Hudbay preparing sale of Arizona Rosemont copper mine stake – by Dinesh Nair and Scott Deveau (Bloomberg/Financial Post – May 22, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Hudbay Minerals Inc. is preparing a sale of a stake in one of the largest copper mines under development in the U.S. as an investor pushes the company to review its portfolio, people familiar with the matter said.

The Toronto-based base metals miner has interviewed potential advisers about selling a 30 per cent stake in the Arizona Rosemont project and is planning to kick off a process in the coming months, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

The stake is likely to draw interest from financial bidders, such as private equity firms, the people said. No final decisions have been made and Hudbay may still decide to keep the asset, they said. Continue Reading →

The Hunt for the Singing Atom – by C. Fred Bodsworth (MACLEAN’S Magazine – August 15, 1948)

http://www.macleans.ca/

Gold’s old stuff; miners on the Trail of ’48 want uranium, the stuff that can chirp in their ears or flatten a city

WHERE Northern Ontario’s broad Abitibi River tumbles through the spruce-walled gorge of Otter Rapids and lunges northward on its final 90-mile dash for James Bay and the sea, I stood over one of Canada’s newest radioactive ore discoveries and listened to its tune of disintegrating atoms, the theme song of the atomic age.

Locked in a brown-red vein of ore at my feet there was possibly bread-and-butter stuff for scores of potential atom bombs, but the tune of cracking atoms I heard could have been drowned out by the snap of a jenny firecracker.

Detected and amplified by the Geiger counter which hung at my waist, a wondrous little electronic gadget which smells out disintegrating atoms of radioactive ore as keenly as a cat smells out fish, the atom tune in the Geiger’s earphone sounded merely like raindrops spattering on a tin roof. Without the Geiger to translate it into sound, those thousands of disintegrating atoms Would have been as undetectable as the 40-pound sturgeons which, so the natives say, lurk in the Abitibi’s khaki-colored water offshore. Continue Reading →

China’s MMG says Las Bambas copper operations not disrupted, talks ongoing – by Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – May 21, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LIMA (Reuters) – Chinese miner MMG Ltd’s operations at its Las Bambas mine, one of Peru’s largest copper producers, have not been disrupted and talks with an indigenous Peruvian community are ongoing, the miner said on Wednesday.

The Fuerabamba community had imposed a new road blockade on the mine after talks with the company over compensation broke down, Americo Contreras, a representative of the public ombudsman office told Reuters on Tuesday.

The community started the blockade after the talks ended without a solution late on Monday, Contreras said by phone, citing a document from government officials who had mediated the negotiations. Continue Reading →

Nunavik Inuit respond to proposed rare earths mine – by Jane George(Nunatsiaq News – May 21, 2019)

https://nunatsiaq.com/

Company wants to build 185-kilometre road south from Kuujjuaq

Organizations representing Inuit in Nunavik and in the comunity of Kuujjuaq have signed a letter of intent with a junior mining company that wants to build a 185-kilometre haul road south from Kuujjuaq to an open pit rare earths mine.

Maggie Emudluk, Makivik Corp.’s vice-president for economic development, and Sammy Koneak, the president of the Nayumivik Landholding Corp., signed the letter of intent on May 15 with Vancouver-based Commerce Resources Corp. A Makivik Corp, spokesperson said the letter of intent creates a committee that will provide answers to concerns and questions from people in Kuujjuaq.

“The Ashram deposit project is still in a pre-development phase and has to go through several stages prior to getting formal Inuit acceptance to be implemented,” the Makivik spokesperson said. Continue Reading →

The Northern Miner Podcast – episode 139: Indigenous People as ‘Resource Rulers’ in Canada ft Bill Gallagher – part 2 (May 21, 2019)

Northern Miner

This episode wraps up our two-part conversation with strategist, lawyer and author Bill Gallagher on the topic of Canada’s Indigenous People and their land rights, and how that affects resource development in the country.

