Rio Tinto joins race for Teck’s copper project stake: sources – by Clara Denina (Reuters U.S. – November 14, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Rio Tinto is among parties making a final offer for a minority stake in Teck Resources Ltd’s Quebrada Blanca copper mine expansion in northern Chile, a development worth $4.8 billion, two sources close to the matter said.

The world’s second largest mining company is eager to boost its copper assets, with the metal viewed in the industry as having one of strongest outlooks. Existing reserves are dwindling and increased electrification means demand is likely to be strong.

Canada’s Teck (TECKb.TO) (TECK.N) has said a development partner could contribute $2 billion for a 30 percent to 40 percent stake in the copper project, an investment deal it expects to close in the fourth quarter. Continue Reading →

The uncertain future of U.S. coal communities – by Sandeep Pai and Hisham Zerriffi (The Conversation – November 11, 2018)

https://theconversation.com/

At a town hall meeting in Ohio in March 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said: “…I’m the only candidate who has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?”

This statement, she later admitted in her book What Happened, was her biggest regret from the campaign trail. The reason? Coal workers and communities in the United States overwhelmingly supported the rise of Donald Trump because he promised to bring back coal jobs, while Clinton had pledged new jobs and new economic investments in coal communities using clean energy.

Four key coal-producing states — Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania — collectively produce more than two-thirds of U.S. coal. In 2016, Trump received more than 30 per cent more votes than Clinton in three of those states. He also won the fourth, Pennsylvania, just not by as much. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: PDAC 2019 Awards Honour Industry Leaders (November 13, 2018)

TORONTO, Nov. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is excited to announce that six top international and domestic performers have been selected in recognition of their excellence.

Now in its 41st year, the annual PDAC awards showcase exceptional leaders in the mineral exploration and mining community. Recipients will be celebrated at an Awards Gala & After Party at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto on Tuesday, March 5 during the PDAC 2019 Convention. Congratulations to the award recipients for their outstanding accomplishments.

Bill Dennis Award: Peregrine Diamonds Ltd, Chidliak Diamond District

In 2008, the Peregrine Diamonds exploration team made the grassroots discovery of the Chidliak Diamond District, near Iqaluit on Baffin Island, Nunavut–Canada’s second largest kimberlite district. Exploration programs and engineering studies completed between 2008 and 2018 led to the discovery of 74 kimberlites, one of which has a 17.96 million carat inferred mineral resource with an average grade of 2.41 carats per tonne and average diamond value of US$151 per carat, with six other kimberlites having economic potential. Continue Reading →

De Beers Is Offering Big Discounts on Low-Quality Diamonds – by Thomas Biesheuval (Bloomberg News – November 12, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

(Bloomberg) — De Beers made steep cuts in the prices of low-quality stones at its sale this week, according to people familiar with the situation.

The world’s biggest producer reduced prices as much as 10 percent for low-quality stones, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the sales are private. It’s the latest sign that the bottom end of the market is in turmoil.

De Beers sells rough diamonds to trade buyers who cut, polish and manufacture them into the polished stones sold in jewelry stores. While there is some correlation between rough and polished prices, lower prices at a De Beers sale is unlikely to make a difference at the consumer level. Continue Reading →

Generations Of Miners Face The Future Of Automation Deep Underground – by Mary Katherine Keown (HuffPost Canada/Thet Canada.com – November 13, 2018)

https://www.thetcanada.com/

A proud third-generation miner, Mickey O’Brien enjoys the every day grind of taking that deep dive to the centre of the earth. A miner at Vale’s Copper Cliff Mine in Sudbury, Ontario, O’Brien works 10-hour shifts. After suiting up and assembling, he and his coworkers break into a number of crews to start the new and soiled process of gnawing away on the earth greater than 1.5 km underground.

“I am on haulage,” O’Brien says. “Proper now I am driving a grader, however I am being skilled on a picker, so if we’ve massive chunks after a blast, the news will put them apart and I drill holes in them and I blow them up, and the news will come and decide them up. Cool, eh?”

A proud labour rights activist, he considers a lot of his colleagues — most of whom are members of Steelworkers Native 6500 — to be brothers and sisters. “I have been engaged on Inco property since I used to be 18 and I am 38 now,” he says, referencing the title of his firm earlier than it was purchased out by Vale in 2006. Continue Reading →

Queensland mine laws would leave more than 200 voids across the state – by Ben Smee (The Guardian – November 13, 2018)

https://www.theguardian.com/

Mine rehabilitation laws expected to be passed by the Queensland parliament this week would allow coalminers to leave more than 200 voids as pockmarks on the state’s landscape.

