China Crackdowns on Bitcoin Mining

According to Gerry Shih of the Washington Post, on May 21, economic officials in Beijing vowed to “crack down on bitcoin mining and trading.” This announcement sent bitcoin prices into a tailspin and mining operations looking elsewhere.


Precious Metals - 25 June 2021


Gold US $1,780/oz
Silver US $25.85/oz
Platinum US $1,064/oz
Palladium US $2,601/oz

*prices before market open Jun. 25, 2021

Base Metals - 25 June 2021


Copper US $9,188/t
Aluminum US $2,409/t
Nickel US $18,615/t
Zinc US $2,945/t
Lead US $2,293/t
Tin US $31,700/t

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China Crackdowns on Bitcoin Mining

According to Gerry Shih of the Washington Post, on May 21, economic officials in Beijing vowed to “crack down on bitcoin mining and trading.” This announcement sent bitcoin prices into a tailspin and mining operations looking elsewhere. 

Chinese authorities are cracking down on cryptocurrency to reduce its the nation's energy energy consumption and meet climate goals.

Digital currencies need a huge amount of computing power for transactions and other functions such as creating new cryptocurrency supplies. That draws a lot of energy to keep the systems running. The more a cryptocurrency system grows, the more electricity it requires.

For years, Chinese cryptocurrency miners were enabled by the glut of cheap electricity in China, where a massive fleet of coal-fired plants and hydroelectric dams fueled the country’s rise into an industrial behemoth.

At their height in 2018, China’s bitcoin prospectors accounted for 74% of the world’s bitcoin mining.

Local Chinese governments from northern Inner Mongolia to hydro-rich Sichuan province acted quickly to sever power for mining facilities. 

Shih further reported that Chinese social media users were complaining that some crypto topics are being censored, while Chinese police announced the arrests of more than 1,000 people in cryptocurrency-related financial crimes.

The Chinese government has appeared uneasy not only about the industry’s carbon footprint but also the intrinsically uncontrollable, decentralized nature of cryptocurrency.

This crackdown is forcing many miners to leave China and shutter crypto business in China. 

Bloomberg's Zheping Huang reported that the world’s biggest maker of Bitcoin mining rigs, Bitmain, has stopped selling new equipment after prices for its rigs fell by ~75% since April. This halt to sales could help miners exiting the industry get better prices for their mining operations.

The company could also benefit if the reduced supply buoys prices over the longer term for new machines. The firm said it will continue to sell rigs used to mine smaller altcoins.

The unprecedented crackdown is spurring more and more major miners to move or abandon their operations while flooding the domestic market with cheap machines. The Bitcoin network’s computer power measured by a hash rate has been plunging in recent weeks amid the disruption

There are 0 technical reports on Prospector Portal for Bitcoin mine

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Rio Tinto’s Resolute Land Swap Has Support from Biden Justice Department

The US Dept. of Justice revealed its support for Rio Tinto's Resolute copper project in a court filing that would allow for the exchange of 2,400 acres and privatize lands that lie above the copper deposit, despite opposition from Native American groups and environmentalists.

According to Peter Aleshire of the Payson Roundup, the US Justice Department filed a brief with the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals opposing environmental and Apache groups claims that the exchange violates treaties and religious freedom laws. 

The brief states that the land trade will not impose “a substantial burden on anyone, even if it severely impacts their religious exercise.”

The Biden DOJ is opposing the appeal filed by the Apache Stronghold group that filed the original motion to stop the construction of the copper project on religious and free speech grounds. 

This land swap is critical for the operations of the Resolute mine’s block caving excavation method as part of the copper deposit lies underneath the Oak Flat campground, public and protected land. 

This land swap would privatize the land and cut off public access for safety reasons. The underground excavation of this copper ore could destabilize and collapse the land near the surface, creating a two-mile-wide crater which could affect the Oak Flat campground.  

In 2014, President Barack Obama signed a bill that approved Rio Tinto’s proposal to exchange land for another nearby lot of land, with the warning that it could not occur until an environmental report on the mine was published. The Trump administration published that report on January 15, satisfying the conditions for the exchange to go through within 60 days.

A local group called Apache Stronghold promptly sued to stop the federal government from issuing a final environmental impact statement and executing the transfer. In their original complaint, Apache Stronghold argued that the land transfer violated their religious freedom and the Treaty of Santa Fe, signed by the Western Apaches and the federal government in 1852.

In March 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had directed the US Forest Service to rescind the environmental impact assessment that allowed the land exchange to happen, citing the requirement for more time to study the impact. 

After a federal judge ruled that the deal could proceed and denied the request for an injunction from Apache Stronghold, they appealed, bring the case up to the Ninth Circuit and where Biden filed its opposition to this. 

Rio Tinto has tried for more than 25 years to move forward with its Arizona’s copper project. Rio and its 45-per-cent partner, BHP, have spent more than $2 billion on Resolution Copper to date, including reclamation of an older copper mine site and sinking a second shaft.

Resolution is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper deposits and it could produce over 20 million tonnes of copper over 40 years.

The case around Resolute is one case among many, that is showing the difficult regulatory loopholes that delay new mines in the United States. 

Arizona recently stalled another copper project, with Canada’s Hudbay Minerals (TSX, NYSE: HBM) currently appealing a 2019 district court decision which halted its proposed Rosemont project, saying it believed that the court had misinterpreted federal mining laws and Forest Service regulations.

