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The Investing News Network takes a look at why electric vehicles have been such a hot topic in the Australian federal election.
Australians will soon vote in a federal election that will see the center-right Coalition defend its two term stint in government, and the resources industry has popped up all over the campaign.
A key issue of debate has been electric vehicles (EVs), with party leaders squaring off and taking potshots at each other over clean energy targets, EV incentives, infrastructure and prices, which are all talking points among analysts in regards to when the “EV boom” will hit.
Incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken aim at his counterpart’s approach to all of the above, accusing Opposition Leader Bill Shorten of the Australian Labor Party of wanting to take away choice when it comes to vehicles, name dropping brands that will supposedly become unaffordable if EV sales targets are introduced.
Meanwhile, the Labor Party has announced plans to support the battery metals sector in a statement that seeks to spin the clean energy side of the story, though its approach is more through encouraging the development of a manufacturing, export and investment strategy for batteries themselves.
So who said what?
Back to the electioneering. Morrison’s issue is with the Labor Party’s proposal for a 50 percent EV sales target by 2030 — a variant of a policy that has become more and more popular with jurisdictions around the world as they seek to tackle emissions targets.
“(Labor is) taking the choices away from Australians of what car they are going to drive,” said Morrison, before the election even kicked off.
He accused the party of wanting to “end the weekend” by making popular SUVs and trucks unavailable, saying that is Coalition is not anti-EV, but it opposes Labor’s approach, which he called “mandatory.”
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott — whose successor Morrison succeeded (it’s complicated) — ran away with the idea that EVs represent zero choice for Australians, saying in a debate that proposals for targets would mean “no Hiluxes, no Taragos, no SUVs, no utes.”
So, there are plenty of hot takes on electric vehicles in Australia at the moment.
Labor’s policy details both carrot and stick approaches to increasing electric vehicle uptake, including government-imposed sales targets for EVs (stick) and tax reductions for businesses that switch to EVs (carrot), alongside regulatory reforms.
The proposed reforms would include the development of emissions standards that would allow retailers to offset sales of higher emission vehicles with sales of lower emission vehicles.
Morrison name dropped popular models from Ford (NYSE:F), Toyota (NYSE:TM,TSE:7203), Mazda (OTC Pink:MZDAF,TSE:7261) and Hyundai (OTC Pink:HYMTF,KRX:005380) as “vehicles which will not measure up to Bill Shorten’s vehicles emissions standard, and they’re the vehicles that will be ultimately outlawed.”
Korean carmaker Hyundai did not respond well to being named in the election campaign, warning against “fear-mongering” from politicians and defending its commitment to the electrification of its portfolio with additional EV models available to Australian buyers.
“During the election, we hope the conversation goes away from the fear-mongering and misleading to actual facts,” said Hyundai Australia’s government relations officer, Scott Nargar.
Meanwhile, Toyota piped up to make it clear it isn’t too happy about featuring in Facebook attack ads paid for by the government implying that the Labor Party is going to prevent consumers from buying vehicles like its Hilux truck.
The company added that it plans to offer electric versions of all its models within the next six years — including the Hilux.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) welcomed not just the Labor Party’s policy on EVs, but the fact that EVs are being talked about so much in this election cycle.
“It’s fantastic to see this important topic receive the attention it deserves,” said Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI.
“We have been calling for the implementation of an achievable emissions target for some time, so we welcome the opportunity to discuss this in more detail. The key is to implement achievable emissions targets, designed in consultation with industry, as part of the transport sector’s contribution to lower overall emissions.”
Weber also said that the FCAI, having observed European markets, believes that infrastructure support and government incentives are necessary to achieve higher EV uptake, cautioning that Labor’s 50 percent sales target is “ambitious.”
“A well thought out introductory plan that includes tariff and tax relief, financial and non-financial incentives and the provision of comprehensive infrastructure will need to be implemented if the targets are to be achieved.”
The Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) said much the same.
“Achieving a target of 50 per cent of new car sales is ambitious and will require a significant improvement in affordability of electric vehicles and related charging infrastructure,” said AADA CEO David Blackhall.
However, Blackhall and the AADA said that emissions standards targets must be aimed at manufacturers, rather than retailers, as envisaged in Labor’s plan, to allow them to balance sales of lower and higher emission vehicles.
“In the US and the EU, it is the manufacturer, not the retailer, that needs to adhere to vehicle emissions standards,” said Blackhall.
Will politicking have an impact on sentiment?
Way upstream from where most of the demand for lithium-ion batteries comes from, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) told the Investing News Network that Australia can expect to see higher demand for the country’s critical elements given how well it could cater to the development of advanced consumer products.
