19th September 2014

Mining companies must win hearts and minds or face further opposition – by Simon Rees (MiningWeekly.com – September 19, 2014)


“We know the Ring of Fire’s future will not be determined within the region
itself but in southern Ontario, where the majority of the political ridings
are,” she noted. “Or it will be decided [in Ottawa] to the extent that the
federal government is involved.”

“So we must win the hearts and minds of those people sitting at home because
that’s how your project is going to be approved,” she said, stressing that
meaningful CSR and engagement with locally affected communities was one of
the best methods of doing this. (Kate Lyons)

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Opposition to the extractive industries continues to grow in Canada, with increasing influence on decisions that surround project approval, delegates at the Canada-Southern Africa Chamber of Business risk mitigation and corporate social responsibility (CSR) seminar were told last week.

“The world of the stakeholder is large. From the comfort of a home heated by natural gas or cooled by electricity, and probably using a device laden with metals, a person can discover whether they are ‘against’ an industry,” Goodmans partner Kate Lyons said.

Opposition can develop among thousands of people living many kilometres away from a mining region, their opinions shaping and influencing project outcomes. Lyons highlighted northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire as an example. Read the rest of this entry »

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19th September 2014

Mount Polley mine defends efforts to stop discharge – by Gordon Hoekstra (Vancouver Sun – September 16, 2014)


Imperial Metals says it’s taking significant steps to stop the discharge of effluent and sediment from the collapse of its Mount Polley mine from entering Quesnel Lake.

The company says it has built dikes, installed a new sump to collect water from the breach of the dam and used aerial seeding to prevent erosion at the mine site in central B.C.

It also plans to install a barrier called a silk curtain at the mouth of the Hazeltine Creek to prevent sediment from entering the lake.

However, these steps have not satisfied the B.C. Ministry of Environment, which issued a warning last week to the company for continuing to discharge effluent after the collapse of the tailings dam Aug. 4.

In response to the Environment Ministry’s warning, Mount Polley Mining Corp. general manager Dale Reimer said they have been working “diligently” on sediment and water discharge control.

“We have as far as reasonably possible abated the discharge from the (tailings storage facilities) and continue to do so,” said Reimer in a six-page letter to the Environment Ministry. Read the rest of this entry »

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18th September 2014

Goldcorp’s Jeannes Sees Limit to Output Growth – by Liezel Hill (Bloomberg News – September 18, 2014)


Goldcorp Inc. (G), the Canadian producer starting up three new mines to boost output 50 percent, says there’s such a thing as too much gold.

The largest producer by market value, which expects annual output to reach as much as 4 million ounces by 2016, would prefer to fine-tune its mining assets to increase profitability than just keep growing to a point where it’s difficult to replace reserves, Chief Executive Officer Chuck Jeannes said.

“That means constantly trying to add high-quality things and, as we do that, dispose of the non-core things,” Jeannes said in an interview this week at the annual Denver Gold Forum. “We don’t want to be 7 or 8 million ounces.”

While Goldcorp has pressed ahead with expansion in the past year, other large producers have suspended projects, sold mines and curbed output as the industry grapples with faltering metal prices. Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), the biggest by sales, has forecast 2014 output of 6 million to 6.5 million ounces this year, which would be the lowest in nine years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Barrick’s output peaked at 8.64 million ounces in 2006, the data show.

Jeannes’ view on future growth is “good to hear,” said Chris Mancini, an analyst for the Gabelli Gold Fund, which has about $260 million under management, including Goldcorp shares. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th September 2014

Cliffs Natural Resources looking to exit Ontario’s Ring of Fire – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – September 17,2014)

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.

A major player in Ontario’s Ring of Fire is considering selling a key property in the mineral belt, adding more uncertainty to a stalled project that was supposed to help boost the province’s northern economy.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. this week signalled it could sell its huge chromite deposit in the Ring of Fire – a 5,000-square-kilometre crescent of chromite, nickel, copper, zinc and gold thought to be worth as much as $50-billion during the commodity boom.

Earlier this week, Cliffs sent the First Nations in the area a letter saying it was exploring alternatives. “We should expect there will be a change, with a sale of the project one of the potential outcomes,” Bill Boor, Cliffs’ executive vice-president of corporate development, said in a letter that was viewed by The Globe and Mail.

A Cliffs spokeswoman confirmed the letter had been sent.

Cliffs suspended the project late last year after numerous delays and difficult discussions with the province and the First Nations communities near the vast deposit about 500 km north of Thunder Bay.

