21st May 2015

Laurentian’s Bharti School of Engineering makes its mark – by Norm Tollinsky (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – May 2015)


Skyrocketing enrollment, national awards contribute to Bharti School’s stature as academic powerhouse.

It’s easy enough to illustrate the amazing growth of Laurentian University’s Bharti School of Engineering with a recitation of its skyrocketing enrollment numbers, but nothing speaks to the school’s stature as an academic powerhouse as eloquently as the awards its junior and senior teams took home from the 2015 Canadian Engineering Competition in March.

When the junior team won top honours at the Ontario Engineering Competition in February and the senior team came in second, both qualified to represent Ontario at the national competition at Memorial University in St. John’s.

“It was the first time that a university sent two teams to the competition and both won first prize,” said Bharti School director Dr. Ramesh Subramanian.

“It’s amazing how far we’ve come. We just had our iron ring ceremony and we had close to 90 students graduating. Less than 10 years ago, we had fewer than 15.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Mining Education and Innovation, Ontario Mining, Sudbury Laurentian University - Mining Faculties and Research | 0 Comments

21st May 2015

New mineral development strategy seeks to maintain Ontario’s pole position – by Simon Rees (MiningWeekly – May 20, 2015)


ToRONTO (miningweekly.com) – Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) executive adviser Rob Merwin recently stressed the importance of attracting back investment, especially in exploration, to the province, which currently had other jurisdictions champing at its heels for the title of Canada’s best mining destination.

The Ministry was currently seeking the opinion of industry, interest groups, the First Nations and the wider public to inform its new mineral development strategy for the next decade. The findings from MNDM’s strategy engagement would be collated and formally presented to the province this autumn. This would inform the drafting process for a formal release of the strategy on a yet-to-be-announced date.

“The intent is to listen and shepherd information about the state of the [mining and minerals] industry and some of the challenges and opportunities it faces. We will then take those ideas and thoughts and translate them into action and bring them forward to the government,” Merwin told an audience at an engagement meeting in Toronto on May 6.

The effort came at a time when the mining and exploration sector suffered the effects of the downcycle, with reduced capital investment and investment in exploration. “While the geology can’t move, we also know that people, technology and capital investment can go anywhere in the world. We need to attract that investment back,” he emphasised. Read the rest of this entry »

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

19th May 2015

Northeastern Ontario municipalities back First Nations’ proposal for a railway across traditional lands for Ring of Fire – by Len Gilles (Timmins Daily Press – May 19, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

Martin was a guest speaker at the spring meeting of NEOMA, the Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association, which met in Iroquois Falls on Friday.

He outlined for municipal leaders from across the North how the plan is to build and east-west rail corridor from Moosonee, up to Kashechewan and then over to Webequie, where the Ring Of Fire mining prospects are located. Further to that, Martin said Mushkegowuk also wants to install a high voltage hydro transmission line to the same area.

The Ring of Fire is the name given to the vast deposit of chromite and nickel, located in the McFauld’s Lake and Webequie area, about 600 kilometres north-west of Timmins. The prospect is valued in the tens of billions of dollars.

After an extensive presentation by Grand Chief Martin on Friday, NEOMA members voted on, and approved, a resolution of support put forward by the City of Timmins, seeking formal support for the Mushkegowuk plan.

Before the resolution could be voted on, Cochrane mayor Peter Politis stood up to say he had a concern about the Timmins resolution, which he said had a “nuance” about the conceptual support for Mushkegowuk to privatize the rail service in Northeastern Ontario. Read the rest of this entry »

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

19th May 2015

Editorial: Renewed focus on mine safety in Ontario (Northern Miner – May 13, 2015)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry.

A newly released coroner jury’s verdict and recommendations stemming from the two-week inquest into the deaths of two miners at Vale’s underground Stobie nickel mine in Sudbury, Ont., in 2011 has met with wide approval from all players in the tragedy.

Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, were killed on June 8, 2011, when a run of muck overcame them while they worked at the 3,000-foot level near the No. 7 ore pass. They were moving muck through a transfer gate when a sudden release of 350 tons of sandy muck and water broke through the gate. Both miners died from smothering and compressional asphyxia, and Chenier also suffered blunt-force injuries.

It turns out a crash gate into the area where the two were working had been left open, so the muck, which had been stuck in the ore pass, came loose and flooded the area.

