27th February 2015

PDAC: How payment transparency helps gain a social licence to operate (Canadian Mining Journal – February 26, 2015)


Corporate social responsibility is front-and-centre at this year’s Prospectors and Developers of Canada meeting. One not to be missed session about the ideas that will shape the future of CSR will be held Monday, March 2 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm in Room 717 of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

CMJ had an opportunity to talk with one of the presenters, O Trade founder Monica Ospina, about the importance of transparency in payment and its role in obtaining a social licence to operate.

CMJ: What does “transparency in payments” mean for the extractive industry?

MO: It means the open disclosure of all payments made to the government by the extractive industry on a project-by-project basis. The purpose is to inform people about payments of royalties and taxes by the industry and about the amounts received by their government.

A shift towards transparency in payments would also accompany legislative changes concerning the distribution of royalties. Specifically, governments would make clear how royalties and taxes could be distributed at the federal or national, regional and municipality levels. Such practices can be seen, for example, in Mexico, Colombia and Peru, where legislation has reshaped the way income is distributed and how democracy works at the grassroots level. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Corporate Social Responsibility | 0 Comments

27th February 2015

Getting to Yes has never been tougher – by Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail – February 27, 2015)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Mines and forest projects can face the same procedural snakes and ladders.
In Northern Ontario, the so-called Ring of Fire chromite deposits will be
tied up for years and years in environment reviews and aboriginal demands.
Already, the major U.S. company interested in developing the deposits has
walked away. Who could blame it? (Jeffrey Simpson – Globe and Mail)

Forget for a moment U.S. President Barack Obama’s doubts about the Keystone XL pipeline. Whether the President decides for or against the project shouldn’t deflect Canadians from asking within their own borders: How do we get to Yes?

Getting to Yes is becoming harder all the time. Fossil-fuel developments, pipelines, mines, dams, hydro-electric transmission lines and wind turbines are frequently contested, delayed or blocked.

Even when they’re approved, the process for getting to Yes can take so long that projects lose their economic rationale, as with the now-abandoned Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, which shuddered to a halt after 10 years of review because the gas market had changed. Or, projects are postponed or killed because they face tough competition from overseas suppliers where approvals are not so protracted. Proposed liquefied natural gas projects in British Columbia face this very risk. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

27th February 2015

  Giant Mine headframe set for demolition this summer – by Guy Quenneville (CBC News North – February 27, 2015)


Yellowknife city council abandons plans to take over Con Mine Robertson headframe

One landmark from Yellowknife’s gold mining past is close to disappearing for good, while the future of another is in limbo. Plans are underway to begin dismantling the iconic C-Shaft headframe at Giant Mine this summer, representatives from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada said at a public meeting Thursday night.

It’s part of an early “site stabilization” phase of the remediation project triggered in 2013 by concerns about site safety. “People will definitely notice a difference,” said Jane Amphlett, an engineering manager with the project.

“We haven’t finalized the plan, but it’s likely that significant parts of the shaft will come down in the next year, and likely perhaps all of it will come down once [our engineers] finalize the actual plan for it.” Amphlett said the timber tower, which is at the centre of the clean-up site, poses a potential safety risk to remediation workers.

The smaller A-Shaft headframe, near the Yellowknife boat launch area and close to the intended site of a proposed N.W.T. Mining Museum, will also be taken down, though when has not be determined yet, Amphlett added. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

25th February 2015

NEWS RELEASE: Community Responds to Report Revealing Complicity between Canadian Embassy in Excellon Violations against La Sierrita (MiningWatch Canada – February 25, 2015)



Source: Ejido La Sierrita de Galeana and Tlahualilo, Durango

We, the community of ejido[1] La Sierrita, express our indignation regarding the actions of the Canadian Embassy in failing to comply with its obligation to promote and protect our community’s human rights in the face of the violations perpetrated by the Canadian mining company Excellon Resources Inc. The report entitled “Unearthing Canadian Complicity: Excellon Resources, the Canadian Embassy and the Violation of Land and Labour Rights in Durango, Mexico,” published by MiningWatch Canada and United Steelworkers, confirms the decisive role played by the Embassy in violations of our human rights that occurred in 2012.

The report demonstrates the unconditional support which the Canadian State offered to Excellon in order to protect the company’s economic interests at the expense of our human rights. In particular, the report deals with the period running from July to November 2012, when we carried out a peaceful protest on ejido land bordering the La Platosa mine.

