22nd October 2014

Hopes for Ontario’s Ring of Fire doused as mining companies grow wary – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – October 22, 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.

Ontario’s “Ring of Fire” mineral belt was supposed to be a $60-billion natural resources treasure trove that would bring employment and economic prosperity to a remote part of the province’s north. It hasn’t worked out that way.

The project’s key player has given up, leaving the future of the deposit in question and hurting prospects that it will ever reach the lofty expectations of politicians.

Today, not much is happening in the Ring, a 5,000-square-kilometre crescent of mostly chromite in the boggy James Bay lowlands, 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

The region was said to be so rich in resources that it would rival Sudbury’s nickel basin and Alberta’s oil sands. Instead, the area remains undeveloped, a victim of the global slump in commodity prices and bureaucratic red tape.

“I’m disappointed that it hasn’t advanced more. It’s a long time, seven years after discovery,” said Neil Novak, the geologist who made the first discovery in the Ring and is now exploring for other metals as the chief executive officer of Black Widow Resources Inc.

In addition to the complete lack of infrastructure – there are no roads or power in the area – there is no real plan on how to mine the chromite, which is used to harden steel. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st October 2014

News Release: Golden rule: Every new mine would improve Ontario’s finances

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.

Just one new gold mine in Ontario could provide more than 2,200 direct and indirect jobs and pay more than $102 million in tax revenue for all levels of government annually, according to a new study “An Au-thentic Opportunity: The Economic Impacts of a New Gold Mine in Ontario.” University of Toronto economists Peter Dungan and Steve Murphy presented the key findings of their report, which was completed for the Ontario Mining Association with assistance from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, today.

“With the increased value and relative importance of gold mining production in the province in recent years, as well as the number of announced projects currently the pipeline, it was decided that the impact of a gold mine would be the subject of our analysis,” said Mr. Dungan. “This study also recognizes the scope for the possible benefits that can be realized by Aboriginal groups.”

The four-pronged study demonstrates the positive economic impacts on an annual basis for both an underground and an open pit gold mine and for both types of operations during an estimated three-year construction phase of a new mine and the production phase of these mines, which could last for decades. The economists have used broad sources of public data, mining company disclosure documents and economic models from the Input-Output Division at Statistics Canada.

For example, an underground gold mine with about $300 million in sales annually with 620 direct employees, would create 894 jobs from mine supply companies and a further 690 induced jobs largely in the retail and service sector. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Gold and Silver, Ontario Mining, Ontario Mining Association | 0 Comments

21st October 2014

[Deltion Innovations] Sudbury company works to develop space drill (CBC News Sudbury – October 20, 2014)

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

Deltion Innovations is working to develop drill that would prospect for water and ice on the moon

A Greater Sudbury mining innovation company is getting to literally take some of its equipment out of this world. Deltion Innovations Limited is in the process of developing a drill for the Canadian Space Agency and the goal is to have the drill mine for water and ice on the moon.

CEO Dale Boucher said the drill is being developed in the company’s test facility in Capreol. Testing is being done by using a liquid nitrogen tank that is used to cool down the sample, filled with simulated moon dirt and water, he said.

This test phase involves trying to drill through material at liquid nitrogen temperatures — about minus 180 degrees Celsius. “The moon is a little bit cooler than that,” he said. “The moon is actually about minus 220 Celsius.”

Benefits of space mining

Boucher said the prospecting tool will look for water and ice near the south pole of the moon. “Water is kind of the ore of choice for space mining right now,” he said.

“Water can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen using a very simple solar cell system. So, if you break it into hydrogen and oxygen you have a couple of things: you have oxygen to breathe, you have hydrogen and oxygen which is the most powerful rocket propellant that we know of.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Mining Education and Innovation, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

17th October 2014

Renewable energy a tough sell for prospective RoF developers – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – October 16, 2014)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

RONTO (miningweekly.com) – Among the many challenges facing as many as 20 mining companies holding claims in the Ring of Fire (RoF) mineral region of Northern Ontario, the most significant might be the limited infrastructure.

However, besides having to deal with exploration, project planning, First Nations negotiations and local capacity building, project proponents were under mounting pressure from stricter legislation, environmental lobby groups and locals to include renewable-energy sources in their future project plans.

