16th April 2014

COLUMN-China economic data shows trend to less-intensive commodity use – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – April 16, 2014)


Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.

LAUNCESTON, Australia, April 16 (Reuters) – China’s economic growth data contains a short-term positive and longer-term negative for commodity demand in the world’s largest user of raw materials.

The positive is that gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1.4 percent in the first quarter is soft enough to justify the mini-stimulus spending on infrastructure planned by the authorities.

While many in the market will focus on the year-on-year GDP growth of 7.4 percent being ahead of the market consensus for 7.3 percent, the more important figure is the quarterly outcome. If annualised, this would come in at 5.8 percent, well below the government’s target for 7.5 percent growth.

Even a mini-stimulus that boosts spending on rail and other infrastructure would be positive for demand for major commodities, such as iron ore, copper, crude oil and coal. There are, of course, risks to the short-term outlook in the form of a crackdown on using commodities as collateral for financing deals. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Asia Mining, Commodity Super-Cycle, International Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

Osisko strikes new $3.9-billion deal with Yamana, Agnico Eagle – by Bertrand Marotte (Globe and Mail – April 16, 2014)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Osisko Mining Corp. has struck a deal valued at about $3.9-billion that would see Yamana Gold Inc. and Agnico Eagle Gold Inc. acquire Osisko in a cash-and-stock transaction.

Meanwhile, Goldcorp Inc. — which recently raised its hostile bid for Osisko and its rich Canadian Malartic gold mine to $3.6-billion — said it plans to nominate its own slate of 11 directors to replace Osisko’s board members at Osisko’s annual meeting May 20.

The new offer — which adds Agnico Eagle as a partner — represents roughly an 11 per cent premium to the implied value of Goldcorp’s hostile offer. Under terms of the deal announced by Osisko and its partners Wednesday, Agnico Eagle and Yamana will form a joint acquisition entity that will acquire all of Osisko’s common shares.

Agnico and Yamana will each own 50 per cent of Montreal-based Osisko and they will form a joint committee to operate the Canadian Malartic mine in northwestern Quebec. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Gold and Silver, Quebec Mining | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

Price slump hits B.C. coal miners – by Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – April 16, 2014)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

VANCOUVER — A devastating price slump is hammering British Columbia’s coal sector as a U.S.-based company halts mining in the province while other players face mounting pressure.

Walter Energy Inc. highlighted the troubles Tuesday when it announced its decision to stop B.C. mining until coal prices recover.

Last week Virginia-based James River Coal Co. filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States, underscoring tough times in the global industry.

The coal industry has traditionally been a key driver of B.C.’s economy, with companies generating billions of dollars in revenue every year and employing thousands of workers. Now producers are starting to question the viability of their projects as prices hit new lows.

In 2011, coal prices soared to $300 (U.S.) a tonne. Prices for metallurgical coal have since tumbled to roughly $120 a tonne, hurt by ample new supplies from Australia, slower-than-forecast economic growth in China and a shift away from long-term coal pricing contracts that had provided some stability. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in British Columbia Mining, Canadian/International Media Resource Articles, Coal | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

3 Reasons Why Palladium Prices Should Continue To Surge – by Royston Wild (Forbes Magazine – April 15, 2014)


A confluence of factors have propelled palladium to multi-year peaks in the past few days. Recent highs above $800 per ounce representing the highest level since March 2011, and for some a march towards 2001′s all-time high of $1,090 is considered a very real possibility.

I am amongst those who reckon that palladium is poised to enjoy further solid price appreciation, and here I outline the three major factors which should continue to drive the metal skywards.

Russian shipments on the wane

The escalating political crisis in Ukraine has been a significant driver of palladium’s ascent in recent weeks, with Russia’s alleged involvement in the conflict prompting the US and the European Union to discuss imposing heavy economic sanctions on the country.

Norilsk Nickel is the world’s largest producer of the precious metal, and last year the company produced 2.58 million ounces of the material, or about 40% of total global supply. So the possibility of trade restrictions being placed on Russia could be catastrophic for metal supplies. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Africa Mining, Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Europe Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Norilsk Nickel | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

Canada knew nuclear deal with China could be seen as ‘weak’: Docs – by Carl Meyer (Embassy News – April 16, 2014)


Briefing notes say even though safeguards changed, non-proliferation policy would still be achieved.

