A modest proposal for the Trump administration to buy Canada – by Daniel W. Drezner (National Post/Washington Post – August 19, 2019)


Greenland is for small-timers. Trump should make an offer for an even bigger, richer, more strategic and more passive-aggressive Arctic ally

In recent days, the mainstream media reported on President Donald Trump’s interest in acquiring Greenland, which is a “constituent country” within the kingdom of Denmark.

The Wall Street Journal broke this story Thursday, with follow-up reporting from The Washington Post and the New York Times. Greenland has responded with an emphatic, public and polite refusal. This has been manna from heaven for political scientists, who have proffered many useful takes.

If there has been a dominant theme in the mainstream media coverage, it has been that not even Trump’s staff can take him seriously on this point. The Journal’s story noted that “the few current and former White House officials who had heard of the notion described it with a mix of anticipation and apprehension,” and that was one of the more positive responses. Continue Reading →

Tiffany & Co. launches men’s line, hoping diamonds are a dude’s best friend – by Rachel Siegel (Washington Post – August 15, 2019)


Tiffany & Co. hasn’t had any trouble getting men to come shop for the ladies in their lives. Now the jeweler behind those iconic blue boxes wants them to stay and peruse … for themselves.

Tiffany is rolling out its first comprehensive jewelry line for men, the company announced Thursday, in a bid to attract younger shoppers and reverse declining sales. Come October, the collection will include nearly 100 designs, some of which will fetch prices as high as $15,000. Tiffany also plans to add home furnishings and accessories, such as ice tongs and beer mugs, with male customers in mind.

But retail experts say it could be a tough sell. The glitz and glamour of Tiffany has long been tied to feminine jewelry (along with Audrey Hepburn’s soft smile and bejeweled neck). Continue Reading →

BHP weighs pullout from coal mining as investors grow greener – by Fumi Matsumoto (Nikkei Asian Review – August 21, 2019)


SYDNEY — BHP Group might sell off coal assets, the mining giant’s chief hinted Tuesday, joining global peers in the move toward environmentally sustainable businesses as retail and institutional investors grow more sensitive to such issues.

“We increasingly have concluded that this is not a business that is going to offer the prospects for growth and would compete for capital … compared to our other businesses,” CEO Andrew Mackenzie said on an earnings call.

And while coal is not going away quickly, “the plentiful supply of energy coal, combined with a somewhat dampening in demand, as it’s going to form a smaller part of the market share going forward, means that this is a less interesting asset than others for us to invest in,” Mackenzie said. Continue Reading →

Western Areas sees strong competition for its nickel – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – August 20, 2019)


Western Areas has flagged hot competition for its nickel when off-take agreements with BHP expire early next year and says the mining giant has only a small window to make premiums from its new battery-focused nickel sulphate plant.

Dan Lougher-led Western Areas said on Tuesday that the rise in electric vehicles was driving keen interest in nickel concentrate from its operations in Western Australia in the countdown to off-take agreements with BHP Nickel West and China’s largest stainless steel maker, Tsingshan, expiring early in 2020.

The company has invited 19 parties to tender for new off-take agreements and says it favours short-term deals based on optimism that nickel prices will continue to strengthen on the back of demand from makers of batteries and battery precursors. Continue Reading →

Dryden-area gold mine gets environmental green light – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – August 20, 2019)


Treasury Metals’ Goliath gold mine project won’t cause any adverse impact to the environment and can proceed to development.

The federal government has wrapped up its environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed open-pit and underground mine and mill project, located 20 kilometres east of Dryden in northwestern Ontario. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna made the announcement, Aug.19.

In a news release, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency concluded “that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account.” Continue Reading →

TÜV SÜD pulls out of dam safety checks after Brazil disaster – by Alexander Hübner (Reuters U.S. – August 19, 2019)


MUNICH (Reuters) – Germany’s TÜV SÜD has pulled out of conducting safety assessments of dams after the collapse of a Brazilian dam it had vetted killed almost 250 people in January, the industrial inspection firm’s chief executive told Reuters.

