[The Hilarious Adventures Continue] Excerpt from ‘Miner Altercations’ – by Jon Ardeman

To order a copy of “Miner Altercations” which would make an excellent Christmas gift for any Geologist/ Mining/Explorationist: http://amzn.to/2Ap0Zo3

Since graduating Jon Ardeman’s geological career has been in many guises; in exploration, mining, consultancy, conservation and research. He has worked as a National Park guide, a nature warden looking after tadpoles and orchids, as a researcher digging up cow shed floors looking for Ordovician brachiopods and preparing dinosaur bones for a museum display. Enthused by these experiences, Jon sought further adventures, and headed to Africa where he worked as a geologist on various mines for more than a decade.

He returned to university and after a few years of academic research and consultancy, Jon went back to mining and precious metal exploration. His travels have taken him from the Arctic to the Equator, from North America and Siberia, to Europe, Australia, Asia and back to Africa.

During this time, Jon wrote several “mystery and imagination” short stories for magazines and competitions, but his inspiration for a first novel ‘Miner Indiscretions’ came from get-togethers with fellow prospectors and miners; with the story embellished by imagination, cold beer, a hint of the supernatural and – of course – dreams of African gold! The author is married with several children and now resides in Hertfordshire, England.


The second in the MINER series of the picaresque adventures of Timothy, a young mining geologist working on the remote Yellow Snake Gold Mine in Southern Africa. After staving off the closure of the ageing Mine with the discovery of a rich new gold deposit, Timothy and the Mine’s eccentric employees look forward to returning to their devious old ways. And yet success, even in the mining industry, can bring its own challenges. Just as their luck seemed to have changed, the Yellow Snake Mine team are forced to dig deep again. Continue Reading →

Iron ore extends rally, fresh bull market beckons – by Timothy Moore (Australian Financial Review – November 24, 2017)


The spot price of iron ore appears headed toward a bull market on optimism about Chinese demand for higher grades of the steelmaking material.

So far this month, ore with 62 per cent iron content quoted by Metal Bulletin has risen 15.7 per cent, including a 3.9 per cent leap to $US67.69 a tonne on Thursday. It surged 4.3 per cent on Wednesday. The latest price swing is in keeping with a volatile year.

The latest rally appears to be underpinned in part by China’s push to curb pollution from now through March by closing less efficient steel mills in particular those in the northern part of the country. One result is that mills are using more higher grade, less polluting imported iron ore to maintain output. Continue Reading →

Wallbridge pushing for early production at Fenelon: Quebec property showing good results, say executives – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – November 24, 2017)


A Sudbury-based junior mining company says it is feeling so confident over a Quebec gold property, a production decision could be made by late 2018. Wallbridge Mining presented their latest findings and core samples from their Fenelon property at a special presentation of the Sudbury Prospectors and Developers Association, Nov. 21.

The talk by senior geologist Attila Pentek and exploration vice-president Joshua Bailey was a comprehensive history of the property, the geology of the deposits, initial test drills and preliminary assay results of core samples, and timelines on production plans.

Fenelon is located 150 kilometres north of Val d’Or, an area Bailey described as being largely overlooked by prospectors. Exploring the property was part of a valuation strategy by the company, which met the investment criteria for a number of reasons. Continue Reading →

Botswana’s mining sector woes hit an all-time low – by Mpho Tebele (The Southern Times – November 24, 2017)

Gaborone – The future of Botswana’s mining sector hangs in the balance as eight mines were closed since 2010, shedding more than 7,500 jobs in the process, according to a report compiled by the Ministry of Mineral Resources.

With a population of less than 2 million, the number of jobs lost in the last seven years is a great concern to the authorities. Botswana is dependent on the mining sector and it earns the bulk of its revenue from the same sector.

Minister of Minerals, Sadique Kebonang, informed Parliament through a report compiled by his ministry that some of the mines are still placed under liquidation while others have been reopened. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto Isn’t Tesla; It Should Hold Fire On a Lithium Bet – by Nathaniel Taplin (Wall Street Journal – November 24, 2017)


Mining is an industry of big upfront investments and long periods of pain or gain, depending on whether the digger bets right or wrong.