After pleading guilty to three of six charges in 2013, Vale received the largest Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) fine ever issued in Ontario for the violations. Read the rest of this entry »

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

15th May 2015

[KGHM International] Energy plan to help new Sudbury mine – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – May 15, 2015)

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

A provincial government program to help new or expanding companies create jobs and cut electricity rates will help move the development of KGHM International’s Victoria Mine project forward.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli was in Sudbury on Thursday to announce details of the two-year-old Industrial Electricity Incentive (IEI) Program and how it will benefit the mining company.

The IEI Program captures surplus electricity capacity in Ontario and “redelivers” it to the industrial and business community in the form of significant cost discounts, helping them be more competitive, said the minister.

Sudbury can “legitimately be called the mining capital of the world,” Chiarelli told a small audience. Ensuring mining companies and industry have access to a reliable and affordable source of electricity is a priority for his government.

Existing northern miners, such as Glencore and Vale, are already benefiting from the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program, which is cutting about 25% of their electricity costs. Read the rest of this entry »

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

15th May 2015

[Ring of Fire] Minister marks mining week at TSX – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – May 15, 2015)

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

Anyone who says the federal government isn’t doing anything to advance development of the Ring of Fire hasn’t been paying attention, says Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford.

Rickford initiated the siren at the opening of business Thursday at the Toronto Stock Exchange to mark National Mining Week, a celebration of Canada’s leadership and expertise in the industry.

The minister hand-picked a who’s who of “movers and shakers” from Northern Ontario to accompany him at the ceremony and they met in a round-table session afterward to discuss mining in the Ring of Fire

Among those invited were Frank Smeenk, president and chief executive officer of KWG Resources, and Alan Coutts, president and CEO of Noront Resources. Noront recently purchased the assets of Cliffs Natural Resources in the Ring of Fire, making it the biggest player in the Ring.

Rickford took the opportunity when addressing the stock exchange to list the ways in which the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been working to get ready for mining the rich chromite deposits in the James Bay lowlands. Read the rest of this entry »

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

14th May 2015

NEWS RELEASE: Harte Gold and Technica Mining (A Division of Technica Group Inc.) Sign Agreement to Mine Sugar Zone Bulk Sample

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – May 13, 2015) – HARTE GOLD CORP. (“Harte Gold”) (TSX:HRT)(FRANKFURT:H4O)(OTC:HRTFF) and Technica Mining (“Technica”), a Sudbury, Ontario based mining contractor, are pleased to announce the signing of a Heads of Agreement (the “Agreement”) on Harte Gold’s Sugar Zone Deposit.

Highlights of the Agreement, Technica will:

  • Mine the 70,000 tonne bulk sample under a $20 million fixed price contract.
  • Receive $5 million of the fixed price contract amount in the form of Harte Gold common shares at $0.15/share, which shares will be held in escrow pending completion of the Bulk Sample.
  • Receive 1/4 warrant/share exercisable at $0.30/share for 18 months following completion of the Bulk Sample.
  • Be responsible for surface works, collaring the portal, underground development and mining work.
  • Have the option to put the shares back to Harte Gold within a 36 month period following completion of the Bulk Sample at a 100% premium provided that any such purchases by Harte Gold account for no more than 25% of Harte Gold’s free cash flow.

Highlights of the Bulk Sample: Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Gold and Silver, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

14th May 2015

Inside the secret, intricate world of diamonds – by Rita Celli (CBC News Business – May 14, 2015)


Cash only, hyper-secure world where very few know how stones are priced

“If you think platinum or gold is secret. It doesn’t hold a candlelight to diamonds,” says a smiling Ron Gashinski, retired Ontario geologist and one of the lead players to set up a controversial diamond royalty in the province.

“No one touches the diamonds. Not even the people cleaning them. They have to put their hands in a glove box,” says Gashinski. “The daily production is in a thermos, about the size of a Tim Horton’s coffee, and a guy with gloves hits a keypad so a door opens, and this arm puts the diamonds into a vault.”

Ontario’s only diamond mine, north of Attiwapiskat, is part of a high stakes, and secret world of diamonds. From the way the stones are stored, valued, and shipped around the world, the De Beers Victor mine is a piece of an intricate global puzzle. Everything is precise, and hyper-calculated.

