17th April 2014

Proxy adviser backs Augusta poison pill as hostile bid looms – by Bertrand Marotte (Globe and Mail – April 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.

Augusta Resource Corp. says a leading independent proxy advisory firm is recommending that shareholders vote for the continuation of the company’s defence plan in the face of the hostile takeover offer by HudBay Minerals Inc.

Vancouver-based Augusta said on Thursday that San Francisco-based Glass, Lewis & Co. backs the mining company’s stance that the shareholder rights plan should continue. HudBay, which is after Augusta’s rich copper-molybdenum project near Tucson, Ariz., is seeking a decision from Canadian securities regulators that would get rid of Augusta’s so-called poison pill.

A poison pill — or shareholders’ defence — allows non-HudBay shareholders to buy additional shares at a discount, making it prohibitively expensive for HudBay to acquire the rest of Augusta it does not already own. Toronto-based HudBay owns about 16 per cent of Augusta. Augusta shareholders are to vote on the poison pill on May 2.

“Our intention is to put the power of this important decision in the hands of Augusta shareholders by giving them the opportunity to vote on the rights plan on May 2, three days before the expiry of HudBay’s bid,” said Augusta president and chief executive officer Gil Clausen. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Copper, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

17th April 2014

Osisko Mining CEO Sean Roosen lashes out at Canada’s ‘predatory’ takeover process – by Nicolas Van Praet and Peter Koven (National Post – April 17, 2014)

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

MONTREAL/TORONTO – Sean Roosen never wanted to sell Osisko Mining Corp. The chief executive of Quebec’s biggest home-grown miner has said repeatedly that Goldcorp Inc. ambushed him with a hostile offer before he even got the chance to prove what kind of money his main production asset, the Malartic gold mine, could make for investors.

So now that he’s done his duty in perhaps extracting the most he can for Osisko with a friendly $3.9-billion tag-team offer from Yamana Gold Inc. and Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., he’s lashing out at the Canadian system that led to this outcome in the first place.

“You’ve got a regulatory regime here that is set for predatory behaviour,” Mr. Roosen said in an interview Wednesday. He said rules requiring TSX-listed bidders to win approval from their own shareholders for an acquisition being paid for with a new share issue equal to more than 25% of the current float favours larger companies. “All the bigger companies basically have free range to rape and pillage.”

The mining executive certainly isn’t the first person to criticize Canada’s bidder-friendly takeover rules. A veritable hoard of high-profile people have pointed out the shortcomings of the regulatory regime, which makes it nearly certain that a company will get sold once it is put into play. But few have said it in terms quite so stark. Read the rest of this entry »

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

17th April 2014

Osisko Mining deal leaves Vancouver’s Goldcorp out in the cold (updated) – by Craig Wong (Vancouver Sun – April 16, 2014)

http://www.vancouversun.com/index.html

Friendly deal valued at $3.9 billion will see the gold miner acquired by Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. Osisko Mining Corp. (TSX:OSK) announced a new friendly deal Wednesday valued at $3.9 billion that will see the gold miner acquired by Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.

The offer for the company and its Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec tops a rival hostile bid by Goldcorp (TSX:G) that was valued at $3.6 billion or $7.65 per share.

The deal will also see Osisko shareholders receive shares in a new company that will receive a royalty on the production from Canadian Malartic and the company’s existing exploration properties as well as hold $155 million cash and the company’s Guerrero exploration project in Mexico.

Osisko president and chief executive Sean Roosen noted the first hostile offer by Goldcorp valued his company at about $2.6 billion in January. “I think that we’ve delivered a significant amount of value to shareholders,” he told a conference call with investors. Read the rest of this entry »

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

17th April 2014

I want to be a geoscientist. What will my salary be? – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – April 16, 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.

Job: Geoscientist – Salary: Depending on education, experience and location, people in this profession can start off earning $35,000 to $75,000 a year, according to Earth Sciences Canada. With more than five years of experience, the annual salary can grow to between $80,000 and more than $300,000.

Education: To gain the professional “P.Geo” status, you need a bachelor’s degree in earth science or a related field, followed by 48 months of experience working as a geoscientist. Geoscientists also need to pass an ethics exam.

