2011 PDAC Environmental & Social Responsibility Award – IAMGOLD Corporation

(L to R) Stephen Letwin, IAMGOLD Corporation President and CEO; Tony Andrews, PDAC Executive Director

For a video documentary of IAMGOLD Corporation’s CSR program, please go here: http://www.pdac.ca/pdac/programs/awards/award-winners-video-environmental.html

This award honours an individual or organization demonstrating outstanding initiative, leadership and accomplishment in protecting and preserving the natural environment and/or in establishing good community relations during an exploration program or operation of a mine.

 The PDAC has selected IAMGOLD Corporation to receive the Environmental & Social Responsibility Award for the company’s commitment to excellence in environmental stewardship, community engagement, and health and safety, particularly during exploration. IAMGOLD has operating mines and exploration projects in West Africa, South America and Québec.

The company’s frameworks for health and safety management and sustainability are informed by international standards and good practices (including the PDAC’s e3 Plus) and are used to create performance criteria and measurable results for all of its operations. The company was the top extractive company and third overall in the 2010 Globe and Mail’s ranking of environmental and social and governance performance of Canada’s largest companies in the S&P/TSX 60 Index.

2011 PDAC (Prospector of the Year) Bill Dennis Award Winner for gold discoveries in the Yukon – Shawn Ryan

(L to R) Shawn Ryan, PDAC Prospector of the Year; PDAC President Scott Jobin-Bevans

For a video documentary of Shawn Ryan’s disovery, please go here: http://www.pdac.ca/pdac/programs/awards/award-winners-video-dennis.html

This award, named for a former president of the association, honours individuals who have accomplished one or both of the following: made a significant mineral discovery; made an important contribution to the prospecting and/or exploration industry. The award may also be used to recognize an important mineral discovery in Canada. 
Prospector Shawn Ryan wins this year’s Bill Dennis Award for his gold discoveries in Yukon. Ryan worked for close to 15 years to locate the source of the alluvial gold found in the Klondike gold fields. In 2004 he identified the anomaly that led Underworld Resources to its White Gold deposit and a subsequent $138-million takeover by Kinross. Ryan’s efforts and eventual success have had a positive impact on exploration in the Yukon, with a six-fold increase in exploration spending from $30 million at the beginning of this decade to an estimated $183 million in 2010.

Ryan worked for close to 15 years to locate the source of the alluvial gold that sparked the Klondike gold rush more than a century ago. In 2004 he identified the anomaly that led Underworld Resources to its White Gold deposit and a subsequent $138-million takeover by Kinross Gold Corporation. Ryan’s efforts and prospecting success have had a substantial impact on exploration in Yukon, stimulating renewed exploration interest and activity in the territory.

Housing bonanza hits a snag in booming Kirkland Lake – by Nick Stewart

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. This article is from the March, 2011 issue.

Low assessments, high development costs pose major challenges

The explosive need for new homes in Kirkland Lake is being thwarted by low assessment values and expensive infrastructure improvements. After years of wishing for opportunities to grow its dwindling population, the City of Kirkland Lake is struggling to accommodate the thousands of people soon to be pounding on its doors.

With low assessment values and limited finances, the municipality largely lacks the resources it needs to build out the infrastructure that has suddenly become necessary to house a strong influx of mining workers. Estimates provided by the city indicate that 2,000 full-time production workers will be in place by 2013, with an additional 1,500 needed through development and construction of new projects.

“It’s really ironic, because 10 years ago, we were sitting at a table with the senior levels of government and saying, ‘We’re dying, we need your help,’ and we were told there were no programs in place to help us,” said Wilfred Hass, the city’s economic development officer. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE (BESTECH): Vale and Xstrata Commission Energy Management Solution that Can Save Mines Millions in Energy Costs

Founded in 1995, BESTECH was created to address the need for system integration and industrial automation. By developing a very specialized skill set, BESTECH quickly gained recognition as a leader in industrial automation, engineering, software development and energy management. With over a decade of sustainable growth, BESTECH developed its strong industry expertise, by responding and developing innovative technologies that helps companies in mining, pulp and paper, forestry, oil and gas, manufacturing, municipal and commercial industries internationally enhance their productivity, profitability and safety . www.bestech.com

The mining industry world-wide has more than its fair share of challenges today–from stringent environmental and regulatory pressures to an urgent need to improve operational costs, productivity and safety, all while having to mine deeper than ever before.

