(L to R) Jennifer Witty, Chair of the Board of Governors at Laurentian University, Members of Parliament Marc Serré and Paul Lefebvre, Deputy Premier Deb Matthews, Energy Minister and Sudbury Member of Provincial Parliament Glenn Thibeault, Dominic Giroux, President and Vice-Chancellor Laurentian University.

(L to R) Jennifer Witty, Chair of the Board of Governors at Laurentian University, Members of Parliament Marc Serré and Paul Lefebvre, Deputy Premier Deb Matthews, Energy Minister and Sudbury Member of Provincial Parliament Glenn Thibeault, Dominic Giroux, President and Vice-Chancellor Laurentian University.

Part of $60.7 million project to include a new Research, Innovation and Engineering Building

SUDBURY, ON (SEPTEMBER 23, 2016) – The federal government will invest $21.1 million and the Ontario government will invest $6.3 million towards research and innovation infrastructure at Laurentian University. As part of a broad capital program totalling $60.7 million to be completed by March 2018, this $27.4 million investment is earmarked for the immediate construction of a new 47,000 sq ft Research, Innovation and Engineering Building. The announcement was made today by Members of Parliament Marc Serré and Paul Lefebvre, Deputy Premier Deb Matthews and Energy Minister and Sudbury Member of Provincial Parliament Glenn Thibeault.

“The significant support of $27.4 million received today from this joint federal-provincial announcement, the largest infrastructure announcement in Laurentian’s 56-year history, allows for the expansion of much needed research and innovation space in our region,” said Jennifer Witty, Chair of the Board of Governors at Laurentian University. “With this investment, we will build the infrastructure required to support education and research, foster innovation, and create opportunity for students while strengthening the economy.” Continue Reading →

The hollowing out of Canadian mining: Vale’s takeover of Inco, 10 years on – by Andrew Bell (Business Network News – September 23, 2016)

Ten years ago this Saturday, a global mining gem slipped out of Canadian fingers. In 2006, Canadian nickel miner Inco agreed to be bought by Brazil’s Vale in a $19-billion takeover. The announcement of the acquisition came just weeks after fellow nickel giant Falconbridge was acquired by Xstrata of Switzerland (now part of Glencore) in an $18-billion deal. The previous year, Falconbridge had combined with another Canadian mineral giant, Noranda.

The Inco sale “further undermines Canada’s status as a force in the mining industry,” the New York Times proclaimed at the time of the acquisition.

The two takeovers rankled because both Inco and Falconbridge sat atop a mineral lode in in Sudbury, Ont., which is among one of the greatest deposits on Earth. Vale itself calls the northern Ontario city “the mining capital of the world,” adding that its operations there “are among our largest on the planet, employing approximately 4,000 people.” Continue Reading →

Reality check for Australia’s ‘mining to dining’ hopes – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – September 22, 2016)

LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA – One of the themes in Australia as the resource boom comes to an end is that the country will be able to compensate by boosting its agricultural sector, the so-called “mining to dining” maneuver.

An Internet search of the terms Australia and “mining to dining” reveals almost 4,000 items, many focused on the view that China, the top buyer of Australia’s resources, will not only continue to suck up the country’s iron ore and coal, but also all the farm goods it can produce.

This idea became all the more prevalent as the prices of iron ore and coal, Australia’s major exports, started to plunge in 2011, shattering the unrealistic hopes of politicians and voters of an endless commodity boom that would deliver a tax revenue bonanza. Continue Reading →

Activists: Old uranium mines polluting Angostura – by Staff (Rapid City Journal – September 22, 2016)

Members of three activist groups say recent research shows that abandoned uranium mines are contributing to elevated uranium levels in Angostura Reservoir in the southern Black Hills.

The research was recently published in the journal Environmental Earth Sciences by authors that included two South Dakota School of Mines & Technology scientists, Rohit Sharma and James Stone. The article is titled “Stream sediment geochemistry of the upper Cheyenne River watershed within the abandoned uranium mining region of the southern Black Hills.”

According to the Clean Water Alliance, Dakota Rural Action and It’s All About the Water, the research shows that elevated uranium levels at Angostura are partly caused by human activity, including abandoned uranium mines and a former mill at Edgemont. Elevated uranium levels at Angostura Reservoir are comparable to the elevated uranium levels upstream in the Cheyenne River watershed at abandoned mines, the groups said. Continue Reading →

Check-up with the rock doctor: It’s a long way to the top, but CEO Catharine Farrow has made it – by Kyle Born (Canadian Mining & Energy – September 2016)

Most of us will never know what it’s like to be a CEO of an organization, but perhaps you’ve wondered what it’s like to walk in their shoes. Catharine Farrow has attained that coveted position within TMAC Resources Inc. As you might imagine, there’s not a whole lot of free time available to someone who’s accountable to so many. On this August morning Farrow is working away on emails at her home in Lake Nipissing, Ontario.