The role: Geoscientist is a new term the industry uses to cover geologists, geophysicists, geochemists and environmental geoscientists, according to Oliver Bonham, chief executive officer of Geoscientists Canada, a national umbrella group comprising the industry’s professional associations and regulators.

He says geoscientists help society meet its needs for natural resources. “That includes all types of metals, minerals and earth materials, sources of energy, even fresh water and fertile soil,” Mr. Bonham said. Read the rest of this entry »

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

17th April 2014

Muskowekwan First Nation votes to approve on-reserve potash project – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – April 16, 2014)

http://www.miningweekly.com/page/americas-home

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Project developer Encanto Potash on Wednesday reported that the Muskowekwan First Nation (MFN) had voted with a strong majority in favour of continuing to develop the first producing potash mine on First Nation land – the MFN’s reserve, located 100 km north-east of Regina, Saskatchewan.

The two project partners said that six ballots for the MFN surface designation vote had passed, including those allowing Encanto to build and operate a potash solution mine on both reserve land and pre-reserve land and to lease certain areas in support of the mine.

The project is being undertaken by First Potash Ventures, a partnership between Encanto Potash and Muskowekwan Resources, which is owned by the MFN. The project is expected to provide economic opportunities for the MFN, as well as the surrounding area, by providing training and employment opportunities during the construction and operation of the mine.

“Once again, my people have demonstrated that we are interested and greatly in favour of seeing an operating potash solution mine on our land and enjoying the associated benefits through educational advancements, increased employment opportunities and self-sourced revenue generation,” MFN chief Reginald Bellerose said. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Potash/Phosphate, Saskatchewan Mining | 0 Comments

17th April 2014

Even in this market, miners see assets worth overpaying for – by Brian Milner (Globe and Mail – April 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.

The bargain-hunters scouring the mining world for dirt-cheap acquisitions must be getting frustrated. The battle for Osisko Mining Corp. in Quebec and a Chinese company’s full-price purchase of a Peruvian copper mine show that softer demand, weaker prices and the pounding many miners have taken in the stock market aren’t pushing producers to part with valuable core assets for chump change.

Miners’ willingness to hang tough suggests the battered sector has reached a bottom. Producers are willing to wait and for good reason – there is an increased willingness among potential buyers to pay top dollar for high-quality assets.

In the Osisko case, Yamana Gold Inc. and Agnico Eagle Gold Inc. have reached a friendly deal to buy the Montreal-based gold miner for $3.9-billion and divvy up its assets. The stock and cash offer works out to $8.15 a share, 11 per cent above a revised bid from Goldcorp Inc.

Goldcorp sweetened its original hostile offer by about $1-billion to $3.6-billion when it became apparent that Osisko wasn’t about to be low-balled on its prized Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Asia Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Copper, Gold and Silver, Latin America Mining | 0 Comments

16th April 2014

Osisko strikes new $3.9-billion deal with Yamana, Agnico Eagle – by Bertrand Marotte (Globe and Mail – April 16, 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.

Osisko Mining Corp. has struck a deal valued at about $3.9-billion that would see Yamana Gold Inc. and Agnico Eagle Gold Inc. acquire Osisko in a cash-and-stock transaction.

Meanwhile, Goldcorp Inc. — which recently raised its hostile bid for Osisko and its rich Canadian Malartic gold mine to $3.6-billion — said it plans to nominate its own slate of 11 directors to replace Osisko’s board members at Osisko’s annual meeting May 20.

The new offer — which adds Agnico Eagle as a partner — represents roughly an 11 per cent premium to the implied value of Goldcorp’s hostile offer. Under terms of the deal announced by Osisko and its partners Wednesday, Agnico Eagle and Yamana will form a joint acquisition entity that will acquire all of Osisko’s common shares.

Agnico and Yamana will each own 50 per cent of Montreal-based Osisko and they will form a joint committee to operate the Canadian Malartic mine in northwestern Quebec. Read the rest of this entry »

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

16th April 2014

Canada knew nuclear deal with China could be seen as ‘weak’: Docs – by Carl Meyer (Embassy News – April 16, 2014)

http://www.embassynews.ca/

Briefing notes say even though safeguards changed, non-proliferation policy would still be achieved.

