Archive | Mining Power Issues

First Nations-owned company receives ‘up to $60M’ to connect Pikangikum to Ontario power grid (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 17, 2017)

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs says the federal government has pledged “up to $60 million,” for a long-awaited power project in Ontario’s far north.

Carolyn Bennett announced in Thunder Bay on Thursday that Wataynikaneyap Power — a transmission company owned by 22 First Nations in partnership with Fortis, a Canadian utility — will receive the money to connect Pikangikum to the province’s electricity grid.

The announcement, which sets the stage for work to be done to ensure a reliable flow of electricity to the community, is “thrilling,” Chief Dean Owen said. “The community will just be jubilant about it now, and now we can move forward,” he said. Construction on a 117 kilometre-long power line from Red Lake to Pikangikum is scheduled to begin in October, 2017, according to officials with Watay Power, with an estimated completion date of November, 2018. Continue Reading →

Africa’s Biggest Copper Mine Hit by Zambian Power Restrictions – by Matthew Hill and Taonga Clifford Mitimingi (Bloomberg News – August 15, 2017)

Zambia is cutting power to mines including Africa’s biggest copper site, the Kansanshi pit owned by First Quantum Minerals Ltd., escalating a fight over tariffs.

“They have still got some significant amount of power for them to operate, but obviously their operations will not be at 100 percent because of the power restrictions,” Energy Minister David Mabumba told reporters Tuesday in Lusaka, the capital.

Glencore Plc has said it halted production at the Kitwe and Mufulira operations in Zambia’s Copperbelt province after the main electricity provider restricted supplies.

Copper miners in Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal, have been in a dispute with the country’s energy regulator since it raised tariffs by almost 30 percent in 2014. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Over $2 Million Announced for Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project First Nations Training Program

SIOUX LOOKOUT, ONTARIO — (Marketwired) — 07/26/17 — Wataynikaneyap Power is pleased to announce a major federal investment from the office of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) in the amount of over $2 million in support of the Wataynikaneyap Power’s First Nations training program.

Today’s announcement now brings the total amount available for capacity building and training to over $4 million. The funding announcement will ensure the communities are prepared to provide an experienced and trained up labour force to be project-ready with transferable and accredited certification. The training project is fifty per cent funded by the federal contribution and fifty per cent by Wataynikaneyap Power.

“The vision of our leaders is to create opportunities and build capacity for our people today and into the future, through meaningful involvement and participation in the project,” says Margaret Kenequanash, Chair of Wataynikaneyap Power GP. “This investment enables us to take that step forward.” Continue Reading →

[Ontario] No business like coal business – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – July 21, 2017)

Premier Wynne back in black

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government is back in black – meaning the coal business. Specifically, the use of coal to generate electricity, a practice it outlawed in Ontario on Nov. 23, 2015, after shutting down the last of the province’s coal-fired power plants in 2014.

As the Wynne Liberals proudly proclaimed back then: “Ontario passed legislation today to permanently ban coal-fired electricity generation in the province – a first in North America and a significant step in the fight against climate change.

“The Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act prevents new and existing facilities from burning coal for the sole purpose of generating electricity. It sets maximum fines for anyone who violates the ban and enshrines the health and environmental benefits of making coal-fired electricity illegal in law … Continue Reading →

Ontario Hydro sticker shock all thanks to Liberals’ mismanagement – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – July 20, 2017)

As a new shocking Fraser Institute report on electricity pricing in Ontario reveals, real people suffer when governments are incompetent. The governments in this case are the Liberal ones headed first by Dalton McGuinty and now Kathleen Wynne, who have turned Ontario’s energy sector into a financial train wreck from which there will be no easy or painless escape for generations to come.

The numbers in the Fraser study, titled “Evaluating Electricity Price Growth,” are damning. Torontonians today pay $720 more annually for electricity than the average Canadian. Ontario electricity prices skyrocketed 71% between 2008 and 2016.

