#Vale to exit #NewCaledonia, eyes #Indonesia to boost #Nickel output

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LONDON (Reuters) – Brazil’s Vale SA plans to exit its troubled New Caledonia assets but still aims to ramp up nickel output ahead of rising demand for electric batteries, executives said on Wednesday.

The planned divestment of nickel operations in New Caledonia comes after Vale said last month it would write down the mine and incur a non-cash impairment charge of about $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter.

A year ago, the world’s top nickel producer unveiled plans to invest $500 million in the mine after failing to find a partner for the operation.

But on Wednesday, Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani said Vale had decided to exit the operation, which has been beset by technical setbacks, a chemical spill and violent protests.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vale-nickel/vale-to-exit-new-caledonia-eyes-indonesia-to-boost-nickel-output-idUSKBN1Y81NT

#Trudeau government investigating how #Canadian mining industry can provide rare-earth minerals critical to new economy

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OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is digging for intelligence on the role Canada’s mining sector could play in providing the United States and other key trading partners with crucial minerals and metals — from cobalt to tellurium — considered building blocks of the new economy.

Natural Resources Canada plans to hire a British firm to provide pricing forecasts and analysis of global supply and demand between 2020 and 2030 for about two dozen vital minerals used in products like solar cells, permanent magnets and rechargeable batteries.

The move comes as Canada works on a joint plan with the United States to ensure reliable access to these minerals and foster future competitiveness of the U.S. and Canadian mining industries.

Read more at: https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/mining/trudeau-government-does-spadework-on-minerals-crucial-to-future-economy

#Russia wants to attract #Indian investors to mine #RareEarths in Far East

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Indian companies IREL (Erstwhile Indian Rare Earths Ltd) and KABIL (Khanij Bidesh India Ltd) are looking into rare earth elements projects in Russia, according to Russia’s Far East Investment and Export Agency.

In a meeting with Indian firms in New Delhi, the Russian delegation presented perspective projects that could be implemented in the remote Far Eastern region and the Arctic zone.

Read more at: https://www.rt.com/business/474641-russia-india-rare-earths/

#BBCNews: #Europe’s new space budget to enable #CO2 mapping

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Europe will press ahead with a network of satellites to track carbon dioxide emissions across the globe.

They will be developed out of a new European Space Agency (Esa) budget agreed in Seville, Spain.

Research ministers on Thursday approved a package of proposals worth some €14.4bn (£12.3bn/$15.9bn) over the next five years.

As well as the new CO2 monitoring system, the funds will also pave the way for missions to the Moon and Mars.

Read more at: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-50594831

#Bloomberg: #Tesla Set to Bulk Up the World’s Largest #Lithium-Ion Battery

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The world’s biggest lithium-ion battery is about to get even bigger, with Tesla Inc. set to beef up capacity at the Hornsdale site in South Australia.

The system will be expanded by 50% to 150 megawatts, according to an announcement from Neoen SA, the French company that operates the site. The storage site has already saved consumers more than A$50 million ($34 million) in its first year of operation.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-19/tesla-set-to-bulk-up-the-world-s-largest-lithium-ion-battery

#ABC News: Rare earth mineral deal inked by #US and #Australia — what does that mean?

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Today, both Canberra and Washington announced a new partnership designed to shore up their ability to develop “critical mineral assets”, known as the Action Plan for Critical Minerals.

This will see Australian and American scientists and companies collaborate to find what minerals exist and where, in addition to mining data to model what minerals the market wants.

When contacted by the ABC about the partnership, a spokesperson for Australian Resources Minister Matt Canavan said it “makes sense to encourage a more diverse supply” of rare earths.

“To date, the explosion in demand for rare earth commodities has not led to a greater diversity in supply sources,” the spokesperson said.

“The concentrated nature of these markets also creates barriers to entry, with new suppliers facing the potential challenge of strategic behaviour by existing dominant suppliers.”

Read more at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-19/australian-critical-mineral-supply-to-be-guaranteed-by-us/11716726

#Forbes: The Rise Of #CarbonTech – #CO2 Finds Market Value

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Exciting things are happening in the world of carbon capture. A new category of companies are coming to market that are using technological innovation to turn excess CO2 into useful, marketable products. They are calling themselves “CarbonTech” or “Carbon to Value” and proposing that carbon waste can be turned into products of real value.

According to the 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), humanity will need to reduce its global carbon budget significantly in the next 10 to 14 years to avoid the existential threat of severe and catastrophic climate change. Carbon buildup in the atmosphere over the past hundred years is already causing tangible impacts such as the recent flooding in Mozambique, the California fires and the severe storms which have afflicted major portions of the US.

There are fundamentally three ways to reduce the carbon budget to meet the IPCC goals.

One pathway to reducing the carbon budget, already in practice worldwide, is to lower the demand for fossil fuels in the energy, transportation and agricultural sectors while simultaneously bringing electricity, food and good transportation to the developing world. This requires changes to many entrenched systems, which move slowly—policy, business/industry and agriculture are all sectors that need modifications to business-as-usual. All will require technological and business model innovation. Thanks to real progress in energy efficiency and renewable energy cost reductions, these changes are happening, albeit slowly.

A less viable, but often mentioned pathway would be geological engineering of the atmosphere on an enormous and unprecedented scale. This would involve dumping particulate matter or water vapor into the stratosphere to reflect the sun’s rays back upward, likely causing unforeseen, unintended consequences.

A third, and very promising, pathway would be to focus on increasing the rate of removal of man-made CO2. The issue is of such importance that former Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, launched a study called “Clearing the Air” at Climate Week in NYC.

Trees, soil and oceans do soak up CO2, but do so at a rate that, while sufficient for naturally occurring CO2, cannot keep up with humanity’s insatiable appetite for creating CO2. For the past 150 years, the excess has been dumped into the atmosphere as waste and remains there for up to 200 years.

The first pathway, energy efficiency and resource conservation, works slowly. The second, geoengineering, poses risks not worth pursuing. The third, CO2 capture and utilization, offers the opportunity to manufacture high value products out of CO2 waste, creating a market value for carbon, which policy makers have been largely unable to do. It is possible to create opportunity out of past errors.

In the past, efforts to remove carbon from the atmosphere focused on storing carbon in underground caverns at enormous expense. Without a reliable carbon pricing mechanism, this became a money sink as much as a carbon sink. Recently, next-generation carbon removal processes are beginning to see the light of day, and creeping out from the caverns. Simply put, the intention of the prize is to reward technologies that capture excess CO2 to make high-value products that command a market price. Loosely framed, the technologies form three categories—those that create materials for the cement and concrete aggregate industries, those that create fuels, plastics and chemicals and those that create durable carbon products such as carbon fiber, carbon black and carbon nanotubes. In addition to the companies vying for the prize, there are now companies with similar technologies appearing at both the academic and commercialization level.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/patsapinsley/2019/11/12/the-rise-of-carbontech-co2-finds-market-value/#71a3821c4524

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