Aluminum   $ 2.1505 kg        |         Cobalt   $ 33.420 kg        |         Copper   $ 8.2940 kg        |         Gallium   $ 222.80 kg        |         Gold   $ 61736.51 kg        |         Indium   $ 284.50 kg        |         Iridium   $ 144678.36 kg        |         Iron Ore   $ 0.1083 kg        |         Lead   $ 2.1718 kg        |         Lithium   $ 29.821 kg        |         Molybdenum   $ 58.750 kg        |         Neodymium   $ 82.608 kg        |         Nickel   $ 20.616 kg        |         Palladium   $ 40303.53 kg        |         Platinum   $ 30972.89 kg        |         Rhodium   $ 131818.06 kg        |         Ruthenium   $ 14950.10 kg        |         Silver   $ 778.87 kg        |         Steel Rebar   $ 0.5063 kg        |         Tellurium   $ 73.354 kg        |         Tin   $ 25.497 kg        |         Uranium   $ 128.42 kg        |         Zinc   $ 2.3825 kg        |         
Image source: https://pixelied.com/

Rock-bottom reached… ?

The market has taken a dive, but at least we’re rock-solid on where we stand… at rock bottom! Valuations are squashed, raising capital is like squeezing blood from a stone, and life is throwing lemons like a pro juggler. But remember, out of the depths of despair springs opportunity. As they say, “When you’re at rock-bottom, there’s only one way to go… up!”

Not all commodities are equal

Gold is stealing the show this year, jumping $150/oz and bringing PDAC back to life. Uranium was last year’s news, and now gold is strutting its stuff. But not all commodities are created equal. While uranium is riding high on a wave of funding, lithium, cobalt, and nickel CEOs are trying to dodge the fallout from oversupply and low demand. In defiance of the lithium doom and gloom mining giant Rio Tinto “would love” to produce lithium in Canada, given the right project. The company’s CEO Jakob Stausholm believes lithium is more likely to dominate the battery market in the future than other metals such as nickel and cobalt.

ESG: Show Me, Don’t Tell Me

ESG talk was noticeably muted this year. Less talk, more rock! The market has no time for glossy photo ops. ESG should be in your DNA, not just on your magazine covers. Show us the real stuff: the dirt, the rocks, the hard facts. We’ll take geology over glamour any day!

AI vs Humans in mining and geology

Humans 1, AI 0. For now…. So far, humans are still beating AI in the real discovery game. However, AI is creeping in, promising to make us faster, smarter…and maybe replace a few of us. Yikes.

Mongolia and Kazakhstan were the belles of the PDAC ball

Between the two of them, Central Asia is suddenly looking a lot more interesting.


Mongolia on the rise

The enthusiasm for Mongolia’s mining sector was palpable at PDAC 2024, with expectations of significant growth in production and exploration. Mongolia’s Harvard-educated Mining Vice Minister Dr. Uyanga Bold drew crowds worthy of a rock star at the “Mongolia Day”. This event, organised by the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry of Mongolia and the Mongolian National Mining, aimed to showcase the country’s mining sector and investment opportunities. Notably, Mongolia’s lithium brine exploration was highlighted, with Lithium ION Energy Ltd. presenting its flagship Baavhai Uul lithium brine project, marking significant progress in Mongolia’s lithium industry. Will Mongolia be able to maintain its leading position in the mining investment world after the 20 June parliamentary elections? It remains to be seen.

Kazakhstan continues to draw attention

Kazakhstan has been prominently represented at PDAC through various avenues such as the National Pavilion, Canada-Kazakhstan Business Council, and the “Kazakhstan Day” organised by Aurora Ltd. The new face of Kazakhstan’s Mining Industry, Minister Kanat Sharapaev impressed investors and international institutions alike. Key topics of discussion included Kazakhstan’s ongoing reforms in subsoil management, aimed at improving efficiency, environmental sustainability, and investment attractiveness in the mining sector. Kazakhstan is increasingly becoming an attractive destination for major mining companies, with many considering establishing a local presence or forming partnerships to compete for licenses and projects. Minister Sharlapaev emphasised the Government’s role in creating a business-friendly environment for investors, highlighting Kazakhstan’s strategic position in the global minerals market and its potential for joint ventures and investment opportunities. Minister Sharapaev’s strategic outreach, the country’s natural resource potential and plans for AI-driven exploration, present attractive opportunities for mining companies. The event also saw the signing of numerous MoUs and partnerships with organisations such as the National Geological Survey of Kazakhstan (NGS), Koan Analytics, Eramet, and others.

 

If you have not signed this already, book your place at MINEX Kazakhstan Mining and Mineral Exploration we are organising in Astana on 17-18 April https://2024.minexkazakhstan.com/

Debutants at PDAC


Debutants at PDAC


Estonia

Estonia just levelled up in the global mineral game by joining the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) contributing to improved international cooperation on securing critical raw materials supply. Invest Estonia, together with the Estonian Ministry of Climate and the Estonian Embassy in Canada, hosted a breakfast with Estonian mining experts from government, academia, and industry representatives. The panel was led by Kalev Ruberg, a futurist visionary known for his transformational technology expertise in business and government. The event featured a network of Estonian companies such as Zeroterrain, Limestone, BiotaTec, TalTech University, Trisector, Eesti Energia, and NPM Silmet (Neo Performance Materials). Topics covered included rare earth elements competence and supply chain in Europe, the NPM Silmet rare earth separation facility, and Neo Performance Materials’ permanent magnet factory. Estonia’s potential critical minerals resources and plans related to the EU critical minerals strategy were also discussed, focusing on phosphorite, metals, and reuse of oil shale ash and semi-coke through partnership and innovation, showcasing Estonia’s mining innovation at its best!

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan made its PDAC debut with the Ministry of Mining organising a national pavilion and Navoi Gold presenting its investment projects. The objectives of the Ministry were to showcase Uzbekistan’s openness and plans to the global community. According to Behzod Mamatov, Head of the Ministry’s Department, over ten foreign investors are involved in Uzbekistan’s mining sector at the moment. The Government is currently developing a legislative framework to attract junior companies, which, in turn, should help in attracting major investors. This includes a new approach to exploration, primarily funded by investors with minimal state involvement. Uzbekistan’s 2030 Development Strategy sets clear goals for the mining sector: to increase gold production by 1.5 times, copper by 3.5 times, silver by 3 times, and uranium by 3.5 times. These targets are expected to be met through both domestic funding and international investment. The total investment projects in the modernization of Uzbekistan’s mining industry amount to a staggering 23 billion US dollars. Navoi Gold is one of the two state-owned mining companies contributing 8% to Uzbekistan’s GDP. With an annual production of over 3 million ounces of gold and a 684 USD cost per ounce production cost, Navoi Gold is the world’s 4th largest gold mining company. However, the company has no plans to slow down and is aiming to increase its production and resource base further. The company has a robust exploration program in place, with a budget of over $100 million for the year, to identify new targets and deepen their understanding of its flagship mine. The company is also committed to ESG principles and is taking steps to reduce its water consumption by 20% by 2030. Additionally, Navoi Gold is transitioning to renewable energy sources and plans to introduce over 500 megawatts of solar power by 2030.

Save the data and money. Register for the MINEX Central Asia Forum in Bishkek

Mark the date in your calendar. On 18-20 June 2024 in Bishkek, Republic of Kyrgyzstan, the MINEX Forum is re-launching its Central Asia Nomad event. Early bird registration is open at https://2024.minexasia.com/