21st April 2015

Sudbury mine deaths ‘should not have happened’ – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – April 21, 2015)

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

Before an inquest jury heard about how two Sudbury men died on the job, an assistant Crown attorney talked about how the men lived.

Susan Bruce, who along with assistant Crown Roberta Bald is serving as counsel to presiding coroner Dr. David Eden, told the two-man, three-woman jury Monday what kind of men Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, were.

The two were killed June 8, 2011, at Vale’s Stobie Mine when they were overcome by a run of 350 tons of muck — rock, water and sand — while working at the mine’s 3,000-foot level near the No. 7 ore shaft. A mandatory inquest is being held into their deaths. It is scheduled for two weeks, but could end sooner because some witnesses who would have given similar testimony have been written off the list.

Chenier, a supervisor at Stobie, was the husband of Tracy and father of two children, aged 6 and 7. He loved family activities such as fishing, hiking and skiing, and built his children “an elaborate play centre from scratch,” not from a kit at a department store, Bruce told the jury. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Mining Labour Issues and History - Sudbury and Global, Mining Tragedies, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Vale | 0 Comments

17th April 2015

Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation Sign Ring of Fire Protocol Agreement – by James Murray (Netnewsledger.com – April 17, 2015)

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

THUNDER BAY – The First Nations whose lands and resources will be most affected by the proposed Ring of Fire development met today to sign a protocol agreement. “This will not only be good for us, but will also be good for the exploration companies to know the protocols for exploration on our mutual traditional lands”, stated Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation.

Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation today entered into a “Negotiation Protocol Respecting Early Exploration in the Ring of Fire”. The protocol strengthens the commitment of both First Nations to work together to advance their common interests in a coordinated manner while respecting their mutual and unique interests over their respective lands and approvals to use the lands.

The need for such a protocol is evidenced by over 100 mineral exploration companies that have staked claims and proposed other related developments in the Ring of Fire. Both Marten Falls and Webequie agreed that they had to be come together to set out their mutual expectations respecting early exploration activities in the Ring of Fire.

Within the Ring of Fire only Webequie and Marten Falls share a unique relationship with Ontario. The Government of Ontario entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation with Webequie and a Memorandum of Understanding with Marten Falls related to mineral exploration and development activities. 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

17th April 2015

NEWS RELEASE: VALE STATEMENT REGARDING CORONER’S INQUEST INTO FATALITIES AT STOBIE MINE

SUDBURY, April 17, 2015 — On Monday, April 20, a coroner’s inquest begins at the Sudbury Courthouse into the June 2011 deaths of Jason Chenier and Jordan Fram at Vale’s Stobie Mine. The purpose of the inquest is to review the circumstances around the deaths in hopes that similar deaths can be prevented in the future.

The deaths of Jason and Jordan continue to sadden our operations and our community. Revisiting events of June 2011 will be difficult for everyone involved. There will be a lot of testimony during the course of the inquest and it will be emotional for many, but will be hardest on the Fram and Chenier families. While we cannot turn back the clock, we hope the families find some comfort in the significant work done since that night to ensure this kind of tragedy never occurs again.

Following our own internal investigation into this incident, a plan of action, including more than 40 recommendations, was put in place to address the contributing factors and improve control measures to protect the health and safety of our employees.

We believe this work, coupled with the recent recommendations from the provincial Mining Health, Safety & Prevention Review, will help ensure that Vale and mining companies across Ontario become safer places to work. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Ontario Mining, Vale | 0 Comments

15th April 2015

Prospector president calls for reform of Mining Act – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – April 15, 2015)

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.

Gino Chitaroni wonders if prospectors are becoming a vanishing breed in Northern Ontario. He blames over-reaching government policy, onerous regulations and unsolved issues with First Nations for gutting the grassroots heart of the mining sector.

The president of the Northern Prospectors Association said their monthly meetings have devolved into “bitch sessions” with grievances over changes to the Ontario Mining Act and something must be done to turn the tide in industry’s favour.