“This growing demand will allow Australia’s minerals sector to continue to deliver highly paid, highly skilled jobs and generate export income that benefits households and businesses across the nation,” said a spokesperson for the MCA.
They also said that political discourse is little to be concerned about.
“Most Australians support our world class minerals industry. Australia’s minerals industry is poised to deliver lasting economic benefits through cutting edge research and global commercialization opportunities.”
Alternative energy vehicles are very much a part of that, they added.
“The resources sector is making a critical contribution to reducing emissions from passenger vehicles and reducing our reliance on imported liquid fuels.”
Buyers and their choices of vehicles are a long way downstream in the resources industry, but carmakers themselves have been shifting into war footings as they compete for the hearts (and wallets) of buyers the world over, notably making efforts to lock down battery metals supplies and suppliers as demand begins to pick up on a global scale.
One of the biggest shifts in securing battery resources was BMW’s (OTC Pink:BMWYY,ETR:BMW) deal to source cobalt directly from Glencore’s (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) Murrin Murrin cobalt mine in Western Australia, as well as from assets in Morocco.
While this is a step away from ethically murky sources in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in a note released by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, experts stated that the 5,000 tonnes of cobalt produced by the Australian and Moroccan mines per year is enough to produce 350,000 electric vehicles.
“To put that into perspective, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.5 million vehicles in 2018, of which 140,000 were electrified models,” they said. BMW is, of course, not the only carmaker in the electric vehicle game — so there could be a fight on the cards as noted by Benchmark.
“(BMW’s) actions could potentially initiate the start of a premium market for non-DRC cobalt within the downstream industry. As the limited amount of non-DRC production is locked up in long-term deals by cell manufacturers and auto makers, producers with non-DRC operations will take the opportunity to command higher prices.”
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.
Highlights: – Former Xstrata plc executive, Mr. Ian Woolsey, has joined Jervois as Group Manager Information Technology – Mr. Woolsey will lead the IT integration of Freeport Cobalt in Finland, Idaho Cobalt Operations in the United States and the São Miguel Paulista nickel-cobalt refinery in Brazil – Mr. Woolsey joins Jervois after more than 10 years with Glencore Xstrata where he led the IT integration of major …
– Former Xstrata plc executive, Mr. Ian Woolsey, has joined Jervois as Group Manager Information Technology (“IT”)
– Mr. Woolsey will lead the IT integration of Freeport Cobalt in Finland, Idaho Cobalt Operations in the United States and the São Miguel Paulista nickel-cobalt refinery in Brazil
– Mr. Woolsey joins Jervois after more than 10 years with Glencore Xstrata where he led the IT integration of major cross-border transactions including the Xstrata acquisition of MIM Holdings, Falconbridge and the Xstrata-Glencore merger
TheNewswire – 8 September 2021 – Jervois Global Limited (“ Jervois ” or the “ Company ”) (ASX:JRV) (TSXV:JRV) (OTC:JRVMF) is pleased to announce Mr. Ian Woolsey has joined as Group Manager (“ GM ”) – Information Technology (“ IT ”).
Mr. Woolsey has over 30 years of global experience across IT Strategy and Planning, ERP Program Management, Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer roles across the Resources and Government sectors, including a decade of CIO / IT leadership experience with Glencore Xstrata. He has a proven track record in:
– Global ERP strategy and implementation;
– IT transformational change, including post-M&A integration for rapid delivery of synergies; and
– Executive management of the IT function with significant resources and expenditure, across diverse functions, cultures, and geographies.
Mr. Woolsey joined Xstrata plc in 2003 as the Global IT Projects Manager, responsible for the implementation of standard IT infrastructure across 10 business units in 7 countries. He transitioned to Toronto, Canada in 2006, with responsibility for delivering the successful IT integration of the newly acquired Falconbridge business. In 2008, Mr Woolsey transferred to Xstrata Nickel as General Manager Business Services, where he led the successful deployment of an integrated SAP solution for Xstrata Nickel’s global operations, across 7 sites in 4 languages.
This included coverage for Xstrata’s Integrated Nickel Operations, which included the custom feed and intermediate purchasing and recycling division, Xstrata Nickel International Limited, ran by current Jervois commercial executive Mr. Klaus Wollhaf.
Mr. Woolsey returned to Australia in 2012 as General Manager Business Systems and Integration for Xstrata Coal, then led IT integration efforts across Glencore Copper following the sale of Xstrata to Glencore in 2013.
Prior to Xstrata, Ian was an Associate Partner with Accenture, working across Australia and Asia for more than a decade, and began his career with IBM Australia.
