Mining sectors put heads together – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – July 20, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Pan-Northern Regional Mining Research Alliance in the works to bring different sectors in the field for stronger collaborations

Northern colleges, universities and funding partners with a focus on the mining industry are teaming up to pool their talents and collaborate on more projects that will benefit themselves and the region.

On July 10, Laurentian University hosted the first meeting of the Pan-Northern Regional Mining Research Alliance to bring interested parties together to discuss the format of the group and decide on its priorities.

The meeting included 21 participants from five universities and four colleges – all of whom are in northern Ontario – four funding agencies, several northern government agencies and science partners. Continue Reading →

South Africa intends to suspend issuing mining rights – by Tanisha Heiberg and Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.S. – July 21, 2017)

http://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa intends to suspend the granting of applications for prospecting and mining rights as well as any renewals pending a court case to review new mining laws, the Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Thursday.

Such a move could seriously hamper growth and investment in South Africa’s mining sector, already beset by policy uncertainty, depressed prices, soaring costs and often violent social and labor strife.

“The moratorium would ensure that any applications … are concluded in terms of the 2017 Mining Charter,” Zwane said in a statement. The Charter is part of a wider empowerment drive in South Africa designed to rectify the disparities of apartheid that persist more than two decades since the end of white minority rule in 1994. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: CMIC and CEMI ensure the future of mining is CLEER with joint submission to the Federal Innovation Supercluster Initiative

Canada (July 21, 2017) – The Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) led a joint Letter of Intent (LOI) submission to the Federal Government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative. Working on behalf of the mining industry, CEMI and CMIC proposed the creation of a clean resources supercluster called, CLEER (Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated). This CLEER supercluster will transform the mining sector’s productivity, performance, and competitiveness.

This will be achieved by tackling global challenges of water, energy, and environmental footprint, with bold targets of 50% reduction in each area by 2027. CLEER will engage the mining services and supply sector (MSS) and anchor mining companies, accelerate collaborative innovation, stimulate investments exceeding $5B, with the objective of growing SMEs, improving industry productivity, initiating export pathways, and creating more than 100,000 jobs.

In May, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, opened the application process for the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The 2017 Federal budget has made $950 million available over five years, starting in 2017-18, to support a small number of business-led innovation superclusters that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth. Continue Reading →

COMMENT: Dominion Diamond accepts sweetened offer from Washington Companies – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – July 17, 2017)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

YELLOWKNIFE, NWT – The management of Dominion Diamond Corp. has agreed to accept the sweetened takeover offer of the Washington Companies, the private company based in Missoula, Montana.

In March, Washington offered US$13.50 per share, and the Dominion board turned down the deal. Now offering US$14.25 per share, Washington looks to be the new, sole owner of the Ekati diamond mine (Canada’s first) and 40% of the Diavik diamond mine (operated by 60% owner Rio Tinto). The offer is a 44% premium over the March 17, 2017, share price and puts a value of US$1.2 billion on Dominion.

When that news hit my desk this morning, I thought, “There goes another one.” Readers will remember 10 years ago when Vale bought up Inco and Xstrata (now Glencore) scooped up Noranda/Falconbridge. Most of the writers who marked that anniversary recently thought the change in ownership did little to further Canadian mining or our place in the global minerals industry. Continue Reading →

‘Proof is in the pudding’ and the iron ore is there, says Tacora on Wabush Mines – by Stephanie Tobin (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – July 20, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/

First employees getting hired, company will be in Lab West to prep for business by next summer

The company that purchased the Scully Mine in Wabush says it has a five-year deal with the world’s largest iron ore trader and hopes to have the operation back up and running by this time next year.

Tacora Resources is currently going through the Companies’ Creditors Agreement Act (CCAA) purchase process for the site, since the mine has been locked in creditor protection since being shuttered by Cliffs Natural Resources in 2014.

Matt Lehtinen, Tacora CEO and president, says his company has been looking at Wabush Mines since January 2016 and working hard these past eight months to buy and reopen the operation. “I really thought that we had found a diamond in the rough,” he said. “We saw a lot of potential.” Continue Reading →

To save the planet, we must ignore anti-nuclear ideologues – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – July 21, 2017)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

There might be a way for the world to meet its carbon-reduction targets that does not involve building more nuclear power plants. The problem is, no one has come up with one. Until that happens, politicians need to get real about nuclear energy’s essential role in saving the planet. Unfortunately, most of them still have their heads stuck in their solar panels.

