Archive | British Columbia Mining

A. M. (Sandy) Laird (Born 1934) – 2019 Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Inductee

The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame was conceived by the late Maurice R. Brown, former editor and publisher of The Northern Miner, as a way to recognize and honour the legendary mine finders and builders of a great Canadian industry. The Hall was established in 1988. For more information about the extraordinary individuals who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, please go to their home website:

During a 39-year career with Placer Dome and predecessor Placer Development, Sandy Laird was directly involved in transforming at least 15 mineral projects into profitable mines. He was a driving force in the company’s project development group, which he headed from 1988 to 1995, and was later responsible for Placer Dome’s global operating and development subsidiaries.

Many of the mines were large, technically complex, and in challenging jurisdictions. Laird earned a reputation for overcoming obstacles and delivering projects to high technical, social and environmental standards. He was a team-builder and a key participant in the growth of Placer into one of the world’s great mining companies before it was acquired by Barrick Gold in 2006.

Born in Invermere, BC, Laird spent several summers as an underground miner and a geologist’s assistant before graduating from the University of British Columbia with a BASc in mining engineering in 1957. He joined Placer in 1960, and worked in various positions at the Craigmont mine near Merritt, BC. Placer was then considered a prime training ground for young engineers, and Laird’s responsibilities increased as he quickly scaled the ranks, moving to Endako as Open Pit Superintendent in 1964. This video was produced by PENDA Productions, a full service production company specializing in Corporate Communications with a focus on Corporate Responsibility.

From 1968 to 1971, he was the Resident Manager during construction and start-up of the Marcopper mine in the Philippines. During the next ten years, Laird worked in management positions in Vancouver and San Francisco, and built and managed the McDermitt mine in Nevada. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Ascot Resources to Acquire IDM Mining to Create a Leading Gold Development and Exploration Company

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ascot Resources Ltd. (TSX.V:AOT, OTCQX:AOTVF) (“Ascot”) and IDM Mining Ltd. (TSX.V:IDM, OTCQB:IDMMF) (“IDM”) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement (the “Definitive Agreement”) pursuant to which Ascot will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of IDM (the “Transaction”).

Each IDM shareholder will be entitled to receive 0.0675 of a common share of Ascot for each share of IDM held (the “Consideration”). The Transaction will consolidate Ascot’s Premier Gold project (“Premier”) and IDM’s Red Mountain project (“Red Mountain”), to create the leading high-grade gold development and exploration company in northwestern British Columbia’s Golden Triangle. The combined entity will benefit from numerous operational and development synergies.

The Consideration values IDM at approximately C$0.086 per share, representing a premium of approximately 54% to IDM shareholders based on the trailing 20-day volume weighted average price of each company as of the close of trading on January 4, 2019. Upon completion of the Transaction, it is expected that IDM shareholders will hold approximately 16.7% of Ascot shares on an outstanding basis. Continue Reading →

Imperial Metals suspends operations at Mount Polley mine because of declining copper prices (Canadian Press – January 7, 2019)

Imperial Metals Corp. says it is suspending operations at its Mount Polley mine in south-central British Columbia due to declining copper prices.

The gold and copper mine was the site of a 2014 tailings dam collapse that was one of the largest environmental disasters in the province’s history. Imperial Metals said in a news release Monday that the suspension plan includes milling of low grade stockpiles which is expected to extend operations to the end of May 2019.

There will be no impact to the mine’s ongoing environmental monitoring and remediation program, it said. “Full operations will resume once the economics of mining at Mount Polley improve,” it said.The company did not immediately respond to a request for more details, including how many jobs would be affected by the suspension of operations at the mine northeast of Williams Lake, B.C. Continue Reading →

Mining innovation helps lead B.C.’s economy into high-tech future – by Bryan Cox (Business In Vancouver – December 18, 2018)

Bryan Cox is president and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia.

B.C.’s mining industry is an essential part of the economic and social foundation of the province. A vibrant, competitive, growing industry provides benefits to British Columbians in all corners of the province.

However, the rapid pace of change seen both in industry and in broader society requires bold and innovative solutions to ensure that the B.C. mining sector is fiscally competitive with jurisdictions throughout the world and maintains its place as a leader in economic development, environmental best practices and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

The opportunity is at hand to expand this foundational industry that employs tens of thousands of British Columbians and contributes billions of dollars annually to the provincial economy. Continue Reading →

Canada As Ugly Neighbor: Mines in B.C. Would Devastate Alaskan Tribes – by Ramin Pejan (Earth – December 7, 2018)

Southeast Alaskan Tribes have brought a human rights petition against Canada to protect the fish at the center of their cultures.

Mining operations in Canada are threatening to destroy the way of life of Southeast Alaskan Tribes who were never consulted about the mines by the governments of Canada or British Columbia.

The Tribes have depended for millennia upon the pristine watersheds of the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk rivers. These waters flow through varied and wild landscapes from British Columbia through Alaska and are teeming with salmon and eulachon.

