Exclusive: Kazakh mining company ERG looks to spin off and list assets – sources – by Clara Denina and Dasha Afanasieva (Reuters U.s. – February 22, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Kazakh mining company Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), formerly known as ENRC, is working on a plan to eventually spin off and list some of its assets to help repay debt, three banking sources said.

The company, then called Eurasian National Resources Corporation (ENRC), was taken private by its three founders and the Kazakh government in 2013 in a $4.5 billion buyout, six years after listing on the London stock exchange.

While listed in London, the company was dogged by boardroom battles, weak commodity prices and an investigation into fraud and bribery at some of its subsidiaries. Continue Reading →

[Northern Superior Resources] A tale of two exploration projects – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – February 21, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

President, CEO and director of Northern Superior Resources gives overview of challenges of exploration on Ontario and Quebec properties

If there’s one piece of advice Tom Morris can give to mineral exploration companies, it’s let nature tell the story.

After more than 35 years in prospecting, exploration and mining, the president of Northern Superior Resources brought a message to the Sudbury Prospectors and Developers Association. Pay close attention to the findings, even if they aren’t what they are looking for, to determine what kind of resources are really in the ground.

Morris spoke on Jan. 20 about what he learned from two properties: TPK in the Far North, near the Ring Fire, and Croteau Est in Quebec. Very different locations, infrastructure needs, and histories. Both are showing great promise as potential gold mines. Continue Reading →

Harte Gold triples resource at Sugar project in Ontario – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – February 16, 208)

http://www.northernminer.com/

In its first real update since 2012, Harte Gold (TSX: HRT; US-OTC: HRTFF) has tripled the resource at its Sugar deposit about 80 km east of the Hemlo camp in northern Ontario.

The new 1.5 million ounce resource is based largely on Harte’s 2017 drill program (138,000 metres) and about 50% is classified as indicated and situated in the upper 500 metres of the deposit.

The Sugar zone (including the Middle Zone) now contains an estimated 2.61 million indicated tonnes grading 8.52 grams gold per tonne for 714,200 ounces of contained gold and another 3.59 million inferred tonnes (to a depth of 1,000 metres) grading 6.59 grams gold for 760,800 oz. contained gold. The resource used a 3.0 gram gold cut-off. Continue Reading →

Australian miners ramp up investment in electric-vehicle metals – by Kaori Takahashi (Nikkei Asian Review – February 22, 2018)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

Copper and lithium among targets for spending as demand and prices climb

SYDNEY — Australia’s mining companies are shelling out more to find copper and other materials used in electric vehicles as demand for the next-generation automobiles grows.

Anglo-Australian mining group BHP Billiton looks to invest $6.9 billion in plants and exploration in the year through June, up 32% from the previous fiscal year’s $5.22 billion.

The aim is to improve productivity at the company’s core coal and iron ore operations, and to develop its copper business. BHP in February completed a $350 million facilities upgrade at the Olympic Dam copper mine, where it plans to raise output 25-35% on the year. Continue Reading →

Mining equipment company develops global reach: RDH Mining Equipment acquired by German-based SMT Scharf Corp. – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – February 21, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

RDH Mining Equipment has joined a larger family, which its management says will mean more opportunities to grow as a company and more markets to expand into. The mining equipment producer announced in a news release Feb. 7 it was acquired by German-based company SMT Scharf for $8 million.

“We were approached by Scharf and they said they were interested in making a deal,” said Neil Edward, chief financial officer for RDH Mining Equipment. “We had visited them in Germany to continue discussions back in October to discuss our two businesses.”

The company is located in Alban, about an hour southeast of Sudbury and supplies mines with mobile equipment. SMT Scharf produces rail transport systems for the mining industry. Continue Reading →

[Ontario Mining] Digging into mining investment growth – by Kenneth Green and Ashley Stedman (Troy Media – February 22, 2018)

http://troymedia.com/

Kenneth Green and Ashley Stedman are the co-authors of the Fraser Institute’s 2017 Survey of Mining Companies.

