31st October 2014

Ring of Fire ‘zero hope’ comment ‘startles’ mining minister – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – October 31, 2014)


Michael Gravelle says latest comments from Cliffs only ‘solidify’ province’s commitment

Ontario’s mining minister says the Liberal promise to spend $1 billion dollars in the Ring of Fire still stands, despite dire words from the project’s main proponent.

Cliffs Natural Resources new chief executive officer told the Financial Post on Tuesday that he has ‘zero hope’ that the chromite mining project in Northern Ontario will be developed anytime soon.

“The comments from the CEO of Cliffs were somewhat startling,” said Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle. “What’s interesting about his comments is how quickly they were criticized by other members of the mining ministry who indicated they think he is wrong.”

Gravelle said 20 other mining companies have interests in the Ring of Fire. Many mining analysts believe those companies don’t have the financial backing to develop the project, but Gravelle remains optimistic.

“I think it only serves to solidify our commitment in terms of the one billion,” he said. “We recognize just how vital it is to build the infrastructure to what will be an extraordinary economic development project.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Who will win in the resource revolution?

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.

Unless Canadian mining companies do a better job of controlling their costs, they won’t be able to maximize benefits from the global resource revolution, cautioned a leading business consultant. Robert Samek, a director of McKinsey & Company and lead on its Canadian mineral and energy practice, was a keynote speaker at an Ontario Mining Association board of directors meeting earlier this week.

The title of Mr. Samek’s presentation was “Canada’s competitive position in the resource revolution.” “Canadian miners need to figure out how to make the most of that revolution,” he said. Despite short term price fluctuations, he foresees a huge increase in the demand for minerals.

“It took the U.K. 150 years to double its GDP. It took Japan 33 years to double its GDP. Now, China and India are doing that in 10 to 15 years,” said Mr. Samek. “This pace of change is unprecedented. It is a middle class explosion.”

He estimates to size of the middle class consuming society on a global scale to triple between 2010 and 2030. “There is a continuing march to urban centres,” he said. “People are not going to be middle class living on the farm.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

31st October 2014

Enhanced airport best option [Ring of Fire] – by Rick Millette (Timmins Press – October 30, 2014)


Rick Millette is a senior executive director at the Ring of Fire at Northern Policy Institute.

TIMMINS – Fly in. Fly out. It’s been the mantra of remote mines since governments and industry realized they were often left holding the bag for mining towns when the minerals were gone. Roads, water systems and schools remained but were not sustainable by the few taxpayers left behind.

It was a hard lesson, so now fly-in operations make sense when an ore body might only last a couple of decades. A temporary camp can be built to house hundreds of workers with all the comforts of home and then be easily dismantled when no longer needed.

But what should the strategic policy be when an ore body is multi-generational? The Ring of Fire is a 100-year resource, with some claiming 200 years. That’s a realistic projection based on known mineral reserves and when compared to other large ore bodies like Sudbury.

Sudbury’s depth and breadth of minerals is nowhere near exhaustion after 131 years. In addition, the Ring holds more than chromite. A host of other metals are abundantly present, offering mining longevity in their own right.

All this to say that the Ring of Fire may not fit the model for fly-in mining camps. A mining resource that can sustain a community for a hundred years or more has time to diversify beyond dependence on its mining base. Sudbury and Timmins being just two examples in Northern Ontario. 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

31st October 2014

Canada: Ontario Premier Wynne Mandates Aboriginal Priorities – by Julie Abouchar and Nicole Petersen (Mondaq.com – October 31, 2014)


Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released mandate letters to her cabinet ministers on September 25, 2014, outlining key priorities for each ministry. Premier Wynne’s marching orders include many Aboriginal priorities.

Key Aboriginal priorities connected to environmental, energy and natural resource issues relate to socio-economic opportunities, sharing resource benefits, negotiations in the Ring of Fire, land claims, treaty and consultation issues, drinking water quality and dialogue with the federal government. Notable among the Premier’s Aboriginal priorities is the movement towards developing a coherent policy for improving drinking water quality and plans to develop mining interests in northern Ontario.

Energy Projects and Programs

Remote Transmission Projects – The Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA) will create an Aboriginal Economic Development Fund for Aboriginal communities and businesses to improve opportunities for employment and business development. Specifically, MAA will partner with the Minister of Energy (ME) to create the Remote Electrification Readiness Program. This will position Aboriginal communities to benefit from remote transmission projects. Read the rest of this entry »

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

30th October 2014

Report highlights economic impact of gold mining in Ontario – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – October 29, 2014)


TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – A recent independent report has highlighted the significant economic impact of Ontario’s mineral sector and found that all stakeholders – including miners, Aboriginal and other local communities, governments and supplier industries – benefitted from the sector’s activity.

