OMA member profile: Osisko Mining — historic connection and future prospects

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.

From its headquarters in Montreal, Osisko Mining is constructing a solid foundation to become a successful mid-tier gold producer.  The company poured its first bullion bar in April 2011 at its flagship and 100% owned Canadian Malartic gold mine in Quebec.

With its two main projects – Canadian Malartic and Hammond Reef — the company anticipates being a million ounce per year producer by 2016.  While the company directs its activities firmly into the future, its name has historic roots.  Osisko Lake in Northwestern Quebec is where Noranda founder Edmond Henry Horne made his first significant mineral discovery.

Commercial production from Canadian Malartic, which is located about 25 kilometres west of Val d’Or, started in June of this year, six years after the first exploration drill hole was struck on the property.  It is estimated this mine will produce on average about 575,000 ounces of gold annually over its anticipated 16 year mine life. Continue Reading →

No joint review, no Ring of Fire: Matawa chiefs – by Rick Garrick (Wawatay News – October 27, 2011)

Wawatay News is Northern Ontario’s First Nation Voice with offices in Sioux Lookout, Timmins and Thunder Bay.

The chiefs of Matawa First Nations have withdrawn their support for development in the Ring of Fire. The Oct. 21 announcement comes after the federal government announced plans to conduct an environmental study of a potential mine project in the Ring of Fire, an area in the James Bay lowlands near several Matawa communities.

But Matawa chiefs said they want a more thorough study of the chromite mine proposed by Cliffs Natural Resources, a company based out of Cleveland, Ohio. Constance Lake Chief Roger Wesley said that request fell on deaf ears by the federal agency responsible for environmental studies.

“We will be forced to resort to alternative measures if Canada and Ontario continue to ignore the First Nations that are being impacted by Ring of Fire developments,” Wesley said. “We want development, but we also want to make sure that our lands, waters, wildlife, and our way of life are not destroyed in the process.” Continue Reading →

The Right Footing: Rio Tinto Alcan and the Haisla First Nation – by David Hicks (The Global Commodities Report – October 2011)

Published by New Vanguard Media, The Global Commodities Report is a digital magazine about the benefits of resource business.

The Kitimat aluminum smelter was built smack in the middle of the claimed traditional territory of the Haisla First Nation back in the oblivious 1950s. With a $2.5 billion upgrade in the works, it was time to re-engineer the social relationship as well.

A long overdue formal agreement, called the “Haisla Nation – Rio Tinto Alcan Legacy Agreement”, has been achieved between Rio Tinto Alcan, the owner and operator of the aluminum smelter at Kitimat, British Columbia, and the Haisla First Nation, both of whom reside at the headwaters of the Douglas Channel in northwestern BC.

While the first relationship protocol and series of meetings between the parties began just over a decade ago, the current relationship took work, but both parties ratified the 30-year renewable agreement in support of the aluminum operations at Kitimat. Continue Reading →

Finding the golden lining [Nuinsco Resources] – by Thomas Watson (Canadian Business Magazine – October 19, 2011)

Executives from Nuinsco Resources, a Toronto-based mineral exploration company, recently checked in to the Corinthia Hotel in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The oval-shaped structure is known locally as Gadhafi’s Egg; its construction was financed by the notorious Libyan leader. The executives were there to pursue mining opportunities in Sudan, a country with a rough reputation in the Canadian business community and where, until recently, only mad dictators would consider investing in real estate.

For more than two decades, Sudan has been ruled by the Islamist government of Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, who spent decades locked in a brutal civil war with Christian separatists in the south. Accused of genocide in the country’s Darfur region, al-Bashir is officially listed as a sponsor of terror by the United States and wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

Nevertheless, he earned some credit for allowing the referendum that recently led to an independent South Sudan and effectively ended the country’s war. But Sudan must now confront a severe economic crisis. The country’s annualized rate of inflation was 21% in August, and its division this summer handed the south custody of most oil assets. As a result, the nation is looking to expand its minerals industry. Continue Reading →

[Pierre Lassonde] Mining entrepreneur’s university donation digging for ‘renaissance engineers’ – by James Bradshaw (Globe and Mail – November 1, 2011)

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.

“Canada’s natural resource is not our oil, it’s not
our minerals, it’s not our forests: It’s our young
people … If you try to compete against China on wages,
you’re gonna be a poor country. You’ve got to compete
on brains.” (Mining Entrepeneur – Pierre Lassonde)

When mining entrepreneur Pierre Lassonde announces a $25-million gift to York University on Tuesday, he’s hoping it will do more than build a new engineering school – he wants to help groom a generation of “renaissance engineers.”

