Technology Metals Report (TMR 06.14.2024): Europe’s Tariffs on Chinese Electric Vehicles, Energy Fuels Commercial Production of Magnetic Materials, and the CMI Critical Minerals List Unveiled

Welcome to the latest issue of the Technology Metals Report (TMR), brought to you by the Critical Minerals Institute (CMI). In this edition, we compile the most impactful stories shared by our CMI Directors over the past week, reflecting the dynamic and evolving nature of the critical minerals and technology metals industry. Among the key stories featured in this report are Canada’s commitment to expedite mining exploration, the European Union’s new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, and Norway’s discovery of Europe’s largest, rare earth metals deposit. Additionally, we cover Bill Gates’ TerraPower nuclear plant groundbreaking and Critical Metals Corp.’s acquisition of a controlling interest in Greenland’s rare earth mine. Each story is presented in chronological order to provide a clear timeline of recent developments.

This week’s TMR Report also highlights the Critical Minerals Institute’s unveiling of its first-ever Critical Minerals List ahead of CMI Summit III, emphasizing 18 minerals essential for Western economic growth and technological advancement. Furthermore, we examine Energy Fuels Inc.’s commercial production of separated rare earths at its White Mesa Mill in Utah and the Government of Canada’s release of an updated Critical Minerals List. Additionally, JPMorgan’s analysis of China’s dominance in critical minerals and its implications for the U.S.-China trade dynamics is explored. These stories underscore the critical importance of strategic actions and policies in securing the supply chains for essential minerals and advancing technological innovations. To stay informed and involved, consider becoming a member of the CMI by clicking [here].

China’s vast copper overhang will clear, one way or another: (June 13, 2024, Source) — China’s massive copper overhang is influencing global market dynamics, easing prices and adjusting trade flows. Stockpiles surged to a 51-month high in June, diverging from the usual seasonal pattern due to ongoing inflows despite weak demand in sectors like housing and manufacturing. Beijing’s stimulus hasn’t significantly revived the property sector, and the manufacturing PMI dropped below 50 in May. Despite this, China’s unwrought copper imports rose 17.4% in May and 8.8% year-to-date, partly due to discounted Russian copper amid Western sanctions. Refined copper output increased by 9.2% in April, even with production cuts by smelters. As the rest of the world stabilizes, China’s surplus copper is likely to flow to global markets, stabilizing prices around $10,000 a ton.

Canada’s Federal Government Commits to Expedite, Streamline and Stimulate Mining Exploration and Permitting – But is it Enough?: (June 13, 2024, Source) — Canada’s federal government is revamping its approach to mining, shifting from a passive role to becoming an active partner and enabler. The 2022 Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy and the 2024 federal Budget are pivotal in this transition, focusing on stimulating exploration, accelerating project development, and promoting stakeholder support. The Budget allocates $3.8 billion to the Strategy, introducing several tax credits and aiming to streamline regulatory processes, reducing the permitting timeline by up to a decade. Additionally, the government is enhancing support for Indigenous communities’ equity ownership in mining projects. Canada’s historic mining prowess, bolstered by significant financial, legal, and technical expertise, particularly in Toronto, positions it as a global leader. The government’s renewed focus aims to bolster economic growth and secure critical mineral supply chains, addressing both national prosperity and geopolitical security. However, sustained investor confidence and broader societal support are crucial for the long-term success of these initiatives.

The Critical Minerals Institute (CMI) Unveils First-Ever Critical Minerals List Ahead of CMI Summit III: (June 12, 2024, Source) — The Critical Minerals Institute (CMI) has unveiled its first Critical Minerals List for June 2024, highlighting 18 minerals essential for Western economic growth. This list emphasizes their importance and the challenges of global supply chains, featuring minerals like Cobalt, Lithium, and Rare Earth Elements (REEs). Key criteria for inclusion are their roles in economic growth and technological advancement. For instance, Cobalt from the DRC is crucial for batteries, while China dominates the supply of Gallium, Graphite, and REEs. The list underscores the risks of dependence on single-source suppliers, advocating for diversification. CMI’s rigorous selection process and comprehensive approach aim to guide policymakers and industry leaders in addressing supply chain vulnerabilities. Key minerals include Copper, Lithium, PGMs, REEs, and Uranium.

