Foreign Miners Pull Up Stakes in Indonesia – by Sara Schonhardt (Wall Street Journal – August 30, 2016)

Newmont Mining’s exit after more than 30 years illustrates the companies’ growing difficulties there

JAKARTA—When Newmont Mining Corp. began exploring for gold in Indonesia in the 1980s, the country’s wealth of untapped resources was seen as the Colorado-based miner’s ticket to the big leagues.

The Batu Hijau copper and gold mine in eastern Indonesia was one of the largest undeveloped deposits in the world, and Newmont’s billion-dollar investment put it on the path to becoming the world’s No. 2 gold miner by output.

More than three decades later, Newmont’s exit from Indonesia illustrates that the country has become a more difficult place for foreign miners to operate, say analysts. Newmont in June agreed to sell its 48.5% economic interest in the local unit that runs the mine, PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara, to a group of local investors led by Indonesian-listed oil-and-gas company PT Medco Energi Internasional Tbk. Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., with which Newmont operates the mine, is selling its stake to the group as well. Continue Reading →

This startup is protecting Afghanistan’s prized rare emeralds – by Parija Kavilanz (CNN – August 29, 2016)

In Afghanistan, where decades of warfare have ravaged the country, there’s a beautiful green oasis tucked between the mountains that’s home to something rare and precious.

The Panjshir Valley, located north of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, is an area rich with more than 172 emerald mines. Known as Panjshir emeralds, the gems boast a unique bluish-green color that make them among the country’s most-iconic treasures.

Entrepreneur Habib Mohebi grew up in Kabul hearing about the emerald mines from friends local to that area. Years later, that knowledge would reconnect him to his homeland in a distinctive way.

Mohebi is the co-founder of Aria Gems, a company that mines and exports Panjshir emeralds. Continue Reading →

Time for Real Action on Boil Water Advisories in Ontario – by James Murray ( – August 29, 2016)

THUNDER BAY – EDITORIAL – The road to hell it is said is paved with good intentions. Grassy Narrows First Nation along with many many other First Nation communities across Ontario are experiencing their own special branches of hell.

Water – one of the very basic needs for survival on earth in far too many communities in Ontario is not found in lakes and stream but rather in expensive bottles that are flown in or driven in to the North. This cost takes away money from other vital community needs.

Our “True North strong and free” is not clean enough to allow the people living across the North to have potable drinking water in their communities. It isn’t a message that the Government of Canada shares on any tourism brochures. Likely the reality is overall, very few tourists fly into northern Ontario or Northern Canadian First Nation communities.

In some communities, boil water advisories have been in place for up to twenty years. Think of that simple fact for a moment. For two decades, people have been unable to go to their kitchen sink, turn on a facet and enjoy a drink of water. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Wallbridge Announces Fully-Funded $4.0 Million Exploration Program on Sudbury Joint Ventures

Toronto, Ontario — August 30, 2016 – Wallbridge Mining Company Limited (TSX: WM, FWB: WC7) (“Wallbridge”) announces that the Exploration Committees for the Lonmin funded joint ventures in Sudbury have approved programs totalling $3.958 million for approximately 20,000 metres of drilling and other work to start October 1, 2016. The approved programs of joint venture committees are subject to the usual final approval by Lonmin’s board of directors.

“The exploration program for 2016-2017 is exciting in that it not only follows up on this year’s success at expanding the near-surface mineralization at Parkin, but also will test other exploration targets at depth” said Marz Kord, President and CEO of Wallbridge, “This exploration program will advance Wallbridge’s exploration stage assets in Sudbury and complements Wallbridge’s current efforts in acquiring an advanced stage gold asset, the Fenelon Mine Property, from Balmoral Resources, which the company is planning to rapidly advance to a production decision by mid-2017”. Continue Reading →

Two killed in clashes in eastern India as anger over land use rises – by Jatindra Dash (Reuters U.s – August 30, 2016)

BHUBANESWAR, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Two people were killed and more than 30 injured when villagers protesting the loss of their homes to a power plant clashed with police in eastern India, in violence highlighting the disputed nature of land use in the country.

Police opened fire late on Monday in Gola in Jharkhand state after hundreds of villagers demanding more jobs and better compensation from Inland Power Ltd. threw stones and ransacked the company’s offices, a senior police official said.

“A meeting between the displaced persons and the management was going on when some people rushed into the premises and vandalized the property,” said Inspector General M.S. Bhatia. Continue Reading →

BNN Interviews Duncan Middlemiss, President and CEO Wesdome Gold Mines (August 30, 2016)

New gold discovery raises shares of Wesdome Gold

Shares of Wesdome Gold Mines bounced as the company announced that its Quebec gold mine revealed spectacular drilling results. Duncan Middlemiss, president and CEO of Wesdome Gold Mines joins BNN to talk about what he plans to do next.

Commodity pricing divergence calls for ‘discerning and tactical’ investors now that it’s tougher to pick winners – by Peter Koven (Financial Post – August 30, 2016)

During the commodity bull market from 2002 to 2011, it was almost impossible not to make money in this space. The price of nearly every energy, metal and agricultural commodity dramatically rose, driven by China’s massive economic growth. Some performed better than others, of course, but the proverbial monkey with a dartboard could pick winners as well as many humans did.

It was just the opposite from 2012 to early 2016. There was nowhere to hide in this period as commodities got mashed. They didn’t all drop at once, but they ended up in the same gutter by early 2016.