The following are some of the revelations we find most outrageous: Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Gold and Silver, Latin America Mining | 0 Comments

24th February 2015

Commodity crash reflects global economic slump – by Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – February 24, 2015)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

VANCOUVER — Global commodity prices have tumbled to levels below the depths of the Great Recession, underscoring the widespread difficulties facing the global economy.

While crude oil’s price collapse has been in the spotlight, a wide range of other commodities are suffering as well, including natural gas, coal, iron ore, copper, grain and pulp and paper.

The commodity crash is the result of too little demand for raw goods now in plentiful supply after producers ramped up capacity in recent years in anticipation of steady global growth.

But trouble spots are everywhere. Commodity markets have declined during worldwide turbulence as the pace of growth in China continues to slow, Russia grapples with an imploding economy and ruble and Greece struggles through an economic crisis that Europe must solve. Oil’s big drop has hurt many energy-producing countries, including Canada, where low prices are hammering Alberta and reducing growth for Canada as a whole. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Commodity Super-Cycle, Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image | 0 Comments

24th February 2015

Fipke, Ulansky take uranium hunt outside the Basin – by Tommy Humphreys (Ceo.ca – February 24, 2015)



Chad Ulansky cut his teeth on Ekati, Canada’s first diamond discovery, but it’s uranium that he’s hunting for now in Canada’s frozen North.

The Kelowna geologist is president and CEO of Northern Uranium (TSXV:UNO), which is exploring in northwestern Manitoba just beyond the eastern edge of the prolific Athabasca Basin.

Ulansky got his start as a geologist with Chuck Fipke’s Dia Met Minerals, which discovered Ekati, Canada’s first diamond mine, at Lac de Gras in 1991. The discovery by Fipke and Dia Met partner Stu Blusson, which came after years of systematic exploration, rocked the global diamond industry and sparked the biggest staking rush since the discovery of gold in the Klondike. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Saskatchewan Mining, Uranium | 0 Comments

24th February 2015

NEWS RELEASE: The Fraser Institute: Saskatchewan Ranks First in Canada and Second Worldwide in Annual Global Mining Survey; Ontario and B.C. Slipping


Click here for full report: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/survey-of-mining-companies-2014.pdf

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Feb. 24, 2015) – Saskatchewan is the most attractive jurisdiction for mining investment in Canada, according to an annual global survey of mining executives released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.

The Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2014, rates 122 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic attractiveness and the extent to which government policies encourage exploration and investment. Saskatchewan ranks as the top jurisdiction in Canada and finishes second worldwide behind Finland.

“In addition to being blessed with an abundance of mineral potential, Saskatchewan gets credit for having a government with a transparent and productive approach to mining policy,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resources and director of the Survey of Mining Companies.

“The province offers a competitive taxation regime, good scientific support, efficient permitting procedures and clarity around land claims. That’s what miners look for.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Ontario Mining, Saskatchewan Mining | 0 Comments

23rd February 2015

Barrick rides the DeLorean – by Kip Keen (Mineweb.com – February 23, 2015)


Barrick’s quest for greater relevancy.

Under the heading “Taking Barrick ‘Back to the Future’” Barrick Gold touted a plan to transform itself into a leaner, meaner cash machine with management and operational changes along with debt reductions in its forth quarter overview. Most who were around in the 1980s will get the movie reference at play. Back to the Future was a trilogy of movies that features Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, who rides a time machine built into a DeLorean DMC-12 car, famously featuring gull-wing doors, to make his and his family’s present better than the past.

The nut of the first and subsequent movies is that things have not turned out as they should have, or as McFly would have them turn out. The first movie is about McFly and Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd, going back to the 1950s by accident, and then their subsequent attempts to get back to the future (i.e. the 1980s) harnessing the power of lightning to run the DeLorean which, depleted of fuel, needs lots of energy to time travel. In the process, McFly rights – or rewrites – history for his family.

He helps his Dad, in a moment of confrontation, upstage Biff and save Lorraine from the then teenage bully’s advances. Soon thereafter McFly returns to the future – or the present 1980s. And what he finds is nicer than what he previously knew. His dad is no longer a loser and his mum is happy. Biff is a deadbeat. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Barrick Gold Corporation, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Gold and Silver | 0 Comments

20th February 2015

What Citi misses about mining revolutions – by Kip Keen (Mineweb.com – February 20, 2015)


Advances in mineral exploration are needed to support discoveries.

