[Northern Superior Resources] Sudbury junior miner breathes life into Far North, Quebec projects – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 15, 2017)


Measuring 20 kilometres by 30 kilometres, Morris believes TPK has district-scale
mining possibilities, comparable to the Hollinger Mine complex in Timmins or
the Red Lake district. “I’ve been in this business for 35 years. I’ve never
seen anything like this.”

Tom Morris is excited to be finally returning to his roots. The president-CEO of Northern Superior Resources has two projects on the go this summer as his Sudbury exploration outfit advances a promising Quebec gold project while simultaneously blowing the dust off a mothballed gold and base metals property in Ontario’s Far North.

“When it comes to doing what we’re supposed to be doing, which is exploration, we’ve been pretty dormant,” Morris admits. During the downturn, it was all about survivability for many junior miners who tightened their belts as exploration dollars dried up.

After weathering that period in reasonably good shape, and with market interest in commodities looking favourable, it’s now time to get back to work with exploration dollars in hand and new company leadership in place. “Timing was everything,” said Morris. “I kept the company going for this opportunity that we knew was coming at some point.” Continue Reading →

Africa’s Biggest Copper Mine Hit by Zambian Power Restrictions – by Matthew Hill and Taonga Clifford Mitimingi (Bloomberg News – August 15, 2017)


Zambia is cutting power to mines including Africa’s biggest copper site, the Kansanshi pit owned by First Quantum Minerals Ltd., escalating a fight over tariffs.

“They have still got some significant amount of power for them to operate, but obviously their operations will not be at 100 percent because of the power restrictions,” Energy Minister David Mabumba told reporters Tuesday in Lusaka, the capital.

Glencore Plc has said it halted production at the Kitwe and Mufulira operations in Zambia’s Copperbelt province after the main electricity provider restricted supplies.

Copper miners in Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal, have been in a dispute with the country’s energy regulator since it raised tariffs by almost 30 percent in 2014. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 2-Strong rouble, one-off expenses hit Russia’s Nornickel’s H1 earnings – by Polina Devitt (Reuters India – August 15, 2017)


MOSCOW, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Russia’s Norilsk Nickel reported a 3 percent fall in first-half core earnings on Tuesday, missing analysts’ forecasts, due to a stronger rouble and a jump in social expenses. The mining giant, known as Nornickel, said “one-off” costs lifted its social expenses to $196 million in the first half from $57 million a year ago.

This included the second tranche of a previously announced investment in a ski resort used in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the provisional cost of a long-term social agreement with the Zabaikalsky region, where some of its deposits are located.

Its first-half earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 3 percent year on year to $1.7 billion. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected first-half EBITDA at $1.8 billion. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Foundational policies can lead to bright future for Canada’s mineral and mining industry

Industry highlights top priorities at Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference

SAINT ANDREWS, NB–(Marketwired – August 14, 2017) – As Canada’s Energy and Mines Ministers convene for their 74th annual conference, a national coalition of mining associations is recommending several government actions to help unlock billions of economic activity across the country, address climate change, bolster reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples, and secure Canada as the world’s top supplier of sustainably-sourced minerals and metals in an increasingly lower carbon global economy.

A brief submitted by the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF) details six policy areas where provincial collaboration and action by governments can enhance Canada’s ability to attract new mineral investment and expand the mineral and mining industry’s vast socio-economic contributions to Canadians:

1. Improve the regulatory process: Given the importance of the regulatory regime to the mining industry’s competitiveness and Canada’s ability to compete against other countries for new mineral investment, it is critical that current reviews of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act, and the Navigation Protection Act result in an effective, timely and coordinated regulatory process, from pre-environmental assessment (EA) to post-EA permitting, with meaningful consultation. Continue Reading →

‘Hey gorgeous’: Meet 2 women sick of sexism and discrimination in mining – by Jamie Malbeuf (CBC News North – August 15, 2017)


Some women stay silent and endure unwelcome situations, others quit the industry

The crass, sexist attitudes that lead to a camera being planted in the women’s washroom of the Ekati diamond mine don’t surprise some women with experience working in the mining industry. On July 27, a camera hidden in the women’s washroom of the mine was brought to a camp administrator’s office for safe-keeping until security could arrive. But by the time they got there it was missing.

