Archive | Canada Mining

A Cosmic Theory and 2-Inch Lump of Gold Spur 500% Novo Surge – by Natalie Obiko Pearson (Bloomberg News – August 21, 2017)

Quinton Todd Hennigh has spent 13 years scouring the Earth for clues to back a hunch: that the world’s biggest gold resource has lost siblings elsewhere on the planet.

Now the president of Novo Resources Corp. thinks he may have found a counterpart of South Africa’s Witwatersrand in the ancient red rocks near Australia’s northwest coast. In July, his company zeroed in on a gold find that’s confounded geologists and sparked a 500 percent surge in the explorer’s share price.

The first test on land south of the coastal town of Karratha looked good. Employing two men, a metal detector and a jack hammer, Vancouver-based Novo extracted gold nuggets as long as 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) from an exploration “trench” little more than a half-meter deep. That tiny sample hinted at ore grades that could be among the highest of any operating mine in the world. Continue Reading →

Environment v. economy: Canada’s brewing political battle – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – August 16, 2017)

There’s a reason the federal Liberals want to include a clause in any rewrite of NAFTA preventing member countries from diminishing environmental safeguards in the name of fuelling investment: It’s an area in which they suddenly find themselves politically vulnerable.

The North America free-trade agreement negotiations are beginning at the same time as the federal government is preparing to bring in new rules that would put more restrictions on companies looking to establish resource development opportunities in Canada.

Provinces are now bracing for the impact of a national carbon tax that is scheduled to be introduced next year in those jurisdictions currently without one, or the equivalent of. (In Ontario and Quebec, that would be cap-and-trade.) The stultifying impact these initiatives could have on resource investment has become a conservative rallying cry in the west, with outgoing Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall leading the charge. Continue Reading →

[Canada Mining] The Top 40 can begin to breathe – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – August 15, 2017)

Although the economic outlook for Canadian miners brightened somewhat over the last year, this is still a difficult time to be profitable. A look at the current Top 40 ranking by gross revenue (all tables follow text) indicates that the biggest companies remain big, and there was little change from a year earlier.

Agrium again heads the list with gross revenue of $18.1 billion. The fertilizer producer rose to the top of the 2010 list – to the surprise of CMJ editors – and has pretty much stayed there. We shouldn’t be surprised though. A look through the previous 10 years shows Agrium climbing steadily through the ranks and always in the top 10.

With the merger of Agrium and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan under the Nutrien name, Canada’s potash and fertilizer behemoth can be expected to top next year’s list, too. This year, PotashCorp had revenue of a $5.9 billion and ranked No. 5 in the Top 40 for the third year in a row. Continue Reading →

Canadian bishops call out their country’s mining companies for destructive practices abroad – by Dean Dettloff (America: The Jesuit Review – August 15, 2017)

Canadian mining companies with operations abroad need to be more heavily regulated at home, says a recent letter from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (C.C.C.B.) addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“We, as Canadians, are among the privileged,” the letter says. “We cannot remain indifferent to the cry of the poor or to the repercussions of environmental degradation on our common home. We cannot accept the unethical way Canadian mining companies have been operating in Latin America or other regions of the world, taking the absence of effective regulatory schemes as a reason to shirk their ethical responsibilities.”

Written by Most Rev. Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., the bishop of Hamilton and president of the C.C.C.B., the letter was also sent to Canadian officials Chrystia Freeland, the minister of foreign affairs; James Gordon Carr, the minister of natural resources; and Carolyn Bennett, the minister of indigenous and Northern affairs. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Foundational policies can lead to bright future for Canada’s mineral and mining industry

Industry highlights top priorities at Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference

SAINT ANDREWS, NB–(Marketwired – August 14, 2017) – As Canada’s Energy and Mines Ministers convene for their 74th annual conference, a national coalition of mining associations is recommending several government actions to help unlock billions of economic activity across the country, address climate change, bolster reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples, and secure Canada as the world’s top supplier of sustainably-sourced minerals and metals in an increasingly lower carbon global economy.

A brief submitted by the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF) details six policy areas where provincial collaboration and action by governments can enhance Canada’s ability to attract new mineral investment and expand the mineral and mining industry’s vast socio-economic contributions to Canadians:

1. Improve the regulatory process: Given the importance of the regulatory regime to the mining industry’s competitiveness and Canada’s ability to compete against other countries for new mineral investment, it is critical that current reviews of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act, and the Navigation Protection Act result in an effective, timely and coordinated regulatory process, from pre-environmental assessment (EA) to post-EA permitting, with meaningful consultation. Continue Reading →

These are the mining sector’s suggestions to the Canadian government – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – August 14, 2017)

The Mining Association of Canada together with the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada issued a press release Monday highlighting the topics the industry would like government officials to address during the Energy and Mines Ministers’ annual conference.