After a major Canadian uranium mining firm landed deals with Chinese state-owned enterprises, the Harper government met several times with the firm and then announced a new protocol to ship raw Canadian uranium directly to China—even though it knew the protocol’s safeguards could be perceived as “weak,” government documents show.

Nuclear disarmament advocates fear the new scheme is an example of commerce driving policy in Ottawa. They say it could set a precedent that countries can establish workarounds to international nuclear security standards if the status quo was seen to be restricting potential trade.

“Commercial interests, as important as they are, must be shaped and constrained by non-proliferation considerations,” said Cesar Jaramillo, program officer for space security and nuclear disarmament at Waterloo-based Project Ploughshares.

But Canada says the deal with China will ensure Canadian uranium is used only for “strictly peaceful, non-military purposes” and that the new requirements are “appropriate to the level of the proliferation risks involved.” The Chinese Embassy also assured Canadians that its nuclear facilities are safe and under control. Read the rest of this entry »

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

16th April 2014

Walter Energy idles Canadian mines as expensive acquisition comes back to haunt – by Peter Koven (National Post – April 16, 2014)

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

TORONTO – A Canadian acquisition from three years ago continues to create headaches for U.S. coal miner Walter Energy Inc.

When Walter paid $3.3-billion in cash and stock for Vancouver-based Western Coal Corp., the company thought it was creating a dominant North American coal producer for years to come. The metallurgical coal market was red-hot, and Western provided Walter with one of the best production growth profiles in the industry.

Unfortunately for Walter, the deal has backfired in almost every conceivable way. Coal prices plummeted; the company ran into balance sheet problems; it ended up in a proxy fight with a former Western shareholder; and on Tuesday, Walter announced it will idle all the Canadian operations it bought in the Western transaction.

Walter has been eyeing a closure of its Canadian mines for months. But the tipping point came after a quarterly coal sales contract got settled around US$120 a tonne. The cash costs at Walter’s Canadian and U.K. operations were above US$132 in the quarter ending Dec. 31, meaning Walter would be bleeding cash if it kept these mines running.

“Our CEO said that we’re just as well served to leave the coal in the ground and wait for a time when the market conditions are better,” Walter spokesman Tom Hoffman said. Read the rest of this entry »

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

16th April 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold announce a friendly acquisition agreement with Osisko Mining Corporation

(All amounts expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted)

C$8.15 per share offer provides superior shareholder value

TORONTO, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM, TSX:AEM) (“Agnico Eagle”), Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI, NYSE: AUY) (“Yamana”) and Osisko Mining Corporation (TSX:OSK; Deutsche Boerse:EWX) (“Osisko”) are pleased to announce that they have entered into an agreement (“the Agreement”) pursuant to which Agnico Eagle and Yamana will jointly acquire 100% of Osisko’s issued and outstanding common shares for total consideration of approximately C$3.9 billion, or C$8.15 per share. The total offer consists of approximately C$1.0 billion in cash, approximately C$2.33 billion in Agnico Eagle and Yamana shares, and shares of a new company (“Spinco”) with an implied value of approximately C$575 million.

The offer represents approximately an 11% premium to the implied value of the current Goldcorp Inc. (“Goldcorp”) hostile bid. Agnico Eagle, Yamana, and Osisko will host a joint conference call today at 10:00 a.m. EDT to discuss the transaction.

Terms of the Agreement

Under the Agreement, Agnico Eagle and Yamana will form a joint acquisition entity (with each company owning 50%) which will acquire by way of a plan of arrangement all of the outstanding common shares of Osisko. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Gold and Silver, Quebec Mining | 0 Comments

15th April 2014

More grassroots prospecting investment required in BC – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – April 14, 2014)

http://www.miningweekly.com/page/americas-home

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Investment in the grassroots level of prospecting and early-stage exploration are critically needed in British Columbia to uncover new deposits that, in turn, would encourage more investment in advanced exploration and resource development, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) president and CEO Gavin Dirom said.

He told Mining Weekly Online that despite the province attracting significant investment in advanced-stage exploration and resource development, there is a critical need for more investment in grassroots level prospecting to ensure that the province’s mining output remains on an upward growth trajectory.