The province has touted the Ring of Fire as the economic engine for Northern Ontario. But its future appears bleak. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th September 2014

Nunavik’s young mine workers pave way for future generations – by Sarah Rogers (Nunatsiaq News – September 17, 2014)


“Sometimes it’s hard, but I keep at it because I’m always learning something new”

KUUJJUAQ — Siasi Kanarjuak never imagined working at a mine. Growing up in Kangiqsujuaq on Nunavik’s Hudson Strait coast, she was aware of the nickel mine operating only 60 kilometres to the south. She knew people from her community who commuted there for work.

But in her mid-20s, something clicked. Looking at her job options across Nunavik, Kanarjuak realized that work at a mine could offer benefits that other jobs couldn’t.

“So I went for an interview at Raglan (Glencore’s nickel operation in Nunavik) and I found out they cook for us,” Kanarkjuak told a meeting of Kativik Regional Government councillors last week at their meeting in Kuujjuaq.

“Then I would be home for two weeks — not just a weekend — and that was very appealing to me,” she said. “It gave me time to travel. If you look at it, it’s like having five months off [a year.]”

Today, Kanarjuak, 29, works to bring new Inuit staff to the Raglan mine site, as Inuit recruitment supervisor under the KRG’s Tamatumani on-the-job training program.

She’s one of roughly 160 Inuit employees who work at Raglan, about 18 per cent of the mine’s total workforce. And her job involves trying to entice more Nunavimmiut to look to the mine for jobs. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th September 2014

OBITUARY: Yves Fortier: A herald of Canada’s golden age of geology – by Eric Harris (Globe and Mail – September 17, 2014)

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.

When the astronauts walked on the moon in July, 1969, their main mission was to collect rocks and dust from the Sea of Tranquility. They were test pilots first and narrowly trained field geologists second.

When Yves Oscar Fortier explored Canada’s remote northern reaches in the 1940s and 1950s, he was also breaking new ground in a hostile environment. But he was a geologist through and through.

Dr. Fortier, who died peacefully in Ottawa on Aug. 19, two days after his 100th birthday, conducted milestone work in the Arctic for the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) that was, in many ways, like a months-long moon mission.

His most ambitious project, Operation Franklin, in 1955, mustered 28 scientists to systematically study and map the cold, barren sedimentary rock of a polar region larger than Britain.

This included the Queen Elizabeth Islands and many of the other islands in the triangle at the northern end of the country. (The name Operation Franklin was a nod to the ill-fated 1845 expedition led by Sir John Franklin to search for a Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic. One of the long-lost ships from that expedition was recently discovered.) Read the rest of this entry »

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17th September 2014

[Canada] Mines ministers talk transparency in Ontario (Northern Miner – September 17, 2014)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry. 

Sudbury played host to this year’s Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference in late August. The annual gathering of federal and provincial mining and energy ministers is meant to foster discussion and collaboration to advance development across the country.

In a statement released after the meeting, the attendees affirmed their commitment to the following principles:

• The responsible development of Canada’s energy and mines sectors is critical to our economic competitiveness, job creation and long-term prosperity

• Provincial and territorial governments will work with the federal government in support of Canada’s commitment to establish new mandatory reporting standards for Canadian extractive companies, with a view to enhancing transparency of payments made to governments

• The continued advancement of energy infrastructure (e.g., oil, gas, electricity, etc.) projects is fundamental to gain access to new markets and generate economic growth and revenue for critical social programs

• Progress is being made by all levels of government in implementing regulatory reform in a way that ensures the environment is protected Read the rest of this entry »

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16th September 2014

Canada’s small fertilizer companies shuffle ranks, search for capital – by Rod Nickel (Reuters India – September 17, 2014)


(Reuters) – Capital-strapped small fertilizer companies in Canada are shuffling their senior executive ranks to draw investors in a period of weak prices.

Stonegate Agricom Ltd, which is developing a phosphate mine in Idaho, said on Tuesday that Chief Executive Mark Ashcroft resigned, the latest change at the top among small players in the sector. Others that have installed new senior executives this year include Canada’s Arianne Phosphate and Karnalyte Resources Inc.

Fertilizer values are rising off the floor prices reached earlier this year, but their upside looks limited, Rabobank said in a report on Monday.

Stonegate’s parting with its CEO was mutual, said co-chairman Ian McDonald, who will carry out CEO duties on an interim basis with co-chairman Kerry Knoll. He declined to give further details.

“Nobody’s having any parties, because nobody’s happy, but there’s been no pressure here based on Mark’s performance,” McDonald said.

Stonegate shares dropped 3 Canadian cents, or about 19 percent, to 13 cents in Toronto. For the year, the stock is down nearly one-third. Read the rest of this entry »

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16th September 2014

Goldcorp’s Massive Eleonore Mine Has Potential To Grow – Chuck Jeannes – by Alex Létourneau (Kitco News – September 15, 2014)


Denver (Kitco News) – Goldcorp Inc.’s (TSX:G)(NYSE:GG) massive Eleonore mine, located in the James Bay region of northern Quebec, has the potential to produce beyond its anticipated 600,000 ounces of gold annually.