The introduction two years ago of so-called Plans and Permits haven’t been well-received by the exploration community and he finds there is an exodus of prospectors who are pulling up stakes and leaving Ontario for other jurisdictions.

“It’s gotten to the point where our whole way of life of exploration is completely threatened.” Changes to the Mining Act and the introduction of new legislation like the Far North Act, he said, were done with little consultation with Northerners and industry, and is proof of the disconnect between this region and the south.

“It’s a continual assault against trying to do business in Northern Ontario.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

15th April 2015

Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Comments on Renewing Ontario’s Mineral Development Strategy

The following letter outlines the Northwestern Ontario Prospector Association’s (NWOPA) recommendations for Ontario’s new Mineral Development Strategy. NWOPA believes that the new Mineral Development Strategy should focus on three main points:

1) Solving the problem of uncertainty of land tenure
2) Assisting prospectors and junior exploration Companies
3) Acquisition and dissemination of new, high quality geoscience datasets

Recommendations follow the discussion of each point below.

1) Uncertainty of Land Tenure

The new Mining Act has taken a once thriving industry and crippled it with new rules and regulations at a time when global markets are suffering. The new rules and regulations are enough of a deterrent to exploration; however, what has truly driven investors away from the province of Ontario and demoted Ontario to rank 23rd in Mining Attractiveness, according to the 2015 Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies, is uncertainty of land tenure. Ontario’s Mining Attractiveness ranking has been decreasing in recent years, down from 14th place in year 2014 and 9th place in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

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

14th April 2015

Kelly Strong leaving Vale [Sudbury] – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – April 14, 2015)

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

Kelly Strong, Vale’s vice-president of Canada and UK operations, has tendered his resignation to the Brazil-based miner. Vale Sudbury spokeswoman Angie Robson said Tuesday afternoon that Strong has made a decision to leave the company May 1 to pursue another opportunity.

“After almost 14 years with our operations, Kelly has made substantial contributions in the areas of operations, employee engagement and safety, and we wish him all the best,” said Robson in an email.

Conor Spollen, director of Canada and UK Operations and Projects, will assume Strong’s responsibilities until a permanent replacement is chosen. Strong had developed a good working relationship with the union representing production and maintenance workers at Vale’s Sudbury operations.

Last Dec. 10, Strong and USW Local 6500 president Rick Bertrand held a news conference at the Steelworkers’ Hall to announce they were entering into negotiations for a new collective agreement. The current five-year contract, hammered out after a tense year-long strike from July 2009-July 2010, expires May 31. Read the rest of this entry »

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

14th April 2015

COMMENT: First Nations beating war drums – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – April 13, 2015)

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.

I read a couple news releases last week involving complaints by First Nations about being left out of resource development decisions. No one doubts that they must be included. The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent rulings give weight to their claims.

But what is to be gained by opposing Noront’s desire to acquire those lands abandoned by Cliffs Natural Resources?

Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation put it thus: “With Noront’s announcement that it is trying to acquire the Cliffs assets, our First Nations have effectively been denied a real opportunity to benefit from key resources in our lands on our terms. This unilateral move by Noront is unacceptable to our First Nations.”

To say the First Nations have been sidelined already is a bit premature. Unless the chief is intimating that the First Nations have the wherewithal (think money) to buy out Cliffs and stage a multi-billion-dollar resource development themselves.

If the First Nations have a beef with Noront or don’t want to meet the company to work out economic participation, why is that? Again and again Canadian companies have shown that they welcome First Nation participation on many levels. 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

14th April 2015

Ontario mining royalties ‘pitifully low': MiningWatch Canada – by Jonathan Migneault (Sudbury Northern Life – April 13, 2015)

http://www.northernlife.ca/

Organization asks auditor general to investigate mining sector

Ontario’s mining royalties are “pitifully low” said MiningWatch Canada in an open letter to Ontario’s auditor general. The organization has asked Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk to exercise her office’s “value-for-money” mandate to evaluate the province’s review of its Mineral Development Strategy.

