9th October 2015

John Baird says pushback needed to support mining (Northern Miner – October 8, 2015)

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

Former Foreign Minister John Baird says the mining industry and government “must play offence, not defence,” when it comes to defending their interests and combatting anti-mining activism.

“Far too often, the industry, and to some extent government, are playing defence when it comes to anti-mining activists and their close friends in the media,” Baird declared in a keynote address at a mining conference in Toronto. “To a great extent, anti-mining activism has become a bit of an industry in this country, and it takes many, many forms.”

Baird resigned his post as cabinet minister earlier this year and now sits on the advisory board of Barrick Gold Corp., is a global strategic advisor to engineering and development consultancy Hatch Ltd., and is a senior advisor at Bennett Jones, a law firm active in the mining industry.

“You would be absolutely amazed at how many times that we discovered Canadian taxpayers’ dollars going to fight Canadian commercial interests abroad, especially in the extractive sector,” he told the conference, organized by Red Cloud, a capital markets advisory service firm. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th October 2015

Mining operator convicted of 2 misdemeanors for polluting Southwest Alaska river – by Jerzy Shedlock (Alaska Dispatch News – October 7, 2015)


A Southwest Alaska mine operator from Canada was convicted of two misdemeanor violations of the federal Clean Water Act on Wednesday in Anchorage for allowing muddy water to seep into a salmon stream over the course of two mining seasons.

The government charged James Slade — a mining consultant from Calgary, Alberta, who became chief operating officer for XS Platinum Inc. in 2010 — with six felonies. The charges included conspiracy, various violations of the Clean Water Act and submission of a false report.

Jurors could have found that Slade violated the regulations knowingly or negligently. They decided Slade’s actions were irresponsible but could not reach a unanimous decision about whether he knew he was breaking the law on two of the charges. What could have been felony convictions were instead found to be misdemeanors.

The jury deliberated for two days, finding Slade not guilty of half of his alleged crimes. The government will decide next week whether or not to retry Slade for three charges on which jurors were deadlocked, said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th October 2015

Former Centerra Gold CEO avoids extradition to Kyrgyzstan as Bulgarian court rejects request – by Peter Koven (National Post – October 8, 2015)

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

Len Homeniuk’s long nightmare is almost over.

The former chief executive of Toronto-based Centerra Gold Inc. expects to head home to California later this month after a Bulgarian court Wednesday refused to extradite him to Kyrgyzstan on corruption charges. Homeniuk always maintained the allegations are false.

“The court had a complex issue to deal with, and it dealt with it in the right way,” he said in a phone interview from Sofia. “So I’m very pleased.”

Homeniuk, 68, was arrested by Bulgarian authorities on July 27 while on a vacation cruise on the Danube River with his family. The joint Canada-U.S. citizen spent 11 days in prison, and then spent several weeks under house arrest in Sofia with his wife. He was finally granted bail in mid-September, but could not leave the country until the Bulgarian court ruled on the extradition request. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th October 2015

NEWS RELEASE: Franco-Nevada to Acquire a Silver Stream on the Antamina mine from Teck for US$610 million


TORONTO, October 7, 2015 – Franco-Nevada Corporation (TSX: FNV; NYSE: FNV) has agreed to acquire a silver stream on production from the Antamina mine (“Antamina”) in Peru from Teck Resources Limited (“Teck”). Teck owns a 22.50% interest in Compania Miñera Antamina S.A. (“CMA”), the Antamina joint venture company, along with partners BHP Billiton Plc (33.75%), Glencore Plc (33.75%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (10.00%).

“Franco-Nevada is pleased to partner with Teck on the Antamina mine to create our first pure silver stream,” said David Harquail, President and CEO of Franco-Nevada. “This further strengthens and diversifies our portfolio with a proven, long-life, high-margin asset that will be immediately accretive. This investment provides our shareholders with metal price optionality over multiple cycles and potential further exploration and expansion upside.”