The latest greener-than-thou politician to make the perfect the enemy of the good is France’s awkwardly titled Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Nicolas Hulot. This month, Mr. Hulot announced the shutdown of as many as 17 of France’s 58 nuclear reactors over the next eight years as part of President Emmanuel Macron’s promise to cut his country’s reliance on nuclear-generated electricity to 50 per cent from 75 per cent by 2025.

Mr. Hulot says he has “absolute faith” in renewable power sources, mainly wind and solar energy, to fill the gap. But as Germany shows, closing emissions-free nuclear power plants, more often than not, leads to burning more fossil fuels to produce power. That’s because wind and solar remain intermittent power sources, while nuclear, coal and natural gas plants can run full-steam 24/7. Continue Reading →

Money from Canadian mining firms vanishes in Congo, report finds – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – July 21, 2017)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Johannesburg — In one of Africa’s poorest countries, more than $750-million (U.S.) in mining revenue disappeared before it could reach the national treasury, an investigation has found.

The money from mining companies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was diverted over a three-year period, with much of it siphoned off by politically connected insiders at opaque tax agencies, according to a report by Global Witness, an independent research group.

The findings are significant for Canadian mining companies, which have been major investors in Congo and have given millions of dollars in payments to official agencies and state enterprises in the country. Continue Reading →

Ontario Hydro sticker shock all thanks to Liberals’ mismanagement – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – July 20, 2017)

http://www.torontosun.com/

As a new shocking Fraser Institute report on electricity pricing in Ontario reveals, real people suffer when governments are incompetent. The governments in this case are the Liberal ones headed first by Dalton McGuinty and now Kathleen Wynne, who have turned Ontario’s energy sector into a financial train wreck from which there will be no easy or painless escape for generations to come.

The numbers in the Fraser study, titled “Evaluating Electricity Price Growth,” are damning. Torontonians today pay $720 more annually for electricity than the average Canadian. Ontario electricity prices skyrocketed 71% between 2008 and 2016.

That’s more than double the Canadian average of 34%, 2.5 times more than the rise in household incomes, four times the inflation rate, and 4.5 times the growth rate of the economy. In 2015-16 alone, Ontario electricity prices increased 15%, 2.5 times the national average of 6%. Continue Reading →

Trump’s Coal Revival Vow Emboldens Miners to Shun Career Change – by Daniel Flatley (July 20, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Retraining reticence for in-demand health care jobs is part economic and part cultural

West Virginia is so strongly associated with coal that the state flag features a miner with pickax over his shoulder. A nurse with a stethoscope might be more fitting.

Last year, WVU Medicine, a network of hospitals under the state’s flagship public university, dethroned Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as the top employer. What’s more, six out of the top 10 employers in the state were hospitals and health-care providers. Murray American Energy Inc., a large coal company operating in the region, dropped to 15th place from sixth.

That same story is told another way with labor-market data. Mining jobs in the state fell by 25 percent between 2012 and 2016. At the same time, West Virginia health-care jobs have been mushrooming, and account for one of every five private-sector positions in the state, according to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, a research group. Continue Reading →

Traditional owners win native title fight with Fortescue – by Darren Gray (Sydney Morning Herald – July 20, 2017)

http://www.smh.com.au/

Native title holders in the Pilbara will seek compensation after winning their long-running battle with iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group. In a judgment on Thursday, the Federal Court awarded the Yindjibarndi people exclusive rights over a section of Pilbara land where Fortescue operates the Solomon mine.

Shortly after the judgment was handed down, senior Yindjibarndi lawman Michael Woodley vowed to launch a compensation claim against the iron ore miner.

“We believe strongly they are liable for what they’ve been doing for the last eight years on our country, mining without our … prior and informed consent,” Mr Woodley told the ABC. In his decision, Justice Steven Rares pointed to the presence of the Yindjibarndi in the area well before European settlement and the fact there were important cultural sites near the Fortescue mine. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Tanzania questions Acacia Mining staff in row with government (Reuters U.S. – July 21, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Tanzania detained and questioned two senior local Acacia Mining staff at an airport this week in a dispute with the government, two sources said on Friday, and the company said it was having trouble renewing work permits for foreign staff.