The mines – two of which are operating and four that are proposed – endanger downstream fish populations through the release of toxic mine waste and acidic waters. Fish are fundamental to the Tribes’ cultural practices and livelihoods, making the pollution a violation of the Tribes’ human rights to culture and an adequate means of subsistence. Continue Reading →

Teck sells stake in Chilean copper project to Japan’s Sumitomo for US$1.2-billion – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – December 5, 2018)

Teck Resources Ltd. is selling a stake in a large Chilean copper project for US$1.2-billion to a Japanese mining company in a deal that will see Canada’s biggest diversified miner proceed with a major expansion of its copper business.

On Tuesday, Vancouver-based Teck said its board had approved the US$4.7-billion construction of Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) after selling a 30-per-cent share in the project to Sumitomo Metal Mining and Sumitomo Corporation.

Teck will put the proceeds raised from Sumitomo toward the construction of QB2, which it hopes to have in production in about three years. After those funds are exhausted, two-thirds of the future costs of construction will come from Teck and one-third from Sumitomo. Chile’s state-owned Empresa Nacional de Mineria (ENAMI), which owns 10 per cent of the project, has no funding commitments. Continue Reading →

Sleepy Kitimat stirs ahead of the LNG Canada project (Northern Sentinel – December 1, 2018)

Northern Sentinel

It is questionable how quickly energy-industry developments in the Kitimat-Terrace area will start to provide major change in the District of Kitimat – but the last few weeks of related announcements and press releases has certainly been encouraging to me.

Since the LNG Canada announcement, there has been a sufficient and satisfying number of intriguing and newsworthy media stories to speed up the realization that this is going to become a pretty busy place as the pace picks up through the winter planning phases and spring and summer construction periods.

My own Google “alert” system, in the past few days alone, has indicated enough of a gradual increase in meaningful and potentially encouraging news stories to lift my hopes that we will actually see some real activity over and above traffic increases in town in the next several months. Continue Reading →

Kitimat: a century of boom and bust: The heady dreams of a 50,000 population city turned out to be just that – by Walter Thorne (Northern Sentinel – December 1, 2018)

Northern Sentinel

By 1950 there wasn’t much happening when you looked northwest across Douglas Channel from Kitamaat Mission. It was still rather quiet, pristine and devoid of human presence. Even the pioneer ranchers of the estuary had all disappeared, leaving only a few buildings and artifacts.

The five hundred or so souls of Kitimaat Village had it all to themselves. But a new development scheme had been proposed and the Haisla were about to witness one of the most rapid and profound transformations to the landscape ever seen in B.C. – the Alcan project.

Development of the aluminum smelter and accompanying town got underway in April 1951 when the first barges and towboats arrived with pile drivers and bulldozers. But while this was to be the grand-daddy of all booms, it was not the valley’s first. The first was five decades earlier in 1900 when developer Charles Clifford began to promote Kitamaat in earnest, describing its harbour as the finest on the Pacific seaboard without exception. In 1903 Clifford was elected MLA for Skeena and continued to be an avid promoter of Kitimat. Continue Reading →

B.C. issues request for proposal to clean up acidic Tulsequah Chief mine – by Gordon Hoekstra (Vancouver Sun – December 2, 2018)

Underground copper mine that operated in the 1950s has faced criticism from First Nations, environmentalists and the Alaskan government.

The B.C. government has taken a preliminary step to clean up the bankrupt Tulsequah Chief copper mine that has leaked acid-laced run-off for decades. Last month, the B.C. government put out a request for proposal to remediate the mine, located in the extreme northwest corner of the province near the Alaskan border. The deadline for proposals was Nov. 29.

The request was issued after remediation plans put forward by Chieftain Metals’ primary secured creditor, West Face Capital, did not satisfy the B.C. Ministry of Mines. If a cleanup proposal is chosen, a final report that includes site-hazard assessment, remediation methods, closure steps and costs is due by Sep. 30, 2019.

The acid run-off from the mine into the Taku River has been a long-standing sore point for B.C. and Alaskan First Nations and environmentalists, and the Alaskan government. “The B.C. government has taken a first step, but there’s still a lot that has to happen before the mine gets cleaned up,” Chris Zimmer, Alaska campaign director for Rivers Without Borders, said. Continue Reading →

British Columbia seeks bids to remidate Tulsequah Chief mine – by Elwood Brehmer (Alaska Journal of Commerce – November 28, 2018)

British Columbia mining regulators have taken the first step toward paying to clean up an abandoned mine that has been leaking acid runoff into Alaska waters for decades.

The British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources issued a request for proposals Nov. 6 soliciting bids to remediate the Tulsequah Chief mine located in the Taku River drainage about 10 miles upstream from the Alaska-British Columbia border.