Transaction Highlights

 A cornerstone investment : Antamina is an established mine that commenced operations in 2001. The mine is owned and operated by some of the largest and best regarded mining companies in the industry.The partners at Antamina have invested over US$6.5 billion to date in constructing and expanding the mine and its infrastructure. Read the rest of this entry »

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

7th October 2015

Mining tycoon Lukas Lundin promotes Denison-Fission merger to skeptical retail shareholders – by Peter Koven (National Post – October 7, 2015)

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

TORONTO – Mining tycoon Lukas Lundin has joined an effort to convince Fission Uranium Corp.’s skeptical retail shareholders that they should approve a friendly merger with Denison Mines Corp.

The shareholder vote is scheduled for Oct. 14, and executives at both companies acknowledged on Tuesday they do not know which way Fission’s investors will go. The vast majority of the stock is held by retail shareholders, some of whom are loudly resisting the deal with Denison, one of Lundin’s companies.

As a result, Lundin himself is speaking with retail investors in Toronto this week to make the case for the $280-million, all-stock deal. For him, the argument is pretty simple.

“We’re trying to become the go-to name in the industry,” he said in an interview. “When uranium moves up again, we should move quite strongly because there’s nowhere else (for investors) to go. You have Cameco (Corp.) and Denison.”

Fission chief executive Dev Randhawa said he appreciates that retail investors would prefer a monster takeover offer from Cameco or Areva to this smaller deal with Denison. But he thinks they are ignoring one simple fact: there is no such deal out there. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th October 2015

NEWS RELEASE: Canada’s Junior Miners must embrace unconventional strategies to survive continued economic challenges – PwC report

Bleak numbers lead miners on innovative paths to disrupt the downturn

TORONTO, Oct. 6, 2015 /CNW/ – The drying up of equity and debt markets coupled with new lows in cash reserves have pushed Canada’s junior mining industry on a further downward financial trend, according to PwC’s annual report on the TSX Venture’s top 100 junior mining companies. But the industry is looking to innovate and collaborate in an effort to move forward.

According to the 9th annual Junior mine report, Time for Change, the top 100 juniors raised $514 million in equity financing in 2015, down 25% from last year, while debt financing fell 27% to $278 million over the same period. Despite attempts to reduce spending, cash reserves are dwindling to new lows as the top 100’s on-hand cash dropped on average from $10 million to $7 million.

These numbers are paired with news that overall revenue is down 28% from 2014, a drop of nearly $195 million, balanced slightly by an 18% reduction in overall net losses. Market capitalization dropped significantly from $7.9 billion to $4.8 billion as of June, 2015.

“The challenges in the junior mining sector persist and the industry is really at a crossroads,” said Liam Fitzgerald, PwC’s Canadian Mining Leader. Read the rest of this entry »

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6th October 2015

Manitoba-Nunavut hydro link is economically viable: study – by Sarah Rogers (Nunatsiaq News – October 6, 2015)


Report calls for next study on $904-million electrical power network

A new study commissioned by the Kivalliq Inuit Association says a project connecting Nunavut’s Kivalliq region to Manitoba’s electrical power grid is economically viable, environmentally beneficial, and should move forward without delay.

The estimated cost of the project, which would extend transmission lines north from Churchill, Man. up the western Hudson Bay coast, is about $904 million, says the new scoping study, prepared for the KIA by engineering firm BBA Inc. and released last month.

But the study suggests the project would pay for itself over its estimated 40-year lifetime, delivering projected savings of $40 million a year by replacing fossil fuels from dirty, expensive diesel generators with cleaner hydroelectric power.

The report, called Hydroelectric Power from Manitoba to the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, says extending the electric power grid “would generation great socioeconomic and environmental benefits for the population of the Kivalliq region and the development of the mineral industry.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Manitoba Mining, Mining Power Issues, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media | 0 Comments

6th October 2015

Pacific trade deal good for Sudbury, says Slade -by PRESS RELEASE (Sudbury Northern Life – October 05, 2015)


“The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will benefit all of Canada but, we in Greater Sudbury with our strong resource and manufacturing sectors, will see many more doors opened for products and services produced here in Greater Sudbury with our new trading partners” says Fred Slade, Conservative Party of Canada candidate.

