The new Government of Greenland is cracking down on uranium mining, and the future is uncertain for Greenland Minerals’ (ASX:GGG) Kvanefjeld project.
The behemoth rare earths (REE) project has a resource of >1 billion tonnes including light RE magnet metals neodymium and praseodymium and heavy RE’s terbium and dysprosium – which would be fine if it didn’t also include uranium.
Investors now wait with bated breath for the outcome of the public consultation period which has been extended until 13 September 2021.
If the project doesn’t go ahead, it could be a heavy blow for the EU’s long-term plans to source more rare earth materials for the production of green technology like wind turbines to electric cars from politically stable Western-aligned countries.
But it’s not the end of the road for rare earths in Greenland.
The future looks bright for explorer Eclipse Metals (ASX:EPM) which discovered a 50-year-old historic drill core with REE potential at the Gronnedal-ika area of its historical Ivittuut cryolite mine.
Rare earth potential at Ivittuut
The core catalogued six diamond holes where historical exploration has identified anomalous rare earth element content, but the area hasn’t been systematically explored so the company believes there’s potential for untapped REE.
Executive chairman Carl Popal said he’s confident that company will have no issues proceeding with the project in Greenland, with the company securing approval to commence fieldwork in July.
“It’s their country, they’ve decided to run it in a certain way, and for us, we respect them, we’re there as a commercial entity, we’re trying to extract natural resources for the greater good, for our shareholders, and they need it for their economy,” he said.
“We don’t have any uranium there, and we don’t have any issues in that regard.”
Minerals identified within the complex to date include apatite, monazite, stronianite and synchysite which host light rare earths (LREE), as well as zircon and monazite which host heavy rare earths (HREE).
Greenland still a prime jurisdiction
Gronnedal is recognised as one of the prime REE targets in Greenland by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) along with Kvanefjeld and Kringlerne (owned by Tanbreez).
“We’ve just started in Greenland on the rare earths but there’s a lot of potential – and there’s a lot of academic work that tells us that we’re in the right jurisdiction,” Popal said.
“GEUS classifies Gronnedal in the highest standards for rare earths within that area and, on top of that, we’re fortunate to have the Ivittuut site which has got the tailings, the ore in the pit, the cryolite-fluorite and most importantly, the quartz inside the pit.
“Greenland has a lot of potential from our perspective for developing a project, like Ivittuut, we’re so close to Europe where industrial minerals are in high demand.
“The additional bonus of the rare earth is separate play and gives us an edge in the rare earth market.”
How do Australian projects fit in the supply chain?
Projects like Ivittuut won’t be coming online for a while yet, and this could present opportunities for Australian rare earths projects in the supply chain.
Heavy hitters Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) and Iluka (ASX:ILU) already play a big role, and CSIRO principal research scientist Dr Chris Vernon said that Kvanfjeld’s bad news is good news for Australian projects.
“Things like Arafura Resources’ (ASX:ARU) Nolan’s has a heavy dose of neodymium and praseodymium, Dubbo zirconium are doing marvellous things at the moment through Australian Strategic Materials (ASX:ASM) and the partnership with Korea,” he said.
“Northern Minerals’ (ASX:NTU) Browns range just got another lot of dysprosium in the deposit, similar with Hasting Technology Metals’ (ASX:HAS) deposit which isn’t far away, and there’s something new Australian Rare Earths (ASX:AR3) has turned up at the Koppamurra deposit in South Australia.
“So, it’s an Australian company that’s losing out there in Greenland, but it is a positive thing for Australia because it does shine more light on our projects.”
Dr Vernon said it’s now just a question of getting those projects funded and operating.
Our ESG advantages attractive to Europe
Dr Vernon also said that Australian projects are in an excellent position to supply countries with sophisticated appreciation of environment, social and governance issues (ESG).
“Australia’s one of the more transparent, more environmentally aware, most socially aware jurisdictions – and you can’t say that about all mining jurisdictions in the world,” he said.
“With the way that Europe and European legislation is changing, we have the ability to guarantee source of supply and how it got to them in terms of how we processed it, how fairly we pay our workers, how much damage did we do the environment.”
Compare this to China where having nearby borders with Myanmar and other countries has led to illegal production being unofficially imported – evading environmental and social regulations.
“Our ability to put our hand on our heart and prove what we’ve done is going to be very strong attribute for us in the future,” Dr Vernon said.