The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was commissioned by the Ontario Mining Association to assess the impact openpit and underground gold-mining scenarios in a relatively remote part of Northern Ontario would have on gross domestic product (GDP), employment and government revenue.

The school’s Peter Dungan and Steve Murphy of the Policy and Economic Analysis Programme authored the report and considered two hypothetic scenarios.

The first was to investigate the impact of building an openpit mine over three years at a capital cost of $750-million, while the second was to examine the impact on local economies of building an underground mine over the same period at a capital cost of $600-million.

The construction costs used in the study excluded all exploration, planning, permitting and other preconstruction expenditures.

The study found that an openpit mine would generate sales of $300-million a year, potentially for more than 20 years into the future, and employ 440 people on site with total compensation of $142 200 a worker. Read the rest of this entry »

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

30th October 2014

How green energy is fleecing Ontario electricity consumers – by Ross McKitrick and Tom Adams (National Post -October 30, 2014

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

Adding renewable generating capacity triggers changes throughout the system that multiply costs for consumers

Ontario’s green energy transformation – initiated a decade ago under then-Premier Dalton McGuinty – is now hitting consumers. The Nov 1 increase for households is the next twist of that screw. As Ontario consumers know all too well, the province has gone from having affordable electricity to having some of the highest and fastest-increasing rates in Canada.

Last year, in a report for the Fraser Institute called “Environmental and Economic Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act,” one of us (McKitrick) explained how the Green Energy Act, passed in 2009, yielded at best tiny environmental benefits that cost at least ten times more than conventional pollution control methods, and was directly harming growth by driving down rates of return in key sectors like manufacturing.

But complex financial structures and a lack of official disclosure around large embedded costs have let supporters of the green energy act deny that green power is responsible for the price hikes. Green industry advocates, including the consulting firm Power Advisory and advocacy group Environmental Defense, have added up the direct payments to new renewable generators, and concluded that since those costs are relatively small, the impact of renewables on the total cost of power is likewise small.

However, such analyses ignore the indirect costs that arise from the way renewables interact with the rest of the power system. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Mining Power Issues, Ontario Economy, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

30th October 2014

Ring of Fire doubts ‘baseless and false’ – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – October 30, 2014)

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

Cliffs Natural Resources’ new chief executive officer may have shaken the confidence of some this week when he said he had “zero hope” the Ring of Fire would be developed in the next 50 years.

But Lourenco Goncalves didn’t cause three proponents of the chromite deposits 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay to lose faith the Ring will be mined and will add billions to the province’s economy when it is.

Goncalves, 55, told The Financial Post he didn’t expect to see the Ring developed in his lifetime, and that he intends to be around for another 50 years.

The newly named CEO of the Cleveland-based company was, no doubt, expressing the frustration of the company with one of the biggest claims in the Ring of Fire. It has suspended work on its project after investing $500 million in it.

In May 2012, Cliffs and the Government of Ontario announced Cliffs had upgraded its Ring of Fire project to the feasibility stage and reached a number of key agreements with the province. Most important to Sudbury was Cliffs’ decision to locate a $1.8-billion ferrochrome processing plant in Capreol, just north of the city. Read the rest of this entry »

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

29th October 2014

News Release: New survey of ‘hidden’ supply sector nearly doubles mining contributions to Ontario’s economy


October 28, 2014

The industrial sector providing equipment, supplies and services to the global mining industry, generates 68,000 jobs across Ontario, contributing billions to Ontario’s GDP.

Markham, Ontario – A new economic impact survey reveals information previously lacking about the mining supply and services (MSS) industry, which The Conference Board of Canada has called a ‘hidden’ sector, not directly measured by Statistics Canada.

The study, executed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for the Canadian Association of Mining Equipment and Services for Export (CAMESE) is based on the activities of 913 companies that consider themselves mining suppliers in 2011.

Jon Baird, the outgoing Managing Director of CAMESE says: “Finally we have proof of the important economic contribution of Ontario’s mining suppliers, supporting not only the province’s mines, but servicing mining activity worldwide.”

