Archive | British Columbia Mining

Kitimat would be biggest loser if U.S. revokes tariff exemption – by Nelson Bennett (Business Vancouver – March 13, 2018)

Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter employs 1,000, exports $600 million annually to U.S.

Vancouver’s shipbuilding and construction industries could pay more for steel and aluminum if the U.S. revokes an exemption granted to Canada under plans to impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% tariffs on aluminum imports.

But no community in B.C. would suffer more than Kitimat under the tariffs if they result in a worst-case scenario: layoffs or even a complete shutdown of the Rio Tinto Alcan (NYSE:RIO) smelter there.

The smelter is Kitimat’s biggest employer and taxpayer. With a workforce of 1,000, it employs one out of every six people in the town of 6,400 inhabitants. It sells roughly $600 million worth of aluminum to the U.S. annually, so a 10% tariff would add $60 million to U.S. prices. Continue Reading →

British Columbia to reform Environmental Assessment Process in the fall – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – March 7, 2018)

The government of British Columbia revealed today the timeline that will guide the procedures to reform the province’s environmental assessment process.

Known by its initials, the EAP is a course of action to predict environmental effects of proposed initiatives, particularly mining and resource extraction projects, before they are carried out.

In general, an EAP should identify potential adverse environmental effects; propose measures to mitigate adverse environmental impacts; predict whether there will be significant adverse environmental effects after mitigation measures are implemented; and include a follow-up program to verify the accuracy of the environmental assessment and the effectiveness of the mitigation measures. Continue Reading →

Tech, mining make strange bedfellows in B.C. supercluster – by Tyler Orton (Business Vancouver – February 28, 2018)

B.C. technology, natural resources and health-care companies are partnering with post-secondary institutions to accelerate innovation in the province

In the 1990s, when flip phones were still pricey and 56K modems were a luxury, B.C.’s tech scene was not the guaranteed money-maker that now employs more than 100,000 people. “My dad told me, ‘You’ve got to get a job in mining or forestry because then you’ll have a job forever,’” recalled Edoardo De Martin, director of the Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) Canada Excellence Centre.

New funding from Ottawa’s $950 million supercluster initiative will afford De Martin, who now leads the tech giant’s office in Vancouver, the opportunity to bridge the gap between his chosen profession and his father’s suggestion.

The supercluster program is intended to jump-start public-private partnerships within specific regions across the country to facilitate collaborations between companies and post-secondary institutions that don’t normally work together. Continue Reading →

Kamloops councillor proposes a no-mining buffer around B.C. communities – by Jenifer Norwell (CBC News British Columnbia – February 26, 2018)

He’s promoting a 10-kilometre setback for mining projects

Kamloops city councillor Dieter Dudy wants to see mines in B.C. restricted to at least 10 kilometres from any city. He will present a motion to city council Tuesday proposing to take the plan to the Southern Interior Local Government Association and the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

If council supports his motion, it could start the process toward asking the provincial government to create the buffer. Dudy came up with the idea after seeing how a proposed KGHM Ajax mine polarized Kamloops.

“Most people weren’t necessarily against mining, what they were concerned about what the proximity to Kamloops,” said Dudy. Continue Reading →

B.C. appoints 12-member task force to review, strengthen mining industry (Financial Post – February 26, 2018)

CANADIAN PRESS: VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has appointed a 12-member task force of industry, Indigenous and labour leaders to measure the current state the provincial mining industry and to ensure its security.

Mines Minister Michelle Mungall says the group will provide an economic analysis of the mining sector and offer the recommendations to ensure job security for the industry during times of commodity price fluctuations.

Mungall says the task force has until this November to submit a report to her ministry, including recommendations for changes or amendments to current legislation or regulations. Continue Reading →

Mining company working with environmentalists to clean up old mining sites – by Christine Coulter (CBC News British Columbia – February 20, 2018)

‘What we are trying to do is remove any possible pollutants,’ says Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers coordinator

Calgary-based mining company Margaux Resources has announced a plan to clean up old tailings sites by using new mining technologies to extract the remaining minerals.

Tailings have long been known to cause environmental damage including loss of animal habitats and contamination of soil, groundwater and waterways.

Margaux has partnered with the Salmo Watershed Sreamkeepers Society — a non-profit engaged in protecting and maintaining the Salmo River in southeastern B.C.— for the remediation project. 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)

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 →

Teck sees strong demand for steelmaking coal in 2018 – by Susan Taylor (Reuters Canada – February 14, 2018)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Teck Resources Ltd, the world’s second-biggest exporter of steelmaking coal, said on Wednesday that growing global steel production is expected to boost demand for its coal in 2018, though coal trade competition will also likely rise.

Vancouver-based Teck, which also mines copper, zinc, gold and oil sands, said it is “feeling pretty good about 2018” after reporting in-line financial results.

“Most of us forget what this feels like, but it’s certainly very good for commodity markets, and they are now demand driven, rather than supply driven,” Chief Executive Don Lindsay said on a conference call. Continue Reading →

Roundup 2018: AME’s Thome on BC’s mineral politics – by Matthew Keevil (Northern Miner – February 5, 2018)

VANCOUVER — The Association for Mineral Exploration’s (AME) Roundup conference in Vancouver serves as a bellwether for the mining industry as the first major technical event of the new year.

