Weekly Nugget

Catch Our End-Of-Year Livestream!

This week's nugget features the latest mining news, data, and social content.

 🔥 What's New

🚨 End Of Year Livestream! 🚨

Don’t forget to join us on December 14th at 1pm ET for our final live stream wrap up of the year! This month we are chatting about all things mining financing, including a special guest appearance by Steve de Jong, CEO of VRIFY! Bring your comments, questions, and insights - we want to hear from you! 

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🎧 On The Rocks


📰 In The News

International Women In Mining 2021 - 2023 Impact Report Now Available

This free report highlights IWiM’s transformative initiatives, showcasing remarkable achievements and the positive ripple effect on the mining industry and beyond.

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Idaho National Lab, US Critical Materials Sign Deal To Develop New Rare Earth Processing Methods

Idaho National Laboratory and US Critical Materials announced a new multi-phase project on Monday to develop rare earth processing methods for ore from US Critical Materials' Sheep Creek property in Montana, which has reported exceptionally high grades. The project aims to design an optimal process using conventional and emerging techniques for handling and extracting targeted value-added metals from the carbonatite ore. This collaborative effort taps into the pressing need to establish domestic rare earth production and processing capabilities given the current dependence on Chinese supply and refining, posing strategic vulnerabilities, as recently evidenced by China's export bans on other critical metals like gallium and germanium.

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Deep-Sea Mining In The Arctic Ocean Gets The Green Light From Norwegian Lawmakers

Norway's government and opposition parties controversially agreed on Tuesday to open parts of the Arctic Ocean to seabed mineral exploration, despite warnings by environmental groups that mining the vulnerable ecosystems could severely threaten biodiversity and climate efforts. The decision advances Norway's strategy to reduce economic reliance on oil and gas by seeking new opportunities, with the government arguing that sustainably harnessing mineral resources on the seabed could strengthen the economy and secure supply of crucial metals for the global energy transition. But critics counter that the environmental impacts are unknown and could be disastrous, amounting to industrializing Norway's last wilderness. 

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US Looks To Shut China Out Of Its Battery Supply Chain

The Biden administration has unveiled plans to exclude Chinese entities from the generous electric vehicle subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, defining "Foreign Entity of Concern" to encompass China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. The rules mean no EVs with Chinese-manufactured battery components can qualify for credits from 2023, expanding to ban Chinese involvement in any part of the battery critical mineral supply chain by 2025, with minor exemptions. This aims to incentivize domestic EV production and reduce reliance on dominant Chinese capacity. However, it poses problems for mineral producers globally partnered with China and could spur corporate restructuring and alternative investments to avoid losing access to the lucrative US EV market. Ultimately, the rules intend to reshuffle the battery supply chain, but may generate more losers than winners in the near term.

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Gold Reaches Record High Near $2,100 Per Ounce. Here's What's Behind The Surge

Gold prices have surged to record highs above $2,100 per ounce, fueled by investors globally seeking an inflation hedge and safe haven amid conflicts like Russia's war in Ukraine. Additional buyers include central banks stockpiling gold in reaction to Western seizures of Russia's reserves. Expectations of Fed rate cuts in 2024 further lift gold by weakening the dollar and making the metal more attractive, with analysts forecasting prices could peak at $2,300 in 2025 if cuts reach 1 percentage point. While online buyers facilitate selling to lock in today's high prices, the demand side remains strong from investors diversifying portfolios as well as non-Western purchasers acquiring physical gold, suggesting the gold bull market still has room to run.

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Why Prices Will Soon Catch Up With The Commodity Supply Crunch

Declining metal inventories signal potential future supply shortages, however this has not lifted nickel prices given distressed miners are selling stockpiles for cash, masking the tightness. This leaves the market vulnerable to disruption as buffers to absorb shocks are low. A destabilizing event could spark panic buying and positive feedback loops further draining thin stockpiles. The recent suspension of First Quantum's Cobre Panama copper mine demonstrates how losing just 1.5% of global output could swing the copper market into deficit. Tight inventories increase the risk of market chaos like nickel's 270% price explosion in March 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine. While M&A provides no new supply, the lengthy 15-year timeline from discovery to production delays resolving the supply issues. Hence commodities remain poised as an outsized investment opportunity this decade despite current market distortions.

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⚒️ Mining Data Digest Snapshot

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Santo Tomas Project

Company: Oroco Resource Corp.

Geography: Mexico

Minerals: Copper

Date: 12/01/23

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❓Prospector Poll

Mining financing - what do you want to know in our upcoming livestream?

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Last Week's Results

What kind of mining data reports would you want in the future? 

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Our weekly blog and newsletter, "The Nugget," offers readers an inside look at commodity prices, current events in the mining and commodities industries, and the latest 43-101 Reports published to the Prospector Portal.