Check out how other ASX listed rare earths players stack up.
|ARR||American Rare Earths||0.145||69||48||26||237||$ 49,924,707.27|
|IXR||Ionic Rare Earths||0.036||9||-20||20||200||$ 118,733,982.99|
|HXG||Hexagon Energy||0.072||-8||-16||6||14||$ 34,789,078.51|
|REE||Rarex Limited||0.097||20||-16||4||31||$ 43,098,977.20|
|ARU||Arafura Resource Ltd||0.13||6||-51||2||63||$ 203,055,403.10|
|NTU||Northern Min Ltd||0.04||5||-25||-2||60||$ 198,510,231.61|
|HAS||Hastings Tech Met||0.205||21||3||-5||58||$ 365,075,605.86|
|LYC||Lynas Rare Earths||7.12||15||32||-7||177||$ 6,767,100,128.29|
The post This rare earths explorer says Greenland’s a prime jurisdiction – if you’re not mining uranium appeared first on Stockhead.
Report: Australia scores the lowest among G20 countries for adopting climate policies
In a review of G20 countries and their transition to net-zero emissions, Australia has scored the lowest on all but … Read More
The post Report: Australia…
In a review of G20 countries and their transition strategies to a net-zero emissions economy, Australia has scored the lowest on all but one of the nine metrics evaluated by The Climate Transparency Report.
Based on 100 indicators for adaptation, mitigation, and finance the report aims to make good practices and flaws transparent.
Up against countries such as Brazil, the UK, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the US, Argentina, and India, the assessment has demonstrated that Australia is in fact the worst ranked G20 nation when it comes to implementing climate policies across a range of sectors.
While marking a ‘medium’ policy rating for the construction of low emission buildings, Australia scored in the red on policy ratings relating to renewable energy in the power sector, coal phase-out in the power sector, phase-out of fossil fuel heavy duty vehicles, energy efficiency in industry and setting a target for net-zero deforestation.
While all of this can bee seen as embarrassing, it isn’t entirely surprising.
Curtin University Professor of Sustainability Peter Newman said the phase-out of fossil fuel cars and heavy-duty vehicles was “rightfully bad in Australia”.
“We are Third World on cars,” he said.
“The CEO of Volvo spoke about this on Radio National Breakfast last Friday, it is our real black spot.
“Mining companies are starting to do electric vehicle trucks and ammonia-trains on their own, but we need to remove the diesel rebate to help with this.
“It’s 52c/l, which is huge.”
In regards to Australia’s net-zero energy rating and renovation of new buildings, Newman said regulations were also “very poor”.
“The present debate is about the update of the National Construction Code from 4 to 7 stars, which is not even close to what is needed.
“This must be net-zero and the data shows this is cheaper and relatively easy to do now.”
Australia’s emissions ‘nearly three times the average’
The report states that collectively, the G20 member nations are responsible for around 75% of global greenhouse gases and while some positive developments have been made, including in the growth of solar and wind power among G20 members, the dependence on fossils fuels is not going down.
It also highlights that the consumption of coal is projected to rise by nearly 5% in 2021 and the consumption of gas increased by 12% across the G20 from 2015–2020.
One of the major key findings was that while energy-related CO2 emissions plunged by 6% across the G20 in 2020, they are projected to rebound by 4% in 2021.
Climate Analytics chief executive officer Bill Hare said Australia has the G20’s highest per capita emissions “nearly three times the average” and yet the government has no credible climate policies and “no plan that doesn’t involve replacing fossil fuels with fossil fuels”.
“Australia has been long recognised by all organisations that have looked at a comparative analysis that it is a laggard on nearly every front.
“There is very little happening on a national level.”
In the report, Australia’s emissions targets were classified as “highly insufficient” and consistent with 4 degrees of global warming should they be adopted by other countries – meaning targets are not Paris Agreement compatible.
It said: “The UK is the only G20 member with a domestic target that aligns with a 1.5°C modelled domestic pathway in 2030; however, the overall rating is ‘almost sufficient’ as its policies and action are not yet 1.5°C aligned nor is it meeting its ‘fair share’ target or climate finance contribution.”
Rooftop solar isn’t going to get us over the line
And while data has been released stating that Australia has the “highest uptake of solar globally”, Hare said it does not scale to the emissions reductions nationally.
“Rooftop solar is very important but it is not the big story,” he said.
“The big story is how much is renewable energy penetrating the Australian energy system as a whole – not in one sub-sector.