State officials contend the multi-metal mine that operated for just six years has been leaking acid wastewater into the Tulsequah River, which feeds the Taku, since it was closed in 1957. The Taku River empties into the Pacific near Juneau and is one of the largest salmon-bearing rivers in Southeast Alaska. Continue Reading →

This Week in History: 1858 There’s gold in this collection of early B.C. ephemera – by John Mackie (Vancouver Sun – November 23, 2018)

Legendary collector put together 45 pages of letters, posters, maps and illustrations of B.C.’s gold rush period in the 1850s and 1860s.

In January 1862 somebody in London wrote a letter to James Cooke in the Kootenays. At the time, few people knew anything about B.C., a four-year-old colony in one of the most remote parts of the British Empire.

So they put all their geographical knowledge into the address, which is long and detailed: “Fort Shepherd, near the mouth of the Pend Orielle River, in Vicinity of Colville Mines on Columbia River, British Columbia, North America.” Cooke was the post manager at Fort Shepherd, a small Hudson’s Bay Company trading post just south of today’s Trail. You’ve probably never heard of it, because it closed in 1870.

It’s hard to say if Cooke received the letter, but by March 1862 it made it to Port Townsend, Wash., where it was postmarked. Eventually it found its way into the collection of Gerald Wellburn, a legendary collector of B.C. stamps and ephemera. Continue Reading →

Teck Resources back in black and back on top-100 list – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – November 14, 2018)

In 2016, Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.B; NYSE:TECK), B.C.’s largest mining company, did not even make Business in Vancouver’s Top 100 Most Profitable Companies List, due to a commodities price crash that resulted in the company recording a $3.6 billion impairment and posting a $2.5 billion loss in 2015.

Two years later, it’s No. 1 – a position it last held in 2012, at the end of a commodities supercycle – based on its 2017 net profits. Teck ended 2017 with record revenue of $12 billion and record cash flow of $5.1 billion. According to Teck’s annual audited financial statements for 2017, the company posted $2.5 billion net profit compared with 2016’s $1 billion.

While that jump back onto the top spot has something to do with a recovery in commodity prices, it also has a lot to do with the way the company is structured and the way it positions itself. Continue Reading →

British Columbia revises law that regulates the environmental assessment of major resource projects – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – November 12, 2018)

The British Columbia government announced this week that, after one year of consultations with Indigenous peoples, industry, communities, environmental organizations and the public, it introduced legislation to modernize the environmental assessment of major resource projects.

In a media statement, the provincial administration said that the idea behind the changes is to provide “a clear and timely path for the approval of responsible resource projects, pursue reconciliation with B.C.’s Indigenous peoples, increase public engagement and transparency and deliver stronger environmental protections.”

The new legislation is also part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement signed between the New Democratic Party and the Green Party when the former was pushing to form a minority government in last year’s regional election. Continue Reading →

Emergency crews deal with another sulphuric acid leak near Trail – by Scott Brown (Vancouver Sun – September 24, 2018)

When the leak in the tractor-trailer was discovered, a portion of Highway 22 was closed while teams scanned for additional spills.

For third time this year, emergency crews, including the RCMP, firefighters and industrial cleanup teams, were pressed into action Saturday near Trail after a tractor-trailer was spotted leaking sulphuric acid.

The Trimac Transportation Ltd truck and trailer was contracted by International Raw Materials Ltd. (IRM) to carry sulphuric acid between Teck Trail Operations and the Quirk Siding Reload Centre in Waneta.

In a statement from International Raw Materials, it was after the truck had unloaded its product that a “small sulphuric acid drip” was noticed. Continue Reading →

INTERVIEW: GREN THOMAS, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN HAND – by James Kwantes (Resource Opportunities – October 26, 2018)

It’s 1:15 p.m. on a sunny Friday afternoon in Vancouver and I arrive a little early for a downtown meeting with Westhaven Ventures (WHN-V) chairman Gren Thomas. A short elevator ride at Granville and West Hastings takes me to Westhaven’s modest offices on the 10th floor, where I let myself in and drop by CFO Shaun Pollard’s office.

Inside, Pollard and veteran geologist Ed Balon — Westhaven’s technical director — are talking rocks and stocks. Westhaven shares rose 36% on the day to an all-time high close of 94 cents. Teamwork: Balon was key to identifying the Spences Bridge epithermal gold belt, which hosts Shovelnose, outside of Merritt, and Westhaven’s other projects: Prospect Valley, Skoonka and Skoonka North. Pollard runs a tight treasury ship in a sector with its share of (adrift) lifestyle companies.

And it’s at Shovelnose where a high-grade intercept of 17.77 metres of 24.50 g/t gold in hole 14 sent Westhaven shares — which traded between one and three nickels for years until this spring — rocketing from 37 cents to 81 cents on Oct. 16. This is a junior mining market where momentum flows to companies that can hit rich intercepts of high-grade gold. Westhaven has become one of them. Continue Reading →