Southern Copper wins auction for massive Peru copper project – by Frik Els (Mining.com – February 20, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

An auction for the $2 billion Michiquillay copper project in Peru attracted 10 interested companies according to Peru’s government investment agency Proinversión with Southern Copper Corp declared the winner on Tuesday.

Reuters reports Southern Copper won the tender with a proposal to transfer $400 million to the government and pay 3% royalties. Southern Copper is controlled by conglomerate Grupo Mexico. Southern’s chief executive told Reuters in September that Michiquillay has arsenic impurities, requiring a “slightly higher” investment to clean up the area.

According to Proinversión, the other companies that pre-registered for the tender included Peru’s Buenaventura, local units of Rio Tinto, Teck Resources and Hudbay Minerals, as well as Compania Minera Milpo, a company controlled by Brazil’s Votorontim. Milpo had offered $250 million in transfers and 1.875% royalties. Eight companies did not end up bidding. Continue Reading →

Tanzania’s new mining law will compel foreign companies to boost local financial firms – by Abdi Latif Dahir (Quartz Africa – February 2, 2018)

https://qz.com/

Tanzania is set to overhaul its extractive industry after the government passed a new law that posits strict guidelines for foreign companies.

The new law gives companies three months to comply with the regulations, while also making them apprise the government of how they are enacting these changes.

As part of reform, the government wants to enhance the competitiveness of local mining and financial institutions by setting minimum employment levels and in-country spend for foreign firms, while also providing a structural monitoring and reporting system that ensures companies deliver on these objectives. Continue Reading →

Australian Mines shares surge on cobalt deal with SK Innovation – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – February 20, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Shares of battery and technology metals developer Australian Mines Ltd surged on Tuesday after the company signed an off-take agreement with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation for nickel and cobalt from its flagship Sconi project.

The commodity off-take agreement, which is for an initial period of seven years, will be for SK Innovation’s newly developed battery manufacturing plants in Hungary and Korea, Australian Mines said on Monday in a statement announcing the deal.

The agreement is contingent on Australian Mines obtaining financing for the project in Australia’s far north east by the end of 2018 and for mining to start before the end of 2020. Continue Reading →

BHP CEO Will Meet With Activist Elliott to Discuss Demands – by David Stringer and Rebecca Keenan (Bloomberg News – February 20, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

BHP Billiton Ltd.’s top executive will meet with major critic Elliott Management Corp. this week to discuss demands for a business overhaul that the activist group argues could deliver more than $22 billion in value.

BHP’s first-half results missed analysts’ expectations and the shares fell 4.6 percent, on pace for the biggest daily drop since April. The world’s biggest mining company will also canvass other shareholders on the proposal to reorganize as a single company listed in Australia.

While flagging potential risks and costs associated with the New York-based fund’s demands, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie pledged to discuss the issue further. He said he’ll probably say more after meeting with Elliott. Continue Reading →

Agnico Eagle’s open-pit offshoot from Nunavut gold mine gets federal ministerial approval – by Sara Frizzell (CBC News North – February 19, 2018)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Production at the mine will begin in mid-2019

The federal minister for Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs has signed off on a new mining project near Baker Lake, Nunavut. Agnico Eagle’s Whale Tail project is an open-pit gold mine, expected to operate for three to four years, starting next year.

It will be connected to the company’s Meadowbank mine by a 65-kilometre road, so it can use existing processing facilities. Initially, local groups were concerned about caribou crossing the road, but after a final hearing, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) signed off on the project with 64 specific conditions, many of which focus on managing environmental impacts.

In her approval, Carolyn Bennett noted elevated arsenic levels could still be an issue in runoff from water storage and in the fill water for the proposed pit lake, to be created after the mine closes. Therefore, she has insisted on careful monitoring. Continue Reading →

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 →