RPT-COLUMN-China’s Sept iron ore aberration boosts smaller exporters – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – October 17, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Oct 17 (Reuters) – The detail of China’s record iron ore imports in September is likely to prove more interesting than the headline-grabbing surge above 100 million tonnes for the first time.

Preliminary customs data released on Oct. 13 showed China imported 103 million tonnes of the steel-making ingredient in September, a 16 percent jump on August’s figure and shattering the previous monthly record of 96.6 million from March.

The prevailing market view is that the sharp jump in September is most likely a last hurrah ahead of some slower months as winter restrictions on steel output come into force. Continue Reading →

Investors pile into Peru’s $2 billion Michiquillay copper project – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – October 16, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

More than 20 companies are hoping to grab one of Peru’s hottest copper assets, as the country readies to auction off the rights to develop it in December, authorities said Monday.

The $2 billion Michiquillay copper project, located in the country’s northern Cajamarca region, was originally scheduled to be auctioned off next month, but state bidding agency Proinversión decided to push back the date so that interested companies have more time to submit offers, it said in a statement (in Spanish).

Companies have until Nov. 2 to sign up for the auction. A contract for the project, said the agency, will be awarded on Dec. 20. Continue Reading →

No One Wants To Talk About Ontario’s Disappearing Blue-Collar Communities – by Robert Waite (Huffington Post – October 16, 2017)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

A lot can happen to a city or town in 35 years. Take Toronto — in 1982 the city still sported nicknames like “Toronto the Good” and “Hog Town.”  Visitors from New York and Montreal had another word for it: “Boring.”

Several decades (and several million more people) later, Toronto has transformed into one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse cities.

But this story isn’t about Toronto. It is about a town in Northern Ontario, Kapuskasing, located a good 10-hour drive (about 800 kilometres) away. It is about the fact that even in an age of global warming, life in Canada north of 45 degrees latitude (49.4, to be exact) can be precarious. Continue Reading →

As race for energy metals heats up, nickel expected to benefit most from EV revolution – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – October 13, 2017)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Nickel prices stand most to gain from the advent of electric vehicles (EVs), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) said on Friday in its latest ‘Global Metals Weekly’ report.

According to the research team, despite China remaining an important driver of market demand, following on from being the secular demand driver for metals in the past decade, a push to make economies greener has given rise to structural demand increases from a range of sectors.

“EVs have been a focal point of late and copper (batteries, wiring, charging infrastructure), lithium (batteries), cobalt (batteries) and nickel (batteries) should all benefit. While we are bullish copper in the medium term, EVs are unlikely to be sufficient, on their own, to drive a sustained bull market. Continue Reading →

Robert Friedland-backed cobalt company considering Canadian listing: sources – by Niall McGee and Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – October 14, 2017)

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/

An Australian cobalt company backed by mining financier Robert Friedland is considering a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, sources familiar with the matter said, as demand for the battery-making metal soars amid supply shortages.

The company, called Clean TeQ Holdings Ltd., is already public in Australia and has seen its stock hit a record high thanks in part to a spike in cobalt prices this year.

Clean TeQ is talking to investment banks Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd. and BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. about a number of options, including raising additional funds through a Canadian offering, or a straight listing on the TSX, without raising new money right away, sources said. Continue Reading →

New uranium mines: no simple answers – by Emery Cowan (Arizona Daily Sun – October 15, 2017)

http://azdailysun.com/

A town on the edge of the Navajo Nation that unknowingly drank uranium-tainted water for at least 12 years. Navajo babies showing increasing uranium concentrations during their first year of life.

Children swimming in natural pools near Cameron they later learned had been filled with water from abandoned uranium mines. The stories about the impacts of Cold War-era uranium mining on the Navajo Nation became highly personal during a forum hosted at the Museum of Northern Arizona Wednesday night.

Four decades later, the subject has come to the fore again as a grandfathered uranium mine moves forward with operations south of Tusayan and a new president stokes fears about the reopening of 1 million acres of the Grand Canyon watershed outside the national park to new mining. Continue Reading →

Faded Yukon Gold Rush Town, Population 20, Mines Its Weirdness – by Dan Levin (New York Times – October 15, 2017)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Mr. Tremblay began placer mining a few years ago, a passion he
admitted is stoked more by the thrill of discovery than the
prospect of striking it rich. “When you see gold rimmed along
the bottom of a pan,” he said, “it’s better than sex.”