Ekati is about 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. Workers live at the mine, typically working shifts of two weeks on and two weeks off. RCMP and mine security are still investigating the camera incident, but two women with experience in the industry say the conditions that make an episode like this possible are all too common.

Kari Lentowicz worked at a mine in Saskatchewan for more than 12 years before she said she couldn’t take it anymore. “It was just a hard environment to work in,” said Lentowicz. “The men far outnumber the women and as far as mining goes, they really hardwire that gender disparity in there, into their camps.” Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-Gold rally is fuelled by Trump’s tweets, but that’s not enough – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – August 14, 201)


LAUNCESTON, Australia, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Gold’s rally in recent weeks may be its first boosted by Twitter, but for the gains to sustain it will likely take more than just the ramping up of global geopolitical tensions amid bellicose tweets from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Spot gold has jumped 7 percent from its recent intra-day low on July 10 to close at $1,288.81 an ounce on Aug. 11, it’s highest in two months. The precious metal is up 12 percent since the end of last year, and while there have been other factors behind the gains, the froth in the rally is almost certainly down to its appeal as a safe haven in times of heightened political risk.

Trump’s use of the social media site Twitter to threaten “fire and fury” against North Korea certainly raised the tensions around the isolated dictatorship’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capable of reaching the continental United States. Continue Reading →

These are the mining sector’s suggestions to the Canadian government – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – August 14, 2017)


The Mining Association of Canada together with the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada issued a press release Monday highlighting the topics the industry would like government officials to address during the Energy and Mines Ministers’ annual conference.

The conference, which is taking place in St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, between August 14th and 15th, is a formal meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for energy and mining portfolios.

Taking into account that this year’s overarching theme is “clean growth,” MAC and PDAC, in the name of a national coalition of mining associations gathered under the umbrella of the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation, detailed specific actions in six policy areas that, they believe, “should help unlock billions of economic activity across the country, address climate change, bolster reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples, and secure Canada as the world’s top supplier of sustainably-sourced minerals and metals.” Continue Reading →

[Sudbury Vale] Layoff talk premature, Bertrand says – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – August 15, 2017)


Vale may have to make some hard decisions in coming months regarding its operations in Sudbury, but the head of a local union says it’s premature to talk about job losses.

“In this case right now, there’s no numbers,” said Local 6500 president Rick Bertrand. “We’ve asked them straight out, is there going to be any layoffs of any kind, because there’s so many people talking about different numbers. What we got from the company is that there is not a number, they don’t have a number.”

Bertrand also said there has been no membership meeting to discuss layoffs, as The Star earlier reported, citing a source. “That’s totally not true,” he said. Concerns grew among workers over the past week after they were shown a Vale video suggesting tough times lie ahead. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Repricing aluminium’s supply risks is a chaotic work in progress – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – August 14, 2017)


LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Aluminium was the standout performer among the major industrial metals last week. On the London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month metal jumped by more than 7 percent to reach its highest in nearly three years at $2,048 a tonne.

China outdid even that, with the most actively traded contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) hitting a five-year high of 16,480 yuan a tonne amid an explosion in trading volumes and open interest. There is much speculative froth in these moves, particularly in Shanghai, but there is also a collective attempt to reassess this market’s supply risks.

China has embarked on a policy of closing “illegal” smelter capacity, meaning that which has been constructed without the full gamut of official approvals. This being China, the largest producer of aluminium in the world, there are big implications for supply. Continue Reading →

Artists, hippies, miners — Patagonia divided over hamlet’s economic future – by Lucas Waldron (Arizona Daily Star – August 13, 2017)


Patagonia has one bar, one coffee shop, one gas station. And customers at nearly all of them are divided between those in favor of a new mining project in this tiny southeastern-Arizona town and those against it.

Roughly half of Patagonia’s 900 residents support Arizona Mining Inc., a Canadian company that recently bought land near town for exploratory drilling. The rest oppose the mining company, seeking to preserve the region’s unique rare wildlife and steer the economy away from mineral extraction and toward environmental restoration.

Arizona Mining Inc. has vowed to create an estimated 500 jobs through a mine it plans to have up and running in 2020. In July, the company predicted the mine will extract 10,000 tons of minerals per day and could be viable for eight years. Continue Reading →

Miners Built on Wildcat Culture Now Want to Share the Risk – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – August 11, 2017)


Swashbuckling gamblers abound in the mining business, where billions are spent searching for mother lodes in some of the most inhospitable places on the planet. But a prolonged slump in metals and big losses on earlier solo projects are turning top producers into risk-avoiding wallflowers.

