GLOBE 2020 | Vancouver Convention Centre West

FEB 10           | GLOBE Exchange

FEB 10-13     | GLOBE Forum

FEB 11-12     | Innovation Showcase

GLOBE Series is the largest and longest-running sustainable business summit and innovation showcase in North America. Since 1990, 170,000 people from 97 countries have come to GLOBE to learn from industry leaders, marvel at cutting-edge technology and form long-lasting partnerships. In 2020, we’ll be celebrating the 30th anniversary of this event and our amazing community — that’s 30 years of big deals, big ideas and big impact!

Given the urgency of the global climate crisis, GLOBE 2020 will have a laser focus on impact, action and outcomes. Offering stellar growth and networking opportunities to thousands of corporate, government and young leaders, GLOBE 2020 is the business summit with global impact.

The time for acting on opportunities in the clean economy is now. Trillions of dollars are on the table. This is your chance to shape the economy of tomorrow.

GLOBE Exchange: For the first time ever, GLOBE is dedicating a full day to business-to-business (B2B) networking and transactions focused on cleantech. Taking place on February 10, 2020, GLOBE Exchange will connect capital and market opportunities with innovation to accelerate the transition to the clean economy.

GLOBE Forum: GLOBE Forum is our flagship business summit, featuring world-renowned thought leaders, innovators and sustainability experts. The GLOBE community is at the forefront of economic transformation: we generate ideas, make deals and take bold steps that transform our economy and change the world for the better.​ Every session, activity, networking break and exhibit will be focused on creating a big impact — for your business, for the economy and for the planet.

Innovation Showcase: GLOBE’s Innovation Showcase is the place to experience cutting-edge technology and find your own path through the clean economy. The latest and greatest in cleantech will be front and centre at GLOBE 2020. In the Hall of Technology, you will get a chance to touch and feel the newest innovations in sustainability. Our Hall of Discovery will give you the opportunity to meet leaders from Canada and around the world, featuring corporate vanguards in five thematic clusters: Bioeconomy/Circular Economy, Mobility, Smart Cities, Carbon Productivity, and Oceans & Plastic.

Meet your people. Grow your business. Change the world.

Register today with code RWM15 for a 15% discount on GLOBE Forum and/or GLOBE Exchange.

Special Discounts

For groups, buy 3 get 1 free! Various discounts also available for students, municipal governments, NGOs, NFPs, and start-ups. Please email register@globeseries.com to learn more.

Researchers produce clean gas from CO2 and water

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England have come up with a novel way to produce a widely-used gas that is currently produced from fossil fuels.

The researchers have discovered that they can directly produce the gas – called syngas – from an artificial leaf that uses only sunlight, carbon dioxide and water.

This development was first reported Wednesday October 22 in the journal Nature Materials.

The hope is that the technique can eventually be used to develop a sustainable liquid fuel alternative to gasoline (or petrol as it is known in the U.K.).

“You may not have heard of syngas itself but every day, you consume products that were created using it,” said Professor Erwin Reisner of the Cambridge Department of Chemistry. He was speaking in an interview with SciTechDaily. “Being able to produce it sustainably would be a critical step in closing the global carbon cycle and establishing a sustainable chemical and fuel industry,” he said. Reisner has spent several years working to achieve this goal.

Syngas is currently made from a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, and is used to produce a range of commodities, including pharmaceuticals, plastics and fertilizers.

The artificial leaf that Reisner and his colleagues have come up with is inspired by photosynthesis – the natural process by which plants use the energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into food.

On the artificial leaf, two light absorbers, similar to the molecules in plant that harvest sunlight, are combined with a catalyst made from the naturally abundant element called cobalt.

When the device is immersed in water, one light absorber uses the catalyst to produce oxygen. The other carries out the chemical reaction that reduces carbon dioxide and water in carbon monoxide and hydrogen, forming the syngas mixture.

The good news is that the light absorbers work even under the low levels of sunlight on days when it is raining or overcast.

The research was carried out in the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Sustainable SynGas Chemistry in the University’s Department of Chemistry. It was co-funded by the Austrian government and the Austrian petrochemical company OMV, which is looking for ways to make its business more sustainable.

