Mining Association of Canada | 2023 Report

GRAPHITE Graphite is a crystalline form of carbon that conducts electricity. It occurs naturally in the ground but can also be manufactured from coke. It is used as a lubricant for electric motors, for pencils, and in foundries. Coated spherical graphite is used to manufacture the anode in lithium-ion batteries. High-grade graphite is also used in fuel cells, semiconductors, LEDs and nuclear reactors. Canadian Production 7,700 tonnes (2021) Canada’s Global Rank as Producer 9th (2021) Value of Canadian Production $17.7M (2022) Where is it? The Lac des Iles mine in Quebec is the only mine in Canada that produced graphite in 2021. However, many other companies are working on graphite projects. NICKEL Nickel is a metallic element that is plentiful in the earth’s crust. It is an essential nutrient for plants. The largest end use for nickel is stainless steel, which is used in kitchens, in heavy industrial plumbing, in infrastructure, and in hospitals. Nickel is also used as an alloying agent in other metal products. Nickel is a component of nickel-cadmium batteries, but it is also becoming more commonly used in the production of lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. Canadian Production 149,131 tonnes (2021) Canada’s Global Rank as Producer 6th Value of Canadian Production $2.6B Where is it? In 2021, all nickel in Canada was mined in Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. Canada’s three nickel refineries are in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta; Sudbury, Ontario; and Long Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. An Ontario company plans on commissioning a cobalt and nickel sulfate production plant and a lithium-ion battery recycling plant by the end of 2023. COBALT Cobalt is found in mineral deposits in the ground, but most is formed as a byproduct of nickel refining. Alone or as part of an alloy, cobalt can be magnetised, so it is used to make magnets. Cobalt alloys are also used in high-temperature applications like jet turbines and gas turbine generators. Cobalt compounds can be used to create vibrant colours in paints and inks. Radioactive cobalt is used to treat some types of cancer. Canadian Production (2021) 4,361 tonnes Canada’s Global Rank as Producer 5th Value of Canadian Production (2021) $198M Where is it? Most Canadian cobalt production comes from nickel and copper mines that produce cobalt as a byproduct.