21st July 2014

Wary investors slow to warm to Barrick Gold’s latest shakeup – by Euan Rocha (Reuters U.S. – July 21, 2014)


(Reuters) – Worried they are being given the cold shoulder by an imperious leadership, shareholders of Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s biggest gold miner, are taking a “show me” approach to the company’s latest management shakeup.

Barrick said last week that Chief Executive Jamie Sokalsky will leave the company in September. He will be replaced by two co-presidents, a move that concentrates power in the hands of Executive Chairman John Thornton, a man handpicked for the job by Peter Munk, who founded the company and ran it his way for decades.

“The concern in this situation is that the person setting the strategy does not listen to the shareholders, who are the real owners of the company,” said Chris Mancini, an analyst at Gabelli Gold Fund, which owns more than 2.4 million shares in Barrick according to Thomson Reuters data.

“There was a concern within the market that Mr. Munk was not listening to shareholders…And so if Mr. Thornton also doesn’t listen to shareholders that could be a problem again.”

Munk stepped down as chairman in April in the face of investor criticism, and with the exit of Sokalsky, Thornton is now both more free and under greater pressure to map out a clear strategy to cut Barrick’s lofty debt levels, boost profits and eventually raise dividends. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st July 2014

Mozambique trying to ease coal companies’ pain, but no tax breaks – by Pascal Fletcher (Reuters Africa – July 21, 2014)


MAPUTO (Reuters) – Mozambique is discussing with its foreign coal mining partners ways to help them ride out depressed markets but will not be offering special tax breaks to ease the pain, its mineral resources minister said on Monday.

Esperanca Bias told Reuters the government understood that companies such as Vale of Brazil and Rio Tinto, which helped Mozambique to start up in 2011 as a coal producer and exporter, were feeling the pain of depressed global prices for coal used in steelmaking and generating power.

The southern African nation, which still bears the scars of a 1975-1992 civil war, has the world’s fourth-largest untapped recoverable coal reserves, estimated at over two billion tonnes.

Vale is investing billions of dollars on rail and port networks to bring greater volumes of coal to the market, up from a current export capacity of five million tonnes per year. It is targeting 22 million tonnes by 2017/2018.

But Vale, which announced an accumulated loss of $44 million for Mozambique operations in the first quarter, says it urgently needs to cut operating costs to remain competitive.

“We’re studying this,” Bias said on the sidelines of the 5th Mozambique Coal Conference in Maputo. “We are working on it to see what can be done from our side.” she added. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st July 2014

Land rulings a clear message to Ottawa, provinces: It’s time to govern – by Thomas Isaac (Globe and Mail – July 21, 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.

Thomas Isaac is leader of the Aboriginal Law Group at Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt.

The Supreme Court of Canada has delivered two significant decisions this summer regarding aboriginal title and treaty rights. In June, the Tsilqhot’in decision affirmed aboriginal title over a discrete area of central British Columbia. In early July, the Keewatin decision confirmed Ontario’s authority to legislate regarding Treaty 3, including over areas such as forestry and mining.

At first the decisions look quite different. They deal with different provinces, different facts and appear to have differing outcomes. However, both decisions are actually consistent with each other and their outcomes similar. Both decisions affirm that governments bear the burden of balancing aboriginal and non-aboriginal interests fairly and reasonably and confirm that governments have the tools to govern.

In Tsilqhot’in, the Supreme Court confirmed the six Tsilqhot’in Bands hold aboriginal title to approximately 1,700 sq. km of remote and sparsely populated land in central British Columbia. As a result, these bands now hold the land and, with a few important restrictions, can use and derive benefits from it. Importantly, the decision confirms that both governments can legislate regarding aboriginal title lands and can infringe aboriginal title, where justified.

While Tsilqhot’in is the first decision affirming aboriginal title in Canada, there is actually little new law in it, except that it is now clear that provincial laws can apply to aboriginal title lands and that provinces and the federal government can infringe aboriginal title. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st July 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Northern Superior: 2ND Year Recognition for Its Commitment to Progressive Aboriginal Relations


SUDBURY, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – July 21, 2014) - Northern Superior Resources Inc. (“Northern Superior” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:SUP) is pleased to announce that it has re-committed to the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (“PAR”) “Committed” status (“PAR Committed”) of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) for the second year in a row. The CCAB is a national non- profit organization whose primary mission is to foster sustainable business relations between First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and Canadian business.

PAR is a certification program that confirms corporate performance in Aboriginal relations. Northern Superior`s recognition as a PAR committed company for the second year in a row confirms: a) the Company`s commitment to continual improvement in Aboriginal relations; and b) the Company`s intention to undergo additional external verification of its performance in the future to eventually obtain full PAR certification.