Other artificial leaf devices have also been developed, but these usually only produce hydrogen. The Cambridge researchers say the reason they have been able to make theirs produce syngas sustainably is thanks to the combination of materials and catalysts that were used.

Syngas is already used as a building block in the production of liquid fuels. “What we’d like to do next, instead of first making syngas and then converting it into liquid fuel, is to make the liquid fuel in one step from carbon dioxide and water,” Reisner said.

He said the development of synthetic petrol is vital as electricity can currently only satisfy about 25% of the world’s energy demand.

Exro Receives First Production Purchase Order from Potencia

Exro Technologies Inc. [CSE: XRO; OTCQB: EXROF] (the “Company” or “Exro”) is pleased to announce it has received its first production order for Motor Drivers from Potencia Industrial, S.A. DE C.V. (“Potencia”). This approximately US $500,000 purchase order is a result of successful testing that was achieved from the initial order announced on June 19, 2019 (News Release).  The Motor Drivers are designed for independent integration as well as being one of five modular units that comprise the overall Intelligent Energy Management System (“IEMS”) that was announced on June 12, 2019 (News Release).

The Motor Driver connects the battery to the electric motor and enables the motor to run more efficiently with high reliability and safety features. Potencia is integrating the motor drivers into vehicles that have been identified for conversion of internal combustion engines to electric motors. This new purchase order supports Potencia’s product offering and Government initiatives for vehicle electrification and is the start of both companies’ commercialization efforts.

“Potencia’s purchase order shows confidence in our ability to deliver cost benefits and improved performance with our Motor Drivers” said Ari Berger, CTO of Exro “and we are one step closer to Exro’s IEMS” We will have some optimization steps as we advance our IEMS”

Delivery of the Motor Drivers is anticipated to start in Q1 2020 and will be done in phases allowing Exro to ramp up production while optimizing processes.

Sue Ozdemir, CEO of Exro said “This is a big milestone for the Exro team as it marks another success in tackling the energy market and utilizing our technology to partner with companies who are working to make a difference.  This is just the start of our strategic commercialization initiatives as we look to grow our partnerships with customers around the world.

About Exro Technologies Inc.

Exro facilitates the transition to clean energy by providing products and services to manufacturers to increase the efficiency and reliability of power systems, including electric motors, generators and batteries. Exro’s patented technology enhances energy systems by dynamically sensing and adapting variable inputs and optimally matching them to desired outputs, creating measurable performance gains and extended lifespan. The widespread applications of the technology apply to optimizing the performance of electric vehicles, UAVs, and ship drives, as well as pumps, industrial motors, and energy capture from wind and tides.

About Potencia Industrial

Potencia Industrial designs and manufactures special application, high efficiency electrical motors and generators. Specializing in creative solutions and applications, Potencia meets the highest technical requirements in power security and energy efficiency. Its state-of-the-art machines meet and exceed the most stringent customer specifications and maintain IEEE, NEMA and IEC standards. Potencia has set several industry benchmarks in permanent magnet generator, kinetic energy storage, and high efficiency patented technologies.

Structured under vertical integration, Potencia meets engineering and manufacturing challenges with the experience of a solid 50-year background. Potencia’s vertical integration of its manufacturing processes include lamination stamping, core assembly, welding and fabrication, high-precision machining, coil manufacturing, winding, assembly and laboratory testing. Tools, dies, jigs, fixtures, casting patterns and molds are also designed and made in-house.

For more information visit our website at www.exro.com.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sue Ozdemir, CEO

INVESTOR CONTACT INFORMATION:  info@exro.com

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this News Release constitute forward-looking statements. When used in this document, the words “believe”, “may”, “would”, “could”, “will” and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company or its management are intended to identify forward-looking statements. More particularly and without limitation, this news release contains forward-looking statements and information concerning the Company’s intention to commercialize its product in the near term.  Such statements reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many factors could cause the Company’s actual performance or achievements to vary from those described herein. Should one or more of these factors or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. The Company does not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

NEITHER THE CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS NEWS RELEASE.

Exro Technologies Signs First Licensing Agreement with Motorino Electric

Exro Technologies Inc. [CSE: XRO; OTCQB: EXROF] (the “Company” or “Exro”) is pleased to announce it has signed its first Licensing Agreement with Motorino Electric, marking a major advancement in electric motor performance coming to market. Motorino is a pioneer in the Canadian electric transportation industry starting over 17 years ago with its first product launch, and now having dozens of products across the electric bicycle, electric scooter and electric motorcycle categories.

