Archive | Manitoba Mining

Staking out a future: Thompson adjusts as mining industry slows – by Brett Purdy (CBC News Manitoba – November 28, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/

Vale still largest employer in Thompson but other industries helping develop diverse economy

Rajinder Thethy has put almost $750,000 in his carwash business in Thompson, Man., and it’s investments like his the northern city is banking on to help stabilize — and build — the economy as the local mining industry slows.

Thethy, who has lived and worked in Thompson for 22 years, originally built the carwash with some partners back in 2004 as a side gig. He was a professional accountant at the time. But in January 2016, he decided he wanted a major career-and-life change and to be more devoted as a business owner.

“I know what the Thompsonites need so for me to stay here and expand my business just made perfect sense,” he said. Continue Reading →

Job losses in northern Manitoba could reach 1,500 in next 3 years: Briefing note (CBC News Manitoba – October 23, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/

As many as 1,500 jobs in northern Manitoba could be lost over the next two or three years, according to an internal document sent to Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen in May.

The briefing note, dated May 10, 2017 and obtained by the New Democrats through a freedom-of-information request, projects the job losses could amount to as much as $100 million in lost income, with a loss to the regional economy of roughly $300 million.

The numbers were part of an advisory note to Pedersen ahead of the province’s Look North initiative, announced in its throne speech in November 2016. Continue Reading →

[Manitoba Mining] Look North economic strategy battles difficult future north of 53rd parallel – by Sean Kavanagh (CBC News Manitoba – October 20, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/

A mix of optimism, a fresh start and a healthy dose of reality pervade the Look North report on the economy of northern Manitoba.

“What we’re suggesting is this is a starting point so we can capitalize on the opportunities that exist in the north,” said Look North task force co-chair Chuck Davidson, president of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

The Look North report and action plan for northern Manitoba economic development was produced by a provincially appointed task force that held its first meeting in December 2016. The task force is co-chaired by Davidson and Christian Sinclair, an independent business adviser and member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. Continue Reading →

Last muck, last hoist, last truck at Vale’s Birchtree Mine – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – October 5, 2017)

http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

The transition of Birchtree Mine to care and maintenance status, which began in the last few days of September and officially got underway Oct. 2, didn’t affect as many employees as previously estimated and no one will be laid off until the end of the year but the effects will still be felt.

The last day of mucking at Birchtree was Sept. 27 and the last hoist day was Sept. 30, when an event to commemorate the occasion was held for employees, their families and dignitaries such as Mayor Dennis Fenske, Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle, Vale Manitoba Operations vice-president Mark Scott and United Steelworkers Local 6166 president Les Ellsworth, said corporate affairs, organizational design and human resources manager Ryan Land.

The last day of September also saw the ceremonial last truck of ore roll out of the mine and the first care and maintenance shift was Oct. 2. About 60 employees will work on asset recovery until November and the mine will be on care and maintenance as of Dec. 31, after which will it will employ only six workers. Continue Reading →

[Vale and Thompson, Manitoba] The first shoe drops (Thompson Citizen – October 4, 2017)

http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

Thompson inched into a new era Oct. 1 as Birchtree Mine stopped production of nickel ore and began the process of transitioning into care and maintenance status, a position it was previously in from 1978 until it reopened in 1989.

The move affects an estimated 150 jobs within the mine and up to 50 in processing, service and support roles, Vale Manitoba Operations said in May, when the decision to move to care and maintenance was made because it is unprofitable to continue mining at current nickel prices.

At any time, this would have been bad news for Thompson’s economy. While some affected employees may opt for early retirement and stick around and others may find new jobs locally, some will be moving out of town and taking the money that they spent on accommodations and goods and services elsewhere. That will have a trickle-down effect that even people who aren’t employed in anything mining-related will feel. Continue Reading →

Closing Time: Last hoist for Thompson’s Birchtree Mine – by John Barker (Soundings John Barker – September 30, 2017)

https://soundingsjohnbarker.wordpress.com/

On the surface, it was an unseasonably warm and brilliant orange early autumn day. Underground, it was closing time. Not last call, but rather the hard rock mining on-the-job equivalent: last hoist.

This day has almost come for Birchtree Mine in Thompson, Manitoba before. In fact, the day did come for Birchtree for most of a decade in the 1980s, as the mine was on “care and maintenance” because of unfavourable market conditions from December 1977 through 1989.

