High-School Mining Education in Sudbury – Sofia Gallagher

Students from Rainbow District School Board at a Vale Inco facility in Sudbury - Photo SuppliedImagine yourself in Grade 12 again. What do you remember? Did part of your schooling include visiting an underground mine and witnessing the various career opportunities available there? Do you remember receiving certification awareness training at a local employer, alongside other workers in the plant? Upon graduation, were you able to say that you had the skills and knowledge to pursue your postsecondary destination of choice, had spent time shadowing the types of jobs you were interested in, and had acquired a number of certifications that made you more appealing to employers?

These opportunities are now being provided to our youth thanks to a new Ministry of Education initiative – the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM). This program, launched in September 2006, is part of the Student Success Initiative, a province-wide strategy to expand learning opportunities for students and support success for all.

Students enrolled in a SHSM focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements for their secondary school diploma (OSSD). Continue Reading →

Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame Historical Profile – John Campbell Miles

John Campbell Miles 1883-1965John Campbell Miles (1883 – 1965) was the prospector and pastoral worker who discovered the mineralisation upon which the famous Mt Isa Mine was established in Queensland.

John Campbell Miles was born on 5 May 1883 in Melbourne. He was a wanderer and an adventurer from the time he ran away from school to work with a bootmaker. Blainey listed his quick progression of jobs as ploughman, miner, carter, railway navvy, wild-pig hunter and windmill repairer.

At the age of twenty-four (1907) he took a job as underground worker at Broken Hill, but stayed only until the following April before riding his bicycle 1,500 miles to the Oaks goldfield in north Queensland. While Miles would return to labouring work within a few months, his inauspicious prospect at the Oaks led to his discovery of the greatest twentieth century Australian mine.

From the Oaks, Miles worked as farm labourer in the Wimmera, then returned to Queensland where he spent ten years drifting from station to station, probably supplementing his wages by fossicking. After a brief visit to Melbourne in 1921, he decided to follow up the reminiscences of an elderly boundary rider who claimed to have seen gold on the Murranji Track, a cattle trail in the Northern Territory.

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Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame Historical Profile – Patrick (Paddy) Hannan

Patrick (Paddy) Hannan 1843-1925Patrick (Paddy) Hannan (1843 – 1925) was one of the prospectors whose discovery of gold in 1893 paved the way to mining in  Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia.

Kalgoorlie/Boulder’s Golden Mile is recognised as the richest mile in the world. The gold mines and the nearby city owe their existence to the discovery of gold made by Patrick Hannan, Tom Flanagan and Dan Shea in the area in 1893.

Born in Ireland, Hannan, Flanagan and Shea had migrated to Australasia in the mid C19. Flanagan arrived in the early 1850s and went to the fields at Bendigo in Victoria; Hannan arrived in Melbourne in 1863 and most likely went to join relatives in Ballarat; and Shea probably arrived at the end of the 1860s.

By the time they came to the newly discovered fields to the east of Perth in Western Australia, all three had prospected or worked in mines in various colonies. In 1867, for instance, Hannan left for New Zealand and worked there for six years before returning to Australia. He arrived in WA in 1889, Flanagan probably in the same year, and Shea around 1892. Like many from the eastern colonies at that time, they found their way to the developing finds on the Yilgarn. Hannan’s accounts of his time in the west report that in 1892 he was working at Parker Range, south-east of Southern Cross.

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The Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame – Stan Sudol

Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia - Supplied PhotoAustralia is considered the third largest minerals producer in the world, larger than Canada. The value of minerals exports (including oil and gas) is forecast to reach A$116 billion in 2007-08. As a result, Australian mining, supply and service companies and expertise are in demand around the world. In fact 60% of global mines use software designed and produced in Australia.

Both, the enormous iron ore deposits in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and the vast bauxite reserves at Weipa in the state of Queensland are among the top ten most significant mining regions in the world. The mineral deposits at Mount Isa, Kalgoorlie, Kambalda and Bowen Basin, just to mention a few regions are all world class.

Australia is the world’s leading producer of bauxite and alumina, number two in gold, iron ore, uranium, lead, zinc, number three in nickel and silver, and the fourth biggest black coal supplier. This is by no means a complete list.