MONEY MAKES THE DRILLS GO ROUND

Dirom said that British Columbia had succeeded in recent years in attracting more exploration investment. He said the province had managed to lift investor confidence in the past five years or so, attracting more investment than what it typically did in the past, which was a significant development. Read the rest of this entry »

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

15th April 2014

HudBay CEO disputes Augusta’s claims of rival bidders – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – April 15, 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.

HudBay Minerals Inc. is asking Canadian regulators to get rid of Augusta Resource Corp.’s defense plan so that it can acquire Augusta’s copper project in Arizona.

HudBay already owns a 16 per cent stake in Augusta. But the Toronto-based company is blocked from acquiring more shares because Augusta adopted a shareholder rights plan, also known as a poison pill, when it found out HudBay had accumulated such a large position.

The plan allows non-HudBay shareholders to buy additional shares at a discount, which would make it prohibitively expensive for the Toronto miner to acquire the rest of Augusta. On Monday, HudBay asked the British Columbia Securities Commission to make a decision before its hostile offer expires May 5.

Vancouver-based Augusta is scheduled to hold a meeting May 2 where shareholders will get to vote on whether they want to keep their poison pill in place. HudBay’s chief executive David Garofalo said if regulators strike down the poison pill, that would make the shareholder vote moot. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

15th April 2014

At BHP, the stars align for second run at Potash Corp – by Boyd Erman (Globe and Mail – April 15, 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 window is opening for BHP Billiton Ltd. to once again try a takeover of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan.

Speculation is intense in the fertilizer industry that BHP may mount another campaign to win over Saskatoon-based Potash Corp. after being shot down in 2010. It failed the federal government’s murky “net benefit test” after a strong push from a Saskatchewan government that opposed the transaction.

Bankers, executives and advisers on the political side agree that BHP would be crazy not to look again. To be clear, there is no sign that any potential deal is under way. But there are numerous reasons that people are talking about the possibility.

The numbers work. The personalities are closer to working. Even the politics are not insurmountable because the landscape has shifted, especially in Saskatchewan. Finally, what was true in 2010 remains true now: Owning Potash Corp. is the best way to get into the potash business. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in BHP Billiton, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Potash/Phosphate, Saskatchewan Mining | 0 Comments

15th April 2014

UPDATE 2-Bad weather cuts Rio Tinto’s iron ore shipments – by James Regan (Reuters India – April 15, 2014)

http://in.reuters.com/

SYDNEY, April 15 (Reuters) – Rio Tinto’s iron ore shipments fell 8 percent in the first-quarter from the previous quarter due to weather-related disruptions in Australia and Canada, but the miner said it was on track to meet its full-year target.

Production still jumped 16 percent on the same quarter a year ago as the world’s No. 2 iron ore producer behind Brazil’s Vale ramps up production at its Australian mines to meet growing demand from China.

“It appears they were hit a litle harder than we expected by the weather, though we don’t see any issues in meeting their full-year target,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Chris Drew.

Iron ore has replaced other industrial and precious commodities such as coal, gold and silver as the mineral with the most profit potential, delivering bumper earnings for giant low-cost miners such as Rio and BHP Billiton.

Iron ore prices .IO62-CN=SOI have recovered 12 percent since a steep dip in March on weaker Chinese steel prices. At the current price of $117 a tonne, Rio Tinto enjoys a profit margin of over $60 a tonne. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Australia Mining and History, Canada Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Iron Ore | 0 Comments

15th April 2014

Private equity investment still circling mining sector – by Simon Rees (MiningWeekly.com – April 14, 2014)

http://www.miningweekly.com/page/americas-home

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – The growth in private equity investment within mining and metals has provoked greater debate about its role as a driving force within the sector over the past year. However, private equity is selective about when and where it deploys capital; it cannot be viewed as an industry panacea.

“It’s also fair to say that private equity funds usually approach the sector with a long-term perspective,” Norton Rose Fulbright partner Janet Howard told Mining Weekly Online.

Howard specialises in mergers and acquisitions, corporate and securities law, with emphasis on the mining and natural resources sectors. “Private equity firms view themselves as part of the team directed at problem solving,” she said. “They might say: ‘tell us what you think the potential problems are and we’ll help you fix it’.”

“Their money is sophisticated, deliberate, focused and professional. Often they’ve worked in other sectors during difficult times, so they understand where the risks are and form the necessary solutions,” she added. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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