The world seeks Sudbury’s mining expertise – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – June 23, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Export forum brings supply companies and international investors together to talk

With over a century of mining supply expertise in Sudbury, companies and nations are turning to this region to help them develop their mining sectors, particularly Mexico, South America and the American Southwest.

To make it easier to connect, Ontario’s North Economic Development Corporation (ONEDC) played host to the Northern Ontario Exports Forum 2017 on June 22. The forum at the Holiday Inn allowed mining service supply companies to meet and get a better idea on export marketing, strategic planning, and the sales landscape in their own backyard and beyond.

“It’s an opportunity for the supply and service for mining to look at export opportunities,” said forum chair Tom Palangio, president of WipWare, and the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Services Association. Continue Reading →

A NEW YUKON GOLD PLAY – by James Kwantes (Resource Opportunities – June 21, 2017)

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The Yukon is now one of the hottest jurisdictions globally for gold exploration. Goldcorp kicked things off in the spring of 2016 with its $520-million purchase of Kaminak Gold and the 5-million-ounce Coffee project. Since then Barrick, Newmont and Agnico Eagle have also entered through investments in Yukon projects.

As the Yukon’s largest claims holder, Strategic Metals is poised to capitalize on the upsurge in interest. But the company wasn’t getting much value in the market for some prime projects in the highly prospective Dawson Range gold belt. It is now.

Strategic packaged four of the properties — Eureka, Trident, Triple Crown and Treble — into a new company called Trifecta Gold, which began trading on the TSX Venture last Thursday with the symbol TG. The new exploration play has just 23.15 million shares outstanding and Strategic retains a 9.19 stake. The rest of the shares were distributed to Strategic shareholders, on the basis of 1 Trifecta share for every 4.5 Strategic shares. Continue Reading →

Canada’s First Cobalt braves political risk to pile in to Congo – by Aaron Ross (Reuters U.S. – June 23, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

KINSHASA – With Western companies in Democratic Republic of Congo treading carefully in the face of political turbulence and a worsening business climate, Canada’s First Cobalt Corp is an unlikely newcomer to the central African nation’s mining scene.

Several of the Toronto-based firm’s workers are former employees of First Quantum Minerals, whose prized Kolwezi project was expropriated in 2010 in an episode that underscored the risks of investing in Congo. But for First Cobalt CEO Trent Mell, the logic of entering a country responsible for nearly two thirds of global cobalt output as the electric vehicle market booms is simple.

“The bottom line is: No DRC, no Tesla,” he said, referring to the U.S. automaker. “You can’t fill the void when you have 64 percent of production coming out of the DRC.” Demand for the metal, a key component in the lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars and mobile phones, is surging. Consultancy CRU Group say electric car and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales could quadruple to 4.4 million in 2021. Continue Reading →

How China’s shaping one country’s future – Karishma Vaswani (British Broadcasting Corporation – June 23, 2017)

http://www.bbc.com/

China’s Belt and Road initiative is ploughing through central Asia. The plan, which aims to expand trade links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond, was unveiled in 2013. What impact has China’s grand plan had so far in Kazakhstan? I went to Almaty – the financial capital – to find out.

The lyrical strains of Almaty’s latest pop song reverberates through the city’s main Chinese market, lending a distinctly Kazakh feel to what looks like a scene that could easily be from Beijing or Shanghai.

Inside, signs in both Mandarin and Kazakh point out directions in the warren-like maze. It’s here that I meet Huang Jie, a jovial bear of a woman. She’s been running a convenience store in this market for 15 years, selling everything from hairbrushes to soy sauce. She came to Almaty from China to take part in an ice-skating competition, but then stayed on because of the opportunities here. Continue Reading →

Glencore ramps up bidding war for Rio Tinto’s coal mines – by Jon Yeomans (The Telegraph – June 23, 2017)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Glencore has stepped up the bidding war for Rio Tinto’s coal mines in Australia by returning with a higher offer.

The Switzerland-based mining group said it would offer $2.68bn (£2.1bn) in cash, payable in one lump sum, for Rio’s Coal & Allied business in New South Wales. This represents an advance on the $2.55bn it offered earlier this month and is considerably more than the $2.45bn offered by Yancoal, the Chinese-backed miner that is Rio’s preferred buyer.