It’s understandable, therefore, that Rio Tinto’s reported interest in acquiring a big stake in Chilean lithium-miner Sociedad Quimica y Minera is causing butterflies in the stomachs of some investors.

The miner’s interest in lithium makes sense strategically. Rio is more heavily dependent on iron ore than some of its competitors, and slowdown in Chinese demand seems likely. Boosting their exposure to lithium, a battery component and probable linchpin of an increasingly renewable and electric future, isn’t a bad idea. The problem is price. Continue Reading →

German activists lose bid to halt Hambach mine expansion – by Patrick Grobe (Deutsche Welle – November 24, 2017)


Cries of protest erupted in the Cologne Administrative Court on Friday after the judge ruled that development plans for the Hambach open-pit mine did not breach environmental legislation and could go ahead as planned. Conservation organization BUND, which filed the lawsuit, vowed to appeal the decision.

“We will continue to pursue all legal and political avenues to stop this irresponsible open-pit mine and to save what remains of the Hambach forest,” BUND’s managing director in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) said.

The group argued that NRW authorities should never have approved mine operator BWE’s plans for the 2020-2030 period, saying the upcoming expansion would mean felling trees in the ancient Hambach forest. Continue Reading →

Gowest aims to unlock refractory gold potential of legendary Timmins Camp – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – November 14, 2017)


VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Little-known exploration and development company Gowest Gold is preparing to become the newest gold producer in the legendary Timmins Gold Camp, which, since its discovery in the early 1900s, has produced almost half of all the gold mined in Canada.

The TSX-V-listed company is moving its North Timmins gold project – host to the Bradshaw deposit – through the permitting process, with a view to start commercial production during the first quarter of 2019. It expects to ship first ore to a nearby plant before the end of the year as part of a 30 000 t bulk sample.

Gowest CEO Gregory Romain told Mining Weekly Online in an interview that the company is unlocking an opportunity in the Timmins Gold Camp by being one of the first to look into the potential of developing the refractory and sulphide ores in the region, something most other district participants overlooked in their quest for the “low-hanging fruits” that made the region famous. Continue Reading →

Indonesia has ‘no clear structure’ for a Freeport deal yet – by Fergus Jensen and Wilda Asmarini (Reuters U.S. – November 23, 2017)


JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises, tipped to oversee an acquisition of a majority stake in the local unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc, has “no clear structure” yet for the deal, a ministry official said on Friday.

Under a framework agreement announced in August, Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport said it would divest 51 percent of PT Freeport Indonesia (PT-FI), but there has been little progress since then.

Freeport, operator of Grasberg, the world’s second-largest copper mine, also agreed to build a second smelter in Indonesia and to invest up to $20 billion in expansions. Continue Reading →

Sault mayor confident in Ring of Fire smelter pitch – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 21, 2017)


Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano harbours no worries that the CCAA process with Essar Steel Algoma will jeopardize his city’s pursuit of a ferrochrome plant.

Sault councillors were given a briefing by city and economic development staff on Nov. 20 on their preparations to provide Ring of Fire developer Noront Resources with a compelling case to select the northeastern Ontario community as the host site for a chromite processing facility.

The Sault, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins are the four cities in the running as part of a competitive process staged by Noront. In early November, the Toronto mining company sent out the formal request for information documents for each city to make their best pitch. The proposal deadline is Feb. 2. Continue Reading →

Latin America’s Star Pupil Needs Some New Ideas – by Mac Margolis (Bloomberg News – November 24, 2017)


The first round of Chile’s presidential elections, which saw a near shoo-in billionaire stumble, has roiled the continent’s traditional pacesetter. The day after conservative former president Sebastian Pinera garnered less than 37 percent of the vote, the stock market took a powder.

Now Pinera faces a December runoff against Alejandro Guillier, a relative political newcomer, who’s bidding to unite the bickering but surprisingly resurgent Chilean left.

