Archive | British Columbia Mining

B.C. should demand miners pay cleanup costs up front: Indigenous study (Canadian Press/CTV News – November 7, 2019)

VANCOUVER — A report is urging British Columbia to get better financial guarantees that mining companies will pay for the mess they make. The First Nations who commissioned the study say that if the government doesn’t do it, they will.

“There’s clearly a recognition by the government and the courts that we have ownership and lands and we have jurisdiction and authority,” said Allen Edzerza of the B.C. First Nations Energy and Mining Council. “What this report is suggesting is that maybe they should exercise some of that authority.”

The province is reviewing the rules by which it ensures that taxpayers aren’t stuck with the costs of cleaning up or caring for abandoned mines. The report points to several recent examples of the government being left to pay the costs, including at least $500,000 at one old gold mine. Continue Reading →

British Columbia Indigenous rights bill should not be a problem for miners: industry group – by Staff ( – October 28, 2019)

The Association for Mineral Exploration or AME, a Vancouver-based industry group, issued a communiqué stating that the sector expects “minimal immediate change” following the introduction of the new BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Last week, the government of British Columbia in the figure of Premier John Horgan tabled Bill 41 on First Nations rights in the legislature. If passed, BC will be the first province in the country to legally implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

This means that Indigenous peoples will be included in all decision-making that impacts their rights and that all provincial laws would have to be aligned with the standards of the UN declaration. Continue Reading →

Teck Resources cutting B.C. jobs after price of coal plunges (CBC News British Columbia – October 8, 2019)

Coal workers in British Columbia are bracing for leaner times. The price of metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel, has fallen by about 40 per cent since the summer and Teck Resources, which operates four mines in the province’s Elk Valley region, is warning employees there will be layoffs.

In a letter dated Sept. 26 from Robin Sheremeta, Teck’s senior vice president of coal, to all employees at the four operations, the company noted the price of coal had dropped from approximately $210 per tonne to about $130 per tonne in a few weeks.

The letter outlined Teck’s plans to save money, which include an immediate salary and hiring freeze, reduced and deferred training and job losses. Continue Reading →

Racing toward innovation: Greg Brouwer talks about Teck’s RACE21, the multi-pronged approach to transform the company through automation and digitalization – by Ashley Joseph (CIM Magazine – September 23, 2019)

Since December 2018, Greg Brouwer has had a mandate to bring the country’s largest diversified resources company up to speed on mining innovation, and ultimately, propel it into the future. As Teck’s new vice-president of technology and innovation, Brouwer’s singular focus over the past half-year has been on modernizing, automating and strengthening the company’s technological foundation to improve systems, safety standards and output across the board.

A strong background in operations and business – Brouwer holds MBAs from Cornell and Queens, plus a graduate diploma in business administration from Simon Fraser – has served to ground his efforts at Teck, where he has worn a number of hats since joining in 1998.

Today, his excitement is directed at one of the company’s most ambitious projects: RACE21, a multi-pronged approach to transform the company by way of the adoption of various technological innovations. Continue Reading →

Osisko Gold CEO says recent deal will pay off despite criticisms – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – September 30, 2019)

Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. is grappling with sharp criticism and a big drop in its share price over its recent acquisition of a junior mining company, but chief executive officer Sean Roosen is adamant the deal will pay off for shareholders over the long term.

Shares in Oskiso fell by more than 20 per cent last week after the Montreal-based company announced it was buying the 67.4 per cent of development-stage company Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. it didn’t already own in an all-stock transaction worth $227-million.

Osisko’s business model historically has been heavily skewed toward owning royalties and streams on gold companies, with just a small portion of its capital tied up in equity stakes of juniors. Royalty and streaming companies provide financing to mining companies developing new projects in exchange for payments tied to production or a share of production. Continue Reading →

Mining generates $3 billion in business for suppliers – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – September 24, 2019)

If you live in Chetwynd or Tumbler Ridge, you are probably attuned to just how important mining is to B.C.’s economy. After all, three metallurgical coal mines operating in the region are a major employer for those communities.

The importance of mining to the rest of B.C.’s economy is not as well understood. But a new study has now put a number to mining’s spinoff impacts for other businesses throughout the province.

There are 17 operating mines and two smelters in B.C. that generate more than $12 billion in economic activity, according to a new study by the Mining Association of BC (MABC) and Mining Suppliers Association of BC (MSABC). Continue Reading →

Osisko Gold grabs Barkerville, creates North Spirit Discovery – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 23, 2019)

Canada’s Osisko Gold Royalties (TSX, NYSE: OR) is buying all the shares it doesn’t already own in fellow miner Barkerville Gold Mines, in a deal valued at C$338 million (about $255m).

The Montreal-based miner said each Barkerville shareholder would receive 0.0357 common share of Osisko for each share of Barkerville held, implying a value of C$0.58/share, based on Osisko’s Sept. 20 closing price on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The deal gives it access to Barkerville’s touted Cariboo gold project in British Columbia, which Osisko sees as a “potentially world-class asset” with significant infrastructure in place. The company said the asset has similar attributes to Canadian Malartic mine, when it identified the opportunity. Continue Reading →

British Columbia proposes reforms to strengthen oversight of mining industry (Canadian Press/National Post – September 21, 2019)

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is asking for public feedback on proposed changes to the Mines Act that it says will improve regulation and oversight of the mining sector.

The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources says in a news release it’s proposing to formally separate authorizations and permitting from enforcement and auditing powers. It’s also suggesting establishing an independent oversight unit with an auditing function and enhancing compliance and enforcement.

