17th September 2014

COLUMN-China coal restrictions may have little impact on imports – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – September 17, 2014)


LAUNCESTON, Australia, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Who to believe? The traders and analysts who say China’s new regulations on coal quality is a body blow to Australian exports, or the companies and their association who say the impact will be insignificant.

In this case, it seems far more likely that the impact will be minimal, but not non-existent, as the new rules will lead to changes in the composition of coal China imports. A far bigger impact may come from the curbs on transporting low-quality domestic coal, which may actually boost imports.

In theory, the Chinese ban from the start of 2015 on coal imports above certain ash and sulphur contents appears to favour Indonesia, the world’s biggest shipper of thermal coal, over Australia, the world’s top exporter of metallurgical coal and number two for thermal coal.

China’s new rules aren’t uniform across the country, but for exporters, the most relevant is the ban on using coal with ash content higher than 16 percent and sulphur of 1 percent for cities in the southern Pearl River Delta, the eastern Yangtze River Delta and three northern cities including Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.

The southeastern cities are biggest users of imported coal, given their distance from the bulk of China’s own coal output. The fear for Australian exporters is that 80 percent of the 54 million tonnes of thermal coal it exported to China in 2013 exceeded the new ash limit, according to consultants Wood Mackenzie. Read the rest of this entry »

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

17th September 2014

OBITUARY: Yves Fortier: A herald of Canada’s golden age of geology – by Eric Harris (Globe and Mail – September 17, 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.

When the astronauts walked on the moon in July, 1969, their main mission was to collect rocks and dust from the Sea of Tranquility. They were test pilots first and narrowly trained field geologists second.

When Yves Oscar Fortier explored Canada’s remote northern reaches in the 1940s and 1950s, he was also breaking new ground in a hostile environment. But he was a geologist through and through.

Dr. Fortier, who died peacefully in Ottawa on Aug. 19, two days after his 100th birthday, conducted milestone work in the Arctic for the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) that was, in many ways, like a months-long moon mission.

His most ambitious project, Operation Franklin, in 1955, mustered 28 scientists to systematically study and map the cold, barren sedimentary rock of a polar region larger than Britain.

This included the Queen Elizabeth Islands and many of the other islands in the triangle at the northern end of the country. (The name Operation Franklin was a nod to the ill-fated 1845 expedition led by Sir John Franklin to search for a Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic. One of the long-lost ships from that expedition was recently discovered.) Read the rest of this entry »

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

17th September 2014

[Canada] Mines ministers talk transparency in Ontario (Northern Miner – September 17, 2014)

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

Sudbury played host to this year’s Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference in late August. The annual gathering of federal and provincial mining and energy ministers is meant to foster discussion and collaboration to advance development across the country.

In a statement released after the meeting, the attendees affirmed their commitment to the following principles:

• The responsible development of Canada’s energy and mines sectors is critical to our economic competitiveness, job creation and long-term prosperity

• Provincial and territorial governments will work with the federal government in support of Canada’s commitment to establish new mandatory reporting standards for Canadian extractive companies, with a view to enhancing transparency of payments made to governments

• The continued advancement of energy infrastructure (e.g., oil, gas, electricity, etc.) projects is fundamental to gain access to new markets and generate economic growth and revenue for critical social programs

• Progress is being made by all levels of government in implementing regulatory reform in a way that ensures the environment is protected Read the rest of this entry »

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

17th September 2014

New HudBay mines expected to create hundreds of jobs (Winnipeg Free Press – September 16, 2014)


The opening of two new mines by Hudbay Minerals in northern Manitoba is expected to create more than 370 permanent jobs, the province says. Tuesday marked the official opening of both the Lalor and Reed mines.

Hudbay’s Lalor mine, located 13 kilometres west of Snow Lake, contains gold, zinc, copper and silver. Mineral Resources Minister Dave Chomiak said it is quickly evolving into one of the most significant base-metal discoveries in a generation in Manitoba. Total mine construction budget is $441 million.

The Reed copper mine, located in Grass River Provincial Park, 45 kilometres west-southwest of Snow Lake, is a joint venture of Hudbay and VMS Ventures Inc. Copper reserves associated with the project have an estimated value of $800 million, Chomiak said.

In 2013, capital expenditures on mining and petroleum development in Manitoba totalled an estimated $1.4 billion and the industries accounted for approximately seven per cent of provincial GDP and 8.7 per cent of total exports.

Chomiak credited the effectiveness of Manitoba’s mineral regulatory process for getting the mines on stream quickly. The process from discovery to production took less than seven years. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Manitoba Mining | 0 Comments

17th September 2014


Report highlights need for industry investment to sustain future success

The Diamond Insight Report 2014 is available for download at: www.debeersgroup.com/insightreport

Global demand for diamond jewellery reached a record high of US$79 billion in 2013 according to the inaugural Diamond Insight Report, published today by The De Beers Group of Companies.

