UPDATE 1-AngloGold to revive historic Ghana asset after illegal miners ousted – by Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.S. – February 20, 2018

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 20 (Reuters) – AngloGold Ashanti will spend up to $500 million to mechanise its Obuasi mine in Ghana, capping a dramatic saga for an asset rendered worthless when it was invaded by thousands of illegal miners.

The company announced last year that Ghana’s military had cleared out the illegal miners, who had numbered up to 12,000 at one point, from Obuasi in the Ashanti region.

This paved the way for the company to carry out a feasibility study to see if fresh life could be breathed into the century-old mine. Continue Reading →

Opinion: HD Mining allowed temporary foreign workers while Canadian miners are unemployed – by Brian Cochrane and Manuel Alvernaz (Vancouver Sun – February 19, 2018)

http://vancouversun.com/

Brian Cochrane is business manager at the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 115; Manuel Alvernaz is business manager at the Construction And Specialized Workers’ Union, Local 1611.

Normally, when someone gets a lump of coal at Christmas, they are very unhappy about being recognized for their bad behaviour.

But not if they are a controversial coal mining company that was previously in deep trouble for hiring Chinese-speaking Temporary Foreign Workers for its coal mine near Tumbler Ridge in northeast B.C.

HD Mining created such a firestorm that the then-Conservative federal government of Stephen Harper had to make major changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program that had allowed 338,000 non-Canadians get jobs in our country. Continue Reading →

Mines Linked to Child Labor Are Thriving in Rush for Car Batteries – by Thomas Wilson and Jack Farchy (Bloomberg News – February 19, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in small-scale cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labor.

Production from so-called artisanal mines probably rose by at least half last year, according to the estimates of officials at three of the biggest international suppliers of the metal, who asked not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak on the matter.

State-owned miner Gecamines estimates artisanal output accounted for as much as a quarter of the country’s total production in 2017. That’s a concern for carmakers from Volkswagen AG to Tesla Inc., who are seeking to secure long-term supplies of the battery ingredient but don’t want to be enmeshed in a scandal about unethical mining practices. Continue Reading →

[Deep Sea Mining: Papua New Guinea] The secret on the ocean floor: (BBC News – February 19, 2018)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/

A wave of pioneers is poised to scoop up treasure from the deep sea. But was this ocean mining boom sparked by a 1970s CIA plot?

In the summer of 1974, a large and highly unusual ship set sail from Long Beach in California. It was heading for the middle of the Pacific where its owners boasted it would herald a revolutionary new industry beneath the waves.

Equipped with a towering rig and the latest in drilling gear, the vessel was designed to reach down through the deep, dark waters to a source of incredible wealth lying on the ocean floor.

It was billed as the boldest step so far in a long-held dream of opening a new frontier in mining, one that would see valuable metals extracted from the rocks of the seabed. Continue Reading →

[Northwest Territories Mining] Giant Mine rehab contract awarded (Mining Journal – February 20, 2018)

http://www.mining-journal.com/

Canada’s government has awarded a main construction manager contract as part of a multimillion dollar remediation of the storied Giant Mine near Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories.

The abandoned gold mine operated from 1948-1999 when its last owner Royal Oak Mines entered receivership.

The government said the site was one of the highest priority contaminated areas with the federal property inventory and required ongoing management to protect human health and safety and the environment.

The scope includes tailings management, building demolition, pit closures, dealing with contaminated soils and “in-situ encapsulation” of the 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide stored in underground chambers. Continue Reading →

Mining sector unloved as investors find it hard to trust – by Clara Denina and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Investors are shunning the mining sector, data from Thomson Reuters shows, as they struggle to forget the string of multi-billion dollar takeovers and expensive development projects that left them empty handed.

A decade-long commodity boom coincided with years of economic growth when China took off, but when the global economy slowed, so did the market for commodities from oil to copper.

Data shows that two years after the worst of the raw materials slump is over, investors are still not ready to pour in fresh funds despite a price rally. The mining sector .FTNMX1770 led the FTSE higher in 2016 as it rebounded from the previous year’s deep price crash, but it is still well below levels seen in 2011. Continue Reading →

Hard work lies ahead for superclusters – by Sarah Turnbull (iPolitics.ca – February 16, 2018)

iPolitics.ca

The Liberal government’s $950 million supercluster program is being touted as a good news story Friday – despite ongoing hesitation about what comes next for the five winning projects, stakeholders say.

“It can’t just be about a billion-dollar cheque,” said Jamison Steeve, executive director of the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity. “There’s an actual positive force of the government, that is as an organizer, as convener and as a cajoler.”

The five supercluster winners were announced Thursday and are distributed fairly evenly across the country, with hubs being located in British Columbia, the Prairies, Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario. This is causing a bit of eyebrow raising within the tech circle, he said. Continue Reading →

Pembina Pipeline’s new purpose: Get Canada’s oil and gas to the rest of the world – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – February 20, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Political priorities come and go, especially when it comes to energy these days, and Pembina Pipeline Corp. has been adding value one piece of infrastructure at a time since the days of Louis St. Laurent.

Its most recent growth spurt, much of it through the oil and gas downturn, has boosted its enterprise value to $26.7 billion, from $14.4 billion in 2014 when current chief executive Mick Dilger took over, and from $3 billion 10 years ago.