Aware of these challenges, BESTECH, one of Canada’s leading providers of engineering, automation, software development and energy management services, has been developing a novel solution to address these challenges in mines for years. Their team of experts have perfected a multi-faceted solution called NRG1-ECO (Energy Consumption Optimization) that helps mining companies gain better control of their processes, energy usage, equipment, safety and energy costs. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto’s new [iron ore] opportunities for industry growth – Sam Walsh: Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Iron Ore & Australia (24 March 2011)

This speech was given by Sam Walsh – Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Iron Ore & Australia – at the Metal Bulletin Conference, Beijing, China on March 24, 2011.

Thank you Mr Li.

Before I start, I would like to acknowledge the recent tragic events in Japan, as a result of the earthquake and subsequent Tsunami.

The unfolding story has been most graphic and the human, business and social costs just extraordinary.  Many of you here today will have close links with Japan and our sympathies go out to them at this difficult time.

The past year has been a remarkable one, notable not only for the steady emergence from the global financial crisis but also the domestic challenges thrown up by government taxation issues and greenhouse gas schemes. In our business, it is difficult enough to manage the manageable, and with such huge investments of risk capital at stake, it is important to get the policy settings right and then stick to them.

The global scene has also shifted, with several major producers altering their marketing arrangements such that pricing of iron ore moved away from the annual benchmark negotiations we had relied on for many years to a new, not altogether settled quarterly pricing system we have now.

Time will tell if it remains the preferred means of matching buyers with producers while also incentivising sufficient new supply to meet global needs. Continue Reading →

Vale CEO Roger Agnelli Takes Technology Underground – by Susan Caminiti (NYSE Magazine)

This article is from the First Quarter 2011 issue of NYSE Magazine, a quarterly publication of NYSE Euronext, provides insights into the world’s best companies, giving readers a close-up look at the distinguished leaders that constitute the NYSE community. Each issue centers around opinions, strategies and ideas from senior executives who lead the corporate world, focusing on what makes companies succeed.

“What we are investing in new technologies – to reduce emissions, to develop new products and to [be] more cost-efficient – will drive Vale’s growth.” – Roger Agnelli, president and CEO, Vale

Iron Man

With skills in banking and a passion for engineering, Agnelli aims to make Vale the biggest mining company in the world.

In northern Brazil, in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, is the Carajás mining complex, where a reported 300,000 tons of iron ore are extracted each day. To ensure that the mines at Carajás are working as efficiently as possible, owner Vale SA (VALE), Brazil’s largest mining company as measured by revenue, built an operational control center within the complex in 2007 that essentially acts like the mine’s brain, explains President and CEO Roger Agnelli.

He says everything to do with operations within the enormous mine — the equipment used there, treatment plants for the ore, and dispatch facilities — is monitored and controlled remotely through the use of satellites. Engineers, he points out, can see what’s happening at any stage of production: how a particular piece of equipment is working, for example, or how much ore is in a crusher at any given moment. They can also make corrections or changes in real time.

Walking through this control center and visiting Vale’s geologists and engineers to see what new ideas they have dreamed up is one aspect that Agnelli, 50, says he truly enjoys about his job. “I’m crazy about technology and innovation,” he says from the company’s Rio de Janeiro headquarters. “I love to visit the different operations to see what they’re working on and how they’re figuring things out.” Agnelli oversees a global mining empire with 115,000 employees (its own and contractors) spread across 38 countries on five continents. Continue Reading →

Why I Support the People of Thompson, Canada — And You Should Too – by Michael Moore (February 25, 2011)

Michael Moore is an Academy-Award winning filmmaker and best-selling author. http://www.michaelmoore.com/

To people down here in the U.S., Thompson, Canada and its fight with the Brazilian mining giant Vale may seem very far away. It’s not.

(Don’t be embarrassed if you need a map to find Thompson, though — blame the U.S. media, which will only tell you about Canadians if they have some connection to Justin Bieber.)

Right now Thompson is fighting a frontline battle in a war that’s been raging for the past 30 years — the global war of the world’s rich on the middle class. It’s a war the people of Flint and all of Michigan know much too well. It’s a war going on right now in Wisconsin. And it’s a war where the middle class just won a round in Egypt. (You probably didn’t know — because the U.S. media was too busy telling you about Justin Bieber — that Gamal Mubarak, son of Egypt’s dictator and his chosen successor, worked for years for Bank of America.)

