16th September 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Preliminary mining safety review panel report initiates early actions

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review’s progress report, which was released last week, is already leading to changes making positive impacts on mining health and safety. This panel started work in January 2014 with the target date for the release of a final report planned for early 2015.

Ontario Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis is leading the review, along with Fergus Kerr, industry co-chair, and John Perquin, labour co-chair. Key initiatives, which have been enacted upon already, include guidance on high visibility safety apparel by mine workers, updating joint health and safety committee certification training and advancing research.

Over the past six months, the review has held 12 public consultations, in which more than 150 people participated, and it has received more than 60 written submissions. In the key issues section of the progress report, it states “At public consultations and in written submissions, the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) was the most discussed topic. Stakeholders are unanimous in their view that an effective IRS is key to safe workplaces.”

Other Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review panel members include Roger Emdin, Manager of Sustainable Development for Glencore’s Sudbury Operations, and Mike Bond, Chair of USW/Vale Safety, Health and Environment Executive Committee. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Mining Labour Issues and History - Sudbury and Global, Ontario Mining, Ontario Mining Association | 0 Comments

16th September 2014

Ontario mines still power Goldcorp (Northern Miner – September 15, 2014)

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

Goldcorp (TSX: G; NYSE: GG) has been so growth-oriented over the past decade, building new mines across the Americas and snapping up gold assets left and right, it’s easy to forget sometimes just how productive its Ontario gold mines are.

Goldcorp’s three wholly owned gold production centres in Ontario — Red Lake, Musselwhite and Porcupine — yielded an impressive 1.04 million oz. gold in 2013, or 39% of Goldcorp’s companywide production of 2.67 million oz. gold last year.

And the global reserves and resources at these three Ontario mines total 21.2 million oz. gold, or 19% of Goldcorp’s companywide total of 112.6 million oz. gold. The jewel in Goldcorp’s crown remains the Red Lake underground mine in the town of Red Lake in the province’s northwest. Goldcorp rightly calls it its “Canadian cornerstone and the world’s richest gold mine.”

Indeed, after all these years, it’s still Goldcorp’s top-producing mine, cranking out 493,000 oz. gold in 2013. In the first half of 2014, Red Lake produced 184,500 oz. gold, putting it on track to hit 440,000 to 480,000 oz. gold for the full year.

The mining method for the quartz-vein deposit is longhole, underhand and overhand cut-and-fill, and the milling rate at two nearby surface facilities totals 3,100 tonnes per day. Read the rest of this entry »

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

16th September 2014

Ring of Fire development plans spurred by Ontario’s outrageous energy prices – by Peter Koven (National Post – September 16, 2014)

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

As Dominic Fragomeni recalls it, his firm’s big idea for the Ring of Fire just came from a willingness to try something new.

“Innovation comes from people sitting back and thinking about what’s possible given their experience and background,” the director of XPS Consulting & Testwork Services said in an interview.

“That’s basically how these ideas were hatched. Our guys have 30-plus years of experience in metallurgical engineering and have tested a lot of different concepts in their day.”

Northern Ontario’s remote “Ring of Fire,”a huge mineral belt named after the Johnny Cash song, is the most exciting new mining opportunity the province has seen in decades. Rough estimates suggest the region could hold $60-billion worth of minerals, with chromite being the most important.

But moving the project to development has been a very slow and arduous task, as stakeholders have struggled to find solutions around key challenges like infrastructure.

One of biggest obstacles is power supply. Processing chromium ore is extremely energy-intensive, requiring a whopping four megawatts per tonne of ore. To support the Ring of Fire, there were plans to build a 300-megawatt smelter near Sudbury. That is enough electricity to power a city of roughly 300,000 people. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Glencore-Xstrata PLC, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 1 Comment

15th September 2014

De Beers studies [Ontario] Victor extension as end of mine life looms (Northern Miner – September 12, 2014)

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

With a mine life that ends in 2018, the ore is running out at Ontario’s only diamond mine — De Beers’ Victor mine, 90 km west of Attawapiskat.

The open-pit mine, which began production in 2008, produces around 600,000 carats of high-value diamonds a year from a single 15-hectare kimberlite. But with 15 other diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes at the project, there is potential for an extended mine life at Victor.

De Beers has already started an environmental assessment on the Tango Extension kimberlite, the most promising of the other pipes in the Victor cluster. Situated about 6.5 km northwest of the Victor mine, the company believes it could extend Victor’s mine life by seven years.

The company is studying the potential to mine Tango Extension as an open-pit operation at a rate of 3 million tonnes per year. However, the project is not yet economic. The Tango Extension kimberlite is smaller, lower-grade, and contains less valuable diamonds than Victor.

