Ajax Mine Project denied by Secwepemc Nation
The official wo...
This week the Stk’emplupsemec te Secwepmc Nation (SSN) released an official announcement regarding a copper-gold mine project in Canada.
The official word was a big no, or for the exact wording; “the SSN does not give its free, prior and informed consent to the development of the lands and resources at Pipsell for the purposes of the Ajax Mine Project.”
"We say no to this project in order to say yes to the health of our community members and our neighbours in Kamloops and surrounding area. For our two communities united through SSN, it does not make sense to sacrifice for all time all that we have in Pípsell to obtain limited benefits which will last for only 25 years. Many impacts were not and cannot be monetized including the adverse impacts on our cultural heritage as well as impacts on the environment." - Fred Seymour, Chief, Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc
So, what is the Ajax Mine Project?
The Ajax Mine Project is a state-of-the-art mining and environmental technologies project, incorporating the Ajax Mine and processing facilities.
Developed by KGHM International Ltd, the project will consist of an open pit mine on the historic Ajaz-Afton mine site located on the Secwepemc territory near the city limits of Kamloops.
KGHM has planned an annual production of 109 million pounds of copper and 99,000 ounces of gold, a 60,000 tonne per-day processing capacity over a 20-year mine life.
Exploration and mining at the site dates back as far as 1888, where it is believed that coal was mined in the area until the 1890’s where gold, silver and copper were discovered.
Almost 100 years later, weak copper prices lead to a three-year hiatus, with no production activity taking place until 1994.
KGHM International, a wholly owned subsidiary if KGHM.SA, became the sole operators of the Ajax Project in in 2012.
The KGHM Group operates nine mines in Poland, Canada, USA and Chile as well as 4 projects in the investment and pre-investment phase, including Ajax and Victoria projects located in Sudbury, Canada.
Owing to its global expansion, KGHM has access to key global resources including copper, silver, gold, rhenium, nickel, platinum group metals and molybdenum. The knowledge and experience of KGHM employees allow to extract and process valuable natural resources, making it possible to develop modern world.
The March 2017 issue of Mining Global is now live!
Get in touch with our editor Dale Benton at [email protected]
British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars
The British demand for lithium is set to reach 75,000 tonnes by 2035 as the government works towards their ban on the sale of high-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles within the UK. This comes as automakers worldwide continue to insist on the benefits electric vehicles will have on slowing the rate of climate change.
It is estimated that the UK will require 50,000-60,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year by 2035 for battery production to satisfy government needs. This is assuming production remains at 1.2 million vehicles per year, and the amount of lithium required does not increase.
British Lithium, which hopes to begin constructing a quarry to produce 20,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year in a $400 million investment, are not without competitors, both within the UK and abroad.
Competition For Lithium Rises In Europe
After only five years after its initial launch, Cornish Lithium is setting its sights on becoming a UK powerhouse in mining lithium, aiming to begin commercial production in under four years. Jeremy Wrathall, a former investment banker and current managing director of Cornish Lithium, had the future in mind when founding the company.
“In 2016, I started to think about the electric vehicle revolution and what that would mean for metal demand, and I started to think about lithium,” he said in an interview with AFP. “A friend of mine mentioned lithium being identified in Cornwall, and I just wondered if that was a sort of unrecognised thing in the UK.”
Lithium was first discovered in Cornwall around 1864 and has not been mined again since 1914 when it was produced as an ingredient in fireworks. Now, however, Cornish Lithium is reportedly in the testing stage to see if the metal can be produced commercially to meet the growing demand required for the electric car sector.
Despite Cornwall’s close historic ties to mining lithium, Wrathall insists that the project is purely commercial.
Cornish Mining Revival For Lithium Production
“It’s not a mission that drives me to the point of being emotional or romantic,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we do get this technology otherwise Europe has got no lithium supply.”
The European Commission has also stated their goal to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to aid the environment. That being said, the majority of lithium extraction currently relies on power provided by environmentally damaging fossil fuels─a slight contradiction.
Alex Keynes, from the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment, is adamant that mining for lithium should be done sustainably.
“Our view is that medium-to-long term, the majority of materials including lithium should come from efficient and clean recycling.
“Europe from a strategic point of view should be looking at securing its own supply of lithium.”
Despite growing competition from abroad, British Lithium Chairman, Roderick Smith, continues to place importance on the mining of lithium within the UK.
“Imagine what the UK economy would look like if we lost our automotive industry,” Smith says. “The stakes are high for the UK.”
Smith expects the UK to compete with other European countries to secure a lithium battery plant in the near future.