Citi Research takes a stab at so-called disruptive technologies concerning metals and mining in a recent research report. It’s a nice overview on a number of fronts especially as far as solar and silver, lab-grown diamonds and metal-use in cars go. In short: silver’s there to stay, lab-grown diamonds could disrupt the industry in the years to come (but consumers will decide), and PGMs look solid.

But the report misses, or doesn’t treat, a few areas that deserve some attention. In particular, there was scarce mention of exploration technology, seabed mining and mineral processing.

I won’t go into all these areas here. As it stands, I have some questions out to mineral processing specialists for their thoughts on what technologies or processes stand to have revolutionary (or at least pretty meaningful) impacts on the mining sector. That is, like the impact of heap leaching, what technologies might unlock hitherto uneconomic deposits or cheapen the conventional flow sheet? Seabed mining, I’ve recently touched on, so I won’t go back there right now.

Which leaves us exploration technology to consider. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Mining Education and Innovation | 0 Comments

20th February 2015

Barrick goes back to mining roots with focus on gold – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – February 20, 2015)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Barrick Gold Corp. founder Peter Munk had a vision for his company. Barrick’s new chairman John Thornton has another one.

Less than a year on the job as chairman, Mr. Thornton appears to have killed Mr. Munk’s dream of turning Barrick into a giant diversified mining company, and plans to forge a deep business relationship with China are no longer on the table.

Instead, Mr. Thornton wants the world’s biggest gold producer to return to its roots when it was a nimble operator with an entrepreneurial spirit, a streamlined corporate structure and a pristine balance sheet that earned a top credit rating.

Barrick, like the rest of the gold industry, was forced to clamp down on expenses when bullion began plummeting in 2011. Under Mr. Munk and previous management, Barrick had started becoming leaner by selling and suspending expensive operations and shrinking production.

But Mr. Thornton suggested Barrick had lost its way over the past decade and is pushing the company back to its “original DNA.” Gone are the layers of managers between Barrick’s executives and the 19 mines that it operates. Barrick’s Toronto headquarters is now a skeleton crew of 150, compared with 500 in its heyday. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Barrick Gold Corporation, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Gold and Silver | 0 Comments

20th February 2015

Bad times for Canada’s big gold miners – by Lisa Wright (Toronto Star – February 20, 2015)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Barrick, Goldcorp take massive Q4 writedowns amid weak gold prices.

Barrick Gold Corp. chairman John Thornton’s message to Bay Street came through loud and clear: he wants to take the world’s largest gold producer back to its roots as a smaller company with fewer mines and micro-managers — and hopefully return it to profitability.

To that end, the Toronto mining giant is slashing staff at headquarters by nearly half and selling two Asia-Pacific mines. It will be “laser focused” on reducing its debt by $3 billion this year amid rocky times in the mining industry and a weak gold price, he told analysts on a conference call Thursday.

It wasn’t a banner day for either of Canada’s two largest bullion miners, as Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc. reported a loss of $2.4 billion (U.S.) in its latest quarter as it wrote down the value of its Cerro Negro mine in Argentina. Barrick also reported a massive $2.85 billion fourth-quarter loss due to an after-tax impairment charge on its soon-to-be closed Lumwana copper mine in Zambia and the Cerro Casale project in Chile.

Gold miners are struggling as the gold price has lost 35 per cent of its value since its peak of $1,900 (U.S.) an ounce in 2011 and as the industry suffers through a brutal downturn following a 13-year market rally. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Barrick Gold Corporation, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Gold and Silver, Goldcorp Inc. | 0 Comments

19th February 2015

Rio Tinto Alcan open to expanding Canadian smelters once market rebounds: CEO – by Ross Marowits (Canadian Press/Vancouver Sun – February 18, 2015)


MONTREAL – Rio Tinto Alcan plans to expand its smelting capacity in Canada once the fragile aluminum market gains strength, the mining giant’s CEO said Wednesday.

Alfredo Barrios says aluminum prices, which have retreated since rising last year, are not encouraging investment at the moment because of excess smelting capacity.

But strong long-term fundamentals, including demand expected to grow through 2025 in part from the automotive sector, should eventually encourage new investments.