”Northern Superior is very proud to be recognized by the CCAB as a “PAR Committed” company for the second year in a row. For over 13 years Northern Superior has understood the importance and advantages of working closely with Aboriginal Communities within whose traditional territories Northern Superior conducts its mineral exploration programs. As Northern Superior stated last year, the CCAB is a staunch advocate for Aboriginal businesses and the improvement of Aboriginal livelihoods from coast, to coast, to coast, and it is an honor to be involved with them.” states Tom Morris, President and CEO of Northern Superior Resources.

“PAR is the only CSR program with an exclusive focus on Aboriginal relations. We are pleased to recognize Northern Superior’s ongoing commitment to building meaningful relationships with Aboriginal communities and businesses.” said J.P. Gladu, President and CEO of the CCAB. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Ontario Mining, Quebec Mining | 0 Comments

21st July 2014

Gold Diggers Revive French Exploration as Prices Drive Hunt – by Francois de Beaupuy (Bloomberg News – July 21, 2014)


In a field near Saint-Pierre-Montlimart, a small hamlet with a turreted church in western France, Jack Testard and Patrick Lebret dig up some earth with an agronomic drill and put it in a plastic bag.

The president and the chief geologist of a French mining exploration startup owned by Australia’s Variscan Mines Ltd will send dirt samples from the field, which is in an area that was home to a gold mine until 1952, to a laboratory in southern France to look for “mineral anomalies” the company is betting will show evidence of the precious metal.

“There are a lot of attractive points to prospect in France,” Testard says, as he points to a map with yellow dots representing areas where traces of the metal have been found. “It’s a really interesting time to prospect gold because the price is higher than before” and extraction technologies “are much more modern.”

Although France hasn’t historically been a large producer of gold, soaring prices of the metal are bringing companies to its door. By granting the first exploration licenses in mainland France in more than two decades to Variscan, Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg is trying to revamp the country’s mining industry and cut reliance on imports of metals such as rare earths critical for military equipment and renewable energy.

The French exploration push comes even as mining companies extend cuts in spending for a second year. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Europe Mining, Gold and Silver, International Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

21st July 2014

Keeping the [Australian] mining tax won’t kill investment – by Greg Jericho (The Guardian – July 21, 2014)


The government’s inability to end the mining tax may hurt the budget, but it’s wrong to fear it will scare investors

In the past week of parliament, due to action by both sides, the budget deficit will be increased. The abolition of the carbon tax and the inability of the government to end the mining tax will see a larger deficit than was expected. But as a recent report showed, it won’t hinder Australia’s position as a great place for mining companies to invest.

There was a pretty high level of stupidity flying around parliament last week. We had the carbon tax being abolished but the compensation that accompanied it being retained; and we had the government wanting to remove the mining resources rent tax (MRRT) but also get rid of the compensation.

This meant that the government was often using an argument for one that contradicted the other.

For example Liberal MP Sarah Henderson opened her speech on the carbon tax repeal bill arguing that “we are concerned about the cost that this tax is causing to our economy. We are concerned about the way in which the previous Labor government drove up the debt and the deficit”.

This was a rather curious opening attack given the carbon tax raises over $7bn a year. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st July 2014

EPA’s new Pebble battle plan stokes fears of wider impact – by Dorothy Kosich (Mineweb.com – July 21, 2014)


U.S. EPA rejects its proposed veto of the Pebble Project in favor of ratcheting down how many miles of streams and acres of wetlands can be disturbed by the mine.

RENO (MINEWEB) - Alaska’s Congressional delegation has expressed concerns that the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest plan to stop the development of the Pebble Mine in Alaska will go far beyond the Pebble project.

Instead of issuing a blanket prohibition of developing Pebble to protect the Bristol Bay watershed, based on EPA’s effort to broaden the scope of its Clean Water Act section 404(c) authority, EPA now is trying to restrict fill activities at the project by proposing caps on how many miles of streams and acres of wetlands could be lost, which may severely impact the Bristol Bay fishery.

The Bristol Bay watershed produces half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon

In a news release issued Friday, EPA asserted that the mine waste produced by the Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum project would fill a major football stadium up to 3,900 miles, while its “massive mine tailings impounds…would cover 19 square miles.” The agency suggested Pebble would fill in 1,100 or more acres of wetlands and re-route streams to more than 20% of daily flow.

The Clean Water Act requires a section 404(c) permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before any person can place dredged or fill material into streams, wetlands, lakes and ponds. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in International Media Resource Articles, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

21st July 2014

Anglo American Platinum Plans to Exit Some South African Mines – by Devon Maylie (Wall Street Journal – July 21, 2014)


Platinum Producer’s First-Half Profit Plunges, Output Falls After Prolonged Strike

JOHANNESBURG— Anglo American Platinum Ltd. AMS.JO +4.55% said on Monday it plans to sell some South African mines as it grapples with rising costs compounded by a five-month-long strike in the country.

