Barrick's joint venture with Saudi Arabian miner Ma'aden will aim for potential synergies with Barrick's Jabal Sayid copper mine. Courtesy of Barrick.

Welcome back to your weekly mining news recap, where we catch you up on some of the news you may have missed. This week’s headlines include worries over Trevali’s Caribou mine, continued conflict between First Quantum and Panama, and positive results for a Quebec graphite project.

The largest known deposit of rare earth minerals to date has been located in northern Sweden by LKAB, a Swedish mining firm, as reported by Mining Engineering. The deposit is composed of more than 1.1 million tonnes of rare earth oxides, according to LKAB. The company expects the resource will play a significant role in producing the materials needed for Europe to continue its shift to a more sustainable economy.

Quebec-based Nouveau Monde Graphite shared a preliminary economic assessment for its Uatnan mining project, northwest of Sept-Iles, Quebec. The project is expected to produce approximately 500,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate annually over 24 years, with a net present value of $2.17 billion at an eight per cent discount rate. Nouveau Monde is hoping the project will be able to take advantage of an expected increase in graphite demand for use in lithium-ion batteries.

Australia-based iron miner Roy Hill will roll out driverless operation at its mine site, retrofitting its fleet of 96 conventional haul trucks. The conversion of autonomous haulage will be done in partnership with Epiroc and ASI Mining. The manufacturer-agnostic autonomous system will operate a fleet of 54 Caterpillar 793F trucks, 24 Hitachi EH5000 vehicles and 18 Hitachi EH4000 vehicles.

Dating back to ancient Egypt, gravity separation has proven to be an effective method for recovering significant quantities of gold. The process entails using water and gravity to separate metals from additional material. Despite its long history, gains are still being made with the process to recover the precious metal.  

The New Brunswick government is being asked what happens next at the Caribou mine site, following the bankruptcy of Trevali Mining, as reported by CBC News. The provincial government is responsible for two-thirds of the reclamation costs, but has not yet detailed a plan or provided an estimate of the cleanup costs. A Trevali report from March of 2022, estimates the cost to be $49 million. The company was undone by a flood at its Perkoa mine in Burkina Faso that killed eight workers. Its Caribou zinc mine was put on care and maintenance in August of 2022 when the company filed for bankruptcy.

Ten armed men stole multiple shipping containers loaded with approximately US$4.4 million worth of copper plates belonging to state miner Codelco from a Chilean seaport, as reported by Reuters. Workers at the San Antonio port were attacked by the thieves during the early morning hours. An investigation is under way, though no suspects have yet been identified.

Following an update to investors from First Quantum Minerals on its conflict with the Panamanian government over the Cobre Panamá copper mine, the government has rejected the suggestion that progress has been made, as reported by First Quantum recently announced that it is prepared to agree with the objectives outlined by Panama’s government, including minimum annual payments of US$375 million and a 12 to 16 per cent mineral royalty. Panama’s industry minister, however, said there were several terms yet to be settled.  

Iamgold has released an updated mineral resource estimate for its Quebec-based Nelligan joint venture project. The results of the estimate reflect Indicated Resources of 72.2 million tonnes averaging 0.85 grams of gold per tonne for 1.97 million ounces of gold and Inferred resources of 114.1 million tonnes with an average of 0.88 grams of gold per tonne for 3.24 million ounces. The resource tonnage increased by 92 per cent, but grade fell 15 per cent, for an overall gain of 63 per cent to the project’s resource since the company’s last estimate in 2019.

Teck Metals is being fined for an acid spill at its Trail smelter operations that flowed into B.C.’s Columbia River, as reported by Business in Vancouver. The charge dates back to a February 2019 incident that resulted in 2.5 million litres of effluent being discharged into the river. Following Teck’s guilty plea, the company is now being ordered to pay a $2.2 million federal fine.

Barrick and Ivanhoe Electric are partnering up with Ma’aden, a Saudi Arabian miner, on separate joint venture deals for mineral exploration in the country, as reported by Ma’aden will invest $126.4 million in Ivanhoe Electric for a 9.9 per cent stake in the company, and also provide Ivanhoe with 48,500 square kilometres of land in Saudi Arabia to be used for exploration activities for battery metals. Barrick’s deal will see its exploration footprint expanded and the possibilities of synergies with the nearby Jabal Sayid copper mine it operates in partnership with Ma’aden.

That’s all for this week. If you’ve got feedback, you can always reach us at If you’ve got something to add, why not join the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram pages?