“If the market starts improving and the returns start remunerating the investments then there are a number of projects that we have across the world, even in Quebec, to potentially grow,” Barrios, who took the helm last June, told reporters. He pointed specifically to a new Alouette smelter and expansion of its AP60 pilot project in Quebec.

“When the moment is right, Quebec is a clear place where we will be investing in smelting. That is where our core smelting business is.” However, the 48-year-old former oil executive wouldn’t say how long it could take before these new projects could be built. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aluminium, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Rio Tinto | 0 Comments

19th February 2015

Goldcorp takes US$2.3-billion writedown on ‘cornerstone’ Argentine project – by Alexandra Posadzk (Canadian Business – February 19, 2015)


Goldcorp Inc. reported a US$2.4-billion net loss in its latest quarter as it took a big writedown charge on its Cerro Negro project, but the company’s chief executive says he still has high hopes for the Argentine mine.

“This is an accounting charge and does not reflect losses of gold ounces in the ground or our expectations for this asset,” Charles Jeannes told investors during a conference call Thursday.

“Quite the contrary, we continue to believe Cerro Negro will be a cornerstone operation for Goldcorp for a long time to come.”

The news came after the gold miner announced a loss of $2.94 per diluted share in the fourth quarter compared with a loss of US$1.1 billion or $1.34 per diluted share in the last three months of 2013.

The loss includes the US$2.3-billion hit that Goldcorp took in relation to a drop in the value of the Cerro Negro project, which began commercial production last month.

On an adjusted basis, Goldcorp says it earned US$55 million or seven cents per share, down from nine cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2013. Analysts had estimated an adjusted profit of 12 cents per share for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Gold and Silver, Goldcorp Inc. | 0 Comments

19th February 2015

Barrick Gold Investors Get Answers as Thornton Outlines Strategy – by Liezel Hill (Bloomberg News – February 19, 2015)


(Bloomberg) — Barrick Gold Corp. investors waiting to hear Chairman John Thornton’s plans for the world’s biggest gold producer finally have some answers.

Barrick will stay focused on gold and has no plans to diversify into other metals, Thornton said Thursday in his first appearance on a quarterly earnings call.

The chairman, who replaced Barrick’s founder Peter Munk in April, said he’s trying to go “back to the future,” returning the Toronto-based company to the nimble, entrepreneurial roots that first made it successful.

The last few years have been tumultuous for Barrick, with the departure of two chief executive officers, a sliding gold price and a tumbling share price. With shareholders looking for reassurance, at least two of them — ASA Gold & Precious Metals Ltd. and USAA Precious Metals & Minerals Fund — have complained that Thornton’s plans for the future weren’t clear.

“After having listened to the call, I do feel better about Barrick and its corporate strategy,” Diana Racanelli, a Toronto-based resources fund manager at Manulife Asset Management, said Thursday. “These have all been key issues that needed to be addressed.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Barrick Gold Corporation, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

19th February 2015

Barrick Gold posts another big quarterly loss (Canadian Press/CTV News – February 19, 2015)


TORONTO — Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX), citing massive impairment charges on mine projects in Africa and Chile, has reported another multibillion-dollar net loss in its most recent quarter.

Canada’s second-largest gold miner by market capitalization says it net loss in the three months ended Dec. 31 was US$2.85 billion or US$2.45 per share, compared with a net loss of US$2.83 billion or US$2.61 per share in the same 2013 period when it had fewer shares.

Revenue was US$2.51 billion, down from US$2.94 billion as the company sold fewer ounces of gold — 1.57 million versus 1.83 million — at an average realized price of US$1,204 per ounce compared with $1,272 in the 2013 quarter.

The quarterly loss reflected the impact of US$2.8 billion in after-tax impairment charges primarily related to the Lumwana mine in Zambia (US$930 million) and the Cerro Casale project in Chile (US$778 million), the company said in an earnings report issued Wednesday after markets closed.

Fourth-quarter adjusted net earnings were US174 million or 15 U.S. cents per share, compared with US$406 million or 37 cents in the 2013 quarter. For the full year, Barrick recorded a net loss of US$2.91 billion or $2.50 per share, reflecting the impact of $3.4 billion in after-tax impairment charges. The full-year net loss in 2013 was US$10.37 billion or US$10.14 per share. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Barrick Gold Corporation, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

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