Based in Waterloo, Ont., Bill is the author of two popular books on the topic: the recently published “Resource Reckoning: a Strategist’s Guide from A to Z” and the 2012 milestone “Resource Rulers: Fortune and Folly on Canada’s Road to Resources.”

To buy the books and for more information, visit www.billgallagher.ca and find him on Twitter at @ResourceRulers. Continue Reading →

Global miner BHP plans to expand nickel output amid battery boom (Reuters U.S. – May 21, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Group on Wednesday said it plans to expand its nickel sulphide operations amid an expected boom in demand for the material in electric vehicle batteries.

But the company is not looking to produce main battery ingredient lithium as it sees such output having slimmer profits.

Speaking at a strategy briefing on long-term asset allocation, BHP Chief Financial Officer Peter Beaven said growth in nickel could come from either exploration or acquisitions. Continue Reading →

China Raises Threat of Rare-Earths Cutoff to U.S. – by Keith Johnson and Elias Groll (Foreign Policy – May 21, 2019)

https://foreignpolicy.com/

Beijing could slam every corner of the American economy, from oil refineries to wind turbines to jet engines, by banning exports of crucial minerals.

With a simple visit to an obscure factory on Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping has raised the specter that China could potentially cut off supplies of critical materials needed by huge swaths of the U.S. economy, underscoring growing concerns that large-scale economic integration is boomeranging and becoming a geopolitical weapon.

With the U.S.-China trade war intensifying, Chinese state media last week began floating the idea of banning exports of rare-earth elements to the United States, one of several possible Chinese responses to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to jack up tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods and blacklist telecoms maker Huawei.

U.S. oil refiners rely on rare-earth imports as catalysts to turn crude oil into gasoline and jet fuel. Permanent magnets, which use four different rare-earth elements to differing degrees, pop up in everything including ear buds, wind turbines, and electric cars. And China dominates their production. Continue Reading →

Zambia Files Notice of Plans to Seize Vedanta Copper Assets – by Taonga Clifford Mitimingi and Matthew Hill (Yahoo Finance – May 20, 2019)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Zambia’s government filed notification of plans to take over Vedanta Resources Ltd.’s domestic copper assets, President Edgar Lungu said. The southern African nation’s Eurobond yields surged to a record high and the currency hit a 3 1/2-year low.

The move marks an escalation in tension between the government and mine owners, after Lungu last week threatened to “divorce” Vedanta and Glencore Plc, two of the biggest employers in Africa’s second-largest copper producer. Relations have been simmering after the state earlier this year increased royalties and unveiled a plan to overhaul the value-added tax system.

Lungu mainly targeted Konkola Copper Mines, Vedanta’s local unit, in a weekend visit to Zambia’s Copperbelt province, where some companies are cutting production and firing workers. Continue Reading →

Tailings dam failures – can we minimise the risks? – by Craig Goff (Water Power Magazine – May 21, 2019)

https://www.waterpowermagazine.com/

Following the recent catastrophic failure of the Córrego do Feijão tailings dam in Brazil, Craig Goff from HR Wallingford considers the risks associated with these types of dam

The terrible human tragedy at a mining dam in Brazil in February 2019 has once again raised awareness of the risks posed by dams located upstream of population centres.

Dam failures of any type are fortunately rare, but, when they do occur these are incidents that can have severe consequences with mass loss of life and environmental and financial consequences in the billions of dollars. It is therefore crucial that we minimise the chance of a dam failure by rigorously improving safety at each point of the dam lifecycle.

What causes dams to fail?

There are typically two main ways an earthen embankment dam can fail – either by internal erosion or external erosion. Continue Reading →

SolGold in talks to finance long-life Ecuador copper project – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – May 20, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – SolGold is in talks with financiers keen to invest in its Ecuadorian copper-gold prospects and mining major BHP could increase its stake in the company, SolGold’s chief executive said on Monday.

In a preliminary economic assessment of the Alpala copper-silver-gold deposit in northern Ecuador released earlier, London-listed SolGold said annual copper output should be 207,000 tonnes for the first 25 years of a mine life of roughly half a century.

