Archive | British Columbia Mining

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 →

The $250m ghost town: How a once-booming Canadian mining settlement that was born out of the space race but abandoned after just 18 months could take off again… 35 years later – by By Tariq Tahir (Daily Mail – January 27, 2018)

With its rows of neat modern houses, at first glance, Kitsault looks every inch a desirable modern place to live. Beneath that facade, though, is the sad story of a settlement that is now a ghost town, abandoned less 18 months after it was opened.

The town was conceived by mining company Amax Canada to attract workers to the remote north of British Columbia, near the border with Alaska, to mine molybdenum.

The metal is known for its hardness and corrosion resistance and its so hard it was commonly used in the nose cones of rockets in the arms race. Continue Reading →

Teck Resources says it will be weeks before Elkview coal mine dryer is fixed – Canadian Press (CBC News B.C. – January 25, 2018)

Vancouver-based company says work is ongoing to assess extent of damage and impact on production

Teck Resources Ltd. says it will take four to six weeks to repair damage at its coal drying complex at its Elkview mine in B.C., following a “significant pressure event” earlier this month.

The incident was described by a union executive as an explosion that workers said resulted in a “fireball” shooting through vents in the sides and roof of the building.

Vancouver-based Teck says repairs will cost less than $10 million and expects lost production to amount to about 200,000 tonnes of clean coal. It says Elkview is producing higher moisture steelmaking coals at approximately 80 per cent of planned production levels. Continue Reading →

[FNs Fed Up With Environmental Opposition to Resource Development] Calvin Helin Interview at the AME Roundup 2018 in Vancouver (Resource Works – January 25, 2018)

Calvin Helin Interview at the AME Roundup 2018 in Vancouver from Resource Works on Vimeo.

Resource Works communicates with British Columbians about the importance of the province’s resource sectors to their personal well-being. It demonstrates how responsible development of British Columbia’s resources creates jobs and incomes throughout the province, both directly and indirectly, while maintaining a clean and healthy environment.

And Resource Works explores the long-term economic future of British Columbia as a place that depends on the responsible development, extraction and transportation of the province’s resources.

Interview with Calvin Helin, a Canadian businessman and writer on aboriginal topics who is a member of the Tsimshian First Nation in northwestern British Columbia.

Prospectors look to technology to help along rebound in B.C. mining exploration – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – January 24, 2018)

Michael Burns can take a crew of two or three people with one of his company’s drones out to a remote mining claim and in a day do the survey work it would take a crew of four or five a month to do on the ground.

It’s an innovation that didn’t exist three years ago, said Burns, CEO of Vancouver headquartered Global UAV Technologies, during a presentation at the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C.’s annual Roundup conference.

The conference saw more than 6,500 delegates — its best attendance in three years — from dozens of companies, government agencies, suppliers and financiers gather to examine the next best prospects for mining and how to accomplish exploration in context of a renewed focus on reconciliation with First Nations. Continue Reading →

Explosion knocks out drying complex at Teck coal mine, raising safety concerns (Victoria Times Colonist – January 22, 2018)

CANADIAN PRESS: VANCOUVER — The union at a Teck Resources Ltd. coal mine near Sparwood, B.C., says it’s concerned about worker safety following an explosion that knocked out the mine’s coal drying complex last week.

Alex Hanson, president of United Steelworkers Local 9346, says someone could have been killed in the incident at the Elkview mine that workers report sent a fireball shooting through vents in the sides and roof of the building.

He says there were two smaller but similar events last year in the complex where coal is dried using a natural gas heating system before being loaded on railcars to go to market. Continue Reading →

‘A shock to all of us’: Teck Resources’ dam sale upsets workers, community in Trail, B.C. – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – January 19, 2018)

The sale is raising questions about whether Teck Resources is laying the groundwork to pivot away from its smelting business to focus on other businesses elsewhere

Mike Mozak’s union was in the middle of labour negotiations with Teck Resources Ltd. last spring when the company announced a proposed $1.2-billion deal to sell its hydroelectric dam that powers the lead and zinc smelter where his members worked. “It was a shock to all of us,” said Mozak, president of United Steelworkers Local 9705, who questions how the sale could affect the smelter’s future.

Nestled on a hill overlooking the town of Trail in British Columbia’s West Kootenay region, the smelter complex has operated for more than 100 years and is one of the largest in the world, certainly the largest in Canada where it supplies 1,400 jobs and props up the regional economy.

Last year, through the first three quarters, the smelter produced more than 230,000 tons of zinc, essential for rustproofing the steel and iron found in everything from bridges to frying pans, and a component used in fertilizers and batteries. Continue Reading →