The collapse of the tailings dam, which was operated by Brazilian mining company Vale SA, flooded the town of Brumadinho with mining waste water only four months after TÜV SÜD had vouched for the safety of the structure.

“So far nobody knows the cause of the accident. And we do not know in particular what happened between September 2018 and January 2019 – if, for example, heavy equipment was being operated nearby or if there had been detonations,” Axel Stepken said in an interview. Continue Reading →

Nfld. & Labrador: Nalcor building $22M transmission line to Labrador mining project (CBC News – August 19, 2019)


The provincial and federal governments announced new funding Friday for a project to provide hydroelectricity to a mining operation in western Labrador.

The province’s Department of Natural Resources said Nalcor will build a new terminal station and a 27-kilometre transmission line from the Menihek Hydroelectric Generating Station’s existing line to the Tata Steel processing site.

The transmission line will enable Tata Steel to reduce the mine’s diesel consumption by up to 40 per cent. Lisa Dempster, minister of municipal affairs and environment, says her department prioritized the project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging resource development in Labrador. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: New program to clean up largest abandoned mines in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories (August 19, 2019)

YELLOWKNIFE, Aug. 19, 2019 /CNW/ – Canada is moving forward with a long-term plan to clean up contaminated sites in the North.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced that the Government’s new Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program will invest $2.2 billion over 15 years to address remediation of the eight largest abandoned mine projects in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

These projects are the Faro, United Keno Hill, Mount Nansen, Ketza River, and Clinton Creek mines in the Yukon; and the Giant, Cantung, and Great Bear Lake mines in the Northwest Territories. The Great Bear Lake project consists of multiple smaller sites in close proximity to each other.

The new program will leverage expertise gained over 15 years of managing human and environmental health and safety risks at contaminated sites in the North and allow for longer-term tenders for work at the sites, providing greater certainty for impacted communities and economic opportunity for Indigenous people and Northerners. Continue Reading →

Quebec is poised to be a leader in lithium development, Legault says (Montreal Gazette – August 19, 2019)


Lithium is a “jewel” that Quebec has yet to exploit, Premier François Legault said on Sunday.

Speaking to the youth wing of the Coalition Avenir Québec meeting in Sherbrooke, Legault dreamed of a Quebec that would one day export lithium batteries around the world, noting that the province is home to the world’s third-largest deposit of lithium, an element essential to the manufacturing of batteries used by electric vehicles.

Along with other “strategic metals” that are also found in Quebec, Legault said it would be possible to construct “100-per-cent Quebec batteries.” “We have the potential to take our place in this enormous market,” Legault said. Continue Reading →

‘As goes mining, so goes the Yukon’: Government and corporate leaders praise territory’s potential – by Brian Sylvester (Northern Miner – August 15, 2019)

Northern Miner

With 11 of 13 First Nations reaching settlements on land claims and a new gold mine set to ramp up production, Yukon was the focus of discussion during the Territorial Panel at The Northern Miner’s annual Canadian Mining Symposium held at Canada House in London, U.K., earlier this year.

The panel consisted of Yukon Premier Sandy Silver; Graham Downs, president and CEO of ATAC Resources (TSXV: ATC); Brandon Macdonald, president and CEO of Fireweed Zinc (TSXV: FWZ); John McConnell, president and CEO, Victoria Gold (TSXV: VIT); and Paul West-Sells, president and CEO of Western Copper and Gold (TSX: WRN; NYSE-MKT: WRN), with Andrew Cheatle, senior vice-president for Africa with Forbes & Manhattan, as the panel moderator.

The companies on the panel are all part of the Yukon Mining Alliance, a government-industry initiative designed to promote investment in the territory. Premier Silver kicked things off by offering the audience some facts and perspective on the Yukon in Canada’s northwest. Continue Reading →

China provides $1 billion in ‘green’ finance to coal projects in first half of the year – by David Stanway (Reuters U.S. – August 19, 2019)


SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese financial institutions provided at least $1 billion in “green” financing to coal-related projects in the first half of this year, a review of financial data showed, with fossil fuels still playing a major role in Beijing’s energy strategy.

