Parties fight over uranium mining in Trump’s smaller Utah monuments – by Josh Siegel (Washington Examiner – January 22, 2018)

Republican lawmakers are trying to counter accusations that the Trump administration drastically shrank the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah to benefit the uranium mining industry.

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, introduced a bill last month that explicitly bars mining and drilling in the new monument area as well as in the land that was protected before President Trump altered the boundaries.

Former President Barack Obama, who created the 1.35-acre Bears Ears National Monument just before he left office, had banned mining and drilling there. Trump on Dec. 4 signed a proclamation cutting Bears Ears by more than 1.1 million acres, or 85 percent, and creating two smaller monuments instead. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Coal delays seasonal price decline on robust Asia demand – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – January 21, 2018)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Jan 22 (Reuters) – It’s getting to the time of year when a seasonal decline in thermal coal prices in Asia is to be expected as winter’s demand peak passes – but so far the power station fuel is defying gravity.

The price of spot cargoes of thermal coal from Australia’s Newcastle port, a regional benchmark, ended at $108.75 a tonne on Jan. 19, within touching distance of the $109.50 reached on Jan. 17, which was the highest in a year.

The price has rallied 5.8 percent since the end of last year and by 18 percent since the most recent trough of $92.20 a tonne on Nov. 23. The first port of call when looking at moves in thermal coal prices in the seaborne market is China, given its status as the largest importer of the fuel. Continue Reading →

‘Blood diamond’ agreement fails consumers, says NGO – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – January 22, 2018)

The global agreement to prevent trade in “blood diamonds” from Africa has failed to assure consumers their gems are not tainted by human rights abuses and conflict, according to one of its founding members.

IMPACT, a Canadian non-government organisation, has left the Kimberley Process because it says it has given buyers “false confidence” about where their stones come from and needs to reform.

The departure of IMPACT, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for its work on conflict diamonds, leaves only one international NGO left in the Kimberley Process, established in 2003 to prevent diamonds being used to fund rebel groups in Africa. Continue Reading →

Wyoming uranium producers appeal to Trump to decrease foreign imports – by Heather Richards (Casper Star Tribune – January 21, 2018)

The two largest uranium producers in the country, both operating in Wyoming, are asking President Donald Trump for relief from one of their greatest challenges: foreign imports.

Denver-based Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy petitioned the Department of Commerce to look into whether imports from dominant uranium producers, like Russia, pose a national security risk. The firms are also asking the president to make adjustments to imports of uranium, according to a statement released by the companies last week.

The companies propose carving out about 25 percent of the domestic market solely for U.S. producers. That would hopefully boost prices and give companies like Energy Fuels an opportunity to grow their businesses, said Paul Goranson, executive vice president of operations for Energy Fuels. Continue Reading →

News Release: Sabina Gold & Silver Announces Closing of 9.9% Investment by Zhaojin International Mining Co., Ltd.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sabina Gold & Silver Corp (TSX:SBB.T), (“Sabina” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the closing of the investment by Zhaojin International Mining Co., Ltd. (“Zhaojin International”) to purchase 24,930,000 common shares of the Company at a price of $2.65 per share for a total investment of approximately $66,100,000 in a private placement (the “Financing”) has closed.

Zhaojin International now owns approximately 9.9% of the Company’s issued and outstanding common shares on a non-diluted basis. Zhaojin International is a subsidiary of Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. Ltd. (“Zhaojin”), which is a leading Chinese gold producer and one of China’s largest gold smelting companies.

“We are pleased to welcome Zhaojin as a new shareholder to the Company. As experienced gold miners, we also look forward to their technical input as we advance the Back River Gold Project (“Back River” or the “Project”). Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto digs deeper into Mongolia – by Melanie Burton and Terrence Edwards (Reuters U.S. – January 22, 2018)

MELBOURNE/ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) – Global miner Rio Tinto will set up a new office in the Mongolian capital, separate from its giant Oyu Tolgoi project, to focus on exploration and local ties, strengthening its commitment to one of the world’s greatest copper prospects.

Mongolia’s proximity to neighbouring China, the world’s biggest copper consumer, has attracted interest from international prospectors as an anticipated leap in electric vehicle demand and renewable energy would increase consumption of a commodity that already has multiple uses.

But some investors are nervous about the unpredictability of Mongolia’s young democracy and Rio Tinto, which is operating an expansion project at the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia, has had difficult negotiations with the government in the past. Continue Reading →

2018 minerals-focused financings off to slow start – by Henry Lazenby ( – January 22, 2018)

ANCOUVER ( – In the wake of a slow start to mineral-focused financing activity, analysts are predicting more of the same for at least the first four months of 2018.

This year is also not expected to surpass 2017 in the number and value of mineral-focused financings undertaken at the market, data company Oreninc told attendees at the 2018 Vancouver Resource Investment Conference on Sunday. “Share prices will appreciate, but financing levels will probably be below 2017 levels,” said CEO Kai Hoffmann.

Oreninc tracks all Canadian mining and metals and oil and gas equity financings for companies listed on the TSX, TSX-V and CSE. The data is used to create a deal log, which it uses in consulting services and which is available for public scrutiny free of charge. Continue Reading →

Globe editorial: Ottawa needs to give new human-rights watchdog actual teeth (Globe and Mail – January 22, 2018)

The majority of the world’s mining companies are based in Canada. Together, they operate thousands of sites in more than 100 countries. Lately, though, too many of them have come under fire for alleged human-rights abuses at mines they own or operate abroad.

