21st November 2014

Ring of Fire is ‘beyond the point of no return,’ mining company says – Bill Curry and Bertrand Marotte (Globe and Mail – November 20, 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.

Ottawa and MONTREAL – The Ring of Fire project is “beyond the point of no return” in spite of renewed government pledges to move ahead, says the CEO of the mining company that owns the rights to most of the resources in the remote Northern Ontario mineral deposit.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. CEO Lourenco Goncalves made headlines last month with his declaration that he had “zero hope” that the Ring of Fire would be developed in his lifetime.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail this week, Mr. Goncalves said recent pledges from the federal and Ontario governments to support the project with public infrastructure cash have not changed his assessment of the project’s viability.

“Last month I said it would not happen in the next 50 years. This month I will say it’s not going to happen in 49 years and 11 months,” he said. “We are beyond the point of no return.”

The Cleveland-based company bought three chromite deposits in 2010 for $350-million and has spent about $200-million on development. Since large chromite deposits were first discovered in 2008, estimates have pegged the mineral potential of the region at $60-billion. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st November 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Could demolition of Sudbury’s superstack signify environmental progress?

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.

Imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower, Seattle without its Space Needle and Kuala Lumpur minus the Petronas Towers on the skyline. Now, try to imagine Sudbury without the Superstack! Okay these may not be structures designed for similar functions but they do cast a shadow over their cities, the psyches of their residents and how the rest of the world views them.

Recently, it was widely reported that Kelly Strong, Vice President of Ontario and U.K. Operations for mining giant Vale, told the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce that his company was assessing the possibility of no longer requiring the 1,250 foot tall Superstack. It was built by Vale predecessor company Inco for an estimated cost in 1970 of $25 million. Construction started on the tallest smoke stack in Canada in 1970 and it was first operational in 1972.

The purpose of this structure was to disperse sulphur dioxide emissions and other waste from the nickel and copper smelter process. It was considered to be the right thing to do environmentally at that time. So the possibility of its dismantling must be a good sign environmentally, right?

“Given the tremendous reduction in emissions and change in our processes, we are working to figure out if we should continue to use the current 1,250 foot stack, or build something much smaller,” said Mr. Strong at the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce event. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Green Mining, Ontario Mining, Ontario Mining Association | 0 Comments

20th November 2014

Rock-bottom prices forcing Cliffs to pull up stakes in Canada – by Bertrand Marotte and Nicolas Van Praet (Globe and Mail – November 20, 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.

MONTREAL — Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.’s Canadian adventure is winding down. The Ohio-based mining giant is preparing to shut down its money-losing Bloom Lake iron ore mine in northeastern Quebec amid rock-bottom prices for the mineral and high operating costs. It has already closed a Labrador iron ore property at Wabush and said it is looking to sell its chromite deposits in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire.

Cliffs has spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing the high-potential Ring of Fire deposit and the existing Lake Bloom operations, but has run into a series of roadblocks, including a five-year low for iron ore prices, slumping Chinese demand and major delays in getting agreements with Ontario and First Nations over essential infrastructure for the Ring of Fire.

A shutdown of Bloom Lake would be a major blow to the local economy and to the provincial government’s multibillion-dollar Plan Nord economic development strategy pinned on natural resources extraction north of the 49th parallel.

Likewise, the Ontario government had made the Ring of Fire the centrepiece of its ambitious development plans for the mineral-rich region about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay in the James Bay Lowlands. And Cliffs had been the leading mining player in that plan. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Cliffs Natural Resources, Iron Ore, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, Quebec Mining, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

17th November 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Vale announces new Executive Directors for Ferrous Minerals and Base Metals

Rio de Janeiro, November 14, 2014 – Vale S.A. (Vale) announces today that Peter Poppinga will assume the position of Executive Director for Ferrous Minerals effective immediately, with the appointment already approved by the Board of Directors. José Carlos Martins, who previously held the position, has left the company to take on new challenges in his successful career. A Brazilian, Peter studied Geology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil, and has an undergraduate degree in Applied Geology from the University of Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany. He also took extension courses in Mining Engineering and Geostatistics.

With more than 20 years of experience in iron ore, Peter began his career in 1984 at Samitri, an iron and manganese mining company, where he held various leadership positions in mine planning, iron ore production and sales and marketing. He also held shared responsibility for sales of pellet production at Samarco and was actively involved in the development of the Chinese iron ore market.