Motorino CTi electric bicycle. View Motorino Cti webpage

Exro Technologies will integrate it’s ETR (Electronic Transmission Replacement) technology into Motorino’s – CTi electric bicycle. This breakthrough technology will result in a significant increase in energy performance. Once ETR is fully integrated into a commercial market application, it will enable Motorino to provide data to Exro engineers for further product optimization. This agreement launches the ETR commercialization process, achieves a major milestone for Exro, while offering a unique, cutting-edge electric bicycle to the Motorino product portfolio.

Motorino Founder and President Steve Miloshev said: “What attracted us to Exro is the opportunity to showcase an industry-leading technology.  We strive to be at the forefront of innovation and working with Exro is the perfect opportunity for us to do exactly that.  During the past decade-and-a-half, Motorino has implemented many technological innovations in our products, from lithium-ion batteries and FOC controllers, to Axial flux electric motors with their potential to be used in high torque and high-speed electric vehicles.  Exro’s ETR is another step in innovation as we integrate their technology into our products – starting with e-bikes but then looking forward to other electric transportation products.”

View Video of Motorino CEO Steve Miloshev discussing why he chose to work with Exro

Current electric motors provide either high torque or high speed but with the introduction of ETR, the Motorino CTi will have the unique capability of both high torque and high speed. With the success of this initial product launch, the two companies intend to expand the ETR integration into a wide variety of Motorino products. Motorino will also make introductions to their motor suppliers so Exro can further its market penetration while moving upstream to large motor manufactures.

“The Electronic Transmission Replacement product development has been in the works for over 3 years with our Exro engineering design team, and we needed the right partner to bring it to market”, said Exro CEO Sue Ozdemir. “With Motorino’s nimble production capabilities, we’re able to integrate the ETR technology into Motorino’s CTi ebike in Q4 of this year, which is very exciting for all of us at Exro. Our technology will increase the performance of electric motors, which will have substantial environmental benefits at scale.”

About Exro Technologies Inc.

Exro facilitates the transition to clean energy by providing products and services to manufacturers to increase the efficiency and reliability of power systems, including electric motors, generators and batteries. Exro’s patented technology enhances energy systems by dynamically sensing and adapting variable inputs and optimally matching them to desired outputs, creating measurable performance gains and extended lifespan. The widespread applications of the technology apply to optimizing the performance of electric vehicles, UAVs, and ship drives, as well as pumps, industrial motors, and energy capture from wind and tides.

For more information visit our website at www.exro.com.

About Motorino Electric

Motorino Electric Scooters, Electric Motorcycles and Electric Bicycles is a brand that is continuously evolving, and we have been updating our light electric cycles with the latest technologies since 2003.   Since our inception we have successfully entered and market niches for electric urban transportation with our high-quality electric bikes, stylish “Vespa” type electric scooters and electric motorcycles with our superior design and performance.  Thousands of our electric cycles can be seen on Canadian streets with their prominent Motorino license plates.  For the future, Motorino’s strong engineering background and our innovative approach will be the foundation for entering emerging electrical vehicle market categories.

For more information visit Motorino’s website at: www.motorino.ca

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sue Ozdemir, CEO

INVESTOR CONTACT INFORMATION:  info@exro.com

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this News Release constitute forward-looking statements. When used in this document, the words “believe”, “may”, “would”, “could”, “will” and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company or its management are intended to identify forward-looking statements. More particularly and without limitation, this news release contains forward-looking statements and information concerning the Company’s intention to commercialize its product in the near term.  Such statements reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many factors could cause the Company’s actual performance or achievements to vary from those described herein. Should one or more of these factors or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. The Company does not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

NEITHER THE CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS NEWS RELEASE.

China President puts spotlight back on rare earths

By Peter Kennedy

Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. [AVL-TSX; AVLNF-OTCQX], a company that has toiled for many years in the rare earths space, experienced a sudden 111% in its share price Tuesday May 21.

