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 →

Let’s Combine Our Resources to develop Copperbelt Province, KCM CEO tells Partners (Lusaka Times – June 22, 2017)

https://www.lusakatimes.com/

KCM CEO Steven Din has invited industry peers and development partners to join hands and pool resources to scale up development in the Copperbelt.

Mr Din was speaking during a panel discussion around the theme ‘’Towards Developing the country mining vision – mainstreaming Zambia’s mineral resources for greater economic development’’ at the 7th Annual Zambia International Mining and Energy conference and exhibition (ZIMEC 2017).

Mr Din shared the platform with panelists Simon Njovu, President, Small Scale Miners Association of Zambia; Dr Wilfred Lombe, Independent Consultant; James Blewett, Team Leader, Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (UKAid); and Mayer Ngomesia, from the African Minerals Development Centre. Continue Reading →

Battle escalates over mining moratorium near BWCAW – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – June 2, 2017)

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

Conservation, hunting and angling groups are battling back against U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s effort to undo a moratorium on mining on federal land near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Groups such as the Izaak Walton League of America and Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters kickstarted a campaign this week for supporters to call Nolan’s offices and tell the Democrat from Crosby to leave the two-year mining ban and a proposed environmental review in place.

On Thursday, Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters ratcheted up the debate by purchasing a full-page ad in the News Tribune. They’ve also scheduled a noon rally Friday in front of Nolan’s Duluth office. Continue Reading →

Risky gold rush: Indonesia tackles illegal mining boom – by Kiki Siregar (Agence France Presse/Daily Star – June 22, 2017)

https://www.dailystar.com.lb/

WEST TABIR, Indonesia: Hulking excavators claw at riverbanks on Indonesia’s Sumatra island in the hunt for gold, transforming what was once a rural idyll into a scarred, pitted moonscape. It is one of a huge number of illegal gold mines that have sprung up across the resource-rich archipelago as the price of the precious metal has soared, luring people in rural areas to give up jobs in traditional industries.

Now authorities in Sumatra’s Jambi province, which has one of the biggest concentrations of illegal mining sites in Indonesia, have started a determined fightback, combining a crackdown with efforts at regulation.

Declines in the price of rubber, which provided a livelihood for many in the area who had worked on plantations tapping the commodity, has driven many locals to more lucrative – and dangerous – gold mining. Iwan, a 43-year-old who works at an illegal site by the Tabir River, left his job on a rubber plantation to become a gold miner two years ago but said life was still difficult. Continue Reading →

Electric Car Demand Boosts Companies Engaged With Lithium – by Jonathan Tirone (Bloomberg News – June 22, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Lithium demand is surging, boosting shares of the companies linked to mining and manufacturing the light metal used in electric-car batteries.

Global X Lithium & Battery Tech, an exchange-traded fund of the 27 biggest companies linked to the light metal, has increased 65 percent in the past 18 months, outperforming stock indexes of all the world’s most-developed economies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The acceleration in technology, including electric vehicles, could push new metals a lot higher,” said Eily Ong, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence who published a model on Wednesday probing the risk-weighted demand for metals including lithium. Continue Reading →

HBO, John Oliver Sued by Energy Company Over Segment on Coal Mining – by Eriq Gardner (Hollywood Reporter – June 22, 2017)

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/

The defamation lawsuit discusses how Oliver created a “villainous” portrait of Murray, 77, who “needs a lung transplant” and who “does not expect to live to see the end of this case.”

HBO has been hauled into court over a June 18 broadcast of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, which covered President Donald Trump’s generous treatment of the coal industry. The plaintiff in the defamation case is conservative coal baron Robert Murray, Murray Energy and other associated coal companies.