The company is currently expecting first pour in the fourth quarter of 2014, with commercial production expected in the first quarter of 2015. Ramp-up to its full potential of 600,000 ounces annually is expected to go through 2018.

Speaking with Kitco News at the 25th Denver Gold Forum, Chuck Jeannes, president and chief executive officer of Goldcorp, said that while the mine will be a large gold producer, there’s still potential for more.

“This is the kind of deposit – a Hemlo style deposit – that can continue to grow significantly, Jeannes said. “We haven’t seen the bottom of it, we continue to have success looking at new areas of the deposit, both to the north and the south, so we’re a long way from figuring out what’s there.

“We’ve always believed that there’s potential for a district scale opportunity and we’ll be the first ones looking for it.” Jeannes said that his team at Eleonore is working diligently to speed up the ramp-up process. “It’s a vertical dipping ore body so development takes longer and it’s a steady ramp-up over that period, “ he said. “The guys there are trying to find ways to advance that ramp-up schedule.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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16th September 2014

Ontario mines still power Goldcorp (Northern Miner – September 15, 2014)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry.

Goldcorp (TSX: G; NYSE: GG) has been so growth-oriented over the past decade, building new mines across the Americas and snapping up gold assets left and right, it’s easy to forget sometimes just how productive its Ontario gold mines are.

Goldcorp’s three wholly owned gold production centres in Ontario — Red Lake, Musselwhite and Porcupine — yielded an impressive 1.04 million oz. gold in 2013, or 39% of Goldcorp’s companywide production of 2.67 million oz. gold last year.

And the global reserves and resources at these three Ontario mines total 21.2 million oz. gold, or 19% of Goldcorp’s companywide total of 112.6 million oz. gold. The jewel in Goldcorp’s crown remains the Red Lake underground mine in the town of Red Lake in the province’s northwest. Goldcorp rightly calls it its “Canadian cornerstone and the world’s richest gold mine.”

Indeed, after all these years, it’s still Goldcorp’s top-producing mine, cranking out 493,000 oz. gold in 2013. In the first half of 2014, Red Lake produced 184,500 oz. gold, putting it on track to hit 440,000 to 480,000 oz. gold for the full year.

The mining method for the quartz-vein deposit is longhole, underhand and overhand cut-and-fill, and the milling rate at two nearby surface facilities totals 3,100 tonnes per day. Read the rest of this entry »

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15th September 2014

Anger and confusion after worst disaster in Canadian mining history darkens prosperous B.C. town – by Brian Hutchinson (National Post – September 13, 2014)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

“Check your knives at the bar,” reads a sign inside this village’s only watering hole. In hard times, before the Mount Polley mine opened 17 years ago, there wasn’t much work to be found, and folks sometimes turned as sour as the cheap beer and boxed wine. Things could get rough inside the Likely saloon.

Likely has enjoyed much better days lately, thanks to the mine and the wealth it was generating. But one morning in early August, a section of the tailings pond dam up at the Mount Polley mine crumbled, releasing 10 million cubic metres of dirty mine water and almost five million cubic metres of finely crushed rock, known as tailings.

The water and tailings formed a thick slurry that roared down Hazeltine Creek, knocking down trees and anything else in its way. It poured into Quesnel Lake, one of the largest — and the deepest — fresh water lakes in B.C.

Since that cataclysmic event, the worst of its kind in Canadian mining history, a cloud has hung over little Likely, a village of perhaps 350 huddled at the top of Quesnel Lake, 600 kilometres north of Vancouver. There is anger here, and resentment. Divisions have formed and blame is assigned. But confusion reigns.

Some local residents and First Nations members claim their lake is now fatally toxic, that the water is peeling skin from fish and is even burning human flesh. Others say that’s just wild fear-mongering. The fact is, no one knows what the accident really means for their lake and their town, even four weeks later. Read the rest of this entry »

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12th September 2014

Dams under review after Mount Polley breach, mining leader says – by Wendy Stueck (Globe and Mail – September 11, 2014)

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 — Industry and government officials across the country are reviewing dam design, maintenance and oversight in the wake of a tailings dam breach at Mount Polley mine in B.C., says the head of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC).

“No one in the industry, after this incident, didn’t wake up in the morning and go, ‘I better go check’ – even though they had reams of information and assurances that everything was safe,” MAC president Pierre Gratton said Thursday following an address to the Vancouver Board of Trade. “I think every one of them wanted to go out and get that reassurance again.”

