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. Ian Ross is the editor of Northern Ontario Business email@example.com.
While Cliffs Natural Resources made a declarative statement that Sudbury was its choice to host a $1.8-billion ferrochrome processor, the Ontario government was vague on what the province is prepared to invest in.
Power and processing were the two unanswered questions that came out of simultaneous May 2 press conferences staged by Cliffs and the Ontario government on the announcement of the smelter in the Nickel City.
Cliffs is advancing its Black Thor chromite deposit in the James Bay lowlands toward feasibility and a production target startup of 2015. Once the mine’s permits are obtained and an environmental assessment is finished, groundbreaking for the Sudbury furnace could begin within a year and a half.
Since entering the Ring of Fire chromite play, Cliffs has maintained that power rates in Ontario were too high to site a refinery in the province when compared with neighbouring provincial and U.S. jurisdictions. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Aboriginal Mining, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery |
Marten Falls First Nation knows it holds many cards when it comes to the Ring of Fire. And Chief Eli Moonias is not afraid to say no, if the government and industry do not work with the First Nations on developing the mines.
He just has not seen the need to say no yet. “There’s no development yet. There’s only a proposed development,” Moonias said. “As for the benefits, that is yet to come. That’s what we’re concerned about.”
Moonias outlined a range of challenges and concerns his First Nation has with the proposed Ring of Fire developments during a meeting with reporters in the community on June 7. Paramount among Moonias’ concerns is the potential for environmental pollution of the land, water and animals.
Marten Falls is well aware of the Athabasca River example in Alberta, Moonias said. He does not want to be in the same situation in the future as First Nations downstream of Alberta’s oilsands find themselves today, with pollution in the water and air, and fish and animals contaminated from the mines. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Aboriginal Mining, Mining Conflict, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery |
International mining conference focuses on mass mining techniques
A different style of mining could extend the life of nickel and copper mines in Sudbury — and companies are talking about it at a conference in the city this week. Mass mining is a method of extraction that accesses low grade ore directly below an open pit mine.
Greg Baiden, one of the conference organizers, said mass mining is cheaper than going underground and requires a much smaller workforce. It also extends the life of an existing open pit mine — something that’s definitely appealing to cost-conscious companies.
“It could make a huge difference,” Baiden said. “You know, you could be mining in Sudbury for hundreds more years with all the ore — all the stuff that’s currently not ore, that’s up there that’s low grade.”
The conference, considered one of the premier mining conferences in the international mining community, only takes place every four years. It is taking place at Laurentian University this week. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Ontario Mining, Sudbury |
The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.
City council has been forced from hibernation on the issue of black bear management. The latest budget-cutting effort from Queen’s Park has eliminated the practice of trapping and relocating nuisance bears from the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Bear Wise program.
Instead, the provincial government has passed the bear buck to police. At council Monday night, Police Chief John Gauthier said in the first week of June alone Timmins Police Service received 21 complaints about nuisance bears. In May, they received 62 bear calls calls.
While the track record of trapping and relocating the bruins is spotty at best — many times bears find their way back to where they were caught — it is definitely a better solution than handing off the responsibility to police.
The situation is becoming, well, unbearable. On Sunday night, TPS officers were forced to shoot a large bear that wouldn’t leave the clubhouse area at Hollinger Golf Club. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Northern Ontario Politics, Northern Ontario Separation and Alienation, Timmins |
Miners Take On New Risks as They Drill Deeper for Copper; Rio Tinto’s $5 Billion Lode in Utah
BINGHAM CANYON, Utah—Miners have drilled, blasted and dug 19 million tons of copper out of this valley—enough for all the nickels, dimes and quarters ever minted—in what is the world’s deepest surface mine.
There is plenty more in an untapped region far below the mine, and owner Rio Tinto, the global mining behemoth, is investing $165 million to explore the area, which may hold some $5 billion worth of copper.
Some mining companies that have relied mostly on surface mining—the removal of ground over minerals near the Earth’s surface—are going deeper. Mineral deposits are often concentrated in the same region. Once the surface deposits are depleted, miners can now dig further, rather than scout for new reserves and then have to build infrastructure to mine, process and transport those resources.
New technology—robotic drills and high-strength pipe alloys, for instance—makes it possible to go twice as deep, and the relatively high prices for commodities make it financially feasible, too. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Canadian/International Media Resource Articles, Mining Education and Innovation |
The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.
By taking on the oil sands and fracking, two of the biggest areas of controversy in the oil and gas industry, Thomas Mulcair is positioning himself as a headline-chasing anti-oil crusader.
Mr. Mulcair’s strategy is politically astute. By providing a counterpoint to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s pro-oil policies, the federal NDP leader is getting lots of attention. The problem is that he’s using big words while knowing little.
Not only is he alienating many potential voters who know better, including the vast numbers working in and for the oil and gas industry across the country, but his sinister view of energy development threatens to make him a political lightweight.
After trashing the oil sands for supposedly boosting the value of the Canadian dollar to the detriment of the manufacturing sector — a theory that had a short shelf life with the recent pullback in oil prices — Mr. Mulcair took on the sector’s main lobby group. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Canadian/International Media Resource Articles, Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image |
First Nation leaders are criticizing the Ontario government’s new mining act, saying it puts too much faith in industry to “do the right thing” without adequate monitoring or regulations ensure meaningful consultation happens.
In a six-page letter to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM), Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) pointed out a range of flaws with phase two regulations, including concerns over the lack of compliance monitoring and enforcement.
“First Nations should not be asked to trust that companies will do the right thing,” NAN’s letter states. “There must be ongoing monitoring of all project sites, to ensure companies are properly motivated to comply with permit terms.”
According to NAN’s letter, the government has said it will identify the “bad apples” among exploration companies over time. “The only way this would happen is by letting them spoil the land, perhaps even more than once, and then stop it from happening in the future,” NAN wrote. “This reactionary approach is not acceptable.”
Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Aboriginal Mining, Mining Conflict, Ontario Mining |
Some Fearing Minerals Shortfall Look to Asteroids, but Miners See Planet as Almost Bottomless Pit
Is the earth running out of minerals? A recent and widely publicized proposal to mine asteroids for nickel, platinum and other key ingredients for metals is based in part on the notion that we face scarcity in the not-too-distant future.
How much is a matter of debate, as is the capacity of sonar, radar and drilling technology to find new resources—which may not match civilization’s ever-growing appetite for metal-based products from replacement knee joints and oil pipes to catalytic converters and iPads.
Investors led by Google Inc. Chief Executive Larry Page and film director James Cameron in April launched Planetary Resources Inc., based in Bellevue, Wash., with a message that the Earth’s resources could soon fail to meet the technological needs of a population spiraling toward 10 billion.
Caterpillar Inc., one of the world’s largest makers of mining equipment, has already joined with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to design space-mining gear. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Mining Education and Innovation |