KENO CITY, Yukon Territory — The journey to the heart of Yukon’s historic mineral wealth started with a question posed to a waitress at the aptly titled Gold Rush hotel in the territorial capital of Whitehorse: What’s the weirdest place in Yukon?

Her answer was a patch of pay dirt around 290 miles north, past endless forests of spruce and golden-leafed aspen, at the end of a gravel road known as the Silver Trail. There lies Keno City, a gold-rush-era relic with about a dozen full-time residents, tap water not fit for human consumption and two bars whose owners haven’t been on speaking terms for more than a decade.

Perched among hills rich in silver, zinc and lead, Keno City began as a Swedish prospector’s staked claim in 1919, its name inspired by a popular gambling game and intended to lure hearty fortune-seekers with the promise of an ore-laden metropolis in Canada’s frigid northern reaches. Continue Reading →

VW fails to secure long-term cobalt supply for electric vehicles – by Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume (Financial Times – October 15, 2017)

https://www.ft.com/

An attempt by one of the world’s biggest carmakers to secure long-term supplies of cobalt for its push into electric vehicles has been shunned by leading producers of the metal.

Volkswagen issued a tender last month seeking a minimum of five years of supply at a fixed price, according to people familiar with the process, but struggled to find any takers.

The carmaker put off miners by suggesting a price that was well below current market prices, which have jumped by more than 80 per cent this year, the people said. “They’re being arrogant because they’re automotive and they’re used to doing it,” one trader said. “They completely misjudged the contents of the tender. There’s no point negotiating — it’s not even a discussion point.” Continue Reading →

Advice from the cutting edge: Expert panel on innovation highlight of CEMI 10th annual general meeting – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – October 16, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

The reasons for mining innovation are many, so it made sense to hear from many voices who have made a living from offering it as a service.

The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) held its 10th annual general meeting at Dynamic Earth Sept. 27 to a packed house eager to hear what the consortium had planned for the coming months. Along with board business and updates on new projects and products, the highlight was the panel discussion at the end featuring four people who have made a living offering cutting edge products and services to the industry at home and across the world.

Christine Haas, president of Renix; Chris Novak, president and CEO of Centric Mining Systems; Walter Siggelkow, founder and president of Hard-Line Solutions; and Michael Gribbons, vice-president of sales and marketing at Maestro Digital Mine comprised the panel, offering their insight to questions from moderator Dick DeStefano, executive director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA), as well as from the audience. Continue Reading →

A window into Canadian history through the lens of commodity booms – by Colby Cosh (National Post – October 12, 2017)

http://nationalpost.com/

To the layman it’s not the most inspiring title: “A Long-run Version of the Bank of Canada Commodity Price Index, 1870 to 2015.” But the name of this Statistics Canada research paper, published Wednesday, will warm the hearts of Canadian economists like a beloved old melody.

In Canada, we are a little used to being beggared by StatCan, which, it must be said, is obviously a treasure. We do not have access to the cornucopia of very long economic time series that Americans enjoy, and our national statistics agency is fussy about occasionally re-engineering the data series it creates, which then have to be knit together by anyone wanting a historical perspective.

Being a relatively small country also makes regional and local breakdowns of aggregate data more difficult. Cells in a table that contain counts of people or things can end up too small to be of much use, and may even have to be suppressed to protect personal anonymity. Continue Reading →

Cape Breton museum commemorates mining strikes (CTV Atlantic – October 14, 2017)

 

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/

The Cape Breton Miners Museum is commemorating the violent mining strikes that attracted national attention in the 1920s’ by sharing the story years later, in Glace Bay. Back then, miners took to the streets for better collective bargaining rights, forcing federal and provincial governments to develop better labour policies that are in place today.

“The strikes of 1922 to 1925, the coal miners stood together and stood the gaff, that means they did not bend under the hardships the BESCO pushed on them and they stood together,” says executive director, Mary Pat Mombourquette.