“There are no accidents,” says Gashinski. “It is a strange business. A cash business. Before anyone can buy those diamonds from De Beers, they have to put cash in the bank. There are no lines of credit. It’s a built in ‘I trust you when the money is in the bank, up until then these are my diamonds.'” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, De Beers Canada, Diamonds, Northern Ontario Politics, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

14th May 2015

Diamond cutting takes tenuous hold in Sudbury, Ont. – by Rita Celli (CBC News Business – May 14, 2015)


Community leaders say too many jobs were filled by outsiders

The future of diamond-cutting in Sudbury, Ont., remains unclear as De Beer’s Victor mine is set to operate only for the next four years, removing its highest quality supplier of stones.

Retired Ontario gemmologist Ron Gashinski says the government fought hard for a ‘beneficiation’ agreement with De Beers to ensure that at least 10 per cent of the diamonds harvested from the Victor mine would be cut and polished in Canada.

Many of the diamonds that are cut and polished at the Crossworks facility in Sudbury come from De Beers Victor mine, Ontario’s first and only diamond mine; a remote operation that’s a one-and-a-half hour direct charter flight north of Timmins.

“It’s like you’re only getting Dom Perignon. You’re not getting the Baby Duck,” enthuses Dylan Dix, an executive for Crossworks.

“You have such a high level of gem quality. It’s essentially an anomaly,” says Dix. “Such wonderful, beautiful diamond crystals. It’s quite a pleasure to polish them.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, De Beers Canada, Diamonds, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

14th May 2015

Excerpt From Call of the Northland: Riding the Train That Nearly Toppled a Government – by Thomas Blampied

To order a copy of Call of the Northland: Riding the Train That Nearly Toppled a Government, click here: http://www.northland-book.net/buy.html

Historian, author and photographer Thomas Blampied has been interested in railways for as long as he can remember. Growing up east of Toronto, he spent summer evenings sitting trackside with his father watching streamlined VIA trains race past and long freight trains rumble by. From these early railway experiences grew a lifelong passion for railways and rail travel which has manifested itself through model railroading, photography, writing, railway preservation and the academic study of railway history. This is his fourth book about railways in Ontario. He has studied in both Canada and the United Kingdom and currently resides in Southern Ontario.

Chapter 1: First Steps to the North

The day of the trip: before dawn. Up around five, I was packed and ready to go. My journey would take two trains: one west into Toronto and then one north to Cochrane. I had some breakfast, never much on travel or photo days, and got a ride to the Whitby Station. It was a cold and drizzly morning in late April as I waited on the platform for the 6:18 GO train to Toronto. I must have looked odd, standing with all my bags and winter coat in the rain, among the latest spring fashions.

The train arrived and I boarded with the commuters – all of them pushy and determined to have their seat. As usual, I sat up behind the crew, but was disappointed to see that the window separating the crew and passengers had been boarded up. I had liked looking through this window for years as I could see the track ahead from the crew’s point of view.

The weather did not improve as we rolled along the GO Subdivision (the operational name for a particular stretch of track, a subdivision is often referred to as a Sub), running parallel to Highway 401. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Books and Music About Mining and Northern Topics, Mining Railway Issues, Northern Ontario Politics, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

13th May 2015

Engineering firm focuses on tailings, backfill management – by Jonathan Migneault (Northern Ontario Business – May 12, 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.

To the untrained eye, a visit to Kovit Engineering’s lab in Sudbury looks like a number of adults playing with combinations of sand, silt and water.

On the surface, the lab might have a lot in common with a child’rens playground, and the wide-eyed experimentation that comes with getting one’s hands dirty.

But to Frank Palkovits, one of Kovit Engineering’s four co-owners, what goes on in the 3,500-square-foot laboratory is serious business. Kovit Engineering consults with mines around the world to help them manage their on-surface tailings and backfill.

The company specializes in what it calls “paste technology,” first developed by Inco in Sudbury, and later perfected by Golder Paste Technology in the mid-1990s.

Palkovits worked for both companies, and in June 2011 teamed up with Paul Rantala, Steve Reichle and Mark Wallgren to found Kovit Engineering. Read the rest of this entry »

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

13th May 2015

A mug full of diamonds: A reporter’s notebook from the Victor mine – by Rita Celli (CBC News Business – May 13, 2015)


Only way to get to Ontario’s only diamond mine, 1,100 km due north of Toronto, is by plane

“It’s one of the most beautiful places up here. You can see rock islands. You can see moose,” says Terry Ternes, environmental manager at Ontario’s only diamond mine, located in the James Bay lowlands.

