31st July 2014

Mittal, Glencore Said to Be Among Potential Simandou Bids – by Thomas Biesheuvel and Jesse Riseborough (Bloomberg News – July 31, 2014)


Lakshmi Mittal’s ArcelorMittal (MT) and Glencore Plc are among potential bidders for Guinea’s Simandou project, the world’s largest untapped iron-ore deposit, after it was seized from Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz in April, according to people familiar with the matter.

ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, has declared an interest in the bidding process for two licenses covering the Simandou project in Guinea, according to four people who asked not to be identified as the talks aren’t public. Glencore is also interested, people familiar with its plans said.

Leading mining and steelmaking companies are jostling for a share of the riches contained in Simandou, a remote, iron-bearing mountain range, to take advantage of prices for the raw material that have risen about 50 percent since 2008. Guinea has estimated that Simandou may cost $20 billion to develop, largely because it needs a 650-kilometer (400-mile) rail link.

Spokesmen for ArcelorMittal and Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Glencore was interested in Simandou.

The iron-ore position of Glencore pales in comparison with rivals BHP Billiton Ltd., Rio Tinto Group and Vale SA. (VALE5) Still, Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg has previously expressed reluctance to invest in expensive new mining operations known as “greenfield” projects. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in International Media Resource Articles, Iron Ore | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

B.C. approves $5.3-billion copper-gold KSM mine – by James Keller (Globe and Mail – July 30, 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 — The Canadian Press – The British Columbia government has granted environmental approval for a proposed $5.3-billion mine in the province’s north, which would tap into one of the largest gold and copper deposits in the world and has already received support from local First Nations.

The provincial environment and mines ministers issued an environmental assessment certificate Wednesday to Seabridge Gold Inc. for the company’s KSM project, also known as Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell.

Seabridge has applied to open the project more than 900 kilometres northwest of Vancouver, where the company says it would be able to mine 38.2 million ounces of gold and almost 5 billion kilograms of copper – enough to produce 130,000 tonnes of ore per day for up to 52 years.

The company says the project would create 1,800 jobs during construction and more than 1,000 permanent jobs if it gets up and running, though Seabridge also notes it still must find a partner to fund and actually build the mine.

B.C. Mines Minister Bill Bennett said the project would be a boon to the province’s economy and First Nations in the region. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, British Columbia Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Copper | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

Australian plus-sized model Robyn Lawley opens up about her nude coal mining protest (News.com.au – July 31, 2014)


MODEL Robyn Lawley has come clean about her revealing nude protest against coal mining, taking Prime Minister Tony Abbott to task over his green credentials.

The 25-year-old Lawley, currently in New York, posted an image on her Instagram account earlier this week showing her stomach, breasts and “Stop coal mining” scrawled across her stomach in red lipstick.

Robyn said the protest was in response to the Federal Government’s approval of the Carmichael Coal Mine in Queensland.
Today she has taken another swipe at Prime Minister Tony Abbott, criticising his scrapping of the carbon tax earlier this month.

“After running a campaign that bewildered the public and convinced citizens they would have to pay said tax through increased energy bills, our leaders were able to shut the (carbon price) system down,” Lawley said.

“What’s the big deal? That scheme was meant to be a powerful incentive for all businesses to cut their pollution and by investing the tax dollars in clean technology and solutions.”

The popular model also raised her concerns about the government’s support for the expansion of the massive Abbott Point Coal Terminal in north Queensland. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Australia Mining and History, Coal, International Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

RPT-COLUMN-Rio’s Mozambique debacle sows seeds of next commodity boom – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – July 31, 2014)


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

LAUNCESTON, Australia, July 31 (Reuters) – While it’s easy to point the finger of blame at Rio Tinto’s former management and feel a tad smug about their downfall, the real lesson of the company’s humiliating exit from its Mozambique coal assets is that the wheels of the next commodity boom are now in motion.

This may seem counterintuitive at first, as once all the arguments over Rio Tinto’s wisdom of paying $4 billion to gain a foothold in Mozambique are stripped away, it comes down to the fact that weak coal prices made it uneconomic to spend any more to develop the mines and infrastructure.

Oversupply in the coal sector has been a chronic problem, and given the amount of mine capacity that is currently under-utilised, it’s likely that prices will struggle for some time to come even if optimistic demand projections are met.

When Rio bought Riversdale’s Mozambique assets in 2011, thermal coal prices at Australia’s Newcastle port, an Asian benchmark, had peaked at $136.30 a tonne in January of that year. Coking coal reached an eye-watering $330 a tonne at mid-year.