The catalyst for the rally was speculation that China could retaliate in a trade war with the United States by blocking exports of rare earths to the U.S., potentially impacting American supply chains that rely on rare earth commodities

Talk of a possible blockade followed a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to a rare earths facility in Jiangxi, China. That sparked a rise in the share value of JL MAG Rare-Earth, the company that owns the facility.

Rare earth elements are a group of 15 elements with tongue-twisting names like neodymium, terbium and dysprosium, and which are vital to green technology and high-tech applications. They fall into two sub-groups: light and heavy, with the heavies being more scarce.

Since the U.S. relies on China, the dominant global supplier, for about 80% of its rare earths imports, security of supply became an issue at the beginning of this decade when China imposed export restrictions, a move that sparked renewed investor interest in the sector.

Security of supply has re-emerged as a concern following the Chinese President’s trip to the rare earth facility. Bloomberg News has described the visit as a scripted move that aims to send a signal about what China might be prepared to do next in a trade war with the U.S.

Xi was accompanied on the trip by Liu He, the vice-premier who has led the Chinese side in trade negotiations.

“The visit sends a warning signal to the U.S. that China may use rare earths as a retaliation measure as the trade war heats up,” said Pacific Securities analyst Yang Kunhe. That could include curbs on rare earth exports to the U.S., he said.

China has dominated the rare earths industry for 30 years and there is little indication that this will change any time soon, industry officials say. Now, with a dramatic increase in demand for rare earth magnets needed to drive electric transportation and produce clean energy solutions, the industrial world remains exposed to Chinese dominance.

Investor reaction to the threat of a possible Chinese blockade has put the spotlight back on companies in the rare earth space

Avalon Advanced Materials, which is working to develop a Rare Earth Elements project in the Northwest Territories, saw its share price jump 111% or $0.05 to 9.5 cents Tuesday on heavy volume of almost 20 million shares traded.

Avalon recently announced a deal with private Australian company Cheetah Resources Pty Ltd., which has agreed to participate in the development of Avalon’ Nechalacho Project at Thor Lake, NWT.

Avalon said Cheetah is focused on the small-scale development of rare-earth resources enriched in the “magnet rare earths”, neodymium and praseodymium, presently in short supply and in high demand for clean technology applications, notably electric vehicles.

Under the deal, Cheetah agreed to become owner of the near surface resources in the T-Zone and Tardiff Zone for a $5 million cash payment, leaving Avalon as owner of the Basal Zone. The Basal Zone was the subject of a feasibility study in 2013.

Avalon has said it will continue to manage work programs on the property and retain its 3% net smelter return royalty. It hopes to start production by 2020.

Commerce Resources Corp. [CCE-TSXV; CMRZF-OTC; D7H-FSE] jumped 16.67% or $0.01 to $0.07 on volume of 1.63 million. Commerce is specifically focused on the development of its advanced-stage Ashram Rare Earths Project at the Eldor property in northern Quebec and its Upper Fir Tantalum and niobium deposit at the Blue River Project in British Columbia.

The company has said both projects are ready to market to potential partners. Although not rare earths, one of Commerce’s key assets is the Blue River tantalum-niobium project which is located in east central British Columbia, about 230 km north of Kamloops.

Medallion Resources Ltd. [MDL-TSXV; MLLOF-OTCQX] advanced 20% or $0.02 to 12 cents on volume of 1.3 million.

Medallion is focused on becoming a low-cost producer of industrially important rare earth elements, the critical components of virtually all computing and mobile electronic products, as well as electric and hybrid vehicles.

But the company is taking a different approach to competitors who extract rare earths using conventional mining and processing techniques and therefore must deal with complex metallurgy, huge investments for infrastructure and long time lines from exploration to production.  Instead, Medallion is aiming to produce rare earths from monzanite, an igneous intrusive rock that is readily available as a by-product of existing mineral sands operations, primarily in the Indian Ocean Basin.

American Manganese unveils RecycLiCo process

Larry Reaugh, President & CEO of American Manganese

American Manganese Inc. [AMY-TSXV, AMYZF-OTCPINK] on Wednesday April 17 unveiled a company innovation for recycling cathode materials from spent lithium-ion batteries.

It is called RecycLico Patented Process.