The conference, which is taking place in St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, between August 14th and 15th, is a formal meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for energy and mining portfolios.

Taking into account that this year’s overarching theme is “clean growth,” MAC and PDAC, in the name of a national coalition of mining associations gathered under the umbrella of the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation, detailed specific actions in six policy areas that, they believe, “should help unlock billions of economic activity across the country, address climate change, bolster reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples, and secure Canada as the world’s top supplier of sustainably-sourced minerals and metals.” Continue Reading →

Artists, hippies, miners — Patagonia divided over hamlet’s economic future – by Lucas Waldron (Arizona Daily Star – August 13, 2017)

Patagonia has one bar, one coffee shop, one gas station. And customers at nearly all of them are divided between those in favor of a new mining project in this tiny southeastern-Arizona town and those against it.

Roughly half of Patagonia’s 900 residents support Arizona Mining Inc., a Canadian company that recently bought land near town for exploratory drilling. The rest oppose the mining company, seeking to preserve the region’s unique rare wildlife and steer the economy away from mineral extraction and toward environmental restoration.

Arizona Mining Inc. has vowed to create an estimated 500 jobs through a mine it plans to have up and running in 2020. In July, the company predicted the mine will extract 10,000 tons of minerals per day and could be viable for eight years. Continue Reading →

Maliseet leaders to attend mining ministers conference in St. Andrews – by By Matthew Bingley (CBC News New Brunswick – August 14, 2017)

Leaders opposed to proposed Sisson Brook Mine

Indigenous people who are opposed to the Sisson mine project are teaming up with other advocacy groups to try to sway mining ministers at a national conference this week in St. Andrews.

The Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference will gather mining and energy ministers from every Canadian jurisdiction. The conference is held annually as a means to bolster the industry within the country.

The province is hosting the meeting not long after the controversial Sisson mine received federal environmental approval. Now, a delegation of conservationists, Indigenous leaders, and mining advocates plan on rubbing elbows with those ministers. Continue Reading →

How public opinion is shaping the new reality for mining – by David Herle (Canadian Mining Journal – August 2017)

DAVID HERLE is a principal partner and founder of the Gandalf Group, a leading polling and research firm based in Toronto.

The new reality for resource projects is the necessity of what is commonly called “social licence.” What this really means is that the final word on new resource extraction projects does not come from a quiet regulatory process, but rather through the loud and messy world of public opinion. The challenge is that most Canadians have a default position of neutrality to antipathy about resource development. Few people see much upside, and most are acutely aware of potential downsides.

These attitudes are driven by some fundamental trends. The first is urbanization. As Canadians have congregated in large cities, they have become very removed – physically, economically, and emotionally – from the resource industry. There is very little awareness of the role resources play in economic growth, job creation or tax revenues. As a consequence, most city residents think that resource development is done in the interests of somebody other than them.

The second trend is the growing priority attached to environmental protection. Most people attach a great deal of importance to environmental issues – not just climate change but even more importantly, the protection of fresh water and wilderness areas. Continue Reading →

This Canadian Copper Giant is Missing Best of Metal’s Surge – by Danielle Bochove and Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – August 11, 2017)

As copper producers from Freeport-McMoRan Inc. to BHP Billiton Ltd. ponder what to do with the windfall from surging prices, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. has no such dilemma.

Unlike most of its peers, First Quantum’s copper sales are fully hedged — at an expected average price of $2.37 a pound for the second half of the year. That means it’s largely watching from the sidelines as the metal surges above $2.90 for the first time in more than two years.

The Vancouver-based company began hedging in 2015 to lock in the value of its output so as to avoid breaching debt covenants while developing a project in Panama. But as copper has risen more than 30 percent in the past year, the trade has proven to be a liability: the company posted a net loss of $35 million in the second quarter as its hedge book lost $97 million. It plans to continue hedging next year, although to a lesser extent. Continue Reading →

Corporate Canada giants vie for Ottawa supercluster funds – by Sean Silcoff (Globe and Mail – August 11, 2017)

A clean mining cluster proposal led by the Canadian Mining Innovation Council
and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) is backed by giants
Glencore, Teck, Vale, Goldcorp and Agnico-Eagle. “There wasn’t a lot of time”
to assemble the application, said CEMI CEO Douglas Morrison. “We knuckled
down and did what we had to.”

