Archive | British Columbia Mining

Heading back to camp: Mineral exploration camps are resuming in British Columbia amidst new health and safety protocols in the COVID-19 pandemic -by Tijana Mitrovic (CIM Magazine – July 23, 2020)

Mineral exploration companies in British Columbia are heading into the field this summer after months of sheltering in place. But in the midst of a global pandemic, what will exploration camps look like?

Governments, industry organizations and companies continue to release and develop new COVID-19 health and safety protocols to protect communities and control the spread of the virus.

In May, the provincial government announced that all workplaces would be required to have a COVID-19 safety plan before resuming or beginning work. Continue Reading →

Bringing coal back – by Robson Fletcher, Drew Anderson and Jordan Omstead (CBC News – July 7, 2020)

In a desperate economic moment, Alberta is abruptly reshaping a decades-old balance in the Rockies and Foothills, chasing opportunity in the volatile market of coal exports, at the risk of the very land that defines the province and its people.

Stand atop Mount Erickson in southeastern British Columbia and it feels like you can see forever.

Look north, and peer along the jagged ridgelines of the High Rock Range, which stretch to the horizon. To the south, snow-capped peaks in the Crowsnest Range cut into the blue sky, rising above dense green forests. Across the valley to the west, row upon row of sawtoothed summits fade into the distance, melding into mesmerizing array.

And then you look down. Down the austere slope, in the valley below, is a massive, open-pit coal mine. Continue Reading →

Why Building of the Alaska Highway is Still an Epic Feat 75 Years Later (TranBC – August 10, 2017)

Driven by wartime urgency, the building of the Alaska Highway remains an epic accomplishment, 75 years later. The highway began as a dream.

In the 1920s, the United States wanted a route through Canada to connect Alaska – its largest and most sparsely populated territory – with the 48 states south of the 49th parallel. Some 800 kilometres of land lay between Alaska and the rest of the US. With no overland way across northern BC and the Yukon to Alaska, the northernmost US state was reliant on air and marine transport.

Back then, Canada was just not interested – there was little to be gained, and the next decade brought the Great Depression.

Wartime Drive Continue Reading →

[B.C. Gold Mining] THE CARIBOO ROARS AGAIN – by Charles Lugrin Shaw (MACLEAN’S Magazine – May 15, 1933)

SEVENTY YEARS ago the gold rush to the Cariboo country, in central British Columbia, was the talk of the mining world and the goal of thousands of men who, eager for adventure and the chance of making a quick fortune, answered the alluring call of the gold trail. The creeks of the Cariboo were worked for generations and yielded more than $60,000,000 in placer gold.

Then came the day when mining men regarded the Cariboo with a shrug of indifference and perhaps a sigh of hopelessness. “The Cariboo is through,” they said. “A mining camp never comes back.”

But they spoke too soon. For this year, thousands of miners— some with their wives and children and even their mothers-in-law—have struck out for the glamorous Cariboo to gamble with the capricious goddess of fate that rules all mining camps, just as their predecessors did in the early 1860s. After half a century of peaceful slumber, the historic old goldfield has awakened and is roaring again. Continue Reading →

[Canadian Gold Mining/Exploration During Depression] The Trails of `34 – by Leslie McFarlane (MACLEAN’S Magazine – September 15, 1934)

THE CARIBOO, the Yukon, the Porcupine—these fields have been the scenes of epic Canadian gold rushes. In each case the stage setting was colorful, the action dynamic. Each field had its peak year of raw drama. They were spectacular rushes, with an element of madness and frenzy. They belong to history.

And yet in sheer enormity, in point of men involved, money expended, wealth produced and in sight, not one of them could hold a candle to the great gold rush of ’34.

