31st October 2014

Canadian gold stocks crushed amid bad earnings, bad prices – by Peter Koven (National Post – October 31, 2014)

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

Canadian gold miners picked the wrong week to report a bad batch of earnings and run into political turmoil.

With the Federal Reserve announcing an end to quantitative easing, investor sentiment for the precious metal is at its lowest point in months. So when a few of the large miners reported disappointing results, they got absolutely no sympathy from the market.

Shares of Goldcorp Inc. (down 13%), Yamana Gold Inc. (down 16%) and Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (down 12%) were all hammered after reporting poor third quarter earnings. Their competitors also got dragged down in the rout as gold prices dropped back below US$1,200 an ounce.

In this sort of market, it is no surprise that investors did not look kindly at political risk either. Shares of Iamgold Corp. and SEMAFO Inc., which both operate in Burkina Faso, fell sharply as protests intensified against President Blaise Compaoré, who is eager to extend his protracted 27-year term.

While the gold stocks may rebound quickly from Thursday’s beatdown, the day provided a stark reminder that the sector does not make much money at current prices. And the companies with higher debt or operating costs could face liquidity concerns if prices stay at these levels for the long haul. Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

Coal mining comeback? – by Melissa Villeneuve(Lethbridge Herald – October 30, 2014)


The Crowsnest Pass has a rich history in the coal-mining industry. While there hasn’t been a working coal mine in southern Alberta for decades, an Australian company, Riversdale Resources, hopes to revive that.

Riversdale Resources has acquired property at Grassy Mountain and plans to build an open-pit mine producing two to four million tonnes of high-quality coking coal per year over 28 years. The company plans to export it to the Asian steel-making industry.

Managing director Steve Mallyon said there isn’t a lot of new coal supply coming online, and they found the quality of the coal in the Crowsnest Pass region is suitable for high-quality steel-making.

“Grassy itself has very good-quality coking coal, a significant reserve there we inherited plus we added to. We have rail and infrastructure on the doorstep, but also being a town that services the coal industry already, there are a lot of people in that area that have a connection to the coal industry.”

The first coal mine in the Crowsnest Pass opened in 1900, and many of the surrounding communities were mining towns. Mallyon said there are many benefits in coming to a community rich with mining experience. Many who live in the area work across the border at Teck in Sparwood, B.C. Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

Energy East is worth the fight – by Claudia Cattaneo (National Post – October 31, 2014)

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

TransCanada Corp.’s twin-cities news conference Thursday to announce the filing of its Energy East application to the National Energy Board was pipeline theatre at its finest.

After 18 months of planning, the company presented to the world a 30,000-page document — filling 68 binders in 11 official-looking boxes — to provide evidence in support of the $12-billion project.

The Calgary-based company pulled out all the stops: There were panels of top executives in both Toronto and Quebec City to explain the benefits, representatives of business, trade unions, and municipalities present to demonstrate the depth and breadth of support, simultaneous French/English translation and no question left unanswered — about whether the project threatens beluga whales, whether it contributes to climate change or whether the company deserves to be trusted given some recent incidents in its system.

“At over 30,000 pages, the document is one of the most extensive regulatory applications ever developed in our history,” Russ Girling, president and CEO of TransCanada told media in Toronto. “The final result is a body of work that I believe achieves what we set out to do many months ago, and that is to listen — we listened to communities, businesses, governments, landowners and other stakeholders across this country.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image | 0 Comments

31st October 2014

Barrick faces new setback over Zambia mine – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – October 31, 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.

Barrick Gold Corp. may idle its Zambian copper mine if the African government imposes a higher royalty, a potential blow to the Canadian company, which has worked hard to turn its fortunes around.

The world’s largest gold producer was in discussions with the government about reducing the proposed 20-per-cent rate when the Zambian president died this week, adding more uncertainty to the negotiations.

“At the end of the day if we are in a position where through a new tax regime the project doesn’t make money, then certainly we would have to consider suspending for a period of time,” Kelvin Dushnisky, Barrick’s co-president, said in an interview. “The copper remains in the ground. It’s not going anywhere. It wouldn’t make sense for us to run the mine just for the purpose of paying royalties and taxes.”

