Sweden eyes Peruvian lithium

Sweden’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Promotion Niklas Johansson said this week that his country is interested in helping Peru develop its lithium mining industry.

According to Johansson, Sweden has become lithium-thirsty due to an increase in demand for electric cars, bolstered by government efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote clean energy solutions.

EVs’ batteries have an intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material.

Experts predict that the mining industry will need to invest $12 billion within five years to meet the global demand for lithium

Even though Peru is not part of the so-called ‘Lithium Triangle’ formed by Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, just a year ago Macusani Yellowcake, the Peruvian subsidiary of Canada’s Plateau Energy Metals (TSX-V: PLU), found 2.5 million tonnes of high-grade lithium resources at its Falchani hard rock deposit in the southern Puno region.

According to Reuters, companies such as US-based Albemarle, the world’s No. 1 producer of the metal, and China’s Tianqi Lithium, the No. 3, may be waiting for Plateau to confirm the size of its reserves before showing their interest in Peru.

Sweden doesn’t seem to be waiting, though. Speaking in Lima at a conference called “Mining for the future: The Swedish experience,” which was organized by the embassy of the European country and the mining division of the Engineers College of Peru, Johansson said that the lithium demand from companies such as Volvo and Scania is in an upward trend and that Swedish miners are eager to develop responsible and sustainable lithium projects.

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American Battery Metals wants option to acquire Viken vanadium project in Sweden

American Battery Metals (CSE: ABC) announced this week that it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to acquire a 90% interest in Ontario-based E.U. Energy Corp. and its 100%-owned Viken project in Sweden.

In a media statement, the North Vancouver-based company explained that the letter of intent stipulates that American Battery Metals has to issue 20 million shares in exchange for 90% of the issued and outstanding shares of E.U. Energy, in addition to the right for E.U. Energy to nominate one member to the board.

The proposed transaction is also subject to a non-brokered private placement for C$1.5 million, a bridge loan to E.U. Energy, due diligence, finalization by both parties to enter into a definitive agreement, in addition to regulatory approvals.

As a result of the financing condition in the LOI, ABM will pursue a non-brokered private placement for C$1.5 million.

"This transaction represents a significant milestone for ABM as the Viken is one of the largest, development-stage, vanadium projects globally with the potential for substantial by-product metal production," Michael Mulberry, President & CEO of American Battery Metals, said in the press release.

Viken is located in Jämtland County, some 570 kilometres north-northwest of Stockholm.

The project is host to a significant National Instrument 43-101 polymetallic Mineral Resource, representing an in-situ vanadium (V2O5) Mineral Resource of 163 million pounds in the Indicated category and 16.7 billion pounds in the Inferred category.

According to American Battery Metals, the project has seen a significant amount of work with a 2010 Preliminary Economic Assessment outlining an open pit mine for vanadium, molybdenum and nickel, followed by a 2014 Updated PEA to evaluate the use of bio-heap leaching.

"More recently, E.U. Energy has engaged P&E Mining Consultants Inc. to evaluate a more efficient footprint, lower CAPEX, vanadium-focused operation with the potential for significant by-product metal production," ABM said in the media brief.

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Swedish scientists develop fastest hydrogen sensor for hydrogen-powered vehicles

Researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology have developed the first hydrogen sensors ever to meet the future performance targets for use in hydrogen-powered vehicles. The device is capable of detecting 0.1 percent hydrogen in the air in less than a second.

In a study published in the scientific journal Nature Materials, physicists Ferry Nugroho, Christoph Langhammer and other colleagues, explain that their optical nanosensor contains millions of metal nanoparticles of a palladium-gold alloy, a material that is known for its sponge-like ability to absorb large amounts of hydrogen. The device is also encapsulated in a plastic material.

Hydrogen sensor. Photo by Mia Halleröd Palmgren​, Chalmers University of Technology.