In recent days the mining sector, in a campaign backed by both the Queensland Resources Council and the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, has piled pressure on the government to delay the legislation and ensure new regulations would not be retrospective.

The laws would place additional requirements on newly approved mines, requiring areas such as voids and waste ponds to be rehabilitated in most cases. But the state has repeatedly said those laws would not be applied to existing mines or rescind previously approved environmental management plans. Continue Reading →

Western Nunavut gold mine project gets review board’s final approval – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – November 13, 2018)

http://nunatsiaq.com/

Project now needs licence from Nunavut Water Board

TMAC Resources Inc. can move ahead with plans to expand its existing gold mine in western Nunavut, now that it has received a project certificate from the Nunavut Impact Review Board for Phase 2 of its Hope Bay Belt Project.

But the project certificate, issued on Nov. 9, comes with a caveat: TMAC will report and examine “barriers and opportunities to achieving high levels of Inuit employment.” The certificate follows the board’s review of the project’s potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. This was accepted, with some recommendations, by the responsible federal ministers in October.

The project certificate applies to the development of three gold mines and related infrastructure at Hope Bay, located about 150 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay and 700 km northeast of Yellowknife. Continue Reading →

Diamonds are not necessarily forever – by Peter Fabricius (Daily Maverick – November 13, 2018)

Daily Maverick

First published by ISS Today

African governments’ continued resistance to expanding the definition of conflict diamonds could jeopardise the market for mined gems.

The participants in the Kimberley Process, including 19 African governments, are meeting this week in Brussels to review the successes and failures of its first 15 years of operation and, many hope, adapt it to the demands of a changing environment.

The process was launched in 2003 by diamond-producing countries, much of the diamond industry and several civil society watchdogs. They were responding to growing global concerns about “blood diamonds” – gems mined by armed rebel groups in African conflict zones like Sierra Leone, Liberia and Angola to finance their rebellions.

It created a scheme in which rough diamonds had to be certified as not having been mined by armed groups fighting legitimate governments – before they could be legitimately exported into the diamond market. Continue Reading →

In EV era, Brookfield and Caisse place $13-billion bet on conventional car battery maker – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – November 14, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Electric vehicles will make up 15 per cent of all auto sales in a decade — that still leaves 85 per cent of the market to traditional cars

The rapid growth of the electric vehicle industry may be drawing headlines, but when it comes to drawing major investments, the internal combustion engine remains on solid footing.

In a deal that highlights the breadth of the traditional automotive industry, two Canadian investment funds on Tuesday announced a US$13.2-billion deal to purchase the leading global manufacturer of lead-acid batteries.

Toronto-based asset manager Brookfield Business Partners and pension manager Caisse de dêpôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) along with other investors will jointly acquire 100 per cent of Ireland-based Johnson Controls’ automotive business — which shipped 154 million automotive lead-acid batteries in 2017. Continue Reading →

Crude’s collapse sends shockwaves across global markets – by Samuel Potter (Bloomberg News/Financial Post – November 14, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Investors have gone from contemplating the prospect of oil at US$100 to sub-$50 in less than two months

Investors have gone from contemplating the prospect of oil at US$100 to sub-US$50 in less than two months. No wonder global markets are playing catch-up.

From stocks and bonds to currencies, assets worldwide are gripped by a crude awakening. Monday saw oil’s largest one-day drop in three years, securing its longest losing streak on record.

Early trading jitters on Wednesday suggested the sell-off may not be over, though West Texas Intermediate later climbed after OPEC President Suhail Al Mazrouei said the group and its allies would do what is needed to balance the market. Continue Reading →

The EPA Can’t Wait to Reopen the Mine That Poisoned North Idaho – by Peter Waldman (Bloomberg News – November 12, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The Bunker Hill Mine deposited 75 million tons of toxic sludge in Lake Coeur d’Alene, and the lead and zinc are still flowing.

For a century, the mines of the Coeur d’Alene Mountains in North Idaho produced much of the heavy metals that made the U.S. a global superpower. Starting in the 1880s, through the rise of industrialization, the introduction of the automobile, and two world wars, a few narrow canyons in the Coeur d’Alenes yielded more than 11 million tons of zinc, lead, and silver, as much as a fifth of U.S. production.