“As pioneers in the advanced lithium-ion battery recycling market, American Manganese and its RecycLiCo Patented Process aim to promote a circular economy for the lithium-ion battery supply chain and set the standard for high recovery and purity of cathode materials from spent lithium-ion batteries,” said Larry Reaugh, President and CEO of American Manganese.

American Manganese wants to become an industry-leading miner of cathode metals from spent lithium-ion batteries.

Global warming is putting severe pressure on governments everywhere to reduce carbon emissions. That in turn is expected to result in sharply increased production and sale of electric vehicles.

The company said it recognized early on that significant growth in the electric vehicle market will eventually lead to supply strains in materials used to make lithium-ion batteries.

The company hopes to capitalize on the expected electric vehicle revolution through being able to take EV batteries, convert them into cathode materials of high purity that can go directly back into a battery.

The suite of cathode materials includes lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese and aluminum.

With the increasing “electrification of everything,” the demand for mined battery raw materials has tightened the lithium-ion battery supply chain as the end-of-life of first generation hybrid and electric vehicles raised questions about the adverse environmental impact of spent lithium-ion batteries.

American Manganese was early in recognizing these growing problems, and adapted its intellectual property focus to transform these problems into huge opportunities with its patented lithium-ion battery recycling process.

RecycLiCo is the culmination of this process, as the company finds it important, for investors and potential business partners, to distinguish the company’s mining assets from its breakthrough lithium-ion battery recycling innovation.

Mining metals from batteries, marks a change of focus for American Manganese, which had previously been engaged in trying to mine manganese from low-grade ore at a deposit in Arizona.

The RecycLiCo Patented Process is currently being tested on a pilot plant scale and has achieved high extraction results. Following completion of the pilot plant project, American Manganese plans to commercialize its operation with a joint venture partner or via licensing agreements.

Needing to secure a deal with a cathode scrap provider, American Manganese recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form a partnership with Battery Safety Solutions B.V. (BSS).

BSS is a private Dutch company that specializes in the collection, discharging and dismantling of lithium-ion batteries.

The Dutch firm has developed a unique process that completely discharges a lithium-ion battery in a fraction of the time needed by conventional methods and then stores 100% of the discharged energy.

Once the battery is discharged, BSS can safely disassemble and sort lithium-ion battery components.

The MOU was signed after bench scale tests on disassembled battery samples sent to American Manganese by BSS yielded positive results, utilizing the Surrey, B.C. company’s patented process.

Aside from its quick discharging process, BSS is expected to bring to the partnership its expertise in European marketing, access to customers, and experience with safe handling.

On Wednesday, shares of American Manganese eased 3.3% or $0.005 to 14.5 cents. The shares trade in a 52-week range of 13 cents and 23.5 cents.

American Manganese advances on testing update

Scrap battery cathode material

American Manganese Inc. [AMY-TSXV; AMYZF-OTCPINK] said Friday March 8 that it continues to process cathode scraps through the company’s lithium-ion battery recycling pilot plant.

Using the company’s patent-approved process, the scraps underwent separation and leach operations, yielding a pregnant leach solution (PLS) containing cathode metals (cobalt, lithium, nickel and manganese) in quantities that meet the company’s high expectations.

More than 500 litres of PLS have now been collected for further testing and prepared for the remaining three stages of the pilot plant project, the company said.

American Manganese shares advanced on the news, rising 7.41% or $0.01 to 14.5 cents. The 52-week range is 13 cents and 26.5 cents.

American Manganese wants to become an industry-leading miner of cathode metals from spent lithium-ion batteries.

The company took a key step along the road to that goal by announcing recently that the United States Patent Office had issued a notice of patent allowance for American Manganese’s battery recycling technology.

“The Notice of Allowance is formal notification indicating that the examination of the invention has been completed by the US Patent and Trademark Office and allowed for issuance of the US patent,” the company said at the time.

“Allowance of this patent is a significant milestone for the company as the invention is now secured as a key asset that can be exclusively capitalized,’’ said American Manganese CEO Larry Reaugh.

Global warming is putting severe pressure on governments everywhere to reduce carbon emissions. That in turn is expected to result in sharply increased production and sale of electric vehicles.

The company said it recognized early on that significant growth in the electric vehicle market will eventually lead to supply strains in materials used to make lithium-ion batteries.