And on Oct. 18, 2012, Vale had announced care and maintenance was being considered for Birchtree Mine in 10 months time in August 2013. After finding $100 million in cost savings at its Manitoba Operations, bringing its cost per metric tonne for finished nickel to under US$10,000, Birchtree Mine would receive on May 6, 2013 a reprieve that lasted almost 4½ years. Until now. Continue Reading →

‘Toke Mountain’ may have opened door to tailings-based mining – by Jonathon Naylor (Flin Flon Reminder – September 18, 2017)

http://www.thereminder.ca/

What if mine waste isn’t waste at all, but another potential source of riches for resource-based communities? That was the enticing question raised by BacTech Mining Corporation upon its arrival in northern Manitoba.

The little-known Toronto-based company was built on the premise that it could process mine waste, known as tailings, for the benefit of both its bottom line and public safety. BacTech’s expertise revolves around bioleaching, a process that employs bacteria to cleanse tailings of their toxic components.

At the same time, bioleaching exposes metals trapped within the tailings, permitting conventional recovery at a potentially significant profit. At least as far back as 2010, BacTech had its sights set on northern Manitoba – and with good reason. Continue Reading →

As 777 winds down, Hudbay looks to Lalor – by D’Arcy Jenish (Canadian Mining Journal – June 2017)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

For nearly a century – 90 years in December, to be precise – Hudbay Minerals has been the cornerstone and lifeblood of the northern Manitoba community of Flin Flon. But change is coming to this quintessential one-industry, resource-based Canadian town. In 2020, Hudbay is scheduled to close the 777 mine – its only remaining mining operation in the immediate vicinity of Flin Flon.

Meantime, the company is continuing to develop and expand its base and precious metal Lalor mine, which began producing in late 2014 and is located in Snow Lake, 215 km east of Flin Flon. “We have undertaken a program of re-evaluating exploration opportunities with the Flin Flon area,” says Cashel Meagher, Hudbay’s senior vice-president and chief operating officer. “The obvious future in northern Manitoba will divert from Flin Flon to Lalor. We want to perpetuate the life of the Lalor mine.”

In fact, the potential at Lalor has continued to increase since Hudbay launched an aggressive exploration program in 2007. The company drilled 180 holes from surface and identified a sizeable deposit of ore-grade material – zinc on top, copper beneath it and a halo of contact gold beneath the copper. Continue Reading →

Lalor, ten years later: looking back a decade after discovery – by Jonathon Naylor (Flin Flon Reminder – August 2, 2017)

http://www.thereminder.ca/

A decade ago, following the old adage that the best place to find a new mine is in the shadow of an existing one, a team of prospectors found themselves at work near the town of Snow Lake. Truth be told, they were closer to Lalor Lake, a body of water named after Fintan Howard Lalor, a Canadian pilot officer and navigator presumed deceased after his plane went missing in eastern Canada in 1943.

In any event, the prospectors’ goal was the same as it always was: coordinate their drilling so as to pinpoint northern Manitoba’s next mine. The crew was in the employ of HudBay Minerals, formerly HBM&S and now known simply as Hudbay. Racking up sky-high profits at the time, the company was eager to build on its prolific mining legacy in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake region.

So why target Lalor Lake? The obvious answer was its close proximity to Snow Lake, which could supply workers to a mine, and even closer proximity to Hudbay’s lucrative Chisel North mine, indicative of the mineral-rich potential of the area. Continue Reading →

Snow Lake Project showing potential for new mines – by Jonathon Naylor (Flin Flon Reminder – August 2, 2017)

http://www.thereminder.ca/

When prospectors talk about the mineral-rich potential of northern Manitoba, they’re referring to properties like the Snow Lake Project. Consisting of 283 claims covering an area the size of Winnipeg, the Project has undergone a decade of exploration at a cost of some $25 million.

The goal of any prospecting endeavour is a mine-worthy deposit. And while there are no Scooptrams or loaders on site as of yet, Ken Lapierre believes it’s only a matter of time.

“Our goal has always been to become a mine finder,” says Lapierre, president and CEO of Rockcliff Copper Corporation, which owns the Project. “Rockcliff was formed for that very reason. I feel extremely confident that our actions over the last 10 years have led us down the path to discovery and resource growth, which will ultimately lead us to becoming mine finders.” Continue Reading →

[Manitoba] Province wants to partner with First Nations in future mining developments – by Larry Kusch (Winnipeg Free Press – July 31, 2017)

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

The Progressive Conservative government is encouraging First Nation communities to reap the benefits of new Manitoba mining projects in their traditional territories.