Since then, prices have plunged. Newcastle thermal coal is currently $67.89 a tonne, while Australian spot coking coal fetches about $114 a tonne. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Africa Mining, Coal, International Media Resource Articles, Rio Tinto | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

Cliffs and Casablanca – the start of a beautiful friendship? – by Northern Miner Editorial (July 30, 2014)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry.

It’s the biggest shareholder revolt of the current downturn in mining, but as we go to press it looks like Casablanca Capital has succeeded fulsomely in its long-shot bid to swamp the 11-member board of Cliffs Natural Resources with six of its own nominees.

Cleveland-based Cliffs is a major producer of iron ore and metallurgical coal worldwide, but its share price has suffered in the past three years owing to a combination of low iron ore and coal prices, and overexpansions into such ill-fated projects as its chromite project in Ontario’s Ring of Fire region.

Earlier this year, Cliffs idled its high-cost Wabush iron ore mine in Labrador and suspended an expansion of its Bloom Lake iron ore mine in Quebec, and is now set to idle its Pinnacle coal mine in West Virginia for more than six months starting in late August.

In the lead-up to the vote, Cliffs woes showed in its second-quarter net loss of US$2 million on revenues of US$1 billion. That compares with net earnings of US$133.1 million, or US82¢ per share, on revenues of $1.4 billion in the same quarter of 2013.

Based in New York and founded in 2010 by Donald G. Drapkin and Douglas Taylor, Casablanca Capital describes itself as an “event-driven and activist investment manager.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Cliffs Natural Resources, Iron Ore | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

One Ring of Fire approach to rule them all – by Andrew Reeves (CIM Magazine – August 2014)


Ontario’s development corporation plan criticized in new reports

Almost everyone with a stake in the Ring of Fire wants to see development in the region move ahead. But when it comes to determining how to do that, the consensus evaporates. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has pledged to form a regional development corporation (Devco) to govern the Ring of Fire’s advancement within 60 days of taking office. But in recent weeks, alternative processes have been proposed that seek to put industry in the driver’s seat and help it take a more holistic approach towards environmental protection.

Last November, Ontario Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle announced a solution to break the logjam that had seized the region, which his government boasts holds a known mineral potential of $60 billion. Prompted by infrastructure squabbles between rival miners, Gravelle became convinced of the need to create a process to hear from First Nations, industry and government on how to proceed.

The Liberals proposed a not-for-profit Devco, which the government would lead, to set the pace and tone of development in the Ring of Fire and bring disparate voices to the negotiating table. The Ontario government would have control over the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of all infrastructure built. Consulting firm Deloitte was brought aboard last February to begin work on a technical infrastructure report and handle the legalese of forming a new governance structure. Deloitte will also be there to act as a neutral, third-party resource for all stakeholders in the Devco in case tempers flare or disagreements persist. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

Gold miners report weaker-than-expected earnings; Barrick names two new directors – by Peter Koven (National Post – July 30, 2014)

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

Canada’s gold miners maintain they are operating well and continuing to find ways to cut costs. However, their second quarter earnings still fell below expectations.

Barrick Gold Corp., Kinross Gold Corp. and Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. all had positive things to report as they released Q2 results on Wednesday evening. Notably, Barrick lowered its cost guidance for the year, while Agnico raised its production guidance. But the stocks dropped in after-market trading as each result was slightly below consensus analyst estimates.

Barrick’s earnings were highlighted by the surprise announcement that it is naming two new directors, one of whom is a longtime associate of chairman John Thornton.

Michael Evans was a Canadian gold medalist in rowing in 1984, and was formerly vice chairman at Goldman Sachs. He worked closely with Mr. Thornton in their Goldman days, and his appointment will likely fuel further speculation that Mr. Thornton is consolidating his power at Barrick . Some investors already believe that is the case following the gold miner’s move to replace chief executive Jamie Sokalsky with two co-presidents earlier this month.

The other new director is Brian Greenspun, a prominent publishing and telecommunications tycoon in Nevada, which remains Barrick’s most important mining jurisdiction. Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st July 2014

KGHM Starts Copper Output in Chile After Record Takeover – by Maciej Martewicz (Bloomberg News – July 31, 2014)


KGHM Polska Miedz SA, the copper producer with the largest European output, began production in its Chilean mine, acquired two years ago as part of a record Polish takeover transaction abroad.

The Sierra Gorda mine will operate at full capacity at the start of 2015 and will produce 120,000 tons of copper a year, the Lubin, Poland-based company said in a regulatory statement today. KGHM will also produce 50 million pounds of molybdenum, used to toughen stainless steel, and 60,000 ounces of gold annually in the mine.