It’s another sign that the challenges are not over for Barrick, which like the rest of the gold industry continues to grapple with the fallout from weaker gold prices and expensive acquisitions gone wrong.

“The gold producers are stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Pawel Rajszel, analyst with Veritas Investment Research. “There’s just not much the gold producers can do, except hope for a higher gold price.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

[Ian Ball] Out of McEwen’s shadow – by Kip Keen (Mineweb.com – October 31, 2014)


Ian Ball, former president of McEwen Mining, opens up. We talk opportunity next to Canada’s largest gold mine through Abitibi Royalties.

HALIFAX, NS (MINEWEB) – Ian Ball made a surprising career choice earlier this year. He left the relative comfort of McEwen Mining – groomed by Rob McEwen, the company’s chairman, controlling shareholder and also the former head of Goldcorp, to the position of president – to join a much smaller junior explorer called Abitibi Royalties. He’d been at McEwen for over a decade.

Or maybe it wasn’t so surprising.

In leaving, Ball, the right hand man of McEwen – who is no conservative in his approach to company building and discovery – showed he too is a risk taker, not just a career seeker.

Ball, now President of Abitibi, says in leaving McEwen he looks to create something according to his own vision, “the best gold company in the world,” he says at one point in a recent interview.

In describing his approach to building companies, and the reason why he wanted to join Abitibi Royalties, he turns to analogies meant to inspire awe, examples that struck him earlier this year and last in the tech sector. Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

Toronto mining company Sherritt to sell head office – by Lisa Wright (Toronto Star – October 30, 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.

Toronto-based mining company Sherritt International Inc. says it’s cutting the size of its head office workforce by 25 per cent and preparing to sell its Toronto office building.

Amid tumbling commodity prices, Sherritt International Inc. has begun a major restructuring that includes cutting its workforce by 10 per cent and the sale of its head office in Toronto, which will affect one-quarter of its staff.

The downsizing and real estate sales, including the Yonge St.-Summerhill Ave. headquarters and the technology division offices in Fort Saskatchewan, are expected to save the miner $10 million annually, said chief executive David Pathe Wednesday after releasing its third-quarter earnings.

The financial results included a net loss of $51.3 million from continuing operations in the three months ended Sept. 30 compared with a profit of $1.1 million a year earlier, before Sherritt sold its coal operations in Western Canada.

“It feels like the bottom of a bear market. And what are the signposts? Layoffs are one,” said veteran mining industry analyst Barry Allan of Mackie Research Capital Corp. Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

Friedland’s Plan for $1.6 Billion Platinum Mine at Impasse – by Franz Wild (Bloomberg News – October 31, 2014)


Construction of the biggest platinum mine planned since 1993 is being delayed because of an impasse between billionaire Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (IVN) and South Africa’s mines ministry over the extent to which local communities will benefit.

South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources delayed authorization to start building the $1.6 billion Platreef mine by 12 weeks to a target date of Nov. 26, saying some elements of the company’s plan to benefit the surrounding community were “sketchy” and did “not offer much,” according to an Oct. 2 letter sent to Ivanhoe and seen by Bloomberg. The department said its demands were “not exhaustive” and it may request “further clarification” before it gives the go-ahead.

Ivanhoe Chief Executive Officer Lars-Eric Johansson said in an Oct. 9 response to the mineral resources department, a copy of which Bloomberg has obtained, that “We believe that each and every formal request by your department to date has been accommodated.”

The department’s demands come amid opposition by some groups from one of South Africa’s poorest communities in northern Limpopo province over how Ivanplats, the Vancouver-based company’s local unit, brokered a deal to sell community members a stake in the project to meet government requirements.

South African mines minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi has asked to meet Friedland to resolve issues, the department said Oct. 30 in an e-mailed response to questions. Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

Ring of Fire ‘zero hope’ comment ‘startles’ mining minister – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – October 31, 2014)


Michael Gravelle says latest comments from Cliffs only ‘solidify’ province’s commitment

Ontario’s mining minister says the Liberal promise to spend $1 billion dollars in the Ring of Fire still stands, despite dire words from the project’s main proponent.

Cliffs Natural Resources new chief executive officer told the Financial Post on Tuesday that he has ‘zero hope’ that the chromite mining project in Northern Ontario will be developed anytime soon.

