#Reuters: #USArmy will fund rare earths plant for weapons development


The U.S. Army plans to fund construction of rare earths processing facilities, part of an urgent push by Washington to secure domestic supply of the minerals used to make military weapons and electronics, according to a government document seen by Reuters.

The move would mark the first financial investment by the U.S. military into commercial-scale rare earths production since World War Two’s Manhattan Project built the first atomic bomb.

It comes after President Donald Trump earlier this year ordered the military to update its supply chain for the niche materials, warning that reliance on other nations for the strategic minerals could hamper U.S. defenses.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-rareearths-army-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-army-will-fund-rare-earths-plant-for-weapons-development-idUSKBN1YF0HU

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


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


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?


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

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