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Canada’s Senate legalizes recreational marijuana

Canada’s Senate approved a landmark bill Tuesday to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Now that the bill has passed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet will set a date for the law to go into effect.

The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 52-29.

Trudeau’s government had hoped to make pot legal by July 1, but the government has said provincial and territorial governments will need eight to 12 weeks following Senate passage and royal assent to prepare for retail sales. Trudeau’s Cabinet is expected to decide a legalization date in early or mid-September.

The law makes Canada the second country to have a nationwide, legal marijuana market, after Uruguay. This also makes Canada the first G7 country to legalize marijuana.

Each province in Canada is coming up with rules for the sale of recreational pot.

BBC News reports that Canadians will most likely be able to buy cannabis and cannabis oil grown by licensed producers at various retail locations. Adults will be able to possess up to 30 grams (1 ounce) of dried cannabis in public.

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Russia & India ditching US dollar in defense deals

Moscow and Delhi are seeking to bypass US sanctions by using the rupee and the ruble in facilitating military deals, according to Indian daily, the Economic Times.

The paper reports that US sanctions are hampering $2 billion in defense deals between Russia and India, as payments are getting stuck. The countries are seeking to avoid this by switching to settlements in domestic currencies and ditching the greenback.

India is one of the largest buyers of military equipment from Russia. Since the 1960s, the countries have signed military contracts worth $65 billion.

Now, trade deals between the countries are estimated at $12 billion. India is ready to purchase Russia’s S400 air-defense system in a $5-billion deal. However, the sale is being heavily opposed by the United States, which is also trying to stop a similar deal between Russia and Turkey.

Defense deals between Russia and India are currently denominated in US dollars. The countries have discussed various ways of bypassing US sanctions, including payment in third currencies like the Singapore dollar. Talks are being conducted between Vijaya Bank and Indian Bank on the Indian side and Russia’s top creditor Sberbank.

An option that is now ruled out is paying in US dollars to non-sanctioned Russian entities. “This option was decided against as it would have opened up a lot of legal and audit issues, especially as defense deals are looked at very closely. No one wanted to take a chance,” a top official involved in the talks told the Indian daily.

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Summers Warns the Biggest Economies Are Not Prepared for Another Recession

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers warned that developed countries are badly equipped for another recession, both economically and politically, and central banks should be wary of raising interest rates just to stop inflation running slightly hot.

“The consequences of another economic downturn dwarf and massively exceed any adverse consequences associated with inflation pushing a bit above 2 percent,” Summers said Monday at a European Central Bank conference in Sintra, Portugal.

The remarks come as the world’s most powerful monetary policy makers start scaling back the extraordinary levels of support they’ve lent their economies since the financial crisis a decade ago. The U.S. Federal Reserve last week raised interest rates by a quarter percentage point and signaled a faster pace of future increases, and the ECB announced it will taper its bond-purchase program.

Summers said interest rates are unlikely to return to historically normal levels before the next recession, leaving central banks unable to respond with the level of force necessary to effectively address the slump. He added that another downturn would worsen the forces of populism and protectionism that have been on the rise in much of the developed world.

“It is a matter of most extraordinary urgency to avoid in the foreseeable future, for as long as possible, another economic downturn,” Summers said, calling on central banks to complement their standard price-stability mandates with a policy of maximum sustained full employment.

‘Really Frightening’

His comments echoed sentiment earlier on Monday by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones.

“The next recession’s really frightening because we won’t have any stabilizers,” Jones said on Yahoo Finance. “Monetary policy will exhaust really quickly” while fiscal stimulus won’t be available.

ECB President Mario Draghi, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe are scheduled to appear together for a panel discussion Wednesday afternoon local time at the conference just outside Lisbon.

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NEWS: Northern Empire Acquires 100%-Interest in Historic Goldspar Mine

  • Acquisition of a strategic inlier property with significant gold intercepts in close proximity to the permitted Sterling Mine.
  • New and increased ability to explore highly prospective range-front fault structures near the Sterling Mine.
  • Highlighted historic drilling from new acquisition:
    • 38.10 meters of 3.03 g/t Au starting at surface
    • 24.39 meters of 2.77 g/t Au starting at 35.05 meters

Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – June 19, 2018) – Northern Empire Resources Corp. (TSXV: NM) (OTC Pink: PSPGF) (the “Company” or “Northern Empire”) today reported it has entered into a Lease Purchase Agreement (the “Agreement”) to acquire 100% interest in the Mary-Goldspar property (“Goldspar”) from a Nevada-based private company. The property is an inlier to Northern Empire’s claims in the Bare Mountains District, Nye County, Nevada.

