First Nation and gold junior miner set the ground rules for exploration – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 29, 2021)

First Mining inks exploration agreement with Animakee Wa Zhing #37 on drill program near Sioux Narrows

A Vancouver mine gold developer has signed a mineral exploration agreement with a northwestern Ontario First Nation.

First Mining Gold entered into the agreement with Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation (AWZ 37) with an upcoming drilling program scheduled at the company’s Cameron Gold Project, just east of Sioux Narrows and 80 kilometres southeast of Kenora.

The 528-square-kilometre property is within the traditional territory of AWZ 37. The agreement between the company and the community sets out the framework for communication and cooperation for exploration activities that could involve hauling away an old ore pile on the property for processing elsewhere. Continue Reading →

Copper price: After China ban, Australia had no problem finding new concentrate buyers – by Frik Els ( – July 29, 2021)

Copper was an early victim of the increasingly fraught relations between Canberra and Beijing and Chinese imports of concentrate have fallen off a cliff since November last year under a ban that was never made official.

Australia is the fourth-largest producer of copper concentrates globally. The country produced 3.5 million tonnes last year, with just under half of that exported.

Unlike the iron ore market, where the countries’ steel mills and iron ore miners are joined at the hip, Australian concentrate only made up some 5% of Chinese imports. China was Australia’s no. 1 customer, however, and in the past sucked in more than half the country’s exports. Continue Reading →

China escalates plans to crush Australian iron ore industry – by David Llewellyn-Smith ( – July 28, 2021)

On Tuesday on the Australian Stock Exchange, large iron ore miners drove prices to record highs.

This feat came about because of two factors. Iron ore is trading just off record highs and the Australian dollar is much lower than it ever has been during such previous booms. This has led to record fat margins for miners.

But, even as this trade hits new highs, there are clear signs that good times are on notice. Indeed, China is determined to crush iron ore prices in both the short-term and the long, and there are good reasons to conclude that it will succeed sooner rather than later. There are three reasons why. Continue Reading →

Cobalt company collaborates with Timiskaming First Nation on medicinal, edible plant study – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 28, 2021)

First Cobalt partners on Indigenous community initiative to assess long-term impacts of industrial contamination on wild plants

The Toronto mining company that’s overhauling a metals refinery outside the town of Cobalt has launched a unique environmental and community initiative with an area First Nation.

First Cobalt is working with Timiskaming First Nation on a two-year study to assess the historic impact of settlement, logging, mining and industrial processes on the ecosystem in the former Cobalt mining district.

Specifically, this tag-team study is examining the long-term impact on medicinal plants and mushrooms in this area of the Timiskaming region. Continue Reading →

Nunavut’s mining industry now significantly outpacing the N.W.T.’s (CBC News North – July 29, 2021)

Nunavut’s mining industry has hit a significant milestone — it’s now projected to be worth more than the N.W.T.’s.

According to the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines, there are opposing trends at work. Nunavut’s mineral production has been expanding, while the N.W.T.’s has been shrinking.

“Nunavut is on a strong growth track,” said Ken Armstrong, chamber president, in a statement. “Unfortunately, in the N.W.T., we are seeing the pattern of decline that economists have been predicting.” Continue Reading →

EV Batteries Won’t Be Enough to Save the Mining Industry – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – July 30, 2021)

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Rio Tinto Group’s decision to push the button on a project in Serbia to produce lithium for electric vehicle batteries is a sign of how the mining industry is working to embrace the transition to net-zero emissions.

It’s also emblematic of just how difficult that transition is going to be. The company said Tuesday it will commit $2.4 billion to the Jadar project, which will produce lithium carbonate as well as boric acid, a material used in cockroach poison and high-strength magnets, with an aim to produce 58,000 metric tons of lithium a year starting in 2026.

Lithium is undoubtedly a boom market. Demand will increase from around 400,000 tons last year to around 2 million in 2030 as electric cars start to take over from gasoline, according to BloombergNEF. Continue Reading →

Uranium demand rising while supply remains uncertain: Cameco – by Andrea Jennetta (S&P Global – July 29, 2021)

Demand for uranium is growing at the same time supply is becoming less certain, said Cameco President and CEO Tim Gitzel July 28.

“Since 2011, about 1.6 billion pounds of uranium have been consumed in reactors, and only about half of that or 800 million pounds have been placed under long-term [utility] contracts,” Gitzel said in a second-quarter earnings call. “This has led to a growing wedge of uncovered uranium requirements,” he said.

“We’re also seeing increased demand for uranium from financial funds and junior uranium companies,” Gitzel said. Continue Reading →

Agnico Eagle CEO Sean Boyd says more room for consolidation in gold sector – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 30, 2021)

Sean Boyd, the chief executive officer of Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., says there is room for more consolidation in the “fragmented” global gold sector, but operators have to be careful not to repeat the sins of the past.

Even as gold prices have hit a record high over the past year, mergers and acquisitions activity has been relatively quiet, especially compared with the previous rush of big deals from a decade ago.