Ottawa’s flagship innovation initiative – a pledge to fund up to five so-called “superclusters” – has drawn a strong response, with dozens of hastily gathered consortia led by some of Canada’s largest companies vying for $950-million in federal funds.

Royal Bank of Canada, Magna International Inc., Telus Corp., Teck Resources Ltd., Loblaw Cos. Ltd. Shoppers Drug Mart unit and Open Text Corp. are among the more than 200 companies that have joined with 20 post-secondary institutions – some of which are supporting more than one bid – to create “superclusters” in such wide-ranging fields as agriculture, advanced manufacturing, cryptocurrency, big data, medical technology and artificial intelligence.

They have been joined by some of Canada’s most prominent startups and “scaleups,” including Stemcell Technologies Inc., Thalmic Labs Inc, Miovision Technologies and Don Tapscott’s Blockchain Research Institute. Continue Reading →

Sprott Conference: Friedland pitches metals used in electric vehicles – by Lesley Stokes (Northern Miner – August 8, 2017)

Global mining news

VANCOUVER — The electric car revolution is accelerating, and so will the demand for metals that make them work, Robert Friedland, executive chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; US-OTC: IVPAF) said during a presentation at the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium in Vancouver in late July.

In what has become a recurring topic in his presentations, Friedland stated that continued rapid urbanization, combined with efforts to fight air pollution, will lead to the ramping up of electric vehicle production. And the demand for the metals needed to build them — including copper, platinum, palladium, zinc, nickel and cobalt — will rise as a result.

“This is an era of unprecedented change, it’s really happening,” Friedland said. “The handwriting is on the wall. For those of you who deny this phenomenon, you’re going to miss this massive disruption opening soon at a theatre near you.” Continue Reading →

Billionaire Who Made Killing on Cobalt Bets on Battery Fund – by Mark Burton and Javier Blas (Bloomberg News – August 8, 2017)

An investment firm founded by Russian billionaire Vladimir Iorich is following its winning bet on cobalt this year by creating a $150 million fund to buy into metals used in electric cars.

Pala New Energy Metals will invest in cobalt, lithium, vanadium, rare earths, nickel and tin. Pala Investments Ltd. started the fund with its own money and cash from other investors. The firm previously snapped up cobalt, anticipating surging demand from automakers that more than doubled prices in the past year.

“We have been focused on the evolution of the battery chemistries and this has allowed us to invest early in different components of the battery,” Stephen Gill, managing partner at Zug, Switzerland-based Pala Investments, said in an interview. “We hope to continue to be ahead of the curve as technologies evolve.” Continue Reading →

A Canadian company wants to help artisanal miners produce “clean gold” – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – August 8, 2017)

SEF Canada, a Vancouver-based firm that specializes in corporate social responsibility, recently launched a project called “Clean Gold Community Solutions” and it is taking its first steps in Ecuador.

“This is our newest economic development strategy built around artisanal mining communities,” said Suzette McFaul, SEF’s Managing Director. “Acknowledging that artisanal miners are entrepreneurs, we have a solution to assist them to become sustainable businesses. This includes business knowledge, access to funding and technology to process gold.”

Following a series of meetings with local leaders to understand their needs and how they see the future of their community, McFaul and her team are about to sign an agreement to help them update an existing gold processing plant in northern Ecuador to make it safer and more profitable. Continue Reading →

NEP 2.0: ‘Another Trudeau’s’ environmental rules sow seeds of unity crisis, critics say – by John Ivison (National Post – August 8, 2017)

Brad Wall is worried the environmental rules Ottawa is set to introduce later this year will strain national unity in the resource-dependent West.

“The cumulative effect of this and the carbon tax mean we are heading toward an unhealthy debate, just as we did when another Trudeau introduced his energy policy. How is this different from a National Energy Program, in terms of the reality of what it will do to jobs and pipelines and so on? That is starting to sink in,” the Saskatchewan premier said in an interview.

The Liberals are putting the finishing touches to what will be one of their most controversial policies going into the next election – the environmental assessment regulations that will govern natural resource development. Stephen Harper’s intended legacy was to keep government from growing much bigger. Justin Trudeau’s bequest to the nation will be government that is not only bigger but, he hopes, better. Continue Reading →