Now a bifurcation is emerging: Some commodities have spiked this year, some have gone up a little bit, some are more or less flat, and a handful have actually weakened during what is supposed to be a market recovery. As a result, a very strong understanding of the supply-demand balance is needed if investors want to pick the winners and come out ahead. Continue Reading →

Agrium Inc, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc in advanced merger talks: sources – by Ed Hammond, Matthew Monks and Dinesh Nair (Bloomberg News/Financial Post – August 30, 2016)

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s second-largest producer of its namesake fertilizer, and Agrium Inc. are planning to merge, people familiar with the matter said, as the companies battle falling prices and a decline in spending from farmers.

The combination could be announced as soon as next week, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. No final decisions have been made and the Canadian companies could decide against a deal, they said.

Potash has a market capitalization of about US$14.6 billion while Agrium is valued at about US$13.2 billion. Both companies surged 12 per cent in New York trading on Tuesday. Other fertilizer producers, including Intrepid Potash Inc. and CF Industries Holdings Inc., also jumped. Continue Reading →

Mongolia asks Rio Tinto to speed up work on giant copper mine – by Terrence Edwards (Reuters U.S. – August 30, 2016)

ULAANBAATAR – Mongolia’s prime minister has asked Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto to step up the pace of construction at the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, part of efforts to revive the country’s debt-ridden economy.

Jargaltulga Erdenebat assured Rio Tinto’s copper chief Arnaud Soirat that Mongolia would honor its past agreements with Rio Tinto, and called on the company to do the same. “For Oyu Tolgoi, the Mongolian policy to work together with Rio Tinto is already set,” he was quoted as saying in a statement posted on Mongolia’s official government website <>.

“You need to comply with contract obligations and speed up the momentum of work,” he told Soirat, adding that Oyu Tolgoi should procure construction materials like cement from Mongolian service providers only. Continue Reading →

Pipelines, red tape and climate change policies are killing Chinese investment in oilsands – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – August 30, 2016)

During his visit to China, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to offer to ease ownership restrictions in the oilsands by state-owned enterprises to rekindle Chinese investment in Canadian oil and gas.

The issue of oil-sands investment is one “that we’re certainly going to lean into,” Trudeau said Friday. He left Monday for a 10-day trip to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Hangzhou, where he’ll attend the Group of 20 summit. His schedule includes a meeting with Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, the controlling shareholder of Calgary-based Husky Energy Inc., a significant oilsands player.

The Liberal government is focused on “ways we can enhance the Canadian economy,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who is on the trip as well, said on Aug. 21. “In that light, we seek to encourage investment in Canada and that’ll be something we’ll be bringing forward in meetings in China as we will in bilateral meetings with all the countries we meet.” Continue Reading →

Companies’ Report on Brazil Dam Failure Adds Little New on Causes – Paul Kiernan (Wall Street Journal – August 30, 2016)

RIO DE JANEIRO—Nearly 10 months after one of the biggest disasters in the history of mining, the companies responsible for the failure of a massive tailings dam in Brazil presented a long-awaited report Monday on the causes of the incident.

But it added little information to what Brazilian police and prosecutors already had gathered, and it presented no guidance on how to prevent future accidents.

The Fundão dam failure at mining giants Vale SA’s and BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Samarco joint-venture in Brazil is believed to have been the largest such accident.

Its Nov. 5 collapse released enough mine waste to fill the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium at least 11 times. Continue Reading →

4 Nickel Miners Set to Soar On Philippines Crackdown – by Daniel Shane (Barrons – August 30, 2016)

The prospect of stricter mining laws could threaten supplies from one of the world’s biggest nickel producers.

Drug pushers aren’t the only victims in a crackdown by hardline Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte. The Southeast Asian archipelago’s freshly-minted government has taken aim at miners, telling them to shape up or shut down. That could be a boon for nickel miner stocks elsewhere in the region, which should benefit from any disruptions in supply.

Tough guy Duterte, elected in a landslide vote this summer, has made no secret of his “big problems” with the Philippines’ mining industry, who he accuses of skirting environmental rules and “destroying the soil of our country.” That could cause a global supply crunch for the metal – which is mainly used in making stainless steel – as the Philippines makes up a fifth of global output.

It sells most of it to China. Filipino authorities have closed several mines already with more to shutter soon, helping lift nickel prices by around 20% to $5 a pound. Continue Reading →

Why is Canada denying its indigenous peoples clean water? – by Amanda Klasing (Globe and Mail – August 30, 2016)

Amanda Klasing, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, specializes in the right to clean water.

“She likes to take a bath, but [the water] irritates her skin,” Susan said of her active two-year-old daughter. When the little girl was 18 months old, Susan started to notice rashes all over her daughter’s legs. “I thought it was something from the grass,” she said. Instead, a doctor informed her that the baby’s rash was probably from her water. Susan can’t bathe her daughter at home now; she takes her to a daycare centre or relative’s house.

Susan lives in Grassy Narrows First Nation in Ontario, where I spoke to her and other families in February to learn about living under a “do not consume” water advisory.

The water in the well that supplies her home is contaminated with uranium; water trucked in from a local treatment plant to fill a cistern at her house has dangerous levels of a cancer-causing byproduct that comes from treating dirty source water. Continue Reading →

Sudbury miner ordered to pay $440,000 – by Staff (Sudbury Star – August 30, 2016)

A Sudbury-based mining company has been ordered to pay more than $440,000 in legal costs after it unsuccessfully sued the provincial government. However, in a statement, Northern Superior Resources Inc. said it is appealing the outcome of the trial and the cost awarded by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

“The company will not be required to pay any amount to the province until the appeal has been heard and a decision rendered,” Northern Superior said in a release. “If the appeal of the trial decision is successful, the cost award will most likely be vacated. In addition, even if the company is not successful in overturning the trial decision, the Court of Appeal could still reduce or even vacate the cost award in any event.”

Northern Superior sued the province in 2013 for $110 million, claiming the government failed in its duty to consult with First Nations about its mining claims. It later said it would settle for $25 million. Continue Reading →