That’s more than double the Canadian average of 34%, 2.5 times more than the rise in household incomes, four times the inflation rate, and 4.5 times the growth rate of the economy. In 2015-16 alone, Ontario electricity prices increased 15%, 2.5 times the national average of 6%. Continue Reading →

$1B worth of energy wasted last year: engineers – by Shawn Jeffords (Toronto Sun – June 30, 2017)

Jonathan Hack, the president and chairman of the OSPE board, said the group
provided the analysis to all three parties at Queen’s Park. They’d like to
see engineers more intimately involved in policy creation, because at the
moment, technical decisions about the province’s hydro system have been
politicized, he said.

Ontario wasted $1 billion worth of clean electricity in 2016, according to the province’s professional engineers.

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, a non-partisan body, which represents the province’s engineers, says it has crunched government hydro numbers from 2016 and they show that 7.6 terawatt-hours of clean hydro went down the drain that year. That’s equal to the amount required to power 760,000 homes – or $1 billion worth of electricity – said the group’s past president Paul Acchione.

“This represents a 58% increase in the amount of clean electricity that Ontario wasted in 2015 which was 4.8 terawatt hours,” he said. “All while the province continues to export more than two-million homes’ worth of electricity to neighbouring jurisdictions for a price less than it costs to produce.” Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: OMA Welcomes Improvements to the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) Program

The Ontario Mining Association welcomes Ontario government action on reducing electricity costs for some of the biggest job creators in Northern Ontario, including mining companies, to boost their competitiveness and help them continue to grow and benefit society.

Ontario’s mining sector includes both fully integrated value chain miners and smaller mining companies. In all cases, electricity rate is the key to maximizing the value of our mineral resources, as high power costs serve as a barrier to investment, decrease flexibility with regards to new developments, reduce mine life, and may lead to value-added processing moving to other jurisdictions.

After labour, energy is the second highest component of operating costs for Ontario mining companies. Given that Ontario’s industrial hydro rates are among the highest in North America, steps taken by the government to update the NIER program represent progress toward achieving the economic policy objectives of maintaining and growing jobs and investment, while serving to benefit the environmental policy objectives of driving change in industry and reducing peak power. Continue Reading →

Seeing the light: Mining companies look to solar power, wind for fresh revenue – by Kyle Bakx (CBC News – Jun 27, 2017)

Renewables become an option for defunct mining sites

After a century of pulling lead and zinc from the Sullivan mine in southeast British Columbia, the energy company Teck recently shut down the operation and began years of restoration work. Some of the land outside the city of Kimberley became a meadow with grass and trees, but it remained tainted after decades of mining activity.

There was no way it could be turned into a housing subdivision or some other development. The area would likely have sat empty for decades if not for an initiative by the city to take it over and build a solar field. The project has since caught the attention of the mining industry as an innovative method of re-purposing old mining sites and generating revenue, even if the land is contaminated.

As long as there are plenty of sunny days — or, in the case of wind farms, strong winds — a company has an opportunity to recoup some of the expense of cleaning up a mine, which can cost tens of millions of dollars. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Canadian mines could prove critical to clean energy transition (Clean Energy Canada – June 27, 2017)

For full report:

VANCOUVER—Canadian mines could help power the transition to clean energy, sparking new economic development in the process, a new report from Clean Energy Canada finds.

Growth in clean energy is driving significant demand for the metals and mineral products used to manufacture technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, LED lighting and electric cars, creating an opportunity for job creation and economic growth in mining communities across Canada.

Mining for Clean Energy, which focuses on the metal and mineral requirements for solar power, finds that Canada could emerge as a key supplier of these resources. Canada is home to 14 of the 19 metals and minerals needed for solar panels. Continue Reading →

Another multinational employer is fleeing Ontario and the Wynne government doesn’t seem to care – by Bob Runciman (Financial Post – May 31, 2017)

Bob Runciman, now a senator, served as interim leader of the Ontario PC Party and as minister of Economic Development and Trade.

My hometown of Brockville, Ont. was hit with a devastating blow last week with the announcement that multinational consumer-products maker Procter and Gamble is closing its local plant, taking with it 500 jobs.

P&G is Brockville’s largest private-sector employer — only the school board and the hospital employ more. The company has been a model corporate citizen for 40 years, donating millions of dollars to local causes and generally making Brockville a better place.