Like Canada, Australia has experienced many gold rushes and other mineral booms in the past century and a half, that helped open up unexplored parts of their vast interior, increase immigration as well as contributed to the country’s economic development.

As well-known Australian journalist Trevor Sykes once stated about his country’s mining history, “…a saga of tough men, iron-nerved gamblers, violence, death and glittering riches set against the backdrop of some of the most awful country on earth.”

Noted Australian history professor Geoffrey Blainey, who wrote the much acclaimed, “The Rush That Never Ended – A History of Australian Mining” stated in his book, “Australian prospectors found or pioneered new mining fields from the Rand to Rhodesia to New Zealand and the Klondike. Australian mining investors opened Malayan tinlands and New Guinea and Fiji goldfields, and there is hardly a mining field that has not used Australian innovations in metallurgy.”

The Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame has graciously given Toronto-based Republic of Mining.com permission to post individual profiles from their digital archives of some of the most famous Australians who have made major contributions to their mineral industry.

Opened in 2001 and located in the Western Australian city of Kalgoorlie, the site of one of the country’s most famous gold rushes, the Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame tourist attraction offers many exhibits that colorfully explain mining history as well as current industry practices. You can go 36 metres underground with a retired miner and see how mining was done at the turn of the last century with picks and shovels and wheelbarrows.

You can also watch a gold pour demonstration in the original 1920s Paringa Mine Gold Room or try gold panning in ponds on the property. Other galleries showcase a mineral collection, explain mining laws and regulations and environmental issues. The facility also has a major education outreach program.

The following website has more information on the Miners Hall of Fame as well as extensive archives profiling the men and women who made Australia such a global mining powerhouse: http://www.mininghall.com/Home.php

Excerpt From Michael Barnes New Book – More Than Free Gold:Mineral Exploration in Canada Since World War II

More Than Free Gold - Michael Barnes

Our Best Friend
Kimberlites with Diamonds

With the discovery of diamonds in the kimberlite bodies of the Lac de Gras district in the N.W.T., Canada emerged as a major diamond producer, challenging South Africa, Botswana, Australia and Russia in both quality and quantity of diamond production.

Diamond hunting is difficult because kimberlite outcrops are rare, due to the fact that the rock is easily eroded; often a chunk of the stuff will crumble in the hand.

The big mining news in the eighties was of the gold at Hemlo, but in that decade two men were searching for a much more elusive quarry. Veteran prospector Chuck Fipke and geologist Dr. Stu Blusson spent all they had and all they could borrow to finance a quest for diamonds.

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PDAC-AFN Agreement Hopes to Encourage Mining Development and Alleviate Aboriginal Poverty – Stan Sudol

Excutive Speech Writer and Mining Columnist Stan SudolTwo weeks ago during Toronto’s annual mining convention, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) – Canada’s national organization for Aboriginal people – and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) – an industry lobby group – was signed.

In a prepared speech for the MOU, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine said, “Two months ago, I had the opportunity to travel to the Attawapiskat First Nation to visit the community and the new Victor Diamond Mine…I was very impressed with De Beers’ commitment to working closely with Attawapiskat. This kind of economic development is bringing hope to so many people who are desperate to provide for their families.”

Patricia Dillon, the previous President of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, stated, “The deliberations and discussions leading up to the signing of this MOU have been undertaken with much goodwill on both sides. This historic document formalizes a relationship that has been flourishing for some time and lays a framework for the mineral industry to work cooperatively with First Nations and aboriginal communities.”

This agreement sends a tremendously strong message to governments and the environmental movement that Canada’s top Aboriginal leadership supports and wants to expand sustainable mining developments when proper consultation and economic agreements are implemented.

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Prepared Speech for AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine – At the MOU with PDAC – Toronto

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine

I would like to thank everyone for taking the time away from this very busy convention to come here to witness this Memorandum of Understanding in our Corporate Challenge between the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.

I also want to sincerely thank PDAC President Patricia Dillon; Don Bubar, who is chair of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee, and Chief Glenn Nolan, who is a PDAC Vice President, for all of the hard work it took to get us to this important occasion.

I also want to thank all of the PDAC staff – particularly Philip Bousquet and Kim MacDonald – who have been in contact with the AFN since last May.