Since 2014 when he left Glencore, Mr. Woolsey has continued to focus on delivering ERP-enabled transformation initiatives for Mining and Public Sector organisations. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) and Master of Commerce (Economics) from the University of New South Wales, Australia.
Jervois is pleased to welcome an operating executive of Mr. Woolsey’s caliber as it implements the requisite IT systems, reporting and governance controls across its expanding portfolio of operating assets.
On behalf of Jervois Global Limited
Bryce Crocker, CEO
For further information, please contact:
Investors and analysts:
Chief Financial Officer
Mob: +61 420 582 887
This news release may contain certain “Forward-Looking Statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used in this news release, the words “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “target, “plan”, “forecast”, “may”, “schedule”, “expected” and other similar words or expressions identify forward-looking statements or information. These forward-looking statements or information may relate to integration of businesses into the Jervois group and certain other factors or information. Such statements represent Jervois’ current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by Jervois, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social risks, contingencies and uncertainties. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Jervois does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements or information to reflect changes in assumptions or changes in circumstances or any other events affections such statements and information other than as required by applicable laws, rules and regulations.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Copyright (c) 2021 TheNewswire – All rights reserved.
News Provided by TheNewsWire via QuoteMedia
AustralianSuper announces that it acquired 47,534,965 ordinary shares in the capital of Jervois Mining Limited on 27 October 2020 and a further 13,120,773 Shares on 3 December 2020 such that immediately following the second acquisition, AustralianSuper held a total of 108,450,700 of the issued and outstanding Shares in Jervois. The Shares were acquired pursuant to private placements by Jervois to institutional and …
AustralianSuper announces that it acquired 47,534,965 ordinary shares (“Shares”) in the capital of Jervois Mining Limited (ASX: JRV) (TSXV: JRV) (“Jervois”) on 27 October 2020 and a further 13,120,773 Shares on 3 December 2020 such that immediately following the second acquisition, AustralianSuper held a total of 108,450,700 (or approximately 13.71%) of the issued and outstanding Shares in Jervois.
The Shares were acquired pursuant to private placements by Jervois to institutional and sophisticated investors. The average purchase price per Share was AUD0.305/ CAD0.29 for an aggregate total purchase consideration of AUD18.5 million/ CAD17.6 million .
The head office of Jervois is located at Suite 508, 737 Burwood Road, Hawthorn East, Victoria , 3123, Australia .
AustralianSuper acquired the Shares for investment purposes in the normal course of its business and not with the purpose of influencing the control or direction of Jervois. AustralianSuper may in the future, subject to market conditions, make additional investments in or dispositions of Jervois’ securities for investment purposes.
This news release is issued by AustralianSuper pursuant to National Instrument 62-104 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids of the Canadian Securities Administrators. AustralianSuper will file a report in respect of its acquisition of Shares with the applicable securities commission or securities regulator in each Canadian jurisdiction in which Jervois is a reporting issuer. A copy of the report may be obtained from Janine Cooper (phone: +61 3 8677 3203) at Level 33/50 Lonsdale Street Melbourne , Victoria , 3000, Australia . AustralianSuper has also made the necessary disclosures on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
AustralianSuper is Australia’s largest superannuation fund and is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. AustralianSuper manages more than A$200 billion of members’ retirement savings on behalf of more than 2.3 million members from around 333,000 businesses as at 30 November 2020 .
View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/January2021/06/c5867.html
News Provided by Canada Newswire via QuoteMedia
Australia is the world's third biggest producer of cobalt, and as companies look for ethical cobalt sources outside the DRC, the country's role will continue to grow.
Cobalt prices have been trending up this past year, with analysts remaining bullish on the key raw material, which is used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Demand is soaring as the electronics industry comes to rely on cobalt, and its use will only increase as the world continues to digitise and electrify.
EV sales are on the rise, and these vehicles require lithium-ion batteries to run. Typically around 9 kilograms of cobalt are used to manufacture each battery, and one battery alone can have as much as 20 kilograms. As long as demand for EVs continues to go up, so too will demand for cobalt — and the EV boom has only just begun.
Cobalt is also key in several different alloys with a variety of uses, including in gas turbine engines and magnets. Particularly tough cobalt alloys, such as tungsten carbide and chromium-cobalt, can be used to cut and drill steel.
So where should keen investors look for exposure to this promising metal? The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has long been the top producer of cobalt worldwide; according to the US Geological Survey, it accounted for about 70 percent of cobalt production in 2021.
However, the DRC’s mining industry is known for unsustainable mining practices and unchecked labour abuses, including child labour. The country cannot maintain its current level of production indefinitely, and many conscious investors are seeking more ethical alternatives.
