Archive | British Columbia Mining

Klondike Silver – The Silvery Slocan May Rise Again (Geology For Investors – October 13, 2017)

There is a thing about old mining camps. A certain resonance in the atmosphere. It comes from the hundreds or thousands that once toiled, in dark, dirty and dangerous conditions searching for fortune and fame.

Perhaps it’s the psychic energy of a million broken dreams or the electric shock when just 10 feet more breaks into a whole new vein or the whack of a hammer reveals a boulder of pure silver. Sandon, in the heart of what was known as the “Silvery Slocan” is one such place. Boulders of solid galena (lead sulfide) fell from the mountains, spawning the wildest city in BC, Canada and the beating heart of British Columbia’s last great mining rush.

So confident in their future that they boxed up the creek and put their main street on it, 100 years later it’s piles of rotting timber beside a very free running Carpenter creek. It’s easy to imagine that the mines are as dead as those long ago ghosts. Continue Reading →

Threatened B.C. mining heritage site gets a new lease on life – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – October 10, 2017)

A structure vital to Vancouver Island mining history might not be doomed for destruction after all. The Morden mine headframe and tipple date to 1913 but remain the last significant signs of the Nanaimo region’s coal industry, where British Columbia’s first successful mining began in 1852.

Located on a provincial park in an NDP-voting region, the site had been neglected by B.C.’s previous Liberal government. But on October 6 the new NDP government announced a $25,000 conservation grant.

While encouraging to the volunteer Friends of Morden Mine Society, the money falls far short of the $2.7 million that a previous engineering study estimated necessary for the structure’s preservation. That amount included $500,000 for emergency repairs. Continue Reading →

Imperial Metals Investors Are Counting on Another Billionaire Rescue – by Allison McNeely (Bloomberg News – October 2, 2017)

Has billionaire Murray Edwards stepped in to prop up a troubled Canadian copper miner once more? That’s what investors and analysts are wondering after Imperial Metals Corp. won a second reprieve on its loans until Oct. 13 while bankers review a new financial rescue plan.

Edwards, the company’s largest shareholder who has been involved since 1994, has previously helped bail out Imperial Metals by injecting capital, making a loan and guaranteeing a credit line.

Imperial’s shares and bonds have slumped amid uncertainty as to whether Edwards, and money manager Bruce Berkowitz’s Fairholme Capital Management, the largest bondholder, would step in with additional financing. The Vancouver-based company fed those concerns last month when it disclosed lenders had to grant a waiver to avert default, and warned there’s doubt Imperial can survive without more financing or a debt extension. Continue Reading →

Norman B. Keevil book reveals tactics of 1970s B.C. flirtation with resource nationalism – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – September 29, 2017)

The year was 1973. No sooner had Teck Resources transplanted its HQ to Vancouver than British Columbia premier W.A.C. Bennett’s 20-year reign fell to defeat at NDP hands. Resource nationalism proved to be one of new premier Dave Barrett’s earliest enthusiasms. But the guy who bragged about his commitment to doing “what was needed and right” showed a peculiar modus operandi.

That’s just one of the stories related by Norman B. Keevil in a history of Teck to be released next week, Never Rest on your Ores: Building a Mining Company, One Stone at a Time. Keevil relates that on summoning him and Bob Hallbauer into the premier’s Victoria office, Barrett’s first words were, “I want your coal.”

Interest had been growing in northeastern B.C.’s deposits, among them Teck’s Sukunka. “Well, at least he did call it our coal,” Keevil notes. “That would become questionable as the situation evolved.” The duo declined but Barrett wouldn’t give up. He kept calling them back to Victoria on an almost weekly basis. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto boss lauds B.C.’s clean energy as trade advantage – by Nelson Bennett (Business Vancouver – September 26, 2017)

Kitimat aluminum smelter facing stiff competition from huge production in China

When Gervais Jacques was invited to speak to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade last week about the $6 billion modernization of an aluminum smelter in Kitimat in 2014 and 2015, the context of the discussion was free trade with the U.S. The U.S., after all, is a major customer for B.C. aluminum.

But Jacques’ talk ended up sounding more like a promotion for large-scale hydroelectricity for heavy industry and manufacturing – something Jacques called “the Canadian advantage.”

It was B.C.’s hydro power potential that drew Alcan to B.C. to build the Kemano hydroelectric dam, completed in 1954, and aluminum smelter. It was at the time the largest private investment made in B.C. With a workforce of 1,000, the smelter is Kitimat’s largest employer. Continue Reading →

BC’s NDP-led govt talks up exploration, mining as basis for building burgeoning communities – by Henry Lazenby ( – September 26, 2017)

VANCOUVER ( – British Columbia is ‘ground zero’ for mining in Canada, as technological advances require an ever-increasing volume of metals to satisfy improving standards of living and produce environment-friendly technologies.