Resolution and Rosemont are just two mines in the United States that are facing a permitting process that delays projects and invites litigation from opposition.  

According to a Reuters news story, it can take 10 or more years to get a mining permit in the United States, though the process in Canada and Australia lasts two to three years.

Mining companies in the US hope Biden’s interest in a domestic supply of critical minerals and green energy will help put industry complaints of a time-consuming and litigious permitting process at the forefront.

Environmental reviews and permits under the National Environmental Policy Act take roughly nine years to complete, said Jonathan Evans, CEO of Lithium Americas who is building the Thacker Pass lithium mine and is facing regulatory hurdles over a rare wildflower.

The 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41), signed into law by President Obama, established a more efficient environmental review and permitting process for major infrastructure projects that cost $200 million plus.

Large, complex wind, solar and renewable power transmission projects have been able to take advantage of the FAST-41 process to expedite permitting and approval. 

The Trump administration added mining to the list of industries that can receive fast-tracked permitting before he left office in early 2021. But FAST-41 will expire in December 2022 unless the act is extended.

Reversing dependence on mineral imports is a herculean task. This permitting risk plus the high cost of building a hard rock mine and environmental and local opposition create high hurdles for mining companies to overcome. 

In the meantime, there are affordable supplies of metals and minerals from Canada, Mexico, South Africa, South America, and especially China while the United States sorts out its permitting processes and comes to grips with material impact of the energy transition. 

There 1058 technical reports from US mining projects on Prospector Portal. 

 

Canada Outlines Plan to Combat China’s Dominance over Critical Minerals

A report from Canada’s natural resources department was presented to the country's legislative body, raising the alarm on the importance of a domestic supply of critical minerals, particularly in light of China’s dominance. 

Currently, China owns ~80% of the global processing capacity for rare earths, and it has been investing for decades in buying mineral assets around the world. According to data collected by the report’s authors, China will continue to have ~67% of the global capacity to build lithium-ion batteries by 2030. 

The report says it is time for the Canadian government to leverage the Canadian mining expertise and take steps to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign markets while positioning itself on global markets.

The report points out that Canada has all the elements to reduce its foreign dependence on foreign metal supplies, as it produces 60 minerals, including critical minerals. It is the only nation in the western hemisphere that has copper, cobalt, rare earth elements, graphite, lithium, manganese and nickel deposits, which are all needed to produce advanced batteries for electric vehicles.

There are 3056 technical reports for projects in Canada on Prospector Portal. 


New Technical Reports on Prospector Portal

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Elk Gold Project
6/21/2021

NATIONAL INSTRUMENT 43-101 TECHNICAL REPORT UPDATED PRELIMINARY ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT ON THE ELK GOLD PROJECT MERRITT, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA PREPARED FOR: GOLD MOUNTAIN MINING CORP. 1000 – 1285 WEST PENDER STREET VANCOUVER, B.C. V6E 4B1 PREPARED BY: ANTONIO LOSCHIAVO, P.ENG. ROBERT G. WILSON, P.GEO. GREG Z. MOSHER, P.GEO. ANDRÉ DE RUIJTER, P.ENG. REPORT DATE: JUNE 21, 2021 EFFECTIVE DATE: MAY 14, 2021 NATIONAL INSTRUMENT 43-101 TECHNICAL REPORT UPDATED PRELIMINARY ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT ON THE ELK GOLD PROJECT, MERRITT, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA Contents

 

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Akyanga Gold Deposit
6/18/2021

National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report Prepared in accordance with NI43-101 and Form 43-101F1 Akyanga 43-101 INDEPENDENT TECHNICAL REPORT, MISISI GOLD PROJECT AND AKYANGA MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO LAT/LONG: 4°46'00"S, 28°43'30"E UTM ZONE 35M: 691318.55 M E, 9472888.55 M S Rackla Metals Inc Effective Date: 5 May 2021 Report date: 18 June 2021 Authors: John Arthur Akyanga_43101_March2021_r08.docx Ephraim Masibhera Bruce Alexander Smith CERTIFICATE OF QUALIFIED PERSON I, John Arthur do hereby certify that: 1.

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Platosa Polymetallic (Silver, Lead and Zinc) Mine
6/17/2021

Technical Report for the Platosa Polymetallic (Silver, Lead and Zinc) Mine, Mexico Report Prepared for Excellon Resources Inc. Report Prepared by SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 3CE016.010 June 17, 2021 3CE016.010 – Excellon Resources Inc. Technical Report for the Platosa Polymetallic Mine, Mexico Page i Technical Report for the Platosa Polymetallic (Silver, Lead and Zinc) Mine, Mexico Excellon Resources Inc.z

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Alamos Silver Project
6/16/2021

NI43-101 TECHNICAL REPORT on the ALAMOS SILVER PROJECT Municipality of Alamos Sonora State, Mexico Latitude 26o 59' 51” N Longitude 109o 01' 29” W UTM 12R 695800mE/2991400mN For Minaurum Gold Inc. Lorne Warner P. Geo L#25734 Geocon Enterprises Inc. Effective Date: June 8, 2021 Stephen R Maynard, C.P.G.#10496 V.P. Exploration Minaurum Gold Inc.


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