After a major Canadian uranium mining firm landed deals with Chinese state-owned enterprises, the Harper government met several times with the firm and then announced a new protocol to ship raw Canadian uranium directly to China—even though it knew the protocol’s safeguards could be perceived as “weak,” government documents show.

Nuclear disarmament advocates fear the new scheme is an example of commerce driving policy in Ottawa. They say it could set a precedent that countries can establish workarounds to international nuclear security standards if the status quo was seen to be restricting potential trade.

“Commercial interests, as important as they are, must be shaped and constrained by non-proliferation considerations,” said Cesar Jaramillo, program officer for space security and nuclear disarmament at Waterloo-based Project Ploughshares.

But Canada says the deal with China will ensure Canadian uranium is used only for “strictly peaceful, non-military purposes” and that the new requirements are “appropriate to the level of the proliferation risks involved.” The Chinese Embassy also assured Canadians that its nuclear facilities are safe and under control. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Asia Mining, Canada Mining, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Uranium | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

Can Canada Prosper without a Prosperous Ontario? – by Livio Di Matteo, Jason Clemens, and Milagros Palacios (Fraser Institute – April 2014)

Click here for the entire report: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/can-canada-prosper-without-a-prosperous-ontario-rev.pdf


Ontario’s economic struggles, which are most dramatically illustrated by its transition to a “have-not” province, have implications far beyond the borders of the province. For the better part of a decade, and particularly since the recession of 2008/09, Ontario’s economic performance has dragged down that of the national economy. Due to both the sheer size of Ontario’s economy and its population, as well as the fact that the Canadian economy is highly integrated, what happens in Ontario influences our national economy.

The important influence of Ontario on the national economy is borne out by statistics. For example, if we compare the variation in per-capita GDP growth for Canada (without Ontario) against the variation in Ontario for the period from 1982 to 2012, we find that the variation in Ontario explains roughly three quarters of the variation in the rest of the national economy. Simply put, for the better part of three decades, the success of Canada’s economy was inextricably linked with the success and failure of Ontario’s economy.

Ontario’s influence is also seen in employment statistics. About two thirds of the variation in employment growth in the rest of Canada between 1982 and 2012 is explained by the variation in employment growth in Ontario. In other words, Canada experienced strong employment growth when Ontario experienced strong employment growth, and vice versa. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Ontario Economy | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

Rio Tinto heavily blamed by protesters over 41 mine worker deaths – by Rupert Neate (The Guardian – April 15, 2014)


Global trade union IndustriAll accuses Anglo-Australian firm of ‘very wide breaches of fundamental rights’ in failure

Protesters and unions from around the world heavily criticise mining company Rio Tinto on Tuesday over alleged lapses in safety leading to the deaths of 41 people and a string of claimed environmental abuses.

Global trade union IndustriAll, which represents 50 million industrial workers across the world, accused Rio of “very wide breaches of fundamental rights” and said the Anglo-Australian mining company could have done more to prevent the 41 deaths last year.

Kemal Özkan, assistant general secretary of IndustriAll, said the deaths of 33 gold miners when a tunnel collapsed at a Rio joint venture mine in Indonesia last May could have been avoided.

He claimed that the Indonesian human rights commission found that the operators of the Grasberg mine, owned with US company Freeport, “had the ability to prevent this from happening but didn’t”. ”The lack of effort jeopardised the lives of others. The gravity of this case is serious,” he quoted Indonesian human rights commissioner Natalius Pigai as saying in a report into the incident.

Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Asia Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Labour Issues and History - Sudbury and Global, Rio Tinto | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

UPDATE 2-BHP and Australian rivals raise iron ore targets as competition grows – by James Regan (Reuters India – April 16, 2014)


SYDNEY, April 16 (Reuters) – Australian miners are racing ahead with plans to expand iron ore production to capture more of the Chinese market for the steelmaking ingredient, amid strong competition from the world’s biggest supplier Vale of Brazil.