This was the key message to attendees at the fourth yearly Resource Breakfast Series held in Vancouver on Tuesday.

“Mining builds communities,” Mining Association of BC president and CEO Bryan Cox stressed, pointing out that it was thanks to the gold rush and burgeoning mining industry more than a century ago that a provincial government was established to oversee the unprecedented influx of miners – all in search of personal fortunes in the harsh, but prospective mountain territory. Continue Reading →

[Alaska mining] Actor Leonardo DiCaprio donates $80,000 to Southeast group (Juneau Empire – September 23, 2017)

You might call it a titanic contribution. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, founded in 1998 by the eponymous screen actor, announced an $80,000 grant to the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission (SEITC) on Tuesday. The money will help the group in its efforts to protect Southeast waters from Canadian mining projects they believe are threatening their indigenous way of life.

The donation was made as part of a $20 million philanthropic effort, according to Hollywood Reporter. DiCaprio announced the portfolio of grants at a climate change conference at Yale University.

SEITC is comprised of 16 federally-recognized tribes and is based out of Kasaan, Alaska. In a Friday phone conversation, Chairman Frederick Otilius Olsen, Jr. said the money will help the group protect the environment from industrialization rapidly occurring across the border from Southeast Alaska. Continue Reading →

Teck ups Red Dog guidance; outlines significant exploration target for Aktigiruq – by Henry Lazenby ( – September 19, 2017)

VANCOUVER ( – Canada’s largest diversified miner Teck Resources has added about 50 000 t of zinc output to the full-year guidance for its Red Dog mine, in Alaska.

Vancouver-headquartered Teck advised that improving recoveries in the last few months has prompted the company to lift guidance to a range of 525 000 t to 550 000 t of zinc, up from the most recent guidance range of 475 000 t to 500 000 t of zinc.

The company increased production because of changes in mine sequencing and improved metallurgical recoveries, enabling higher-grade mill feed with a greater percentage of ore from the Qanaiyaq pit in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Teck expects yearly zinc output at Red Dog over the next five years to range between 475 000 t and 550 000 t of zinc. Continue Reading →

Ajax mine: too close for comfort in Kamloops? – by Nelson Bennett (Business Vancouver – September 19, 2017)

Copper-gold mine is just two kilometres from the city limits

“I’m not against mining, but…” That line from a recent letter to the editor in Kamloops This Week pretty much sums up the tone of discussion around the Ajax copper-gold mine – a discussion that has been going on in Kamloops since 2011.

It’s a discussion that promises to get more heated in the coming weeks, now that the mine project is in the public comment period of a joint provincial-federal environmental review.

According to KGHM International Ltd., the Polish company that would develop the mine, Ajax would cost $1 billion to build, create 1,800 short-term jobs over a two-and-a-half-year construction period and 500 permanent jobs once the mine is in operation, and generate an annual payroll of $60 million. Continue Reading →

FROM THE ARCHIVES: ‘It was like one big family’: 25 years later, a B.C. ghost town’s former residents still miss their home – by Maryse Zeidler (CBC News British Columbia – September 17, 2017)

Cassiar, B.C., was once centred around now-closed asbestos mine

When Herb Daum thinks of growing up in Cassiar, B.C., a lot of his memories seem to be about how frigid it was. “The winters were long, cold and hard,” said Daum, 63, from his home in Powell River, B.C.

Cassiar sits near the Yukon border. Temperatures as low as – 40 C weren’t unusual there, Daum says, and lakes in the area often wouldn’t thaw until June. As a pastime when Daum was little, he and his neighbourhood friends would climb onto the roof of his porch, pull down their toques over their heads, and dive head-first into the snow.

But the house that he grew up in doesn’t exist anymore. In fact, the entire town of Cassiar is gone, razed to the ground. “It’s kind of weird losing your roots like that,” Daum said. Twenty-five years ago this week, Cassiar, B.C., held an auction like none other: up for grabs was the entire contents of the company town. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Proposed Pebble Mine a non-starter for Alaska – by Joe Chythlook (Vancouver Sun – September 13, 2017)

Joe Chythlook is chairman of the board of the Anchorage-based Bristol Bay Native Corporation.

By now, Alaskans have come to the unfortunate realization that the proposed Pebble Mine — a potentially massive gold and copper mine owned by a Vancouver company — is not dead.