“Pitifully low mining royalties, very low corporate taxes, direct and indirect subsidies, give-away prices on electricity, unaccounted social and environmental costs, and hundreds of millions of dollars in mine site clean-up costs are all major concerns,” wrote Ugo Lapointe, MiningWatch Canada’s program co-ordinator, in his open letter to Lysyk.

Lapointe said mining companies in Ontario have generated more than $93.3 billion in gross revenues over the last 10 years, but the province has only received 1.5 per cent of that amount in royalties.

“We could learn from some of the First Nations, that are very good negotiators with mining companies,” Lapointe said. During his 2014 municipal election campaign, Sudbury mayoral candidate John Rodriguez said the city could get at least $30 million in mining royalties per year, if it were to strike a deal with the province to get a fair cut. Read the rest of this entry »

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

13th April 2015

Ontario Urgently Needs a Comprehensive “Value-for-Money” Cost-Benefit Analysis for Mining (Mining Watch Canada – April 10, 2015)

http://www.miningwatch.ca/

An Open Letter to Bonnie Lysyk, Auditor General for Ontario

Dear Ms. Lysyk:

Re: Need for a comprehensive “value-for-money,” costs-benefits analysis for mining in Ontario

Current mining policies, programs, and regulations pose a threat to public finance and taxpayers in Ontario, with potentially billions of dollars at stake.

The Ontario government recently announced its intention to review its Mineral Development Strategy (March 2015). MiningWatch Canada is very concerned about the current lack of a comprehensive “value for money,” cost-benefit analysis for mining in Ontario.

Pitifully low mining royalties, very low corporate taxes, direct and indirect subsidies, give-away prices on electricity, unaccounted social and environmental costs, and hundreds of millions of dollars in mine site clean-up costs are all major concerns.

According to Natural Resources Canada, mining companies generated over $93.3 billion in gross revenue in Ontario over the last 10 years. During the same period, a meagre 1.5% was generated in mining royalties – 10 times less than a tip at a restaurant! Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

13th April 2015

News Release: Ontario mining health and safety conference April 14 to 16

Workplace Safety North hosts 300 participants in Sudbury

(April 13, 2015) NORTH BAY, ON – From April 14 to 16 in Sudbury, Workplace Safety North (WSN) will host more than 300 attendees at the annual provincial Mining Health and Safety Conference. The event brings together Ontario’s mining industry, giving organizations the opportunity to share knowledge about safety programs and innovations dealing with hazards specific to mining.

“We’re in our eighteenth year and continue to focus on the occupational health and safety approach known as the ‘Internal Responsibility System,’” says Candys Ballanger-Michaud, CEO. “The focus of conference will be the final recommendations from the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review on improving health and safety in the underground mining sector.

“Mining is a vital and technically demanding industry,” notes Ballanger-Michaud. “We have mining health and safety consultants as well as mine rescue officers providing miners across Ontario with training on topics like core health and safety principles as well as industry-specific issues. WSN mining specialists provide training with regard to mine ventilation, ground control, electrical-mechanical safety, rescue and recovery operations, priority hazards, plus we help companies assess health and safety risks and meet legislative requirements.”

In addition to workshops and a trade show, the sold-out conference features guest speakers Dr. Linda Duxbury and Kevin Burns, along with sessions on training, WSIB claims, heat stress, occupational lung disease, emergency preparedness, working at heights, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

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

13th April 2015

First nations oppose Ring of Fire sale – by Staff (Sudbury Star – April 13, 2015)

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

Two first nation communities in the James Bay lowlands are protesting the proposed takeover of Ring of Fire assets by a Toronto-based company. In early March, Noront Resources Inc. announced it plans to buy the chromite assets owned by Cliffs Natural Resources, based out of Cleveland, for $20 million.

The chiefs of Marten Falls and Aroland First Nations, however, are now speaking out against this move, saying it will tread on their rights and prevent them from reaping the economic opportunities to which they are entitled.

“Our first nations have effectively been denied a real opportunity to benefit from key resources in our lands on our terms,” said Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation in a release issued Friday. “This unilateral move by Noront is unacceptable to our first nations.”