Efforts to beat already ambitious output targets comes as a crackdown in China on using commodities as collateral to raise cash risks unleashing iron ore sales from tens of millions of tonnes sitting in Chinese port warehouses, pressuring prices.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, which is raising production 57 percent this year, says its needs iron ore prices to stay between $110-$120 a tonne for the next 12-18 months in order to pay off a targeted $2.5 billion in debt.

The Australian Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics forecast an average price of $110 a tonne this year but only $103 a tonne in 2015. By 2016, Citigroup sees the price falling to $80.

Iron ore was quoted at $117.10 .IO62-CNI=SI on Wednesday. BHP, the world’s biggest diversified mining company, on Wednesday lifted full-year iron ore production guidance by 5 million tonnes to 217 million as it pushes ahead with new mine work in Australia. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Asia Mining, Australia Mining and History, BHP Billiton, International Media Resource Articles, Iron Ore, Rio Tinto, Vale | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

Walter Energy idles Canadian mines as expensive acquisition comes back to haunt – by Peter Koven (National Post – April 16, 2014)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

TORONTO – A Canadian acquisition from three years ago continues to create headaches for U.S. coal miner Walter Energy Inc.

When Walter paid $3.3-billion in cash and stock for Vancouver-based Western Coal Corp., the company thought it was creating a dominant North American coal producer for years to come. The metallurgical coal market was red-hot, and Western provided Walter with one of the best production growth profiles in the industry.

Unfortunately for Walter, the deal has backfired in almost every conceivable way. Coal prices plummeted; the company ran into balance sheet problems; it ended up in a proxy fight with a former Western shareholder; and on Tuesday, Walter announced it will idle all the Canadian operations it bought in the Western transaction.

Walter has been eyeing a closure of its Canadian mines for months. But the tipping point came after a quarterly coal sales contract got settled around US$120 a tonne. The cash costs at Walter’s Canadian and U.K. operations were above US$132 in the quarter ending Dec. 31, meaning Walter would be bleeding cash if it kept these mines running.

“Our CEO said that we’re just as well served to leave the coal in the ground and wait for a time when the market conditions are better,” Walter spokesman Tom Hoffman said. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Coal | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

SEC conflict mineral rule violates freedom of speech, U.S. court says – by Andrew Zajac (National Post/Bloomberg News – April 16, 2014)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring companies like Boeing Inc. and Apple Inc. to disclose whether any “conflict minerals” are used in their products violates their free-speech rights, an appeals court in Washington said.

The rule was part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act overhauling regulations of securities markets and applies to certain minerals, including gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum, mined in Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighbouring countries. It was intended to help ensure that use of the minerals didn’t benefit armed groups responsible for violence in the region.

The appeals panel decision represents the second time courts have faulted regulators for carrying out a requirement of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. SEC Chair Mary Jo White said in October the goals of the Dodd-Frank disclosure mandates were laudable while questioning Congress’s decision to have her agency implement them.

The SEC’s authority to require disclosure of important information to investors shouldn’t be used to “effectuate social policy or political change,” Ms. White said. The requirement to disclose the information will cost thousands of companies as much as US$4-billion to put in effect, according to the SEC. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Conflict Minerals | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

Big ore find saved Timmins 50 years ago – by Jeff Labine (Timmins Daily Press – April 15, 2014)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Half a century ago, the Timmins economy faced possible collapse. The Hollinger gold mine, which had been operating since 1910, was on its last legs and there didn’t seem to be any suitable replacement to keep the economy flowing in the city.

Rumours started to spread about a possible ore discovery in the area, but few facts were known at the time. Texas Gulf Sulfur Company had made a discovery of a lifetime in November 1963 but the company kept that fact quiet for months.

The American-based company didn’t make the discovery public until April 16 1964. The Daily Press ran the news that the company had discovered more than 23 million tons of ore.

The Kidd Creek mine would become world-famous for its copper, zinc and silver deposits and also earn the distinction of being the deepest base metal mine in the world reaching depths as far down as 10,000 feet.