Men still speak of the Cariboo Trail and the Klondyke Trail. There can be no such convenient designation for the scene of this year’s great gold trek unless one refers in a general way to the ‘Trails of ’34. Because the scene is all Canada, and the trails lead to new fields and old. The effort is not concentrated upon a single area. The stage is so wide, so crowded with effects that the term “rush” may seem at first glance a misnomer. And yet from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, across the whole breadth of the Dominion, one of the greatest gold treks of all time is in full swing. Continue Reading →

British Columbia: Gold rush garbage mined to unearth history of Chinese miners in B.C. – by Betsy Trumpener (CBC News British Columbia – June 7, 2020)

A B.C. archaeologist is mining a garbage dump beside an old Chinese restaurant, working to unearth clues about the lives of Chinese gold miners more than a century ago. Dawn Ainsley’s dig site is in the Chinatown section of Barkerville Historic Town and Park, about 700 kilometres north of Vancouver.

2,000 Chinese miners

At the height of the gold rush, about 2,000 Chinese miners lived in the area, making up about half of the local population.

Now, working beside historical wooden buildings, Ainsley picks through layers of trash thrown off the side porch of the Doy Ying Low restaurant as far back as 1870. The garbage has been buried in layers of mud from the flooding that’s occurred in the last 150 years. Continue Reading →

Mining offers British Columbians an opportunity to help our economy grow and recover from COVID-19 – by Michael Goehring (Vancouver Sun – June 3, 2020)

Michael Goehring is the president and CEO of the Mining Association of B.C., representing the province’s steelmaking coal, metal and industrial mineral producers, smelting operations and advanced development companies.

The lives of British Columbians have been fundamentally altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tragically, it has taken loved ones before their time, while entire sectors of our economy have been shut with nearly 400,000 jobs lost in March and April alone.

In B.C.’s mining sector, the pandemic prompted a quick and resolute response to protect the health and safety of our employees and communities and maintain worksites and operations essential to our economy and the livelihood of more than 33,000 British Columbians.

Despite COVID-19, last month the B.C. Legislature proclaimed May as Mining Month to recognize the industry’s long standing contribution to our province. Continue Reading →

Guest view: Fix Canadian mining issues now – by Rich Moy and Ric Hauer (Montana Standard – June 2020)

Rich Moy spent over 30 years working in water policy, planning and management in Montana and regionally and served as a U.S. commissioner on the International Joint Commission from 2011 to 2019. Ric Hauer is professor emeritus at the University of Montana and Flathead Lake Biological Station. Both have worked on Canadian mining issues since the late 1970s.

An international group of science and policy experts from the United States and Canada recently published a letter in the prestigious journal Science voicing concern for the poisoning of U.S. rivers stemming from Canadian headwaters. The source of the contamination? Hard-rock and coal mining.

We’ve known about the toxins flowing from British Columbia into downstream states for decades. However, the poisoning of U.S. waters from Canadian mining is about to get dramatically worse and will go on for centuries if it is not stopped, and stopped before it’s too late.

The Science article urged immediate action calling on the United States and Canada to jointly invoke the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to resolve several transboundary water disputes. Continue Reading →

A New Look at Windy Craggy – by Bruce Downing and Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse(Resource World – May 29, 2020)

N’tsi Tatay, more widely known as the Windy Craggy Project, is one of North America’s largest resources of cobalt with excellent copper, zinc, gold and silver grades hosted in an Upper Triassic Besshi-style volcanogenic massive sulphide.

It is located in the northwestern corner of British Columbia within a regional scale volcano – sedimentary basin, termed Alta Basin, which is a mineralized belt that has the potential for future discoveries. Other known sulphide prospects occur within 15 km of N’tsi Tatay.

The 1992 non-NI 43-101 compliant historical resource estimate is 297,400,000 tonnes: 1.38% Cu, 0.069% Co, 0.20 g/t Au, 3.83 g/t Ag using a 0.5% copper cut-off grade. This estimate should be considered a minimum, as a new zinc-rich (Ridge) zone was discovered at the end of latest drilling campaign in 1990 and remains open. Continue Reading →

‘A complete disaster’: Investors take aim at Teck CEO Don Lindsay after commodity cycle misses – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – May 20, 2020)

Days after Teck Resources Ltd. publicly pulled the plug in February on Frontier, a proposed $20.5-billion mine in the oilsands, one of the company’s largest investors started a campaign to oust the company’s chief executive, Don Lindsay.