The province announced Monday that it is working with Indigenous communities on a new protocol that will guide consultations between the province and First Nations on future mining development.

Premier Brian Pallister announced Monday that Norway House Cree Nation Chief Ron Evans and former Manitoba cabinet minister Jim Downey will develop the new mineral development protocol in partnership with First Nations. The goal is to establish “a clear pathway forward on mineral development with a stable and predictable consultation process,” he said. Continue Reading →

Northern Manitoba transportation corridor would have ‘revolutionary impact’ – by Sean Pratt (The Western Producer – July 6, 2017)

http://www.producer.com/

A Senate committee has endorsed a plan to build a northern transportation corridor that would revitalize the Port of Churchill. The banking, trade and commerce committee has embraced a proposal by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy to build a 7,000 kilometre east-west corridor through Canada’s north.

“(It) will have as revolutionary an impact on today’s Canadian economy as the coast-to-coast railway did in the 1800s,” the committee said in a news release accompanying its 50-page report on the proposal.

“The idea is to establish a right-of-way that would accommodate highways, railways, pipelines as well as electrical transmission and communications networks.” The right-of-way would tie into existing infrastructure such as the Trans-Canada Highway, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Port of Churchill. Continue Reading →

As 777 winds down, Hudbay looks to Lalor – by D’Arcy Jenish (Canadian Mining Journal – June 2017)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

For nearly a century – 90 years in December, to be precise – Hudbay Minerals has been the cornerstone and lifeblood of the northern Manitoba community of Flin Flon. But change is coming to this quintessential one-industry, resource-based Canadian town.

In 2020, Hudbay is scheduled to close the 777 mine – its only remaining mining operation in the immediate vicinity of Flin Flon. Meantime, the company is continuing to develop and expand its base and precious metal Lalor mine, which began producing in late 2014 and is located in Snow Lake, 215 km east of Flin Flon.

“We have undertaken a program of re-evaluating exploration opportunities with the Flin Flon area,” says Cashel Meagher, Hudbay’s senior vice-president and chief operating officer. “The obvious future in northern Manitoba will divert from Flin Flon to Lalor. We want to perpetuate the life of the Lalor mine.” Continue Reading →

Analysis: A diamond of an opportunity for northern Manitoba – by Joseph Quesnel (Winnipeg Free Press – June 15, 2017)

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

Joseph Quesnel is a research associate with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

In early March, the Manitoba Geological Survey and its industry partner, Lynx Consortium, made an important diamond discovery southeast of Thompson. While there is no guarantee the find will lead to a significant mining project, the province should move quickly to enhance the potential by involving industry partners, First Nations and municipalities in the region.

If this development works out, Manitoba would join Ontario, Quebec and the Northwest Territories in profiting from diamond mining. Royalties, employment opportunities and tax revenue may lie ahead from, and in, places where they are sorely needed. Mining is a long-term venture relying on good economic policies, political stability and the prospect of decent returns on investment. The provincial government should be careful, but also reasonably venturesome.

To move forward, the province will have to involve northern First Nations. Indigenous communities would best become true partners in the venture to avoid problems that have plagued some other ventures and communities, such as Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario. Continue Reading →

The federal government wants to put a national park right where it will cost First Nations mine-workers their jobs – by Joseph Quesnel (Financial Post – June 8, 2017)

A working mine pours royalties into the provincial government and supports
many other industries….A national park on top of rich ore deposits
potentially worth billions will remove a major economic development
opportunity for both indigenous communities and Manitoba.

http://business.financialpost.com/

Joseph Quesnel is a research associate with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. www.fcpp.org

Why is the federal government planning to create a national park on top of potentially lucrative nickel ore deposits in Northern Manitoba? That’s a question that local indigenous communities that stand to benefit are asking.

The Manitoba Lowlands near Grand Rapids between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Winnipegosis are designated to become a national park, according to the recent federal budget. This area includes breathtaking limestone cliffs, an aquamarine lake, very productive wetlands and a region unique in the province where four species — deer, bison, elk and moose — share the habitat.

The region has some things that need protecting. However, it is not clear why Manitoba needs a new 4,400-square-kilometre national park that will cut off economic development for the local indigenous communities. Continue Reading →