It’s a term he credits to his late wife, who saw the engineer of the future not just as a problem solver or functionary builder, but a sort of modern Michelangelo – expert and agile in more than one discipline, but also eager to consider and communicate how engineering relates to matters of sustainability, health, safety and civil society.

“You are an engineer, but at the same time you are an artist and you have to be able to tell the world how what you’re doing is going to benefit the world,” Mr. Lassonde said, leaning across a boardroom table at the Toronto offices of the mining and energy royalty company Franco Nevada, where he is chairman. Continue Reading →

Have engineering companies found a secret for successful employee engagement?

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.

Mining in Ontario continues to face current and future human resource challenges due to industry growth and pending retirements from the existing workforce.  Attracting and retaining employees for the right jobs in the right locations is a key strategy to be successful. 

The Mining Industry Human Resource Council (MiHR) indicates Ontario’s mining industry will need between 5,578 and 17,000-plus new employees leading up to 2018.  That range is based on different scenarios for global demand of metal and minerals.  Ontario Mining Association President Chris Hodgson is a Director on the MiHR Board.

A recently released best employer study rates employee engagement as a key indicator for success in attracting in retaining workers.  Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers in Canada study, which looked at 261 employers with a total of 112,000 employees, said the average engagement score for the top 50 companies was 78% while the average engagement score of the other companies was 58%. Continue Reading →

Jobs waiting for hard rock mining grads – by Chris Ribau (Timmins Daily Press – November 1, 2011)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

First group to complete program at Northern College

The first graduates have completed the Basic Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program at Northern College. The Porcupine Campus, in partnership with Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines, held a luncheon Monday to honour the students who graduated from the 12-week program.

“We’re here to celebrate the journey of the first group of graduates in our industry leading Basic Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program,” said Norm Bolduc, training consultant for Northern College.

Peter MacLean, vice-president of Northern College, offered some encouraging words for the graduates. Continue Reading →

[Aboriginal Mining] Ontario Far North Act: Reducing Aboriginal Poverty through Parks or Mines? – by Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant and columnist who blogs at: He can be reached at

Honourable Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper at the Agnico-Eagle Meadowbank Mine, Nunavut

There are many reasons that contributed to Premier McGuinty’s minority government in the recent Ontario election. However, one of the most contentious issues contributing to his decline in the vast regions of the North – an area that is seldom on the Toronto media’s agenda – was the much detested Far North Act. Praised by the south’s many well-funded and powerful environmental groups, this legislation cuts off half of the Far North – 225,000 square kilometers – to resource development, roughly 21 per cent of the province’s landmass and turns it into natural parks.

As they often say, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” The horrific downside to this green ideology is that mineral exploration and potential mines – the only form of economic development that could reduce the impoverished, third-world living conditions in First Nation communities – is being reduced or stopped in the affected territory.

A generation ago the destruction of the fur industry in northern Aboriginal communities by an aggressive, media-savvy environmental movement caused enormous economic hardships and contributed many social ills. Are McGuinty and his environmental thugs doing the same with their parks agenda? Is the Far North Act inherently “Anti-Aboriginal”? Continue Reading →

The West grabbing a growing share of Canada’s investment capital – by Gordon Hamilton (Vancouver Sun – October 29, 2011)

The Vancouver Sun, a broadsheet daily paper first published in 1912, has the largest circulation in the province of British Columbia.

Strong commodities markets, especially mining, pulling growing volume of M&A activity to western provinces

The Western provinces are taking a bigger share of Canadian business investment as a result of the global commodities boom, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on mergers and acquisitions shows.

Ontario and Quebec continue to be the top investment destination, according to the report Deals Quarterly Special Feature, but the two Central Canada provinces are losing market share to the West. The report looks at merger and acquisition activity province-by-province over the last 10 years.

“There is certainly a shift, a trend,” Kristian Knibutat, PwC Canadian deals leader, said in a teleconference on the report Friday. He said the geographic shift comes as no surprise, given the “super cycle” that commodities have been experiencing over the decade. Continue Reading →

American nimbyism real threat to Canada – by Diane Francis (National Post – October 29, 2011)

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

The United States has become the world’s ultimate Banana Republic, a nation choked by the “Build-Absolutely-Nothing-Anywhere-Near-Anyone” people who prowl its corridors of power.

This, more than any Greek, Euro or banking crises, threatens Canadian living standards.

America’s political gridlock afflicts all forms of industrial or energy development. It is harming U.S. living standards and job creation that indirectly hurts Canada because of the close economic partnership. More specifically, the Banana mentality is threatening Canada’s critically important oil sands and the building of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline to bring 700,000 barrels a day of new production to the U.S. market. Continue Reading →

The stranded oil sands: A worst-case scenario – by Claudia Cattaneo (National Post – October 29, 2011)

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

The signs are there: the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline has festered into an uncomfortable election issue for the U.S. president, Barack Obama. The upshot for Canada: a decision on whether to grant a Presidential permit, promised by year end, could once again be delayed.