With that kind of pedigree, you could do worse than pay attention to Dilger, who believes it would be better for governments to help improve the value of existing resources rather than chase new energy sources. Continue Reading →

Well, there’s $950 million we didn’t need to spend – by Andrew Coyne (National Post – February 17, 2018)

http://nationalpost.com/

Recipients of Superclusters cash don’t have to persuade consumers of the value of what they produce. They just have to be good at lobbying the federal Liberals

If you were to leave $950 million at the corner of Bloor and Yonge in downtown Toronto — in packets of twenties, it would create a pile roughly 1.45 metres square by 2.6 metres high — I can guarantee you the result would be a substantial boost to economic activity.

People in the area would pick up the money and spend it on goods and services. With such a sudden influx of cash in search of something to spend it on, factories would have to step up production; distributors and retailers would take on staff.

These new hires would spend their wages on more goods and services, leading to yet more new hires and so on. With such “spin-offs” included, the economic impact of dumping all that cash on the ground could be multiples of the initial outlay. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Acacia, China miners in talks over Tanzania gold deal – sources – by Nicole Mordant and John Tilak (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) – China’s Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd and Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd are in separate talks with Acacia Mining Plc to form a joint venture for the London-listed company’s gold mines in Tanzania, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Acacia’s majority shareholder, Barrick Gold Corp, is involved in the discussions, the people said. Acacia, caught in a near year-long tax dispute with the government of Tanzania, has also has held talks with state-owned China National Gold Group about such a partnership, two of the people said, although it was not clear if those talks are ongoing.

Shares in London-listed Acacia, which were down around 3 percent, rebounded after the Reuters report to trade up as much as 3.4 percent. They closed down 0.9 percent, at 162.95 pence. Continue Reading →

No open pit mines for the Ring of Fire: Noront wants to keep a low mine profile in the James Bay region – by Ian Ross – Northern Ontario Busniess – February 16, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Noront Resources doesn’t intend to dig open-pit mines in the James Bay lowlands even though the abundance and the proximity of the rich chromite ore bodies to surface might dictate otherwise.

“It’s a natural ore body for open-pit mining,” said Noront president-CEO Allan Coutts during the Great Sudbury Chamber of Commerce’s Procurement, Employment and Partnerships Conference on Feb. 6.

“However we’ve said quite categorically, we’re not going to approach it as an open pit.” As the largest landholder in the Ring of Fire, Coutts said the thickness of their string of chromite deposits range between 10 and 30 metres, and come right to surface. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Nickel flies on supply hits; Indonesia could ground it – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Nickel has enjoyed a blistering start to 2018. On the London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel has this week punched up through the $14,000 level for the first time since May 2015 to hit a Thursday high of $14,420 per tonne.

It has gained 10 percent since the start of the year and has bounced 34 percent from its December low of $10,740 per tonne. Speculative money has poured into this hot market, fund managers tripling their net long exposure LME-NI-MNET to the London contract over the course of December and January.

Shanghai investors have been equally enthusiastic, albeit with a Chinese twist of treating nickel as a bullish steel rebar derivative. Nickel is basking in the electric vehicle glow but the full demand impact is still in the future. Continue Reading →

Burkina Faso expects record 55 tonnes of gold in 2018 – minister – by Tim Cocks and Ange Aboa (Reuters Africa – February 16, 2018)

https://af.reuters.com/

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Burkina Faso expects to produce a record 55 tonnes of gold in 2018, a two-thirds increase on five years ago, as new projects in the landlocked West African country come on tap, the mines minister told Reuters in an interview.

Speaking in his office in the capital Ouagadougou late on Thursday, Oumarou Idani said gold production had hit 45.5 tonnes last year. That puts it ahead of Tanzania as Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer — after South Africa and Burkina Faso’s neighbours Ghana and Mali.

The forecast for this year represents a 20 percent increase on 2017, and at current levels would put its industrial production on a par with No.3 producer Mali. Continue Reading →

[Ontario] Aboriginal mining strategy getting underway: Waubetek to hire coordinator, launch clearinghouse this spring – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – February 16, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Funding is in place and a coordinator is being hired for the Aboriginal Mining Strategy for North-East Ontario, bringing the launch of the initiative closer to fruition.

Announced by the Waubetek Business Development Corp. in 2015, the three-year strategy outlines four strategic areas: developing Aboriginal mining industry knowledge; building mining industry relations; engaging a skilled Aboriginal workforce; and promoting Aboriginal business and partnerships.

The strategy’s goal, said Dawn Madahbee Leach, Waubetek’s general manager, is to help Aboriginal people become more involved in the mining industry. “It’s taken us a long time; it’s just been bumping back and forth to get some of the financial parts, but we finally did with some help from FedNor and the NOHFC,” said Madahbee Leach. Continue Reading →

Barrick mulls selling copper business as it faces lower production, higher costs – by Niall McGhee (Globe and Mail – February 16, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. is contemplating getting out of the copper business. President Kelvin Dushnisky said a sale of the copper assets is a possibility, although the company is not running a sales process at this time.

“Would we consider divestment in some point in time? Yes,” Mr. Dushnisky said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

Barrick acquired its copper assets primarily through its US$7.3-billion purchase of Equinox Minerals Ltd. in 2011. The high-priced acquisition, timed shortly before a global slump in metals prices, proved to be a financial disaster, as Barrick wrote down the value of these assets by US$3.8-billion less than two years later. Continue Reading →