EU to impose tariffs of up to 38% on Chinese electric vehicles: (June 12, 2024, Source) — The European Commission will impose tariffs up to 38.1% on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) starting in July, targeting subsidies and risking Beijing’s retaliation. This decision follows the US’s increase of Chinese EV duties to 100%. Tariffs will range from 17.4% for BYD to 38.1% for SAIC, adding billions in costs for Chinese carmakers struggling with demand and prices. Chinese EVs now capture 8% of the EU market, potentially rising to 15% by 2025. The EU aims to avoid previous issues with solar panels. Major European carmakers, including BMW and Volkswagen, fear Chinese retaliation, and Beijing condemned the tariffs as protectionism. The Chinese Passenger Car Association foresees minimal impact, as some firms, like Tesla and Geely, invest in European production to avoid tariffs. The EU will apply duties by July 4, with a full investigation continuing until November.

Norway discovers Europe’s largest deposit of rare earth metals: (June 11, 2024, Source) — Norway has discovered Europe’s largest deposit of rare earth elements, located at the Fen Carbonatite Complex in the southeast, with a total of 8.8 million metric tons of total rare earth oxides (TREOs). This deposit includes 1.5 million metric tons of magnet-related rare earths essential for electric vehicles and wind turbines. Owned by Rare Earths Norway, this discovery is significant as it is not controlled by China, aiding Europe’s efforts to reduce reliance on Chinese rare earths. The demand for these elements is set to rise dramatically with the clean energy transition. Rare Earths Norway aims to begin extraction by 2030, contributing to the EU’s goal of extracting 10% of its annual rare earth demand. This positions Norway as a crucial part of Europe’s rare earth and critical raw material value chain, emphasizing the growing importance of rare earths in the global energy landscape.

Gates-backed nuclear plant breaks ground without guarantee it’ll have fuel: (June 11, 2024, Source) — Bill Gates’ TerraPower has initiated construction on a Wyoming nuclear plant without securing the necessary high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel, primarily produced by Russia and China. In his announcement, Gates did not address this critical issue, choosing instead to highlight the potential of nuclear energy. Originally focused on a traveling-wave reactor, TerraPower has pivoted to a sodium fast reactor, now facing a significant fuel supply challenge. The U.S. has limited HALEU production, with Centrus Energy Corp.’s (NYSE American: LEU) American Centrifuge Operating (ACO) producing only small quantities. Significant federal funding is required to scale up production to meet future demands. TerraPower plans to begin constructing the nuclear portion of the facility in 2026, aiming for operational status by 2030. Historically, nuclear projects frequently exceed both timelines and budgets, adding uncertainty to TerraPower’s ambitious goals. Despite these challenges, Gates remains optimistic about revolutionizing power generation through advanced nuclear technology.

New York-listed Critical Metals to pay US$211 million to buy Greenland’s rare earth mine: (June 11, 2024, Source) — Critical Metals Corp. (NASDAQ: CRML) is set to acquire a controlling interest in Greenland’s Tanbreez rare earth deposit for $211 million, aiming to support a US-aligned strategic metals supply chain. The US-listed company will acquire up to 92.5% of Tanbreez’s equity. Tanbreez, one of the world’s largest rare earth deposits, holds a mining license from Greenland’s government. Critical Metals’ shares rose 10% before settling. The acquisition comes amid US and allied concerns over China’s dominance in rare earth production, as China processes nearly 90% of these elements and recently restricted export technologies. Critical Metals’ CEO Tony Sage emphasized the need for a non-Chinese supply chain, with plans to build a processing facility in Greenland or the US. The acquisition includes an initial $5 million purchase of shares from Tanbreez’s primary owner.

Energy Fuels Achieves Commercial Production of ‘On-Spec’ Separated Rare Earths at its White Mesa Mill in Utah, While Simultaneously Advancing Uranium Production: (June 10, 2024, Source) — Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU | TSX: EFR) has achieved commercial production of separated neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) at its White Mesa Mill in Utah. This NdPr meets the specifications for rare earth metal-makers and is critical for manufacturing permanent magnets used in electric vehicles and hybrids. The company’s new Phase 1 REE separation circuit can produce 850 to 1,000 metric tons of NdPr annually, with commercial quantities available by June 2024. Additionally, Energy Fuels is advancing uranium production and expects to process uranium ore in Q3 2024. The company plans to expand its REE separation capabilities further, with Phase 2 and Phase 3 circuits potentially increasing NdPr production to 4,000 to 6,000 tons per year. Energy Fuels also aims to produce separated heavy REEs like dysprosium and terbium, vital for various clean energy and defense applications. This development positions Energy Fuels as a leading U.S. producer of both rare earth elements and uranium.

Government of Canada Releases Updated Critical Minerals List: (June 10, 2024, Source) — The Government of Canada has released an updated Critical Minerals List, essential for guiding efforts in sustainable mining, advanced manufacturing, and clean technology. This update, announced by Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, includes 34 minerals, adding high-purity iron, phosphorus, and silicon metal to the 31 minerals identified in 2021. These critical minerals are vital for the green and digital economy, supporting products like semiconductors, green steel, and fertilizers. The updated list results from extensive consultations with governments, industry, Indigenous groups, and stakeholders. Canada’s strategy aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, positioning the country as a key global supplier of critical minerals for clean energy and technology.

