Page 1

RESOURCE Volume 5, Issue 4

GLOBAL NETWORK

Mining, renewable energy and oil & gas worldwide

NUCLEAR &

RENEWABLES THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL ENERGY SUPPLY

resourceglobalnetwork.com


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WELCOME

The world’s energy supply is about to undergo a large-scale transformation in the coming decades, after 195 UN nations agreed to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels in the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.

Editor Jacob Ambrose Willson

In the wake of the accord, many government’s have begun the process of diversifying energy supplies away from polluting sources such as oil & gas and coal, with decarbonisation seen as key to preventing irreversible climate change.

Content Director (APAC and Americas) David Hunter

Thus, with the Paris agreement serving an eventual death sentence to carbon-based energy sources (assuming all states remain fully committed to the cause), this issue explores the extent to which renewable energy and nuclear power can step into the void and effectively supply reliable, low-carbon energy to an increasingly powerhungry global population. On the nuclear energy side, RGN explores the supply and demand dynamics in the uranium mining sector and features three miners – GoviEx Uranium, NexGen Energy and Blue Sky Uranium – who are each advancing large-scale uranium mines that will support increasing demand for the resource used to power nuclear reactors. We spotlight a diverse range of renewable energy outfits, starting with the company that delivered Gemini Wind Park – a mega offshore project in the Netherlands. juwi Renewable Energies has plans to provide hybrid energy solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, while ClearVue PV promises to revolutionise architecture with its solarintegrated glass product. You can also read a range of fascinating guest columns, including esteemed academic Jessica Varnum’s balanced discussion on the carbon footprint attached to nuclear energy, along with a mini-focus on three battery metals mining companies – Barra Resources, Black Rock Mining and Prospect Resources. We hope you enjoy this issue and encourage you to connect with us on email, Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading!

Jacob Ambrose Willson, Editor

Jacob Ambrose Willson

Executive Team

Content Manager Michelle Madureira

Creative Director Hugo Currie ICT Director Stuart Clark Contributors Jessica Varnum Tim Buckley Peter Brun

Managing Director Simon Curran

RGN is published by Anderson Murray Media: a diverse media and information services company focused on creating and distributing engaging content to business leaders across the globe. Anderson Murray Media Fulham Green, 69-79 Fulham High Street, Main Reception, Bedford House, London SW6 3JW Tel. +44 (0)207 148 5630

VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.RESOURCEGLOBALNETWORK.COM


CONTENTS

GOVIEX

NEWS 10 Global resources news Our selection of mining, oil & gas and renewable energy stories from the last month

COLUMNS 18 Jessica Varnum Esteemed academic presents stimulating debate on the environmental pros and cons of nuclear energy 28 Tim Buckley Australia and India: Two national case studies in electricity sector transformation 34 Peter Brun What renewables can learn from oil & gas

NUCLEAR & RENEWABLES FOCUS 44 GoviEx Uranium A growing Africa-focused uranium company 58 NexGen Energy Advancing a major asset in the world’s best uranium deposit 72 Blue Sky Uranium Leading uranium discovery in Argentina


NEXGEN

BLUE SKY


CONTENTS

GEMINI WIND PARK 86 Gemini Wind Park A watershed project for the Dutch offshore wind industry 100 juwi Renewable Energies A new focus on hybrid energy solutions across sub-Saharan Africa 114 ClearVue PV The future of sustainable architecture is here

MINING 126 Barra Resources Targeting two high demand commodities in Western Australia 138 Black Rock Mining Back on track at the Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania 154 CPC Engineering World-leading expertise in graphite processing 162 Prospect Resources Advancing the 2nd largest JORC compliant hard rock lithium resource in Africa

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING 172 Classifieds

APPOINTMENTS & EVENTS 174 Appointments Notable appointments in the resources industry from the past month 175 Events Our pick of the top mining, oil & gas and renewable energy events happening around the world in the months to come


BARRA RESOURCES

BLACK ROCK MINING

PROSPECT RESOURCES


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10

NEWS | Brookfield Multiplex MINING

GLOBAL RESO

Our selection of mi renewable energy news


Resource Global Network 11

OURCES NEWS

ining, oil & gas and s from around the world


12

NEWS

UK TARGETS MINI ATOMIC PLANTS TO REVIVE NUCLEAR ENERGY SECTOR The UK will commit up to £56 million towards research and development into small-scale atomic power plants as part of a wider £200 million injection to the country’s nuclear energy sector. The government and the nuclear industry will unveil the initiative in a ‘sector deal’ that aims to help the industry remain price competitive with other sources of energy such as renewables, which have experienced rapid cost declines in recent years. Under the terms of the deal, the UK will provide £56 million towards R&D in small atomic plants called advanced modular reactors (AMRs) which use new cooling systems or fuels.

Advocates of AMRs maintain that the small scale and modular design of these plants should make them less expensive than traditional large reactors, like those being built at Hinkley Point power station in the UK. Business secretary Greg Clark said: “[The sector deal marks] an important moment for the government and industry to work collectively to deliver the modern industrial strategy, drive clean growth and ensure civil nuclear remains an important part of the UK’s energy future.” The deal comes as a timely boost to the UK’s nuclear energy industry as it vies with the increasingly cost competitive solar and wind power sectors.


Resource Global Network 13

CHINA’S NATIONAL NUCLEAR AGENCY IN TALKS TO BUILD $1 BILLION REACTOR IN JORDAN China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) is in ‘serious talks’ with the Jordan Atomic Energy Comission (JAEC) to build a US$1 billion nuclear reactor in Jordan. JAEC’s chairman Khaled Toukan revealed the news before adding that a formal agreement for the 220MW helium gas-cooled reactor will be signed next year, with the project set to be completed in 2025. “We are in advanced and serious talks with CNNC regarding this advanced and inherently safe reactor,” Touran told The Jordan Times. “This reactor is very efficient for electric power

generation and can be used for water desalination, to process heat and can serve chemical industries as well as oil refineries,” he added. Jordan is reliant on oil and gas imports from neighboring Middle Eastern nations for 95% of its electricity demand, but is actively looking to diversify its energy mix away from imported hydrocarbons. CNNC is the only organisation implementing nuclear expertise globally, having already exported reactors to seven other countries. It is currently holding talks with 40 other nations regarding delivery of programmes, including companies in the UK, US, Russia and South Korea.


14

NEWS

RENEWABLE ENERGY ELECTRICITY GENERATION CLOSING IN ON NUCLEAR POWER IN US Electricity generation coming from sources of renewable energy in the US came close to matching the input of nuclear power into the US grid last year, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. In 2017, renewables contributed to 18% of electrical generation in the US while nuclear power provided a marginally higher 19.6% of the total power in the grid. These contributions were surpassed only by coal and natural gas plants, although both sources experienced dips of 3% and 2% respectively on the previous year. “In 2017 it’s a very significant story that renewables are making a lot of headway in pushing forward the decarbonisation of the

power sector, even as the natural gas share decreases,” said Rachel Luo, senior analyst for US utilities and market reform at BNEF. “Natural gas still remains the largest single contributor to the electricity mix. [Its] downtick could be from a variety of factors [such as] the increasing penetration of renewables.” The report comes in the same week that President Donald Trump proposed budget cuts of over 65% for a research office on renewable energy and efficiency. Trump’s latest assault on the renewables sector comes after he approved a steep tariff on imported solar components in January.


Resource Global Network 15

BHP ADDS EXTRA WAVE TO WA’S RESURGENT MINING SECTOR WITH $2.9 BILLION IRON ORE MINE BHP has approved plans to build a US$2.9 billion iron ore project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, in a move which will add to a growing construction boom in the state. The South Flank iron ore project will replace a depleting mine in the region rather than adding new supply, said the world’s largest mining company in a statement. South Flank could produce as much as 80 million tonnes of iron ore a year and will also help increase BHP’s overall iron ore grade to 62%.

The large-scale project will create about 2,500 jobs during construction and a further 600 ongoing operational roles when it reaches production in 2021. WA’s Treasurer Ben Wyatt welcomed the BHP project, labelling it a vote of confidence in the state’s long-term economy. “It highlights the fallacy some people have around the idea that the mining sector simply goes bust — it doesn’t, it changes, it morphs into a new phase and this is a new phase for BHP and an exciting time for the WA economy,” he said.


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COLUMNS | Jessica Varnum

NUCLEAR POWER: ENVIRONME

Esteemed academic Jessica C. Varnum presents


Resource Global Network

ENTAL PANACEA OR POISON PILL?

s stimulating debate on the environmental pros and cons of nuclear energy

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COLUMNS||Ian Jessica Thomson Varnum 20 COLUMNS

Preventing further irreversible climate change requires major shifts in the way the world generates electricity, which is currently the source of 41% of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.1 Nuclear energy, supplied by roughly 450 nuclear power reactors in 30 different countries, currently meets approximately 11% of global electricity demand—while more than 60% is produced by emissions-intensive coal and natural gas.2 While proponents of nuclear energy frequently tout it as a green energy technology, even staunch industry allies such as the World Nuclear Association acknowledge nuclear to be a “low-carbon” rather than a “carbon-free” power source, taking into account carbon production at the front and back ends of the fuel cycle.3 Surely “low-carbon” power sources such as nuclear beat intensive carbon polluters such as fossil fuels in the race to decrease global emissions, especially in scenarios where renewables cannot get the job done alone? The answer, as with all complex problems, is highly conditional. As the early 20th century writer H.L. Mencken wisely opined, “[…] there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.”4 As such, it is advisable to consider both sides of the debate.


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 21 Resource

JESSICA C. VARNUM

Jessica C. Varnum is a Senior Research Associate and Project Manager at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), and an adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Varnum manages all of CNS’s work for the Nuclear Threat Initiative website, including extensive research databases on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their delivery systems, educational resources, country profiles, and issue briefs. In addition to regional expertise on NATO and particularly Turkey, Varnum is an expert on nuclear energy, and teaches an advanced MA seminar on the nonproliferation and nuclear security challenges of civil nuclear technologies.


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COLUMNS | Jessica Varnum


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 23 Resource Argument: Nuclear energy could play

million tonnes of carbon emissions into the

a vital role in global carbon emissions

atmosphere each year.”7

reductions Nuclear power is a low-carbon energy source; Countries seeking to phase out nuclear

operating reactors do not produce greenhouse

power should recognise the likely negative

gases.

implications—both environmental and

While significant emissions occur as a result

otherwise—of primarily political decisions to

of front and back-end fuel cycle activities,

shutter existing nuclear power plants.

the World Nuclear Association analysis

Existing nuclear power plants provide

concluded, “lifecycle emissions from all the

reliable base-load power, and their continued

major forms of renewables (solar, wind,

use, within safe service lifetimes, is often

biomass, hydroelectric) and nuclear were

practically and environmentally sound.

similar.”8

This is especially true because the poorly

Other studies broadly concur with this

planned shuttering of nuclear power plants

finding, though many note that as renewable

usually results in their replacement with high

technologies such as solar further mature,

emissions generation sources such as coal

their lifecycle emissions are likely to decline

and natural gas.5

below those produced by nuclear.9

Both Japan and Germany moved to shut

Renewables cannot accomplish

down their extensive nuclear power

decarbonisation of electricity fast

programmes rapidly in the wake of

enough because of electricity storage and

Fukushima, because of public panic rather

transmission limitations. Intermittent energy

than a deliberative assessment of the plants’

sources cannot fully replace base-load

continued ability to operate safely.

sources like nuclear until significant (longterm) technological advances in storage and

The emissions results have been catastrophic

transmissions are made.

in both cases, with Germany recently announcing that it is no longer in a position

These same technological limitations are

to meet its 2020 climate targets.6

one significant reason Japan, Germany and Spain could not replace the base-load power

Spain is one of several other countries that

provided by their shuttered nuclear reactors

appear to be headed in a similar direction.

with renewables.10 MIT climate scientist Kerry

In the wake of the politically motivated

Emanuel estimates renewables can only

2017 closure of the Santa Maria de Garoña

make up 30-50% of “current power needs in

plant, an open letter from climate scientists

most countries.”11

asserted that “The fossil fuels used to replace the plant’s power will put about 2


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COLUMNS | Jessica Varnum

For these reasons, the expansion (or new

Decisions to commission new nuclear plants

adoption) of nuclear power may be warranted

or extend plant’s lifetimes should be based on

in some countries, if a precise set of criteria

rigorous assessments of their continued ability

are adequately addressed (especially on

to operate safely—and an understanding that

the environmental, safety, and security

some catastrophic accidents are still probable.

fronts). To mitigate risks, nuclear newcomers

Poor regulatory and safety cultures (e.g., in

should work with the International Atomic

the case of Japan’s Fukushima disaster), make

Energy Agency to establish appropriate best

catastrophic nuclear accidents more likely

practices, and purchase light water reactors

than past statistical assessments suggested.

and fuel services from nuclear supplier states.

After Fukushima, a study by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz calculated

Counterargument: Other risks could

that the risk of core meltdown accidents is

outweigh nuclear energy’s emission

significantly higher than estimated by the

reduction benefits

Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1990, and that “[…] with 440 civilian reactors worldwide


Resource Global Network

a major accident can be expected to occur

alone. Although greenhouse gas emissions

about once every few decades.�12

may be the “closest alligator to the boat� in terms of irreversible climate consequences,

Because the probability of core meltdown

nuclear energy carries other negative

is based on the number of reactors in

environmental risks and consequences.

operation, more reactors will mean the probability of more frequent catastrophic

Uranium mining and milling are incredibly

nuclear accidents. While more can and

polluting to air, soil and water, with significant

should be done to improve overall global

legacy health effects for surrounding

reactor safety, significant risks will still exist,

communities.13 Operating reactors release

especially following major earthquakes or

waste heat into surrounding waters,

other natural disasters.

damaging local marine habitats.