Australia is one such alternative. Australia contains about 18 percent of global cobalt reserves, but is currently responsible for only about 3 percent of global cobalt output. Between the country’s sustainable mining practices and its de-risked ventures, Australia is a great pick for shrewd investors interested in the cobalt-mining industry.
Cobalt in Australia: The history of cobalt mining
Cobalt has been used since antiquity for its bright blue colouration, but the metal was only officially discovered in 1742 by Swedish chemist Georg Brandt.
Up until 1874, European mineral deposits were the primary sites of cobalt production. That year, Europe was overtaken by New Caledonia, and in 1905 Canadian deposits pulled ahead. Since around 1920, the DRC has been a major global producer of cobalt, and its cobalt-mining legacy has continued to this day. Another contemporary cobalt behemoth, China, has only made its mark as a leading producer within the last couple of decades.
In the early 20th century, cobalt’s primary application began shifting away from cosmetic purposes and toward technological pursuits. For example, in 1930, cobalt alloys containing a mixture of cobalt, aluminium, nickel and iron were first used to make high-powered permanent magnets. Other alloys were soon discovered to have varied uses for building electrical equipment and electronic devices.
Cobalt is mainly found in compounds, such as cobalt arsenide, cobalt sulfarsenide and hydrated arsenate, and it is predominantly used for alloy production. Generally, cobalt does not come from cobalt mines — in fact, 98 percent of global cobalt is a by-product from nickel and copper mines. Copper mines account for about 60 percent of global cobalt output, and nickel mines around 38 percent.
Cobalt in Australia: The Australian landscape
According to Australia’s 2020 list of critical minerals projects, there are 68 cobalt-focused projects across Australia.
The largest is Glencore’s (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) Murrin Murrin nickel-cobalt mine, which launched in 1998 and is located in the Northeastern Goldfields region of Western Australia. The mine produces an impressive 66.7 percent of the country’s cobalt. Unlike other mines, many of which suffered a decline in cobalt output during the pandemic, Murrin Murrin experienced an uptick in production, which rose 14 percent year-over-year in 2020.
Murrin Murrin uses conventional open-pit mining for its resource extraction, and it processes and refines cobalt ore on site. In 2021, the mine produced about 30,100 tonnes of nickel, alongside 2,500 tonnes of cobalt by-product.
In 2021, Glencore produced a total of around 31,300 tonnes of cobalt between all of its operations, including those in the DRC. In addition to production, the company also processes and recycles cobalt-containing materials.
Another notable cobalt project in the country is the Broken Hill cobalt project, a new mining endeavour owned by Cobalt Blue Holdings (ASX:COB,OTC Pink:CBBHF). This project is unique for its emphasis on cobalt production — cobalt will be directly produced on site, rather than extracted as a by-product of nickel.
The Broken Hill project is anticipated to have an output of around 4,000 tonnes of cobalt annually over a 20 year mine lifespan. Broken Hill’s cobalt production process will include concentration, leaching, calcining and project recovery, and the site expects annual sulphur output of 300,000 tonnes, which will hike up the project’s value.
Importantly, Broken Hill will both produce and refine its cobalt — a welcome change from sending the raw material to another country, most often China, for refinement. This practice will reduce the unethical labour practices along the chain of production.
Many other top cobalt-producing companies have active sites in Australia, including Panoramic Resources (ASX:PAN,OTC Pink:PANRF), Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ,OTCQB:AMSLF) and Clean TeQ Holdings (ASX:CNQ). These ventures are all top nickel miners and strong producers of cobalt as a by-product.
Cobalt in Australia: The future down under
The Australian government is enthusiastic about the country’s move toward mining critical minerals, establishing a Critical Minerals Facilitation Office in January 2020 as part of a push for its burgeoning minerals sector.
Currently, Australia is the third biggest producer of cobalt worldwide, at 5,600,000 tonnes in 2021.
According to a 2020 report by Fitch Solutions, cobalt mining in Australia continues to look up. It predicts that the next decade will see a spike in Australian cobalt production, with expected average output growth of 5.3 percent per year from 2021 to 2029, as compared to average output growth of only 2.4 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Moreover, despite the fact that Australia is the third largest cobalt producer worldwide, it has the second largest reserves of cobalt. This means that the country has the potential to scale up its production slowly and sustainably, situating itself as a major world player.
Between the exploding EV market and the continued trend toward electronics sales and digitization, cobalt will likely remain a hot commodity in the mining world for years to come. Investors should be paying close attention to cobalt production, and particularly to cobalt mining in Australia, where strong cobalt output, new mining ventures and sustainable extraction practices are setting the country up for long-term success.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2021.
Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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HIGHLIGHTS: -James May becomes Jervois’ CFO after almost 15 years in leadership roles with Rio Tinto -Mr May’s most recent role in Rio Tinto was as Interim Vice President, Sales and Marketing for the Energy & Minerals portfolio, based in Singapore -Mr May was also previously the CFO of Energy Resources of Australia Limited, an ASX-listed uranium miner, majority owned by Rio Tinto -Mr May also worked in various …
-James May becomes Jervois’ CFO after almost 15 years in leadership roles with Rio Tinto
-Mr May’s most recent role in Rio Tinto was as Interim Vice President, Sales and Marketing for the Energy & Minerals portfolio, based in Singapore
-Mr May was also previously the CFO of Energy Resources of Australia Limited, an ASX-listed uranium miner, majority owned by Rio Tinto
-Mr May also worked in various business development and finance roles with Rio Tinto and prior to that commenced his career with Deloitte in the United Kingdom
25 November 2020 – TheNewswire – Jervois Mining Limited (” Jervois ” or the ” Company “) (ASX: JRV) (TSX-V: JRV) (OTC: JRVMF) announces the appointment of James May as Chief Financial Officer (” CFO “) / Executive General Manager (” EGM “) Finance, as it advances the financing and construction of its Idaho Cobalt Operations (” ICO “) in the United States and restart of the Sao Miguel Paulista (” SMP “) refinery in Sao Paulo, Brazil .
Mr May joins Jervois with more than 20 years of experience in the global resources industry. He began his career with Deloitte in London within its energy and resources division, before joining Rio Tinto in 2006.
At Rio Tinto, Mr May spent time in a variety of global positions of increasing seniority, culminating in the role of Interim Vice President – Sales and Marketing, for the Energy and Minerals sales portfolio, based in Singapore. The role is responsible for commodity sales generating more than US$2 billion of revenue annually. Mr May was also responsible for new business initiatives and marketing projects for the portfolio, including the evaluation of commercial opportunities in lithium and other battery metals.
Prior to moving to Singapore in 2018, Mr May spent four years in Darwin as Chief Financial Officer of Energy Resources of Australia Limited, an ASX-listed uranium miner majority owned by Rio Tinto. In this role he was responsible for leadership of all finance, commercial, business development and governance activities.
Mr May also spent time in corporate roles with Rio Tinto as part of the group business development team focused on corporate strategy, M&A and related projects, and in roles with group finance.
Mr May is an outstanding executive to join Jervois, and his financial, commercial, and marketing experience will be of enormous value to the Company. He will be based in Melbourne, Australia, and will start on 1 March 2021.
Mr May will be supported by a new Group Controller, Craig Morrison. Mr Morrison is currently Group Financial Controller for an Australian agriculture business with revenues approaching A$200 million, where he oversees all finance and accounting operations. Previously, Mr Morrison was Group Financial Reporting Manager based in London, United Kingdom, for a NASDAQ-listed LNG midstream infrastructure company with a market capitalization of approximately US$1 billion. Mr Morrison will also be based in Melbourne, Australia.
From 1 March 2021, Jess Birtcher will relinquish his position as Acting CFO and pass these responsibilities to Mr May, which will allow Mr Birtcher to focus on his ICO Finance Manager role ahead of a restart of construction activities on site in Salmon, Idaho, in Q2 2021.
On behalf of Jervois Mining Limited
Bryce Crocker, CEO.
For further information, please contact:
Investors and analysts:
Chief Executive Officer
Mob: +61 420 582 887
“Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.”
Copyright (c) 2020 TheNewswire – All rights reserved.
News Provided by TheNewsWire via QuoteMedia
Blackstone Minerals is pleased to announce the completion of the PFS for the development of a Downstream Refinery in Northern Vietnam.
Downstream Pre-feasibility Study (PFS) confirms technically and economically robust hydrometallurgical refining process to upgrade nickel sulfide concentrate to produce battery grade Nickel: Cobalt: Manganese (NCM) 811 Precursor for the Lithium-ion battery industry.
