Ann Arbor — Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been a powerfully mining-oriented place ever since early explorers were astonished to discover enormous chunks of pure copper in the Keweenaw Peninsula.
The iron ore deposits uncovered west of Marquette in the 19th century were so rich that unprocessed ore was shipped directly to blast furnaces to be made into iron. Once those deposits were worked out, vast quantities remained of less pure — but plenty rich — iron ore. Ever since, this has been one of the U.P.’s biggest industries, creating jobs extracting, processing and shipping iron ore to steel mills from Cleveland to Gary, Ind.
I’ve just returned from a family vacation at our cabin “up north,” where we toured the Tilden iron mine near Negaunee, owned and operated by Cliffs Natural Resources Co., which readers may remember was named Cleveland-Cliffs until a few years ago.
The scope and scale of the mine flabbergasted us. As we approached, we saw a vast three-story rust-colored building looming that seemed to run on for a mile or so. Hills of waste tailings as high as the biggest ski hill rose up to the south. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Iron Ore, United States Mining and History |
Quebec opposition says foreign miners not paying enough
* Government has big plans to develop resource-rich North
Aug 19 (Reuters) - Quebec’s two main opposition parties, seeking to replace the struggling Liberal government in a Sept 4 election, said on Sunday that foreign mining firms should pay more for the right to operate in the resource-rich Canadian province.
Polls show the separatist Parti Quebecois is well ahead of Premier Jean Charest’s Liberals, who are almost neck-and-neck with the right-leaning Coalition for the Future of Quebec (CAQ).
The government last year launched a C$80 billion ($81 billion) plan to develop Quebec’s frozen northern regions, which it says has big deposits of nickel, cobalt, platinum group metals, zinc, iron ore, gold, lithium, vanadium and rare-earth metals.
Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois, appearing in a televised debate with Charest and CAQ leader Francois Legault, said if she won the election she would raise royalty rates to stop natural resources being sold off at a discount. “We will really create wealth and share it for all the population, not only for a few mining firms,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Canadian/International Media Resource Articles, Quebec Mining |
Industry insiders, companies and unions know the sector has some very tough decisions to make, but it’s not just platinum that is at risk.
LYDENBURG, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa’s platinum promise of prosperity has turned into a heap of broken dreams for Vusimuzi Mathosi, one of 2,000 workers laid off by Aquarius Platinum at its Everest Mine.
“This place can only be sustained with platinum. What can we do now?,” he told Reuters near the one-room box he and his family call home in a dilapidated township on the outskirts of Lydenburg, 300 km (180 miles) east of Johannesburg.
He belongs to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), whose b loody turf war for members with the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was the backdrop to Thursday’s killing of 34 striking platinum miners by police at the Marikana mine.
When Aquarius, the world’s 4th largest producer of the precious metal, closed production at Everest, it cited worsening industrial relations stemming from the AMCU/NUM battle which has turned workers into warriors across the platinum sector. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Africa Mining, Canadian/International Media Resource Articles, Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Mining Conflict |
The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
As senior mining analyst at Salman Partners, an investment dealer, Raymond Goldie keeps a close eye on the nickel industry. But he’s finding it difficult to keep tabs on Vale, one of the world’s largest nickel producers.
That being said, Goldie is predicting Vale could be planning a production shutdown because of the low price of nickel. Nickel has fallen to below $7 a pound, something that could prompt other companies such as Xstrata Nickel and Norilsk to cease production for awhile as well, he said.
Vale spokeswoman Angie Robson said a planned maintenance shutdown is now underway at the company’s Greater Sudbury operations. Robson said the company has no other plans. ”We don’t speculate on rumours, but there are no plans to shut down operations,” she said.
Goldie and other mining analysts who used to follow the former Inco Ltd. closely are finding it more difficult to do that now that it’s owned by the Brazil-based mining giant. Read the rest of this entry »
posted in Nickel, Ontario Mining, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances, Sudbury, Vale, Xstrata Glencore PLC |