Demand is expected to continue to grow over the long-term, driven by the ongoing economic recovery in the US (the world’s largest diamond jewellery market) and the growth of the middle classes in developing markets such as China and India. Sales of polished diamonds in the US increased seven per cent in 2013, while both India and China have seen their domestic diamond jewellery markets grow by a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent in local currency terms between 2008 and 2013.

The report cautions that while diamonds retain their special allure with consumers around the world, future demand levels cannot be taken for granted. The overall category is facing increasingly strong and sophisticated competition from other luxury categories, with diamonds’ share of advertising voice in the US market having reduced within its competitive set.

Global rough diamond production in 2013 increased by seven per cent in carat terms over 2012 levels to a total of around 145 million carats. However, this remains well below the 2005 peak of around 175 million carats. The report further highlights that a forecast reduction in supply from existing sources will likely not be matched by new production coming on-stream in the years ahead and diamond supply is expected to plateau in the second half of the decade before declining from 2020 onwards. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in De Beers Canada, Diamonds | 0 Comments

17th September 2014

UPDATE 2-Workers to strike at Chile’s Escondida copper mine next week – union (Reuters U.K. – September 16, 2014)


(Reuters) – The union at the world’s largest copper mine, Chile’s Escondida, has called a strike for Sept. 22 and 24, aiming to paralyze activity to win improved working conditions, the union said on Monday.

In a surprise announcement on Monday evening, the Sindicato No. 1 union said it would call on its 2,800 members to stage two 24-hour strikes at the mine, which is controlled by global miner BHP Billiton Plc .

The union, which represents the vast majority of workers at the mine, said the stoppage would affect mining and port operations. Escondida, in northern Chile’s copper belt, produced 1.19 million tonnes of copper last year, about 20 percent of the output from Chile, the world’s top copper producer.

The union carried out a similar 24-hour stoppage over pay and conditions last year, without causing any long-term impact on copper production. However, it stunned the copper market in 2011 by staging a two-week strike that sent the mine’s output tumbling.

Escondida “systematically infringed on labor norms,” the union said in a statement on Monday, citing overtime, holidays, hygiene and safety issues. It said on its blog that it held a series of meetings with company representatives on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in BHP Billiton, Copper, International Media Resource Articles, Latin America Mining | 0 Comments

17th September 2014

U.S. Steel Canada files for creditor protection – by Greg Keenan (Globe and Mail – September 17, 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.

Toronto — United States Steel Corp. could sell all or part of the assets of U.S. Steel Canada Inc., as it restructures its Canadian unit, which was granted protection from creditors Tuesday under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

U.S. Steel Canada, (USSC) consists of the operations of the former Stelco Inc., that U.S. Steel purchased in 2007. The filing culminates almost seven years of turmoil at what was once Canada’s largest steel maker and one of the country’s blue-chip manufacturers. Since the takeover of Stelco, U.S. Steel has locked out employees at operations in Hamilton, Ont., and Nanticoke, Ont., and engaged in a battle with the federal government companies–later settled–over whether the steel giant was breaking promises it made to Ottawa when it bought Stelco.

“The stay of proceedings and related relief sought in this application will provide USSC with the necessary ‘breathing room’ to allow it to carry out a restructuring, including continuing discussions with its key stakeholders,” U.S. Steel Canada said in a court filing, “and to explore restructuring solutions including, potentially, a consensual restructuring of certain material obligations, a sales process to solicit interest in purchasing all or part of USSC’s business, and/or other restructuring processes.”

The company filed for protection after racking up losses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $1.5-billion between 2008 and 2013, it said in the filing. That period included the recession of 2008-2009, when steel demand shrank dramatically in North America as auto makers slashed production and construction slowed to a trickle. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Stainless Steel Industry | 0 Comments

17th September 2014

Mining giants may hoard cash as iron ore prices sag – by Sonali Paul (Reuters U.S. – September 16, 2014)


MELBOURNE, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Sagging iron ore prices raise the prospect the world’s biggest miners will shelve plans to return excess cash to shareholders in February, despite promises to investors who had hoped to reap the benefits of two years of austerity.

Stung by slower growth in China, global miners have reined in expansion plans and brought in new management to sell assets and drive their mines harder, raising hopes that BHP Billiton alone could hand back up to $8 billion to investors.

In the August reporting season, Glencore kicked off the expected party with a $1 billion share buyback, world No. 2 iron ore miner Rio Tinto flagged it would be in a strong position to return capital in February, and BHP said a move was “close”.