Peter joined Vale in 1999 in the Iron Ore Commercial area, where he held several positions in the company’s foreign sales offices, including Sales Director in New York and Belgium, and CEO of Vale International in Switzerland. In 2007, soon after the acquisition of the Canadian company Inco, he held several corporate positions in Toronto, Canada. In 2009, he returned to operations as COO of Base Metals Operations, Asia & Pacific, based in Australia.

In 2011, he was appointed Executive Director of Base Metals and IT, leading 16 operating sites around the world and driving major transformations and asset base optimization that turned the business around and delivered significantly improved results. During his tenure, Vale’s Base Metals EBITDA increased from US$ 600 million in 2012 to almost US$ 3 billion in 2014, due largely to increased productivity and the removal of 1.4 billion US$ in costs from the business. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Ontario Mining, Vale | 0 Comments

13th November 2014

VOX: Detour Gold: ‘The ultimate risk-reward name’ in gold miners – by David Milstead (Globe and Mail – November 13, 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.

Unsatisfied with a mere bet on bullion? Desirous of a big, fat, chunky wager on gold prices?

May I suggest Detour Gold Corp., a mining stock whose zigs and zags make the volatility in the gold price look picayune by comparison. Detour is a single-asset company, with a young mine near Detour Lake in Northern Ontario. In the past 52 weeks, it’s traded as low as $2.88, upon the surprise resignation of its chief executive officer, and as high as $15.62 in June, when gold prices were above $1,300 (U.S.) an ounce. Detour stock was $6.60 (Canadian) at the beginning of November. It closed at $8.67 on Wednesday.

Despite that rapid rise this month, analysts believe it has plenty of room to run. The average 12-month target price is $13.56, an upside of 56 per cent (one of the higher possible returns among large and mid-size miners, according to Bloomberg data). And some of the bulls are well above that average: Analyst Richard Gray of Cormark just lowered his target price from $23.50 to $18.75. He calls Detour “the ultimate risk-reward name in the gold sector, and right now the upside (reward) far outweighs the current downside (risk).”

Well, let’s dwell on those risks before we give the impression that Detour investors are just one pitch away from a home run. In Saturday’s Globe Investor, we detailed the major issue in the mining industry: Companies that took on significant debt to fund expansions or acquisitions are in a perilous place when gold falls. Analysts are now using prices of $1,100 (U.S.)-an-ounce and below in their models. Read the rest of this entry »

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

12th November 2014

Underground entrepreneurs: Red Lake miners now members of small business cells operating with more autonomy – by Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco (CIM Magazine – November 2014)

https://www.cim.org/en.aspx

Last fall Goldcorp’s Red Lake mine was organized conventionally, with teams reporting to supervisors who in turn reported to a general foreman. With a wicket system in place, employees arriving for their shift lined up to receive their assignment from their supervisor for the day, taking them to different parts of the mine. It was a hierarchical approach that managers had determined was less than ideal.

To build the foundation for a more employee-driven organization, Red Lake management chose to reorganize operations into 14 different cells – or business units – each comprising between 10 and 15 members. Each cell is assigned dedicated resources that include equipment, labour and support of organizational structures. And each one handles its own accounting and metrics.

“Essentially, we set up each cell to act as an independent small business,” says Bob MacDonald, operations manager at Red Lake. “Collectively, we get to learn from the best practices of each unit, and independently, each unit is best equipped to deal with its own unique operating conditions. It’s a win-win.”

The planning process for the new organizational structure took three months, carried out by a team made up of a general foreman and a technical services representative as well as Trevor Krawchyk, Goldcorp’s operations excellence manager. They also worked closely with daily supervisor and technical teams to revise and fine-tune every aspect of the plan. Read the rest of this entry »

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

6th November 2014

Hampton to advise federal NDP on Ring of Fire – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – November 6, 2014)

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

A self-confessed “recovering politician”, who was Ontario New Democratic Party leader for 13 years and represented Kenora-Rainy River for 24 years, has been appointed special advisor to federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair for the Ring of Fire.

Howard Hampton has worked the last three years for Fasken Martineau law firm, advising mining and forestry companies in Northern Ontario about how to work with First Nations.

Since 2011, Hampton has been involved in discussions with First Nations, mining companies such as Cliffs Natural Resources and Noront Resources, and engineering firms that conduct environmental assessments and do mine construction.

While Hampton will be contracted to advise the federal NDP, he said he has watched in recent years as the Government of Ontario has “dropped the ball a number of times and made a number of miscues” in trying to develop the chromite deposits 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

His take on the federal is that “it is just not engaged” in Ring of Fire discussions, said Hampton, and has been largely absent from them. “Governments are supposed to show some leadership and governments are supposed to bring people together. That hasn’t happened,” he said in a telephone interview.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

6th November 2014

Some progress on Ring: Chamber – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – November 6, 2014)

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

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is at work on a report, grading the Government of Ontario on its performance on 13 steps it recommended in February the province take to develop the Ring of Fire.