The platinum producer also said its first-half profit plunged and it lost more than a third of annual production due to the strike that ended in late June.

“Both management time and capital are finite,” the world’s biggest platinum producer said on Monday. “The decision has been made to possibly exit certain assets that will be better placed in the hands of a new owner.”

Anglo American AAL.LN +0.59% Platinum said it would exit its Union and Rustenburg mines in South Africa and its Pandora joint venture. The Union and Rustenburg mines account for just over a quarter of Anglo American Platinum’s annual platinum production and more than half of its workforce.

The company said it is still assessing its Bokoni operation. Anglo American Platinum said it plans to retain its smelting and refining operations in both Union and Rustenburg. It will also keep its mine in Zimbabwe and several others in South Africa that have lower costs. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st July 2014

How the mining zombies found a future in technology – by Tess Ingram (Australian Financial Review – July 21, 2014)


Failed listed resources companies are finding a profitable future above ground – in technology.

Since January, at least eight struggling resources companies, including Latin Gold and Macro Energy, have merged with technology companies. Start-ups and companies looking for alternative capital raising mechanisms are using the “zombie” companies as shell vehicles for backdoor listings on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Last week, Perth-based Intercept Minerals announced plans to acquire US online streaming business xTV for $12.5 million.

Operating conditions are difficult for the small end of the resources sector. The median spend on exploration activity fell 27 per cent in the first quarter, BDO’s March Explorer Quarterly Cash Update said, noting that it was the biggest such decrease since it started looking at the trends.

Perth-based analyst Peter Strachan estimates that more than two thirds of listed resources companies have less than $2 million net cash.

“Over the last few years there has been a capital strike,” Mr Strachan said. “A lot of exploration companies are sitting around watching the paint dry and thinking about how to make some money.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st July 2014

Lone producer, Canadian firm lead charge on Greek energy – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – July 21, 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.

ATHENS – In the 1970s, an unlikely company played a key role in opening up Greece’s oil and gas industry. That company was Toronto’s Denison Mines, then better known as a uranium miner but one with ambitions to put the Eastern Mediterranean on the energy map.

It worked for a while. Offshore rigs in the Prinos field, in the brilliant blue northern Aegean Sea, pumped away until the late 1990s, when the oil price collapsed. The Denison-led consortium handed the entire project to the Greek government and walked away.

For the next two decades, pretty much nothing happened in the Greek oil and gas sector even though the country’s energy bill was soaring.

That all changed in 2009, when a new Greek explorer, Energean Oil & Gas, prodded the old field back to life. Today, it is Greece’s only oil producer and, with the help of a small Canadian company, Petra Petroleum, is leading the charge to prove that Greece can meet a good chunk of its energy needs.

“Any discoveries of oil and gas would be a huge benefit to the local market,” said Energean chief executive officer Mathios Rigas, a former investment banker and private equity fund manager. “We will never find out unless we drill wells.” Foreign investors are starting to pay attention. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st July 2014

The case against asbestos: Accidental exposure, entirely preventable – by Kat Sieniuc (Globe and Mail – July 21, 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.

Some 60 years ago, lumps of wet, grey material were given to students in art classes to shape and mould into art to proudly display at home. It was especially good for objets d’art such as candle holders, since the substance was famous for stopping the spread of flames.

That material was asbestos, now known as a toxic material for which there is, quite simply, no safe level of exposure. It’s still regularly found in older schools and universities across Canada, wrapped around pipes, above ceilings and behind walls.

Though asbestos is the biggest workplace killer in the country, Health Canada is committed to the position that it’s only an issue when fibres become airborne and “significant quantities” are inhaled or ingested. While the Canadian government maintains it has “consistently acted to protect Canadians from the health risks of asbestos,” dozens of countries – including Britain, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Germany and Denmark – have banned it outright in recognition of the fact that exposure to fibres can cause various diseases, including mesothelioma and other cancers.

The World Health Organization has declared all forms of asbestos carcinogenic and recommends its use be eliminated; the International Agency for Research on Cancer has said there is no safe form of asbestos, nor is there a threshold level of exposure that is risk-free. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Asbestos, Canadian Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

21st July 2014

Ontario should import low-cost hydroelectric power from Quebec – by Jack Gibbons (Toronto Star – July 21, 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.

Jack Gibbons is chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

Their highly radioactive waste will linger forever, but the elderly nuclear reactors that provide half of Ontario’s electricity will soon reach the end of their lives. And the task of rebuilding them, currently in the planning stages, will almost certainly burden the fiscally crippled province with even more debt while electricity prices maintain their steeply upward trajectory for decades to come.