Michael G. Allen, President and CEO stated, “This acquisition provides further consolidation of the Company’s already dominant land position in the Bare Mountains District. Goldspar has the potential to add value to the Sterling Mine, which is fully permitted for restart. This key property will allow for effective exploration of newly identified targets on the Sterling Mine, and any additional resources delineated could potentially be processed at the permitted facilities.”

Figure 1. Goldspar claims location map: https://www.northernemp.com/_resources/images/18-06-15_STR_Overview.jpg

Goldspar Select Historic Drilling Results.

Hole ID From (m) To (m) Length (m) g/t Au
MRY87-03 0.00 33.53 33.53 1.25
MGS88-02 59.44 62.48 3.05 2.18
MRY88-03 0.00 38.10 38.10 3.03
MGS89-01 0.00 10.67 10.67 0.58
MGS89-02 10.67 25.91 15.24 1.15
MGS89-03 1.52 15.24 13.72 0.73
MGS89-05 7.62 24.38 16.76 1.97
MGS89-06 9.14 28.96 19.82 1.84
MGS89-08 36.58 48.77 12.19 0.82
MG90-06 32.00 53.34 21.34 1.99
MG90-07 16.76 27.43 10.67 0.74
MG90-08 7.62 12.19 4.57 1.67
MG90-13 54.86 77.72 22.86 1.50
MG91-13 0.00 9.14 9.14 1.23
MG92-04 99.06 108.20 9.14 1.39
MG92-12 60. 96 77.72 16.76 1.67
MG92-15 25.91 30.48 4.57 1.03
and 53.34 64.01 10.67 0.81
MG92-18 51.82 88.39 36.57 1.79
MG92-20 48.77 64.01 15.24 2.13
MG92-21 35.05 59.44 24.39 2.77
and 77.24 86.87 9.63 1.24
MG92-22 73.15 91.44 18.29 1.89
MG92-23 97.54 108.20 10.66 2.35
MG92-24 138.68 146.30 7.62 1.30
MG94-01 85.34 108.20 22.86 0.51
and 155.45 161.54 6.09 1.13
MG94-02 73.15 80.77 7.62 0.94
  1. Insufficient data available to estimate true thickness
  2. Various assay techniques from multiple labs used
  3. No verification of the data has been undertaken by Northern Empire

Drilling data was acquired by Northern Empire from the vendor and occurred at Goldspar in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The data has not yet been verified by the Company.

The Agreement

Pursuant to the Lease Purchase Agreement, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company will acquire 100% interest in the Goldspar Mine under the terms as follows:

  • 10-year Lease to Purchase Agreement
  • US$50,000 upon signing
  • Lease payments of US$2,500 per month for Years 1 to 5, beginning on January 1st, 2019
  • Lease payments of US$5,000 per month for Years 6 to 10
  • Work commitments of US$150,000 in Year 1 and US$100,000 in Year 2
  • Option to extend the lease for an additional ten years
  • Option to purchase the property outright for US$1.5M (inclusive of all payments)
  • Net smelter royalty (“NSR”) of 5% where 3% is purchasable for US$50,000 per 1%

About the Goldspar Mine

The Goldspar property totals approximately 2.1-square-kilometers in size, where historically minor amounts of fluorite were mined. It is accessible from established Sterling Mine roads and located approximately 600 meters from the permitted leach pad and associated processing facilities.

In the Bare Mountains, gold is shown to occur in proximity to fluorite, leading to the hypothesis that multiple generations of fluids exploit long lived structures. The Daisy deposit, located in the Crown of the Sterling Project, exhibits a similar spatial relationship between gold and fluorspar, with the past producing Crowell Fluorite mine being in close proximity to the Daisy Deposit and additional gold intercepts. Inferred resources at the Daisy deposit consist of 232,000 oz Au in a resource grading 1.34 g/t.