Glencore, led by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, has coal mines adjacent to Rio’s operations in the Hunter Valley, and believes it can make substantial savings by joining the two businesses together. Earlier this week Rio said it would stick with Yancoal’s offer, first made in January, because it had already gained regulatory approvals for the deal. Continue Reading →

A breath of fresh air for deep mining: Century-old technology readapted to cool air in ultra-deep mines – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – June 22, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

A new attraction on display at Dynamic Earth in Sudbury is bringing a century-old invention to the modern age with the aim reducing the costs of deep mining. The Hydraulic Air Compressor (HAC) demonstrator was unveiled at the tourist attraction with much fanfare on June 21.

The 100-foot-tall industrial scale system for testing and demonstrating air compression was installed in its own headframe in a former elevator shaft that used to be a part of Big Nickel Mine. “This project is going to do so much more than develop a new air circulation system, it’s going to rewrite the textbook on thermodynamics,” said project lead Dean Millar in an interview.

“This will make deep mining here in Sudbury, and ultimately the rest of the world safer, more cost efficient and greener.” The HAC Demonstrator project is a joint undertaking of a Sudbury research consortium involving the Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN), MIRARCO Mining Innovation, Laurentian University, Electrale Innovation, Reasbeck Construction, Independent Electricity System Operator, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and Dynamic Earth. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Africa remains a dominant force in global gold mining – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – June 21, 2017)

Global mining news

With so many troubles in Africa’s centres of gold mining — extremist attacks in West and North Africa, perennial challenges in Central Africa and the long, slow decline of violence-ridden South Africa — it can be easy to lose sight that, at least from a technical perspective, gold mining is still a strong and productive sector on the continent.

While global mine production increased in 2016 by 35 tonnes to 3,255 tonnes (104.7 million oz.) according to Metals Focus Ltd. and by 14 tonnes to 3,222 tonnes (103.6 million oz.) according to GFMS — both figures being the seventh consecutive, all-time highs, in contrast to earlier predictions of a slight decline — Africa stands out as one of the top-performing regions of the world for gold mine production.

According to Metals Focus, Africa hosts five countries among the world’s top gold-producing countries, which are led by the top five of China, Australia, Russia, the U.S. and Peru, which together produced 1,417.1 tonnes (45.6 million oz.) in 2016, or 44% of the global total. Continue Reading →

As Canada’s first oilsands mine nears 50-year mark, site a contrast of old, new – by Dan Healing (Canadian Press/Victoria Times Colonist – June 23, 2017)

http://www.timescolonist.com/

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Nearly 50 years after the opening of Canada’s first major oilsands mine, the site on the banks of Alberta’s Athabasca River is an epicentre of energy, teeming with bustling workers amid signs of its pioneering past and cutting-edge future.

One of the mine’s upgraders — opened in September 1967 — turns heavy, sticky oilsands bitumen into light synthetic oil to ship to market. In the very near future, the ore containing that bitumen may be hauled by driverless trucks currently undergoing testing on site.

“Technology is a wonderful thing,” said Bill Bruce, general manager of mine production at the Suncor Energy Base Plant, located 24 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. “In some cases people are afraid of it, but if you don’t evolve as an organization or as people, you will be left behind.” Continue Reading →

INTERVIEW-South Africa’s mines minister open to talks with companies on new charter – by Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.K. – June 23, 2017)

http://uk.reuters.com/

MIDDELBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Friday that he was open to talks with companies over a new industry charter, as he rebuked the mining firms for planning to take the new rules to court, saying they were “negotiating in bad faith.”

Unveiled last week, the revisions to the charter raised the threshold for black ownership in the mining industry to 30 percent from 26 percent and brought in other regulations the sector said it cannot afford.

The Chamber of Mines has said it was not properly consulted and would challenge the charter in court. “Our doors are open to engagement with them. We will meet them,” Zwane said in an interview with Reuters when asked if he would negotiate with the chamber. “We do not want to go to court. We are a peaceful people,” he said. Continue Reading →

Aluminum industry scrambles to align Trump’s trade guns – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – Jun 22, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON -Aluminum industry executives will line up on Thursday to have their say on whether foreign imports into the United States pose a threat to the country’s security. The Section 232 investigation was announced by the Department of Congress on April 27 and follows hot on the heels of a similar probe into U.S. steel imports, the results of which are pending.

Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, to give its full title, was last used in 2001 against imports of iron ore with a “no action necessary” outcome.