The goal of the first report, Beneath the Surface: Uncovering the Potential of Ontario’s Ring of Fire, was to raise awareness about the impact mining the Ring of Fire would have on the economies of Ontario and Canada.

Josh Hjartarson, vice-president of policy and government relations for the Ontario chamber, said governments’ priorities are determined by the pressure people put on them, so his group is trying to “generate some virtuous pressure on all levels of government.”

Hjartarson compares the Ontario chamber’s public awareness campaign to what Canadian petroleum producers did to promote the Alberta oil sands. Many observers have compared the importance of the Ring of Fire on a national scale to the oil sands and Churchill Falls generating station.

Petroleum producers successfully turned the “this is just an Alberta play to this is of national importance,” said Hjartarson, “and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is trying to do that.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

5th November 2014

Howard Hampton to advise federal NDP on Ontario’s Ring of Fire – by Rosemary Barton (CBC News – November 04, 2014)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics

Success in northern Ontario important to federal NDP’s chances in 2015

In a bid to try and push ahead the ill-fated development of the Ring of Fire mining project in northern Ontario, the federal NDP is bringing a well-known Ontario face on board to help.

CBC News has learned federal New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair will announce former Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton as a special adviser for the party. Mulcair will make the announcement before the party’s weekly caucus meeting tomorrow.

Sources says Hampton will start working for the federal party immediately as a liaison on the complicated development file.

Hampton, who spent 24 years as a member of provincial Parliament, or MPP, for the northern Ontario provincial riding of Kenora-Rainy River, has experience at Queen’s Park, but has also worked extensively with First Nations communities in the region, as well as with mining companies.

As an adviser for the Official Opposition, Hampton will only be able to lay the groundwork for how and what the NDP would do if the party were to form the government after the next election. The appointment speaks to the party’s interest in the project. But it’s also about politics. Read the rest of this entry »

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

4th November 2014

PRESS RELEASE: Northern Superior Resources Announces June 1, 2015 Trial Date for Litigation Against the Ontario Government

SUDBURY, ONTARIO, Nov 04, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Northern Superior Resources Inc. (“Northern Superior” or the “Company”) (SUP) is pleased to provide the following update on the litigation proceedings against the Ontario Government concerning the Company’s Thorne Lake, Meston Lake and Rapson Bay properties.

– The Superior Court Judge overseeing the Company’s litigation against the Ontario Government has fixed June 1, 2015 as the trial date.
– Four weeks have been set aside for the trial.
– At the October 30, 2014 Case Conference, the sixth one in the case, Northern Superior proposed an aggressive timetable for getting the case
ready for trial, which after consideration by Ontario will be fixed by the Judge on November 7, 2014.
– The pre-trial steps agreed on include holding a mediation before an independent third party on or about February 1, 2015.

Dr. T.F. Morris President and CEO states: “I am obviously pleased that a fixed date for the trial has been set. This clearly provides some finality to what has been a long process. Northern Superior looks forward with confidence to the trial date.”

About Northern Superior Resources Inc.:

Northern Superior is a junior exploration company exploring for gold in the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield. The Company is currently focused on exploring its Croteau Est property in Quebec. The Company has a number of 100% owned properties (see Company web site, www.nsuperior.com) in the Stull-Wunnumin and Chibougamau gold districts of Ontario and Quebec. Read the rest of this entry »

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

4th November 2014

Ring of Fire development needs attention – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – November 4, 2014)

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

The government of Ontario must stop stalling and get serious about bringing partners together to plan and build transportation infrastructure for the Ring of Fire.

Not one ounce of the estimated $60 billion worth of chromite and other minerals in this area of Northern Ontario can be mined until a transportation system and power grid are built. And that can’t start until the much-vaunted Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corp. is fully functioning.

A year ago, the province announced creation of the development corporation to design, engineer, construct and maintain transportation infrastructure for the Ring. Since then, the Liberals have re-announced it three times, the last when it was formally established in August with an interim board of four Ontario public servants.

The “mature” corporation is to be comprised of representatives from government, the mining sector, First Nations and other communities. So it was disappointing to learn four bureaucrats were the only appointees. First Nations leaders and mining company officials are furious about not being drawn into infrastructure talks after a year of dilly-dallying. 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

4th November 2014

Ontario mining minister ‘startled’ by Ring of Fire criticism – by Lisa Wright (Toronto Star – November 4, 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.