Mining supply activity occurs throughout Ontario. While one-third of the companies’ head offices are in Northern Ontario, 21 percent are in the Greater Toronto Area and nearly half are in other parts of the province. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Ontario Mining, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Mining Supply and Services Sector | 0 Comments

29th October 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Miners launch successful one-day friendly invasion of Queen’s Park

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.

Scores of company representatives from Ontario Mining Association member companies constructively presented their industry’s attributes and contributions to politicians, staff and public servants in the province’s main political arena yesterday. There was a full day of activities helping to bring mining from around the province to Queen’s Park. “The theme today is Mining Builds Communities,” said OMA President Chris Hodgson.

At an evening reception, Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, said “Meet the Miners is a long standing tradition for all those who care about the mining industry in Ontario and it has been a tremendous day. Mining is important to the economy and communities.”

Mr. Gravelle referred to the recently released OMA gold mine study “An Au-thentic Opportunity: The economic impacts of a new gold mine in Ontario” in his address. There are impressive statistics in the new OMA gold mine study and it provides an opportunity to educate the positive impact of mining.”

Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Wilson said “I am pleased to meet with the representatives of your Association. We want to make Ontario one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world and we know you want greater predictability and support on electricity pricing and skilled trades development.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Mining Power Issues, Ontario Mining, Ontario Mining Association | 0 Comments

29th October 2014

Sudbury mines given hundreds of health and safety work orders (CBC News Sudbury – October 29, 2014)


Orders cover such areas as hoist maintenance, ventilation, and preventing water accumulation

Details of health and safety orders issued to Sudbury-area mines hint at the dangers of working underground.

The Ministry of Labour provided CBC News a breakdown of orders that have been given to First Nickel’s Lockerby Mine, Vale’s Stobie and Creighton Mines, Xstrata’s Nickel Rim South and Quadra FNX/KGMH International’s Levack mine over the past three years.

The orders cover such areas as hoist maintenance, ventilation, and preventing water accumulation. Out of the five, Lockerby Mine had the most orders, totalling more than 200. Stobie had the second highest number, at more than 180. The other three had fewer than 100 each.

​NDP mining critic and Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson speculated on the varying number of work orders issued to the mines.

“Is it the style of management? Is it what is going on with the workers? But clearly, we need to make sure that whatever is going on there is properly dealt with,” he said. Bisson said the number and types of orders don’t provide a clear enough picture to make any quick judgments. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Glencore-Xstrata PLC, Mining Labour Issues and History - Sudbury and Global, Ontario Mining, Vale | 0 Comments

29th October 2014

New Cliffs CEO sees ‘zero hope,’ no asset sale in Ontario’s Ring of Fire – by Peter Koven (National Post – October 29, 2014)

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

The new chief executive of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. doubts that Ontario’s “Ring of Fire” will be developed for decades to come, or that anyone will buy his company’s rich chromite assets in the region in the near future.

Lourenco Goncalves, 55, said in an interview Tuesday that he has “zero hope” that a solution will be reached to spur on development in the region anytime soon.

“I don’t believe under my watch, and I plan to stay [alive] for the next 50 years… that the Ring of Fire will be developed,” he said.

A handful of junior mining companies, including KWG Resources Inc. and Noront Resources Ltd., are more optimistic and are interested in buying Cliffs’ Ring of Fire properties. But according to Mr. Goncalves, they all have the same problem: “They do not have any money.”

His comments have to be discouraging for the Ontario government, which made the Ring of Fire the centerpiece of its northern development plans. To date, Cleveland-based Cliffs is the only large mining company to take a serious interest in the area.

The Ring of Fire, located in the remote James Bay Lowlands, was discovered amid much fanfare in 2007. It is thought to hold about $60-billion of chromite, base metals and other minerals. Read the rest of this entry »

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

28th October 2014

Cliffs books $5.9bn loss on iron-ore, coal asset write-downs – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – October 28, 2014)


TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – US miner Cliffs Natural Resources reported a third-quarter net loss of $5.9-billion, or $38.49 a share, after booking a $5.7-billion write-down of its iron-ore and coal assets.

The Cleveland, Ohio-based company, who came under new management in July, following activist shareholder Casablanca Capital’s victory in a proxy contest, wrote down $4.5-billion related to the Bloom Lake iron-ore project, in Quebec, $28-million related to the shuttered Wabush iron-ore mine, in Labrador, $390-million related to its Asia Pacific Iron Ore (APIO) business segment and $539-million related to its North American Coal assets.

The company also booked a $254-million charge on its chromite assets, after indefinitely pulling out of Ontario’s Ring of Fire earlier this year.