Ontario has received some good news from mining investors. Those investors now see the province as one of the top 10 most attractive regions for mining investment worldwide, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of mining companies.

Every year, the institute surveys miners around the world to determine which jurisdictions are attractive – or unattractive – for investment, based on policies and geology. The survey spotlights policies (taxes, duplicative regulations, availability of labour and skills, etc.) that govern the mining industry and impact the investment attractiveness of jurisdictions.

This year, Ontario sits seventh in the world rankings, up from 18th last year. What’s behind Ontario’s rise? Less uncertainty around disputed land claims and protected areas. Continue Reading →

An electric vehicle warning and outlook for lithium, cobalt, nickel – by Peter Kennedy (Resource World – February 21, 2018)

http://resourceworld.com/

It is no secret that speculation in the mineral exploration is currently being driven by optimistic forecasts about the market penetration of electric vehicles and the future impact on demand for lithium ion batteries. That, in turn, is driving investor interest key battery ingredients, including lithium, cobalt and nickel.

But in a new report, BMO Capital Markets says battery costs may not come down as fast as many analysts have predicted.

As a result, it says that although it is difficult to accurately predict the pace of transition from fossil fuel-powered ICEs (internal combustion engines) to EVs (electric vehicles), BMO believes its best case estimate of a 10% penetration rate by 2025 (a 30% compounded annual growth rate) is reasonable. Continue Reading →

Apple’s potential mining play is about more than money, industry experts say – Natasha Turak (CNBC News – February 22, 2018)

https://www.cnbc.com/

Recent reports that Apple is looking to procure cobalt, an essential component in smartphone batteries, directly from mining companies have highlighted a growing concern about the valuable metal’s impending supply shortage.

But just as important as securing a supply of the limited resource may be what one expert calls a “21st century factor” — ethics and human rights.

“Apple is a buyer of batteries, not a buyer of battery components, and it’s a number of steps away from the raw materials side. So this is significant — the reason they’re doing it is supply chain visibility,” Simon Moores, managing director of Benchmark Minerals, told CNBC. “They need to know that children have not been illegally mining where their cobalt is coming from.” Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Saskatchewan 2nd most attractive jurisdiction worldwide for mining investment; Quebec and Ontario also in global top 10 (February 22, 2018)

https://www.fraserinstitute.org

For entire document: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/annual-survey-of-mining-companies-2017

CALGARY—Saskatchewan is the world’s second most attractive jurisdiction for mining investment after Finland, according to the latest Annual Survey of Mining Companies released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Rich mineral reserves, competitive taxes, efficient permitting procedures and certainty around environmental regulations will still attract significant investment—even with slumping commodity prices,” said Kenneth Green, senior director of the Fraser Institute’s energy and natural resource studies.

This year’s survey of mining executives rates 91 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic attractiveness for minerals and metals and the extent to which government policies encourage or deter exploration and investment. Continue Reading →

Barrick clings to top gold miner title as Newmont falls short by only 125 gold bars – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg/Financial Post – February 22, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

But Newmont reiterated its outlook that exceeds Barrick’s forecasted output for the next four years

A gap of about 50,000 ounces — or about 125 gold bars — is all that stands in the way of Newmont Mining Corp. from claiming the title of world’s biggest gold miner.

The Greenwood Village, Colorado-based miner said Thursday its 2017 gold production was 5.27 million ounces, ending the year in a near dead-heat with industry leader Barrick Gold Corp., which produced 5.32 million ounces.

However, Newmont reiterated its outlook that exceeds Barrick’s forecasted output for the next four years. Goldberg has increasingly highlighted his company’s growth prospects to investors, as well as Newmont’s commitment to lure investors away from ETFs with high dividends. Continue Reading →

Manitoba mining takes deep hit – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – February 22, 2018)

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

Province drops in Fraser Institute survey’s ranking of investment attractiveness

As if things couldn’t get any worse for the mining industry in Manitoba, its ranking in an annual survey on investment attractiveness has dropped dramatically.