The environmental case for or against nuclear

Nuclear power plants create nuclear waste

power (and all other energy sources), should

that remains hazardous for thousands of

not be made on relative carbon emissions

years, requiring safe and secure permanent

25


26

COLUMNS | Jessica Varnum disposal—more than 270,000 metric tonnes

It may be too late for nuclear power to play

of commercial reactor spent fuel is in interim

a major role in decarbonisation. The most

storage worldwide.14

powerful environmental argument against nuclear power may simply be that plants

Decades into commercial nuclear power

cannot be built fast (and safely and securely)

operations, no country has opened even a

enough to make a positive climate change

single permanent nuclear waste repository.

difference. New nuclear may therefore

Most commercial nuclear waste remains at

involve a dangerous diversion of resources

nuclear power plants, at sites never intended

away from the renewable technologies

to safely and securely store nuclear waste

necessary for rapid decarbonisation.

beyond a few years. A prominent Princeton study found that, Any possible environmental benefits of a

“for a State with little developed technical

closed nuclear fuel cycle (which involves

base the implementation of the first [nuclear

unproven technology), would be negated by

power plant] would, on average, take about

the runaway global proliferation of nuclear

15 years.”16

weapons. Nuclear power is not a renewable form of energy, and because nuclear

In reality, most nuclear newcomers take

materials such as uranium ore are finite,

far longer to commission their first nuclear

their extraction will become more expensive

power plants, and many quit before they

with scarcity. The most environmentally

get there because of cost overruns, public

sustainable plan for nuclear power would

opposition, and other challenges.

involve plutonium recycling. Nuclear power is neither an environmental Despite decades of major investments,

panacea nor a poison pill. While it has always

breeder reactor programmes in countries

held great potential in decarbonisation

like France have proven notoriously unsafe

efforts, it is an increasingly frozen technology

and uneconomical.15 More importantly, the

being rapidly overtaken by renewables.

spread of any form of nuclear power carries significant nuclear weapons proliferation

An (ambitious) best-case scenario might be

risks.

for nuclear energy to continue to meet 11% of global electricity demand, preventing

While the proliferation risks of the spread

roughly 2.5 billion tonnes of new carbon

of (standard) light water reactor technology

dioxide emissions per year.17

are somewhat manageable under IAEA safeguards, the creation of a global

This will require power reactor operating

plutonium economy would signal the doom

countries to maintain their nuclear capacity

of the non-proliferation regime.

(rather than phasing out nuclear), and/or for


Resource Global Network countries like China and India to continue to expand their new nuclear capacity to make up for phase-outs in countries like Germany. The steady best-case scenario for nuclear power is ambitious because the vast majority of the 450 power reactors in operation today are decades into their operational lifetimes, with most needing to be replaced before the mid-century mark.18 A steady nuclear scenario is not without serious environmental (and security) risks, but in addition to being far more practicable than runaway nuclear power growth, it would contribute meaningfully to decarbonisation by enabling other renewables to enter the market as replacements for high-carbon

1. Cited from, “Quote Investigator,” July 17, 2016, Accessed May 1, 2018, https://quoteinvestigator.com/2016/07/17/solution/. 2. Derek Mead, “To Replace Nuclear Power, Japan is Spending Billions on Gas and Coal: What About Renewables, You Ask?” October 18, 2013, Motherboard (Vice News), https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/qkvddb/to-replacenuclear-power-japan-is-spending-billions-on-gas-and-coal, October 18, 2013. 3. Akshat Rathi, “If Germany Can’t Hit its Own Climate Goals to Help the World, Can Anybody Else?” Quartz, 10 January 2018, https://qz.com/1175308/ germany-is-abandoning-its-climate-goals-for-2020-what-happens-next/. 4. James Hansen et al., “Letter to Spanish Leaders,” Environmental Progress, 20 June 2018, http://environmentalprogress.org/letter-to-spanish-leaders. 5. “Greenhouse gas emissions avoided through use of nuclear energy,” World Nuclear Association, Accessed 1 May 2018, http://www.world-nuclear.org/ nuclear-basics/greenhouse-gas-emissions-avoided.aspx. 6. See for example, Vasilis M. Fthenakis and Hyung Chul Kim, “Greenhouse-gas emissions from solar electric- and nuclear power: A life-cycle study,” Energy Policy, Vol. 25, No. 4, April 2007, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ article/pii/S0301421506002758. 7. Derek Mead, “To Replace…” 8. Dawn Stover, “Kerry Emanuel: A climate scientist for nuclear energy,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 73:1, 2017 p. 8, https://thebulletin.org/2017/ january/kerry-emanuel-climate-scientist-nuclear-energy10375. 9. J. Lelieveld, D. Kunkel, and M. G. Lawrence, “Global risk of radioactive fallout after major nuclear reactor accidents,” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Volume 12, 2012, p. 4249, https://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/4245/2012/ acp-12-4245-2012.pdf. 10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169136816306862

energy sources rather than for nuclear.

11. “Developing Spent Fuel Strategies,” Nuclear Threat Initiative, Accessed 30 April 2018, http://www.nti.org/about/projects/developing-spent-fuelstrategies/.

Arguably, the worst-case environmental

12. See for example: Thomas B. Cochran, Harold A. Feiveson, Walt Patterson, Gennadi Pshakin, M.V. Ramana, Mycle Schneider, Tatsujiro Suzuki, Frank von Hippel, Fast Breeder Reactor Programs: History and Status, IPFM Research Report #8, February 2010, http://fissilematerials.org/library/rr08.pdf.

scenario—because of its lack of feasibility in the short term—would be if renewables had to bear the full burden of replacing both high-carbon power sources and the world’s ageing and politically unpopular fleet of nuclear power plants. The Japanese case should serve as cautionary tale in this regard — where high greenhouse gas emitters are replacing nuclear power — but Japan’s Fukushima is also a cautionary tale about the other environmental risks of

13. Robert H. Socolow & Alexander Glaser, “Balancing Risks: Nuclear Energy & Climate Change,” Dædalus, Fall 2009, https://www.princeton. edu/~aglaser/2009aglaser_daedalus.pdf, p. 5. 14. This assumes, as is most probable, that most shuttered nuclear power plants would be replaced (at least in the short-term) by coal or natural gas plants. Statistic by Kenneth N. Luongo, President and Founder of the Partnership for Global Security, in, John Mecklin, “The Experts on Nuclear Power and Climate Change,” 21 January 2016, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, https://thebulletin.org/experts-nuclear-power-and-climate-change8996. 15. See, Charles D. Ferguson, Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2011, (New York, Oxford University Press), p. 97. 16. Robert H. Socolow & Alexander Glaser, “Balancing Risks: Nuclear Energy & Climate Change,” Dædalus, Fall 2009, https://www.princeton.edu/~aglaser/2009aglaser_ daedalus.pdf, p. 5. 17. This assumes, as is most probable, that most shuttered nuclear power plants would be replaced (at least in the short-term) by coal or natural gas plants. Statistic by Kenneth N. Luongo, President and Founder of the Partnership for Global Security, in, John Mecklin, “The Experts on Nuclear Power and Climate Change,” 21 January 2016, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, https://thebulletin.org/experts-nuclear-power-and-climatechange8996. 18. See, Charles D. Ferguson, Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2011, (New York, Oxford University Press), p. 97.

excessive reliance on nuclear power.

a

27


28

COLUMNS | Tim Buckley

THE ACCELERATING TRANSI

Austra


Resource Global Network

ITION TO LOW EMISSIONS ENERGY

alia and India: Two national case studies in electricity sector transformation Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies, Australasia at IEEFA

29


COLUMNS||Ian Tim Thomson Buckley 30 COLUMNS

June 2018 saw what until now has been a relatively unique event – negative wholesale electricity prices mid-week in Queensland. On the 19th June 1.3GW of solar contributed a record 20% of Queensland electricity generation at noon. While 90% of this was rooftop solar, a range of utility scale project developments means that within the next twelve months total solar installs in Queensland will more than double, and this relatively obscure event of negative power prices will become commonplace. Therein lies the magnitude, speed and disruption of the electricity market transformation currently underway. This example also highlights the critical need and enormous opportunity for electricity storage, both battery and pumped hydro storage: to be paid to take “baseload” power only to sell it six hours later at peak evening prices – repeatedly almost daily. Again, where the 100MW / 129 MWh Tesla lithium ion battery in South Australia – the Hornsday Power Reserve - was unique and world record setting in both scale and speed of install, within twelve months a range of similar, increasingly renewable energy powered facilities will be operational worldwide from California and South Korea to Netherlands and Victoria.


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 31 Resource

TIM BUCKLEY Tim has 25 years financial markets experience, covering Australia, Asian and global equities. Tim provides financial analysis in the electricity sector for the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), studying energy efficiency and renewables across China and India, and stranded asset risk in Australia. Tim has published numerous financial papers, including “Indian Electricity Sector Transformation” in November 2017.  Tim was co-founder of Arkx Investment Management, a global listed clean energy equities fund (2009-2013) that invested in the opportunities of energy market transitions. Westpac was a cornerstone investor.  From 1998 to 2007 Tim was Managing Director at Citigroup and Head of Australasian Equity Research from 2001.


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COLUMNS | Tim Buckley

“India plans a fivefold expansion in renewable energy capacity to 275GW by 2027, with renewables set to represent 44% of the forecast 619GW of total capacity” – Tim Buckley, IEEFA

It is fascinating to watch the power struggle

When IEEFA wrote about the coming

between the coal industry and the renewable

electricity sector transformation in India back

energy sector in Australia. On one side

in 2015, we released our financial energy

the powerful incumbent industry out to

model examining an ambitious investment

protect its turf at all costs, hoping to keep

programme and radical transformation

externalising most of its operating costs onto

potential. But when India released its

the community in the process.

National Electricity Plan of 2018, the ambition left our forecasts for dead, we were nowhere

On the other side is a business that once

near ambitious enough.

operational has a zero-marginal cost of production. Life isn’t fair, and this fight is so

India plans a fivefold expansion in renewable

one-sided it could be laughable – except it is

energy capacity to 275GW by 2027.

real in Australia. Our ex-prime minister was

Renewables represent 44% of the forecast

wondering around parliament in June 2018

619GW of total capacity. By comparison, coal-

holding up a sign ‘coal isn’t dead yet’.

fired power capacity is forecast at 238GW by 2027, 39% of the total.

Yet Australia is no more than a side game compared to the developments

Coal’s share of capacity declines from 59%

in India. Under the leadership of Prime

in 2017 – a market share loss of 20% in a

Minister Narendra Modi since 2014, India

decade or 2% annually - unprecedented. Yet

has fully embraced this electricity sector

one could be mistaken for doubting India’s

transformation.

ability to deliver, previous plans have come unstuck, repeatedly.


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 33 Resource But this time IEEFA thinks it is different. In

economic growth target of 7-8% annually,

2017 the price of wind dropped by 50% year-

India is the fastest growing large economy in

on-year to a record low US$37/MWh. And

the world.

solar declined over the previous two years again by a staggering 50% to just US$38/

In May 2018, India announced a 10GW solar

MWh.

reverse auction tender. This is double the largest renewable energy tender in the world,

Against this, the average thermal power tariff

held in Spain in 2017. It is also five times

is US$45-55/MWh, or US$70/MWh if using

larger than the largest renewable energy

imported coal. On the back of this relative

tender held in India to-date.

price cross-over, Indian solar installs in 2017/18 doubled to 10GW.

But in June, India’s Energy Minister R.K.Singh beat this by announcing a plan to hold a

Global and domestic capital pivoted into

single 100GW solar tender. To put this in

Indian renewables, with total renewable

context, that single tender would be double

installs reaching a record 15GW, more than

the capacity of the entire Australian electricity

triple the net thermal power installs of just

sector.

4GW (which fell by 80% relative to the fouryear average of 2013-2016).

Fanciful the fossil fuel industry might claim. But the response of six of India’s largest

To put India in perspective, a few facts. India

renewable companies - led by Adani and

is the second largest producer, consumer

Tata Power - was to write to the Power

and importer of thermal coal globally (behind

Minister complaining about giving an unfair

China). Coal India Ltd is the largest coal

advantage to global giants – too much

mining company in the world, producing

foreign investment will flow into the Indian

50% more coal by volume than the #2, China

renewable sector, electricity prices will fall

Shenhua.

too fast and domestic firms will miss out!