Yes, Chileans seem as tired of the same old faces in politics as everyone else in Latin America does. So is the continent’s most business-friendly nation about to bank hard left? Nah. Chileans long ago eschewed ideological extremes for a dull but stabilizing centrism. What’s at stake is whether any government can shake off more than a decade of economic inertia. Continue Reading →

What makes Vancouver a good place for mining companies? – by Olivia McCall (Born2Invest.com – November 23, 2017)

Vancouver, Toronto, Perth, Sydney, and London are the top five mining-friendly places in the world

Vancouver has been hailed as a mining capital of the world. What makes this place attractive to companies around the world?

According to Mining.com, Vancouver is the undisputed mining capital in the world because of the total miners and juniors that can be found in the city. Only the ones which are considered legit because they are publicly-traded and active until November this year. The list did not mention suppliers, consultancies or private companies.

Also in the list are Toronto (300), Perth (263), Sydney (96), London (92), Calgary (56), Melbourne (37), Montreal (30) and Johannesburg (14). Some cities in the U.S. such as New York, Denver, and Salt Lake City missed the list because the number of miners and juniors in their areas are below 9. Continue Reading →

Mikisew Cree and Fort McKay First Nations close $503M deal on oilsands project – by Hilary Bird (CBC News North – November 23, 2017)


Two northern Alberta First Nations have closed the deal on the purchase of a 49 per cent interest in a Suncor Energy oilsands storage facility for $503 million.

The acquisition by the Mikisew Cree and Fort McKay First Nations was first announced a year ago but was conditional on the First Nations securing funding.

The project, known as the East Tank Farm Development, is located about 30 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alta. According to a Suncor news release, the facility is a bitumen storage, blending and cooling operation handling production from the Fort Hills oilsands mining project. Continue Reading →

How consumers can leverage change, even in the face of tragedy – by Gerry Chidiac (Troy Media – November 23, 2017)


The extraction and black-market sale of gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten (used in our cellphones and other electronics) fuel the war in the DRC

As the Christmas season approaches, it’s important to be aware of the power we hold in how we spend our money.

As consumers, we invest in products we believe will serve us best. Companies may try to hide information about their products but eventually the truth comes out. Consumer advocacy is powerful in a free-market economy and we’ve all benefited.

American lawyer Ralph Nader, for example, took on the auto industry in the 1960s over the safety of their vehicles. Most buyers were unaware of the often deadly flaws in the products they were buying. This changed as Nader’s movement reached public consciousness. Since then, carmakers have competed to produce the best and safest vehicles possible, because that’s what consumers demand. Continue Reading →

VW Hunts for Critical Element Needed in Electric Cars – by Thomas Wilson and Christoph Rauwald (Bloomberg News – November 23, 2017)


Volkswagen AG is stepping up its hunt for long-term supplies of battery metals it will need to help power electric cars across its entire range.

The top automaker invited producers and traders of cobalt, one of this year’s best-performing metals, for talks at its German headquarters this week, people familiar with the matter said.

Buying the critical battery component might not be as simple as first thought — after issuing a tender in September, the firm has since relaxed demands for offers at a discounted fixed price, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Continue Reading →

The whizz of Oz: Australia is the new frontier for battery minerals (The Economist – November 23, 2017)


China’s electric-vehicle industry is piling in, as are speculators

FORGET the “resource curse”. Australia is blessed with the stuff. For more than a quarter of a century it has not had a recession, thanks largely to Chinese demand for its raw materials.

It is only a few years since the end of one such China-led boom, in base metals such as iron ore. A new speculative flurry has started in minerals such as lithium, cobalt and nickel to feed another China-related craze—making batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).

Ken Brinsden, an Australian mining engineer, says he pinches himself over these remarkable turns of fortune. Until 2015 he was a boss at Atlas Iron, which shipped low-grade iron ore to China. In 2011, at the height of the China-led supercycle, it had a valuation of A$3.5bn ($3.8bn). Continue Reading →