This time around, everyone’s expecting a different result. The Trump administration has pledged to stem the rising metallic import tide and reverse the ebbing of the country’s primary aluminum production capacity. Continue Reading →

Junk Science Week: Wherever there’s a flood, someone will be there to wrongly blame it all on global warming – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – June 22, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

As flood waters recede from the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Canadians have been left with the impression that man-made carbon-driven climate change was the cause. A few environmental scientists drew a direct link, including Paul Beckwith, the University of Ottawa climate scientist well-known for wrongly predicting in March, 2013, that all ice would “vanish” from the Arctic by the end of that year.

Now he sees the floods-climate cause-and-effect as being “very clear.” Prime Minister Trudeau blamed the floods on climate change. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna delivered a categorical statement: “This is something that is real. … We are seeing the impacts of climate change.”

The insurance industry also self-servingly promotes the climate change angle. “As a result of the warming climate, floods are becoming more prevalent worldwide. Flooding is the most frequently occurring natural hazard in Canada,” says the Insurance Institute. An insurance executive warned recently that “As climate change unfolds, expect to see extreme weather-related damage continue to trend upward.” Continue Reading →

Forget Ring of Fire: Cobalt mining camp is ready to roll – by PJ Wilson (North Bay Nugget – June 23, 2017)

http://www.nugget.ca/

COBALT – As much attention as the Ring of Fire has garnered, the expected resurgence of the Cobalt Camp is a bigger story. “The Ring of Fire . . . is too much pie in the sky,” Gino Chitaroni says. “There are too many working parts. You don’t need millions of dollars there. You need billions. There is no way in hell it will be developed anytime soon.”

Chitaroni, president and manager of PolyMet Labs in this old mining town, says political problems are delaying the Ring of Fire project in northwestern Ontario even more. It will be at least a decade – probably more – before anything comes out of it, he believes. But the Cobalt Camp, he says, is ready to roll again.

“Even with China involved directly, and they have very, very deep pockets, the infrastructure requirements there means Ring of Fire is many, many years off,” says Chitaroni, who also is president of the Northern Prospectors’ Association. “It’s sad that the government has put all its (mining) eggs in one basket when there are so many other, much better projects.” Continue Reading →

The Town Silver Built may have new lease on life – by PJ Wilson (North Bay Nugget – June 23, 2017)

http://www.nugget.ca/

COBALT – Renewed interest in the historic Cobalt Camp mining site is reason for “cautious optimism,” according to this small town’s mayor. But Tina Sartoretto warns against “full-throttle optimism.”

“You can easily be over zealous,” says Sartoretto, who has been mayor since 2010. Over the past few months, prospectors, surveyors, drilling crews and others have descended on the region that stretches from just across the Quebec border to as far west as Espanola. But Cobalt is at the heart of the attention.

“It’s not like the heyday,” Sartoretto admits. “We had the stock exchange, we had banks, hotels, restaurants . . .” The years have been tough on this old town. The population now, according to the 2016 national census, is 1,118 people. The stock market is long gone, as are the banks. Continue Reading →

No more quiet chats? Australia becomes new frontier for shareholder disruption – Jamie Freed and Maiya Keidan (Sydney Morning Post – June 22, 2017)

http://www.smh.com.au/

As BHP Billiton fends off the attention of Elliott Management, activist funds are targeting other Australian firms, shaking up a corporate culture that has long favoured quiet chats over splashy headlines.

Seeking new, less crowded markets, international activist investors are using Australia’s shareholder-friendly laws to pressure corporate boards criticised as clubby and conservative in an effort to improve returns.

“Whereas before it was quite normal for companies to address any potential shareholder activism in Australia behind closed doors, only now is there a real appetite to go public and to take the message direct to shareholders,” said Michael Chandler, governance director at shareholder engagement firm Global Proxy Solicitation. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto, Canada aluminum’s good guys in Commerce Department probe – by Suzanne O’Halloran (June 21, 2017)

http://www.foxbusiness.com/

The world’s biggest aluminum players want to set the record straight: they say they shouldn’t be lumped in with China, Russia and other alleged “bad actors” whose imports may be a threat to the security of the United States.

Among those Rio Tinto (RIO), the largest producer of aluminum in North America, via its operations in Quebec and British Columbia. “Rio Tinto’s operations, such as those in Utah, California and Arizona are strong contributors to the United States economy and employment” Rio Tinto CEO Alf Barrios said in prepared remarks viewed by FOX Business, to be delivered Thursday during a scheduled hearing.

Barrios also defended the miner’s long history as a U.S. defense ally dating back to World War II. “Our smelters have a long history of supplying U.S. manufacturers – particularly U.S. defense-related manufacturing” he notes. Continue Reading →