“The comments from the CEO of Cliffs were somewhat startling,” said Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle. “What’s interesting about his comments is how quickly they were criticized by other members of the mining ministry who indicated they think he is wrong.”

Gravelle said 20 other mining companies have interests in the Ring of Fire. Many mining analysts believe those companies don’t have the financial backing to develop the project, but Gravelle remains optimistic.

“I think it only serves to solidify our commitment in terms of the one billion,” he said. “We recognize just how vital it is to build the infrastructure to what will be an extraordinary economic development project.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Who will win in the resource revolution?

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

Unless Canadian mining companies do a better job of controlling their costs, they won’t be able to maximize benefits from the global resource revolution, cautioned a leading business consultant. Robert Samek, a director of McKinsey & Company and lead on its Canadian mineral and energy practice, was a keynote speaker at an Ontario Mining Association board of directors meeting earlier this week.

The title of Mr. Samek’s presentation was “Canada’s competitive position in the resource revolution.” “Canadian miners need to figure out how to make the most of that revolution,” he said. Despite short term price fluctuations, he foresees a huge increase in the demand for minerals.

“It took the U.K. 150 years to double its GDP. It took Japan 33 years to double its GDP. Now, China and India are doing that in 10 to 15 years,” said Mr. Samek. “This pace of change is unprecedented. It is a middle class explosion.”

He estimates to size of the middle class consuming society on a global scale to triple between 2010 and 2030. “There is a continuing march to urban centres,” he said. “People are not going to be middle class living on the farm.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Ontario Mining, Ontario Mining Association | 0 Comments

31st October 2014

UPDATE 3-Vale posts surprise loss, shares dive – by Stephen Eisenhammer (Reuters U.K. – October 30, 2014)


Oct 30 (Reuters) – Vale posted a surprise $1.44 billion loss, and its shares tumbled to a 5-1/2-year low as investors worried about the cost of the Brazilian miner’s expansion plans and a possible cut to its dividend in a new era of lower iron ore prices.

Vale SA cited low iron ore prices and a weak local currency for the third-quarter loss. A Reuters poll of seven analysts had forecast quarterly net profit of $956 million. A year earlier, Vale had a net profit of $3.5 billion.

Shares in Vale, the world’s largest producer of iron ore, fell as much as 4 percent on Thursday even as Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 2 percent.

Vale is attempting to boost production and cut costs as it competes with Australian rivals Rio Tinto Ltd and BHP Billiton Ltd at a time when slack demand from steel makers has pushed iron ore prices near five-year-lows.

Vale, and Brazil in general, enjoyed years of rapid growth as Chinese demand for commodities boomed. But Chinese growth has begun to slow, pressuring commodity prices and hurting Vale as well as the wider Brazilian economy.

Vale mined a record amount of iron ore during the quarter, but the slight production rise was not enough to offset the plunge in price. Rivals Rio and BHP have added capacity and cut costs more quickly. Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

Alberta pushes for rule change to spur Chinese investment – by Nathan Vanderklippe (Globe and Mail – October 31, 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.

BEIJING — Alberta’s new political leadership is calling on Ottawa to take another look at foreign investment rules blamed for a dramatic drop in energy investments from China.

When the federal government gave its approval of the $15.1-billion (U.S.) takeover of Nexen Energy ULC in late 2012, it came with a caveat: a raft of new policies intended to ensure such a deal would not happen again. Canada is not “for sale to foreign governments,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said as he effectively blacklisted state-owned companies from further oil-sands takeovers.

The guidelines sparked worry in China, and prompted warnings from the energy industry, bankers and lawyers. The guidelines, some have said, are discriminatory against China, and have blocked a major source of money that could be used to build a new generation of Fort McMurray-area projects.

Now, the Alberta government itself is taking up those concerns with the federal government, in hopes of again prying open the spigots from China. “We are urging a review of some of the quick changes that were done to our Investment Canada Act,” said Ron Hoffmann, the province’s newly named senior representative for the Asia-Pacific Basin.

Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image | 0 Comments

31st October 2014

Enhanced airport best option [Ring of Fire] – by Rick Millette (Timmins Press – October 30, 2014)


Rick Millette is a senior executive director at the Ring of Fire at Northern Policy Institute.

