Weekly Nugget

The resurgence of Uranium in 2024

Dig into the latest mining trends, data, and news in this week's Nugget!


🔥  What's New 

Missed The Monthly Mining Roundup?

Missed the Monthly Mining Roundup? Catch all the insights into the state of Uranium in the mining industry from Emily King's recent chat with Alex Michshenko, CEO of Trident Maor.

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🎧 On The Rocks

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📰 In The News

Tensions Grow As China Ramps Up Global Mining For Green Tech

The expansion of Chinese involvement in mining operations worldwide, particularly in regions rich in critical minerals like lithium, has led to growing tensions between Chinese businesses and local communities. Friction, protests, and allegations of abuses have arisen, mirroring issues faced by other international mining giants. Chinese companies now control a significant portion of lithium reserves in regions such as the "lithium triangle" of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Despite efforts by Chinese mining trade bodies to address grievances, concerns persist about environmental damage, forced relocations, and inadequate community engagement. As China's role in foreign mining operations continues to grow, the economic benefits for Chinese workers often come at the expense of strained relationships with host communities and cultural isolation.

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What’s Really Driving The Gold Price Surge?

Despite facing headwinds such as a strong US dollar and positive real yields, spot gold reached $2,319 an ounce as of May 1, marking a 12.6% increase year to date. This surge comes amidst geopolitical tensions, including wars in Ukraine and Gaza, and concerns over a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Central bank buying remains robust, with East and Central Asian central banks leading the way in net purchases. Meanwhile, countries like China and Russia are actively divesting from US dollars and increasing their gold reserves as part of a broader de-dollarization trend. Despite slow progress, diversification away from the dollar continues, with gold emerging as a favored asset among institutional investors.

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Aluminum: The Copper Grid Alternative

Aluminum plays a critical and diverse role in the global economy, from drink cans to fighter jet airframes. With superior corrosion resistance, it's utilized in solar installations, offshore wind farms, and power grid infrastructure, where it's increasingly replacing copper due to its conductivity and cost-effectiveness. Demand for aluminum is projected to grow significantly, particularly driven by China's infrastructure expansion. However, supply challenges, including energy-intensive production and fluctuating energy costs, present investment considerations. ETFs offer a strategic investment avenue amidst these dynamics.

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Critical Minerals Recovery From Electronic Waste

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a promising method for recovering valuable minerals from electronic waste (e-waste), presenting their findings at the 2024 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting. By using a simple mixed-salt water-based solution and exploiting the distinct properties of metals, such as their tendency to form solids at different rates, the team successfully separated and purified minerals critical to modern electronics, including rare earth elements like neodymium and dysprosium. This breakthrough could pave the way for economically feasible mineral recovery from e-waste streams, offering a sustainable solution to the growing challenge of electronic waste disposal. Additionally, the research has implications for other applications, such as recovering manganese from lithium-ion battery waste, contributing to efforts for a robust, domestic supply chain of critical minerals and rare earth elements.

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❓Prospector Poll

What is the most neglected part of the mining value chain? 

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Last Week's Results

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