Some of you may be wondering why we want to work with the mining industry. It’s pretty simple. First Nations want to work with all industries and corporations in order to achieve economic self- sufficiency.

By doing so, this will empower First Nations to break the chains of dependency and despair; empower us to revitalize our languages and cultures; and empower us to participate and prosper in the Canadian economy.

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Memorandum of Understanding between the PDAC and the AFN

(L-R) Chief Glenn Nolan; AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine; former PDAC President Patricia Dillon; Donald Bubar PDAC - AFN Photo

Memorandum of Understanding between the PDAC and the AFN
signed by the AFN National Chief and the PDAC President
Toronto, March 4, 2008

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Between
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, a not-for-profit association formed under the laws of Canada, with headquarters at 34 King Street East, Suite 900, Toronto, Canada M5C 2X8

(hereinafter referred to as “PDAC”)

and

THE NATIONAL INDIAN BROTHERHOOD, incorporated under the laws of Canada and serving as the Secretariat of the Assembly of First Nations with its head office at the Territory of Akwesasne, R.R. #3, Cornwall Island, Ontario

(hereinafter referred to as “AFN”)

PREAMBLE

1. WHEREAS the AFN is a national First Nation organization that represents First Nations and all their citizens in Canada and is represented by a duly elected National Chief;

2. AND WHEREAS the PDAC is a national association that exists to protect and promote the interests of the Canadian mineral exploration sector and to ensure a robust mining industry in Canada, and encourages the highest standards of technical, environmental, safety and social practices in Canada and internationally;

3. AND WHEREAS the PDAC actively promotes greater participation by Aboriginal Peoples in the mineral industry as well as greater understanding and co-operation between First Nations communities and mineral exploration and mining companies;

4. AND WHEREAS the AFN and the National Chief have launched a Corporate Challenge to engage Corporate Canada to establish, enhance and increase their business activities with First Nations in order to realize the advantages of doing business with First Nations. Specifically, corporate Canada is challenged to increase partnerships with First Nations communities and businesses; investigate and increase investment potential; establish and foster procurement practices that benefit First Nations; and develop and enhance human resources development and labour force development activities with First Nations communities and people;

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Cameco Corporation President and CEO Gerald W. Grandey – Speech at the BMO Global Metal and Mining Conference

Cameco Corporation President and CEO Gerald W. GrandeyGood morning.

Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. I am delighted to be here in Florida, one of the states leading the way in the drive for new nuclear generating capacity in the United States.

2008 marks Cameco’s 20th anniversary. And while history has delivered its ups and downs, the future of Cameco and the nuclear industry are exciting and robust. Today, I want to impress upon you the strength of Cameco and my enthusiasm for our ability to address current challenges, seize opportunities and pursue our vision to be a dominant nuclear energy company.

Cameco is built upon an unparalleled uranium asset base, vertically integrated operations, a long-term contracting strategy, and a team of the industry’s most talented and dedicated people. We are an industry leader, delivering increasing returns amidst the growing momentum in the nuclear industry.

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Cameco Corporation President and CEO Gerald W. Grandey – An Introduction

Cameco Corporation President and CEO Gerald W. GrandeyGerald W. Grandey was appointed chief executive officer of Cameco Corporation on January 1, 2003.  He joined Cameco in 1993 as senior vice-president marketing and corporate development.

Prior appointments include vice-chair and chief executive officer of The Concord Mining Business Unit and president of Energy Fuels, an American coal and uranium mining company.

Grandey practiced law in the mid ’70s with a major Denver law firm specializing in mineral financing, natural resources and environmental law.  He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1968 with a degree in geophysical engineering and, after serving two years in the US military, received his law degree from Northwestern University in 1973.

Grandey is a past-president of the Uranium Producers of America and currently serves on the boards of the Nuclear Energy Institute and Bruce Power and is past vice-chair of the World Nuclear Association.

Cameco Corporation is the world’s largest uranium producer accounting for 20% of world production from its mines in Canada and the US. The company’s leading position is backed by 500 million pounds of proven and probable reserves and extensive resources. Cameco holds premier land positions in the world’s most promising areas for new uranium discoveries in Canada and Australia as part of an intensive global exploration program.