Chief Executive Brad Gordon denied a Reuters report that foreign staff were asked to leave by the government due to a dispute over mining licenses and accusations of tax evasion.

He said its local employees had been interviewed by Tanzanian “government agencies” but did not confirm detentions. “We were having difficulty getting work permits renewed. But no foreign nationals have been asked to leave the country. So there may be some confusion in that. That’s a normal part of business,” Gordon told Reuters. Continue Reading →

Sudbury mine needed culture change: supervisor – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – July 21, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Shortly after Mark Aubrey arrived at First Nickel Inc.’s Lockerby Mine in 2012 to take on the job of operations manager, he had a big surprise waiting for him: a Ministry of Labour compliance order that highlighted numerous issues such as dust control and road building issues at the nickel and copper mine that needed addressing. That was when Aubrey said he realized a major culture shift was needed at the mine’s management level.

“We fixed the supervisor training,” Aubrey recalled. “That included spending time with our ground control people … every supervisor at one point or another, went through that process. I was happy with what we were able to put in place, the supervising guys, even health and safety guys, our safety people. We took the steps to put guidelines in place to keep us out of trouble with the Ministry of Labour.

“Again, it’s not doing it for the Ministry of Labour, but doing it for ourselves. There were individuals within the management group who didn’t share the same degree, the same importance, of how a worksite should be looked after. We took a leading role. We didn’t rely on someone else to hold our hand, so to speak.” Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay, Fort William First Nation make the case for Ring of Fire smelter – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 20, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Economic developers take Noront miners on brownfields tour

Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation made a joint push this week to be the host site for a ferrochrome smelter serving the Ring of Fire.

Local economic development officials took representatives from Noront Resources, the biggest claimholder in the Far North mineral belt, on a tour of area industrial sites, hoping to sway the Toronto mine developer to pick northwestern Ontario for a $600-million to $800-million processing plant.

John Mason, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission’s mining services project manager, said the tour was basically to give Noront president Alan Coutts and chief development officer Steve Flewelling a better on-the-ground appreciation of what land and infrastructure is available.

The tour took them to the Grand Trunk Railway lands on the Fort William reserve and a mixture of private and government-owned parcels of waterfront brownfields in the Mission and McKellar Islands area. “It was essentially a waterfront, or water-themed, tour,” said Mason. Continue Reading →

Top 10 Canadian-based gold developers – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – July 20, 2017)

Global mining news

Gold exploration and development is enjoying a boom again, and Canadian juniors are leading project advancement at home and abroad.

The following are the top-10, Canadian-headquartered gold companies that are developing projects but not yet in commercial production, ranked according to market capitalization in mid-July. Gold royalty and streaming companies are not included in the list.

1. Novagold Resources – $1.9 billion market capitalization

Vancouver-based Novagold Resources (TSX: NG; NYSE-MKT: NG) is a familiar name in the gold sector, especially amongst retail investors. Novagold’s flagship project is its half interest in the large but remote Donlin Gold project in southwestern Alaska, which is a fifty-fifty joint venture with Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: ABX). Continue Reading →

STATEMENT: Ivanhoe Mines says Bloomberg stories on Ivanhoe’s success in the Democratic Republic of Congo are flawed by a deceptive headline, errors and omissions of critical facts (July 19, 2017)

https://www.ivanhoemines.com/

VANCOUVER, CANADA – An initial story published by Bloomberg News on July 18, 2017, misleads readers with its headline, erroneous reporting and the omission of critical contextual facts that were known to the news organization.

A second story, also published on July 18, contains a false allegation by Bloomberg that Ivanhoe Mines had corrected as part of a detailed statement of facts delivered to Bloomberg seven weeks ago.

On May 26, 2017, Ivanhoe Mines provided a letter to Bloomberg reporter Thomas Wilson that set out critical information related to a planned story that subsequently was published by Bloomberg early on July 18. It became apparent after the story was published that much of Ivanhoe’s factual information had been excluded, which Bloomberg indicated was due to “the limitations of the length of the story.” Of course, this deliberate withholding of critical details was not revealed to Bloomberg’s readers. Continue Reading →