Retired general urges rejection of Chinese takeover of Arctic gold mine – by Robert Fife and Steven Chase (Globe and Mail – November 30, 2020)

A former commander of Canadian troops in Afghanistan is urging the federal government to reject a takeover of an Arctic gold mine by a Chinese state-owned enterprise.

Retired major-general David Fraser said this rejection should form part of a strategic rethink aimed at keeping China out of Canada’s Far North.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet recently ordered a formal national security review of the proposed acquisition of Toronto-based TMAC Resources Inc. by Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd., a Chinese state-owned conglomerate and one of the world’s largest gold producers.

A senior government official told The Globe and Mail that the Canadian military is opposed to the transaction because of Beijing’s growing economic and military threat in the High Arctic. The Globe is not identifying the official who was not authorized to publicly discuss the security review under way.

Mr. Fraser said Ottawa should turn down the $207.4-million takeover, citing the mine’s location in Hope Bay, an inlet on the Northwest Passage, as well as its proximity to Canadian early warning radar facilities.

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