But iron ore prices have collapsed to five-year lows since then, thanks to the major miners flooding the market with new supply and high-cost miners in China continuing to produce, defying expectations the market would bottom around $90 a tonne.

If prices remain below $90 for the rest of the year, BHP and Rio, both looking to keep their single ‘A’ credit ratings, would be hard-pressed to return capital to shareholders, beyond raising their dividends, debt and equity analysts said.

“At the moment, there’s a lot of cash flow at risk relative to history because of commodity price volatility, not just in iron ore, any spot price exposure. You can’t pre-emptively give back cash in this environment,” said Paul Phillips, a partner at fund manager Perennial Growth Management. Read the rest of this entry »

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

17th September 2014

Hard-luck aboriginal community to get unusual Royal visit — the first since its treaty was signed in 1929 – by Adrian Humphreys (National Post – September 17, 2014)

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

Hunters in 14 boats pushed off Tuesday from the isolated northern reserve of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, fanning out across Big Trout Lake and down its myriad tributaries, looking to bag moose, caribou, geese — anything delicious enough to serve to the Royal Family.

Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, wife of Prince Edward, who is the youngest son of the Queen and Prince Philip, is making a highly unusual, two-day visit this week to the remote, fly-in only aboriginal community in northern Ontario. It’s a reserve struggling with poor housing, unemployment, drug addiction and inadequate education facilities.

Joining her will be a high-powered entourage of women: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne; Lieutenant Governor-designate Elizabeth Dowdeswell; Ruth Ann Onley, wife of David Onley, the lieutenant governor; Vicki Heyman, wife of the U.S. ambassador to Canada; and others.

“We are just trying to grasp it now. The last time anyone came here from the Crown was in 1929 when we signed our treaty,” said Chief Donny Morris of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, known as KI.

“To have someone from the Royal Family, representing that, reliving that, I think that’s what we’re excited about — somebody actually coming here 85 years after we signed the treaty with the Crown.” It will be an unusual few days for the VIPs. Read the rest of this entry »

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

16th September 2014

Canada’s small fertilizer companies shuffle ranks, search for capital – by Rod Nickel (Reuters India – September 17, 2014)


(Reuters) – Capital-strapped small fertilizer companies in Canada are shuffling their senior executive ranks to draw investors in a period of weak prices.

Stonegate Agricom Ltd, which is developing a phosphate mine in Idaho, said on Tuesday that Chief Executive Mark Ashcroft resigned, the latest change at the top among small players in the sector. Others that have installed new senior executives this year include Canada’s Arianne Phosphate and Karnalyte Resources Inc.

Fertilizer values are rising off the floor prices reached earlier this year, but their upside looks limited, Rabobank said in a report on Monday.

Stonegate’s parting with its CEO was mutual, said co-chairman Ian McDonald, who will carry out CEO duties on an interim basis with co-chairman Kerry Knoll. He declined to give further details.

“Nobody’s having any parties, because nobody’s happy, but there’s been no pressure here based on Mark’s performance,” McDonald said.

Stonegate shares dropped 3 Canadian cents, or about 19 percent, to 13 cents in Toronto. For the year, the stock is down nearly one-third. Read the rest of this entry »

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

16th September 2014

Northern companies establish Saskatchewan mining presence – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – September 16, 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.

It was during a trip to Toronto about a year ago that Wayne Ablitt and Don Croteau realized they were both thinking of expanding into Western Canada with their respective companies, Jannatec Technologies and Schauenburg Industries Ltd. But with expansion comes considerable expense, not to mention the challenges of breaking into a new market.

“We stopped and looked at each other and said, ‘Why not do something together rather than duplicate things?’” recalled Croteau, managing director of Schauenburg’s North Bay office.

So Croteau and Ablitt devised a plan to bring the two companies together, sharing costs and resources, and a year later, D3 Mining Solutions is ready to debut from its Saskatoon office.

Joining the partnership are suppliers Porcupine Canvas out of Timmins and Maslack Supply out of Sudbury, along with a Winnipeg-based dome manufacturer. The companies will retain their individual identities and home locations, but will operate in Saskatchewan together under the umbrella company D3 Mining Solutions. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Potash/Phosphate, Saskatchewan Mining, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Mining Supply and Services Sector | 0 Comments

16th September 2014

Goldcorp’s Massive Eleonore Mine Has Potential To Grow – Chuck Jeannes – by Alex Létourneau (Kitco News – September 15, 2014)


Denver (Kitco News) – Goldcorp Inc.’s (TSX:G)(NYSE:GG) massive Eleonore mine, located in the James Bay region of northern Quebec, has the potential to produce beyond its anticipated 600,000 ounces of gold annually.