Bruce Achneepineskum, interim chief of Marten Falls First Nation, said the deal represents an “old way of thinking” when it comes to development in native lands.

“Progressive mining companies are inclusive, share resources equitably with indigenous peoples, and know that only real partnerships protect our rights, interests and environment,” he argued in the release. 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, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances | 0 Comments

10th April 2015

MEDIA RELEASE: FIRST NATION CHIEFS OPPOSE NORONT’S PURCHASE OF CLIFFS’ ASSETS IN THE RING OF FIRE

Aroland First Nation

Marten Falls First Nation

Marten Falls First Nation, Ontario – April 10, 2015. The Chiefs of Marten Falls First Nation and Aroland First Nation re-affirmed today their opposition to Noront Resources’ proposed purchase of Cliffs Natural Resources’ chromite assets.

Interim Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation and Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation met for two days this week with their advisors at a Bay Street law office in Toronto to review the status of the proposed Noront purchase of Cliffs chromite assets in the Ring of Fire. The Cliffs assets are in Marten Falls’ traditional territory. The proposed North-South corridor, which is essential to haul ore
out of the Ring of Fire, is in the traditional territory of both First Nations.

“With Noront’s announcement that it is trying to acquire the Cliffs assets, our First Nations have effectively been denied a real opportunity to benefit from key resources in our lands on our terms,” said Chief Gagnon. “This unilateral move by Noront is unacceptable to our First Nations.”

“We oppose this old way of thinking about mining and trampling on First Nation rights,” said Interim Chief Achneepineskum. “The world has changed. Read the rest of this entry »

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

9th April 2015

Bob Rae Speech on Canadian First Nations Water Issues (Canadian Water Network Ottawa Conference – March 10-12, 2015)

CWR2015 – Bob Rae from Canadian Water Network on Vimeo.

Click here for more video presentations: http://cwr2015.ca/presentations-videos/

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

8th April 2015

Province to renew mineral development strategy – by Jonathan Migneault (Northern Ontario Business – April 8, 2015)

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.

The province’s decision to renew its mineral development strategy – first established in 2006 – comes at a time when the sector is in a downturn, says the executive director of the Ontario Prospectors Association.

When the strategy was developed nine years ago, Ontario’s mining sector was on an upturn, but the timing for the renewed strategy will give the province a very different picture, said Garry Clark.

“They have to understand – and they are coming to grips with the fact – that the only way we stay as a vibrant mining province is to have lots of things in the pipeline coming up from prospectors and junior companies to look at and put into production,” he said.

While Ontario’s mining sector has been in a downturn for two years, Clark said the province has only taken notice over the last six months.

Their statistics, he said, are usually a year behind. In a discussion paper meant to inform the renewed mineral development strategy, the province admits “Ontario could face many challenges in the years ahead.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

8th April 2015

Hollinger open pit taking shape – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – April 4, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Goldcorp has asked for, and has received permission, from Timmins city hall to extend the deadline for the Subsequent Land Use Plan — that’s the land reclamation plan on what will be created to replace the Hollinger open pit, once the mining has ended. City council recently approved the request, to allow Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines (PGM) push the deadline back from March 31, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2015.

This also means that the deadline for the final plan is being pushed back to the end of 2017. This is the second time the company has asked for an extension. Originally, the plan was to have been submitted by Nov. 11, 2014. Last fall, Goldcorp requested the first deadline extension to have a plan submitted March 31, 2015.

PGM was back at the council table just a couple of weeks ago to explain that things were not going along as quickly as anticipated. PGM general mines manager Brendan Zuidema told council the company has faced some delays and challenges.

“We have experienced several unexpected delays since signing the original agreement on Nov. 12, 2012, along with many other operational challenges caused by the worst weather we have experienced in many years,” said Zuidema. “Last year and this year, it has been pretty tough in the pit. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Gold and Silver, Goldcorp Inc., Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Timmins | 0 Comments

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