India will overtake China in the next few

One might say that is rather a nice problem

years to be the most populous country in

for Mr Modi – too much zero emissions, zero

the world, with almost 1.4 billion people.

pollution, 100% sustainable, cheap domestic

And maybe most surprising, India is already

power generation. Indian energy poverty?

the third largest electricity market in the

Consigned to history. Not a bad 2019 re-

world, behind only America and China,

election platform!

having overtaken Japan in 2013. And with an

a j


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COLUMNS | Peter Brun

THE MULTIDISCIPL THE SUCCESS OF


Resource Global Network

LINARY APPROACH DETERMINING F THE OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY What renewables can learn from oil & gas Peter C. Brun, Global Offshore Wind Segment Leader, DNV GL

35


COLUMNS||Ian Peter Thomson Brun 36 COLUMNS

Offshore wind has developed remarkably over the last 10 years from less than 1GW installed capacity in 2006 to more than 19 GW in 2017. The technology for offshore wind has also developed rapidly coming from a 2MW platform in the early commercial wind farms back in 2002 to the very latest turbines of 9.5MW, which have just been fully certified for commercial offering. This development also means a significant expansion of size in the rotor diameters of turbines from 80 metres to more than 164 metres today, set to increase further to an amazing 220 metres in diameter. This rapid technological development of offshore wind turbines in recent years – exemplified by the deployment of commercial wind turbines over 8MW during the last two to three years – has had an enormous effect on the industry, increasing the operational efficiency and therefore lowering the cost of wind power. Coupled with this technology development the industry has also seen advances in more lean manufacturing processes, global sourcing of components and thus economics of scale and industrialisation in the wind industry. The positive effects of all this has been a rapid learning curve development and aggressive cost-out, leading to significantly lower costs of energy for wind power. Today, onshore wind generation is regarded as the


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 37 Resource

PETER BRUN

Peter Brun brings more than 26 years of experience in the wind energy industry and international diplomacy. His rich and varied expertise in the wind industry, includes holding dual vice chairman roles at EWEA (now WindEurope) and Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) between 2009 to 2013. He was also Chairman of the Danish Wind Energy Association from 2007 to 2011. In addition to his work for wind associations, Peter has held many roles in private companies, including senior vice president, within Vestas for over seven years, where he worked on the development of wind power together with a broad range of stakeholders worldwide. His collaborative approach within these roles and his regulatory & investment risk management experience, has helped to raise the profile of wind energy, (including offshore wind) and lead the discussion on how engineering and costs challenges can be overcome to realise the benefits of this clean technology.


38

COLUMNS | Peter Brun

“In 2018, commercial projects of more than 5,700MW in Taiwan and almost 1,900MW on the East coast of North America demonstrate the new exciting times in the wind industry” Peter Brun, DNV GL

most cost efficient, new build generation

All this illustrates the vast potential for

technology, however offshore wind

offshore wind in coming years – and most

technology is getting increasingly closer to

experts agree that cost efficiency gains from

matching the cost of energy of its onshore

technology improvements and innovations

counterpart, due to its almost limitless size

are set to evolve even further in the next

potential.

decade, driven by bigger machines and rotor diameters.


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 39 Resource efficiencies and cost gains from economies of scale from component suppliers and manufacturers. This growth will see capex related cost efficiency potentials further cement offshore wind as one of the most promising renewable energy technologies of the future. Until a few years ago, the wind industry had mostly developed its technology and innovation from its own pioneers - and not least from a costly trial and error approach during the early years of development. This has changed significantly during the last 10 years, with the sector taking advantage of learnings from other industries, including automotive and aerospace and the component manufacturers who supply them. New offshore wind turbines, with structures reaching heights over 200-250 metres and “nacelles” (the enclosure that houses all the generating components in a wind turbine) including gigantic blades that weigh more than 475 tonnes, call for new safety requirements and construction methods. The immense size of the technology means that learnings and experiences from And this is all before we have even started

both the maritime sector (e.g. installation

to talk about large-scale industrialisation

vessels, logistics etc.) and the oil & gas

of manufacturing processes. Despite the

sector (construction, safety, operation &

industry’s growth, the annual number of

maintenance etc.) are becoming increasingly

offshore wind turbines produced is still only

relevant – not least in the areas of safety

about 500-700 turbines, so imagine when

and risk management approaches and

the market expands to yearly throughputs

procedures.

of 1,500-2,000 turbines with the associated


40

COLUMNS | Peter Brun This multidisciplinary approach has huge potential benefits both for the scaling of offshore wind in the North Sea in Europe, but also as offshore wind starts to move outside its core geographic area of Northwest Europe, to take advantage of increasingly cost competitive levels in emerging markets. These new markets come with new risks including typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes and softer seabed conditions, which will all have consequences for the choice of turbine technology and foundations. Additional adaptations include high wind speed classification of the equipment, just to mention some of the most relevant risk areas. In 2018, commercial projects of more than 5,700MW in Taiwan and almost 1,900MW on the East coast of North America both demonstrate the new exciting times in the wind industry but also the associated challenges and opportunities to bring these projects to successful implementation in markets with no or only little experience in offshore wind.

sectors with the core knowledge in the traditional wind sector, alongside new players

When the next stage of project

in the market, will enable the industry to

implementation is completed in the new

bring forward complex projects in a safe and

markets within the next 3-4 years, a much

secure manner for project owners, lenders,

bigger pipeline will open in even newer

insurers, manufacturers or governments and

markets and states in both Asia and North

ensure the offshore wind industry’s success

America.

in these new markets.

Being able to leverage the experience of

By combining the skills from various sectors,

experts in both the oil & gas and maritime

the wind industry will be set up to address


Resource Global Network

the many new challenges that the large-scale

In the next decades, it will be the offshore

offshore turbines will present in the future in

wind industry which is set to stretch the

terms of safety, transportation, construction

boundaries of what until now has been

and operation risks. A sizable challenge, but

considered feasible in scale and technological

an exciting next step in the future of offshore

challenge.

wind. It is mindboggling that material and technology innovation used to be led by the aerospace industry.

a j

41


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44

MINING | GoviEx Uranium


Resource Global Network

GOVIEX URANIUM A growing Africa-focused uranium company

45


46

MINING | GoviEx Uranium

GoviEx Uranium is a uranium development company with three advanced projects in Niger, Zambia and Mali. From these African assets, GoviEx boasts a total resource of around 230 million pounds of uranium in the ground, along with plenty of exploration upside at each property. The business was established in 2007 by Govind Friedland, the son of highlysuccessful North American mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland. At the time, Govind was living in Beijing and suffering the effects of the dangerous pollution that was engulfing the city as a result of the wide-scale burning of fossil fuels. It was at this point that Govind realised the necessity for alternative, clean sources of energy across the world and foresaw a bullish market for uranium. Not long after the company was formed, an opportunity arose to acquire five mineral licenses in Western Niger, within one of the world’s most significant sandstone-hosted uranium deposits: the Tim Mersoi Basin. By March 2013, the company had used a local drilling company named Esafor to complete 650,000 metres of drilling across the property, which had been christened the


Resource Global Network

47


48

MINING | GoviEx Uranium

Daniel Major explains how the company’s

A mid-tier uranium producer

cornerstone asset has progressed over the

Thus, GoviEx became a multi-asset,

last five years.

Africa-based uranium firm with three

Madaouela Uranium Project. GoviEx’s CEO

advanced development projects, and from “Just after that [March 2013], we completed

a shareholder structure point of view, the

our first pre-feasibility for the property.

company became comprised of four major

We submitted the mine application during

shareholders: Denison Mines, Govind

2015 and by January 2016 the mine was

Friedland, Cameco and Ivanhoe Industries.

fully permitted from both a mining and environmental permit perspective.”  

This impressive capital structure provides a strong layer of industry knowledge from

Then in June 2016, GoviEx completed a

Denison and Cameco, two veterans of the

transaction with fellow Canadian miner

global uranium space along with another

Denison Mines, which was to prove a

experienced mining industry participant in

significant development in the company’s

Ivanhoe.

overall story. The deal saw the latter increasing its shareholding in GoviEx to 25%,

With a total resource estimate of 230

and in return, GoviEx became owners of

million pounds of uranium across its African

Denison’s other projects in Africa.


Resource Global Network

projects, GoviEx is set to comfortably fit into

up, they are very large and would have an

the mid-tier of global uranium assets within

impact on the market if they were to turn up

the next five to 10 years.

tomorrow.”

Major admits that none of the three projects

In the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima

will fit into the large-scale bracket defined

disaster, the nuclear industry went through

by mines such as Cameco’s McArthur River

what Major calls a ‘cultural shock’ with panic

and Cigar Lake in Canada, but he points to

spreading through international markets. For

the fact that all of the company’s assets are

example, Japan shut down all of its nuclear

targeted towards producing more than 2.5

facilities for a full safety review and public

million pounds per annum for an extended

sentiment in Germany shifted sharply away

period of time.

from nuclear energy in favour of renewables.  

“That is positive as well because we are

The result of this shift in attitudes on nuclear

already permitted for two of our projects,

energy was a drop in demand for uranium

and so when we come into production, we

across the world, which subsequently pushed

can slot in without making a major impact

the commodity price down, leaving the

on the market. If you look at some of the

uranium mining industry in a quandary.

big Canadian projects that are due to come

49


50

MINING | GoviEx Uranium

An end to the nuclear thaw?

somewhere, and the only large, clear energy baseload source is nuclear,” claims Major.

In recent years however, Major has observed sentiments changing once again, with

This realisation has been reflected in a

countries warming towards nuclear as

rising growth in nuclear demand at 3% while

a viable energy source, having received

generation levels have returned to pre-

reassurance through the widespread

Fukushima levels. “The Japanese are ramping

introduction of new safety measures and

up their re-starts. They currently have eight

protocols.

and are increasing that number, and the Chinese are on a very strong growth build at

“As renewables have tried to increase

the moment with over 15 reactors currently

their stake, there has been an increasing

under construction.

realisation that you do also need to have a baseload clean energy source from

“We have now reached the fastest rate of


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 51 Resource

reactor build for the last 25 years and new

pounds of uranium will come off the market

countries are coming onstream such as

in the next 10 years as older mines reach the

the UAE and India, who are building very

end of their life, plus about 15 million pounds

fast; importantly, the US is now proactively

of secondary feed will also come off the

protecting its nuclear reactors.”

market in the next five years.

Despite these positive developments taking

“The other risk the industry is facing is

place in markets across the world, the

the permitting process in some regions,

nuclear industry is faced with a big strain

particularly in Canada, where you’re looking

on the supply side, as a number of major

at anywhere between 10 and 20 years to

uranium mines reach depletion over the next

permit a uranium project.”  

decade.   This lengthy permitting process described In fact, Major postulates that about 30 million

by Major could contribute to a potentially


52

MINING | GoviEx Uranium


Resource Global Network

Daniel Major, CEO damaging lag in new supply coming online,

Key project parameters at Madaouela include

and sharply brings into focus the fact that

a 21-year mine life and production of 2.7

GoviEx has already fully permitted its projects

million pounds per annum of uranium at a

in Niger and Zambia.

cash cost of roughly US$25 per pound, with

Madaouela  

pre-production capital at about $359 million; however, Major is hopeful that GoviEx

At Madaouela in Niger, the company has

can improve on these metrics in the final

completed three different pre-feasibility

feasibility through its various optimisations.  

studies on the project and is now working on further optimisations before it kicks off the

The company is looking at modularising

definitive feasibility study later this year.

construction to accelerate the process and is also assessing the potential use of hybrid

“We’ve been looking at what we can do to

power at the site.

reduce consumables and reduce the size of the plant amongst other improvements, so

“Our current model takes power from Niger’s

that when we do the final feasibility study,

coal-fired national grid, but because the

it will be as optimal as we can get it,” says

project is located in the Sahara Desert, it

Major.

seems logical to leverage the 12 hours of sun a day by using solar.”

53


54

MINING | GoviEx Uranium

GoviEx also believes that a hybrid power

offtake participation. Once the strategy has

system could reduce costs on power by

been carried out, GoviEx will commence

about 25-30% compared to using the coal-

construction work at Madaouela, with the

fired grid alone, while a hybrid system would

mine slated for completion within three

also provide greater flexibility.

years.

“We have Medea Capital Partners working on

Mutanga and Falea

the debt financing for the project and have

GoviEx’s other near-term, fully-permitted

got expressions of interest from a number

project is the Mutanga project in Zambia,

of export credit agencies and commercial

which is giving the company a very nice

banks. We’ve also appointed Houlihan Lokey

problem to have. “That project is causing us

as our advisors on offtake,” he explains.

some grief because it is almost as good as Madaouela,” quips Major.

This crucial financing stage of the project seems to be in good hands, owing to the fact

Strengths of the Mutanga project include

that individuals from Medea and Houlihan

the fact that it is a relatively straightforward

were part of a former team at Société

project. GoviEx is planning to develop an

Générale who worked on debt financing

open pit, heap leach operation with very low

for several major projects during the last

acid consumption.

uranium cycle in Africa. The project also has a low CAPEX of $120 The final step of the company’s ‘fully-

million for 2.5 million pounds per annum

funded’ development strategy is project

along with plenty of exploration upside.

equity financing, after project debt and


Resource Global Network

The company has recently completed radon

silver and copper credits. In addition, an

and trending work at Mutanga, which has

external company had previously completed

provided a number of interesting drill

a pre-feasibility study on the project, which

targets that the company will test over the

means there is a full mine design already

coming months. Major reveals that getting

waiting for GoviEx.

Madaouela into production remains the key short-term goal for GoviEx, but he anticipates

“Overall, we have a big resource, we have

that Mutanga is only a few years behind the

permits in place and our strategy is to get

cornerstone development.

these uranium projects going in an improving uranium market. That is the headline

“It will take three years to build Madaouela,

message we want to get across to investors,”

then another two or three years to get

concludes Major.