Cameco is also a leading provider of processing services required to produce fuel for nuclear power plants, and generates 1,000 MW of clean electricity through a partnership in North America’s largest nuclear generating station located in Ontario, Canada.

The Virginiatown Bank Robbery – Michael Barnes

Kerr Addison Mine was one of the great elephants of Canadian gold mining. In the trade this simply means it had been a giant producer since the mine first started turning out mill feed in the mid-thirties.

The prospect of gold produced in bullion form excites both honest and criminal minds alike. While most of us like to dream about the precious yellow metal, some take positive action to acquire it.

In the mid-sixties a bullion shipment from the mine was hijacked at the Larder Lake station by Quebec underworld figures. On December 21st 1972 thieves struck again, this time with the mine payroll as the star attraction.

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The Discovery of Sudbury Nickel was Accidental – Gary Peck

The discovery of ore in the Sudbury area is one worthy of recording for in many ways its discovery was both accidental and initially at least, unappreciated.

 In 1856, A.P. Salter, provincial land surveyor was involved in survey work in the area. While running the meridian line north of Whitefish Lake, he noted a deflection on his compass needle. This occurred in the area between present – day Creighton and Snider townships. He reported to Alexander Murray, a geologist with the Geological Commission. Murray visited the area, took samples, and wrote a report; however, in 1856 little interest was generated given the inaccessibility of the area. Significantly, the samples were taken about 200 yards west of Creighton mine. Creighton mine was rediscovered in 1886 and in 1901 the Canadian Copper Company began operation there.

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How Long Will the Mining Boom Last? – Paul Stothart

Paul Stothart - Vice-President Economic Affairs - Mining Association of CanadaThe Canadian and international mining industries are enjoying buoyant times. As shown in the adjacent table, while the specific figures vary by mineral, overall prices have grown by roughly two-fold to five-fold over the past five years.

In some instances, prices have continued to increase through 2007. Gold, for example, has increased in value by another 35 per cent since 2006 — to around $850 per ounce. Copper is expected to climb another 50 per cent to 450 cents per pound in 2008 according to Bloomsburg projections. Nickel and zinc prices generally levelled off or declined in the latter part of 2007.

At these high price levels, exploration spending, both globally and in Canada, has increased significantly as companies seek to find new mineral reserves. Global exploration spending has grown exponentially from $2.4 billion in 2003 to $10.5 billion in 2007.

Merger and acquisition activity has also exploded in recent years. In Canada, Xstrata bought Falconbridge for $20 billion, CVRD bought Inco for a similar amount, and Rio Tinto bought Alcan for $38 billion. Continue Reading →

Need Recognition for Mining Supply and Service Companies – Dick DeStefano

Dick DeStefano - Executive Director of SAMSSAI had the good fortune to spend a day with mining colleagues and mining supply and service leaders in a workshop in Sudbury sponsored by NORCAT and The Conference Board of Canada to discuss the lack of recognition and the importance of mining and related services within the national and provincial political context.

It was clear that mining as a national strategic asset receives little acknowledgement from all senior levels of government. Note the recent mining takeovers. What is more distressing is the almost total dismissal of the mining supply side within policy discussions.

It is frustrating to sit in rational discussion about industries that generate jobs and innovative products to a booming natural resource sector and find that all Canadian related mining services/products can’t be catalogued and identified within government statistics and profiles.

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Looking Through Stone – Poems About the Earth – By Susan Ioannou

Looking Through Stone - Poems About the EarthSusan Ioannou of Toronto first became interested in geology as a theme while her son was completing a PhD. Exploring the science of rocks and minerals from a poet’s perspective was a fascinating and refreshing change from writing personal lyrics. Ioannou’s fiction, articles, and poetry have appeared across Canada. Winner of the 1997 Okanagan Short Story Award and twice a finalist in the CBC Literary Awards, in 2002/2003 she received an Ontario Arts Council Works in Progress grant to complete Looking Through Stone.

 The following book review was done by Adge Covell.

“Enough iron to make a nail, potassium for….” well, you probably know most of the rest. It’s one of the favourite quotes to be found in those “Did you Know?” lists which are everywhere these days, and which describes the cocktail of elements which make up the human body.

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