In the Fraser Institute’s annual Survey of Mining Companies, which is being released today, Manitoba fell from second place among 104 jurisdictions last year to 18th place among 91 this year.

The survey asks industry players for their views on all sorts of policies from taxation, various types of regulations, availability of skilled labour, political stability, socioeconomic agreements/community development and uncertainty concerning environmental regulations and protected areas. Continue Reading →

Apple deal to buy cobalt directly from miners could provide path for struggling Canadian companies – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – February 22, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

With cobalt prices soaring and fears of a potential shortage mounting, reports emerged Wednesday that Apple Inc. is in talks with a mining company to secure a direct supply of the scarce metal — a critical component of batteries.

It’s the type of deal that Fortune Minerals Ltd.’s chief executive Robin Goad has been trying to broker for years. Since 1996, Goad has raised tens of millions of dollars and completed a feasibility study that showed his project in the Northwest Territories could produce 1,615 tonnes of cobalt annually — about 37 per cent of what Canada produced in 2017.

But he couldn’t obtain financing to build the mine, so now he’s hired the consulting firm PwC to find a strategic investor to help finance construction in exchange for a share of the cobalt production. Continue Reading →

Glencore records $14.76 billion profit (Bloomberg News/Sudbury Star wire service – February 22, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Glencore Plc surprised investors with a bigger dividend on the back of surging profit and commodity prices, but is still stockpiling cash as dry powder for future deals.

“We’re generating $10 billion of free cash flow on current commodity prices,” said Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg. “There is room if and when we want to do any acquisitions.”

Glencore nearly tripled its dividend payout to $2.9 billion and reported full-year results largely in line with expectations. The results leave Glasenberg well positioned to continue doing what he knows best — deals. While competitors such as Rio Tinto Group shied away from dealmaking last year, Glencore announced acquisitions worth more than $4 billion in copper, oil, zinc and coal. Continue Reading →

Who pays Ontario’s highest fine against a mining company? – by Matt Durnan (Northern Ontario Business – February 21, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

First Nickel fined $1.3 million following 2014 deaths of two miners

Defunct First Nickel Inc. was fined $1.3 million by Justice David Stone in a Sudbury courtroom on Feb. 20 stemming from the May 2014 deaths of a pair of miners who were working at Lockerby Mine.

The ruling of six guilty counts by Stone prompted Crown counsel David McCaskill to seek fines totalling $1.5 million.After more than an hour of deliberation, Stone responded with fines $200,000 short of the Crown’s request, but it makes it the highest fine levied against any mining company in Ontario.

Two contract drillers at Lockerby Mine – Marc Methe, 34, and Norm Bisaillon, 49 – died May 6, 2014 after 12 tonnes of material fell from above, trapping and asphyxiating the two men. Continue Reading →

Polar bear battle in Toronto! It’s good science vs. climate do-gooders – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – February 22, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Two events next week juxtapose two conflicting conclusions on the current health and future for polar bears. Behind the science, there’s also a juicy personal clash

Coming next Tuesday to Toronto’s swanky Yorkville district, it’s the 2018 Polar Bear Showdown, an international display of conflicting views on the state of polar-bear science. Are the great, charismatic creatures, all white, cuddly-looking and dangerous, caught in the death grip of climate change?

At one corner in Yorkville, in the ballroom of the upmarket Four Seasons Hotel, Polar Bears International (PBI) will stage a grand, $15,000-a-table gala to raise funds to protect the allegedly threatened Arctic species from the ravages of our addiction to fossil fuels.

Sponsored by a klatch of corporate goody-two-shoes — a couple of Canadian banks, a major accounting outfit, The Globe and Mail — and filled with razzle-dazzle entertainment and good food, the purpose of the event is to mark International Polar Bear Day and draw attention to PBI’s science-based effort to sound a global polar-bear alarm. Continue Reading →