“If you look at the big picture, Australia’s renewable energy in terms of its total energy use is really quite small; it’s only 7%.
“You also have to decarbonise the energy supply for big industry, transport and so on – they all have to work together to get to Paris Agreement compatible targets.”
The post Report: Australia scores the lowest among G20 countries for adopting climate policies appeared first on Stockhead.electric vehicle renewable
Nova’s Christopher Gerteisen talks gigantic gold hits, lithium exposure, and the path to production at Estelle
The Tintina gold province in North America is tremendously fertile, with over 200 million ounces of documented discoveries and production. … Read More
The Tintina gold province in North America is tremendously fertile, with over 200 million ounces of documented discoveries and production.
And while operations like Kinross Gold’s ‘Fort Knox’ run at grades well under a gram of gold per tonne (g/t), they are highly profitable, producing more than 200,000 ounces of gold a year at all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of US$1,000 ($1,300) an ounce.
This is the type of bulk mining operation Nova Minerals (ASX:NVA) envisages establishing at its flagship Estelle gold camp in Alaska.
In 2019, Nova ran its first drilling program at Estelle and came out with a maiden 2.5Moz resource from the ‘Korbel’ deposit.
Since then, the explorer has been drilling nonstop, increasing that maiden resource to 4.7Moz in two short years.
That’s all from Korbel, one of ~15 known targets on Nova’s tenure.
Last week, the explorer hit 132m at 10.1g/t gold at the newly drilled ‘RPM’ deposit.
Outrageous numbers. That must be up there as one of the gold hits of the year, if not the decade.
Stockhead chats with chief exec Christopher Gerteisen about gigantic gold hits and the path to production at Estelle, as well as some very interesting lithium exposure.
How does RPM now fit in with your development plans at Estelle?
“The Korbel deposit has always been our focus, but it is just one of 15 known prospects across our 324sqkm project area,” Gerteisen says.
“Next cab off the rank was always RPM, which sits 20 miles along mineralised strike due south of Korbel.
“We had a historic drill hole there of 120 metres at 1g/t. Not too shabby of a result, so we always wanted to go there, do some follow up drilling on that.
“This year we decided to go out there and start drilling, focussing on RPM North first.
“The first two holes came out a month or six weeks ago and looked pretty good. They confirmed the original historical drilling — we got similar results like 120 metres at 1g/t in those holes.
“This current hole — RPM five — hit the bullseye.
“People have thrown out all kinds of numbers — like it’s in the top 30 intercepts in the world ever; one person told me its top 10 in decades on the ASX.
“Either way, it is certainly world class.
“The thickness, the consistency and continuity of the grade, through those 130 metres is very impressive. And then it’s also right on the surface. Very happy with the result.
“I’m still waiting for results on hole three, four and six. At that stage, we’ll send all the data over to our resource estimation people and get a maiden resource out on RPM.
“I think it is going to be a ripper.
“By the size and shape of this thing we think this can be quite a large, large system.”
How does RPM compare with Korbel?
“They’re both intrusive related (IRGS) deposits,” Gerteisen says.
“These things can vary in tenor. When you are in the intrusive itself, like we are at Korbel, they tend to be lower grade.
“When you get into the contact and into the hornfels or sedimentary contact rocks they tend to be higher grade. And so that’s what we’re seeing in RPM.
“It seems to be a relationship at most deposits. At Korbel we just don’t see any of the contact areas; if we keep stepping out maybe we’ll eventually hit it.
“But Korbel is a beauty in its own right.”
And the metallurgy at Korbel is simple? An easy to mine, easy to process orebody?
“Yes. On surface, very low strip ratio,” Gerteisen says.
“It’s not one narrow vein or fault or structure you’re following — it’s basically sheeted veins throughout the entire intrusive.
“It’s just a sea of veins, a sea of mineralisation. The shape of the ore body, the geometry, is more like a big ‘blob’ like a large ellipsoidal shape.
“And so when we go to mine our strip ratio will be very low, approaching zero really, because everything you dig up is basically paydirt.”
How big is the resource going to get before you hit the button on a feasibility level study?
“This was our dilemma,” Gerteisen says.
“Our 4.7Moz resource is at what we call the Korbel Main deposit, but throughout the Korbel valley where the deposit sits we currently have numerous other geophysical anomalies to test.
“Plus, the Korbel Main orebody currently has a strike length of 1.8km and it is still open in both directions. We think we are on one of these 10Moz whoppers just at Korbel alone.