Here’s what’s happening in Thompson, and why it matters so much: Continue Reading →

Mining for victory [Inco, Nickel, World War Two] – by Stan Sudol (National Post – August 25, 2005)

Inco World War Two Poster

Inco World War Two Poster

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant who writes extensively on mining issues. stan.sudol@republicofmining.com

The Royal Canadian Mint last spring introduced the Victory Anniversary Nickel to commemorate the sacrifices and achievements of our fighting forces in the Second World War. In Sudbury and Port Colborne, Ont., that victory coin has many additional memories, especially for Inco Ltd and its work force.

During the war years, International Nickel Company of Canada, as it was known back then, and its employees in Sudbury and Port Colborne, supplied 95% of all Allied demands for nickel — a vital raw material critical for our final victory.

In fact, for much of the past century the leading source of this essential metal was the legendary Sudbury Basin; the South Pacific island of New Caledonia came a distant second. Until the mid-seventies, Sudbury supplied up to 90% of world demand during some periods. Continue Reading →

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Chief’s gather in Timmins to discuss resources – by Kate McLaren (The Daily Press, March 24, 2011)

Kate McLaren is a reporter for The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at news@thedailypress.ca.

“The government has a responsibility to protect First Nations people, and it’s their
duty to consult. That duty should not be given to the industries themselves, unless
it’s agreed upon through talks between First Nations people and government officials.” 
(Raymond Ferris – Ring of Fire co-ordinator for Matawa First Nation)

As First Nation chiefs from 49 Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) communities gather this week for the 2011 Winter Chiefs Assembly, the theme of the conference — Our Land, Our Resources — reflects current frustrations in First Nations communities.

“The discussions are centred around resource development, as it applies to both the written and spirited intent of Treaty 9,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. “A hundred years ago, we signed a treaty that gave us peaceful and shared land, and said we would share in any wealth generated from that land.”

The conference, which began on Tuesday and concludes Thursday, features various presentations. Beardy said one of the highlights was the discussion around proposed mining developments in the Far North.

“The focus is around the implementation of these various treaty rights. We’d like the government to be more respectful of those rights.” Continue Reading →

[Canada Mining] Underground Takeover – by Mike Blanchfield (Sharp April, 2011)

Sharp is Canada’s largest men’s lifestyle magazine, covering fashion, technology, cars, food, booze, culture and current events from an intelligent Canadian perspective. Subscribe to the magazine and the Sharp Insider newsletter at Sharpformen.com

Mike Blanchfield covers international affairs for The Canadian Press in Ottawa.

Underground Takeover – Mike Blanchfield

Foreign Companies are lining up to buy the extraction rights to Canadian oil, nickel and potash and spending billions in the process. Are we selling our birthright?

The town of Kitimat was born in the brash 1950s, the product of a successful marriage between herculean feats of engineering and unabashed visions of grandeur.

Canadian captains of industry carved the town out of old growth forest at the end of the Kitimat River, blasting an industry out of British Columbia’s rugged Coast Mountain range that would sustain its people for the next half-century. The engineers of Alcan – then the Aluminum Company of Canada – saw a rich future in this rugged northwestern BC terrain. The company built the town over four years, as 35,000 workers bored a 16-kilometre tunnel through the mountains and erected a massive hydroelectric dam and aluminum smelter. In August 1954, when Kitimat produced its first batch of aluminum, Prince Phillip was on hand to help celebrate the day. Continue Reading →

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) Ring of Fire Investigative Report (October 18, 2010)

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (more commonly referred to as APTN) is a Canadian broadcast and cable television network. APTN airs and produces programs made by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples. It is noted as the first of its kind in the world and is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Wiki)

APTN Investigates, with host/producer Cheryl McKenzie, is an investigative journalism program that goes beyond the headlines to uncover the truth behind the most controversial Aboriginal news stories. Last October, 2010, the program produced a two-part series on the Ring of Fire mining camp in Northern Ontario’s Hudson Bay Lowlands. – APTN

Untapped mineral wealth under the ground in Northern Ontario will be a boon for mining companies and the provincial government. But local First Nations worry the riches will all flow south, leaving their people to deal with the leftover environmental damage for generations to come. How are First Nations coping with this 21st Century gold rush? APTN Investigates looks into the Ring of Fire and measures the burning desire to benefit from this mass of minerals.- APTN