“The mining industry has lost its nerve,” said Mark Bristow, chief executive officer of Randgold Resource Ltd., a London-listed producer of gold in Africa. “The new fad in town is joint ventures. It’s very strange if you’re a major miner. They should be comfortable in their ability.”

At a time when prices are recovering — helping to make new projects viable again — metals producers including Anglo American Plc, BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group are seeking partners to share the investment risk rather than going it alone as they have in the past. Continue Reading →

Israeli police detain billionaire Steinmetz in fraud probe: source (Reuters U.S. – August 14, 2017)


JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli police on Monday detained Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and four other suspects for questioning in a fraud investigation, a source briefed on the case said.

Israeli authorities put Steinmetz under house arrest last December, releasing him two weeks later without charge, in a probe of bribery allegations relating to the activities of his mining firm BSG Resources in Africa. BSGR denied any wrongdoing.

At the time, police said he and other Israelis living abroad were alleged to have paid tens of millions of dollars to senior public officials in the West African state of Guinea to advance their business. Continue Reading →

As 777 winds down, Hudbay looks to Lalor – by D’Arcy Jenish (Canadian Mining Journal – June 2017)


For nearly a century – 90 years in December, to be precise – Hudbay Minerals has been the cornerstone and lifeblood of the northern Manitoba community of Flin Flon. But change is coming to this quintessential one-industry, resource-based Canadian town. In 2020, Hudbay is scheduled to close the 777 mine – its only remaining mining operation in the immediate vicinity of Flin Flon.

Meantime, the company is continuing to develop and expand its base and precious metal Lalor mine, which began producing in late 2014 and is located in Snow Lake, 215 km east of Flin Flon. “We have undertaken a program of re-evaluating exploration opportunities with the Flin Flon area,” says Cashel Meagher, Hudbay’s senior vice-president and chief operating officer. “The obvious future in northern Manitoba will divert from Flin Flon to Lalor. We want to perpetuate the life of the Lalor mine.”

In fact, the potential at Lalor has continued to increase since Hudbay launched an aggressive exploration program in 2007. The company drilled 180 holes from surface and identified a sizeable deposit of ore-grade material – zinc on top, copper beneath it and a halo of contact gold beneath the copper. Continue Reading →

B.C. environmental group urges stop to Ajax Mine project over water-safety concerns – by Mike Hager (Globe and Mail – August 14, 2017)


VANCOUVER – An environmental group is asking the local bureaucrat in charge of Kamloops’ drinking water to stop a controversial billion-dollar mining project that could soon be approved by the provincial government.

The University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre mailed a letter to the local drinking-water officer Monday alleging previous environmental studies done on the Ajax Mine proposal, owned by the Polish firm KGHM, did not take into account how toxic chemicals from the open-pit copper and gold mine could contaminate surface water to leach into a nearby creek and two aquifers that provide drinking water to more than 100 residents. A Vancouver-based representative of the company was unavailable for comment on Friday.

The province is expected to issue its environmental assessment certificate as early as this fall, but this independent bureaucrat has the power to order the company to stop the project until it properly addresses the risks posed to the local water supply, according to Calvin Sandborn, the legal director of the UVic centre leading the campaign to stop the mine. Continue Reading →

The Investment Bank Tipping Gold to Hit $1,400 – by Swansy Afonso (Bloomberg News – August 14, 2017)


Gold prices are set to jump to a four-year high of $1,400 an ounce by the end of the year over mounting tensions between North Korea and the U.S., and surging demand in the world’s biggest consumers, according to the head of precious metals at a Russian investment bank.

Bullion could rise to $1,360 within three months before climbing higher, fueled by global political risks and buying from China and India, said Evgeny Ananiev at VTB Capital JSC, the investment-banking unit of Russia’s second-largest lender VTB Group. “We may see some correction, but I don’t think gold will drop below $1,200 as it’s well supported,” he said in a weekend interview in Goa. The metal traded at $1,281.86 on Monday.

Prices have climbed 12 percent this year, driven by worries over a potential nuclear conflict between the U.S. and North Korea, and subdued inflation in the U.S., which is cooling chances of a further increase in interest rates. Continue Reading →