On Aug. 4, a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine – operated by Vancouver-based Imperial Metals – gave way, sending a torrent of mud and debris into neighbouring waterways and resulting in drinking-water bans in affected areas. Most of those advisories have been lifted, but a do-not-use order remains in effect for the “impact zone,” which includes Hazeltine Creek, Polley Lake and part of Quesnel Lake.

The cause of the breach is unknown and an independent investigation is under way.

The incident rattled the mining sector and raised questions about oversight and regulation of tailings dams in British Columbia and elsewhere in the country. Following the Mount Polley breach, the B.C. government moved the deadline for companies to file annual inspection reports for tailings dams from March 31, 2015, to December 1, 2014, and also ordered those inspections to be independently reviewed. Read the rest of this entry »

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12th September 2014

Allan potash mine: All trapped workers returned to surface, some ‘grouchy and hungry’ (CBC News Saskatoon – September 11, 2014)



All miners returned to surface, some after more than 24 hours underground

Miners who spent some 24 hours trapped underground at PotashCorp’s Allan mine east of Saskatoon have made their way to the surface, after a fire forced dozens of workers to seek shelter in safety stations on Wednesday.

Around 8:30 p.m. CST Thursday, the last three workers who were in safe spaces below ground were up and out. Earlier in the day, 51 of their co-workers returned to the surface.

A union leader said he was able to speak to some of the workers who were brought up and reported they were safe, but some were “grouchy and hungry”. Mike Belyk was one of the workers who returned to the surface Thursday afternoon.

“[I'm] just relieved to be back up, to get home see your family,” he said. “Other than that it wasn’t too, too bad.” Belyk said miners were in contact with rescue teams and people found ways to pass the time. “We had communication. Played cards. Played a lot of cards.” Read the rest of this entry »

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12th September 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Canada needs to act now to hold onto its global mining leadership – Head of the Mining Association of Canada addresses the Vancouver Board of Trade

VANCOUVER, Sept. 11, 2014 /CNW/ – In a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade today, Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada, provided an overview of the past decade of mining development in Canada and the keys to maintaining Canada’s position as a global mining leader.

“Canada benefited tremendously from the past decade of rising commodity prices, seeing a 25 percent increase in the number of new mines, increased employment and rising government revenues. The opportunity is there for Canada to continue to responsibly develop its mining industry, and the jobs, business development and community investments that go along with it,” said Gratton. “Governments and individuals all play a part in deciding whether we seize those opportunities, or let other countries take the leadership position instead.”

In his address, Gratton pointed to a few indicators to demonstrate how mining has contributed to Canada’s prosperity over the past decade, but also some signs of lost ground. Last year, after an eight-year period as the top jurisdiction for global exploration spending, Canada fell to the second spot behind Australia. Similarly, in the Fraser Institute’s latest annual survey, traditionally top Canadian jurisdictions lost their footings. For example, Quebec, which held first place from 2007 to 2009, fell to the 21st spot in 2013. In terms of mineral production, Canada has also declined from being the top five producer of 14 major minerals and metals in 2007 to just 10 today.

To explain these declines, Gratton notes that Canada’s mining sector operates in a much more competitive global environment. Some basic business fundamentals make Canada an expensive place to build new mines. This includes rising energy and operating costs, skills shortages, a lack of critical infrastructure to build new mines in increasingly remote and northern regions, high transportation costs to get goods to market, and complex and lengthy regulatory processes. Read the rest of this entry »

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11th September 2014

Northern Canada, the Conflict-Free Diamond Frontier – by Christopher F. Schuetze (New York Times – September 11, 2014)


The four C’s of a conventional diamond are color, clarity, cut and carat weight. Deepak Kumar is fond of saying that his stones will have six C’s. “The fifth C is for ‘conflict-free,’ and the sixth C is for ‘Canadian,”’ Mr. Kumar said in a telephone interview from Yellowknife — population 20,000 — the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories.

Mr. Kumar’s company, Deepak International, announced this summer that it had bought two defunct diamond polishing plants in Yellowknife for 1.9 million Canadian dollars, or $1.7 million, together with the exclusive rights to the polar bear symbol, a quality logo for the Territories’ sustainably mined stones.

As consumers increasingly ask where their diamonds are sourced, polished and cut, Canadian diamonds have a reputational advantage. They are marketed as conflict-free and cleanly mined under the Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct, overseen by the federal government, that goes beyond the Kimberley Process certification program, established in 2003, which sets minimum standards for ethical diamond mining.

“Canada is a wonderful story. It is icy, it is clean, it is cold,” said Dylan Dix, an executive with HRA Group, Canada’s biggest diamond producer.

Industrial-scale diamond mining started in Canada in the 1990s — just as stories of war atrocities and exploitation began to roil the market for African gemstones. Canada has since become the world’s third-biggest diamond producer, after Botswana and Russia. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Diamonds, International Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

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