While Victor is a low-grade mine at around 0.23 carat per tonne, its diamond values are among the highest in the world at more than US$400 per carat. So far, samples from Tango Extension indicate the quality is good, but they won’t fetch the same kind of price per carat as Victor diamonds, says Tom Ormsby, De Beers Canada’s director of external and corporate affairs, Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Diamonds, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

15th September 2014

Wabauskang First Nation set to appeal after Ontario Superior Court rules against band – by Alan S. Hale (Kenora Daily Miner and News – September 12, 2014)

http://www.kenoradailyminerandnews.com/

Wabauskang First Nation says it will attempt to appeal a ruling by the Ontario Superior Court that the provincial government had not unlawfully delegated its constitutional responsibility to consult with the First Nation to Rubicon Minerals which wants to open a gold mine near Red Lake.

The local aboriginal community has applied to the Ontario Court of Appeal for permission to launch an appeal of the decision released by the superior court on Aug. 28 which ruled the province had fulfilled its obligation to consult Wabauskang and so its approval of the closure plan for Rubicon’s mine project was valid.

“I am persuaded that the institutional process established by Ontario by which it assessed the potential or actual impact of a claim was reasonable,” reads the judgement. “I am also satisfied that the assessment made by Ontario regarding the mine production stage in this case was reasonable: it recognized that (Wabauskang First Nation) had rights under Treaty 3 (and) it considered all potential effects deriving from (Wabauskang’s) Treaty 3 rights.”

Not surprisingly, the chief of Wabauskang, Martine Petiquan, does not agree with the court’s assessment, and so they intend to continue taking the issue to the next level.

“Our Treaty rights and our relationship and responsibilities with our lands and territory must be respected,” said Petiquan. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

11th September 2014

Vale’s Q2 nickel production plunges in Sudbury (Northern Miner – September 10, 2014)

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

Vale ’s (NYSE : VALE) companywide nickel production in the second quarter of 2014 was 61,600 tonnes, an 8.6% drop from the first quarter and 5.3% fall from the year-ago period. Vale says the decline mainly reflects the impact of four weeks of planned maintenance work carried out on the acid plant and furnaces in Sudbury, Ont. For the first half of 2014, Vale’s companywide nickel output was only off 0.7% to 129,200 tonnes.

Vale’s Sudbury operations produced 9,100 tonnes nickel in the second quarter, a decline of 48.4% from the first quarter and 49.2% from the second quarter of 2013. For the first half of 2014, Vale produced 26,800 tonnes nickel in Sudbury, off 23.6% from the 35,000 tonnes produced in the first half of 2013.

(Elsewhere in Canada in the second quarter, Vale produced 6,900 tonnes in Thompson, Man., or up 11% year-over-year; and 12,100 tonnes at Voisey’s Bay, Labrador, down -19.7%.)

The low point of the quarter came on April 6, when millwright Paul Rochette was killed at Sudbury’s Copper Cliff smelter complex. The United Steelworkers Local 6500 and Vale carried out a joint investigation into the fatality. Read the rest of this entry »

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

10th September 2014

Ring of Fire: First Nations scold Mines Minister Michael Gravelle – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – September 10, 2014)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay

First Nations ‘grow weary’ of being shut out of decisions

CBC News has obtained letters from several First Nations in the Ring of Fire detailing a breakdown in the relationship with Ontario that could threaten the already fragile mining project.

Chiefs are reacting to the Aug. 28 announcement that the new Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation was established with an interim board, made up of four senior Ontario civil servants, and no First Nations representatives.

“I am growing weary of your lack of attention to EFN’s [Eabametoong First Nation's] concerns and our clearly stated request to work collaboratively,” wrote Chief Elizabeth Atlookan in an Aug. 29 letter to Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle.

“I know you have heard EFN’s concerns, but the MNDM continued to push this item forward, particularly in the press,” Atlookan wrote.

“So, are we to be ‘key’ partners in this potential development, as your press release states, if EFN’s legitimate requests are being ignored? Not likely.” Gravelle said the Aug. 28 announcement was necessary to meet an election promise, and to appease “other interests.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

9th September 2014

Commentary: Ring of Fire sale! – by Bill Galagher (Northern Miner – September 8, 2014)

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

For anybody wondering what’s going to happen now to Cliffs Natural Resources’ chromite discovery in Ontario’s Ring of Fire region, all they have to do is read Casablanca Capital’s dissident letter to shareholders in the run-up to Cliffs’ July 29 annual general meeting.

Casablanca’s takeover strategy was to run an alternative slate of six directors on the “hedgefund platform” that Cliffs, under new management, would wield the broom over its multi-billion dollar expansion frenzy that it had just pulled off in iron and chromite.

