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Make 2024 Data-Informed

Cheers to the New Year! Check out this weeks Nugget to get the latest mining industry news, social updates, and technical reports.

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📰 In The News

China Bans Export Of Rare Earth Processing Technology Over National Security

China, which dominates global rare earths processing, banned the export of rare earth extraction and separation technology on Thursday, the latest move to protect its control over the strategic metals critical for electric vehicles, wind turbines, electronics and weapons. While Western nations scramble to develop their own rare earths production to reduce reliance on China for over 90% of supply, the export ban is expected to most impact "heavy" rare earths used in EV motors and defense applications where China has near total monopoly. The ban formalizes existing limits on sharing China's closely guarded processing expertise, forcing Western companies to continue developing alternative technologies to end dependence, though bottleneck may remain for heavy rare earths still reliant on China.

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Report Provides Insight On Challenges Facing Canada’s Mineral Exploration Labour Market

A new report from the Mining Industry Human Resources Council and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada highlights growing workforce challenges in the mineral exploration industry, including declining post-secondary enrollment in key fields like geosciences and a majority of new entrants not being exposed to the sector until after graduating. The report emphasizes the need to attract more youth earlier through outreach and to leverage the higher representation of women and immigrants compared to mining overall. It provides critical labor market data to help stakeholders address shortages and position Canada as a global leader in sustainable mineral exploration and development.

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EU Sets Critical Mineral Goals, But Faces Struggle To Hit Them

The European Union has set targets to domestically mine, recycle, and process more metals critical for its green transition by 2030, but faces challenges in securing enough affordable energy, financing, and local support. While the EU's Critical Raw Materials Act aims to fast-track permitting and reduce reliance on China, its plans are threatened by soaring energy prices that have idled smelters and by far lower green subsidies compared to the U.S. Opposition has also stalled projects. With recycling limited in the near-term, the EU is looking to diversify imports through partnerships abroad, minimize material usage via innovation, and focus on higher value-added manufacturing. 

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The Trends That Shaped The Mining Sector

Analysis of 2023 trends in the mining sector reveals an industry impacted by inflation driving up supply costs and changing demand dynamics as the world transitions to renewable energy. While stock prices declined due to reduced industrial activity in China, deal activity shifted towards minerals needed for batteries and renewable technologies, with the largest acquisition being Coolabah Metal's $19.9 billion purchase of the Cannington lithium project. Artificial intelligence continued making inroads, with over half of industry respondents optimistic about its potential impact. Employment trends were mixed - while overall mining jobs declined, driven by coal phase-outs, supply chain and environment-related roles grew to deal with sourcing challenges and sustainability needs.

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⚒️ Mining Data Digest Snapshot

Screenshot 2023-12-22 at 11.21.43 AM
Monte do Carmo Project

Company: Cerrado Gold Inc.

Geography: Brazil

Minerals: Gold

Date: 12/15/23

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The Monte do Carmo gold project located in Brazil contains open pit proven and probable reserves estimated at 14.3 million tonnes grading 1.62 g/t gold containing 746,000 ounces and underground proven and probable reserves of 2.5 million tonnes grading 1.90 g/t gold containing 150,000 ounces. The project envisions a 9 year open pit mine life plus 5 years of underground mining with total material movement of 127 million tonnes. Processing is planned at 1.92 million tonnes per year with an overall gold recovery of 96.5% for open pit ore and 95.3% for underground ore. Total proven and probable reserves stand at 16.8 million tonnes grading 1.66 g/t gold containing 895,000 ounces.

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