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Kinross sells Chirano gold mine in Ghana to Asante in $225m deal

Kinross Gold (TSX: G) (NYSE: KGC) is selling its 90% interest in the Chirano mine in Ghana to fellow Canadian Asante Gold (CSE: ASE) in a cash and shares deal worth $225 million.

The open-pit and underground mining operation in southwestern Ghana produced 154,668 gold-equivalent ounces in 2021, compared to 166,590 in 2020 and is located immediately south of Asante Gold’s Bibiani gold mine. The government of Ghana holds a 10% interest.

The Toronto-based company will receive $115 million in cash and Asante common shares with a value of $50 million based on the 30-day average price of the buying company prior to closing.

Kinross will also receive a total deferred payment of $60 million in cash, with 50% payable on the first anniversary of closing and the other 50% payable on the second anniversary of closing.

Chirano represented nearly 3% of Kinross’ total mineral reserve estimates as of year-end 2021 and with its sale, the company will no longer have assets or interests in Ghana.

“[The mine] is a relatively small, short-life mine in an operating jurisdiction with no synergies other Kinross assets, ” BMO Metals and Mining analyst Jackie Przybylowski wrote on Monday. “Even correcting for what is potentially a low mined grade in our forecasts, we believe the sale price is a fair value.”

The deal, expected to close around the end of May, follows Kinross’ sale earlier this month of all its Russian assets to Highland Gold Mining.

Before the invasion of Ukraine, Kinross had forecast that about 13% of its global production would come from Russia, where it operated for 25 years.

Asante, which acquired Bibiani from Australia’s Resolute Mining (ASX, LON: RSG) last year, began production at the asset in February.

Original source:Kinross sells gold mine in Ghana to Asante in $225m deal – MINING.COM

Mexico nationalizes lithium mining

Mexico passes mining reform nationalizing lithium

Andrés Manuel López Obrador. (Image courtesy of Mexican President’s Office.)

The bill elevates lithium to the category of “strategic mineral”, declaring the exploration, exploitation, and use of lithium to be the exclusive right of the state. It also includes a clause allowing the state to take charge of “other minerals declared strategic” by Mexico.

The executive has now 90 days to create a new, decentralized body to deal with all lithium-related matters.

Since taking power in 2018, López Obrador has fought to reverse resource reforms under previous governments, which opened up the oil and electricity sectors to private investment. He has pushed a resource exploitation model that gives priority to state-controlled companies.

The President said his administration will review all lithium contracts, which casts a shadow of doubt over projects already being developed in the country, including the one held by Bacanora Lithium (LON: BCN) in the country’s northwest. The company, owned by China’s Genfeng Lithium, owns the giant Sonora project, which is slated to produce 35,000 tonnes of the metal per year starting in 2023.

Mexico passes mining reform nationalizing lithium
Bacanora has been building a 35,000 tonnes per annum battery grade lithium operation in Mexico’s Sonora state. (Image courtesy of Bacanora Lithium.)

The law would likely bring trade tensions with the country’s northern neighbours as it is said to violate the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Kenneth Smith Ramos, who headed technical negotiations for the now defunct North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), told local media that declaring lithium a strategic mineral is an issue as lithium was not designated as such when the three nations signed the accord.

The Mexican Association of Mining Engineers, Metallurgists and Geologists said in a statement that “clays containing lithium have been located” in the country. “To the best of our knowledge, no country has produced and commercialized lithium from clays,” it added.

Most of the world’s current lithium output is locked away in long term deals as downstream chemicals producers, battery makers and electric vehicles makers are frantically trying to secure future supply.

Mexico’s reserves of the sought-after metal positions it in the 10th place among the world’s top producers, data from the US Geological Survey shows.

Copied from Mexico nationalizes lithium mining – MINING.COM

Company Plans to Dig World’s Deepest Hole to Unleash Boundless Energy

The geothermal startup Quaise Energy has raised $63 million in funding to tap Earth’s deep subterranean power.

ABSTRACT breaks down mind-bending scientific research, future tech, new discoveries, and major breakthroughs. See More →

A company that plans to drill deeper into Earth than ever before, creating holes that would extend a record-shattering 12 miles under our planet’s surface, has raised a total of $63 million since its launch in 2020. 

Most recently, Quaise Energy, a startup that aims to revolutionize the geothermal energy market, secured $40 million in series A funding in February, reports Axios. The goal of these super-deep holes is to access a limitless amount of renewable energy from the heat deep inside Earth.

“This funding round brings us closer to providing clean, renewable baseload energy,” said Carlos Araque, CEO and co-founder of Quaise Energy, according to BusinessWire. “Our technology allows us to access energy anywhere in the world, at a scale far greater than wind and solar, enabling future generations to thrive in a world powered with abundant clean energy.”

Geothermal energy has a low profile compared to other renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro, but Quaise believes it is “at the core of an energy-independent world,” according to the company’s website. This form of energy is among the oldest power sources harnessed by humans, but it only accounts for about 0.4 percent of net energy production in the United States, which is the world’s biggest geothermal producer.

Current geothermal plants are typically built in areas where hot rock is located close to Earth’s surface, such as tectonically active fault lines, which makes it easier to tap our planet’s natural heat and convert into steam-powered electricity. But geothermal energy could play a much bigger role in meeting the world’s energy needs if plants could access the hot rock that is globally available several miles under the planet’s surface.

Quaise, which is a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), intends to pioneer this technology using vacuum tubes known as gyrotrons that shoot millimeter-wave light beams, powered by electrons in a strong magnetic field. Using these devices, the company plans to burn almost twice as far into Earth as the deepest holes ever made, such as Russia’s Kola Superdeep Borehole or Qatar’s Al Shaheen oil well, both of which extend for about 7.5 miles. 

Gyrotrons are powerful enough to heat plasma in nuclear fusion experiments, making them an ideal tool to probe unprecedented depths of some 12 miles, where subterranean rocks roil at temperatures of about 500°C (930°F). Water pumped into this searing environment would instantly vaporize as steam that could be efficiently converted to electricity. 

Araque and his team at Quaise plan to funnel their seed money into prototype technologies within the next few years. By 2028, the company aspires to retrofit coal-fueled power plants into geothermal energy hotspots, reports ScienceAlert. The process of drilling out these super-deep holes would take a few months, but once the setup is complete, they could provide limitless energy to a region for up to a century, according to Araque.

This untapped source of deep-Earth power could wind up as part of a multi-pronged approach to ending our civilization’s reliance on fossil fuels, which are the main cause of human-driven climate change. Geothermal energy may emerge as a clean power source alongside solar, wind, hydro, and—if the stars align—nuclear fusion, though the latter form of energy is likely many decades away, assuming it is ever achieved at all. 

And while it may seem slightly unsettling to plumb the depths of our planet in this way, Araque is confident the technique will not disturb any Kaiju or lizard people in underground layers or condemn Earth to the same fate as Superman’s planet Krypton, according to an interview in New Atlas. Notably, though, he did not address the Lovecraftian risk of awakening Cthulhu and the Ancient Ones.

Original post by Becky Ferreira

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