KGHM acquired the Sierra Gorda project as part of its $2.9 billion takeover of Canada’s Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. in 2012. The state-controlled company expands outside Poland as it seeks to cut production costs and raise output.

“The start of Sierra Gorda production will help us cut unit cost in the group,” Chief Financial Officer Jaroslaw Romanowski said in an e-mailed statement today. “This is mainly due to additional products from the site, like gold as well as molybdenum, whose price is currently one fourth above what we initially estimated.”

KGHM produced 666,000 tons of copper in its Polish and northern American sites last year at an average cost of $1.85 a pound, which includes $0.53-a-pound impact of Polish copper taxes imposed in 2012. The production cost at Sierra Gorda is estimated at $1.13 a pound, according to its presentation. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Copper, Europe Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Latin America Mining | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

The reindeer herders battling an iron ore mine in Sweden – by Stuart Hughes (BBC News – July 30, 2014)


Northern Sweden – There are eight seasons in the Sami calendar. Each coincides with a stage in the life of their reindeer.

In the mountains near the border between Sweden and Norway, at the height of the summer season the Sami call Giessie, the reindeer herders mark the newborn calves that are just beginning to roam this land.

For a few short months, the sun never dips below the horizon. It is a way of life that the Sami, Europe’s only indigenous people, have followed for thousands of years. It is now one they say faces an uncertain future. A British company, Beowulf Mining, has been carrying out test drilling for iron ore in the area.

It says analysis of samples from its proposed Kallak iron ore mine are encouraging – the ore extracted from deep beneath the ground appears to be of a high quality.

Kallak is one of the largest known iron ore deposits in Scandinavia that has yet to be exploited. Beowulf is waiting for the Swedish authorities to decide whether to approve its application for a 25-year mining concession.

Eventually, the company hopes to extract up to 10m tonnes of iron ore a year at the mine. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Europe Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Iron Ore | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

Expanding iron mine returns Minnesota to its road-moving ways – by Dan Kraker (Minnesota Public Radio News – July 30, 2014)


Virginia – Every day, 10,000 cars zip along Highway 53, one of the Iron Range’s most vital transportation arteries.

Just a few hundred feet from the roadway, between Virginia and Eveleth, hidden by a strip of trees, the earth falls away into a mammoth mine pit, where four-story tall trucks scrape red ore out of the ground. The proximity of the road to the excavation site points to the need to move the highway away from the expanding mine – a project that could cost more than $400 million.

“If you were in our mine pit now you would see that we are as close to that highway as we can be,” said Sandy Karnowski, a spokeswoman for Cliffs Natural Resources, which operates United Taconite.

Four years ago Cliffs approached the Minnesota Department of Transportation about moving the highway. When the state first built the road in 1960, it agreed to move it if the mineral rights owner ever wanted to access the ore underneath.

“If United Taconite cannot mine the ore under the current highway, it would reduce the life of mine, which would impact the jobs and the economic impact we have to the area,” Karnowski said.

It may seem crazy, to move an entire highway, but it’s not as unusual as it sounds. On the Iron Range, there’s a long history of moving roads – and entire towns — to make way for mining. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in International Media Resource Articles, Iron Ore, Minnesota Duluth Complex and Iron Range, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

Ontario energy isolationism tops Quebec separatism – Martin Regg Cohn (Toronto Star – July 31, 2014)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Quebec is awash with cheap power. Ontario is burdened by rising electricity prices. Time to talk.

Quebec is awash with cheap power as yet more hydro dams come on stream. Ontario is burdened by rising electricity prices and an aging fleet of nuclear reactors. Time to talk?

Kathleen Wynne and her Quebec counterpart, Philippe Couillard, will connect by telephone in mid-August ahead of a premiers’ summit in P.E.I. later that month. Electricity and a national energy strategy are on the agenda.

Conceptually, co-operation seems a good fit. Politically, however, it’s a high-wire balancing act fraught with interprovincial tensions.

Ontario has historically sought energy self-sufficiency, anchored in nuclear power. Quebec has sold its electricity to the highest bidder south of the border. For decades, it seemed as if Quebec was practicing electricity separatism, while Ontario indulged in energy isolationism.

Now, energy conservationists in both provinces are lobbying their governments with a sense of urgency. They hope to dissuade Ontario from committing to the costly refurbishment of its nuclear reactors when cheaper hydroelectricity can be bought from Quebec. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Mining Power Issues | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

Canada’s great First Nations experiment – by Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail – July 30, 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.