“My son is still off school, my husband has gone back to work, so this weekend I’m working from the cottage,” Farrow said. “I’m taking some downtime before the fall. I enjoy being a hockey mom to my son. He’s 12. Once I get into the fall I’m basically not home very much so I’m taking this week to hang out with the boys a little bit.”

If this is what downtime looks like, then what happens when things are busy? “I work out of the Toronto office,” Farrow said. “I basically get up in the morning and give ’er all day, see as many people as I can, do meetings.” TMAC owns the Hope Bay Project, which is a high-grade gold deposit located in Nunavut. Farrow oversees Hope Bay. Continue Reading →

China Plays Ore Hopscotch as Southeast Asian Mining Slows – by Biman Mukherji (Wall Street Journal – September 22, 2016)

Environmental concerns among traditional suppliers have sent the massive importer further afield

As one of the world’s leading metal producers, China is running into a new problem acquiring the mineral ores it needs to churn out stainless steel and aluminum: concern for the environment.

Rising anti-mining sentiment rippling through Southeast Asia has led to a series of mine shutdowns that are helping push up prices for some crucial minerals. The latest threat to China’s ability to source minerals comes from the Philippines, the world’s top supplier of nickel ore.

The official in charge of overseeing Philippine mines, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez, said Wednesday that a sweeping audit of the mining sector due out next week is likely to lead to the suspension of more than 10 metal-ore mines, around a quarter of the nation’s total. She had previously ordered operations halted at several nickel mines. Continue Reading →

Gold bug heaven: Fund manager predicts $4,000 an ounce – by Scott Barlow (Globe and Mail – September 22, 2016)

Investors have learned in the past decade that almost anything can happen in global markets, but a lot would have to change for the gold price to reach $4,000 (U.S.) an ounce.

Nonetheless, fund manager Diego Parrilla of Old Mutual Global Investors told Bloomberg he believes there’s “a few thousand dollars of upside” in the gold price.

Mr. Parrilla was somewhat coy about his investment thesis for bullion, noting, “As some of the excesses in other asset classes get unwound, gold will perform very strongly. … [T]he perfect storm scenario will mean that gold will perform best when other classes are doing worst.” Continue Reading →

Big gold miners see muted M&A as bullion’s rise limits bargains – by Nicole Mordant (Reuters U.S. – September 22, 2016)

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. – The world’s biggest gold miners will stay shy of big acquisitions, top executives said this week, noting that a jump in the price of bullion has made potential purchases pricey, and memories of failed deals linger.

The need for financial discipline was the dominant theme at the Denver Gold Forum this week, an annual conference for top miners, as the sector emerges from a deep, four-year slump. Executives met as the spot gold price surged by 30 percent in the first seven months of the year to as high as $1,374 an ounce. It has since slid to $1,326, still up 25 percent.

Had the industry experienced lower gold prices for longer this year, there would likely have been more mergers and acquisitions, said Gary Goldberg, Chief Executive of Newmont Mining Corp, the biggest gold miner by market value. Continue Reading →

The counterfeit ‘conservativism’ of carbon taxers – by Peter Foster (Financial Post -September 22, 2016)

Mark Cameron, executive director of Canadians for Clean Prosperity (CFCP), put up a spirited defence of his organization’s ostensibly “market-based” approach to climate policy in Wednesday’s FP Comment. As a former senior policy adviser to Stephen Harper, Cameron is the public face of an organization that claims “conservative” credentials.

On Friday, CFCP will hold an invitation-only conference in Toronto featuring some prominent conservative voices, such as those of Preston Manning and David Frum, but does Clean Prosperity really represent a principled conservative position on climate?

Such a position would not merely emphasize the power of markets, it would look with intense suspicion at any rationale for a vast increase in the size and scope of government, which is what the climate agenda demands. Continue Reading →

Gold Miners Look Past Fed ‘Headwind’ to Stay Upbeat on Price – by Danielle Bochove, Millie Munshi and Luzi Ann Javier (Washington Post – September 22, 2016)

(Bloomberg) — Not even the prospect of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates is enough to crush gold executives’ enthusiasm.

Prices will reach $1,385.63 an ounce by the end of the year, according to the average estimate in a survey of 16 participants at the Denver Gold Forum, the 27th annual gathering of mining executives, hedge funds, bankers and analysts that attracted more than 1,100 attendees. The forecast is 4.1 percent above Wednesday’s closing futures price.

