Discover why these are the top 5 mining companies in Canada
If you’ve consistently been following along to what’s been going on in the Canadian mining industry, then you may already be aware of the fact that the top 5 mining companies from last year have held onto their spots this year. In fact, these top performers are seeing revenues in the billions, meaning they must be doing something right.
Even though it’s appeared to be a rough couple of years for the global mining industry, as commodity prices continue to sag, investments are down, and projects are being stalled, some companies seem to still be turning a profit.
What are these companies doing differently and how have they managed to stay in the top spots for two years in a row? Even more so, will they find themselves in the same places next year?
A metals and mining company, Teck Resources Limited is mostly known as one of the largest diversified resources companies throughout Canada—a fact that has allowed it to rank in the top 5 and earn a profit. Furthermore, Teck is also known for many of its “best in class” and environmental and social performance achievements.
As one of the world’s larger producers of synthetic crude oil from oil sands, Syncrude Canada also happens to be the largest single source producer throughout the country. Originally formed as a research consortium in 1964, expansions and upgrades have taken place since its opening and continue to do so.
Based in Calgary, the Suncor Energy mine specializes in the production of synthetic crude oil from oil sands. Suncor holds the distinction of being the world’s largest producer of bitumen and own and operates refineries in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
2. Barrick Gold
While based out of Toronto, Barrick Gold is noted for being the largest gold mining company—in the entire world. Originating as a privately held North American oil and gas company, Barrick Gold has since evolved. Internationally recognized in the global mining industry, this company is considered to be quite the powerhouse.
1. Agrium Inc.
Agrium is a retail supplier of agriculture products and services North America, South America and even Australia. The company is known for providing a range of products, including nitrogen-based fertilizers, sulphur and phosphate-based fertilizers from potash mines in Saskatchewan and in Kapuskasing, Ontario, and in Conda, Idaho.
Only time will tell if these five Canadian mines will be able to hold off their competition and rank again next year. Of course, many factors will be considered, including time, the economy and resources. Stay tuned—in this industry, anything is possible!
RELATED TOPIC: Report: Is Canada’s mining industry facing a labor shortage?
[SOURCE: Canadian Mining Journal]
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.