used in advanced thin film photovoltaic solar panels.

IEA: rising costs slowing roll-out of renewable energy capacity
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The IEA has released its May 2022 update on Renewable Energy Markets, with rising costs for raw materials and transportation forecast to lead to the first year-on-year fall in new renewable capacity net additions in 2023.

Iron ore prices face downward pressures
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The 62% Fe iron ore price has been trending downwards since early April, falling around 18% and currently sitting at US$134/dmt CFR.  This trend reflects several negative developments, most centred on China.

Talen Energy places US facilities into bankruptcy
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Talen’s 18 nuclear, gas and coal power plants were put under the control of a group of unsecured bondholders, putting the future of around 13,000 megawatts of US electricity generating capacity at risk. 

Anglo American launches hydrogen-powered mine truck
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Anglo American has launched its first retrofitted hydrogen truck as part of its nuGEN Zero Emissions Haulage Solution (ZEHS) project aimed at decarbonising its mining operations.

MP Materials announces strong Q1 2022 results
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US-based MP Materials, the lone producer of rare earth materials in the Western hemisphere, announced financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2022.

Rio Tinto starts production of scandium oxide in Canada
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Rio has produced the first batch of high purity scandium oxide at its demonstration plant in Sorel-Tracy, becoming the first North American producer of the critical material.

Trafigura and Green Lithium sign supply agreement for UK refinery
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Commodity trading giant, Trafigura, has partnered with UK lithium processing company, Green Lithium, to supply and invest infor the latter’s centralised commercial lithium refinery in the UK. 

Is increased recycling of portable electronics viable?
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Increased and effective recycling of portable electronics offers a more sustainable source for key critical materials, such as gallium, indium, and rare earth elements.  However, change is unlikely to come quickly enough.

American Manganese LCA points to lower environmental impact
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American Manganese released preliminary life cycle assessment (LCA) results for its lithium-ion battery recycling-upcycling process, from sustainability and life cycle assessment consultancy, Minviro.

VRFB developer Enerox sets up US subsidiary
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The vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) player, known by its CellCube brand, is looking to target the North American market, having already signed a supply deal for electrolyte with US Vanadium.