Mutanga going, so within five years we could have two operations producing between five

“We look forward to continuing our work to

to six million pounds of uranium per annum,

advance GoviEx’s mine-permitted projects

along with another advanced project in Mali.” in Africa, in cooperation with our host governments, stakeholders, and strategic The Falea project in Mali is currently smaller

partners,” adds executive chairman Govind

than Madaouela and Mutanga, but it offers

Friedland.

an interesting twist in the shape of significant

TSX-V:GXU OTCQB:GVXXF

r j

55


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58

MINING | NexGen Energy


Resource Global Network

Advancing a major asset in the world’s best uranium deposit

59


60

MINING | NexGen Energy

NexGen Energy was formed to address a major structural risk that was forming in global energy markets during the 2000s. This was the fact that the world was seeing uranium production mostly concentrated from within non-OECD nations. NexGen was formed to discover the world’s next tier one uranium asset. What the company ended up finding was better than anything that has been seen in the sector and one that goes a long way to addressing these structural issues in the global energy mix. The company was founded in the 12 months following the Fukushima accident in Japan. The impact of the 2011 disaster was heavy-hitting to the uranium industry, however NexGen viewed the downturn as a rare and opportune moment to acquire 260,000 hectares of land in Canada’s Athabasca Basin – within what the company believes is the world’s best uranium jurisdiction: Saskatchewan. “We were able to acquire the land position for a very good price and if you wanted to do that today, you wouldn’t be able to,” claims Travis McPherson, vice-president, corporate development at NexGen.


Resource Global Network “We took advantage of the negative sentiment towards uranium at that time, knowing that nuclear is a critical, diversifying portion of any countries’ energy mix. “We were very confident in the fundamentals of that commodity and remain so. We have never been as constructive about the supplydemand fundamentals as we are today.  Nuclear energy has a very bright future especially as the world focuses on clean reliable energy sources.”  NexGen is the largest landholder in the Southwest part of the Athabasca Basin, which represents the future of Canada’s uranium industry according to McPherson and several leading pundits. Within the company’s vast landholding in the Athabasca Basin is its flagship Rook I project, which includes the 100%-owned Arrow Deposit – the jewel in NexGen’s Canadian crown. 

Follow the trend “The district is extremely well endowed; our deposit remains open in every direction and that is just one part of a 9 km known mineralised trend that we have on our property.”  As part of its ongoing exploration activity at Arrow, NexGen has poked holes in several areas around the strike and everywhere it has looked it has hit more uranium mineralisation. This explains why the company is so convinced that it is located in one of the most endowed mineral belts in the world, across any commodity. 

61


62

MINING | NexGen Energy

“For us to have the most dominant foothold

in the best uranium district in the world

in this area, straddling the edge of the

due to the professional and transparent

Athabasca Basin, is very strategic. Stradling

stance of the Saskatchewan and Canadian

the Basin boundary is where you want to be

governments, who have a long history and

because, theoretically, that’s where a deposit

deep understanding of uranium mining. “We

would be at its most economic, where the

wouldn’t want to be working anywhere else,”

Basin comes up from the depth and is shown

McPherson enthuses.  

at or near surface.” The most notable examples of the provincial NexGen also considers itself to be located

government’s experience in handling major


Resource Global Network

uranium developments comes in the shape

compared to other uranium deposits in the

of Cameco’s McArthur River and Cigar Lake

province and across Canada, the unique

mega-mines, which are currently the world’s

thing about the Arrow Deposit is the fact that

largest and highest-grade uranium mines,

the resource is completely contained within

located in Northern Saskatchewan. According

basement rock with no surface water.

to McPherson, Arrow will potentially propel NexGen into the number one position

“That really is a massive differentiator from

globally.

everything else out there because it means the resource can be mined using traditional

However, McPherson stresses that when

underground methods.”

63


64

MINING | NexGen Energy

“We were very confident in the fundamentals of that commodity and remain so. We have never been as constructive about the supply-demand fundamentals as we are today. Nuclear energy has a very bright future especially as the world focuses on clean reliable energy sources.”   Travis McPherson, vice president, corporate development 


Resource Global Network

65


66

MINING | NexGen Energy The deposit shares similarities with Canada’s

“Also, because the deposit is completely

high profile uranium mines in terms of scale

vertical we are able to extract almost all of

and grade profile.

the resources with very high recovery rates as confirmed by our recent metallurgical

Furthermore, it is the unique technical setting

results, along with low deleterious elements

of the deposit that is driving the economics

such as arsenic, selenium or antimony.”

seen in the company’s preliminary economic

Mouth-watering economics

assessment (PEA), published in July of last year. “Within the basement rock you are talking about extremely competent, essentially impermeable ground conditions that are very stable,“ explains McPherson. “This means

NexGen’s PEA for the Arrow Deposit revealed a mouth-watering selection of project economics including a post-tax net present value of C$3.5 billion, an after-tax internal rate of return of 57% and a 1.1 year payback period on C$1.2 billion in capital costs.  

extraction comes at industry leading low

For a project with an average annual

costs due to the combination of scale, grade

production of 27.6 million pounds of uranium

and technical setting.

(in the first five years) over a 14.4 year mine


Resource Global Network life, the outlined economics are absolutely

“All of these elements combine to produce

unique not just in the uranium space but

one of the most economically powerful

across the entire mining industry, according

mining projects out there irrespective of the

to McPherson.

commodity one is speaking about.”

He goes on to run through a checklist of

During the recent winter months, NexGen

important features that are crucial for any

was engaged in a two-pronged drilling

mining project to be successful:

programme at the Arrow Deposit, the first half of which involved development

“1) Highest quality mining jurisdiction –

activity in the form of geotechnical drilling,

check. 2) No surface of ground water issues

metallurgical and hydro-geological work, as

– check. 3) Working closely in a partnership

well as some environmental baseline and

approach with the local communities – check.

community relations activity.

4) uranium specific advantages (high grades and large tonnages, basement hosted, low

The other half of the winter drill programme

delirious elements) – check.

has been called exploration drilling by the company, although McPherson explains that

67


68

MINING | NexGen Energy

the actual purpose of the undertaking was

drilling partners to transportation, while also

to understand and test the global context of

dipping into the highly-skilled employment

Arrow.

market.

Nonetheless, the assay results confirmed

“We are continuing to look at and develop

uranium mineralisation in aggressive step

our supply chain into the local areas.

outs to the Northeast of the deposit and also

We want to use suppliers that may be in

along strike. “This summer we are following

Saskatoon or other parts of Saskatchewan

up on these new zones.

and help them develop into locally-focused businesses in order to supply our projects.   

“Again, the idea is not to delineate another 10 million pounds of resources per say, but to

“We’re also working with the communities

understand if there is another Arrow sitting

in the areas of health, education and

there.”

workforce development in order for everyone to be involved in the tremendous

During the winter drill programme and throughout its time in the Athabasca Basin,

opportunity in front of us all.”

NexGen has been able to call upon a plethora

A packed pipeline

of local goods and services companies, from

Following the completion of the summer


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 69 Resource

drill programme at Arrow, NexGen will gear

strained supply as several major global

up for the release of its maiden pre-feasibility deposits reach depletion, the importance of study for the project, which will include an

NexGen’s high-grade Arrow Deposit comes

updated mineral resource estimate.  

sharply into focus.

The PFS is due in early Q4 of this year and will The company is confident that nuclear be followed up by initiating the permitting

energy is on the rise once again and is aiming

process shortly thereafter. In 2019, the

to supply the industry with the world’s

company will continue expansion and

highest quality uranium from the world’s

definition drilling to support the feasibility

best uranium project in the world’s best

study as well as continuing the permitting

mining jurisdiction - the Athabasca Basin,

process for the project.

Saskatchewan.

With demand for uranium steadily increasing against a backdrop of concentrated and

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72

MINING |Blue Sky Uranium

CRITICAL ELEMENTS Developing a project in Québec – the premier lithium districtof the Western world


Resource Global Network

BLUE SKY URANIUM Leading uranium discovery in Argentina

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MINING |Blue Sky Uranium

Blue Sky Uranium was incorporated in 2006 with the primary objective to take advantage of opportunities for large-scale uranium discoveries in Argentina. Executives at the TSX-V listed exploration company were well aware of a number of highly prospective regions in the South of the country, which have been known to host uranium deposits of a style not too dissimilar from those commonly found in Australia and Western Africa. Over the last 12 years, Blue Sky has acquired around 450,000 hectares of property in Southern Argentina and partnered with Areva, the world’s largest integrated uranium company, until 2011 when the Fukushima disaster in Japan sent the industry into deep freeze.

“Since then, we’ve made some tremendous strides forward due to the new people we’ve been able to employ, namely our new geologist Guillermo Pensado, who is a uranium geologist with a very large pedigree, over 20 years’ experience in Argentina.”

Part of the Grosso Group Cacos has been part of the overarching Grosso Group since its founding 25 years ago, working closely with legendary South American mining executive Joe Grosso in the running of Blue Sky. “We [the Grosso Group] have had an uninterrupted 25-year history of mineral exploration in Argentina in all kinds of metals including lithium, silver and gold and for us Argentina has been ripe with opportunity because it is so unexplored. We’ve demonstrated that so far by making three world class discoveries.” The resource management group advanced the Gualcamayo mine in San Juan province, which is estimated to contain 3.3 million ounces (Moz) of gold and is now in

“It has only been in the last 18 months that

production by Yamana Gold and also has

we’ve really reactivated the company,” says

silver deposits in Southern Argentina, most

Blue Sky’s president and CEO Nikolaos Cacos,

recently discovering the Chinchillas deposit.

discussing the company’s new lease of life after its projects were temporarily placed on care and maintenance in the aftermath of Fukushima.


Resource Global Network The deposit will now be brought into

after the new plants come online in 2019.

production through a lucrative partnership

Much like other sources within its energy mix,

between Grosso Group’s Golden Arrow

Argentina imports uranium primarily from

Resources (previously featured in RGN Vol 4

Kazakhstan and Canada, which has proven to

Iss 7) and SSR Mining. “However, we believe

be a drain on funds.

that the group’s fourth discovery in Argentina is under Blue Sky,” says the CEO.

“Argentina is shifting its focus from importing hydrocarbons and using up all its valuable

Nuclear power is beginning to pick up again

US dollars in foreign exchange and is moving

after reverberations from the Fukushima

towards uranium as a source of reliable,

incident have been fully absorbed by global

efficient and cheap energy.

markets. Multiple reactors are being built across the world, with 56 currently under

“The government is very keen to have a

construction according to Cacos, many

domestic source of uranium and Blue Sky

of which are in countries you wouldn’t

has the project right now to gear up to be

necessarily expect, such as Japan and Saudi

Argentina’s first domestic supplier of uranium

Arabia.

and then become an exporter after that.”

Argentina is home to an advanced nuclear

While it is too early for the company to

energy industry itself. South America’s

confirm Argentina as its first customer, Blue

second largest economy has three nuclear

Sky is working very closely with the federal

power plants in operation, another one

government, in particular within the Rio

under construction, two more that are

Negro province in which it is active, which has

commissioned and two more in the planning

a budding nuclear research industry.

stage. “We are getting a lot of support and are At the moment Argentina needs around

building a really positive rapport between

500,000 pounds of uranium a year to feed

us. We are very confident that Argentina is

the plants that are currently in operation, but

looking at us as a first source of uranium,”

this is set to rise to one million pounds a year

Cacos purrs.

75


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MINING |Blue Sky Uranium

Carbon-free energy Having seen global uranium prices bounce back in recent years, Cacos is one of many staunch advocates of nuclear energy as a clean, reliable and long-term source of energy. “I believe uranium is our best way of achieving a carbon-free source of energy,” he says. “Reactors can have a long life. The new reactors being built are extremely safe and in terms of energy efficiency I remember reading in a recent article that half a barrel of uranium has enough energy to supply one person’s entire lifetime need of energy. “I think even in Japan when the Fukushima reactor was damaged by the tsunami, it was a very old reactor. There were other new reactors there that weren’t damaged at all. I think part of it is also fear.


Resource Global Network “However, if used properly and safely it is a

in what you are looking for and work closely

natural form of energy that with the proper

with them and that way we can focus our

safeguards is the best form of energy we can strategy.” use.” These local geologists pointed Blue Sky to a Blue Sky has established exploration activity

region surrounding Cerro Solo. Just North of

in two provinces of Southern Argentina; Rio

the deposit, a number of outcroppings were

Negro and Chubut, both of which straddle

located in Rio Negro that generated a great

the geologically diverse Patagonia region.

deal of excitement amongst the geologists.

Despite being highly prospective uranium-

Blue Sky subsequently purchased a very

bearing regions, there had been next to no

large land package and flew a radiometric

exploration projects when the company

survey spanning 28,000km, which remains

arrived in the provinces, aside from the

to this day the largest flown for any metal in

atomic agency for Argentina’s (CNEA) deposit Argentina. in Chubut called Cerro Solo. “It was just amazing to see on a map almost “Initially, we teamed up with local exploration a quarter size of Switzerland all these geologists, they knew where we should be

radioactive anomalies that were popping up,”

focused and that’s always been the Grosso

recalls Cacos. “We were able to acquire really

Group modus operandi: Find the best experts large packages, almost an entire district of potential uranium discovery.”