A new administration in Washington, D.C. that is taking a vastly different approach to resource management is giving fresh life to a proposal to build a mine in an ecologically sensitive and economically important area of the state.

For many in the Bristol Bay region in southwest Alaska, timing of the Pebble Limited Partnership’s recent settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was ironic. It came just before the start of commercial fishing season — a season in which a near-record 59 million fish passed through Bristol Bay, waters that supply nearly half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon harvest. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Coeur Announces Acquisition of the Silvertip Mine in British Columbia

Chicago, Illinois – September 11, 2017 – Coeur Mining, Inc. (“Coeur” or the “Company”) (NYSE: CDE) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement (the “Arrangement Agreement”) to acquire privately-owned JDS Silver Holdings, Ltd. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, JDS Silver Inc. (“JDS Silver”), which owns the high-grade silver-zinc-lead Silvertip mine (“Silvertip”) located in northern British Columbia, Canada, adding a sixth producing mine to Coeur’s North American-focused platform.

Under the Arrangement Agreement, the Company will pay initial consideration of US$200 million, consisting of US$146.5 million of cash, US$38.5 million of Coeur shares (approximately 4.3 million new shares), and will assume US$15 million in existing debt. Additional potential payments of up to US$50 million are contingent upon achieving specific future permitting and exploration milestones at Silvertip.

Overview of Silvertip

The Silvertip mine is one of the industry’s newest and highest-grade silver-zinc-lead mines with a silverequivalent1 indicated resource grade of 1,166 grams per tonne (g/t), comprised of 352 g/t silver, 9.4% zinc,and 6.7% lead, and a silver-equivalent1 inferred resource grade of 1,155 g/t, comprised of 343 g/t silver, 9.8% zinc, and 6.2% lead. Continue Reading →

Teck Resources slides 7% after Chinese sovereign wealth fund slashes stake – by Geoff Zochodne (Financial Post – September 6, 2017)

Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd. announced Tuesday that a Chinese sovereign wealth fund has nearly halved its stake in the Canadian miner, a decision that comes amid signals Beijing wants state-owned enterprises to invest more at home.

Teck said one of the subsidiaries of China Investment Corp. had sold, in a private transaction, 42 million Class B subordinate voting shares of Teck, worth about 7.36 per cent of the outstanding Class B shares. CIC still indirectly holds about 10.4 per cent of the outstanding Class B shares, Teck said.

The company’s stock fell 6.68 per cent Tuesday, closing at $29.47 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Teck said it was informed by CIC that the fund’s transaction was “in the ordinary course of its portfolio adjustment” and that it plans on holding onto its remaining shares as a long-term investor. Continue Reading →

Mining finance legend takes leave from Howe Street – by Greg Klein ( – August 23, 2017)

When the street convenes this week for his official send-off, the object of admiration won’t be a financier, broker, mine-finder or entrepreneur. Jake Fiddick made his mark as a banker, and one who provided services, not money. But as an innovative trailblazer he leaves a legacy that guarantees his place in Howe Street’s storied history.

His August 16 retirement ended 58 years with the Bank of Montreal, 33 of them at Vancouver’s downtown main office. It was there that he started the Public Company Banking Group, distinguishing himself from the rest of his industry with new approaches that quickly attracted appreciative clients.

That was a time when his colleagues tended to regard juniors with almost as much trepidation as a stick-up note. “Most of the banks did not look favourably on that kind of business—not at all,” recalls Frances Petryshen. Now corporate secretary with Balmoral Resources TSX:BAR and a veteran of several companies, she started working with Fiddick soon after he arrived downtown. Continue Reading →

Four warning signs that Teck’s spectacular gains are over – by David Berman (Globe and Mail – August 18, 2017)

Teck Resources Ltd. rewards nimble investors who can move against the current, selling the stock when times are good and buying it when the outlook is dismal. Today, conditions are excellent for the Vancouver-based miner, and that suggests shareholders should consider departing from this roller coaster of an investment.

On the surface, this might not sound like a great idea, given Teck’s stellar second-quarter results, released late last month. Teck, which produces copper, zinc and steelmaking coal from mines in Canada, the United States, Chile and Peru, topped analysts’ estimates with a profit of $577-million or $1 a share – way up from a profit of just 3 cents a share a year ago.

Analysts had been expecting a profit of 90 cents a share, according to Reuters. The company’s debt levels are also falling, which is good. Net debt per share declined to $9.59, according to a report from Canaccord Genuity, down from $13.42 a share last year, which is a steeper drop than analysts had been expecting. Continue Reading →