- Base Case
Post-tax NPV8 of US$2.01bn and internal rate of return (IRR) of 67%
- Spot Case
Post-tax NPV8 of US$3.51bn and internal rate of return (IRR) of 98%
Base Case Economics
- Upfront Project Capital of US$491m paid back in 1.5 years from first production
- Life-of-Operations revenue of US$14.0bn and operating cash flow of US$4.5bn
- Average annual operating cash flow of US$451m
- Average annual post-tax cash flow of US$365m
- Life-of-operations All-in Cost of US$11,997/ t NCM811 as compared to study weighted average forecast price on sale of NCM811 of US$16,397/ t NCM811 and current Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) spot price of US$19,559/t NCM811
Base Case Physicals
- Refinery capacity of 400ktpa
- 10-year life-of-Operations aligned with the Ban Phuc Disseminated orebody and availability of known third party concentrate feed (3PF)
- Average annual refined nickel output of 43.5ktpa
- Average annual NCM811 Precursor Production of 85.6ktpa
- First production currently targeted in 2024 and ramp up to steady state operations currently forecast to be achieved in CY 2026
- 3.9Mt of concentrate feed with average Ni in concentrate grade of 11.5%, Co in concentrate grade of 0.3% and Cu in concentrate grade of 1.1%
- Average annual copper by-product of 4.1ktpa
Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX, OTC:BLSTF) (“Blackstone” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the completion of the PFS for the development of a Downstream Refinery in Northern Vietnam (“Ta Khoa Refinery Project”, “TKR” or the “Project”).
The PFS is a critical milestone for the Company and reiterates the competitive advantages of nickel sulfide projects and adding value via an integrated downstream processing strategy. The PFS demonstrates that a very low capital intensity is required for the TKR to produce Class I nickel at a scale that would make Blackstone a globally significant producer.
The PFS considers a refinery design to process up to 400ktpa (Base Case) of nickel concentrate, confirming a technically and economically robust flow sheet to upgrade nickel sulfide concentrate to produce battery grade NCM811 Precursor for the Lithium-ion battery industry.
Blackstone’s development strategy is supported by using 3PF to supplement nickel concentrate supply from the Ta Khoa Nickel Project. Concentrate feed from Blackstone’s Ban Phuc Disseminated Sulfide (DSS) orebody forms part of the overall concentrate blend. With ongoing drilling and further exploration success Blackstone believes the Base Case Refinery has the potential to be fed entirely by feedstock from the Ta Khoa Nickel Project.
The Company’s decision to proceed with the development of the Ta Khoa Refinery is contingent upon a number of factors including but not limited to future exploration success at Blackstone’s flagship Ta Khoa Mine, the ability to secure offtake for 3PF and consumer demand for battery grade NCM811 Precursor. Indicative quantum and concentrate specifications have been received from all 3PF concentrate Blackstone has included in this PFS for the Base Case TKR. Based on current and confidential discussions, BSX believes it can secure sufficient supply to meet the demand for the Base Case TKR.
The Company intends to develop and fund the construction of the TKR via a collaborative
partnership-based model. Blackstone’s intention is to retain a significant interest in the TKR and expects that its portion of funding will be met through a combination of debt, equity, and offtake financing.
Blackstone has commenced funding discussions with multiple potential partners, including NCM consumers and concentrate suppliers to jointly participate in the funding of the proposed refinery. Further, Blackstone has been approached by a number of financial advisors interested in supporting Blackstone’s funding strategy.
The Company is immediately progressing approval to commence the next phase of Definitive Feasibility Studies and pilot plant testing (in Vietnam) and is currently targeting a Final Investment Decision (FID) in CY2022.
Blackstone Managing Director Scott Williamson said the Company’s strategy to build a
downstream refinery in Vietnam is amid a very supportive ESG, macroeconomic and fiscal
backdrop. The electric vehicle revolution has accelerated demand for green nickelTM and the delivery of the PFS is an important milestone towards achieving Blackstone’s vision to integrate lithium-ion battery supply chains and enable a green solution from mine to consumer.
“The Base Case PFS financial outcomes are compelling based on an NCM811 Precursor price forecast that is conservative compared to current observable market rates. The internal rate of return on capital invested is exceptional for the Base Case, owing to very low capital intensity, a significant premium available when upgrading nickel sulfide concentrates into battery grade NCM811 Precursor and the competitive operating advantages in Vietnam, which include access to low-cost renewable hydro power.”
“Blackstone is very pleased by the level of collaboration with the Vietnamese Government to
progress the Company’s downstream refinery. As part of the PFS Blackstone completed a
location study to identify preferred Refinery locations, with each of the shortlisted potential
Refinery locations offering significant corporate tax incentives. The corporate tax incentives
offered are a strong signal for the Vietnamese Government support for Foreign Direct Investment and Blackstone’s downstream refinery strategy.”
“The Base Case Refinery represents Management’s view of the scale of operations that could over time, through exploration success, be supported by the Company’s existing nickel sulfide mineralised landholdings. Economics have been presented assuming a ten-year life-of operations, aligned with known and desired life-of-mine for 3PF concentrate sources that
Blackstone aims to secure offtake. Management considers the more likely scenario is that the Refinery life will extend beyond ten years.”
Read the full article here.
Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans said, “Canada and the US are working feverishly to develop an internal battery materials supply chain and we think we're going to play a critical role in that.”
Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans: Sustainable Hardrock Lithium Opportunities in Quebec youtu.be
Winsome Resources (ASX:WR1) CEO Chris Evans joined the Investing News Network to discuss the company and its Cancet lithium project in Quebec, Canada.
"We listed on the ASX on November 30, 2021," he explained. "We're lithium focused but based in Canada, and we've been pretty successful in the last six months — our share price has done well. I think I've been putting this down to the success factors which we possess as a company, including the fact that we're into lithium at a moment with high demand. Any mining company that's associated with lithium has tended to do well.
“Our assets are in Quebec, a fantastic mining jurisdiction for all sorts of reasons. Also, being listed on the ASX — Australian investors tend to like early stage plays a bit better. They've certainly woken up to the electric vehicle and lithium revolution that's occurring in the world. And it's a pleasure having the assets in Canada.”
Next, Evans got into specifics about the company's flagship project. “The Cancet project is our flagship, in the James Bay region of Quebec. All our projects are hard-rock lithium; that's digging the rocks out of the ground and concentrating the lithium in them. Then it gets converted into the final product, which is lithium carbonate or hydroxide, that then goes into electric vehicle batteries,” he explained.
“Cancet’s had about 5,500 metres of drilling done on it historically, so we know that there's a great deposit of lithium at fantastic grades. It outcrops on the surface, the lithium-containing spodumene from the pegmatite rock, where we have 3.7 percent lithium oxide over a 17 metre interval from the surface at our most successful drill hole. We just completed 2,000 metres of drilling ourselves, increasing our knowledge of the orebody that's there, and also looking for extensions to the orebody. We've got 395 claims, and our drilling and exploration is only over about 15 of the claims. So we've got a lot further to look here and a lot more to develop.”
As for supply location, and the company's relationship with the international market, Evans said, “We think it's fantastic for us, and our shareholders, that we have assets in Quebec. Roughly 50 percent of the world's hard-rock lithium comes from Australia, where it’s mined and concentrated. The problem is that final conversion into lithium carbonate or hydroxide all occurs at the moment in China ... lithium is on the critical minerals list in Canada, the US and Australia, and Canada and the US are working feverishly to develop an internal battery materials supply chain. We think we're going to play a critical role in that.”
Elaborating on the sustainability industry that drives the battery revolution, he said, “(Nearly) all power in Quebec is generated by hydroelectricity and renewable forms of electricity. That’s very important, because the mining and concentration process for lithium products traditionally produces a large carbon footprint, because it's energy intensive. The EU, from 2024, has mandated that all batteries are labeled with the carbon footprint of all the materials that are contained within them. Then, by about 2026, there's specific targets that batteries have to meet in order to be sold in the EU. If you don't have a renewable source of energy to produce your lithium products that go into those batteries, it's going to severely restrict your markets — and that's another bonus for us being in Quebec.”
Evans said that Winsome Resources’ approach is to develop a mine itself, rather than selling or partnering. “We will approach this as if we are going to be developing the Cancet project, and producing lithium ourselves, in four or so years. And I think that'll best serve our shareholders.” With regards to other ways the company could benefit investors, Evans said, “Being listed on the ASX, and having access to a lot of capital, I think there's a great opportunity for us to acquire other projects in Canada. We're about to start our summer exploration. And we're on the lookout for a new project. So I think the good news is really to come.”
Watch the full interview of Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans above.
Disclaimer: This interview is sponsored by Winsome Resources (ASX:WR1). This interview provides information that was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Winsome Resources in order to help investors learn more about the company. Winsome Resources is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.
The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Winsome Resources and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.
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Where are the silver mines in Australia? You might be surprised to learn that the country is home to one of the world’s top primary silver producers.
Mining is a big part of Australia’s history, and it continues to shape the country’s economy and position in the world today. The nation is one of the world’s top producers and exporters of resources, with coal, uranium, copper and gold being some of its best-known commodities.
Australia is also a key producer of silver — it was the world’s fifth-largest producer of the metal in 2021, tied with Russia, putting out 1,300 MT. Interestingly, most of Australia's silver is produced from silver-bearing galena, but some is also produced from copper and gold mining.
Refined silver comes mainly from the Port Pirie lead smelter and refinery in South Australia, though silver is also refined at gold refineries in Perth, Kalgoorlie and Melbourne.
But where are the silver mines in Australia, exactly? While it’s interesting to know what types of deposits the precious metal is found in, many investors want to know what companies are producing silver and where their mines are located geographically. Read on to find the answers to those questions.
Where are the silver mines in Australia?