And I think it is fair to say Brockville made P&G a better company. The local plant has a well-educated, resourceful, diligent workforce. Although the plant made such household cleaning products as Tide and Bounce over the years, it is most famous as the site that pioneered the Swiffer sweeper. Continue Reading →

Glencore threat to quite Mt Isa because of energy woes – by John McCarthy (Brisbane Courier-Mail – May 30, 2017)

GLENCORE and the State Government are trying to resolve a crippling energy problem which could force the loss of 2000 jobs in north Queensland. The mining giant has again threatened to close its Mt Isa copper operations because of the high energy costs which have combined with high rail and labour costs.

It made the threat in 2016 over the high cost of operating the assets because of environmental conditions and earlier this month said energy costs were at the heart of the latest threat. The company held talks with the State Government on Tuesday as part of ongoing negotiations to resolve the issues.

It said the State Government had made a significant effort to engage on the issue but the company’s focus was on investigating options for secure, affordable and reliable energy and electricity supply at Mt Isa and Townsville to service its operations. Continue Reading →

For First Time Since 1800s, Britain Goes a Day Without Burning Coal for Electricity – by Katrin Bennhold (New York Times – April 21, 2017)

LONDON — Friday was the first full day since the height of the Industrial Revolution that Britain did not burn coal to generate electricity, a development that officials and climate change activists celebrated as a watershed moment.

The accomplishment became official just before 11 p.m., when the 24-hour period ended.
Coal powered Britain into the industrial age and into the 21st century, contributing greatly to the “pea souper” fogs that were thought for decades to be a natural phenomenon of the British climate.

For many living in the mining towns up and down the country, it was not just the backbone of the economy but a way of life. But the industry has been in decline for some time. The last deep coal mine closed in December 2015, though open cast mining has continued. Continue Reading →

[Power Costs] Wynne and Liberals excel at fake news – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – April 18, 2017)

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and her cabinet ministers excel at alternative facts and fake news. The latest example was Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s speech Thursday to The Empire Club, part of which boasted about how the Liberals saved Ontario’s electricity system by doing the heavy lifting needed to improve it.

As a result, Sousa said, Ontario’s electricity grid is now “the envy of North America” because the Liberals restored “integrity and reliability” to it, unlike neighbouring Canadian provinces and the rust belt states. Simply put, what on Earth is Sousa talking about?

Hydro One controls the transmission of electricity through 29,000 km of hydro lines in Ontario and provides electricity to 1.3 million customers. Continue Reading →

Gold is the new economic driver for Ontario mining – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – April 12, 2017)

Ontario’s mining industry is making all the right moves to be more sustainable, more efficient and more profitable. But more can still be done, according to Chris Hodgson, president of the Ontario Mining Association.

Hodgson was guest speaker Wednesday at a Timmins Chamber of Commerce luncheon where he talked about the efforts the mining industry is taking to stay current with energy needs, environmental demands and workplace safety.

He said mining continues to be one the engines that still drives the Ontario economy and contributes to Ontario’s economic growth. “What has changed in Ontario in the last 10 years is that gold is now a larger contributor than nickel and copper. That’s new and it is a combination of the price of the commodities and the number of new discoveries of gold and the new investments around gold,” said Hodgson. Continue Reading →

Ontario hydro bill cuts won’t help manufacturers, group says – by Allison Jones (Canadian Press/CTV News – April 11, 2017)

TORONTO – Thousands of businesses in Ontario that don’t qualify for a 17-per-cent cut to their electricity bills are like the forgotten middle child, a manufacturing group said Tuesday.

The Liberal government’s announcement last month applies to residential electricity customers and about half a million small businesses and farms on time-of-use pricing. The Industrial Conservation Initiative program for large manufacturers and businesses was also expanded so that more industrial customers would qualify.

But there are thousands of Ontario businesses that are too big for one program and too small for the other, and the government estimates they will only see about two to four per cent off their bills. Jocelyn Bamford, with the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers, said the 70 manufacturers the coalition represents don’t feel valued. Continue Reading →