Cliffs Natural Resources CEO ‘wrong’ to say Ring will never be developed, says Michael Gravelle.

Ontario’s mining minister says the province is “absolutely committed” to the Ring of Fire mining development despite recent criticism that the project will never get off the ground.

Lourenco Goncalves, the new chief executive of Cliffs Natural Resources, said last week that he thinks there is “zero hope” that a mine will ever be built in the rich mineral belt in the James Bay lowlands, after the Cleveland-based miner spent $500 million trying to tap into the vast chromite deposit and got nowhere.

Cliffs has the largest land position in the area but abandoned the region last winter citing red tape from the Ontario government and First Nations groups around building necessary transportation and power infrastructure. Cliffs’ assets are for sale but there have been no takers yet.

“I will admit I was startled by those comments,” Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said in an interview Monday. “I think he’s wrong. We all understand that this is a complicated project in a remote area of the province that has never been developed before,” he said. 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 | 1 Comment

4th November 2014

[Ontario mining and manufacturing] Rip-it-and-ship-it Versus Value-added – by James Cuddy (Northern Policy Institute Blog – October 2014)

http://northernpolicy.wordpress.com/

James Cuddy, Senior Policy Analyst with Northern Policy Institute

It’s a common concern that Northern Ontario is not developing industries that will add-value to raw mining and forestry materials before they are exported for use elsewhere. So, why can’t we build processing and manufacturing facilities and then sell the value-added products to the world?

Mike Moffatt puts it simply: “If there is a business case to do so, then absolutely [we can].” The notion that there is a ‘business case’ to develop processing and manufacturing facilities embodies the concept of comparative advantage.

Northern Ontario’s primary industries exist because the region has an abundance of minerals in the ground and trees on the land that can be extracted and exported. Northern Ontario is endowed with natural resources that not everyone else has; this is what gives the region its comparative advantage in these industries.

On the other hand, it is not necessarily clear that the region has a comparative advantage in value-added forest and mining products – i.e., processing and manufacturing of raw materials. Since a processing facility can be located almost anywhere, there are many additional factors – over and above having raw materials nearby – that affect where Northern Ontario’s comparative advantage (or disadvantage) lie for value-added industries. Read the rest of this entry »

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

4th November 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Season seven SYTYKM offers more money, more prize categories and more support for schools

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.

Season seven of the Ontario Mining Association’s high school video competition So You Think You Know Mining has officially been opened. Entries are now being accepted on line. This year’s competition offers more money, more prize categories and more support for schools.

The prize money available has been increased to $42,500. A new category – Best Cinematography – is also being offered. This new award will recognize the most effective use of the camera by a contestant. Think camera angles, cuts and lighting. In addition, this year to offer more support to educators, $500 will be provided to the schools of each winning entry.

“Video equipment and video production software comes with a cost,” said OMA President Chris Hodgson. “We wanted to find a way to offer more assistance to schools and their audio-visual, communications technology and visual arts classes. We hope this new $500 school prize bonus will encourage and support educators involved in SYTYKM.”

SYTYKM is supported by comprehensive web-based resources and a social media network that includes Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Contest details, video upload instructions, production ideas and past winning entries are all available on the OMA website at http://www.oma.on.ca. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Mining Movies and Documentaries, Ontario Mining, Ontario Mining Association | 0 Comments

3rd November 2014

[Vale in the Sudbury Basin] SPEECH TO THE GREATER SUDBURY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – BY KELLY STRONG, VICE PRESIDENT, ONTARIO/UK OPERATIONS (November 3, 2014)

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

• Thank you Geoff for that kind introduction. It’s a pleasure to be here.

• It’s so nice to see so many friendly and familiar faces here in Copper Cliff this afternoon. I’m not sure if your motivation to come here was to hear me speak or for a great plate of Italian food, but regardless I appreciate you coming here today.

• To all of the sponsors of today’s luncheon, thank you for your support of this event…it’s very much appreciated and we are happy to count you as partners in our business.

• I want to especially recognize Debbi Nicholson, who’s been an exemplary leader of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce for almost 35 years. Debbi – you lead with dignity, a sharp business sense and a keen awareness of what’s in the best interests of our community. I congratulate you on all the things you’ve accomplished, and thank you for the invitation to give an update on our operations here today.

* * *

• As I think many of you know, I grew up in Espanola and started in this industry way back when as an underground miner. My roots in the mining industry, and in the Sudbury area, run very deep. This is the place I’ve chosen to work and raise my family, and the place I call home. Sudbury is, and I believe always will be, one of the greatest mining communities on the planet. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Ontario Mining, Sudbury, Vale | 0 Comments

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