The sensor’s performance is based on an optical phenomenon that occurs when metal nanoparticles are illuminated and capture light of a certain wavelength. This phenomenon is known as a plasmon. The plasmon then causes the sensor to change colour when the amount of hydrogen in the environment changes.

At the same time, the plastic around the sensor accelerates the uptake of the hydrogen gas molecules into the metal particles where they can be detected, this allows it to increase its response time. The plastic also acts as an effective barrier to the environment, preventing any other molecules from entering and deactivating the sensor.

“We have not only developed the world's fastest hydrogen sensor, but also a sensor that is stable over time and does not deactivate. Unlike today's hydrogen sensors, our solution does not need to be recalibrated as often, as it is protected by the plastic,” Nugroho said in a media statement.

In Nugroho and his colleagues’ view, ​the sensor could be part of a major breakthrough for hydrogen-powered vehicles because, in order for hydrogen cars and the associated infrastructure of the future to be sufficiently safe, it must be possible to detect extremely small amounts of hydrogen in the air and, therefore, sensors that are quick enough to detect leaks before a fire occurs are key.

According to Langhammer, the sensor could also be used in the electricity network industry, the chemical and nuclear power industry, and can also help improve medical diagnostics.

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Barsele updates resource on Agnico JV in Sweden

Barsele Minerals (TSXV: BME; US-OTC: BRSLF) has tabled an updated resource estimate for its Barsele gold project in northern Sweden totaling 5.5 million indicated tonnes grading 1.81 grams gold per tonne for 324,000 oz. gold and 25.4 million inferred tonnes at 2.54 grams gold for 2.08 million oz. gold.

The resource is split between pit constrained, bulk underground and selective underground mining methods. Most of the indicated ounces come from the pit constrained method, while most of the inferred ounces come from the selective underground method.

Barsele’s joint-venture partner Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX: AEM; NYSE: AEM) is operating exploration at the project. Agnico Eagle has a 55% stake in the project and can earn an additional 15% by completing a prefeasibility study.

The resource estimate is constrained to the Avan-Central-Skirasen gold zones, which sit in an 8 km long gold bearing structural corridor that remains open in all directions.

Since late 2015, Agnico Eagle has diamond drilled more than 135,000 metres at Barsele across 311 holes. The company drilled 91 holes in 2018 for nearly 35,000 metres. Recent highlights include 1.79 grams gold over 25 metres from 458 metres downhole and 1.98 grams gold over 9 metres from 161 metres downhole.

This story first appeared on The Northern Miner

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High grades discovered at historic Gumsberg project in Sweden

EMX Royalty (TSXV: EMX), a royalty holder on the Gumsberg project in Sweden, announced this week that operator Boreal Metals (TSXV:BMX) discovered a high-grade zone of zinc-silver-lead-gold mineralization, named the South Zone, at the property.

In a press release, EMX explained that the South Zone occurs near the historic Östra Silvberg mine, and is currently delineated as 130 meters of eastward plunging mineralization that remains open for expansion to the east and at depth.

The firm also made public diamond drill results from the work that Boreal is carrying out at the 18,300-hectare Gumsberg site.

"The drill results include 11.00 meters averaging 5.90% zinc, 239.0 g/t silver, 2.51% lead, and 0.96 g/t gold in hole GUM-18-003, and 11.01 meters averaging 7.45% zinc, 275.1 g/t silver, 2.65% lead, and 0.77 g/t gold in hole GUM-18-004 (true widths estimated at 50% of reported interval lengths)," the firm stated in the media brief.

Gumsberg consists of five exploration licenses in the Bergslagen mining district of southern Sweden. According to the companies involved in the project, multiple zones of Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide style mineralization occur in the area, which was first mined in the 13th century.

Historic information reveals that up until the early 1900s, over 30 mines operated on the property, notably the Östrasilverberg mine which was the largest silver deposit in Europe between 1300 and 1590.

"Despite its long-lived production history, relatively little modern exploration has taken place on the project," the companies said.

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