The company hopes to capitalize on the expected electric vehicle revolution through being able to take EV batteries, convert them into cathode materials of high purity that can go directly back into a battery.

The suite of cathode materials includes lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese and aluminum.

“This would avert the release of anything into the environment,” Reaugh has said.

Needing to secure a deal with a cathode scrap provider, American Manganese recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form a partnership with Battery Safety Solutions B.V. (BSS).

BSS is a private Dutch company that specializes in the collection, discharging and dismantling of lithium-ion batteries.

The Dutch firm has developed a unique process that completely discharges a lithium-ion battery in a fraction of the time needed by conventional methods, and then stores 100% of the discharged energy. Once the battery is discharged, BSS can safely disassemble and sort lithium-ion battery components.

The MOU was signed after bench-scale tests on disassembled battery samples sent to American Manganese by BSS yielded positive results, utilizing the Surrey, B.C. company’s patented process.

Aside from its quick discharging process, BSS is expected to bring to the partnership its expertise in European marketing, access to customers, and experience with safe handling.

During a recent interview with Resource World, Reaugh said the next stage would be to conduct pilot tests to show that the company can scale up to large scale production.

The betting is that if American Manganese can show a quick payback from pilot testing, it will be able to raise the funds required to build larger plants in the future.

“The pilot plant testing procedure is done in a manner that helps collect valuable operational data that will help us optimize the pilot plant for testing at a continuous rate once all the stages are complete,” Reaugh said in a press release on Friday.

“While the pilot plant testing is expected to be complete by the end of May 2019, EV (electric vehicle) and battery manufacturers are already conducting due diligence on our process,” he said.

Mining metals from batteries marks a change of focus for American Manganese, which had previously been engaged in trying to mine manganese from low-grade ore at a deposit in Arizona.

However, when a drop in the price of manganese made the Arizona project uneconomic, the company mothballed the project and contracted Kemetco Research of Richmond, B.C. to develop the battery mining technology into an efficient recycling process.

Pilot tests on cathode scrap provided by a U.S. metal recycler are being conducted at a pilot plant set up at Kemetco’s laboratories

Chile set to revive its dormant cobalt sector

Chilean Mines Minister Baldo Prokurica

Already a major producer of copper and lithium, Chile is gearing up to join the electromobility revolution by reviving its dormant cobalt sector.

During an interview with Resource World Magazine, Chilean Mines Minister Baldo Prokurica said the ultimate goal is for Chile to become a supplier of lithium ion batteries to the global auto sector

In order to achieve that goal, Chile is hoping to become a producer of cobalt in the near future, a move that would enhance the Latin American country’s ability to supply so-called battery metals, including lithium and copper, which are vital ingredients in the production of mobile consumer devices and electric vehicles.

According to a recent Reuters article global, auto makers are gearing up to invest US$300 billion to develop electric vehicles and procure or manufacture batteries over the next five to 10 years. China will be the driving force in the growth of both electric vehicles and battery manufacturing. China is expected to account for 45% of all spending on electric vehicles, the Reuters report said.

By mining cobalt, Chile also is hoping to capitalize on reports that customers in the battery manufacturing industry are looking for alternatives to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), currently the source of 54% of the world’s cobalt supply.

Amnesty International has warned electric car companies to seek out alternatives to the DRC, which is well known for its mineral wealth, but also civil wars, corruption and use of child labour.

Reports of child labour at small mines in the Congo has prompted some end users to trace the supply chain for cobalt in the batteries they buy.

It is a trend that is presenting opportunities for countries that can offer cobalt mined from operations that are not tainted by an association to corrupt practices in the DRC.

“Chile is a politically stable democracy,’’ said Prokurica. “We take care to respect human rights and our environmental regulations are very strict,” he said. “We don’t have the problems that you are seeing in some African countries.

Prokurica plans to convey that message to the global mining sector during the 2019 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto this week.

He said Chile was a significant producer of cobalt prior to the World War Two. At that time, the cobalt was being mined from small scale operations. Another Chilean government official said geologists are aware of other cobalt deposits in Chile that could be brought into production to support the country’s electromobility plans.

