Archive | Ontario Mining

Golden Opportunity: Geopolitical uncertainty has given a boost to gold markets and Canadian miners – by Sandra Rubin (Lexpert Business of Law – September 22, 2017)

Exploration work and financings are back on the table, and foreign investors are taking notice.

EXCEPT FOR THE ODD moment here and there, the Midas Touch has been missing in action from the gold market for the past five years. But guess what? After watching prices slide sideways or slip downward along with most other mining stocks during the long dry spell — when raising money for gold companies is described by Frank Mariage of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP as “an extreme sport” — investor appetite for gold is quietly rebounding.

There are a few different reasons for the renewed demand, but one that keeps coming up is the US dollar. Seen as the global reserve currency and a safe haven since World War II, that view has slowly been eroding. In recent months, geopolitical tensions have ratcheted up while US consumer spending has come in below expectations — suggesting the American economy is not as strong as the market had been pricing in.

Gold and the US dollar move in opposite directions. So any pressure on the US dollar makes gold more expensive for Americans but cheaper for foreign investors to buy — an attractive combination for investors looking to hedge their US-denominated investments. Continue Reading →

Psychology of mine safety – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – September 22, 2017)

Director of mining, Ontario Operations, Vale Canada Limited delivers controversial presentation on reality of zero harm policies in mining industry

His presentation started with a disclaimer that his views may not represent those of Vale Canada Limited, even joking he may not work for them after what he had to say about zero harm policies in the mining industry.

Alistair Ross, director of mining, Ontario Operations, delivered a comprehensive presentation at the first general membership meeting of 2017 of the Canadian Institute of Mining on Sept. 21 to a packed house at Dynamic Earth in Sudbury.

It focused on the policies that are meant to eliminate injuries and deaths in mining workplaces actually end up becoming harmful policies by adding too much structure and setting impossible goals. Continue Reading →

McEwen will be ‘aggressive’ in Timmins gold camp – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 22, 2017)

New owner of Black Fox Mine promises to max out its potential

Mining magnate Rob McEwen has big plans for the Black Fox Mine complex, his company’s latest acquisition in the Timmins mining district. McEwen Mining announced the closing of a US$46.6 million bought deal offering on Sept. 22.

The money is earmarked for the purchase of Black Fox from Primero Mining and for general working purposes. The $35-million deal announced in August is expected to be finalized during the first week of October.

“The opportunity to buy Black Fox came together quickly and the timeframe to close was short, which meant that our financing options were limited to a bought deal or the issuance of debt,” said McEwen in a company news release. Continue Reading →

AUDIO: A mine was once here: reclamation underway at Hemlo in northern Ontario – by Jeff Walters (CBC News Thunder Bay – September 21, 2017)

Could take 50 years for site to blend into surrounding forest

It is considered to be one of the best gold mine camps in Canada, and the reclamation underway at the Hemlo Gold Camp near Marathon, Ont., could also make it one of the best mining cleanups in the country. The Hemlo camp was home to three mines, operating side by side, for nearly three decades. Now, the Golden Giant and David Bell Mines are empty fields.

The Gold Giant Mine operated until 2014, while the David Bell Mine ceased production in 2010. The Williams Mine, the furthest west of the three operations, at this point, could run its open pit and underground workings until 2031.

“To see [them] close down is definitely a hard thing to see, but we wanted to make sure it was done responsibly,” said Jeremy Dart, Barrick’s environmental superintendent. “A lot of the employees and people that worked here had some excellent training and skills they were able to take to other mining operations, or other career sets.” Continue Reading →

McEwen Mining – Regaining the Long-Lost Gold Mojo – by Christopher Ecclestone ( – September 20, 2017)

Back at the end of last decade (yes, that long ago) we found ourselves confounded when investors rhapsodized to us about the virtues of a company that then carried the portentous and momentous title, US Gold. The attraction of this stock was supposedly that it was run by Rob McEwen, a Canadian mining entrepreneur that we were reliably informed could walk on water. Despite the claims we were never able to see this stunt performed.

What we did see was our beloved Minera Andes taken over followed by an unseemly and rancorous shoving match with Hochschild Mining over the San Jose mine, a long and turgid legal dispute with TNR Gold over its back-in rights over part of the Los Azules project and a bunch of Nevada gold “assets” that supposedly had Closeology going for them.

