Arizona Lithium’s Prairie lithium project is located in southeast Saskatchewan near the U.S border. Courtesy of Arizona Lithium.

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 Frontier Lithium pressuring Ottawa to deliver on a long-awaited project, gold continuing to be a focus in global mining exploration and PDAC announcing its 2024 award winners.  

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa has resigned, following an investigation into his administration’s alleged corruption over how it handled lithium mining and hydrogen projects, as reported by Reuters. Other government officials are also under investigation and lithium development in the country, which is the biggest lithium producer in Europe, has been put into doubt by the allegations. A Portuguese municipality filed a lawsuit to halt the development of a lithium project, while local activists are calling for a suspension and review of all lithium projects in the country during the investigation.  

Generation Mining is closer to the development of its Marathon open-pit palladium and copper project in Ontario after securing key provincial government approval for its closure plan, as reported by Northern Ontario Business. The proposed mine is valued at $1.16 billion according to its 2023 updated feasibility study. Over its 13-year mine life, it is expected to produce an average of 166,000 ounces of palladium and 41 million pounds of copper each year.  

Arizona Lithium announced the commissioning of the pilot processing plant at its Prairie lithium brine project in Saskatchewan. The plant will produce lithium concentrate, which will then be sent to the company’s facility in Arizona for upgrading. The Australian company anticipates a prefeasibility study for the Prairie project will be released by the end of the year. 

A new study by S&P Global Market Intelligence found that gold is still a major player in global mining exploration, as reported by While mineral exploration budgets worldwide dropped in 2023, and government and industry investments are increasingly directed to exploration for battery metals such as nickel and lithium, gold still accounts for 46 per cent of the global spend for exploration despite a US$1.1 billion drop in gold exploration budgets.

Frontier Lithium has increased its pressure on Ottawa to deliver funding on the Berens River bridge and road project in Ontario, as reported by Northern Ontario Business. The route will connect the provincial highway system with seven remote First Nations and give Frontier Lithium the transportation access it needs to develop its PAK lithium project north of Red Lake. While $7.7 million of the $9.5 million budget has been released for project designs, the remaining $1.8 million is expected to be released in the 2024-2025 fiscal year. The government has not yet given details on the construction timeline.     

A US$2 million investment from the U.S. Geological Survey will fund a cooperative agreement with 14 states to study mine waste that could contain critical minerals. The money comes from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 and will be used for scientific research that will map the location of critical minerals in waste leftover from mining.  

NexGen Energy’s Rook I uranium project has received environmental approval from the Saskatchewan government, as reported by Reuters. With the provincial approval received, the company now awaits the green light from the federal government to proceed with development on its project located in the uranium-rich Athabasca Basin. Rook I will consist of an underground mine and mill and the company said it is the first to receive approval from the province for this type of project in more than two decades. 

Orano Canada celebrated the release of its mining and milling licence for the Cluff Lake uranium project in northern Saskatchewan after more than two decades of reclamation work, wrote Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco in the September/October issue of CIM Magazine. After the mine reached its end of life in 2002, it had produced more than 62 million pounds of uranium concentrate.  

PDAC has announced the winners that will be honoured at its 2024 convention in March. The awards celebrate a roster of industry leaders and their contributions to sustainability, Indigenous partnerships and project management and exploration.  

Even more third quarter reports have been released this week, including from Hudbay Minerals, Pan American Silver Corp, Imperial Metals, Wesdome Gold Mines, Suncor EnergyOsisko Development, Kinross Gold Corporation, B2Gold, McEwen Mining, Ivanhoe Mines, Lundin Gold, Dundee Precious Metals, Calibre Mining Corp, IAMGOLD and Largo.  

That’s all for this week. 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.