Shrinking Stockpiles Put Copper On Track For A Price Rise Despite Trade War Uncertainty – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – December 11, 2018)

https://www.forbes.com/

Slowing global growth and uncertainty about the chance of a permanent settlement in the China v U.S. trade war might not prevent the development of a copper shortage and a higher price for the worlds most important industrial metal.

Hints of copper entering a period of short supply can be seen in the collapse of stockpiles of the metal held in the warehouses of commodity exchanges. At the London Metal Exchange the copper stockpile has dropped to a five-year low of 124,450 tons, less than half the 380,000 tons held in February.

The copper decline was a feature of a briefing delivered to investors last week by Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive of the big commodity trading and mining company, Glencore. He said inventories of metals such as copper and zinc had dropped to near record lows. Continue Reading →

Norilsk Nickel to invest $12bn in production over next five years – by Nastassia Astrasheuskaya (Financial Times – December 10, 2018)

https://www.ft.com/

Russia’s metals and mining major Norilsk Nickel plans to invest more than $12bn in production development over the next five years in order to boost production volumes, the company’s chief executive officer Vladimir Potanin said Monday.

The world’s largest producer of palladium, and one of the leading producers of nickel, platinum and copper, thus signalled a change of strategy from flat output to growth amid stronger global demand for its products.

“We are implementing a rather unprecedented investment programme: we are investing more than $12 billion in production development in the next five years,” Mr Potanin told Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in a meeting, according to the Kremlin transcript. Continue Reading →

South African Gold Industry Enters Final Phase of Slow Death – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – December 10, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Back in 1987, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa — then a 34-year-old labor union leader — led 300,000 black miners in a strike that symbolized resistance to the apartheid regime. Now, striking gold workers face a less politically charged battle, but one they can’t win.

The nation’s 130-year-old gold industry — which has produced half the bullion ever mined on earth — is locked in the final stages of a decades-long death spiral. Most of South Africa’s gold mines are unprofitable at current prices.

Dwindling output has cut gold’s contribution to little more than 1 percent of the South African economy, down from 3.8 percent in 1993 — the year before Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress won the country’s first democratic elections. While the industry’s demise won’t reverberate in the way it once would have, the mines minister has criticized Gold Fields Ltd.’s plan to cut jobs as the ruling ANC seeks to shore up its base before elections next year. Continue Reading →

Commentary: U.S. tariffs fail to dent Chinese aluminium export surge – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – December 11, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. International Trade Commission has just slapped anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese common aluminium alloy sheet. It’s another brick in the trade wall being erected by the Trump administration as it seeks to insulate domestic manufacturers from the flood of what it deems unfairly subsidised Chinese products.

U.S. imports of Chinese alloy sheet surged by 731 percent between 2007 and 2017, with Chinese product accounting for nearly 40 percent of total imports last year, according to the U.S. Aluminum Association.

The latest action builds on similar penal duties imposed on imports of Chinese foil and the broader “Section 232” tariffs on all imports of aluminium and steel. However, China’s exports of aluminium products are still accelerating, with outbound flows on track to set a new record this year. Continue Reading →

Detour Gold CEO voted off board in proxy fight – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – December 11, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

After a six-month duel between a New York hedge fund and a struggling Canadian miner, early results in Detour Gold Corp.’s proxy contest point to a partial victory for dissenting shareholder Paulson & Co. Inc.

The Toronto-based gold company said five of nine current directors have been ousted, according to a preliminary vote count.

Interim chief executive Michael Kenyon was among the incumbents voted off the board, Detour spokesman Ian Robertson said. Last week, Mr. Kenyon said if he lost his board seat he would also immediately step down as CEO. Mr. Robertson declined to identify any of the other directors who have been voted off. Continue Reading →

Trudeau’s tanker ban is making many Indigenous communities angry. Here’s why – by Richard Neufeld (Financial Post – December 11, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Opinion: Bill C-48 is currently before the Senate. If it passes, Eagle Spirit could be dead

On December 11th, the Senate of Canada will be honoured to welcome a delegation of 15 First Nations Chiefs from the National Chiefs Coalition, the Indian Resource Council, and the Eagle Spirit Chiefs Council who, together, represent some 200 First Nations communities.