As an alternative, letting the oldest reactors die and replacing their output with clean, renewable water power from Quebec could save Ontario $600 million a year in foregone nuclear costs — beginning as soon as the two neighbours decide to end the electricity separatism that has traditionally stood in the way of such a logical and mutually beneficial hookup.

Quebec is the fourth-largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world and its electricity rates are among the lowest in North America. Its residential rates are 45 per cent lower than ours and its industrial rates are 55 per cent lower. In recent years, the province has produced far more cheap, clean electricity than it can use itself.

Meanwhile, its next-door neighbour, Ontario, is struggling with some of the highest power costs in the country and facing a minimum $13-billion bill to refurbish the Darlington nuclear reactors. There is already enough transmission capacity linking the two provinces to replace 97 per cent of the power currently produced by Darlington — and a tremendous opportunity to strike a deal that would provide huge economic benefits for both provinces. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st July 2014

Phosphate: Morocco’s White Gold (Bloomberg News – November 04, 2010)


(Please note, this article was published in November 2010.)

In May 2009 a petite brunette from Paris wearing black heels scrambled up a pile of mine tailings on the outskirts of the Moroccan town of Khouribga. From up there, Béatrice Montagnier, a hotel specialist with the hospitality consulting firm Horwath, took in the view: parched plains scoured by bulldozers; an old warehouse baking in the sun; a jumble of two-story concrete block homes with a rectangular minaret beyond them.

She spun around 360 degrees snapping photos with her pink cell phone and imagining the future: a planned 800-acre resort project that would attract visitors from around the world. How many hotel rooms would they need? she wondered. Should it be three stars or four? And where would the museum be going? There was one issue—project funding—about which Montagnier had no questions. The estimated $1 billion needed to build the resort would come from the ground beneath her feet.

Miners have been working in Khouribga for almost a century, but only now is the area poised to become central to the global economy. Back in the 1920s pioneers started tunneling through the earth here, digging through layers of sediment formed under an ancient sea, looking for phosphate-rich rock and occasionally plucking out the tooth of a 30-million-year-old shark. The phosphate extracted from the rock, used in fertilizer, detergent, food additives, and more recently lithium-ion batteries, sold for decades in its raw state for less than $40 per metric ton. Those days are gone. It’s currently trading at about $130. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Africa Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Potash/Phosphate | 0 Comments

21st July 2014

Go bigger with bear hunt (Thunder Bay Chronicle- Journal – July 20, 2014)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

A pilot-project bear hunt that ran in eight wildlife management units this spring, including one near Thunder Bay, needs to be expanded to be an effective wildlife management tool.

This past week a Thunder Bay man was knocked down and dragged by a bear near his home on Garden Avenue. It was the second aggressive bear encounter this summer in the city. One bear which showed up in the Oliver Road area and became aggressive had to be put down by city police.

In another encounter last month in Sioux Lookout, a man was dragged off a trail by a bear. So far no one has been seriously injured.

Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen’s Alliance John Kaplanis said Friday that it would be “most prudent” of Natural Resources Minister Bill Mauro to consider changes to the pilot project, if it is not doing enough to affect local bear populations.

He said NOSA has recommended that the pilot hunt be expanded to include additional wildlife management units as well as allow non-resident bear hunters, housed by tourist operators, to participate in the spring hunt.

Kaplanis noted that the spring hunt is only six weeks in length and with the very late thaw in Northwestern Ontario it is likely that the pilot bear hunt had little effect on black bear numbers. Read the rest of this entry »

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

18th July 2014

B.C. mines get financial boost, one to open soon – by Ed Schoenfeld (CoastAlaska News – July 17, 2014)


Canadian investors are putting millions of new dollars into mining projects near the Southeast Alaska border. They include the KSM and Tulsequah Chief prospects, which critics say could damage regional fisheries.

KSM is a multi-metal deposit about 150 miles northeast of Ketchikan. It’s near rivers or their tributaries that drain into the ocean northeast of Ketchikan and just south of the Alaska-B.C. border.

A group of Canadian financial firms are in the process of purchasing a million shares of Seabridge Gold, KSM’s parent company. They have an option to buy more, with the total new investment between $13 million and $15 million.

That’s not a lot for a large mine. So Seabridge, headquartered in Toronto, is negotiating to find much larger investors.

“We continue to seek partners and we have confidentiality agreements with several,” says Brent Murphy, vice president of environmental affairs for Seabridge Gold. Exploration continues at the KSM project, sometimes compared Western Alaska’s Pebble Prospect.

In an interview at a Vancouver, British Columbia, office, Murphy said the company has drilling rigs on site right now.Officials say the more-than-$5-billion project could be built and ready for operations by the end of the decade. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in British Columbia Mining, International Media Resource Articles, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

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