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MINING |Blue Sky Uranium


Resource Global Network After the airborne surveys, Blue Sky staked the properties and afterwards it was a matter of trying to locate the radiometric anomalies that had showed up on the surveys. “We sent a crew of geologists driving through the properties and it’s very interesting what they saw. Patagonia is a very flat and semiarid area in Argentina and its very sparsely populated, less so than Siberia. “Our team was following a typical dirt road in the area and were raking through the gravel just to clean it up and you could actually see this yellow carnotite right on the side, so the spectrometers in the geologists’ Jeep went off, they got out and within a matter of a few minutes they found the uranium.”

Amarillo Grande With the proliferation of uranium in the region all but confirmed by the geologists on the ground, Blue Sky began to put together a big geophysical mapping programme and conducted trenching to gauge how deep the uranium was occurring, before commencing a drill programme across the large, 140 x 50km land package which is now called Amarillo Grande. “We initially prospected over the entire 140km length of the project but decided in the last year to really focus on one area and we chose the Ivana area,” says Cacos. “We used some very focused geophysics, which turned out to be an excellent guide to how the mineralisation was flowing through.” The type of mineralisation present across the target is called a surficial type deposit, which tend to occur over large areas at a relatively low grade, comparable to uranium deposits found in Namibia or in Western Australia such as the Wiluna deposit. However, the results of a recent drill programme have allowed the company to expand the high grade core at the Ivana target by a further 1km, while

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MINING |Blue Sky Uranium infill drilling results also revealed consistent higher grade thicknesses, including individual results as high as 10,517 ppm or > 1% uranium over 1m. These results are a significant mark-up on the low grades commonly found in the comparable African and Australian deposits, which tend to come in at around 500 ppm or 0.5% uranium. “Our results are really exciting because this is the type of economic grade that can really add up very quickly when you do a resource calculation. We have closed off a series of 3,000m of infill drilling at Ivana, and are very close to publishing our initial resource calculation.” With the resource calculation due in the first week of March, Cacos expects to see an immediate institutional following based on the high grades present in the deposit and the fact that Blue Sky picked up the property for pennies back when it had no real value. “We would become candidates for those uranium investors that are going to see not just the potential of this initial deposit but also that we now have a completely understood model that we can replicate in other areas in this property. We are sitting on an entire uranium deposit with the potential of up to 100 million pounds or more.” Blue Sky’s short term targets in 2018 are three-fold: To put out an initial resource

uninterrupted 25-ye which has been rip

Nik


Australian Resource Business Global Network

“We [the Grosso Group] have had an ear history of mineral exploration in Argentina, pe with opportunity because it is so unexplored�

kolaos Cacos, president and CEO, Blue Sky Uranium Corp

81


Resource Global Network

estimation, to continue its geophysical

potential, as prices for the mineral have

programme that has been an excellent

soared in recent months owing to its

guide to discovery thus far, and to publish

usages as a steel hardener and in high-tech

a preliminary economic assessment on the

batteries.

resource. “We’ve always known about it but didn’t take “We are targeting what we believe is

much notice because vanadium was typically

economic in this environment today, and I

between $3-5 per pound, but now it fetches

want to demonstrate that,” says a confident

between $12-13 and all of a sudden it’s

Cacos. “If prices of uranium go up that’s

become a very significant metal.

fantastic, but we are focused on what would make money today.”

“This is a real game changer here, its giving the Amarillo Grande project an entire new

Finally, the occurrence of vanadium alongside

complexion.”

uranium at the Amarillo Grande deposit is also adding further juice to its economic

abj

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | Gemini Wind Park

GEMINI wind park


Resource Global Network

A watershed project for the Dutch offshore wind industry

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | Gemini Wind Park

Gemini Wind Park was officially opened in May 2017 at a public ceremony in Eemshaven, the seaport town located in the North of the Netherlands which served as the onshore base from which the major offshore project was delivered. The inauguration resembled the bookend of eight years of exhaustive work by the team and its partners, however Gemini’s CEO Matthias Haag is quick to highlight that while it was a joyous occasion for the team, the real satisfaction was taken when the park first began operations back in October 2016. “The wind park was already running at that time so it was a nice external milestone, but for the team the more important thing was having the wind park running,” says Haag.


Resource Global Network

“Nonetheless, its important that we had

The sheer magnitude of this project is

everything formalised with all the t’s crossed

revealed by the fact that it became the

and the i’s dotted, making sure that all the

world’s largest offshore wind project when

documentation is there. We also combined

it came online, and it has only been topped

the official opening with a restructuring of

this year by the arrival of the 630MW London

the financing as well, which was very positive

Array project, found in waters near the

for the shareholders and the banks.”

United Kingdom.

Gemini is located in the North Sea around 85

Collaboration is key

km North of the Dutch coast, boasting a total

Haag reveals that collaboration among

capacity of 600MW delivered by 150 turbines

the team and its partners was absolutely

across two sites – hence the name Gemini,

essential to the successful delivery of this era-

meaning ‘twins’.

defining project. “It was a big challenge to get

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | Gemini Wind Park it over the line, but we had a very good team and good partners. “Van Oord and Siemens were the main contractors, but we also shared good relations with all the other parties involved, be it the operators, or the banks who were financing the whole contract. “This working together of all parties was the main reason why the project was successful and delivered on time,” says the CEO. During the construction period, Gemini and its partners employed best in-class technologies to optimise safety and efficiency at the site, for example an automatic identification transponder system (AIS) was used to track the position of each installation and maintenance vessel. Each ship’s AIS transmitted its position, heading, speed and registered maritime identification number every two to 10 seconds, and this data was received by ships in the vicinity in case of incident. “Realistically, on a big project like this one you have to admit that things can happen. The question is; are you prepared for that and able to react in the right way? “We had an in-house team that dealt with HSE safety but also environmental guidelines, health issues and other things. We had a HSE manager and a number of people going offshore in the vessels to work with the contractors in more detail and we had


Resource Global Network

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | Gemini Wind Park


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 93 Resource

a lot of discussions with the contractors to

certainly an example of how things can work

make sure that all the requirements were

like that and the government was happy to

understood and going ahead the way they

see that things can progress on time and

were supposed to.”

on budget. Their strategy for the renewable change in energy provision is slowly coming

Gemini’s size and energy production capacity instantly set a new benchmark for offshore

to fruition.”

wind projects globally, but it was also the

Global winds of change

delivery of the project on time and on budget

Since the landmark Paris climate accord,

which stretched the industry’s perception of

nearly all recognised governments (bar the

what was possible for an offshore project.

US) around the world have agreed to limit the amount of damaging CO2 emissions

“In terms of the execution and the finance,

released into the atmosphere and increase

this was by a distance the biggest project

the generation of renewable energy sources

finance of an offshore wind park that took

to replace polluting carbon-based energy

place at the time in 2014,” Haag claims.

sources.

“With €2.8 billion secured in funding it was

Like many European nations, the Dutch


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RENEWABLE ENERGY | Gemini Wind Park


Resource Global Network government set an individual renewable

offshore projects, the Gemini project

energy target in the wake of the Paris

has also contributed to warming public

agreement, however it is struggling to meet

sentiments towards renewable energy in the

its 2020 target of having 14% of its total

Netherlands and this was encapsulated by

energy mix supplied by renewables.

the public reaction to the development in the local Eemshaven region.

This target was agreed with the European Union back in 2007, and was soon followed

“All interaction we had with the public was

by an even more ambitious target of 27%

very positive,” reveals Haag. “People were

renewable energy by 2030. Most recently,

very positive about Gemini and the fact that it

this 2030 target was further increased to 32%

happened.

in June this year. “On the other hand, you have to understand Therefore, the Dutch government has a

that the entire wind park is beyond the

mountain to climb if it wants to meet these

horizon so for the general public it is not

ambitious targets and will need many more

visible at all. All they could see was the

onshore and offshore wind projects of the

onshore activity with the preparation at the

same magnitude as Gemini, which reduces

harbour.”

reducing CO2 emissions by 1.25 million tonnes per year.

The Gemini team held an open day in Eemshaven where members of the public

“Gemini alone provides enough power for

were given a tour of the onshore facilities

the energy needs of the three Northern

and were also taken in small vessels to see

provinces of the Netherlands. These big

the turbines onsite. The day was deemed a

projects do make a difference and you can

big success, with attendance far exceeding

see that the Dutch government is planning

expectations prior to the event.

multiple large MW projects to be added in the coming years.”

A key reason for the successful reception of the project by the public was the fact that it

In fact, the government recently announced

provided significant short-term and long-term

plans to build three offshore wind farms

economic opportunities in the local area.

by 2030, in addition to five offshore sites

“Siemens made sure they employed people

which will be delivered before 2023. The

from the region in their ship which is now

government hopes that these large-scale

24/7 in the field, operating and maintaining

projects will produce 40% of the country’s

the wind turbines.”

electricity needs by 2030. This lasting positive economic impact While acting as a stimulus for these future

of the project, along with the Gemini

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | Gemini Wind Park

team’s proactive approach to stakeholder

resembles a significant long-term source of

management, has gone a long way to

renewable energy for the Dutch government,

ensuring the legacy of the wind park remains as the country looks to diversify its energy protected over the next 20 years.

supply and align with EU green energy goals.

A strong start to life

The wind park will continue operating

During its first 12 months of operation,

profitably beyond the current 15-year subsidy

Gemini consistently delivered on its capacity

tariff it has agreed with the government, an

despite it being a ‘bad wind year’, according

idea that was deemed impossible by the wind

to Haag. “But in terms of availability and

industry not long ago.

functionality of the wind park, we are very happy and are having higher than agreed

This reflects the pace of change currently

availability, which is being achieved on a

afoot in the wind industry, as zero

consistent basis.”

subsidy projects become more prevalent, costs continue to fall and technological

With a current lifetime of 20 years, Gemini

improvements drive the industry forward.


Resource Global Network

“I think it’s an extremely important time for

“Looking around the world, offshore wind

offshore. We have seen so much growth

is taking off everywhere and if you look at

recently, but I think we are still at the start

a recent forecast from Bloomberg, they

the real growth is still to come.

have predicted six-fold growth by 2030 which is hugely exciting and there is a lot of

“If you look at what is happening in Taiwan,

happening. We have only seen the start of

India, China, Turkey, the French have

offshore wind and the big industrial change

finally decided they are going ahead with

or revolution is just beginning.”

something, the Belgians are building, the UK and Germany still have big plans. Even the US has started planning some offshore farms.

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ONLINE NOW WWW.AFRICANBUSINESSNETWORK.CO.ZA


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RENEWABLE ENERGY | juwi Renewable Energies

JUWI


Resource Global Network

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A new focus on hybrid energy solutions across sub-Saharan Africa


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RENEWABLE ENERGY | juwi Renewable Energies

juwi Renewable Energies South Africa is part of the international juwi group, one of the world’s leading companies in the renewable energy industry. The South African business is one of 15 subsidiaries in countries worldwide, after the original juwi group decided to expand out of its German roots into new international markets. Since adopting this strategy, the group has become adept at observing the ebb and flow of renewable energy sentiments in different jurisdictions and identifying the opportune moment to move into or out of a particular market. juwi registered in South Africa in 2010, when the stars were beginning to align in the then nascent renewable energy sector, with the announcement of the government’s inaugural renewable energy independent power purchase programme (REIPP). juwi’s arrival into the South African renewable energy market in 2010 allowed the subsidiary time to build its workforce over the course of 2011 ahead of its participation in the first round of solar projects under REIPPP in 2012 and 2013. Managing director Greg Austin joined juwi


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RENEWABLE ENERGY | juwi Renewable Energies

South Africa at the end of 2012 after it had

until financial close, at which point a financial

signed four engineering, procurement and

investor would step in.

construction (EPC) contracts for four solar projects comprising 35MW in Round 1 of

More recently the company has added solar

REIPPP.

project development to its business. This has allowed juwi to develop project rights

“When I joined we executed those projects,

alongside being able to build and operate

predominantly over the course of 2013,” he

a solar project together with the right

says. “Subsequent to that, a few things have

investment partner.

happened; we have diversified our business models, grown our business and been

“In parallel with that we’ve grown from a

successful in following rounds of the REIPPP.”

handful of people in 2012 to over 50 staff and we have further diversified the business

juwi’s initial strategy was to follow two core

to include commercial and industrial solar

business models in South Africa, the first of

power systems.

which was to provide EPC services to utilityscale solar plants. Meanwhile, juwi would also

“More recently our Cape Town office forms

act as a project developer for wind farms,

the hub for linking with off takers particularly

where it would effectively own projects up

in the mining sector for our cutting edge


Resource Global Network

hybrid power solutions. Both of these

boom, building five utility scale solar plants

latter business models are B2B in nature

totalling 121MW to date, along with an

as opposed to the public procurement

extensive portfolio of both of wind and

programme represented by REIPP in South

solar projects in South Africa that are fully

Africa.”

developed and ready for bidding in the next

Reaping the benefits

REIPP procurement round.

The introduction of REIPPP was a genuine

After focusing most of its early efforts on

watershed moment in South Africa’s

securing projects in the first round of REIPPP,

renewable energy industry. In the six years

juwi secured an 86MW solar project in the

since the first round of the programme, over

third round, which was commissioned in mid-

6.1GW of renewable energy projects have

2016 and has been in operation for two years

been allocated over four rounds of bids,

now.

which has generated investment of around R194 billion (US$16 billion), none of which

“We have been successful in selling one

has come with any form of government

of our early wind farm projects that we

subsidy.

developed back in 2012,” says Austin. “It was awarded as a project in Round 4 of REIPPP

juwi has played a key role in this investment

which has been the round where we have had all the signing delays.”