The industry also saw an aggressive round of consolidation about three years ago, with heavyweights Barrick Gold Corp., Newmont Corp. and Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. pulling the trigger on multibillion-dollar deals. Continue Reading →

Egyptian government, Canadian company sign 4 contracts for gold exploration (Daily News Egypt – July 28, 2021)

The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) and the Canadian company, Barrick Gold Corporation, have signed four contracts related to gold exploration in the Egyptian territories.

The Canadian company is the largest gold production company of its kind in the world, and is ranked second globally in the activity of gold search.

The contracts were signed by EMRA head Khaled El-Sheshtawy and Joel Holiday, Vice President of Barrick Gold, who signed via videoconference. Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, was present to witness the signing of the contracts. Continue Reading →

New Australian technology tracks down gold thieves and blood diamonds – by Jessica Sier (Australian Financial Review – July 30, 2021)

Geologist and chemical scientist John Watling can tell you exactly where your diamonds come from.

Not just what the Tiffany’s or Cartier packaging says, or the murky certification offered by the world’s largest diamond miners, De Beers and Alrosa, but right down to the exact patch of dirt in the exact mine.

Used for more than 20 years by West Australian police investigators to catch gold and diamond thieves, Watling’s provenance company Source Certain this week announced a deal with SCS Global to become the embedded technology in a new international standard to combat blood or conflict diamonds – gems mined illegally in war zones. Continue Reading →

Coal-spewing China has taken the world’s climate hostage – by Terry Glavin (National Post – July 29, 2021)

While we’ve been busy beating up on Albertans and their oil, Beijing has been laughing at us

After having ransacked the economies of the world’s liberal democracies and wrecked what is still quaintly called the “rules-based international order,” Xi Jinping’s police state in Beijing has now made it abundantly clear that under Xi’s supreme-leader command, the People’s Republic is determined to seize the global agenda on climate change.

And if the world responds with Canadian-style accommodation and capitulation, Beijing will persist in its ambitions — even to the point of taking the global climate hostage while the rest of us, as well as the Chinese people, suffer the consequences of catastrophic climate change.

More heat domes, more apocalyptic floods, more ruinous ecological collapse. Continue Reading →

BHP charges up Nickel West with clean energy – by Nickolas Zakharia (Australian Mining – July 30, 2021)


BHP plans to install two solar farms and a battery storage system to power the Mt Keith and Leinster mines at its Nickel West operations in Western Australia.

The clean energy sources are expected to cut emissions from electricity at the two mines by 12 per cent based on its 2020 financial year levels.

The Northern Goldfields Solar Project will include a 27.4-megawatt solar farm at Mt Keith, and a 10.7-megawatt solar farm and 10.1-megawatt battery at Leinster to reduce diesel and gas power. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Grassy Mountain mine decision hurts community and Alberta’s reputation – by Eric Lowther (Edmonton Journal – July 29, 2021)

Eric Lowther was a member of Parliament, representing Calgary Centre in the House of Commons, as well as a municipal councillor for Rocky View County.

It is just not right. After nearly five years engaged in a rigorous government process, successfully meeting an ever-increasing number of regulatory requirements, bolstered by the support of First Nations communities and affected residents, after doing everything right and being willing to do even more, the company proposing the Grassy Mountain coal mine was effectively told to go away.

It’s like applying for a position, writing the tests, going through numerous personal evaluations — passing every single one — and being encouraged along the way, only to be told at the end of process that the position never really existed. That’s nasty, that’s wrong and that is what happened to Benga Mining.

And it is also what happened to the hardworking people in the municipality of Crowsnest Pass. Continue Reading →

How yellowcake shaped the West by Jonathan Thompson (High Country News – July 30, 2021)

The ghosts of the uranium boom continue to haunt the land, water and people.

In late August 2018, in the heat of one of the warmest and driest years on record in the Four Corners country, under a blanket of smoke emanating from wildfires burning all over the place, I piloted the Silver Bullet — my trusty 1989 Nissan Sentra — to the quiet burg of Monticello, Utah.

I was on my way from one camping site on the Great Sage Plain to another on Comb Ridge, where I would feed my misanthropic side with a searing hike down a canyon, seeking out potholes that still had a smidgen of stagnant water left over from the last rain.

I took a detour through Monticello to look into one of the most contentious fronts of the long-running public-land wars, the battle over uranium mining and milling and even radioactive waste disposal. San Juan County’s public lands played a major role in what I call the Age of the Nuclear West, which reached its multi-decade apex during the Cold War and hasn’t ended yet. Continue Reading →

Sri Lanka: World’s largest star sapphire cluster found in backyard – by Anbarasan Ethirajan (BBC News/Yahoo News – July 27, 2021)

Sri Lankan authorities say the world’s largest star sapphire cluster has been found in a backyard – by accident.

A gem trader said the stone was found by workmen digging a well in his home in the gem-rich Ratnapura area.

Experts say the stone, which is pale blue in colour, has an estimated value of up to $100 million in the international market. Continue Reading →