Ontario government RoF Secretariat senior policy adviser Blaine Bouchard on Thursday told delegates at the Renewables and Mining Summit and Exhibition, in Toronto, that the nine-member group of Matawa group First Nations, who inhabit the province’s Far North, had made it clear in multilateral discussions that current diesel-based electricity generation was prohibitive of economic development and posed serious environmental impacts.

The First Nations living in the remote region were completely dependent on diesel electricity generation for their energy needs, owing to the province’s energy grid only reaching as far north as the Dryden region. Read the rest of this entry »

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

15th October 2014

Three big ‘whoppers’ told about the Ring of Fire – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – October 15, 2014)

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

‘Ridiculous’ to compare northern Ontario mineral find to the Alberta oil sands, expert says

Once called Canada’s ‘next oil sands’, the Ring of Fire mining development area in northern Ontario has yet to live up to its promise.

Federal Treasury Board Chair Tony Clement called the Ring of Fire “a game-changer for Canada” with “potential impact…akin to what the oil sands did for Alberta and Canada” just last year.

But that was before Cliffs Natural Resources halted its plans for a chromite mine in November 2013. Now the future of the Ring of Fire is far less certain, and even less likely to live up to what some say were always overinflated claims of its potential.

Here are three big ‘whoppers’ told about the Ring of Fire.

1. Chromium is a rare and valuable mineral.

From the Ontario Chamber of Commerce 2014 report ‘Uncovering the economic potenital of Ontario’s Ring of Fire : “The most promising discovery [in the Ring of Fire] is the first commercial quantities of chromite in North America. Based on current projections, the deposit is significant enough to sustain activity for a century.” 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

15th October 2014

Obituary: Inco exec [Jim Ashcroft] started in coal mines – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – October 15, 2014)

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

A man who began working at age 15 in the coal mines of England and rose to become one of the top executives at Inco died Sunday at Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga after a short illness.

James William “Big Jim” Ashcroft is being remembered this week, by friends and by people who didn’t always share his views, as both a company man and a miner’s miner.

A fifth-generation coal miner, Ashcroft worked in Lancashire in northwest England before apprenticing as a surveyor and studying to be a mining engineer.

He left the United Kingdom in 1968 and began working for Inco at Levack Mine, working in many roles for the International Nickel Company before being transferred to Thompson as vice-president of mining and milling for the Manitoba division.

He returned to Sudbury in 1991 as president of Inco’s Ontario division, a position he held until retiring in 1997. He then sat on boards for FNX Mining, Hudson Bay Mining, Guyana Gold and Thompson Creek Metals. He also ran a mining consulting company for several years.

Along the way, he married Margaret, to whom he was wed for 44 years. Margaret Ashcroft is well known in Sudbury as an educator and former member of the board of the North East Local Health Integration Network. Read the rest of this entry »

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

14th October 2014

Bees help restore Sudbury mining site – by Lisa Wright (Toronto Star – October 14, 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.

“Unsightly” mess left behind by a century of mining.

Retired foreman Wayne Tonelli worked in Sudbury’s nickel mines since he was a teenager, but his new gig is pretty sweet.
That’s because his old boss Vale (formerly Inco) is mining for more than metals these days. The company is in the ‘liquid gold’ business, enlisting thousands of honey bees to help restore a Sudbury landscape blighted by more than a century of nickel and copper mining and smelting.

“I like being outside after 40 years underground,” says Tonelli, now a bee-keeper for the international resources giant as part of a company program to re-green the area that decades back looked like a moonscape.

He carefully tends to seven hives containing 350,000 bees that are used to pollinate the blooming wildflowers the company has planted across 120 acres of unsightly black slag piles formed by waste from the Copper Cliff smelter complex, upon which the massive Superstack chimney sits.

“Bio-diversity is the buzz word in the resource industry these days,” explains Glen Watson, superintendent, reclamation and decommissioning for Vale’s Ontario operations. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Green Mining, Ontario Mining, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances, Vale | 0 Comments

10th October 2014

Curlook helped modernize Inco in Sudbury – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – October 10, 2014)

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

A mining innovator and community leader who helped Sudburians breathe easier died earlier this month in Toronto.