Here is the excerpt imploring Cliffs shareholders to vote the Casablanca slate in, as the incumbent directors had to go: “The Directors are focused on their own interests at the expense of shareholders, cannot be entrusted to lead Cliffs and do not deserve a single vote after having destroyed $9 billion of value.”

Shareholders overwhelmingly agreed at the AGM and thus the slicing-and-dicing commenced. Here’s a key excerpt from analysts (Market Realist) that spelled the end of Cliffs/Casablanca’s infatuation with the Ring of Fire:

“In our view, spinning off international assets might not be possible because most of the international assets are losing money. So ‘fire sale’ might be one option, but even for that it might be difficult to find a buyer at this stage of the market environment… Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

9th September 2014

Land deal with Ontario’s Ojibway still in contention after 164 years – by Tanya Talaga (Toronto Star – September 9, 2014)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Robinson Huron Treaty was signed in 1850, covering land from Parry Sound to Sault Ste. Marie and north to Lake Superior

First Nations signatories of one of Canada’s founding treaties are set to start a landmark court action Tuesday against the federal and provincial governments on what they say is a failure to live up to terms of a deal made more than 150 years ago.

Nearly two dozen First Nations fall under the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850, a vast territory encompassing 92,463 square kilometres in the middle of Ontario stretching from Sudbury to the shores of Lakes Superior and Huron and points north.

In exchange for use of those lands by the crown, indigenous people were told they would be paid $2 a year with regular increases as profits from the land grew, said Mike Restoule, chairperson of the Robinson Huron Treaty Trust Fund.

But there has been only one annuity increase of $2 in 1874 and nothing since, even though the area contains vast mining, forestry and land resources that corporations and the government have profited from for decades, said Restoule.

Currently, the 24,000 to 30,000 descendants of the Ojibway Indians covered under the treaty receive $4 a year each. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

8th September 2014

Ontario’s Ring Of Fire Gets A Development Corporation As First Nation Objects – by Sunny Freeman (Huffington Post – September 5, 2014)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/staking-claim/

The First Nation band closest to the Ring of Fire says the Ontario government is failing to live up to promises it made to the community and has neglected to include First Nations in initial plans.

Webequie, a tiny isolated community, is taking issue with Ontario’s decision to create an economic development corporation and nominate board members — all four from government– without consulting other partners.

The Ring of Fire, a giant mineral deposit 540 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, became a hot topic during the Ontario election campaign this spring with opposition parties pointing fingers at the leading Liberal party for dragging its heels. Within weeks of their re-election the Liberals announced they would create an economic development corporation within 60 days.

Scrambling to fulfil that promise, the Grits announced the corporation’s creation Aug. 28. They also announced the first four board members would be government-appointed representatives, with those from First Nations and the mining industry to join later.

“The Province’s decision to unilaterally move ahead with the economic development corporation for the Ring of Fire is disappointing,” Chief Cornelius Wabasse said in a press release. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

8th September 2014

Exploration and Co-Operation: When Mining Companies and First Nations Work Together – by Thomas F. Morris (Huffington Post – September 29, 2013)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/staking-claim/

Thomas F. Morris is a geoscientist and CEO of Northern Superior Resources, a junior exploration company focused on potential gold deposits in Ontario and Quebec. http://www.nsuperior.com/Default.aspx

Since joining Northern Superior Resources in 2002 (formerly Superior Diamonds) as President and CEO, I have applied my strong belief that First Nations must be meaningfully consulted and actively engaged in exploration programs. These exploration programs, after all, take place in the back yards and across the traditional territories of Aboriginal communities where Northern Superior explores.

To respect the traditional land uses of these communities is absolutely essential. We actively strive to prevent disturbances to areas that are sacred to the community or where important community events occur. At the same time, it is also very important for First Nation communities to understand what exploration is all about and the limitations of a junior mining company.

Insufficient consultation can seriously impact an Aboriginal community’s rights, way of life, and culture in a negative and hurtful way. This is a reality the industry is at long last coming to understand. But where work is still required is in ensuring that Aboriginal communities understand the tremendous impact they can have on a junior exploration company.

If the community does not respect nor appreciate the positive intentions of the company as well as their financial reality, expectations become unmanageable and opportunities for progress disappear. Working together in a spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefit is not only the most practical approach to ensuring sustainable resource development, it is now the only way to conduct business successfully in Canada. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

3rd September 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Best wishes to Ontario mine rescue champs entering international competition

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

Let’s all hope Ontario’s 2014 mine rescue winners from Vale Canada’s East Mines find success at the ninth international mine rescue competition being held in Poland. The group from Vale, which includes Sudbury captain Lorne Plouffe, Will Davies, Justin Whitmore, Jonathan Hamilton, Fred Pelletier, Aime Gagnon, Jean Yves Doiron, Perry Simon and Mike Johnson, won the 64th annual Ontario provincial mine rescue overall event in June in Timmins.