“The Attawapiskat River is gorgeous in the summer ime. Just majestic,” Ternes adds. We’re overlooking the water, at the company’s treatment plant, and the view is breathtaking, even with the snow falling and a bitter whipping wind.

Ternes is in charge of reclaiming the land when the De Beers mine closes in four years. His work includes collecting seeds and cones from area trees to replant. His team is also tracking caribou that migrate around the region.

“I’m a farm boy from Saskatchewan. I farm. This is no different,” Ternes says. “When we leave here, this land is going to be in the same shape as we found it.” Ontario environmental commissioner Gord Miller says De Beers has the best data on caribou in Northern Ontario. The company has been monitoring the herds for several years and is providing good baseline biological data.

Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, De Beers Canada, Diamonds, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

13th May 2015

Mining towns in Ontario feel shortchanged on resource riches – by Rita Celli (CBC News Business – May 13, 2015)


For Rita Celli’s CBC Radio program on “Ontario’s mining take: Should the Auditor General investigate?” click here: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Ontario/Ontario+Today/ID/2667143028/

Province gets mining tax, while northern towns get potholes and a shrinking share of property taxes

Ontario mining towns with rich gold and nickel deposits sit on billions in resources, but they feel poor and ignored.

“You get to a point you’re frustrated. You can only go to the well so often,” says Red Lake Mayor Phil Vinet. “The last couple of times I just felt like I was farting against thunder.”

The northern leaders often appear to be stuck in a perpetual fight to squeeze more money and basic information from mining companies and the provincial government.

Red Lake is built on gold. During the gold rush in 1936, Red Lake claims to have had the busiest airport in the world, surpassing Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Paris, London and Toronto. Except there was no airport — planes landed on the lake in summer and on ice in the winter. The biggest mine is operated today by Goldcorp. The owners have changed over the years, but the same mine is still giving up gold after decades. Read the rest of this entry »

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

13th May 2015

Ontario mining safety review prioritizing proposals (CBC News Sudbury – May 13, 2015)


After the fanfare of putting out mining safety proposals, they get shortlisted for action

Some members of the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review are pushing ahead to turn safety recommendations into legislation. The chair of the committee, George Gritziotis is also the province’s Chief Prevention Officer.

He said he will soon be meeting with an advisory group which is prioritizing proposals from the review, as well as a recent inquest in Sudbury. Gritziotis said the 24 recommendations from the inquest into the deaths of Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier at Stobie Mine in Sudbury overlap, or dovetail, with the 18 from the review.

“You know there are recommendations in there that speak to hazards that are present in the workplace today that we want to move on right away,” he said.

“Following our May meeting, we will begin prioritizing which ones we are going to push forward on, and which are priority areas based on a number of things including risk assessment, our data around evidence and discussions we have with our partners. In terms of timeline it’s going to be a busy six to twelve months.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

12th May 2015

ONTARIO MINING ASSOCIATION NEWS RELEASE: Looking Beneath the Surface – How Mining Taxes Benefit Ontario

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.

When assessing provincial revenues from mining, one must take into account that Ontario’s mining tax is really just the tip of the proverbial iceberg with regards to the sector’s economic contribution to the province. Mining tax is paid on top of all corporate taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes, permitting fees and other business taxes. When added up, Ontario mining companies’ tax contributions to all levels of government are more than $1 billion annually, which pays for necessities such as roads, schools, hospitals, community centres, electrical grid access for remote communities, and other public good priorities. The value of mineral production in Ontario was $11 billion in 2014.

All jurisdictions must balance the need for capital investment to develop their mineral resources with the desire to increase revenue through higher taxation. There are many models for meeting this challenge – in Ontario, we don’t risk the taxpayer funding up front by paying for infrastructure and offering competitive hydro rates. Instead, we require mining companies to take on the risk, and subsequently offer tax breaks when the project is up and running, employing and spending.

Benchmarking the cost to mine in Ontario, therefore, requires “apples to apples” comparisons. Jurisdictions with higher mining tax rates have lower electricity prices and government cost-sharing on infrastructure. A recent report indicates that exploration and mining costs are particularly inflated in the North, where companies need to invest in lacking, but essential infrastructure such as ports, power plants, winter and permanent roads, and accommodation facilities. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Ontario Mining, Ontario Mining Association | 0 Comments

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