The Coniston-born Walter Curlook, who rose to positions of prominence with Inco and oversaw the sulphur reduction program of the 1980s and early 1990s, was 85. His funeral was held Monday.

Through his long and impressive career with the nickel giant (now part of Vale), Curlook spurred advancements in metallurgical processing and environmental protection, securing a dozen patents relating to ore refining and smelting.

“I was proud of him because he was a bit of a genius and did so many nice things,” said his sister Eugenia (“Jenny”) Maizuk. “For one thing, he cleared the air around here.”

Jenny and Walter, along with two other siblings, were raised by Ukrainian immigrant parents in Coniston. Their father worked in the mines and, while still in his teens, Walter also secured part-time and seasonal work with Inco. The air hung thickly with sulphur in those days.

“I remember when we had to rush and cover the gardens with sheets to prevent them from getting burnt by the gas,” recalled Jenny. “Walter used to argue with my dad at dinnertime, saying ‘what’s wrong with Inco?’” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Mining Environmental and Water Shortage Issues, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Sudbury History, Vale | 0 Comments

9th October 2014

North Bay mine builder lands salt mine rehab work – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 8, 2014)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. Ian Ross is the editor of Northern Ontario Business ianross@nob.on.ca.

Cementation Canada will be on familiar turf later this year as the North Bay mine builder has landed a major contract to rehabilitate the shafts at a Goderich salt mine.

Kansas-based Compass Minerals, the owners of the Sifto salt mine, selected Cementation as part of a “multi-million-dollar” upgrade to reline the walls of two 55-year-old shafts at the mine, located on the shores of Lake Huron.

Details of the contract were to be ironed out in September, but project engineering work has already started. Cementation has some lineage to Goderich dating back decades when a predecessor company sunk the original No. 1 shaft in 1959, followed by a second one in 1968.

The job involves both underground and surface work that will see as many as 100 Cementation workers and sub-contractors on the site at peak periods of the three-year project.

Cementation president Roy Slack explained the company’s history dates back to the early 1900s and its Belgian founder, Albert Francois, who patented the grouting process for the mining industry. Read the rest of this entry »

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

9th October 2014

Make no little plans, my son [Economic planning northern Ontario] – by David Robinson (Northern Ontario Business – October 2014)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.  

Dave Robinson is an economist with the Institute for Northern Ontario Research and Development at Laurentian University.drobinson@laurentian.ca 

As an economist, I often get calls from the media about national and provincial issues. As an economist who studies economic development in Northern Ontario, I don’t get many calls. Most of those are asking for a speaker and almost none want my advice on economic development. I have only had a few calls from First Nation communities. I’d like to think I know something about development, so why am I left sitting in a corner sad and lonely?

It could be because everyone knows that academics, including me, are pretty useless. I’d hate to think so, but it could be. It could be the economic development people in Northern Ontario are so good they don’t need academic advice. It could be that the province is doing such a good job that that no one needs independent research and advice from the ivory tower.

My guess is that that because Northern universities have never focused on economic development issues for the North, media people and economic development officers simply don’t think about heading to the campus for help. The exception is the Community Economic and Social Development program at Algoma University. More recently, Laurentian University has established a new School of Northern Development that will do research and provide courses on Northern Ontario development. Things are getting better, however slowly. Read the rest of this entry »

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

3rd October 2014

KWG, Noront react to Cliffs shakeup – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 3, 2014)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. Ian Ross is the editor of Northern Ontario Business ianross@nob.on.ca.

Frank Smeenk was direct in his appraisal of Cliffs Natural Resources ending up on the wrong end of an acrimonious proxy fight with a New York hedge fund. “I thought they deserved everything that befell them,” said the president-CEO of KWG Resources. “They haven’t been easy to get along with at all.”

There’s no love lost between the Toronto junior and the Ohio miner, but a change in leadership and corporate philosophy in Cleveland may signal the thawing of a frosty relationship.

The head of KWG wasn’t at Cliffs’ July 29 shareholders meeting to gloat over the demise of the old guard at the 167-year-old mining giant, but it was a get-acquainted opportunity to meet the new blood as Casablanca Capital seized control of the board of directors.

Casablanca has vowed to make good on its promise to carve off Cliffs’ costly international projects, including its mothballed Ring of Fire chromite properties, like the Black Thor deposit, from its core U.S. mines.

