Sayona Québec—a 75-25 joint venture between Sayona Mining and Piedmont Lithium—purchased the North American Lithium operation in August 2021. Courtesy of Piedmont 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 major staff departures at Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., the opening of E3 Lithium’s Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) pilot plant in Alberta and Australian miner AuTECO acquiring the Green Bay copper/gold project in Newfoundland.

Many insurers have announced restrictions on covering coal miners, particularly for their new projects, as reported by Reuters. The news agency interviewed several coal producers who said they are being forced to set aside “tens of millions of dollars” to self-insure or self finance, as roadblocks to getting coverage means loans are pricier or simply unavailable.  

Experts predict a worldwide lithium shortage could hit as soon as 2025, as reported by CNBC. The World Economic Forum predicted that global demand for the metal will reach over 3 million tonnes in 2030, while 540,000 tonnes of lithium were produced globally in 2021. Despite hundreds of lithium projects currently being explored, there are only 101 lithium mines in the world.

Australian mining giant Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. announced this week that Fiona Hick, CEO of its metals division, and Christine Morris, CFO of its metals division, have both left the company, as reported by Reuters. The company named Dino Otranto, the company’s iron ore operations officer, as CEO, and Apple Paget, group manager of finance and tax, as acting CFO of metals.

Teck Resources has donated more than $230,000 to organizations supporting emergency wildfire responses across the country and in Washington State, as reported by Its own emergency response teams are working closely with municipal and provincial emergency responders to help battle wildfires within Teck’s operating areas. It is also providing accommodations and supplies such as water pumps, first aid kits, generators, sprinklers and hoses to further aid in wildfire-fighting efforts.

E3 Lithium Ltd. announced that the commissioning of its Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) field pilot plant in Alberta is complete and operations have begun. The company said the next step is testing its DLE process to determine the most efficient way to extract lithium from brine liquid before it is refined into battery-quality product. The data collected from the pilot will be used to inform the design of a commercial processing facility.

Piedmont Lithium has received a partial prepayment of US$31.6 million for the sale of 15,000 dry metric tonnes of lithium concentrate under its offtake deal with North American Lithium (NAL), as reported by Reuters. NAL, a 75-25 joint venture between Sayona Mining Limited and Piedmont Lithium, reopened its doors in March of this year and delivered its first commercial shipment of 20,500 tonnes of spodumene concentrate in early August.

Australian miner AuTECO inked a deal to acquire the Green Bay copper/gold mine in Newfoundland for A$65 million, as reported by Mining Weekly. The mine was operated by Rambler Metals and Mining until the end of March, when the company declared bankruptcy. The acquisition also includes Rambler’s Ming mine and the Nugget Pond process plant.

Atlas Salt has announced the results of a feasibility study and updated mineral resource estimate prepared by SLR Consulting Ltd. on its Great Atlantic Salt Project in western Newfoundland. The study predicts an annual production of 2.5 million tonnes of salt over a 34-year mine life and a pre-tax net present value (NPV) of 1.017 billion at an eight per cent discount rate. An expansion case was also provided, which would extend the line of mine to 47.5 years.

A new era is dawning for mining in Canada’s Prairie provinces, wrote Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco in the August issue of CIM Magazine. In the last three years, there has been a significant increase in mining activity in Canada’s Prairies region, with Saskatchewan leading the way due to its uranium and potash, while brine lithium has been emerging as the hottest new commodity in the resource-rich province. 

The Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (MICA) Network has granted more than $2 million to three Sudbury projects. The federal government-funded initiative is intended to bridge gaps between innovation and commercialization. The recipients include MIRARCO Mining Innovation, for its work on one of three bioleaching processes to extract battery metals from pyrrhotite tailings; Symboticware Inc., for its integrated IoT+AI (Internet of Things plus Artificial Intelligence) software solution for mining, powered by satellite connectivity such as SpaceX; and RIINO Inc. for its zero-emission monorail haulage system addressing material movement challenges in the mining industry.

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?