According to Shanghai-based financial data provider Wind, 7.4 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in green corporate and financial bonds were issued by 13 coal projects in the first half of the year. They involved power plants fueled by coal or coalbed methane as well as coal-to-chemical projects.

Cutting coal and encouraging cleaner forms of energy is a major part of China’s efforts to reduce smog and greenhouse gases. The share of coal in the country’s total energy mix fell to 59% last year, down from 68.5% in 2012, and it aims to cut that share to around 50% by 2030. Continue Reading →

Germany hopes to mine lithium, the white gold of e-mobility – by Hardy Graupner (Zinnwald) (Deutsche Welle – August 19, 2019)


A small community in the German state of Saxony may soon see the revival of its centuries-old mining tradition. But this time around, the focus is no longer on tin or tungsten but on lithium, as Hardy Graupner reports.

Hans-Andre Tooren is a longtime municipal administrator in the Saxon community of Zinnwald-Georgenfeld near the German-Czech border, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Dresden. His and his wife’s piece of land happens to be in an area that’s attracted the interest of geologists and a mining company.

Tooren lives in a place where lithium abounds, the new white gold of the automotive and other industries. The chemical element is needed for batteries in electric cars, but is also required in steadily rising quantities for glass ceramics, ceramic glass cooktops and a number of lubricants, to name but a few fields of application. Continue Reading →

Russia’s Norilsk and S.African coal town Kriel top SO2 emissions hot spots -NASA data (CNBC.com – August 19, 2019)


JOHANNESBURG, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Russia’s Norilsk smelter complex and a town in South Africa’s eastern coal mining province have the highest sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions in the world, according to satellite data from U.S. space agency NASA.

The NASA-compiled data published on Monday was commissioned by environmental group Greenpeace India and used the space authority’s satellites to track anthropogenic sulphur dioxide emission hot spots around the world.

Scientists say that excessive exposure to SO2 particles causes long-term respiratory difficulties and stunted growth in infants among other problems. Continue Reading →

GWYNNE DYER: Greenland’s gamble and modernization – by Gwynne Dyer (Cape Breton Post – August 20, 2019)


From his purchase of New Jersey casinos to his proposed acquisition of Greenland, Donald Trump’s real estate deals have always been plagued by bad timing. The United States could probably have bought Greenland from Denmark in 1917 (when it did buy the U.S. Virgin Islands from the Danes), but he’s a century too late now.

Nevertheless, his latest bad idea does give us an incentive to catch up with what’s been happening in Greenland, and it’s quite interesting. Trump may not know this, since he rarely reads intelligence reports, but in November 2017 Greenland’s premier Kim Kielsen led a government delegation to Beijing to seek Chinese investment.

Greenland, the world’s biggest island, is not yet fully independent, but it is autonomous from Denmark in everything except foreign affairs and defence. Kielsen was looking mainly for Chinese investment in mining enterprises, but he was also interested in attracting a Chinese bid to build three modern airports in the island, which currently depends on Second World War-era airstrips. Continue Reading →

4 Investigates: Abandoned uranium mines continue to threaten the Navajo Nation – by Colton Shone (KOB.com – August 19, 2019)


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There are hundreds of abandoned uranium mines scattered across the Navajo Nation.

The clean-up process has been slow for those who live right in the heart of them. For many, it’s been a decades-long fight for the removal of “hot dirt” and there’s still no real end in sight. Red Water Pond Road Community Association is home for Edith Hood. She and her family have lived there, a few miles east of Gallup, for generations.

“We had a medicine man living across the way,” she said. It’s a remote village on Navajo land surrounded by beauty and radioactive waste. There is tons of “hot dirt” left behind from the nearby abandoned Northeast Churchrock Uranium Mine and the abandoned Kerr-Mcgee Uranium Mine Complex. Continue Reading →