Ottawa clamps down on China’s critical-minerals foray, but not prospecting – by Naill McGee (Globe and Mail – May 8, 2023)

Lone wolf Mike Tremblay is one of Canada’s most successful mining prospectors. In the 1980s, he discovered the Borden Lake gold deposit in northern Ontario, which was subsequently developed into a mine.

Over four decades, he’s headed into the Ontario bush on countless occasions, amassed about 10,000 mining claims and knows better than anyone there’s no guarantee of ever making a cent in the prospecting business.

About a dozen years ago, Mr. Tremblay woke to find a good chunk of his claims hemmed in on all sides by China Metallurgical Exploration Corp. (CME). “They tied into every claim I owned. They were sticking up around all my projects,” he said. “They surrounded everything I had.”

CME is controlled by Zhengyuan International Mining Co. Ltd., a Chinese state-owned enterprise. With the huge coffers of China’s Communist government at its disposal, CME can afford to stake vast tracts of land in Ontario and sit on them indefinitely, paying just $400 a claim to the province annually to keep each one active.

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