China has a ‘near monopoly’ on many critical minerals. JPMorgan says it could be the next battleground with the U.S.: (June 10, 2024, Source) — China’s “near monopoly” on critical minerals, essential for semiconductors and other technologies, could be the next battleground with the U.S., according to JPMorgan. President Biden’s recent tariffs on Chinese products have intensified the U.S.-China trade war. In 2022, China dominated the production and processing of minerals like rare earths and graphite, crucial for batteries and electronics. This dominance raises concerns about potential retaliation by China. The U.S. relies heavily on imports for several critical minerals, many sourced from China. JPMorgan suggests that the U.S. can mitigate risks through diversification, new mining technologies, and strategic stockpiling. Despite tensions, JPMorgan believes China’s response will be measured, and the U.S. can find alternative suppliers from allies like Canada, Australia, and Japan.

Investor.News Critical Minerals Media Coverage:

  • June 12, 2024 – The Critical Minerals Institute (CMI) Unveils First-Ever Critical Minerals List Ahead of CMI Summit III https://bit.ly/3VGy7PB
  • June 12, 2024 – Voyageur’s Partnership with Rain Cage Offers the Promise of Transforming Diagnostic Imaging and Healthcare Solutions https://bit.ly/4cfP2yN
  • June 11, 2024 – Vietnam’s Rare Earths Export Ban: Casting the Die on the Global Critical Minerals Supply Chain https://bit.ly/45mYG0g

Investor.News Critical Minerals Videos:

  • June 10, 2024 – Jean-Francois Meilleur on the ongoing demand for uranium and Xcite Resources’ recent acquisition of the Beaver Lodge Camp https://bit.ly/4bUoCTz

Critical Minerals IN8.Pro Member News Releases:

  • June 14, 2024 – Neo Announces Strategic Review Process Intended to Maximize Shareholder Value and Announces Intention to Add Hastings Technology Metals Nominee to the Board https://bit.ly/3z1ekm9
  • June 13, 2024 – Scandium Canada Ltd. Announces Update on Market Development https://bit.ly/45m8MP0
  • June 13, 2024 – Halleck Creek Project Update https://bit.ly/3XlM87J
  • June 13, 2024 – Appia to Conduct a Diamond Drilling Program at Its Uranium-Bearing Loranger Property, Wollaston Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada https://bit.ly/4ewGdTs
  • June 13, 2024 – Mining All Stars back up to $20 Million Investment in Power Nickel https://bit.ly/3Vh33We
  • June 13, 2024 – Capão do Mel Resource Update Doubles Caldeira Project Measured and Indicated Resources https://bit.ly/4c0Fvfq
  • June 12, 2024 – Energy Fuels Announces Election of Directors https://bit.ly/4ckBrpY
  • June 12, 2024 – FuelPositive: First Scalable Green Ammonia Production System Successfully Installed on Manitoba Farm https://bit.ly/4ckFl2n
  • June 12, 2024 – Appia Earns Initial 10% Legal and Beneficial Interest in the PCH Project https://bit.ly/4bXdPrV
  • June 12, 2024 – F3 Hits 2.0m of 31.4% U3O8 Within 7.6% Over 12.0m at JR https://bit.ly/4bZ6xUs
  • June 11, 2024 – Testing to Begin of Radiology Endohedral Fullerenes, a Milestone in Nanotechnology & Drug Development https://bit.ly/4aWZfiz
  • June 11, 2024 – First Phosphate Announces Filing of Final Short Form Base Shelf Prospectus https://bit.ly/3VlhB77
  • June 11, 2024 – NEO Battery Materials Forges Collaboration Agreement with Major South Korean Chemical Material Company, INNOX eco-M https://bit.ly/4bUPJOu
  • June 11, 2024 – ASM refinances Korean corporate debt facilities https://bit.ly/4cjoahH
  • June 10, 2024 – First Phosphate Corp. Welcomes the Addition of Phosphorous to the Critical Minerals List of Canada https://bit.ly/3KDn0BO
  • June 10, 2024 – Power Nickel Commences 8,000 Meters Summer Drill Program https://bit.ly/4ceODgk
  • June 10, 2024 – Energy Fuels Achieves Commercial Production of ‘On-Spec’ Separated Rare Earths at its White Mesa Mill in Utah, While Simultaneously Advancing Uranium Production https://bit.ly/4ehOHxG
  • June 10, 2024 – F3 Advances F4 Spin Out https://bit.ly/4ccPr5f