The most-recent iteration featured the typical discussions on metal prices and markets, but it was also marked the maiden mining voyage for British Columbia’s newly-elected, left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) and Green Party coalition government. The NDP-led minority government’s stance on mining in the province remains untested.

Premier John Horgan has been rhetorically supportive of the business, and held over pro-mining initiatives from the previous long-standing Liberal government, including the flow-through share tax framework and exploration credits; funding for Geoscience BC; and provincial sales tax (PST) breaks for electricity used at mine sites. Continue Reading →

Still No Charges for the Company Behind Canada’s Largest Mining Spill – by Carol Linnitt ( – February 12, 2018)

Canada has one of the worst records on the planet for making polluters like Imperial Metals pay.

The company responsible for the Mount Polley mine spill—one of the largest environmental disasters in Canadian history—has found out it’s not going to face any charges in British Columbia.

The news likely has billionaire Murray Edwards, owner of Imperial Metals and the Mount Polley mine (and the Calgary Flames) toasting with his rich friends in London (where he lives to avoid paying taxes).

If you’re not in BC, there’s a chance the aerial images of the disaster haven’t already scarred you forever. This is what the collapsed tailings pond at the Mount Polley mine looked like in August 2014. Continue Reading →

Canada ‘needs to act and act very soon’ on polluting mine, say Alaska politicians – by Dave Croft (CBC News North – February 6, 2018)

Alaska politicians on trip to Ottawa ask for progress on Tulsequah Chief mine cleanup

Senior Alaskan politicians say U.S. federal and state agencies are ramping up their efforts to force B.C. to clean up the abandoned Tulsequah Chief mine, about 80 kilometres south of Atlin.

Dan Sullivan, one of Alaska’s two U.S. senators, and the state’s Lt.-Gov. Byron Mallot were in Ottawa Monday for a series of meetings with Canadian officials, including federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. Mallot said there will be more meetings on transboundary issues in April.

“Hopefully this will continue to create the kind of focus on the Tulsequah Chief mine that we raised in the last two years,” said Mallot. “Recognizing that the mine had been spewing water — waste water — for almost half a century, and we’ve got this focused at a level now that has never been focused on before,” he said. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: B.C.’s Recent Crown Decision: How Can The Worst Mining Waste Disaster in Canadian History Not Have Legal Consequences?

BC Crown decision to quash Mount Polley private prosecution makes no sense

Source: FNWARM (First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining) – MiningWatch Canada

The BC Prosecution Service announced Tuesday that they were taking over and quashing the private prosecution of Mount Polley Mining Corporation over the tailings dam disaster. The charges were laid by Bev Sellars, Grandmother, former Chief of Xat’sull First Nation (Soda Creek), author, and indigenous advocate.

“It is my duty as a Grandmother to protect the environment for future generations. Indigenous people’s law stresses that you have to take care of the land for generations ahead. I pushed the pause button by pressing charges against Mount Polley before BC’s statute of limitations ran out,” said Sellars.

“Instead of the Crown taking over and holding Imperial Metals to account and bringing justice for this disaster, they have failed to act. They have failed First Nations, failed the people of BC, and failed future generations.” Continue Reading →

Province halts private prosecution against Mount Polley tailings spill (CBC News B.C. – January 30, 2018)

Bev Sellars had filed court documents alleging that Mount Polley Mining Corp. polluted the environment

The B.C. Prosecution Service announced Tuesday it will not pursue private charges in the 2014 collapse of the tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine. The charges were filed by Indigenous woman Bev Sellars days after British Columbia’s government announced that provincial charges would not be laid.

On August 4, 2017, Bev Sellars swore a private Information alleging that the Mount Polley Mining Corporation (MPMC) had committed various offences contrary to the provincial Environmental Management Act and Mines Act.

The prosecution service says it does not usually permit a private prosecution to proceed. In this situation however it reviewed everything Sellars submitted. Continue Reading →

B.C. turning corner on prolonged resource bear market – by Nelson Bennett (Business Vancouver – January 30, 2018)

The numbers are in, and mining and mineral exploration in Canada are in recovery following a prolonged commodities bear market.

Canada-wide, 101 new mine projects are either under construction or in development, which, if all built, would represent a capital investment of $80 billion, according to Kim Rudd, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Natural Resources Canada.

Mining in B.C. produced an additional $3.9 billion in 2017 compared with 2016, and an additional $46 million was spent on exploration, Gordon Clarke, director of mineral development for the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, said at last week’s annual Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) Roundup conference. Continue Reading →

More major mines tapping Indigenous labour force – (Business Vancouver – January 30, 2018)

First Nations increasingly a key piece of puzzle in solving mining’s HR challenges

In recent years, two major copper mine proposals in B.C. – New Prosperity and Ajax – have been rejected by government, either largely or partly due to First Nations opposition.

What gets less publicity are mines that have been built with the support and co-operation of First Nations – Red Chris and Brucejack being among the most recent examples.

At last week’s Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) annual Roundup conference, Kim Rudd, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Natural Resources Canada, pointed out that mining is the largest employer of First Nations in Canada, employing 11,000 Indigenous people. Continue Reading →