The reality is that anything short of a go-ahead in December for Keystone XL would plunge the oil sands sector into disarray until new solutions move forward. The worst-case scenario? Stranded oil sands — for years.

Keystone XL, with a capacity to carry up to 830,000 barrels a day from Alberta to Texas, was due for startup in early 2013. There is no backup on the same scale or timeline.

“Everybody in the industry is thinking about this,” said Bob Dunbar, president of Strategy West Inc., an oil sands consultancy based in Calgary. Continue Reading →

Bill Doyle: A passion for feeding a growing world – by Jacquie McNish (Globe and Mail – October 29, 2011)

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.

SASKATOON— Almost a year to the day after Ottawa called a halt to the bruising 100-day Potash War, its victorious general has little interest in reliving old stories from the battlefield.

“It was an experience,” Bill Doyle allows when asked about BHP Billiton’s foiled bid to acquire Canada’s potash champion, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, where he has been chief executive officer since 1999.

But what about the nationalist outcry against the deal? The duel with BHP’s Marius Kloppers, whose hostile takeover attempt thrust Potash Corp. into a global spotlight? The stinging criticisms of Mr. Doyle’s decision to make his home in Chicago? Ottawa’s dramatic, 11th-hour rejection of the takeover bid?

“A distraction,” he says with a dismissive wave of his hand during our lunch at Truffles, a small bistro in downtown Saskatoon that specializes in local produce. Continue Reading →

Closing the [Canadian] innovation gap – by Carol Goar (Toronto Star – October 21, 2011)

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.

The role of the provinces would be to target subsidies
at emerging industries (Premier Dalton McGuinty’s green
energy program is an example) and regional clusters
(biotechnology and life sciences in Toronto, high-tech
development in Waterloo, mining technology in Sudbury).
(Carol Goar – Toronto Star Editorial Board)

For roughly 30 years, Ottawa has been pouring taxpayers’ dollars into Canada’s “innovation gap” — and achieving precious little.

The government spends roughly $5 billion a year to induce business to invest in research and product development. Cabinet ministers regularly exhort corporate leaders for their unwillingness to use their earnings to leap ahead of their global competitors. Conferences are held, reports written.

Yet according to the latest statistics from the Organization for Economic Growth and Development, Canada remains at the back of pack in terms of private spending on research and development (16th out of 27 industrial countries).

This record of failure calls for a “fundamental reordering of how innovation, research and development are funded in Canada,” says the Mowat Centre in a provocative new study. Continue Reading →

Truth time on Thompson, Manitoba smelter and refinery – Editorial (Thompson Citizen – October 26, 2011)

The Thompson Citizen, which was established in June 1960, covers the City of Thompson and Nickel Belt Region of Northern Manitoba. The city has a population of about 13,500 residents while the regional population is more than 40,000.

It’s time for all the parties or stakeholders to tell the truth about Vale’s plan, announced almost a year ago, to close the Thompson refinery and smelter in 2015. And the truth is the smelter and refinery is closing. Vale has been consistent in their position on this since the day they made the bombshell announcement last Nov. 17.

You don’t have to like that piece of bad news delivered by Tito Martins, chief executive officer of Vale Canada in Toronto and executive director of base metals for the Brazilian parent company, or for that matter you don’t have to like Martins’ direct style or Martins’ himself even. That’s OK.

But you have to give credit where credit is due and Tito Martins has been nothing but a straight shooter on the company’s position on closing the smelter and refinery. He’s told people involved privately what he’s said publicly. And just in case anyone didn’t get the message Nov. 17, 2010 he reiterated it in person Jan. 26 at the Juniper Centre at the Thompson Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting. Continue Reading →

Exploration company issues donation challenge – By Chris Ribau (Timmins Daily Press – October 28, 2011)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

Solid Gold Resources Corporation contributes to 2012 Timmins Centennial Legacy Project

The management of Solid Gold Resources Corporation took the opportunity Thursday to demonstrate their commitment to the community and also honour the pioneers who initiated one of the largest ever gold rushes ever.

The company donated $1,000 to the Porcupine Prospectors and Developers Association in support of the 2012 Timmins Centennial Legacy Project. The project aims to erect three bronze statues honouring John S. Wilson, Sandy McIntyre and Benjamin Hollinger.

“It is a privilege to be part of the Timmins 100th anniversary celebration,” said Darryl Stretch, president of Solid Gold. “Names like Wilson, McIntyre and Hollinger are synonymous with the spectacular discoveries that launched one of the biggest gold rushes in history and led to the founding of Timmins in 1912.” Continue Reading →