In a complaint filed in West Virginia Circuit Court, first obtained by The Daily Beast, Murray alleges his reputation was harmed when Oliver stated that there was no evidence an earthquake caused a deadly 2007 mine collapse and implied that Murray had lied about it. The lawsuit also cites alleged implications that Murray Energy sacrifices safety and the health of its employees for profits and takes issue with the refusal of Last Week Tonight to regard information supplied or pointed out by Murray. Then, there’s the humor. Continue Reading →

BUILDING A MINER IN THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE – by James Kwantes (Resource Opportunities – September 16, 2017)

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IDM Mining (IDM-V) site visit

Getting to IDM Mining’s Red Mountain gold project in northwestern British Columbia wasn’t quite “planes, trains and automobiles,” but it was close. First I flew from Vancouver into Smithers. There’s some family history in the neighbourhood — down the road is Houston, where my grandfather settled with his family after emigrating from the Netherlands. There’s some family history for IDM CEO Rob McLeod, as well.

From Smithers it was into a rental car for the 330-kilometre trek to Stewart, nestled beside the Alaska panhandle. Jagged mountain peaks and tall waterfalls make the final approach beautiful.

A helicopter picked me up for the last leg to Red Mountain, 15 kilometres northeast of Stewart. It was a cloudy day, so the pilot had to take the “long way,” threading his machine through the Bitter Creek Valley to the site. It’s the same route the road will take from Stewart — in the helicopter, it was still only about 10 minutes. Continue Reading →

Peter Hambro ousted from his gold mining company Petropavlovsk – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.K. – June 22, 2017)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON – Shareholders voted for four new board members at Russian-focused gold miner Petropavlovsk (POG.L) on Thursday, ousting Peter Hambro who has run the company since he founded it in 1994. Rebel shareholders, holding around 40 percent of the company, backed nominees to replace four out of six of the board at Petropavlovsk, including Hambro, Hambro said.

The new appointments include Bruce Buck, who is chairman of Chelsea Football Club, and Vladislav Egorov, who works for Renova, Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s conglomerate. Speaking after the annual general meeting at a city lawyers’ offices on the banks of the Thames in London, Peter Hambro said he could not disguise his disappointment.

But he hoped “with all my heart” the new board would build on progress he said the company had made. “I will enjoy my new role as an ordinary shareholder and in it I shall advocate for a continuation of the same transparency, diligence and good corporate governance that I believe we achieved at Petropavlovsk,” he said. Continue Reading →

A tale of two mines: One shovel in the past, the other in the future – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – June 21, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Booms and busts are the norm when it comes to towns built on the mining industry, but the future could see the creation of communities specifically designed to last as long as the mine and for the economic benefits to be spread among many towns. Financial Post reporter Sunny Freeman and videographer Tyler Anderson traveled to one such mine ramping up in northern Quebec and another in Timmins, Ont., which is agonizing over the closing of its increasingly old-fashioned mines

Coverall-clad miners sip coffees and clutch metal lunch boxes as they listen for the shaft operator’s familiar tap-tap-tap signalling the elevator is on its way for the start of another subterranean shift at Goldcorp Inc.’s Dome mine in Timmins, Ont.

They wait for the muddy night-shift workers to step out of the cage before turning on their headlamps, a common courtesy so as not to blind their weary colleagues, before descending a kilometre underground. It’s a daily routine that has been performed for more than a century at Canada’s oldest operating gold mine.

The Dome mine was incorporated in 1910, when northeastern Ontario’s gold rush brought eager prospectors, families and a sense of community to what was then considered the remote north. It is a working relic, an homage to a long history of towns built on the bedrock of mining, when rich, multi-generational projects breathed life into local economies. Continue Reading →

Slow, bumpy market recovery on the cards for most commodities – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – June 22, 2017)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – The global commodity market is probably in for a slow, drawn-out recovery following the five-year bear market, S&P Global Market Intelligence director for reports on the metals and mining sectors Dr Chris Hinde said during a webcast on Wednesday.

According to S&P’s ‘State of the Market’ report, there was a mixed performance for mined commodities during the first three months of this year, following the “encouraging” price increases last year. The March quarter overall saw a healthy increase in the price of aluminium and steady improvements in the prices of gold, zinc and copper, but flat performances for nickel and iron-ore, and a significant price fall for coal.

“Activity in the mining industry reflects the global economy generally and industrial production in particular. This reflects the uncertain political and economic environment but, fortunately, China has started the New Year with its strongest performance in six quarters,” he noted. Continue Reading →