Mining has left a mark on the culture of the Silver Valley and an indelible stain on the landscape, which remains heavily contaminated. To extract a pound of metal, mining companies had to process nearly 14 pounds of ore, and they dumped the crushed waste rock into mountain streams and along river banks.

Over the course of a century, the tailings and mine drainage flowed down the 40-mile-long watershed, depositing some 75 million tons of highly toxic sludge into Lake Coeur d’Alene. House cats convulsed from drinking the water. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Pan American Silver and Tahoe Resources Create the World’s Premier Silver Mining Company (November 14, 2018)

https://www.panamericansilver.com/

VANCOUVER, Nov. 14, 2018 /CNW/ – Pan American Silver Corp. (NASDAQ: PAAS) (TSX: PAAS) (“Pan American”) or the “Company”) and Tahoe Resources Inc. (NYSE:TAHO) (TSX:THO) (“Tahoe”) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Pan American to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Tahoe pursuant to a plan of arrangement (the “Transaction”), creating the world’s premier silver mining company.

Shareholders of Tahoe will be entitled to elect to receive common shares of Pan American and/or cash in exchange for their shares of Tahoe. Additional consideration will be in the form of the right to a contingent payment in common shares of Pan American tied to the restart of the Escobal mine in Guatemala.

Highlights of the combined entity:

  • World-class primary silver asset portfolio, diversified across the Americas.
  • World’s largest silver reserve base and silver measured and indicated resource base.
  • Largest publicly-traded silver mining company by free float.
  • Superior operating metrics with industry-leading production, growth and margins. Continue Reading →

Electric vehicles spur race to mine deep sea riches – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – November 13, 2018)

https://www.ft.com/

Miners want to tap subsea deposits of cobalt and other rare metals for green technologies, but environmental campaigners are worried

Gerard Barron brandishes a small black rock — the size of the palm of his hand — and heralds it as the future: “It’s all right here, all the metals we need.”

The Australian entrepreneur believes these rocks, formed over millions of years at the bottom of the ocean, can help satisfy the growing demand for the metals used in batteries and clean energy technologies, and are therefore critical to the transition away from fossil fuels. Less than 20cm wide, the so-called nodules can contain nickel, manganese, copper and cobalt— all set to see a surge in demand over the next decade.

Mr Barron’s start-up, DeepGreen, which is backed by shipping group Maersk and Switzerland-based miner Glencore, plans to suck up thousands of tonnes of the nodules from the sea floor using harvesting vehicles, and send them up a pipe to a ship to be sorted. Mining in the deep sea (defined as below 200m) can avoid the problems of land mining, he says, such as deforestation, pollution and child labour, although critics say it produces a whole new raft of problems. Continue Reading →

Amid mining slump, industry veteran Sean Roosen sees light at the end of the tunnel – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 12, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Sean Roosen’s motto is “SUDS.” It stands for “shut up and drill, stupid!” The mining executive says it’s a message his industry needs to embrace as it battles through another slump.

Environmental protectionism has gone too far, mining permits need to be more easily obtained and there’s too much interference from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which he says “do nothing” for the economy.

The loud, burly career miner is no slick Bay Street executive. He calls himself a “hillbilly.” But he’s someone who people listen to. Mr. Roosen heads up one of a handful of Canadian mining royalty companies, but he’s best known as part of a trio who founded, developed and built Canadian Malartic, Canada’s biggest gold mine. In the process he pioneered a new method of mining that revolutionized the notoriously slow-to-innovate industry. Continue Reading →

British Columbia revises law that regulates the environmental assessment of major resource projects – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – November 12, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

The British Columbia government announced this week that, after one year of consultations with Indigenous peoples, industry, communities, environmental organizations and the public, it introduced legislation to modernize the environmental assessment of major resource projects.

In a media statement, the provincial administration said that the idea behind the changes is to provide “a clear and timely path for the approval of responsible resource projects, pursue reconciliation with B.C.’s Indigenous peoples, increase public engagement and transparency and deliver stronger environmental protections.”

The new legislation is also part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement signed between the New Democratic Party and the Green Party when the former was pushing to form a minority government in last year’s regional election. Continue Reading →