TIMMINS – Fly in. Fly out. It’s been the mantra of remote mines since governments and industry realized they were often left holding the bag for mining towns when the minerals were gone. Roads, water systems and schools remained but were not sustainable by the few taxpayers left behind.

It was a hard lesson, so now fly-in operations make sense when an ore body might only last a couple of decades. A temporary camp can be built to house hundreds of workers with all the comforts of home and then be easily dismantled when no longer needed.

But what should the strategic policy be when an ore body is multi-generational? The Ring of Fire is a 100-year resource, with some claiming 200 years. That’s a realistic projection based on known mineral reserves and when compared to other large ore bodies like Sudbury.

Sudbury’s depth and breadth of minerals is nowhere near exhaustion after 131 years. In addition, the Ring holds more than chromite. A host of other metals are abundantly present, offering mining longevity in their own right.

All this to say that the Ring of Fire may not fit the model for fly-in mining camps. A mining resource that can sustain a community for a hundred years or more has time to diversify beyond dependence on its mining base. Sudbury and Timmins being just two examples in Northern Ontario. Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

Long-Term Lower Gold Supply To Help Gold Prices – Goldcorp’s Chuck Jeannes – by Alex Létourneau (Kitco News – October 30, 2014)


(Kitco News) – Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G)(NYSE:GG) is bullish on longer-term gold prices, and it’s not based on what the Fed may or may not do, said a Goldcorp executive.

Speaking on the company’s third-quarter conference call, Chuck Jeannes, president and chief executive officer, made it clear that the focus on gold prices shouldn’t be near-sighted.

“During most of this year, the debate of when and how the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates helped fuel the downward pressure on gold price, and we’re seeing that today,” Jeannes said. “I believe this focus on short-term gold catalysts ignores an important trend in greater long-term importance.

“Put simply, our industry is not discovering as much gold as it once did despite significant increase exploration investment,” he continued. “As such, it is reasonable to conclude that global gold production is facing a sustained multi-year decline that cannot help but positively impact the supply/demand fundamentals, and therefore the price of gold.

“In other words, I don’t believe our industry will ever mine as much gold as we do in 2015,” he added. Jeannes said the company is bullish on long-term gold prices and believes that will translate into more success for companies well placed down the line. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Gold and Silver, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media | 0 Comments

31st October 2014

Canada: Ontario Premier Wynne Mandates Aboriginal Priorities – by Julie Abouchar and Nicole Petersen (Mondaq.com – October 31, 2014)


Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released mandate letters to her cabinet ministers on September 25, 2014, outlining key priorities for each ministry. Premier Wynne’s marching orders include many Aboriginal priorities.

Key Aboriginal priorities connected to environmental, energy and natural resource issues relate to socio-economic opportunities, sharing resource benefits, negotiations in the Ring of Fire, land claims, treaty and consultation issues, drinking water quality and dialogue with the federal government. Notable among the Premier’s Aboriginal priorities is the movement towards developing a coherent policy for improving drinking water quality and plans to develop mining interests in northern Ontario.

Energy Projects and Programs

Remote Transmission Projects – The Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA) will create an Aboriginal Economic Development Fund for Aboriginal communities and businesses to improve opportunities for employment and business development. Specifically, MAA will partner with the Minister of Energy (ME) to create the Remote Electrification Readiness Program. This will position Aboriginal communities to benefit from remote transmission projects. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

30th October 2014



October 30, 2014

OTTAWA – Following claims from Cliffs Resources’ chief executive officer that the future of the Ring of Fire is in question, New Democrats are demanding Conservatives drop the silent treatment and work to make sure the project moves forward.

Today, NDP MP Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt) demanded answers from the Conservatives as to when Northern Ontarians can finally expect the economic investment in the Ring of Fire they’ve been promised.

Claude Gravelle:

The new CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources sees zero hope of developing the Ring of Fire in the next 50 years, he cites no plan, no infrastructure, no leadership.

This means no jobs, no investments for Northern Ontario and no benefits to Ontario’s broader mining, finance and technology sectors.

Almost all of the government’s Ring of Fire announcements failed to materialize. When will this government show the leadership it promised over a year ago and work with ‎Ontario to make Ring of Fire happen? Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario Politics, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

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