Canada’s Conservative Government has signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that will protect and create Canadian jobs, and grow every sector of our economy by giving Canadian businesses access to some of the most dynamic markets in the world.

The TPP is a 12-nation market of almost 800-million consumers with GDP of $28 trillion — over 14 times the size of Canada’s economy. Canada will now be the only G7 nation with free trade access to all of the US and Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific continents, that’s over 60 per cent of the world’s economy.

Since 2006, our government has concluded Free Trade Agreements with 44 countries, compared to only five when we took office. “Canada’s mining industry has been a strong advocate for liberalized trade and investment flows for many years,” stated Pierre Gratton, Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC) President and CEO in a release today. Read the rest of this entry »

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6th October 2015

Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) proposal to alienate industry – by Gary Vivian (October 5, 2015)


A Guest Editorial by Gary Vivian, President of Aurora Geosciences Ltd., in Northern News Services.

It’s said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The GNWT’s recent draft conservation plan has “good intentions” but it certainly will take us on a path to economic hell.

The plan – shared predominantly with conservation representatives, not the business community – is misguided, anachronistic and unnecessary. By simply circulating it for discussion, Environment Minister Michael Miltenberger has started that paving job to hell. If allowed to proceed, the plan will further damage our already wounded mining industry’s ability to create the high paying jobs, much needed business spending and royalties and taxes that are much needed by both aboriginal and public governments.

In this post-devolution world, we are expected to be more mature and able to take responsibility for our economic future. Taking such a misguided approach to conservation will alienate our number-one industry from land access and undermine the government’s own economic agenda. Read the rest of this entry »

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6th October 2015

Canadian mining sector cheers TPP signing – by Peter Koven (National Post – October 6, 2015)

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

TORONTO – The Canadian mining industry is celebrating Canada’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which brings plenty of positives and no serious negatives.

The deal will gradually eliminate tariffs on Canadian mineral exports in TPP nations, some of which are enormous. At the same time, it does not bring any of the risks to Canada’s mining sector that it does to the dairy or auto sectors. It simply enhances the export opportunities.

“We don’t have some of the issues that other sectors face,” Pierre Gratton, president of the Mining Association of Canada, said in an interview. “For us, it’s really an opportunity to see reduced tariffs and to make us more competitive.”

There are huge variations in mineral import tariffs in TPP countries. On the low end, Australia applies tariffs of up to five per cent on Canadian imports, and Japan applies tariffs up to 7.9 per cent, the mining association said. On the high end, Vietnam’s tariffs are as high as 40 per cent, and Malaysia’s go up to 50 per cent. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th October 2015

Kinross’s clash with contractors over West African gold mines – by Geoffrey York and Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – October 5, 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.

JOHANNESBURG and ROME — Kinross Gold Corp., facing an investigation in the United States over alleged corruption at its West African mines, has portrayed itself as the victim of “noise” by contractors who fail to win bids at its massive gold mine in the Sahara Desert in Mauritania.

In an interview last month, before the U.S. investigation was disclosed, Kinross executives in West Africa insisted their contracting procedures are transparent and fair. They denied local claims that the company faced pressure by the Mauritanian government to hire politically connected contractors, but they acknowledged the losing bidders have sometimes alleged wrongdoing in the contracting process.

“They go to some politicians and then you hear noise about it,” said Mike Sylvestre, regional vice-president for Kinross operations in West Africa. “There does seem to be a lot of noise.”

Kinross said on Friday it had received subpoenas from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Justice Department, seeking information about alleged “improper payments made to government officials and certain internal control deficiencies” at its gold operations in Mauritania and Ghana. Read the rest of this entry »

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

5th October 2015

For many miners, there’s no avoiding the gold ‘production cliff’ now – by Peter Koven (National Post – October 3, 2015)

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

When Steve Parsons and his colleagues published their first report on the gold “production cliff” in early 2013, they thought the thesis was obvious, even though almost no one was talking about it.