Ecuador has attracted a flurry of interest from big miners eager to increase their exposure to copper. The highly conductive metal is in demand for use in renewable energy and electric vehicles, but big, new deposits are rare. Continue Reading →

U.S. Rare Earths Revival Planned Amid Trade Conflict – by Rhiannon Hoyle (Wall Street Journal – May 21, 2019)

https://www.wsj.com/

The important commodities are caught up in the U.S.-China trade conflict

SYDNEY—An American chemicals company and an Australian miner want to build the first rare-earth minerals separation plant in the U.S. in years. Their aim is to shore up supplies of important commodities caught up in the U.S.-China trade conflict.

The proposal by Blue Line Corp. and Lynas Corp. LYC 14.43% illustrates how companies are growing increasingly worried by the trade rhetoric out of Washington and Beijing, while looking for opportunities to profit from tit-for-tat tariffs if they aren’t short-lived. The companies aim to build the plant in Hondo, Texas, near where Blue Line is based.

Production of rare earths is dominated by China, but some of the world’s biggest consumers are U.S. manufacturers of advanced technology such as electric vehicles, wind turbines and military equipment. Continue Reading →

Canada’s Pure Gold starts trading in London – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – May 20, 2019)

http://www.mining.com/

Canada’s Pure Gold Mining (TSX-V: PGM) has begun trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker PUR, in a move aimed at lifting the company’s international profile ahead of its transition to producer from developer.

The Vancouver-based miner, which is advancing a high-grade gold project in Ontario, believes a dual listing will give it access to a much broader pool of international capital, at a time when junior miners in Canada are having a hard time competing with the booming cannabis sector.

Interest in the emerging business, which spiked after Canada legalized the recreational use of cannabis in October, has been sucking investment capital away from the mining sector, and hitting juniors hardest, a recent study by BDO shows. Continue Reading →

Voters Won’t Decide the Future of Energy – by David Fickling (Bloomberg/Yahoo News – May 20, 2019)

https://news.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Who decides the future of energy – the producers, or the consumers?

It’s a question that’s been asked at least since the 1970s, when the growing muscle of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the 1973 oil embargo sparked the founding of the International Energy Agency as a rival group to represent the interests of oil importers.

That same pattern has been playing out in recent days with elections in one of the world’s biggest energy exporters and one of its biggest importers. Both will have a crucial impact on the direction of global energy policies – particularly in its dirtiest form, fossil fuels. Continue Reading →

Australian gold miners on the hunt for Canadian assets – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 21, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Here come the Aussies. Flush with cash, Australian mining companies are buying Canadian gold mines and more are expected to join the fray.

Last week, Melbourne-based St. Barbara Ltd. reached a friendly agreement to buy Vancouver’s Atlantic Gold Corp. for $722-million. Atlantic owns and operates a very profitable gold mine in Nova Scotia with a long reserve life.

Earlier this year, Australia’s biggest gold company, Newcrest Mining Corp., paid US$806-million for a majority stake in Red Chris, one of Imperial Metal Corp.’s prized gold and copper mines. Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire bungling jeopardizes Green prosperity for North – by Steve May (Sudbury Star – May 18, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Buried beneath the feet of Northern Ontarians are the materials that will drive the green economy. Nickel, copper, cobalt and lithium are needed in abundance for batteries that will store electric energy.

The world is already shifting from greenhouse gas-emitting fossil energy sources like coal, oil and natural gas in an effort to minimize the very worst effects of climate change. Northern Ontario, with our abundant mineral resources, is strategically positioned to be a global leader in the clean economy.

Leadership requires commitment – and that’s always been a problem for Northern Ontario, a vast but sparsely populated region that is far too often treated as a resource colony by governments and investors located in southern Ontario. Our region’s mineral wealth is far too often seen as resources ripe for exploitation, rather than as the building blocks for our own prosperity. Continue Reading →