May 17, 2020

Back on nights - Cliff Natural Resources to reopen Talconite mine, two months earlier than expected

Cliff Resources
Iron ore pellets
Minnesota mining
Dale Benton
2 min
Back on nights - Cliff Resources to reopen Minnesota mine, two months earlier than expected
The North American iron ore pellet supplier Cliff Natural Resources will restart operations this August, two months earlier than its expected October st...

The North American iron ore pellet supplier Cliff Natural Resources will restart operations this August, two months earlier than its expected October start date later this year.

The Talconite mining facility in Minnesota will restart operations earlier following a contact signed with U.S Steel Canada for a 10-year supply of iron ore pellet agreement.

As a result of the agreement, Cliff Natural Resources is expecting a far higher sales volume of 18million tons, instead of the previous forecast of 17.7 million.

Lourenco Goncalves, Cliffs' Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said:"We are very pleased to announce an increase of our pellet supply to U.S. Steel Canada, who became a new Cliffs' client in 2016. US Steel Canada used to be a captive client of its former parent company U.S. Steel Corporation. We are also very pleased to announce a higher sales guidance for 2016, thanks to this new business with U.S. Steel Canada, which came at a higher tonnage than we had previously anticipated."

The Talconite mining facility employs around 450 employees, all of which were out of work. The news means that they will be back in work sooner than expected, much to the delighte of Mr Goncalves.

"Most importantly, I am happy to bring our entire UTAC team back to work a lot earlier than previously announced last week." He added.

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Jul 20, 2021

British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars

3 min
The ever-increasing need for electric vehicles is mounting pressure on British Lithium as the 2035 deadline inches closer

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.

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