She says the 1920’s weren’t an easy time to be a coal miner in Cape Breton as the British Empire Steel Corporation controlled the miners’ wage, fuel, food, clothing and housing. Continue Reading →

First Nations seek to raise Canada’s rent after 150 years of $4 payments – by Ashifa Kassam (The Guardian – October 15, 2017)

https://www.theguardian.com/

When the fur-trader-turned-politician William Benjamin Robinson pulled up to the shores of the river that links Lake Superior and Lake Huron in 1850, his mission was clear: he was to gain access to as much of the vast territory around him as possible.

Acting on behalf of Queen Victoria, Robinson soon launched into formal negotiations with the indigenous people who lived in what would later become north-eastern Ontario in Canada. Robinson treated with nearly two dozen communities whose connection to the land stretched back millennia.

Few of them could read, write or speak English fluently, but the two sides eventually struck a deal: in exchange for access to more than 35,700 square miles of land, Robinson offered hunting and fishing rights – and an annual payment equivalent to C$2 (£1.20/$1.60) per person each year. Continue Reading →

Excerpt from ‘Miner Indiscretions’ – by Jon Ardeman

To order a copy of “Miner Indiscretions”: http://amzn.to/2hMreNl

Since graduating Jon Ardeman’s geological career has been in many guises; in exploration, mining, consultancy, conservation and research. He has worked as a National Park guide, a nature warden looking after tadpoles and orchids, as a researcher digging up cow shed floors looking for Ordovician brachiopods and preparing dinosaur bones for a museum display. Enthused by these experiences, Jon sought further adventures, and headed to Africa where he worked as a geologist on various mines for more than a decade.

He returned to university and after a few years of academic research and consultancy, Jon went back to mining and precious metal exploration. His travels have taken him from the Arctic to the Equator, from North America and Siberia, to Europe, Australia, Asia and back to Africa.

During this time, Jon wrote several “mystery and imagination” short stories for magazines and competitions, but his inspiration for a first novel ‘Miner Indiscretions’ came from get-togethers with fellow prospectors and miners; with the story embellished by imagination, cold beer, a hint of the supernatural and – of course – dreams of African gold! The author is married with several children and now resides in Hertfordshire, England.

Overview

A hilarious, action-packed story following Timothy, who starts his career as a junior geologist on a modern deep gold mine in South Africa. Unexpectedly and ignominiously dismissed from this post; he manages to get a new job exploring for gold on the dilapidated Yellow Snake Mine in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Continue Reading →

Meet the Mining Industry’s Newest Mogul – by Scott Patterson (Wall Street Journal/MSN – October 12, 2017)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/

Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal’s 20% stake in Anglo American gives him one of the biggest positions in the commodity world.

LONDON—Anil Agarwal began his career as a metals dealer in India nearly 50 years ago. Today, he is a billionaire making one of the biggest bets on the global mining industry’s recovery.

The chairman of India’s Vedanta Resources PLC has used a family trust to invest almost $4.5 billion in Anglo American PLC this year, taking control of about 20% of the U.K. mining giant. Along with his controlling ownership of about $2.1 billion in his own company, the stake vaults Mr. Agarwal into a rarefied group of mining investors.

Among individuals, Mr. Agarwal’s bet rivals that of Glencore PLC Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg, whose shares in his own company are worth about $5.9 billion—one of the largest personal stakes in a mining company. Big institutional investors like BlackRock Inc. also have significant stakes in a range of companies, including BHP Billiton PLC and Rio Tinto PLC. Continue Reading →

Iron Ore Rallies as China Imports Bust 100 Million Ton Level – by Jasmine Ng (Bloomberg News – October 13, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Iron ore imports by China surged above 100 million metric tons to a record, smashing the previous high set in 2015, as the country’s concerted push to clean up the environment stoked demand for higher-grade material from overseas while hurting local mine supply. Prices rallied.

Purchases of iron ore expanded to 102.8 million tons in September from 93 million tons a year ago, surpassing the previous record of 96.3 million tons in December 2015, according to customs data on Friday.

Over the first nine months, imports climbed 7.1 percent to 817 million tons, putting full-year purchases on course to top 1 billion tons by a comfortable margin. Continue Reading →