They will be in Ottawa to speak about the Eagle Spirit Energy Corridor Project and how it can help achieve reconciliation through economic empowerment. My wish is that all Canadians become familiar with Eagle Spirit.

In brief, Eagle Spirit is a First Nations business consortium that proposes to build what has been called the greenest pipeline energy corridor on the planet, running from Bruderheim, Alta. to Grassy Point, B.C. Once completed, the project could ship four-million barrels of crude oil and ten billion cubic feet of natural gas to tidewater every day. Continue Reading →

ASIA INSIGHT: A small island gets caught in China’s Pacific power game with West – by Fumi Matsumoto (Nikkei Asian Review – December 11, 2018)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

SYDNEY — A small island has found itself caught in the escalating battle for influence in the South Pacific. On both economic and diplomatic fronts, Papua New Guinea’s autonomous region of Bougainville has become a key piece in the game between Beijing, on one side, and the U.S. and its allies on the other.

With Bougainville holding one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of copper, Chinese and Western companies are weighing the prospects for reopening its Panguna copper mine — closed since a vicious civil war broke out in 1989. The island is also set to hold an independence referendum on June 15, potentially creating a new country that could vote in international forums such as the United Nations.

John Momis, president of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, told the Nikkei Asian Review that Chinese businesspeople raised the matter of investing in the mine on a visit to PNG ahead of last month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in the capital, Port Moresby. Continue Reading →

Commentary: China, India pull back from coal imports, hurting prices – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – December 6,, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – It’s not shaping up as a merry Christmas for coal exporters to Asia as the region’s top buyers, China and India, pull back from the recent trend of strong imports.

The Chinese authorities appear to be making good on a commitment to try and limit the country’s imports of the polluting fuel to levels the same as 2017. The restrictions have led to a sharp drop in the daily import of coal so far in December, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

Seaborne imports in the first five days of the month stood at 1.5 million tonnes, or a daily rate of just 300,000 tonnes. This compares to total seaborne imports of 226.2 million tonnes in the first 11 months of 2018, a daily rate of about 677,000 tonnes. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Why Canada should be the home of ecologically-responsible natural resources – by Lorraine Mitchelmore (Globe and Mail – December 11, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Lorraine Mitchelmore is chair of the Resources of the Future Economic Strategy Table and former president of Shell Canada.

The expression “can’t see the forest for the trees” could have been coined by a typically modest Canadian. It summarizes perfectly much of our current attitude to the embarrassment of riches that constitute our natural resources: our vast forests, our wealth of metals and minerals and our diverse reserves of energy that make us a top producer in many categories.

We have commodities that would be the envy of any other country in the world. And yet, for a variety of reasons, we seem determined not to take full advantage of them. We are not building as many projects as we should, we are not attracting our share of global capital, we are not fully reaching global markets and, in certain cases, we are selling our products at significant discounts to the benefit of other countries.

As a result, the resource sector is not generating the level of wealth for Canada in the form of taxes, royalties, community investments, jobs and business opportunities of which it is capable. Continue Reading →

Illegal gold rush destroying Amazon rainforest – study – by Anastasia Moloney (Thomson Reuters Foundation – December 10, 2018)

https://af.reuters.com/

BOGOTA, Dec 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A rise in small-scale illegal gold mining is destroying swathes of the Amazon rainforest, according to research released on Monday that maps the scale of the damage for the first time.

Researchers used satellite imagery and government data to identify at least 2,312 illegal mining sites across six countries in South America – Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela.

The maps show the spread and scale of illegal mining and were produced by the Amazon Socio-environmental, Geo-referenced Information Project (RAISG), which brings together a network of nonprofit environmental groups in the Amazon. Continue Reading →

Sisters of Mercy help push Canadian mining giant to abandon operations – by Michael Swan (The Catholic Register – December 10, 2018)

https://www.catholicregister.org/

After years of lobbying by a small community of Catholic sisters from eastern Canada, the world’s largest producer of potash is abandoning mining operations in territory south of Morocco.