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | juwi Renewable Energies

“We have diversified our business models, grown our business and been suc After three successful rounds of

and secure PPA signatures for three solar

procurement, the fourth programme was

projects totalling 250MW in Round 4. juwi’s

effectively put on hold back in 2015 despite

strong position in the local market has been

significant capital investment and job

further underlined as a result.

creation within the South African renewables industry.

Hybrid energy solutions juwi has also developed its strategy around

Therefore, the last three years have proven

renewables in the wider sub-Saharan African

to be a frustrating period for juwi and many

region, providing ‘hybrid’ energy solutions to

renewable energy industry stakeholders

the mining industry under a B2B model as

who have had to wait patiently for the

part of a global focus for the juwi group.

final signatures on the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

“Our global hybrid business initiative combines solar, wind, any thermal generator

However, the wait finally ended in April when

and storage, and we are focusing our efforts

South Africa’s energy minister Jeff Radebe

in this regard.”

signed the agreements for 27 PPAs worth a total of R56 billion, in a fresh sign of the

Austin reveals that the company is currently

government’s commitment to the renewables

working on a number of significant mining

industry.

projects in Africa, building on its experiences on an award-winning reference project. In

As a result, juwi has been able to reach

2016, juwi commissioned a 10.6MW solar

financial close on the wind farm project sale,

PV plus diesel plus battery storage hybrid


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 107 Resource

ccessful in following rounds of the REIPPP.” Greg Austin, managing director system at the DeGrussa Mine, located around energy? For Austin, the key consideration is 900 km Northeast of Perth in Western

ultimately cost. “If you look at mines, they can

Australia.

either be grid-connected, entirely off-grid or they can be on a weak-grid.

The US$40 million project remains two years later as the largest integrated off-grid solar

“Typically, you would see that most mines,

and battery storage facility globally, and fully

even if they are connected to the grid, have

integrates with the existing 19MW diesel-

substantial thermal power plants on site

fired power station at the site, providing

which will typically be diesel or heavy fuel oil-

an additional source of power and energy

based. The cost of that energy is really high

storage with related cost and carbon

compared to solar. From a price perspective

emissions reductions.

solar is a no-brainer, assuming that a suitably long-term PPA can be agreed between the

Having received extremely positive

involved parties.

feedback from the mine’s operator Sandfire Resources throughout the two years since

“When you put these things side-by-side

its installation, juwi believes that solar hybrid

there are price offerings under a PPA

facilities are fast becoming the benchmark

environment that a thermal power plant

for reliable and sustainable energy supply to

simply cannot complete with.”

remotely located mines. In addition to low costs, the reliability and But why exactly are these hybrid plants so

quality of the energy supplied are another

valuable in terms of providing reliable off-grid key draw for mining companies considering


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RENEWABLE ENERGY | juwi Renewable Energies


Resource Global Network hybrid systems for remote mines. This is something that juwi is attempting to promote via the success of the DeGrussa mine. “The reliability and the quality of the hybrid system is as good, if not better than that from the standalone diesel system,” according to Peter Gordon the electrical superintendent at Sandfire Resources. “Those are the first points we are trying to hit. Once you achieve that and reference it, that’s when it makes a mark in everybody’s minds,” says Austin. “Whenever you talk to miners about power and its relative costs and reliability, everyone is looking at solar, so that’s quite an exciting place for us to be in right now.” Hybrid facilities are particularly compelling for many mining operators across subSaharan Africa because of the increased number of off-grid large-scale mines. Typically, off-grid connections are much more expensive than grid-connected mines in Africa and are often a much poorer quality. Not only that, but according to Austin: “We anticipate the introduction of our hybrid solutions as a key enabler of new investments into proven mining resources that otherwise would not be bankable with the costs of providing a pure thermal power solution in some locations.” Therefore, the continent is presenting fertile ground for juwi’s low cost, high quality and

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | juwi Renewable Energies

“Whenever you talk to miners abou everyone is looking at solar, so that’s q

reliable hybrid energy systems, as off-grid

Having said that there is still a robust

mine operators look for reductions in and

industry which has had to really sharpen its

alternatives to their current electricity tariffs.

pencils and find a way to deliver value for its

South Africa’s resurgent renewables sector

customers.” Now it seems that brighter days are on the

Returning to the current state of play in

horizon once again with the announcement

South Africa’s renewable energy industry,

of the fifth round of REIPPP, which will

Austin admits that the sector has weathered

be launched this year for over 1.8GW of

a storm in recent years because of the delays

renewable energy projects.

in the final project sign off in Round 4 of the REIPPP.

This programme will provide a major investment boost to the renewables industry,

“The entire fabric of the market has had

which is already benefitting from rapidly

a massive setback because of the delays.

falling costs across the board, particularly in


Resource Global Network

ut power and its relative costs and reliability, quite an exciting place for us to be in right now.”

the commercial and industrial solar sector.

has grown from having the capacity to build 35MW in around a year and a half, to being

In addition, business conditions in South

able to build 250MW in that same timeframe.

Africa have also improved as a result of political changes earlier this year, which

“Looking back over the last five years juwi has

is further contributing to a better outlook

realised or secured 500MW of solar and wind

for juwi and its fellow renewable energy

projects in South Africa. In terms of the sub-

developers.

Saharan business, we are bullish about the hybrid prospects and are aiming to achieve

Reflecting on juwi’s development in South

deployment of around 100MW by 2021.”

Africa, Austin tells RGN that the company

ab j

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | ClearVue PV


Resource Global Network

V P E U

C

V R A E L The

fu

of e r tu

su

ble a n i sta

re

he s i re

u

ect t i h rc

a

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | ClearVue PV

ClearVue PV’s executive chairman Victor Rosenberg first considered working in the building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) space a few years after the company was formed in 1995, when it operated under its former name Tropiglas Technologies. The company’s core product offering is at its simplest highly energy efficient, ultra clear glass that generates electricity via solar technology. After working with organic materials within its prototype product, the company endured a number of setbacks before changing direction to focus on progressing a new advanced glazing solution. Fast forward to 2018 and after many years of refining its technology, ClearVue is close to officially launching a smart building material product that could disrupt some of the world’s biggest industries.

The interlayer contains inorganic nanoparticles, which fortifies the product and also converts ultraviolet (UV) light to the lower infrared range. “We keep the heat out and allow the visible light to go through. We then direct the infrared towards the edges by various mechanisms,” says Rosenberg. The reflected light is collected by photovoltaic cells at the edges of the glass, which currently produces 30W of energy per square metre of material, however the company expects to improve this to 50W per square metre with further research and development effort. In fact, the company has recently announced a significant new development to its technology, in that the solar cells can now be built into the entire structure, instead of just at the edges of the glass. This effectively widens the range of uses into additional markets and represents a key breakthrough for ClearVue’s technical team. “The whole product and technology is contained within a glass structure as an Integrated Glass Unit (IGU), so that you can’t actually get to the solar cells or the mechanisms inside the glass panel,” says

The process of developing the company’s

Rosenberg. “The expected life is about 25

solar glass product has been an arduous

years and the solar cells are the only part of

one that has taken a great deal of brain

the unit that would deteriorate very slowly

power and trial and error to get to where it

(0.25% pa) over time.”

is now according to Rosenberg, who explains that the basic concept revolves around an

A clear future

activated interlayer that sits between two

ClearVue is not the only company operating

panes of glass.

in the BIPV sector and the technology has already been applied to many buildings and


Resource Global Network

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | ClearVue PV structures around the world, so why does Rosenberg believe his solar glass is superior to rival products on the market? The answer lies in the fact that the technology is completely transparent and therefore doesn’t compromise aesthetics, while the solar glass is also product integrated and building integrated. Rosenberg believes there is no standard for both as of yet but hopes to change this once the certification process is completed. “We are hopefully going to be the first person to do both, in terms of it being a building material and a building product. It’s a glass structure, like normal glass except it has activity within the product.


Resource Global Network “One of my big statements has always been

The company is targeting big businesses in

that our technology presents a paradigm shift the construction and agriculture industries, in the way glass will be used in the building,

as these are the companies that will be

construction, automobile and agricultural

placed under scrutiny with regards to

industries, because the glass will no longer

compliance with energy efficiency legislation

just be a component of construction, it will

and particularly those in Europe after 2021

also be a renewable energy resource and that when a new set of super-efficiency guidelines really is the crux.�

come into effect.

products from multiple industries is

A self-powering greenhouse

being shaped largely by new rules and

In the agriculture industry, ClearVue wants

regulations introduced by sustainability-

to introduce a 100% self-sustainable

focused governments around the world, and

greenhouse - one that is made from

Rosenberg believes this type of legislation is

glass which allows visible light as well as

going to be ClearVue’s biggest friend.

photosynthetically active radiation (amount

Increasing clamour for energy efficient

of light available for photosynthesis), but also produces energy onsite to power the greenhouse.

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RENEWABLE ENERGY | ClearVue PV Last year, the Federal Government of Australia granted ClearVue $1.6 million to build this world-first greenhouse that incorporates the company’s high-tech product. “They see the advantages like we do and it’s not easy to get money from governments, but they see that there is a clear advantage here. “In fact, wherever you go around the world, the biggest issue is food security,” Rosenberg continues. Already the company has received lots of interest from many areas of the world, all of which are looking for food security. ClearVue is working with industry partners and horticultural scientists to deliver the energy efficient greenhouse, which has recently passed the stage of preliminary drawings for the pilot project. “The reason that we want to work with these industry and scientific partners is because the outcomes need to be from an independent third party, not from us. The independent third party needs to publish the results and confirm what we are claiming.” Corroboration of a demonstration project from a reputable third party source is important for ClearVue as this essentially acts as the company’s salesman and is a key point of promotion for its product around the world. Furthermore, the company is planning to build several other live units in the coming months, including things such as bus shelters


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 121 Resource


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RENEWABLE ENERGY | ClearVue PV

and super-tech touch screens. “We can talk

along with European standards accreditation

till the cows come home, but these live units

for our window product. We are looking

are our salesmen,” quips Rosenberg.

now to do the US and by the end of the

The commercialisation process

year we will have some products that are fully certified, hopefully in most parts of the world.”

By the time of publish, ClearVue will have started producing units of its industry-

Rosenberg also reveals that he has held

changing solar glass product, with the first

meaningful discussions with around half a

units off the line certified in Australia and

dozen big companies from the UK, France,

Europe

Belgium and Spain after a recent trip to Europe. “They are all very keen to move

“We have just received Australian standards

forward,” he says.


Resource Global Network

“My motto is: Our vision is powering the

agriculture as well,” concludes a confident

future. I’ve always believed that energy and

Rosenberg.

the environment are the two most important areas that one needs to focus on.

You can catch the launch of ClearVue’s product at Fenestration Australia 2018 in

“We will definitely be a player in the global

September, Glasstec conference in Germany

construction industry, the BIPV energy

during October and at Greenbuild Expo 2018

efficiency and even in the automobile

in the US in November.

industry we will play a part and of course

ASX:CPV

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126

MINING | Barra Resources

BARRA RESOURCES

Targeting two high demand commodities in Western Australia


Resource Global Network

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MINING | Barra Resources

Barra Resources listed on the ASX in 2000 on the back of some gold assets owned by Australia’s largest underground mining contractor Barminco. The company’s initial focus remained on gold exploration and production in Western Australia, although its motivation to stimulate shareholder growth led to Barra taking an interest in the Mt Thirsty Cobalt-Nickel project back in 2006. At Mt Thirsty, Barra established a 32 million tonnes (Mt) resource at 0.13% cobalt and 0.55% nickel, however managing director and CEO Sean Gregory recalls how the project then sat on the firm’s balance sheet as a ‘sleeper’ for around 10 years, until recent movement in the cobalt price brought the project sharply back into focus. While rapidly accelerating cobalt prices in the last year has naturally dictated a flurry of activity on the Mt Thirsty project, Barra recognises the tremendous exploration upside around historical gold mines in WA. Thus, the company adheres to a dual commodity focus in this long-established and stable mining jurisdiction. “If you were to pick two commodities that people would like to invest in, certainly gold and cobalt would be close to the top of most


Resource Global Network

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MINING | Barra Resources

investor’s lists. That’s why we are progressing

“The weathering at Mt Thirsty is deeper

both,” says Gregory.  

and more pervasive such that the cobalt has broken away from the silicates and the

“This also provides a natural hedge in our

iron oxide, and the cobalt is now with the

balance sheet and for our investors and

manganese in a mineral called asbolane.  

enables us to fill up the year with news flow from both assets.”

Mt Thirsty  Western Australia has an incredibly diverse

“It is this mineral which is amenable to agitated atmospheric leaching, which allows us to recover that cobalt at relatively low capital costs.”

range of ancient geological structures and hosts several very large laterite nickel-

Barra delivered a scoping study for the Mt

cobalt deposits, many of which have been

Thirsty project in October last year which

discovered and taken into production.

outlined a host of attractive project metrics including a low capital cost of AUS$212

Yet Mt Thirsty goes against the grain in this

million, largely due to the aforementioned

respect, being a pure cobalt project with

geological idiosyncrasies within the deposit.

some nickel credits. The reason for this is the underlying geology, explains Gregory.