With a billion dollar market cap and a pack of swivel-eyed loons as its most ardent supporters the stock had Short written all over it in letters as large as the Hollywood sign. The stock dutifully (and thankfully) drove off a cliff and we closed the theoretical position in our Model Portfolio and went off as happy campers. As for the embedded investors there was a long and painful wait as the chart below shows. Continue Reading →

Out of Africa for First Cobalt: Cobalt hunter ditches Congo J-V for northeastern Ontario – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 18, 2017)

Only months after announcing it was buying into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), First Cobalt is pulling out to concentrate on its exploration work in northeastern Ontario.

The Toronto-headquartered cobalt hunter announced Sept. 18 that it will not complete its “strategic alliance” on seven cobalt exploration properties in the DRC. Instead, the company said it will focus on its flagship property in the historic Cobalt mining camp.

It’s Greater Cobalt Project, includes an option for the former producing Keeley-Frontier mine, a high-grade mine that produced over 3.3 million pounds of cobalt and 19.1 million ounces of silver from 301,000 tonnes of ore, as well as a joint venture on a fully permitted cobalt refinery in the town of Cobalt. Continue Reading →

OPINION: The Richmont gold deal: A sign of things to come? – by Andrew Willis (Globe and Mail – September 18, 2017)

In mining circles, the Ontario town of Wawa on the shores of Lake Superior is suddenly a hot place to do business.

Wawa, home to 3,000 souls and an enormous Canada Goose sculpture, is the closest place to buy groceries if you work at the Island Gold mine, a property that has yielded 430,000 ounces of gold for owner Richmont Mines Inc. and holds something like another 1.7 million ounces of the precious metal.

Proven reserves in politically stable jurisdictions are near the top of the shopping list for acquisitive mining companies. And Wawa is the model of stability in comparison to many of the places Canadian mining companies do business, such as Tanzania, which recently hit a Barrick Gold Corp. subsidiary with an absurd $190-billion (U.S.) tax bill – that’s billion with a “B” – as part of an ongoing dispute over three mines, or even Greece, where the government in dragging its feet on permits for properties owned by Eldorado Gold Corp. Continue Reading →

Avalon intent to cash in on rapidly rising technology metal demand – by Henry Lazenby ( – September 15, 2017)

VANCOUVER ( – A whole new world for lithium demand has aspiring technology metals firm Avalon Advanced Metals evaluating its options to cash in on the red-hot industry, with the company patiently advancing three projects in its portfolio that will benefit from higher metals prices.

Just this week, new evidence was provided that the emerging age of the electric vehicle (EV) is approaching faster and at a far greater scale than even recent forecasts predicted, with German automaker Volkswagen announcing its investment of about €20-billion in the space, which could alone gobble up the entire supply of lithium today.

China also dropped a bombshell this week when announcing tentative plans to ban internal combustion engines, which analysts expect will coincide with China’s commitment to an emissions cap by 2030. Continue Reading →

Elements of bio-mining: Engineering collaboration aims to turn mine waste into valuable metals – by Tyler Irving (U of T Engineering News – September 13, 2017)


They are invisible to the naked eye, able to withstand extreme conditions and capable of breathing rocks. They are the microbes that thrive in tailings ponds at mining sites around the world, and a team of Canadian researchers believes they are the key to transforming waste material into something much more valuable.

“There are bugs that thrive on metabolizing sulfur, others on metabolizing iron,” says Professor Vladimiros Papangelakis (ChemE). “If we can control such biochemical reactions, we could both remediate the waste and recover valuable metals that could pay for the cost of processing.”

Papangelakis, along with Professor Elizabeth Edwards (ChemE) is leading the Elements of Bio-mining project, a multidisciplinary collaboration between U of T Engineering, Laurentian University, and the University of British Columbia (UBC), as well as a number of technology, engineering and mining companies, including Glencore, Vale, Teck, Barrick and Hatch. Continue Reading →

Alamos Gold acquiring Wawa gold operation: Richmont’s Island Gold Mine was a prized target of Toronto miner – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 11, 2017)

Alamos Gold is proposing a friendly acquisition of Richmont Mines’ flagship Island Gold Mine in a $933-million all-stock deal. The Wawa-area mine is touted by Alamos as a high-grade, low-cost producer with plenty of upside to add ounces over the next few years.

“We’re adding a high-quality asset in a great jurisdiction,” said Alamos Gold president-CEO John McCluskey in a Sept. 11 conference calls with analysts. If the transaction is finalized this fall, he places Island Gold as a top-three operating asset that would propel Alamos among the top 10 North American gold miners, capable of producing more than 500,000 ounces a year.