Silver has played a role in Australia since the mid-1800s — Wheal Gawler, Australia’s first metal mine, was a silver-lead mine developed in South Australia in the 1840s. And that’s not Australia’s only early silver-mining operation — the Broken Hill deposit in New South Wales and the Mount Isa deposit in Queensland are two other early Australian silver discoveries.
Broken Hill, a lead-zinc-silver deposit, was discovered in 1883 by German immigrant Charles Rasp, and the Broken Hill Proprietary Company was born in 1885; it ultimately merged in 2001 with another mining giant, Billiton, to form BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT). BHP Billiton is no longer involved with Broken Hill, but ore is still being extracted there today. Perilya now runs the southern and northern operations.
For its part, Mount Isa was discovered in 1923 by John Campbell Miles, and like Broken Hill is still producing today. It was acquired by Glencore (LSE:GLEN) in 2013 and in addition to silver is also a producer of zinc.
These major early Australian silver discoveries are not the country’s only sources of silver. Other silver mines in Australia include Cannington, one of the world’s top primary silver producers. It’s a fly-in, fly-out mining and processing operation that is owned by South32 (ASX:S32,LSE:S32), a diversified resource company spun out from BHP Billiton in 2015. Cannington also produces lead and zinc.
Australia holds the McArthur River mine as well, which opened in 1995 and is owned by Glencore subsidiary McArthur River Mining. The mine is one of the world’s largest zinc-lead-silver mines, and is located in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Glencore’s 2021 annual report claims total silver production reached 31.519 million ounces for the year, representing a 4 percent drop from 2020. That includes 625,000 ounces from McArthur River.
The Century mine, which previously belonged to MMG (HKEX:1208), shut its doors at the end of 2015, but was a major producer of zinc (and silver) until that time. It was reopened in mid-2018 by New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) and the company says it now has an estimated annual production capacity of 264,000 tonnes of zinc and 3 million ounces of silver.
Independence Group (ASX:IGO) also produces silver, along with copper and zinc, at its Jaguar operation in Western Australia. Gold producer Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) owns some projects with silver reserves as well. As you can see, there are and have been many silver mines in Australia.
Future silver mines in Australia?
In addition to being home to a slew of large silver mines, Australia also plays host to many companies that are exploring and developing silver projects. Below are a few that have made recent progress.
Please let us know in the comments if we’ve forgotten to mention any Australia-focused silver companies. All companies listed had market caps of at least AU$5 million on May 19, 2022.
Argent Minerals (ASX:ARD) — Argent Minerals’ main asset is its 100-percent-owned Kempfield polymetallic project in New South Wales. In May 2018, the company announced an updated resource estimate for the asset — its silver equivalent contained metal now stands at an estimated 100 million silver equivalent ounces at 120 g/t silver equivalent; that’s approximately double the previous estimate.
In total the company has three projects, with all of them being in New South Wales.
Investigator Resources (ASX:IVR) — Investigator Resources is advancing silver, copper and gold deposits in South Australia. Currently its properties include the Peterlumbo/Paris silver project, the Eyre Peninsula and Stuart Shelf projects and the Northern Yorke Peninsula projects.
The total resource for Paris stands at an estimated 18.8 million tonnes at 88 g/t silver and 0.52 percent lead for 53.1 million ounces of contained silver and 97,600 tonnes of contained lead (at a cut off of 30 g/t silver). The indicated component is 12.7 million tonnes of silver (95 g/t) and represents 73 percent of the total estimated resource ounces.
Horizon Minerals (ASX:HRZ) — Horizon Minerals owns the Nimbus silver-zinc project in Western Australia. Nimbus has a high-grade silver-zinc resource estimate of 255,898 tonnes at 773 g/t silver and 13 percent zinc; the total Nimbus resource stands at 1.21 million tonnes at 52 g/t silver, 0.9 percent zinc and 0.2 g/t gold.
Silver Mines (ASX:SVL) bills itself as a leading Australian silver exploration company, and has spent a considerable amount of time acquiring Australian silver projects. Those include Malachite Resources’ (ASX:MAR) Conrad project and Kingsgate Consolidated’s (ASX:KCN) Bowdens silver project.
While the company’s main focus has been on the Webbs silver project in New South Wales, the Bowdens project represents the largest undeveloped silver project in Australia, and Silver Mines is working to get the project through the feasibility, environmental impact statement and permitting stages.
In a 2018 report, the feasibility study demonstrated an average silver production of 3.4 million tonnes per annum for the project, with 5.4 million during the first three years of operation. Estimations also included 6,900 tonnes of zinc and 5,100 tonnes of lead.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2018.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Ryan Sero, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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