“With RPM [and all the other targets] who knows how big this could be.
“We are unlocking the district. So — do we drill for the next two years, five years to just keep increasing the resource? We are on the path to production here.
“About a year ago we decided our strategy would be to have a starter operation, something that Nova can do on their own.
“The sweet spot would be a 100,000oz to 150,00ozpa, something that has a 10-year mine life, something like a year to a year-and-a-half pay back, ~$200m to $250m capex to build.
“That would be the starter operation – we would get some cashflow to just start ramping up.
“The plan is to establish the Korbel mining and processing hub – that’s where our tonnes are – and then through the years have this pipeline of other projects coming through.”
Onto the lithium stuff. You don’t mention the Thompson Brothers project too much but that was your original flagship back in 2016, wasn’t it?
“That’s correct. It’s a great project in Manitoba Canada. Currently has a resource of ~11Mt at ~1% lithium,” Gerteisen says.
“It will be the first zero carbon hard rock spodumene mine in the world. Manitoba runs 100% hydropower.
“One of the reasons we don’t talk about it a lot right now – we want to, because lithium is so hot – is because we are spinning that off [via Snow Lake Resources] and listing it on the NASDAQ.
“That listing is not far off.
— Snow Lake Resources (@snowlakeres) January 22, 2021
“Once we get this listing done the valuation will be about $120m.
“After listing, Nova will probably have 65 to 68% ownership [of Snow Lake].
“Once we get that money we will release the PEA, and drill to get that resource up to 20 to 30Mt.
“If you look at our [lithium] peers that have a PEA and have a similar resource, they are running up to $500m, $1bn valuations.
“We have a lot of people approaching us right now to do a block trade, take some of the shares off us – even buy us outright but we don’t want to do that pre-IPO.
“We want to let it run. We think there is a lot more value to be gained for Nova.”
At what point do you guys think you would be in production at Estelle?
“Our schedule is this: resource update coming out before the end of the year, and then very soon thereafter — based on the new resource numbers — we will release our Scoping Study,” Gerteisen says.
“We are hoping to get that out before the end of the year, early next year.
“We have already started our next level of PFS test work. The PFS will continue through the next year, and we would like to release that in mid-2023.
“Then we will go straight into the BFS and we would like a decision to mine around 2024, 2025 timeframe.
“I would like to be digging first dirt by 2025, 2026. That is very ambitious but there are number of things going for us and I think we have a good chance of hitting those targets.”
Coal Generation In UK Jumps As Wind Speed Drops
Coal Generation In UK Jumps As Wind Speed Drops
Authored by Charles Kennedy via OilPrice.com,
Coal met some 3 percent of the UK’s electricity…
Coal met some 3 percent of the UK’s electricity demand on Friday morning, reaching its highest level of Britain’s power generation in one month, amid lower wind speeds this week and an outage at a gas-powered plant, Bloomberg reports.
The last time the UK generated 3 percent of its electricity from coal was in early September when low wind generation reduced renewable power supply and triggered the massive spikes in UK wholesale electricity prices.
Utility Uniper fired up its coal-powered plant in Ratcliffe early on Friday, while the gas-fired plant in Pembroke, Wales, operated by RWE, suffered an unplanned outage.
Over the past week, gas has consistently accounted for the largest share of the UK’s electricity generation, according to data from National Grid ESO. For example, on Wednesday, gas produced 44.8 percent of Britain’s electricity, more than wind with 19.2 percent and nuclear with 12.6 percent.
Surging natural gas prices and warm and still weather in September forced the UK to fire up an old coal plant that was on standby in order to meet its electricity demand.
The UK has pledged to phase out coal-fired power generation by October 2024.
UK power company Drax could have its last two coal-fired plants in the country operating beyond the 2022 deadline it had set for closure if the UK government asks it to keep them operational amid the energy crisis in the country and the whole of Europe.
“If the government wants us to rethink our plans, we need to talk to them in the next few months,” Drax’s chief executive Will Gardiner told the Financial Times at the end of September.
Last week, the UK government committed to decarbonizing the country’s electricity system by 2035.
“While gas generation continues to play a critical role in keeping the UK electricity system secure and stable, the development of clean energy technologies means it will be used less frequently in the future,” the UK government said.
Last year, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the United Kingdom would aim to become a global leader in offshore wind energy, powering every home in the country with wind by 2030.
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