Based on conservative assumptions, which


Resource Global Network

Wood has the capability to extract cobalt and nickel for purification and recovery using methods such as high pressure acid leaching (HPAL) or pressure oxidation (POX). The extracted solution can be used for final products such as LME grade A cathode or intermediates such as mixed hydroxide (MHP), mixed sulphide (MSP), or cobalt and nickel sulphate crystal products. www.woodplc.com

allow for just 73% of the cobalt metal and

“For example, the scoping study was done

21.5% of nickel metal to be recovered

on a long-term cobalt price of US$72,000 per

through Barra’s process, the study concluded

tonne. Recently it has risen to about $90,000

that Mt Thirsty can deliver a healthy net

per tonne and if projected forward the NPV

present value (NPV) of $290 million.  

increases to around $500 million.  

“We think we can significantly optimise those

“As the cobalt price rises further still, the

recoveries in the upcoming pre-feasibility

economics of the project are just going to get

study and indeed all variables in the PFS

better and better. Critically, this surge in NPV

will be optimised to improve the already

is achieved without adjusting any other key

attractive economics,” claims Gregory.  

variables such as recoveries and nickel price,” he adds.  

Separating Barra’s future revenue streams off all profits will come from cobalt, with the

A charged-up cobalt market

balance of 16% from nickel. Therefore, a key

Nowadays it is common knowledge that

aspect to consider is the extent to which the

cobalt is one of the key components in

from the Mt Thirsty project reveals that 84%

project is heavily geared towards leveraging a rechargeable batteries in a multitude of cobalt price hike.

modern consumer products, from laptops to smartphones and electric vehicles (EVs).

131


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MINING | Barra Resources As such, around half of the world’s cobalt production supplies the battery market. However, while the burgeoning battery market is certainly sweetening the deal for cobalt producers there remains 34 other industrial uses for cobalt, including in jet engines, hard alloys and ceramics. All things considered cobalt is already one of the most in-demand commodities in the world, and now the EV story is upon us.  “Every major commentator is forecasting a rapid uptake in EVs as we reach price parity for ownership of an EV versus a petrol vehicle.” Gregory refers to a recent study in the Journal of Applied Energy which identified that price parity between EVs and petrol vehicles on a total cost of ownership basis has already been reached in the US, UK and Japan.  “We see a major structural shift in front of us and that is manifesting itself in higher prices for cobalt,” he deduces. “On the supply side, 97% of all cobalt is a by-product of nickel and copper mines. Now as cobalt prices go up, the nickel and copper mines aren’t necessarily incentivised to start new mines.” 


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 133 Resource But, being a true cobalt project with nickel

Along with its 50:50 joint venture partner,

credits, Mt Thirsty is one of a limited number

fellow WA-based mining outfit Conico,

of projects being mobilised that can respond

Barra is charging into work on the PFS and

to this demand increase. “We see that those

expects to publish the study by the end of

simple supply-demand dynamics are going

the year, although Gregory stresses that the

to push the cobalt price higher going into the

company is taking a meticulous approach

future.”

to ensure maximum value is extracted for shareholders.

Another potential value-adding element down the line for Barra stems from the fact

The JV has been on foot for many years

that Mt Thirsty is located in the safe and

now and operates very effectively, he adds.

ethical mining jurisdiction of WA. The same

However, it’s also worth noting that while the

statement cannot be routinely applied to the

project already has a long 21-year mine life,

DRC’s industry, which supplies roughly 56% of additional tonnages from the deposit exist the world’s cobalt.  

outside of Barra and Conico’s acreage and are owned by Galileo Mining, who recently

Of that percentage, around 20% comes from

floated on the ASX at a significant premium.

artisanal mines, where serious concerns have been raised regarding human rights abuses,

“The present ownership structure really puts

child labour and low industrial standards.    

the opportunity in front of us for a regional development story and for some cooperation

“The intelligence that we are getting is that battery manufacturers are prepared to pay a premium for material that is sustainably sourced. We can certainly guarantee that from WA, we’ve got a well-established mining jurisdiction and very high environmental standards.”

in the region.


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MINING | Barra Resources

“If you were to pick two commodities that people would like to invest in, certainly gold and cobalt would be close to the top of most investor’s lists” Sean Gregory, managing director and CEO


Resource Global Network “I’m now calling the region ‘cobalt valley’, based on the number of high quality players involved there and the opportunities available to develop a significant industrial centre for cobalt production.”

Old but gold Gold has been a staple of WA’s mining industry since the very beginnings of the trade at the end of 19th century.  Barra’s current gold portfolio is comprised of a brownfields asset in the shape of the Burbanks project and a greenfields deposit named Phillips Find, both of which are located around Coolgardie.  The Burbanks mining centre was first mined in 1885 and over 420,000 ounces of gold have been produced from the centre ever since. “We have a resource in the ground of 95,000 ounces and our geologists have identified an exploration target of 223,000-564,000 ounces.  “Based on that tremendous potential, we really think it is a fantastic investment for a relatively low cost to continue to explore that project and build on those ounces to add value.”  While the company has decided to limit its near-term activity across the gold portfolio so as not to distract from the cobalt project, it does hope to grow its existing gold resources and add value via some modest exploration expenditure. 

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MINING | Barra Resources

“We have just announced the very positive

Barra will now move on to test other

results of a drill programme at Main Lode

targets at Burbank including Kangaroo Hills

within the Burbanks project, which has

along with targets at Phillips Find. “We are

significantly expanded the strike length of the

confident that by backing our geologists with

mineralisation out to 650 metres and is the

modest investment in gold exploration they

first step towards realising our exploration

will do their work and steadily build that

target.”

resource base.”


Resource Global Network which will be delivered by safety-focused contractor Egan Drilling. Meanwhile, on the cobalt front investors can expect swift progression through the studies, with the PFS next off the list. After an extensive tendering process Barra selected Amec Foster Wheeler, a subsidiary of global engineering house the Wood group, to undertake the main body of the PFS along with engineering and metallurgical testwork. They will be supported by Snowden Mining Consultants in mine planning, Golder Associates in many technical areas and Talis Environmental Consultants.  In the medium term, Barra is beginning to assess downstream partnership opportunities for its cobalt product, particularly with companies in the battery manufacturing market.  “We really see that the PFS should give the market a good baseline of the value of this project and we think it would be an appropriate time to bring in strategic partners to maximise value for our shareholders, who have been supporting us in moving the project through the development milestones.” Over the coming months, investors can expect a steady stream of news flow from the gold side of the business as the company invests in small-scale drilling programmes

ASX:BAR

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MINING | Black Rock Mining

BLAC K ROC Back on track at the Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania


Resource Global Network

CK M I N I NG

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MINING | Black Rock Mining

In November 2017 ASX-listed Black Rock Mining decided to reactivate its definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its flagship Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania – the fourth largest contained graphite resource in the world. The decision to reactivate the DFS was based on the company’s growing confidence in the prospect of a resolution to Tanzania’s recent travails in the mining sector, as it attempts to amend its mining code. For Black Rock, the resumption of its DFS has prompted a barrage of movement at the Mahenge development, including the commencement of a drilling campaign and a bulk sampling programme, which has now been shipped to Canada in preparation for a second pilot plant run. Meanwhile, vital environmental and social impact assessments have been initiated along with the resettlement framework development. The DFS will deliver a precise engineering “We reactivated the DFS and commenced

study that will help the company raise finance

drilling with the objective to complete the

for the project, and de Vries is convinced

metallurgical drill out and extract a bulk

that it is in safe hands after handing CPC

sample before the wet season broke, which

Engineering the contract for the study.

we achieved, on schedule and on budget,” says chief executive officer and managing

CPC is a supremely experienced outfit within

director John de Vries.

the mining services industry and also holds


Resource Global Network

the engineering contract for the comparable Balama graphite project in Mozambique,

The drill programme took place over

which is being advanced by Syrah Resources.

December and January and was conducted by a local group called MRCM Drilling, who

“With CPC on board, we have got what we

were able to complete the exercise before

think is the most current graphite CV on

the onset of the wet season, which was a

the planet and the experience needed to

major boon to Black Rock.

translate that CV into meaningful action on the ground.�

The upcoming second pilot plant run will

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MINING | Black Rock Mining use samples taken from the December and January campaign and aims to validate the design and vendor equipment, stress test the plant and ensure Black Rock fully understands variability and can deliver at customer specification at all times.

A world first result Meanwhile, the company also recently announced some astonishing processing results from the preceding pilot plant run, as the company delivered a world first 99%+ purity graphite concentrate in a conventional flotation circuit at scale. “We took 200 kg of concentrate and reprocessed it through an additional polishing stage within a closed circuit operation and from that we were able to upgrade the concentrate from a purity grading from 97.5% to 99.5% with zero loss of graphite.� This result pushes the processed concentrate into the ultra grade bracket (99%), up from the premium grade (97.5%), and allows Black Rock to conduct meaningful discussions with potential customers having qualified its product in the pilot study. In addition to the industry-leading purity grade achieved in the pilot, de Vries is also pleased with the minimal flake degradation that occurred during the additional polishing, with 55% of the ultra grade concentrate remaining in the large or jumbo size fraction. The pilot plant was conducted at the Lakefield laboratory in Canada by SGS – the


Resource Global Network

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MINING | Black Rock Mining

best in-class product certification company

The long-term fate of the Mahenge project is

according to de Vries - which adds another

dependent on the success of the first module,

layer of credibility to the results and an

as the cash flow generated from that phase

extra degree of clarity to discussions with

will contribute towards the construction of

customers in need of a regular, premium or

the following two phases under the crawl,

ultra grade concentrate.

walk, run strategy. Therefore, validation of the design through the second pilot plant

After the success of the first pilot plant run,

study is essential.

Black Rock is on track to proceed with the second pilot plant in Q3, which is going to

“The second pilot plant also lets us take

be even more revealing as it incorporates a

meaningful volumes of material to various

design laid out in the DFS.

vendors for testing and we can come back at that point with performance warranties from

“The second pilot plant is going test and

the vendors. It’s a pragmatic commercial

validate critical elements of that design

strategy as well.”

before we build it. We want to go modular in the field, which means we need a high degree

Working with Tanzania

of confidence the thing is going to work when

Furthermore, the miner has commenced

we turn it on.”

environmental and social risk assessments


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 145 Resource

which form a vital part of the mining license

together to deliver that,” he proposes.

application to the Tanzanian government, which is proving to be a delicate matter.

“It’s about transparency. If you can be transparent, clear and articulate in what

The company’s CEO admits that the recent

you are trying to achieve and find a way to

shift in the stance of the authorities towards

enshrine that into a code of practise, I think

foreign mining firms has added further

that’s good for everybody and that is what we

difficulty to the application process, but de

are trying to do.”

Vries remains confident that the licence is still well within reach.

In order to demonstrate the company’s willingness to work closely with the Tanzanian

Black Rock is one of the first companies that

authorities and integrate into existing state

will comply with new mining bills that were

structures, Black Rock chose to ship the 530

signed into law by President John Magufuli

tonnes bulk sample of concentrate via rail

last year. The laws require the government to

from Ifakara to the port of Dar es Salaam,

own at least a 16% stake in mining projects.

ahead of its export to Canada.

“Let’s look at what government’s objectives

“That’s a very clear demonstration of our

are from the license and see if we can work

intention to engage with Tanzania, our


146

MINING | Black Rock Mining


Resource Global Network

147

“We reactivated the DFS and commenced drilling with the objective to complete the metallurgical drill out and extract a bulk sample before the wet season broke, which we achieved� John de Vries, CEO & MD


Resource Global Network

intention to learn how to do things, and also

observed a growing number of questions

to roll our sleeves up and get on with the

around the ‘tipping point’ for the EV market.

job. If we are creating jobs, engaging with the existing systems, and not trying to duplicate

At what point does it make economic sense

or usurp anybody’s rights or obligations, it’s

for an internal combustion engine to be

not a bad position to work from.”

replaced either by a plug-in hybrid or by

The tipping point

and all-out battery vehicle? Black Rock’s CEO believes the combination of falling battery

The growing electric vehicle (EV) industry is

costs and diminishing supply bottlenecks in

an area of significant interest for Black Rock

lithium and cobalt production are bringing

due to the fact that every KWh battery used

the fabled tipping point ever closer.

to power EVs requires 1 kg of spheronised graphite. In recent months, de Vries has

“Add in some economies of scale and you can

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MINING | Black Rock Mining

imagine how quickly the cost of a lithium-ion

the importance of which have been grimly

battery is going to drop and we are going to

underlined by the recent tragedy of the

rapidly transition to EVs.

Grenfell tower fire in London.

“Plus, if you consider how that ties in with

In the aftermath of the fire, a strong degree

autonomous vehicles, I think there is a

of pressure has been applied towards

perfect storm beginning to brew around level

building contractors to ensure materials are

5 autonomy vehicles and the role of an EV in

adequately flame-retardant, with expanded

that autonomy.”

graphite’s anti-flame propagation properties making it an essential material applied to

It’s not just the burgeoning autonomous and

building cladding.

EV markets that are uplifting the prospects of major graphite producers. There are also a

Black Rock is on track to publish its all-

plethora of expanded graphite applications,

important DFS for the Mahenge project by


Resource Global Network

John de Vries - CEO & MD of Black Rock Mining around the third quarter of 2018, at which

pragmatic approach to risk management is

point it will be able to proceed with a detailed

giving Black Rock confidence that a pathway

front end engineering design (FEED). The DFS

to funding will emerge, says de Vries.

will also be the final document in the mining license application.