Canada, without being sure precisely how to proceed, is trying to do something with aboriginal peoples in its midst that no other country in the world is attempting.

The effort involves taking the principles and statements of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 about fair treatment of natives and respect for their rights and updating and giving practical effect to those ideals for the 21st century.

Necessarily, this is a complex task in today’s world, since aboriginals account for a small fraction of Canada’s population (perhaps 4 per cent), compared with their majority position in the mid-to-late 18th century in the territory we now call Canada.

Almost 60 per cent of First Nations communities have fewer than 1,000 persons, but that description misleads since in many cases members have left their reserves or traditional areas. That these “nations” number in the hundreds and are scattered across most of Canada means, among other practical things, that they have – and historically have had – little in common one with the other. As a result, they are always going to struggle, whatever their “title” to land and other aboriginal rights, to deliver what they demand: self-government. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

31st July 2014

Suites offer comfort for weary business travellers [Cobalt mining tourism] – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – July 29, 2014)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

To say it was impulse for Nicole Guertin to purchase a century-old mansion while on a brief 2003 visit to Haileybury is a gross understatement.

But Guertin, who, along with her partner, Jocelyn Blais, is the proprietor of Presidents’ Suites and Prospector’s House guest homes, was so struck by the beauty and history of Temiskaming, she followed through on her instinct.

“A lot of people in the North — Timmins, Kapuskasing — we come down and we’re always in a hurry; we never come through Haileybury, so we don’t know what’s here,” said Guertin, who hails from Kapuskasing. “It was really the first time I came here, and I was surprised how beautiful it was.”

The house isn’t like any other. The rambling mansion overlooking Lake Temiskaming along Millionaires’ Row was built in 1906 by Arthur Ferland, a mining bigwig who struck it rich during the Cobalt silver-mining boom. His wealth was reinvested into the original Timmins gold discovery and helped build the industry there.

Despite the home’s grandeur, it required a lot of work to bring it up to a high standard, and when zoning complications thwarted Guertin’s original plan for a B&B, she opted for suites instead, completely gutting the home and rebuilding it one room at a time. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Cobalt, Mining Tourism, Northern Ontario History, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media | 0 Comments

30th July 2014

Getting it right in the ring may take decades – by Rick Millette (Sudbury Star – July 30, 2014)

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

Rick Millette is from the Northern Policy Institute.

Like the children who anticipate the big day coming, Northern Ontarians are finding it painfully difficult to stop themselves from diving under the tree and ripping open the prize that awaits. But wait they must.

“We can and we will create a much better, a much stronger, Ontario and Canada through the Ring of Fire,” says Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle. “and we will do it right.”

The federal minister responsible for the Ring of Fire, Greg Rickford, said much the same when telling Canadian Press that “this is a legacy resource project and we want to get it right for the multi generations of Northern Ontarians that can benefit from this.”

It’s hard to argue with the rationale of taking the time and “getting it right.” However, there’s another determining factor at play. That factor is the reality of how mining projects usually unfold from discovery to development.

About 150 kilometers to the east of the Ring of Fire, there is the DeBeers Victor diamond mine. Access is only possible by winter road or aircraft. DeBeers had to build an ore processing mill, on-site accommodations and operational buildings, as well as a 90-kilometer hydro line and an airstrip to start up. Before that, there were time-eaters like environmental studies, agreements with First Nation Communities, training plans and hiring. Not to be forgotten is the actual digging to get at the diamonds, via a large open pit operation. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

30th July 2014

Platinum future: Provide dignity, prevent strikes – by Greg Nicolson (Daily Maverick South Africa – July 30, 2014)


The platinum strikes may seem a distant memory to those not working in the industry. While the companies figure out how they’re going to cover the losses and the high increases, work is underway to address some of the underlying causes of the unrest, such as housing. Little has been done, but this could be the year that changes it all.

Thumeka Maswanoqana stood to tell her story of Wonderkop, Marikana.

“There are no proper structures or buildings. There is no water, no electricity,” the Sikala Sonke Women’s Organisation member told the Marikana Commission. “People use pit toilets. It is very difficult. When it’s raining – as we’re in shacks – when it’s raining the workers will stand on top of their beds … These workers work under difficult circumstances, but they are staying in very unbearable places.

“Their lives was supposed to be easy [but] even the people who died during the strike asking for more pay don’t have houses,” said Maswanoqana, speaking in April at Wits University. “We are living under difficult circumstances. Right now during this strike the poverty in Marikana is very bad.”

After this year’s five-month strike at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Lonmin, and Impala Platinum (Implats), it was clear discontent among mineworkers went beyond just wage issues. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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