In 2016, for instance, the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project at Osgoode Hall in Toronto documented 28 incidents involving Canadian companies in Latin America that led to 44 deaths and 403 injuries. Of the 44 deaths, the report said, 30 involved people who were “targeted” because they opposed the mining operations in question.

At the same time, Canadian courts have become more willing to allow civil suits based on allegations of human-rights abuses in other countries to be heard here in Canada – decisions that likely mean companies will face stiffer penalties if they lose their cases. Continue Reading →

Opinion: The Heat Is On For The Ring Of Fire – by Ernest Skinner ( – January 29, 2018)

Last year I thought the Soo was in the forefront to acquire the ferrochromite smelter plant that Noront was proposing to build. Noront CEO Alan Coutts was interviewed on CBC radio’s Up North with Jason Turnbull last summer, and the insinuation was that the Soo had everything they wanted in terms of location, workforce, transportation etc.

It was of my opinion that all we had to do as a city and population was to embrace this venture and it would come to fruition. Things don’t look as fruity after some reading on the subject during the past couple of weeks.

I’m not suggesting that we (SSM) are out of the running (it’s still a close race), but I am suggesting that a couple other communities are making inroads and headlines, while it seems we are standing still. Aside from the efforts of our local political officials…I’m not as confident as I was. Continue Reading →

2017 a record year for Tahoe gold production – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – January 19, 2018)

TIMMINS – Tahoe Resources Inc. is reporting record gold production for 2017 and the local mining operations at Bell Creek and Timmins West have made a significant contribution to that.

Tahoe this week reported 2017 gold production of 445,000 ounces, “achieving the high end of its annual gold production guidance range of 400,000 to 450,000 ounces, which was revised upward in September 2017,” said the company in a news release.

While most of the company’s gold production came from the La Arena mine in Peru, with 196,000 ounces in 2017, Timmins was close behind with 167,000 ounces of gold. The company’s third gold mining venue, the Shahuindo Mine, also in Peru, was third in production with 79,000 ounces. Continue Reading →

McEwan gearing up for ‘aggressive exploration’ – by Staff (Timmins Daily Press – January 20, 2018)

BLACK RIVER-MATHESON – McEwan Mining Inc. is about to embark on an aggressive exploration program for its recently acquired Black Fox property, formerly Primero Mining Corp. near Matheson.

McEwan completed the purchase of the Primero property in October in a $35-million deal. In a news release issued Wednesday, McEwan Mining said the acquisition and exploration program is aimed at increasing gold production and expanding the company’s resource base.

“A $10 million property-wide exploration program that will include approximately 330,000 feet (100,000 metres) of drilling is underway. The main objectives are to test for extensions of existing resources, follow-up on significant drill results, and to investigate new exploration targets,” said the release. Continue Reading →

Protect the Amazon from big business and greed, Pope Francis urges – by Philip Pullella and Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – January 19, 2018)

PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru (Reuters) – Pope Francis issued a ringing defense of the people and the environment of the Amazon on Friday, saying big business and “consumerist greed” could not be allowed to destroy a natural habitat vital for the entire planet.

Francis, who has made the environment and climate change a focus of his nearly five-year-old pontificate, made his appeal while visiting a corner of the Amazon in Peru where pristine rainforest and biodiversity is being blighted by mining and logging, much of it illegal.

“The native Amazonian peoples have probably never been so threatened on their own lands as they are at present,” the pope told a crowd of indigenous people from more than 20 groups including the Harakbut, Esse-ejas, Shipibos, Ashaninkas and Juni Kuin. Continue Reading →

TMAC enters final review process for two new Nunavut gold mines – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – January 19, 2018)

Company eyes startups in 2019

TMAC Resources Inc. said Thursday that it has passed another milestone on the company’s journey towards expanding its Hope Bay mining operations in western Nunavut with production at the Madrid and Boston deposits.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board and the Nunavut Water Board accepted the final environmental impact statement and water licence applications for Hope Bay’s expansion on Jan. 17.

That means a coordinated review of TMAC’s proposal for development and mining at the Madrid and Boston gold deposits will now get underway—with final hearings on the project slated to take place May 8 to May 12 in Cambridge Bay, In a release, TMAC said it looked looks forward to working with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, Kitikmeot communities and government departments during the NIRB and NWB reviews. Continue Reading →

COLUMN- Industrial metals bull party on hold; will restart shortly – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – January 18, 2018)

LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) – After the party must come the hangover. Industrial metals went on something of a bull bender over the course of December and have done no more than stagger into the New Year.

Copper went on an 11-day binge of consecutive highs as London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month metal powered through the $7,000 a tonne barrier to a four-year peak of $7,312.50 on Dec. 28. It’s now back below $7,100, with another New Year just around the corner.

The Chinese Year of the Dog starts on Feb. 16 and the onshore Chinese markets are chilling the bull party even further with long liquidation across the metallic board. But the analyst consensus is that this is no more than a pause in the two-year, 60 percent rally in the LME index of core contracts. Continue Reading →

Millennials Are Snubbing Diamonds – by Bei Hu (Bloomberg News – January 18, 2018)

Diamonds are set to slump further, according to a hedge fund whose bet on marijuana made it the world’s best performer in 2016.

Prices of the precious gem may slump as much as 10 percent this year as it loses appeal with younger consumers and faces challenges from synthetic alternatives, said Singapore-based Ben Cleary, who co-manages the $500 million Tribeca Global Natural Resources Fund.

“Diamonds are marketed on the idea that they will forever represent a pinnacle of luxury and materialist desire,” Cleary wrote in an email. “Our concern is whether a younger generation of millennials will have the same allegiance to the same products as their parents and grandparents.” Continue Reading →