FEED is likely to be completed by the end of the year, and then the company has only

Once the license is approved, the company

a 12-month construction run left on the

will look to secure project finance. The

schedule before production at Mahenge

company is making solid progress with

begins in earnest in late 2019.

regards to reopening Tanzania and its

ASX:BKT

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154

MINING | CPC Engineering

CPC Engineering

World-leading expertise in graphite processing


Resource Global Network

155


156

MINING | CPC Engineering

CPC Engineering is a leading mid-tier provider of engineering design, construction and maintenance services to the mineral resources sector. First established in 1970, the company commenced operations from a workshop in Western Australia with the original owners identifying a market niche for mine and engineering services. Over the coming decades, CPC cultivated its skills and today provides an entire service for mining projects, including comprehensive multi-disciplinary engineering and project management for surface and underground mining operations. CPC’s chief executive officer Glen Weir says the company is committed to forming longterm relationships with their clients by engaging in an open and honest manner and delivering on promises. “Our business relies heavily on our ability to provide our services in a safe, cost effective and efficient manner. Our hallmark is to deliver on our promises,” he says. To me, that means performing our respective tasks and following our processes and systems and doing things safely every time.” The company’s services range from supporting the initial concept and feasibility


Resource Global Network

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MINING | CPC Engineering

stage through to project management and

the development and engineering design

project execution. The CPC team is well

of graphite projects, with vast operational

placed to provide high quality, cost effective

experience in the material handling and

solutions that assist in achieving successful

processing aspects unique to graphite.

projects. Processing of graphite requires specialist CPC has developed an extensive footprint

knowledge as it often behaves in ways unlike

across greenfield and brownfield mining

most other metals and minerals. Therefore,

sites around the world, most of which are

CPC’s understanding of the product

found in Australia and Africa although it is

requirements for industry applications, such

also working with partners based in South

as battery anodes, is particularly valuable to

America, Scandinavia and India to name a

firms with graphite mines.

few. Most recently, CPC Project Design (the The services provider works across multiple

company’s multidisciplinary engineering

commodities but is highly experienced in

design, procurement, construction and


Resource Global Network Kevin Horsley, project manager at the Balama Graphite Project, has no hesitation in recommending CPC for its engineering design, procurement and project management services. “CPC’s experienced and quality team showed all the capabilities needed to handle a project the magnitude and complexity of Balama.” Staying in Africa, the company was appointed to deliver the Definitive Feasibility Study on the Mahenge Graphite project in Tanzania, after supporting Black Rock Mining in a 90 tonnes pilot plan run at SGS Lakefield in Canada. Black Rock`s CEO and MD John de Vries commented: “Securing the services of CPC Project Design is important, as they bring highly valued experience given their involvement in Syrah’s Balama Project, a wealth of recent graphite and African project management company) completed

experience, and the can-do approach of a

work on the Balama Graphite Project in

mid-tier firm.”

Mozambique. CPC has consistently proven its world-leading CPC delivered a feasibility study, Front End

capabilities in the design and construct of

Engineering Design (FEED), procurement,

graphite processing plants and continues

construction and commissioning for its

to work closely with its existing clients.

partner Syrah Resources’ two million tonnes

The company is looking to support new

per annum processing facility, which is a

clients who need to vertically integrate their

factor of four to five times bigger than other

processing of graphite for the emerging

Western production facilities.

battery minerals market.

j

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162

MINING | Prospect Resources


Resource Global Network

PROSPECT RESOURCES

Advancing the 2nd largest JORC compliant hard rock lithium resource in Africa

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MINING | Prospect Resources

Prospect Resources is the brainchild of experienced mining executives Hugh Warner and Harry Greaves. The pair formulated a vision to list an Africa-focused mining company on the ASX that would utilise Warner’s vast previous experience as a director of many publicly listed companies along with the localised knowledge of Greaves and his team of Zimbabwean miners involved in various mining assets. It was soon decided that Prospect would initially focus on Zimbabwe, a country with many strong potential mining projects and bags of untapped skills according to Greaves, yet its mineral resources sector has invariably suffered in the past due to a lack of access to capital markets and political instability. However, under the co-guidance of executive chairman Warner, Prospect was listed on the ASX, and the first step of his and Greaves’ plan was realised. In the first couple of years after its listing, Prospect began building a portfolio of gold assets in Zimbabwe but didn’t establish a flagship asset until lithium started to become an increasingly compelling mineral across the investment market.


Resource Global Network At this point the firm began to evaluate a number of potential lithium assets before determining that the Arcadia Lithium Project, a hard rock deposit comprised of spodumene and petalite ore located on the outskirts of Harare, held the most potential. When Prospect acquired the project in mid-2016, it gained access to historical information relating to previous activity at the site, which revealed that the UK Atomic Energy Association completed limited mining of part of the resource dating back to the 1950s and 60s.  From this material, the company formulated an initial resource target of 15-18 million tonnes at 3% lithium, ahead of a scoping study at the end of 2016 and pre-feasibility study in June 2017. To say that initial expectations were exceeded by the results of these studies is an understatement. 

A globally significant resource “When we started rolling out the drilling programme we discovered what we call the lower main pegmatite, which does not appear to have been previously known about or explored,” says Greaves.   “That has pushed us up to a total resource of 72 million tonnes, making Arcadia the sixth biggest lithium hard rock project in the world.” Blowing initial expectations out of the water would be a more appropriate way to describe the results of Prospect’s phased drilling programme. 

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MINING | Prospect Resources

After continued updates were made to the

Prospect, none more so than its location just

mineral resource estimate over 2017, the

38 km East of the capital Harare.

current estimate for the Arcadia project makes it Africa’s 2nd largest JORC compliant

“We’ve got bitumen roads within 15 km of

lithium resource and one of the most globally

the project. We have abundant water and

significant lithium assets.  

power on site and we’ve got a large welltrained and educated labour force in close

In addition to the sheer size of the resource,

proximity. In terms of location we are very

there are a number of other key elements

well suited to getting into production quickly

of the project that are working in favour of

and profitably.”


Resource Global Network

In addition, the project economics are also

Operating in Zimbabwe is a prospect

looking increasingly attractive for Prospect.

that would raise the eyebrows of many

There is no need to construct a big mining

experienced heads in the mining industry,

village or build any major roads and the only

bearing in mind the Southern African nation’s

planned infrastructural work is the repair of

increasingly beleaguered-looking economy

around 16 km of gravel road for the haulage

of late and the significant shift in the political

of concentrate through Goromonzi district

landscape that took place late last year.Â

towards the main arterial road leading to the Beira port in Mozambique.Â

However, in a stark contrast to many reports of business dealings in Zimbabwe, Greaves

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MINING | Prospect Resources happily reveals that from the very first

to Greaves. “We are currently witnessing

moment Prospect signed the deal for the

extraordinary levels of cooperation,” he

Arcadia project, the authorities have been

reveals.

nothing short of fantastic in helping the company advance its asset.

“In all my experience of mining in Zimbabwe for 20 years, I’ve never seen a situation where

“We secured the project at the end of May

the entire hierarchy of the ministry of mines

2016 and had drills turning within 30 days.

are available at any time to take a call and

We also declared our MRE (mineral resource

their question

to us is always: How

estimation) within four months and all

can we assist

you to expedite this

regulatory approvals were handled very

project into

production?”

professionally and very quickly.”

‘Extraordinary levels of cooperation’ Moreover, since the change of government in Zimbabwe in November 2017, the operating environment has further improved, according

He goes on

to explain how

the ministry

expedited the

process of

changing claims

into a mining

lease, is assisting


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 169 Resource the company with bringing in a bigger power

Zimbabwe’s Minister for Mines and Mining

line to the project and is working very closely

Development Winston Chitando to see first-

with Prospect to get the site designated as

hand how Prospect is delivering battery

a Special Economic Zone, for to the second

grade lithium carbonate.

phase of the project which will deliver a lithium chemical plant adjacent to the

The key reasons behind Prospect building a

existing site.

lithium carbonate pilot are two-fold. One is to demonstrate its commitment to providing

In February 2018, Prospect commissioned a

greater beneficiation to the government

lithium carbonate pilot plant located in the

of Zimbabwe. Two is to provide greater

city of Kwekwe, which was recently visited by

profitability margins for the company. “We will initially be exporting 240,000 tonnes of concentrate primarily to China and a lot of that is just rocks going on holiday,” Greaves quips. “With a chemical plant we gain the ability to turn that concentrate into lithium carbonate in-country,


170

MINING | Prospect Resources

which it is much more profitable and an

to be available right through the construction

important beneficiation process.”

and will then roll some of those people into

Better returns for country and company

the production phase too. “We can also pull in some of the skilled

The pilot plant was designed and built locally,

people out of the city as we are in such close

which is a strong indicator of Prospect’s faith

proximity to Harare,” Greaves adds.

in the skills and expertise of Zimbabweans and also shows the potential for economic

So far, the pilot plant has successfully

benefits to be shared within the country

processed petalite concentrates into 99.5%

when it comes to building a full-scale

lithium carbonate, which is a significant

carbonate plant.

result for Prospect particularly as it looks to secure future customers for its battery-grade

In the long term, Prospect will create

lithium.

between 250 and 300 direct jobs within the local community in Phase 1 of the project

“We are working on some additional steps in

and around the same in Phase 2, while in

the process now which makes us believe we

the short term a significant amount of heavy

can get much higher grades than 99.5%, and

labour jobs will be available as the project

that is the benefit of having a pilot plant.”

moves into construction.

Arcadia’s first customer

“We are working very closely with our local

Prospect has already secured an exciting

communities to make sure that where the

seven-year offtake agreement with Chinese

skills are appropriate, the communities will

company Sinomine, who have a strong

benefit. We will be training a lot of those folk

footprint across Southern Africa with stakes


Resource Global Network

in mining ventures in Zambia and the DRC, as

for the official opening of the mine, with first

well as having access to a lithium carbonate

production slated for Q2 of 2019.

facility in China. Looking beyond the near-term, Prospect has “They have a lot of skills themselves which we

a pipeline of gold projects in Zimbabwe that

will be leveraging off and they have agreed

pre-date the Arcadia project, which are set to

to buy 70% of our product for the next seven

be revisited by the company in the coming

years.

months.  

“We are in advanced discussions with three

In addition, the company is exploring various

other potential offtake partners and are very

opportunities across Southern Africa for

confident that we will close out the remaining

several high demand commodities, including

offtake very shortly. There is strong interest

copper-cobalt deposits in the DRC as well

in our spodumene and petalite concentrates,

as various opportunities in Zambia and

as well as the very keen interest in our

Mozambique.

carbonate plans too.” “At the moment our geological team is Prospect has commenced the construction

extremely busy with additional projects

phase of its flagship Arcadia Lithium

across the continent. We would like to keep

Project and is waiting to hear back from the

the company growing very rapidly in the next

President of Zimbabwe with regards to a date

five to 10 years,” concludes Greaves.

ASX:PSC

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APPOINTMENTS & EVENTS

APPOINTMENTS Arc Minerals appoints former Rio Tinto boss as new director Former head of mining operations at Rio Tinto Don Bailey has been appointed director of AIM-listed firm Arc Minerals, effective from June 1st 2018. Arc said his primary responsibility will be to lead the development of Zamsort’s commercial-scale copper-cobalt demonstration plant in Zambia. Nick von Schirnding, executive chairman of Arc, said: “Since late last year I have been working closely with Don and I have been greatly impressed by his drive and energy.”

Energy consultancy Xodus Group elevates Peter Tipler to renewables director International energy consultancy Xodus Group has appointed Peter Tipler as its renewables director to help drive growth. Tipler has worked across several roles in the company’s renewable energy, environment and decommissioning divisions over a 10-year spell. “I’m honoured and hope my experience and knowledge of the projects over the years will allow Xodus to build up the capabilities across the renewables industry,” said Tipler.

Tullow Oil makes Dorothy Thompson new chairperson Tullow Oil has confirmed that Dorothy Thompson will step into the shoes of founder Aidan Heavey as chairperson, following a board meeting on July 20th. Thompson’s previous experience includes a 12-year spell as chief executive of oil and gas firm Drax Group, along with management roles at InterGen and PowerGen. “I am delighted that Dorothy Thompson is joining Tullow and I wish her well as she takes on her new responsibilities,” said Heavey.

Jakob Stausholm to succeed Chris Lynch as CFO at Rio Tinto Rio Tinto has appointed Jakob Stausholm as its new chief financial officer (CFO), succeeding Chris Lynch in the role. Stausholm has over 20 years’ experience working in senior finance roles in Europe, Latin America and Asia and was Group CFO and an executive director of A.P. Moeller – Maersk A/S. Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said: “I am delighted Jakob is joining Rio Tinto and I look forward to working closely with him as we continue to deliver superior returns to our shareholders.”


Resource Global Network 175

EVENTS Our pick of the top mining, oil & gas and renewable energy events happening around the world in the months to come

World Nuclear Association Symposium September 5-7 London UK Mining and Exploration International Conference and Expo September 6-8 Las Vegas Nevada International Conference on Artisanal and Small-scale Mining & Quarrying September 11-13 Livingstone Zambia Wind Energy Hamburg September 25-28 Hamburg Germany International Mining & Resources Conference (IMARC) October 29 – 01 November Melbourne Australia Want to promote your resources event? Email the editor at editorial@resourceglobalnetwork.com


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