The company is currently expecting first pour in the fourth quarter of 2014, with commercial production expected in the first quarter of 2015. Ramp-up to its full potential of 600,000 ounces annually is expected to go through 2018.

Speaking with Kitco News at the 25th Denver Gold Forum, Chuck Jeannes, president and chief executive officer of Goldcorp, said that while the mine will be a large gold producer, there’s still potential for more.

“This is the kind of deposit – a Hemlo style deposit – that can continue to grow significantly, Jeannes said. “We haven’t seen the bottom of it, we continue to have success looking at new areas of the deposit, both to the north and the south, so we’re a long way from figuring out what’s there.

“We’ve always believed that there’s potential for a district scale opportunity and we’ll be the first ones looking for it.” Jeannes said that his team at Eleonore is working diligently to speed up the ramp-up process. “It’s a vertical dipping ore body so development takes longer and it’s a steady ramp-up over that period, “ he said. “The guys there are trying to find ways to advance that ramp-up schedule.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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

16th September 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Preliminary mining safety review panel report initiates early actions

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.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review’s progress report, which was released last week, is already leading to changes making positive impacts on mining health and safety. This panel started work in January 2014 with the target date for the release of a final report planned for early 2015.

Ontario Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis is leading the review, along with Fergus Kerr, industry co-chair, and John Perquin, labour co-chair. Key initiatives, which have been enacted upon already, include guidance on high visibility safety apparel by mine workers, updating joint health and safety committee certification training and advancing research.

Over the past six months, the review has held 12 public consultations, in which more than 150 people participated, and it has received more than 60 written submissions. In the key issues section of the progress report, it states “At public consultations and in written submissions, the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) was the most discussed topic. Stakeholders are unanimous in their view that an effective IRS is key to safe workplaces.”

Other Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review panel members include Roger Emdin, Manager of Sustainable Development for Glencore’s Sudbury Operations, and Mike Bond, Chair of USW/Vale Safety, Health and Environment Executive Committee. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Mining Labour Issues and History - Sudbury and Global, Ontario Mining, Ontario Mining Association | 0 Comments

16th September 2014

$8bn mining private equity needs to be spent. And soon – by Frik Els (Mining.com – September 14, 2014)


Countercyclical investors sitting on $8 billion unspent funds have been waiting for clear signs of a market bottom. The wait may well be over.

The mining M&A market is not exactly in robust health at the moment. Mining and metals deal values during the first half of this year tanked 69% to $16.7 billion, deal volumes are down 34% and nearly 9 out of every ten agreements were were valued at less than $50m according to the latest Ernst & Young market barometer.

One reason for the slackness, the consulting firm notes, is that “the much anticipated influx of substantial capital from new mining-focused private funds is taking longer than expected to hit the market.”

Back in February Michael Rawlinson, co-head of mining and metals investment banking at Barclays the Indaba conference in Cape Town put it this way: “They’ve all set up, no one’s done anything. The sand is going through the hourglass and the money is going to get taken away if they don’t start spending.”

Ernst & Young said much the same in its report – “contributors to these funds are unlikely to wait much longer to see their investments put to use”: Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media | 0 Comments

16th September 2014

Uranium Enters Bull Market Amid Russian Sanctions, Strike – by Ben Sharples and Heesu Lee Bloomberg News – September 16, 2014)


Uranium entered a bull market amid new sanctions against Russia over its conflict with Ukraine and a labor strike at the world’s biggest mine in Canada.

The atomic fuel has advanced 21 percent in New York from a May 20 low of $28 a pound, according to data from Ux Consulting Co. in Roswell, Georgia, which provides research on the nuclear industry. Prices closed 1.8 percent higher at $34 yesterday and have averaged $31.87 in 2014.

The U.S. and European Union stepped up their sanctions last week on Russia, which provides enrichment services to western utilities, stoking concern the Ukraine crisis may deepen. In Canada, the United Steelworkers union said Sept. 12 that it had reached a “tentative” agreement with Cameco (CCO) Corp. to end a two-week strike at McArthur River.

“The market may need some more time to digest the recent announcements about McArthur River and additional Russian sanctions to determine any additional impacts on price,” Ux Consulting said in a note dated Sept. 15.

Uranium declined as much as 60 percent since March 2011 when an earthquake and tsunami caused the meltdown of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant and led to the shutdown of Japan’s nuclear fleet. The nation is seeking to restart reactors as it conducts safety checks, while producers from Kazakhstan to Australia cancel projects and close mines. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in International Media Resource Articles, Uranium | 0 Comments

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