Excluding the one-off charges, the company reported an adjusted profit of $33-million, or $0.21 a share, compared with an adjusted net income of $144-million, or $0.88 a share, in the same three-month period ended October 30 a year earlier.

Consolidated revenues of $1.3-billion were 16% lower year-on-year, mainly owing to iron-ore pricing sliding 32% in the past year, while metallurgical coal pricing declined 17%. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Cliffs Natural Resources, Iron Ore, Ontario Mining, Quebec Mining | 0 Comments

27th October 2014

[Ontario] Province must build RoF road – Editorial (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – October 27, 2014)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

National media coverage on the Ring of Fire has been of the doom-and-gloom variety of late, but that doesn’t mean the province should throw in the towel on the idea for a main access road into the remote mineral rich zone.

Not surprisingly, in the wake of falling metal prices right across the globe, pundits and mining industry analysts have been questioning the RoF’s value. Maybe it’s not that rock-solid after all, the thinking goes.

But surely that thinking is flawed. It’s hardly a shock to discover that when mineral prices fall and stock values plummet, companies are no longer in a position to fork out the enormous upfront costs of building new mines.

Not until a mine is up and running is its proponent in a position to make operational changes, including temporary shutdowns, to ride out the industry’s inevitable ups and downs.

A few years ago, North American Palladium wisely shut down its Lac des Iles mine north of Thunder Bay when the price of palladium plunged. It restarted the operation when the price came back up, casting the views of cynics aside.

Fortunes can also lead the other way. Some may remember when Inmet Mining caved on a major expansion at its former Schreiber zinc mine after prices for that mineral crashed. But none of that means the province should abandon a sensible plan to build a main access road into the James Bay lowlands. 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

24th October 2014

Glencore digging deeper for new Sudbury mines – by Jonathan Migneault (Sudbury Northern Life – Oct 23, 2014)


If approved, Onaping Mine will go as deep as 2,700 metres (8,858 feet)

The future of Glencore’s nickel operations in Sudbury will require deeper mines to access previously untapped deposits, said Marc Boissonneault, the company’s vice-president of Sudbury nickel operations.

Boisonneault, who addressed the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, said the mining giant is eyeing two potential Sudbury developments that would require mine shafts as deep as 2,700 metres.

The first project is Onaping Mine, a site that was discovered years ago, but contains ultra-deep deposits that could not be safely accessed until recently.

Glencore estimates the mine contains 15.7 million tonnes of nickel deposits at higher grades than average for the Sudbury Basin, and would require a capital expenditure of $547 million to develop.

The company is expected to complete a pre-feasibility study for the project later in the year, and will decide by the first or second quarter next year whether it would be worthwhile to mine the deep deposits. “Given our life of mine situation, we would like to get started on it soon,” Boissonneault said. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Glencore-Xstrata PLC, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

24th October 2014

News Release: Goldeye Explorations Limited’s Weebigee Project: A High-Grade Gold Discovery in Ontario’s Sandy Lake Greenstone Belt – by Robin Luke Webster (The Ontario Prospector – Winter 2015)


Robin Luke Webster is the Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Community Relations, Goldeye Explorations Limited

In 1986, a former Inco Geophysicist, Blaine Webster, founded a private company to stake mineral exploration claims near Sandy Lake, 225km north of Red Lake, Ontario. At the time, he could hardly have imagined that it would take nearly 30 years to launch a comprehensive exploration and drilling program on the property. In the ensuing years, the company, Goldeye Explorations Limited, obtained a public listing, explored a number of other mineral properties, and made an exciting discovery at its Tyrrell project near Shining Tree, Ontario.

While Goldeye carried out limited exploration after initially staking its claims at Sandy Lake, the project was put on indefinite hold soon after due to opposition from nearby Sandy Lake First Nation (SLFN). Knowing the significant mineral potential of the Sandy Lake area, however, and the benefits that a discovery could bring for both Goldeye shareholders and the local community, Blaine maintained Goldeye’s interest in the claims and focused on building a positive and mutually beneficial relationship with the members of SLFN. When Goldeye sold the Tyrrell project to Temex Resources Corp. in 2012, its focus returned to Sandy Lake.

Guided by Ontario’s new mining act, Goldeye ramped up its ongoing efforts to advance the project and in 2013, after a process of extensive consultations and discussions, SLFN agreed to the terms of a comprehensive Exploration Agreement that made it possible for the long envisioned work program to commence. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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