Host/producer Michael Hutchinson reports from the Ring of Fire:



PDAC NEWS RELEASE: Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada welcomes extension of mineral exploration incentive in 2011 federal budget

TORONTO (March 22, 2011) – Scott Jobin-Bevans, president of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), expressed support for the inclusion of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) in the Government of Canada’s budget, announced today. 
“On behalf of our members, many of whom are involved in raising financing for grassroots exploration, I am pleased that the federal government has proposed that the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit be extended for another year,” said Dr. Jobin-Bevans. “Investment in mineral exploration is the first step in addressing Canada’s decline in mineral reserves and the METC program plays a critical role in encouraging investment in Canadian-based projects.”
The 2011 federal budget proposes that the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, known also as the super flow-through share program, that was due to expire at the end of March 2011 be extended for an additional year to March 31, 2012. As stated in today’s budget, exploration and development of Canada’s rich mineral resources offer important investment and employment benefits in many parts of the country, particularly in rural and remote regions. Continue Reading →

PDAC NEWS RELEASE: Highlights from the 2011 PDAC International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange

TORONTO (March 22, 2011) Where the world’s mineral industry meets just about sums up this year’s PDAC International Convention. Total attendance was a record-breaking 27,700, up by 26% or 5,000 from last year. Attendees included registered delegates, exhibitors, investors, speakers, sponsors, students, media, staff and volunteers.

In all, 1,000 companies showcased their discoveries and wares at the Trade Show and Investors Exchange in an exhibit space covering the equivalent of eight football pitches. Sixty companies were featured in the Core Shack.

More than 50 foreign delegations, many of them headed by government ministers, attended. The largest contingents came from Argentina, Chile, China, India, Mexico and Peru. Many countries booked rooms where their governments could promote mining and investment opportunities, and the crowds flocked to find out more about Armenia, Bolivia, Portugal, Australia, Greenland, Brazil. Ecuador, South Africa, Peru, Chile, Colombia and India. Continue Reading →

Thompson Citizen Editorial: Hats off to the save-the-smelter team (February 23, 2011)

This article was originally published in the Thompson Citizen which was established in June 1960. The Citizen 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.

February 23, 2011

While we haven’t written in this space about the local Vale refinery and smelter saga since Jan. 5, it hasn’t been for lack of interest in recent weeks. Rather, we stepped back to watch events unfold and see how things play out a bit before offering our two cents again from the cheap seats.

At the same time, however, we are cognizant that some things merit commenting on along the way before the final chapter is written in this story, which is likely some time away given the final shutdown isn’t scheduled until 2015. It’s probably trite but nonetheless true to observe the obvious: a lot can happen in four years.

Last week, the save-the-smelter team as they’re sometimes dubbed by us (it includes the refinery, too, of course, but there are only so many words you can include in a catchy headline), travelled to Toronto again to meet with Tito Martins, chief executive officer of Vale Canada and executive director of base metals for the international parent company, and his senior management team, and deliver proposals aimed at keeping the smelter and refinery open beyond 2015 with those 500 “value-added” jobs Thompson NDP MLA and Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton often mentions, rightly stressing those two words – value added. Continue Reading →

Michael Moore delivers the goods for [Thompson NDP MP] Niki Ashton [on Vale Shutdown] – by John Barker (February 25, 2011)

This article was originally published in the Thompson Citizen which was established in June 1960. The Citizen 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 was written by editor John Barker and published on February 25, 2011.


It took more than a month, but Churchill riding NDP MP Niki Ashton has got her wish: American left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore has featured Thompson and Vale’s plan to shutdown the smelter and refinery here by 2015 on his website.

But in an even bigger coup, The Huffington Post, perhaps the most important English-language liberal political blog in the world, picked up at 12:02 EST Moore’s blog entry today on Vale and Thompson — which is hitting the social media jackpot. New York City-based HuffPo was sold by founder Arianna Huffington earlier this month for $315 million to AOL Inc., formerly America Online, and had a reported 40 million unique visitors in January.

A Thompson Citizen online poll that ran from Feb. 9 to Feb. 15 asked readers, “What do you think of Churchill riding MP Niki Ashton’s attempt to enlist left-wing US filmmaker Michael Moore in the battle to save the Vale refinery and smelter in Thompson?” Continue Reading →