Livent Corporation’s lithium hydroxide facility in Bessemer City, North Carolina. Livent will merge with Allkem to become the third largest lithium production company globally. Courtesy of Livent.

Welcome back to your last weekly mining news recap of 2023, where we catch you up on some of the news you may have missed. This week’s headlines include the Panamanian government shutting down First Quantum’s Cobre Panama mine, the closure of the Myra Falls mine in B.C. and McEwen Mining financing Timmins exploration projects.  

Investors in Australian lithium producer Allkem have approved a US$10.6 billion merger with U.S. lithium chemicals producer Livent Corporation, as reported by Reuters. The two companies will form a company called Arcadium Lithium, which is projected to be the third largest producer of lithium for electric vehicle batteries in the world. Both companies hold lithium assets in Canada, including Allkem’s James Bay project in Quebec and Livent’s 50 per cent stake in Nemaska Lithium Inc., which owns a lithium processing plant in Quebec and is also constructing the Whabouchi lithium mine in the province.  

Skeena Resources has received $81 million in financing from Franco-Nevada for its Eskay Creek gold-silver revitalization project in B.C., as reported by Canadian Mining Journal. The financing package includes a one per cent net smelter return royalty on its production for $56 million and a $25 million unsecured loan. The company predicted a $2 billion after-tax net present value for its Eskay Creek project in a definitive feasibility study released last month. The company is also looking to raise another $10.4 million for exploration activities on its projects in B.C’s Golden Triangle.  

The Panamanian government has started the process for the “definitive” closure of First Quantum’s Cobre Panama mine after the country’s Supreme Court ruled that the mining company’s contract with the government was unconstitutional, as reported by Reuters. Tensions continue in Panama as Canadian company Orla Mining’s concessions for the Cerro Quema project were cancelled by Panama’s trade and industry ministry, which follows November’s passing of a moratorium on new mining concessions in the country amid months-long protests.   

As we wrap up the year, we took a look back at the top 10 stories that defined 2023 in our editors’ picks. Throughout the year, CIM Magazine covered topics about innovation, the benefits of global collaboration and the diverse people moving the mining industry forward.  

The CIM Industrial Minerals Leading Practice Guidelines received an update for the first time since 2003. The CIM Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves committee cited the importance of reflecting current industry best practices and providing additional guidance on common industrial minerals as reasons for the update.  

Trafigura Mining Group announced it will close its Myra Falls polymetallic mine in B.C., as reported by Business In Vancouver. The copper, lead and zinc producing mine on Vancouver Island will go into care and maintenance as the company seeks creditor protection. Myra Falls previously closed in 2015 and was reopened in 2017 by its previous owners before the 2020 sale to Trafigura. According to Unifor, the union that represents 300 of the mine workers, the shutdown came without notice for employees.   

McEwen Mining has secured $22 million in financing for exploration projects in the Timmins region of Ontario, as reported by Northern Ontario Business. While the announcement did not indicate which project location will receive the money, its Stock West deposit is projected to produce gold in a few years.  

A recent webinar from the CIM Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (DIAC) wrapped up with a call for mining companies to step up and hire neurodivergent workers through its Neurodiversity in Mining pilot program. The DIAC webinar panelists discussed how the pilot program, which launched in 2021, has had little adoption from mining companies, and provided recommendations on hiring practices and accommodations in the workplace for neurodivergent workers.  

EY has released the top risks and opportunities for mining companies in 2024 to help provide guidance in business planning, wrote Mackenzie Patterson in the December/January issue of CIM Magazine. The report identified environmental, social and governance issues, capital and cybersecurity among the key focuses for mining executives looking into the next year. 

VRIFY provides an interactive, live presentation platform to help make mining and mineral exploration projects stand out to investors, wrote Mehanaz Yakub in the November issue of CIM Magazine. The tool features artificial intelligence, 3D modelling and 360-degree virtual tours for interactive pitches to investors. CIM Magazine spoke to companies using the software for their projects.  

This is our last weekly recap for the year. The CIM Magazine team wishes you a happy holiday season. We will return on Jan. 5, 2024 with the next recap. If you’ve got feedback, you can always reach us at Have something interesting to add? Join the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.