Bob Bishop, founder of Impala Asset Management, a Florida-based resource focused hedge fund, which has been a shareholder since 2016, wrote a letter in late February to the board; and then a few days later, just before coronavirus halted all air travel, he flew to Toronto to deliver his message in person to the company’s chair Sheila Murray: It’s time for Lindsay to go.

For Bishop, whose firm owned 1.9 per cent of Teck’s Class B shares at year end, oil was proving to be another mistake in a long line of miscalculations: Teck invested $1.1 billion in Frontier, one of the largest greenfield oil projects ever imagined in Canada, before it abruptly withdrew from the permitting process. Continue Reading →

Teck CEO defends strategy at mining conference as investors launch criticism – by Dan Healing (Canadian Press/Global News – May 12, 2020)

The CEO of Teck Resources Ltd. defended his company’s growth strategy on Tuesday as dissident shareholders criticized what they called “underperforming” investments in coal and oilsands.

“Our strategy is very straight forward,” said CEO Don Lindsay in a webcast speech at the online Bank of America Securities Global Metals, Mining and Steel conference.

“Teck is implementing a copper growth strategy financed by the strong cash flows from steel-making coal and zinc. We are focused on rebalancing our portfolio to ultimately make our copper business bigger than our coal business, beginning with QB2, which will double our copper production on a consolidated basis.” Continue Reading →

Bishop’s Impala Joins Campaign to Oust CEO of Teck Resources – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – May 11, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Impala Asset Management has become the second investor in a month to go public about efforts to pressure Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd. into ousting its longstanding CEO.

The Connecticut firm, founded by industry veteran Bob Bishop, said it sent a letter to Teck’s board Feb. 28, excerpts of which it provided to Bloomberg.

The letter criticizes Teck’s chief executive officer, Don Lindsay, for what the firm calls destruction of shareholder value while saying he received one of the biggest paychecks in the industry. In 2019, Lindsay’s total compensation was C$9.2 million ($6.6 million), including C$1.64 million in salary. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Can Teck Resources fend off attacks from activist funds? – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – May 9, 2020)

Teck Resources, one of the last Canadian-controlled mining companies of any size, has been in the news a lot in recent months – for all the wrong reasons.

In December, the Vancouver company emerged as one of the bogeymen at the climate change summit in Madrid, where Canadian Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson was peppered with questions about Teck’s proposed $20-billion Frontier oil sands projects in northern Alberta.

If cabinet were to approve the project, his climate change plan would lose all credibility on the world stage. But Teck killed Frontier in February, sparing cabinet from having to make a no-win decision. Continue Reading →

Teck Resources posts loss as miner grapples with impact of coronavirus, rail blockades – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 22, 2020)

Production and profit plunged at Teck Resources Ltd. in the first quarter as Canada’s biggest diversified mining company grappled with the damaging impact of the novel coronavirus that hammered commodity prices across its coal, copper and energy segments.

For the three months ending March 31, Vancouver-based Teck reported a loss of $312-million compared with a profit of $630-million in the same period last year.

On an adjusted basis, the miner reported a profit of 17 cents a share, two cents lighter than analysts surveyed by Refinitiv predicted. Revenue fell by 23 per cent to $2.4-billion. Continue Reading →

Exploration companies don’t qualify for federal wage top-up – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – April 16, 2020)

Right about now, mineral exploration companies will be gearing up for a season of drilling and other exploration activities in B.C.

Last year, junior exploration companies spent $329 million on exploration in B.C., with 55% of that spent in the Golden Triangle area of Northwest BC, according to an annual report by the Association of Mineral Exploration of BC.

Because mining and exploration are deemed essential, junior exploration companies may not be affected by pandemic containment measures as much as some other sectors, although there are enhanced safety measures that they must abide by for things like remote work camps, and changes to the Workers Compensation Act. Continue Reading →