Canadian-owned fertilizer giant Nutrien — created by a 2017 merger of Saskatoon-based Potash Corp. and Calgary-based Agrium Inc. — will cease all potash shipments from occupied and disputed Western Sahara territory before Jan. 1, 2019.

“It’s not our place as Canadians to go in and tell other countries how to live or what to do,” said Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland superior Sr. Elizabeth Davis. “It certainly is our place as Canadians — if we are living or working or present in other countries — to act with justice and to act ethically.” Continue Reading →

Exploration deals move Manitoba mining into modern era – by Bill Redekop (Winnipeg Free Press – December 10, 2018)

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

First Nation inclusion in the mineral exploration process is still in the dark ages in Manitoba and the mining sector has suffered as a result, says a Toronto lawyer who specializes in such contracts.

Kate Kempton, who negotiated two recent contracts in Manitoba where mineral exploration crosses traditional First Nation land, says there are hundreds of such contracts across the country already, but Manitoba’s just getting started.

“Frankly, it’s about time,” Kempton said in a phone interview. “First Nations were getting completely left behind.” Kempton, who is with Toronto law firm Olthuis Kleer Townshend, recently completed a “mineral exploration accommodation agreement” for lithium between New Age Metals and Sagkeeng First Nation in southeastern Manitoba. Continue Reading →

Alberta First Nations ‘unanimously’ support Bill C-69? Hardly – by Roy Fox (Globe and Mail – December 10, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Roy Fox (Maikiinima) is Chief of the Kainaiwa (Blood Tribe). He is a pioneer in First Nations self-management of their resources, and a former CEO of the Indian Resource Council.

I have spent more than 45 years advocating for my people, working to battle on-reserve poverty and focusing on generating resource revenues to provide the employment and education that my community has every right to obtain.

I have been deeply involved in the process that allowed communities like mine to begin to take over the management and control of our oil and gas resources from Ottawa. I care greatly about the future of my people and their ability to access natural-resource revenues. I believe that the Canadian energy discussion could use some hard messages right about now.

So a false impression exists – that Alberta First Nations unanimously support Bill C-69, which the federal government says will change how pipeline projects are assessed, regulated and consulted upon. While I can’t explain where the communication broke down, I and the majority of Treaty 7 chiefs strongly oppose the bill for its likely devastating impact on our ability to support our community members, as it would make it virtually impossible for my nation to fully benefit from the development of our energy resources. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: PDAC names Lisa McDonald new Executive Director (December 10, 2018)

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the hiring of Lisa McDonald as its new Executive Director.

Ms. McDonald has played a vital role in PDAC’s success for more than 20 years. Over the past year she has acted as the Executive Director (Interim), and previously served as the association’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) for 10 years where she delivered the strategic goals of the association and oversaw all aspects of operational performance.

Lisa is considered one of the key drivers behind the expansion of the annual PDAC Convention in Toronto. As the Director of Convention from 2001 to 2008, Ms. McDonald played an integral role in growing the event into what is now considered the world’s premier mineral exploration and mining event, attracting more than 25,000 attendees from 135 countries. Continue Reading →

[Neveda Barrick] Q+A: Mining executive shares industry insights gleaned over decades – by Yvonne Gonzalez (Las Vegas Sun – December 9, 2018)

https://lasvegassun.com/

In more than 25 years in the mining industry, Michael Brown says that as he retires, his proudest moment was bringing his company to Southern Nevada.

Brown joined Barrick Gold Corp. in 1994 as the vice president of government affairs and is retiring as president by the end of the year. He shared some of his thoughts on the industry and the future with the Sun. His comments have been lightly edited for grammar and style.

What do you think are some of the key ways your work at Barrick helped bring the mining industry and state government closer together?

Starting in 2012, I shifted Barrick from “random acts of good deeds” to focused corporate social responsibility. It meant aligning the company with Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Legislature’s priorities, to help address the high school dropout rate and to advance economic diversification. Continue Reading →