“I’m trying to persuade them that KWG can be the (development) vehicle,” said Smeenk, “that it might be opportune for (us) to be their partner of choice. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Cliffs Natural Resources, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

3rd October 2014

The North is the Future of Ontario – Dave Canfield (Netnewsledger.com – September 26, 2014)

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

Northern Ontario is Ontario’s Future

THUNDER BAY – “We are the future of Ontario,” stated Northern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) President Dave Canfield. Speaking to the Northwestern Ontario Regional Conference, Friday morning Canfield updated the delegates,

“Getting our communities up and running is critical,” added Canfield, sharing with the delegates that at the recent AMO meetings, that the provincial government is listening. “Premier Wynne was present for the entire hour,” added Canfield, explaining that was the first time that had happened”.

Energy remains a focus for NOMA. Canfield explained that in talks with OPA, most of the time the elected officials, and communities are right. Getting the needed power in the region, not just for mining, but for forestry is important.

Infrastructure funding is a success for the north. There was $100 million announced in the budget. Canfield explained that it might take a bit of time to get it going, but the groundwork has been done.

Forging a New Path – NAN Grand Chief Yesno

Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Grand Chief Harvey Yesno addressed the delegates. One of the goals is building permanant infrastructure into our communities. The Grand Chief spoke on how high costs for transportation and food is impacting the region. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Mining Power Issues, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

3rd October 2014

Michael Gravelle on negotiations between mining companies and First Nations – interview by Markus Schwabe (CBC News Sudbury – October 2, 2014)

http://www.cbc.ca/morningnorth/

We contacted the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle, to talk about the difficulties in negotiations between mining companies and First Nation communities.

Click here for the interview: http://www.cbc.ca/morningnorth/past-episodes/2014/10/02/michael-gravelle-on-negotiations-between-mining-companies-and-first-nations/

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

29th September 2014

‘Nothing done’ on Ring of Fire: Horwath – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – September 29, 2014)

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

The Ontario Liberals may have won a majority in the June 12 election, but they don’t have a monopoly, says Andrea Horwath.

Ontario Liberals have failed Northern Ontarians time and time again — especially in their slowness to develop the Ring of Fire — and the Ontario New Democrats can capitalize on that, said the NDP leader.

Horwath spoke Sunday morning at NDP Northern Council 2014, a gathering of 60 or more MPPs, NDP candidates and party faithful.

New Democrats, herself included, made mistakes in the last election, but have four years to make up for them, especially if they focus on the values for which the party stands.

Ontario saw the “sad result” of Liberal inaction recently when Cliffs Natural Resources indicated it was looking to sell its assets in the Ring of Fire, Horwath told delegates.

“Instead of pulling out all the stops to build infrastructure, instead of getting revenue sharing agreements on track, instead of working with northerners, First Nations and industry partners to develop resources in the Ring of Fire, Premier Wynne’s government has taken a wait-and-see approach.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

29th September 2014

Money for mine researchers in Sudbury – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – September 27, 2014)

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

Two Sudbury research organizations received almost $900,000 in funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. on Friday for projects that will make mining safer for workers and more economically viable.

About $784,000 will go to the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation to help develop a mobile canopy system that will make it safer for workers to tunnel into ore bodies and will almost triple the rate at which they do it.

Another $100,000 was announced for a diesel emission reductions research project being conducted by the Canadian Mining Industry Research Organization (CAMIRO) to test filters to protect miners from diesel fumes underground.

The funding was announced by Premier Kathleen Wynne in the Vale Cavern at Science North. Wynne said the two projects will help create and retain as many as 500 jobs, and pave the way for new mining operations that will create many more jobs in the long term.

She made the announcement the day after convening a full cabinet meeting at the Willet Green Miller Centre and attending at $1,750-a-plate dinner to boost the coffers of the Ontario Liberal Fund.

Wynne also attended a Franco-Ontarian Day ceremony on Thursday and jogged early Friday morning in the fog along the Jim Gordon Boardwalk, leading a group of students from Laurentian University, many of them members of the Young Liberals Association. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Mining Education and Innovation, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Mining Supply and Services Sector | 0 Comments

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