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Giustra-backed Lithium X plunges on doubts about Chinese buyer

The Vancouver-based company fell the most in nearly two years…

Zimbabwe has potential to meet 20% of global lithium demand

Zimbabwe is keen to attract investment after Mugabe era and…

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Second-half IPO revival for Toronto hinges on commodities

Reuters reports Canada's IPO market could roar back to life in the final months of 2011 after a dismal first half – but only if a fresh bout of global market turbulence doesn't overwhelm any revival. Investment bankers say commodity producers could get the market sailing again once the summer doldrums are over. In contrast to new listings mergers and acquisitions in the mining sector have stayed robust in 2011 and Canadian companies – both as acquirers and as the targets of buyers – dominated corporate finance activity in the first half shaking on 325 deals and accounting for almost two-thirds of all the metals and minerals transactions carried out around the world.

Harsh times in Vancouver Island’s coal mining past

The Times Colonist has a look at the history of coal mining on Vancouver Island starting in 1912 and writing that the troubles started in Extension, a small mining community a few kilometres south of Nanaimo. Two coal miners were fired when they complained to management that unacceptable levels of explosive gas existed at the coal face. One of the workers headed north seeking a job in the mines of Cumberland only to find he had been blacklisted - not just in Cumberland but throughout Vancouver Island. Their memories of a seemingly endless stream of disasters, from single deaths to the 150 dead in the Nanaimo No.1 mine explosion and fire in 1887, kept them implacable in their demands for greater safety.

Quebec rare earth explorers make big finds in north

A small Quebec company says it has uncovered one of the world's most significant deposits of neodymium reports the Montreal Gazette. GeoMegA Resources believes its Montviel property about 500 kilometres northwest of Quebec City, has a huge potential for quick development thanks to the size of the deposit and closeness to infrastructure. Two other companies are active in the region with Commerce Resources announcing significant discoveries on Thursday following its winter drill program at its Eldor rare earth project (pictured) at what it says is ranked as one of the largest REE deposits outside of China. On Friday Vancouver-based Canada Rare Earths announced it acquired a 69.55 km2 rare earth property 350 kilometers south of Montviel adding to its assets adjacent to that of GeoMegA.

One-two hit for oil sands producers

Canadian Natural Resources announced this week it is poised to restart its Horizon plant seven months after it went up in flames and aims to spend over $2 billion to more than double its capacity. The Horizon outage led to a shortage of syncrude – a light oil manufactured from bitumen – which helped Alberta's producers attract a premium of $18 above benchmark US oil prices. That nice little earner will now likely melt away and follows a Reuters poll that showed a majority of analysts and oil traders expect the spread between US and international crude prices to surpass $30 in the next year.

Northgate Minerals delivers bad news all round

Canada's Northgate Minerals reported a wider quarterly net loss of $13 million hit by lower production and higher costs, and it lowered its full-year production forecast. Revenue fell 45% to $67.4 million. In July, Northgate Minerals said it would buy Primero Mining to form a new mid-tier gold producer, which will have a combined market capitalization of approximately $1.2 billion and will tie together the San Dimas mine in Mexico; the Fosterville and Stawell gold mines in Australia; and the Young-Davidson gold development project in Ontario. Investors shrugged off the news and the Vancouver-based company's shares opened barely changed in Toronto at C$3.15 on Friday giving it a market valuation of some $920 million.

Cameco profit drops 23%; lowers demand forecast

Canada's largest uranium producer lost 23% of its profits in the second quarter, as uranium sales volumes declined. In announcing its second-quarter results Thursday, Saskatoon-based Cameco also lowered its industry forecast in the wake of the Japan Fukushima nuclear crisis, which has slowed the expansion of nuclear power in Japan and resulted in Germany deciding to move away from atomic energy by phasing out and shutting down nuclear reactors.

Rio Tinto investors wake up Thursday $10 billion poorer

Rio Tinto reported a surge in profits due to strong demand in Asia and higher metals prices on Thursday but shares in the company spiked lower in New York, opening down more than 7% and wiping more than $10 billion off the value of the globe's second largest miner. Net earnings for the first half year were $7.6bn, up 30% on the $5.8bn the firm made a year earlier. Commenting on the results chairman Jan du Plessis said the economic environment remains volatile but expected the Australia-based company continue to experience higher than average growth for the rest of the year. The company also said it was experiencing high cost inflation in some "mining hotspots" and cautioned that the strong Australian and Canadian dollar were impacting its profitability.