But trying to break that story was a difficult task for Gregory Reynolds, a reporter at the time for The Daily Press. He and a fellow reporter dogged miners and the higher-ups at Texas Gulf, trying to find someone who could confirm their suspicions that something big was going to happen. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Glencore-Xstrata PLC, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Timmins | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

Jail mine CEOs: Sudbury forum – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – April 16, 2014)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Jailing one or two chief executive officers of companies where workers were killed on the job is all it would take to bring about the societal change necessary to finish what United Steelworkers started 40 years ago in Elliot Lake, says a union leader.

Enforcing the provisions of the Westray amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada, that hold CEOs and company directors criminally responsible for negligence causing a worker’s death, will demonstrate Canadians won’t accept workplace deaths as the cost of doing business.

Stephen Hunt, District 3 director for United Steelworkers and one of the officials spearheading USW’s “Stop the Killing: Enforce the Law” campaign, spoke to an audience of about 60 people Tuesday at the first day of a forum commemorating the 1974 Elliot Lake Miners’ Strike.

The three-week wildcat strike by more than 1,000 Steelworkers at Denison Mine prompted the provincial government to appoint a royal commission that resulted in the enactment of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Mining Labour Issues and History - Sudbury and Global, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

Inquest recommendations could have saved men: Fram – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – April 16, 2014)



The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

If recommendations from the inquest into the 1995 death of Clifford Bastien at Stobie Mine had been mandatory, Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier would be here today, says Fram’s mother.

Wendy Fram spoke at a conference Tuesday at the Steelworkers’ Hall about a USW campaign called “Stop the Killing: Enforce the Law.” The campaign calls on Canadians to sign a petition urging provincial, territorial and federal governments to enforce the Westray amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada.
The Westray law holds company executives and directors criminally accountable for negligence that is responsible for a worker being killed on the job. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Mining Labour Issues and History - Sudbury and Global, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold announce a friendly acquisition agreement with Osisko Mining Corporation

(All amounts expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted)

C$8.15 per share offer provides superior shareholder value

TORONTO, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM, TSX:AEM) (“Agnico Eagle”), Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI, NYSE: AUY) (“Yamana”) and Osisko Mining Corporation (TSX:OSK; Deutsche Boerse:EWX) (“Osisko”) are pleased to announce that they have entered into an agreement (“the Agreement”) pursuant to which Agnico Eagle and Yamana will jointly acquire 100% of Osisko’s issued and outstanding common shares for total consideration of approximately C$3.9 billion, or C$8.15 per share. The total offer consists of approximately C$1.0 billion in cash, approximately C$2.33 billion in Agnico Eagle and Yamana shares, and shares of a new company (“Spinco”) with an implied value of approximately C$575 million.

The offer represents approximately an 11% premium to the implied value of the current Goldcorp Inc. (“Goldcorp”) hostile bid. Agnico Eagle, Yamana, and Osisko will host a joint conference call today at 10:00 a.m. EDT to discuss the transaction.

Terms of the Agreement

Under the Agreement, Agnico Eagle and Yamana will form a joint acquisition entity (with each company owning 50%) which will acquire by way of a plan of arrangement all of the outstanding common shares of Osisko. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Gold and Silver, Quebec Mining | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

COMMENT: The Elliot Lake strike and 40 years of safer mines – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – April 15, 2014)

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.

Forty years ago uranium miners in Elliot Lake, ON, staged a wildcat strike to call attention to the need for improved health and safety conditions. Silicosis and lung cancer were occupational hazards. The miners’ determination, and that of their union, led to the Occupational Health and Safety Act

To commemorate 40 years of increasing mine safety, the United Steelworkers (USW) is memorializing the Elliot Lake strike this week, April 15 -17 at the USW Local 6500 Steelworkers Hall and Conference Centre in Sudbury, ON.

Highlight of the tribute is Wednesday’s trip to Elliot Lake where participants will set up a mock picket at the entrance to the former Denison mine. A tour of the Elliot Lake Nuclear and Mining Museum and a re-dedication ceremony at the Miners’ Memorial are also planned.

Other activities in Sudbury include a look at the history of the Elliot Lake miners’ strike, a review of occupational disease, and an update on the current Ontario Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Elliot Lake, Marilyn Scales Mining Columns, Mining Labour Issues and History - Sudbury and Global | 0 Comments

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