The Mines Act regulates all mining in B.C. and the proposed amendments are in response to recommendations made by the provincial Office of the Auditor General and a mining jobs task force. Continue Reading →

B.C. mining mogul predicts explosive gold market – by Hayley Woodin (Business In Vancouver – September 19, 2019)

The price of gold is headed for a new high, and when it does, money will flow to companies, predicts mining mogul and philanthropist Frank Giustra, chairman of Leagold Mining Corp. (TSX:LMC). “This is going to be an explosive gold market,” he told Kitco News in an interview earlier this month.

“The world is in uncharted waters right now. We’re living in a world with a global debt bubble, and any time you get debt bubbles of this magnitude that are global, that are fuelled by speculation, something’s going to happen.”

That something, he forecasts, is the price of gold hitting US$1,900 per ounce (about $2,500) – an approximate 27% increase above the spot price for gold midday on September 11. The prediction comes with a caveat: the potential for gold prices to boom comes in the context of a forecasted global economic bust. Continue Reading →

Miners must earn this trust through action: Clearer rules will help bring about safer tailings dams – by Bruno Oberle (Financial Times – September 20, 2019)

Bruno Oberle is chair of the Global Tailings Review, was state secretary for environment in the Swiss government, professor for green economy and resource governance at EPFL, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and heads its International Risk Governance Center.

In January 2019, a tailings dam near the town of Brumadinho in south-eastern Brazil collapsed. Mining waste — or tailings — rapidly flowed down a valley, claiming the lives of 248 people (with 22 individuals still missing) and causing widespread destruction.

Sadly, this was not the first time tailings have been released from the dams built to hold them, with devastating impact on the nearby communities and the natural environment. Nor was this the first time an event of this magnitude has happened in Brazil.

Following the disaster at Brumadinho, I was appointed chair of the Global Tailings Review convened by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Continue Reading →

[Trevali Mining] CEO bullish on buoying miner as zinc sinks – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – September 18, 2019)

The stock market has not been kind of late to Trevali Mining Corp. (TSX:TV). The Vancouver-based zinc miner has doubled in size since acquiring two zinc mines from Glencore Plc in 2017, bumping it to mid-tier miner status, with a global head count of about 2,000.

It now has four operating zinc mines – one in New Brunswick, one in Peru and two in Africa (Namibia and Burkina Faso). Normally, that kind of production growth would be a good reason to hold onto a mining stock. But the company’s share price has recently fallen to below $0.20 from $1.68 at the end of January 2018.

Trevali is not the only zinc miner to experience a stock market pummelling. Glencore PLC (LON:GLEN), one of the world’s largest zinc producers, has suffered a 45% decline in share value since January 2018. Continue Reading →

Boom and gloom in British Columbia’s north – by Nelson Bennet (Business In Vancouver – September 12, 2019)

As of May this year, an estimated 4,385 workers were employed on the $8.8 billion Site C dam construction project near Fort St. John. Kitimat and Terrace are humming with activity, thanks to the $40 billion LNG Canada-Coastal GasLink pipeline project.

Port expansion in Prince Rupert has created an additional 1,000 jobs since 2016. Employment is strong in the Dawson Creek-Tumbler Ridge-Chetwynd triangle, thanks in part to Conuma Coal Resources reopening a third mine – Willow Creek – last year.

And in the Golden Triangle of northwest B.C., mining exploration spending was up by about $165 million in 2018, according to EY. Economic growth in B.C.’s north is reflected in housing starts and construction permits. Continue Reading →

Taseko Mines barred from work in Tsilhqot’in traditional territory until Indigenous rights case is heard – by Ainslie Cruickshank (Toronto Star – September 6, 2019)

VANCOUVER—The Supreme Court of British Columbia has granted an Indigenous nation a temporary respite from the threat of extensive mine exploration on its traditional lands.

Justice Sharon Matthews issued an injunction order Friday to prevent Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Limited from doing any work until the court rules whether the provincial permit for a drilling program infringes on Tsilhqot’in Indigenous rights.

“At the end of the day, this was our last hope,” said Jimmy Lulua, chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations, one of the six Tsilhqot’in Nation communities. Continue Reading →

Imperial Metals seeks to present evidence before decision on potential Mt. Polley environmental prosecution – by Gordon Hoekstra (Vancouver Sun – August 26, 2019)

Imperial Metals wants evidence from a trial on the responsibility for the Mount Polley mine dam failure to be considered in a prosecutorial decision by Canada against the company for potential environmental damage charges relating to the breach.

In a petition filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Aug. 19, Imperial Metals says the evidence of former-British Columbia chief inspector of mines Al Hoffman is of “fundamental importance” to establishing whether there is any reasonable prospect of securing a conviction against the company under the federal Fisheries Act, and whether it is in the public interest to launch such a prosecution.

The mining company has asked for the court’s permission to use Hoffman’s evidence and related B.C. government responses collected during the discovery stage, information normally only to be used in the lawsuit for which it is gathered. Continue Reading →

The rising cost of ‘social license’? Liberals give away $40M stake in coal terminal to two First Nations – by Jesse Snyder (National Post – August 20, 2019)

OTTAWA — In a highly unusual move, the federal government gifted a $39-million stake in a B.C. coal terminal to two First Nations communities, perhaps signaling the rising cost of winning Indigenous support for natural resource projects.

The Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV) announced in July that it had transferred a 10 per cent stake in the publicly-owned Ridley Terminals facility to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation, whose people reside near Prince Rupert on the northern B.C. coast. Finance officials confirmed there was “no payment associated with that transfer.”

The transfer comes after the two Indigenous groups were set to be major beneficiaries of a liquefied natural gas project that has since been scrapped. Continue Reading →