“The addition of Island Gold elevates Alamos to a new level, solidifying its position as a leading intermediate gold producer,” said McCluskey in his remarks. Shareholder meetings at both companies to approve the transaction will take place in mid-November. Continue Reading →

Going to school…underground: NORCAT research mine and simulators give students much-needed training for all aspects of the mining industry – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – September 7, 2017)

With the Sudbury basin being a hub for mining technology, training people underground with real equipment would seem like a given. That isn’t always the case, but there is one place in the Sudbury basin with a unique distinction of being a training and testing mine.

NORCAT’s Underground Centre gives entrepreneurs and tech companies a laboratory to test their equipment, while also giving students a place to do real-world training and test theories.

Mining simulators by ThoroughTec at NORCAT on Maley Drive are also part of the training program, giving students more experience in everything from driving machines to tackling extreme scenarios like machine fires. Continue Reading →

Brookfield Prepared to Exit Palladium Stake as Metal Soars – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – September 7, 2017)

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is laying the groundwork for the possible sale of one of the world’s only dedicated palladium companies even as prices for the metal used in car pollution control devices soar.

Canada’s largest alternative asset manager is the majority owner of North American Palladium Ltd., whose main asset is a mine near Thunder Bay, Ontario with reserves of 21 million metric tons. Brookfield’s involvement began in 2013 when the company almost collapsed amid a poorly conceived expansion.

What began as a $130 million loan became a 92 percent equity stake after the company’s situation deteriorated further and it failed to find a buyer. Since then, North American Palladium has redesigned the asset and managed to post its first quarterly profit in six years as prices of the precious metal rallied. Continue Reading →

Aroland anxious for ‘gateway’ role in Ring of Fire – by Carl Clutchey (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – September 7, 2017)

As efforts continue to obtain unanimous indigenous consent for two major access roads into Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining belt, at least one First Nation is sounding reassured that its interests are being met.

Aroland First Nation Chief Dorothy Towedo said Wednesday the province has agreed to work with the band and fulfil its goal of becoming the Ring of Fire’s “gateway.” “Ontario is now clear,” Towedo said in a news release. “It is committed to working with Aroland and other First Nations for planning potential mining and related infrastructure developments.”

She added: “This commitment is a necessary part of obtaining consent.” Towedo said her community, located adjacent to an existing provincial highway near Nakina, felt assured after receiving a supportive letter from Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle. Continue Reading →

Fast is slow: Will Ontario really build a road to the Ring of Fire? – by Jon Thompson (TV Ontario Northwestern – August 31, 2017)

ANALYSIS: Kathleen Wynne said she’d take her time to get the road right. Jon Thompson asks what took her off course

Kathleen Wynne’s government says it likes to get relationships right: It pledged to get things right with the feds in the 2016 Ontario budget. In a 2015 address to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Wynne herself committed to “getting it right” when it comes to Queen’s Park’s relationship with cities.

Wynne often uses the phrase when discussing Ontario’s relationship with the Matawa tribal council, whose lands and lifestyles the proposed Ring of Fire mining development — consisting of huge chromite and nickel deposits nearly 600 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay — could alter considerably.

When critics allege progress on that file has stagnated, Wynne again stresses the importance of “getting it right.”

However, in recent months the premier has tried to speed up the Ring of Fire’s development and events from last week suggest “getting it right” may have been a sound approach after all. Continue Reading →

Should Ontario Northland be the railroader for the Ring of Fire? – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 6, 2017)

Regional railway says it has the smarts, capability to serve James Bay mining camp

The Ontario Northland Railway (ONR) is ready to be a logistical player in the Ring of Fire, if and when an ore haul railroad is required.

Now that Queen’s Park has unveiled a road-building timetable to reach the Far North mineral deposits, Ontario Northland Transportation Commission president-CEO Corina Moore said the North Bay-headquartered Crown railroader has the ability to do the job.

“Ontario Northland remains interested in providing input on how we can provide rail support in the future with regards to the Ring of Fire,” said Moore in an email. She was responding to comments made by Noront Resources president-CEO Alan Coutts, who hinted that the ONR could serve as the exclusive railroader to the Ring.

“When the Ring of Fire chromite market grows to a level requiring rail, Ontario Northland has the experience, technology, and capabilities to safely operate and maintain the rail infrastructure,” replied Moore. Continue Reading →