About the Sterling Mine

The Sterling Gold Mine is fully permitted for re-start and hosts an NI 43-101 pit-constrained, inferred resource of 231,000 ounces of gold at 3.67 g/t using a 1.0 g/t cut-off. There is an additional non-pit-constrained resource of 38,000 ounces of gold at 3.38 g/t using a 1.7 g/t cut-off. Gold recovery facilities at the Sterling Mine were constructed in 2010 and the mine last in production in 2015. The processing facilities on site are currently being operated and the Company recently completed a program to increase recoveries from the existing, active leach pad.

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Tesla’s Cobalt Usage To Drop From 3% Today To 0%, Elon Commits

Tesla's cobalt usage

Tesla’s cobalt usage is going to be a thing of the past soon if Elon Musk has his way. And it makes sense.

Cobalt prices are soaring within an expected supply-and-demand market scenario that is driven in large part by the growth of electric vehicles. The London Metal Exchange price of the battery input has jumped from under $30,000 per ton at the end of 2016 to a current price of $86,750.

Then there’s a substantial ethical dilemma around cobalt’s primary sourcing location. Most of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is known for corruption and human rights violations, including its cobalt “artisanal miners,” who are often children. Around 54% of the world’s cobalt supply comes from the DRC.

Tesla's cobalt usage

Not knowing the amount of cobalt supply available has become a genuine point of concern and a bottleneck for much greater mass production of EV batteries. For many electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers, now is the time to move from EV novelty market status to mainstream acceptance, and most of these manufacturers rely on cobalt as a key component in their EV batteries.

Tesla’s Cobalt Usage is Different than Other EV Manufacturers

Earlier this month, Panasonic announced that it was in the process of developing cobalt-free EV batteries. As the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive lithium-ion battery cells and Tesla’s exclusive battery cell supplier for the Model 3, Model S, and Model X, Panasonic and its announcements hold real weight.

Then again, even today, Tesla’s cobalt usage really is not that significant to the composition of Tesla’s battery cells. Tesla and Panasonic are apparently leading the EV field when it comes to minimizing cobalt usage. Tesla has long been a proponent of nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) technology developed by Panasonic in Japan, which goes against the trend of a nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM)-focused EV industry. Furthermore, Elon Musk reiterates that, in general, the trend in the material development world is towards higher-energy, lower-to-no-cobalt chemistries.

Benchmark Minerals, a specialist battery research company, estimates that over the last 6 years, Tesla has reduced the average amount of cobalt used in its vehicles by 60%, from 11 kilograms to 4.5 kilograms per car.

Tesla's cobalt usage

A Little History about Lithium-Cobalt-Oxide Chemistry

The first successful lithium batteries drew upon a lithium-cobalt-oxide chemistry, often just called a lithium battery or LiCo. Later, oxides of nickel, manganese, and iron were used. Up until now, Tesla has used NCA cell chemistry for its long-range vehicles. NMC has been used for high-lifecycle uses like Tesla’s utility storage products. However, NMC batteries are improving and cutting their cobalt content as well.

The original NCM chemistry used a formula of one part nickel, one part cobalt, and one part manganese, or 1:1:1 as it has been coined in the battery industry. Recent adjustments to 5:2:3 (five parts nickel, two parts cobalt, and three parts manganese) and 6:2:2 compounds have been precursors to the goals of NCM engineers to reach 8:1:1 in mass-market vehicle batteries.

Benchmark forecasts that 8:1:1 cathode material will reach 25% of NCM’s market share by 2026 – “enough to cause disruption in the raw material supply chain, but far from takeover.” The analysts there add that there is little doubt that nickel’s future in lithium-ion batteries is bright.

For now, the goal with this chemistry is to develop NCM 811. Skeptics argue that this is still a number of years away from widespread commercial adoption, due to lifecycle and safety concerns. They do concede that NCM 811 will offer lower raw material costs and improved energy density once it is available on the market, though, which means cheaper electric cars or electric cars with the same price as today but more range.

Tesla’s cobalt usage reduction plans are expected to affect its entire range of batteries used for all vehicle types, including its latest development, the Tesla Semi. We expect to have more updates soon.

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