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18 June

Spanish miner tests tech for critical metals recovery from mine waste

Credit: Cobre Las Cruces

Spanish mining company Cobre Las Cruces (CLC) has unveiled plans to trial new technologies for the extraction of critical metals such as cobalt, tungsten, gold and silver from mine waste. 

This initiative is part of the EU-funded RAWMINA project, which focuses on providing critical raw materials necessary for renewable energy development and energy storage systems, including electric vehicle batteries. 

One of the methods is bioleaching, a process that utilises microorganisms to extract metals from rocks. CLC noted that bioleaching has several advantages compared with traditional metallurgical processes. These advantages include reduced energy and chemical usage, lower capital and operational costs as well as reduced CO2 emissions. 

The company’s pilot plant, constructed in 2016, for its polymetallic refinery project will serve as the testing ground for this technology. 

CLC stated that extraction of raw materials from mine waste is not only pivotal for the energy transition but also aims to diminish Europe’s reliance on external markets such as China.

14 June

Inflection Resources selects Fleet Space’s AI tech for copper exploration

Inflection Resources has collaborated with Fleet Space Technologies to harness space technology and AI to identify copper-gold deposits in Australia’s Macquarie Arc. 

Fleet Space’s ExoSphere, an end-to-end mineral exploration solution, has real-time ambient noise tomography survey capabilities. These have enabled Inflection Resources to pinpoint several new priority targets at its Duck Creek project in New South Wales. 

Inflection Resources is now preparing to deploy ExoSphere across 1,818 km² of its tenement portfolio. It aims to utilise Fleet Space’s advanced AI capabilities to create a comprehensive copper prospectivity map of its projects throughout the Macquarie Arc. 

The ExoSphere geophysical surveys at the Duck Creek Project have been instrumental in identifying multiple new high-priority drill targets. These targets will be the focus of exploration efforts in the upcoming months.

14 June

BRE secures $80m for exploration at rare earth projects

Australian company Brazilian Rare Earths (BRE) has secured firm commitments to raise A$80m ($52.87m) through a share placement, aimed at expediting exploration and development activities at its key projects. 

The placement involves the issuance of 24.24 million new fully paid ordinary shares at A$3.30 each, marking a 9.6% discount to the last closing price of A$3.65. 

Highbury Partnership provided corporate advisory services to BRE, while Canaccord Genuity (Australia) and Petra Capital were joint lead managers to this placement. 

BRE, backed by Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart, will use the funds to advance the Monte Alto, Sulista and Pelé rare earth projects, with a focus on exploration drilling, feasibility studies and permitting processes. 

The company will also use the financing to meet general working capital and corporate needs.

13 June

Zambia approves plan to establish mineral investment trading unit

The Zambian Cabinet has approved the establishment of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) aimed at enhancing the country’s earnings from its mineral resources, reported Reuters

Quoting the Cabinet, the news agency said that the new entity will enable the country to “move away from the dividend payment model for mineral resources and adopt a production-based sharing mechanism to ensure benefits accrue to the people of Zambia beyond Statutory obligations”. 

The new business model would allow for sharing of minerals produced and enable the government to negotiate prices of the mineral. 

The Cabinet underscored the importance of this new entity in ensuring accurate declarations of mineral consignments for both export and domestic use. 

Currently, the government holds mining interests through ZCCM Investment.

4 June

Tennant Mining begins construction at Nobles gold processing facility

Emmerson’s joint venture (JV) partner Tennant Consolidated Mining Group (Tennant Mining) has started construction on its Nobles carbon-in-leach (CIL) gold processing facility in Northern Territory, Australia. 

The plant is being relocated from Cloncurry in Queensland to the Nobles project area, situated 14km south-east of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. 

During the construction phase, this project is expected to create approximately 80 jobs, and more than 160 positions are set to be created once operational activities intensify. 

The company aims to complete the construction and commissioning of the facility by Q2 of calendar year 2025, with commercial production expected to commence in Q3 of the same year. 

Initially, Tennant Mining will concentrate on processing existing stockpiles and tailings at the Nobles open-pit mining complex.