Now, these mine rescue volunteers are off to test their skills against teams from other countries. The event in Poland is being held from September 6 to 13, 2014 in Katowice. Past international competitions have been held in Ukraine, Australia, United States and China. The squad from Sudbury can expect to be engaged in friendly and constructive competition with similar teams from Australia, Turkey, Russia, Poland, Kazakhstan, Turkey, China and elsewhere.

Tomorrow, Vale Canada will be holding a special send off for its mine rescue team. On Thursday, September 4, at the Stobie Mine complex in Sudbury, a mine rescue demonstration, which will be followed by a barbecue, is scheduled to propel the Ontario winners across the Atlantic Ocean with good wishes into the next level of competition.

There are a number of components to the mine rescue program in Poland. Along with a simulated mine rescue, there are tests in measuring equipment, using breathing apparatus, first aid, emergency provisions and the theoretical knowledge of mine rescue. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Ontario Mining, Ontario Mining Association | 0 Comments

29th August 2014

First Nations group working on Ring of Fire infrastructure plan (Northern Miner – August 28, 2014)

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

Yet another infrastructure plan is in the works for Ontario’s remote Ring of Fire region, this one for an infrastructure corridor consisting of a railway, power, and a seasonal sea port in James Bay.

The big difference here is that the plan is being proposed by First Nations – the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council.

“This is going to be aboriginal-led,” said Mushkegowuk Director of Lands and Resources Vern Cheechoo. “I know there’s other plans in the region – the Ontario government with their corporation plan, we have Ontario Hydro with a grid plan, we have other groups that want to bring infrastructure into the region and we are one of the options. We feel we’re best situated for this.”

Mushkegowuk represents 10,000 people, including members of the Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Moose Cree, Taykwa Tagamou, Chapleau Cree and Missanabie Cree First Nations. The council has started talks with the nine Matawa First Nations, whose territories are closest to the Ring of Fire, on working together.

Some of the previous infrastructure proposals, such as Cliffs’ proposal to build a 340-km all-weather industrial road, for example, proved controversial because of inadequate consultation. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

29th August 2014

Critics look for details on Ring of Fire ‘devco’ – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – August 29, 2014)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Sudbury Star mining columnist Stan Sudol levelled even harsher criticism. “With no First
Nations or industry representatives on their board, this was obviously a rushed and cynical
announcement to try to meet an election promise,” said Sudol.”Let’s not forget this
development corporation was first announced 10 months ago, last November.”

Sudol pointed out the Cliffs Natural Resources, which has one of the largest claims in
the Ring of Fire, recently confirmed it was selling all non-core assets, including its
Ring of Fire properties. “This is an absolutely stunning indictment of the Ontario
Liberal government’s inability to move this project forward,” said Sudol.

It was on time, but it wasn’t the announcement those who were waiting for it were hoping to hear.

Six days before a self-imposed, 60-day election campaign promise to establish a development corporation to design, construct and maintain infrastructure for the Ring of Fire, the Government of Ontario announced it had officially done so.

In a brief news release, the province said the Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation was officially established as a not-for-profit corporation, headquartered in Thunder Bay, with an interim board of directors of four senior public servants.

The interim board will put the necessary structures in place to allow partners to determine their participation in the corporation, it announced. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances | 0 Comments

28th August 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Northern Superior Reports on Progress of its $110 Million Lawsuit Against Government of Ontario

SUDBURY, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Aug. 27, 2014) - Northern Superior Resources Inc. (“Northern Superior” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:SUP) reports the following progress on the Company’s $110 million lawsuit against the Government of Ontario:

Since the appointment at the Company’s request of a Judge to manage its case against the Ontario Government, lawyers for Northern Superior and the Government of Ontario have attended three (3) case conferences before Mr. Justice Lederer of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice;

As a result of these case conferences, various outstanding procedural issues have now been resolved and the case can now move to the next stage;

Northern Superior obtained further documentation previously undisclosed by the Ontario Government, and on August 21, 2014 delivered its final “Reply” in response to the Ontario Government’s “Fresh and Amended Statement of Defense” (copies of all pleadings can be found on “Northern Superior’s website www.nsuperior.com under the heading “Claim”); and

Northern Superior and the Ontario Government have agreed that in addition to managing procedural aspects of the court action, Justice Lederer will also hear and rule on the merits of the case. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Mining Conflict, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

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