Investors piled into gold in the first half of the year as yields fell below zero on more than $8 trillion of government debt in developed markets. Most survey participants said the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate policy will continue to be the driving factor for the metal, which benefits as a store of value when borrowing costs are low. The other big questions on the minds of gold watchers are the U.S. election and the stability of the global economy. Continue Reading →

U.S. Steel Canada receives $500-million lifeline – by Greg Keenan (Globe and Mail – September 22, 2016)

A U.S. metals and mining company is offering to invest about $500-million to purchase U.S. Steel Canada Inc. and keep the troubled steel maker operating. Bedrock Industries LP has emerged from among several contenders as the Ontario government’s preferred candidate to complete the restructuring of U.S. Steel Canada, which is now into its third year.

Miami-based Bedrock is prepared to restructure the company with a cash infusion, a pension contribution and payments to the province of Ontario and U.S. Steel Canada’s former parent, United States Steel Corp., said sources familiar with a deal reached between the province and Bedrock.

The deal is supported by the national office of the United Steelworkers union (USW) and gained qualified support from other stakeholders that have participated in the company’s saga of protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Continue Reading →

The all-natural ‘environmental disaster’: The Yukon creek that has been dyed red by rust for millennia – by Tristin Hopper (National Post – September 20, 2016)

Normally, when a river turns pumpkin orange, it’s a clear sign that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong: A chemical spill, a burst tailings pond or some kind of unearthly algae bloom.

But just at the side of the Yukon’s Dempster Highway — a gravel road running from the Klondike to Inuvik — it’s possible to view a remote waterway that has been opaque with pollution since Gwich’in peoples first entered the area. “It’s rust,” said Matt Herod, a geoscientist who has studied Red Creek, one of two “rusty” waterways along the Dempster Highway.

Herod describes the creek’s distinctive hue as a kind of “milky, coffee colour.” On his blog, he’s called it a “pretty wild place geochemically.” Red Creek, along with nearby Engineer Creek, gets its colour from iron deposits that have broken to the surface. Specifically, the water becomes jet black after picking up minerals from an exposed seam of black shale, and progressively turns red as it meanders downstream. Continue Reading →

GM deal promises new vehicle for Oshawa plant – by Vanessa Lu (Toronto Star – September 21, 2016)

Autoworkers at General Motors are breathing a sigh of a relief that the company has made new product commitments for Oshawa and St. Catharines, hoping it begins the turnaround for the Canadian auto industry.

As part of the deal reached late Monday between the automaker and Unifor, GM is also reversing a trend where automakers have been moving manufacturing to Mexico and the southern U.S. to cut costs. Monday’s deal includes a promise to move some engine production from Mexico to St. Catharines.

“We can really say that the tide is changing,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s national president, in an interview Tuesday. “I think it’s fair to say we have hit home runs all over the place.” The union said it won wage increases for workers, a higher start rate for new hires and a signing bonus. Ratification votes for almost 4,000 workers are scheduled for Sunday. Continue Reading →

New video to celebrate ‘Sudbury Saturday Night’ (Sudbury Star – September 20, 2016)

Stompin’ Tom Connors and Sudbury have always had a special affiliation thanks to the Canadian Music icon’s famous song “Sudbury Saturday Night”. On Saturday, Sudburians will have the chance to thank Stompin’ Tom Connors for his music and help create a professionally produced music video for the legendary song, “Sudbury Saturday Night.”

The music video will be shot on Grey Street, outside of The Townehouse Tavern (on the lower roof level), the location where Stompin’ Tom wrote and first performed his legendary song about our hometown.

“Sudbury Celebrates Stompin’ Tom” is a joint effort between The Townehouse Tavern, Downtown Sudbury and local businessman Colin Firth. Collectively, the group’s members believe it is time that Sudbury got together to celebrate Stompin’ Tom Connors to say thanks to the legendary Canadian icon by singing his famous song “Sudbury Saturday Night.” Continue Reading →

Philippines to suspend 12 more mines in environmental crackdown – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters U.S. – September 21, 2016)

MANILA – A dozen more Philippine mines, mostly nickel projects, are in danger of being suspended in an ongoing environmental crackdown on the sector, an environment undersecretary said on Wednesday.

The Southeast Asian nation, the world’s top supplier of nickel ore, has already halted the operations of 10 mines, eight of them nickel producers, for environmental lapses since it launched an audit in July, stoking increases in global prices.

A total of 40 large-scale metal mines in the country underwent an audit launched on July 8 by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez as she sought to stop what she claims is irresponsible mining from harming the environment. Continue Reading →