Aug 13, 2020

Russia looks for $1.5bn to up rare earth mineral production

rare earth mierals
Russia
China
mining
Jonathan Campion
1 min
The Russian government has stated its ambition to be the largest rare earth mineral producer after China by 2030
The Russian government has stated its ambition to be the largest rare earth mineral producer after China by 2030...

China is currently responsible for 63% of global rare earths production, and 37% of the world’s total reserves. Russia is one of many countries trying to wean itself off Chinese minerals, which are predominantly used in the communications, defence and energy industries. 

By comparison, Russia only accounts for 1.3% of global production, and owns 10% of global rare earth mineral reserves, equivalent to 12 million tonnes. 

The Russian government is supportive of foreign investment to increase the country’s share in the industry, and is offering investors cheaper loans and reduced mining taxes in order to facilitate this. Eleven projects throughout Russia have already been identified; these ventures will require $1.5bn (£1.15bn).

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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

Vale
Nickel
Manitoba
battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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