“It’s not a matter of if or even when the production cliff will happen,” the National Bank analyst said in an interview this week. “It’s really a matter of how companies respond.”

Gold miners hardly ever spoke up on this issue over the last several years. It may be that they didn’t agree with the conclusion, or perhaps they just didn’t want to think too hard about the implications. But there’s no avoiding it now.

Parsons’ thesis, in short, is that global gold production is set to fall in a big way. He calls it the “production cliff” while Goldcorp Inc. and others call it “peak gold,” but it amounts to the same thing.

The cliff appears to be imminent. According to numerous professional estimates, gold output will top out in 2015 or 2016 and then go into decline for several years at least. Read the rest of this entry »

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2nd October 2015

Canadian firm fights gold mine ban by leftist Greek government – by Angeliki Koutantou (Reuters Canada – October 2, 2015)


ATHENS (Reuters) – A Canadian company appealed to Greece’s top court on Friday to overturn a ban on its plans to develop a gold mine in a forested area of northern Greece, in a case widely seen as a test of the leftist government’s approach to foreign investment.

Vancouver-based Eldorado’s venture to extract gold and other ores on the verdant Halkidiki peninsula is seen as one of the top investments in a country racked by a debt crisis since the end of 2009. The company has put in more than $600 million since 2012 and plans to invest another $1 billion in its quest for gold, copper and zinc at two other sites.

But a day before resigning to call a general election, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ government revoked Eldorado’s permit for the Halkidiki mine in mid-August, citing environmental grounds, in a move that showed Greece remains a risky bet for investors.

Eldorado then suspended all its activities at the mine and made most of its 1,300 workers temporarily redundant. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Europe Mining, Gold and Silver, Junior Exploration Sector | 0 Comments

1st October 2015

Gold sinks to worst quarterly performance in a year, but signs of optimism emerge – by Peter Koven (National Post – October 1, 2015)

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

The third quarter was another ugly one in the gold market. But at least it offered investors a little bit of encouragement.

Gold dropped 4.8 per cent overall in Q3, closing at US$1,115 an ounce on Wednesday after bottoming out at US$1,080 in July. It was the metal’s worst quarterly performance in a year. But Q3 was really a tale of two halves in the gold market: before and after China devalued its currency on Aug. 11.

Before that date, sentiment on gold was at its weakest point in years. With a strong U.S. dollar, low inflation and expectations of monetary tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve, investors had little motivation to own gold or other precious metals.

But after Aug. 11, it was one of the only commodities to draw any excitement whatsoever.

China’s devaluation caused panic, as investors feared that its economy was in far worse shape than previously assumed. That triggered a broad equity market sell-off around the globe. Commodities also fell sharply, as demand for them is linked so closely to China’s economic growth. Read the rest of this entry »

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

1st October 2015

Election 2015: Liberals, Greens and NDP Q&A on mining in Canada – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – September 30, 2015)

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

With Canadians looking ahead to a federal election on Oct. 19, The Northern Miner submitted mining-related questions to the leaders of the four major political parties running across Canada. The following are the answers from the Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau, Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May, New Democratic Party of Canada leader Tom Mulcair, and their respective parties (The Conservative Party of Canada did not respond):

The Northern Miner: In recent years the federal government has moved to streamline environmental permitting for miners by trying to avoid duplication of provincial efforts. Do you support this approach? Does the federal government have a unique role to play in avoiding catastrophic tailings dam failures such as the one we saw at Mount Polley in B.C. in 2014?

Justin Trudeau/Liberal Party: The Harper government has eroded the credibility of Canada’s environmental reviews by narrowing their application, limiting public participation and slashing the capacity of the federal government to protect the environment. They have ended over 50 years of environmental oversight in Canada by repealing the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act so that the federal government can sidestep environmental reviews of potentially harmful projects. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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