Chilean Cobalt Corp., a subsidiary of U.S. holding company Glenlith Inc., is currently working to develop cobalt resources in the San Juan District (700 kilometres north of Santiago), formerly the largest cobalt producing district in Chile. Chilean Cobalt’s asset portfolio includes the La Cobaltera project, which covers 1,500 hectares and is home to three former cobalt mines.

The San Juan District successfully exploited cobalt for decades, and a common facility (La Cobaltera), processed the ore before it was shut down in 1944.

Chile is already the world’s leading producer of copper. It also ranks as the globe’s second largest producer of lithium.

Chile produced 5.8 million tonnes of copper and 81,378 tonnes of lithium in 2018.

As an electric vehicle can contain more than a mile of copper wiring, Chile expects to be a beneficiary of the expected rise in demand for electric vehicles. Prokurica said the trade war between China and the U.S. has put pressure on the price of copper. But he is confident that a resolution to the trade war will send copper prices up from current levels.

Chile hopes to capitalize by increasing its annual copper production to 6.5 million tonnes within the next three years. During the PDAC conference, Prokurica planned to share that message in presentations to senior officials from Teck Resources Ltd. (TECK.B-TSX, TECK.A-TSX, TECK-NYSE] and Amerigo Resources Ltd. [ARG-TSX].

Prokurica spoke to Resource World on the day after the CEO of iron ore miner Vale SA [VALE-NYSE], and several other senior company executives resigned following a January, 2019, rupture of a tailings dam at Vale’s Corrego de Feijao mine in Brazil.

The rupture released huge amounts of toxic sludge, killing at least 300 people who were caught in its path.

“We see that situation in Brazil as a catastrophe that affects the industry worldwide,’’ Prokurica said. He said the disaster will lead to tighter regulations and stricter tailings dam monitoring procedures in his country.

Vale is currently the world’s largest producer of iron ore.

Natural Resource Canada funds DEEP’s geothermal energy project

Kirsten Marcia is the founder of DEEP and its President and CEO.

The FEDs announced Friday support for a new geothermal energy power facility that is being led by DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp. (DEEP).

The energy project is the first of its kind in Canada as its taps into a new energy resource and is located near Estevan in southeastern Saskatchewan.

Geothermal energy harnesses heat from the earth’s crust and transforms it into electricity that can be used to power homes and businesses year round.

The government of Canada will provide $25.6 million in funding for the five Megawatt facility, which is designed to produce enough energy to power approximately 5,000 homes, while taking the equivalent of the yearly emissions of 7,400 cars out of the atmosphere.

The project will create 100 jobs during the construction phase, and provide the provincial power grid with clean, renewable energy, creating new business opportunities for local communities, DEEP said in a press release.

In an announcement, Trudeau states “DEEP’s project has the potential to transform how the province and the country produces energy, while creating good, middle class jobs for Canadians,” he said.

Funding for the project is being provided through Natural Resource Canada’s Emerging Renewable Power Program. In 2014, Natural Resources Canada contributed $1 million through its ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative to fund a pre-feasibility study for the DEEP Project. Natural Resource Canada’s Clean Energy Innovation Program and Innovation Saskatchewan also kicked in $350,000 and $175,000 respectively towards test drilling.

The total cost of the project is $51.3 million.

In a news release on January 11, 2019, DEEP announced the successful drilling of its first geothermal test well. The vertical well, managed by Frontier Project Solutions and drilled by Horizon Drilling, reached its target depth of 3,530 metres on December 16, 2018.  This is the deepest well ever drilled in Saskatchewan’s history, the company said.

“This is a major step forward for the first renewable energy project of its kind in Canada,” said Kirsten Marcia, President and CEO of DEEP.  “Successfully drilling and validating the resource potential is the biggest achievement this project has seen to date,” she said.

DEEP has said it will harness high-quality geothermal resources with existing drilling and power generation technologies to establish a long-term renewable baseload (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) power supply.

Marcia said DEEP is drilling into a hot aquifer, one that is hot enough to generate power. The company plans to harvest the heat from the water and convert it to clean base load power, using conventional drilling and power technology.

As a result, it is essentially mining heat to produce sustainable, renewable power, Marcia said.

The company’s long term goal is to develop hundreds of megawatts of baseload power facilities from small, scalable and repeatable 5-20 megawatt power plants, each of which could power up to 5,000 households.