May 17, 2020

Newmont Mining Sells Stake in Penmont Joint Venture in Mexico for $450 Million

Newmont Mining
gold mine
2 min
Newmont Mining Sells Stake in Penmont Joint Venture in Mexico for $450 Million
Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) has signed an agreement to sell its 44 percent stake in the Penmont joint venture to Fresnillo plc for $450 millio...

Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) has signed an agreement to sell its 44 percent stake in the Penmont joint venture to Fresnillo plc for $450 million in cash.

As part of the deal, the UK-based Fresnillo will have full control of three mines and two advanced low-cost projects. The transaction will include 100 percent of the assets and liabilities including related gold properties La Herradura, Soledad-Dipolos and Noche Buena, which are located in the Sonora region of Mexico.

“We are pleased to announce our agreement with Fresnillo, which further strengthens Newmont's financial flexibility while allowing our partner to consolidate their position in the Herradura Corridor,” said Randy Engel , Newmont’s Executive Vice President for Strategic Development.

Newmont has sold $1.3 billion in assets after posting a record loss of $2.5 billion last year. The company is currentlyworking to cut costs in an effort to yield better returns for investors.

“Since last year, Newmont has generated $1.3 billion from the sale of non-core assets at fair value, thereby significantly improving our financial flexibility and better positioning us to fund the next generation of the Company’s profitable operations, such as Merian in Suriname.”

According to Fresnillo's Chief Executive Octavio Alvidrez, the move will increase the miner's 2018 gold production target by 50% to 750,000 troy ounces. 

Fresnillo is the world’s largest primary silver producer and Mexico’s second largest gold miner.

Find the full press release here:

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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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