Archive | British Columbia Mining

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 →

Teck Resources profit slumps as prices drop, costs climb – by Susan Taylor (Reuters U.K. – October 25, 2018)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd, the world’s second-biggest exporter of steel-making coal, reported lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings on Thursday, hit by declining commodity prices and higher costs.

A number of one-time events also weighed on the quarter, including delayed zinc sales and higher costs at the Trail smelter due to forest fire smoke, adding up to C$58 million ($44.39 million), TD Securities analyst Greg Barnes said in a note.

Strong steel-making coal sales in the quarter would have “significantly” exceeded Teck’s forecast of 6.8 million tonnes, the company said, but logistics issues at Westshore Terminals delayed delivery of approximately 250,000 tonnes of the material, worth some C$55 million in revenue. Continue Reading →

B.C’s historical Kootenay-Boundary district mining region gathers attention – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – October 14, 2018)

Non-profit organization Geoscience BC recently published a series of maps and geological data whose main goal is to encourage mineral exploration in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary in southern British Columbia.

Known as the Greenwood area, the site is well established since the 1880s as one of the most prolific areas for the exploitation of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the western Canadian province.

According to Geoscience’s archives, it hosted 26 mines whose combined production reached 1.2 million ounces of gold and over 270,000 tonnes of copper. Among those mines was the world-class, open pit copper-gold skarn deposit known as Phoenix, as well as the Mother Lode, Greyhound and Oro Denoro mines. Continue Reading →

How new approaches to coal mining revived a B.C. district – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – September 21, 2018)

Expertise, acumen and timing had a lot to do with it, but September 21 marks the second anniversary of a success story that strongly demonstrates mining’s intangible benefits. Two years ago Conuma Coal Resources re-opened its newly acquired Brule mine in northeastern British Columbia, then re-started two more open pits in the same region. While the advantages of resource industries often extend well beyond jobs and the economy, this is a company that actively pursues a mission in addition to profits.

But profitable Conuma is. It’s also the Peace River coal field’s only miner, following a 2014 downturn that closed the last of the district’s metallurgical fuel operations run by Walter Energy, Anglo American and Teck Resources.

After Walter entered bankruptcy proceedings the following year, something like 80 firms looked over the company’s Peace assets, with a proposal coming from a liquidator that would have dismantled the projects, says Conuma president Mark Bartkoski. He and a highly experienced group put together their privately-held company in summer 2016. Continue Reading →

[British Columbia] Mount Polley mine engineers face disciplinary hearing – by Andrea Woo (Globe and Mail – September 26, 2018)

The regulatory body that oversees British Columbia’s engineers and geoscientists is alleging negligence and unprofessional conduct against three engineers in connection with the 2014 Mount Polley dam collapse that sent millions of cubic metres of tailings-pond water into B.C. waterways.

Engineers and Geoscientists BC announced the hearings, scheduled for next year, for Todd Martin, Laura Fidel and Stephen Rice on Wednesday following an independent investigation into the breach.

The regulator’s investigation committee alleges that the three individuals, who were involved in the design, construction and monitoring of the tailings-storage facility, demonstrated negligence and/or unprofessional conduct in the course of their professional activities. The allegations have not yet been heard by a disciplinary panel and are unproven. Continue Reading →

Appeals court sides with Colville Tribe against Canadian mining company for polluting Upper Columbia River – by Agueda Pacheco-Flores (Seattle Times – September 25, 2018)

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court decision finding a Canadian company is liable for polluting the Upper Columbia River in a hard-fought lawsuit between the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the largest lead and zinc mining company in the world.

In a 55-page opinion issued Sep. 14, federal appellate court judges Ronald M. Gould, Richard A. Paez, and Michael J. McShane upheld a district-court decision that U.S. federal courts do have jurisdiction to find Teck Resources Ltd. (formerly Teck Cominco Metals) liable for polluting the river for close to a century.

The ruling upheld a lower court order for the company to reimburse the Colville tribe $8.25 million — $3.39 million the tribe paid to investigate the river’s pollution, plus $4.86 million in attorney fees and costs. The company must also pay $344,300 in prejudgment interest, bringing the total to nearly $8.6 million. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: BC Mine Reclamation Award and Scholarship Recipients Announced

Williams Lake, B.C., Canada – September 24, 2018 – The British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation (TRCR) presented the 2017 BC Mine Reclamation Award at its 41st Annual BC Mine Reclamation Symposium in Williams Lake last Wednesday.

The Jake McDonald Annual Mine Reclamation Award was presented to Teck Highland Valley Copper Partnership for its use of tailings ponds and pit lakes at its mine near the town of Logan Lake, B.C. for aquatic habitat and as passive water treatment facilities.

“The resulting progressive reclamation of the Bethlehem, Trojan, and Highmont tailings ponds, and the Huestis, Iona, and Jersey pit lakes that has occurred over 20 years demonstrates that Highland Valley Copper is a global leader in this area of mine reclamation science,” noted Jennifer McConnachie, Chair of the TRCR Awards Subcommittee. Continue Reading →

Imperial Metals explores sale of company amid financial restructuring – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – September 18, 2018)

Troubled junior copper producer Imperial Metals Corp. has kicked off a strategic review that may result in the sale of the company as it struggles under a mountain of debt.

In a Monday release, Imperial Metals said it will also consider selling assets piecemeal, entering into joint ventures or recapitalizing the company.

The Vancouver-based company, backed by well-known energy executive Murray Edwards, says it has taken a number of steps that give it financial breathing room in the short term. With a market capitalization of just $134-million, it has a debt load of roughly $857-million and a cash balance of $16-million as of the end of the second quarter. Continue Reading →

Taseko claims court victory but natives call on B.C. to block New Prosperity – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – August 28, 2018)

In theory, the latest court decision regarding Taseko Mines’ (TSX:TKO) New Prosperity project might have brought some clarity to Canada’s vaguely defined “duty to consult.” But how that plays out in practice remains to be seen.

On August 28 the company stated that last week’s British Columbia Supreme Court decision overrules native objection to an exploration permit. The ruling allows Taseko to collect data that might overcome a 2014 federal environmental rejection for the proposed gold-copper open pit in the province’s south-central area.

Calling the decision “unequivocal,” company president/CEO Russell Hallbauer said it affirmed the province’s “authority to approve resource development work even in the face of aboriginal opposition. Continue Reading →

B.C. could see more dam failures like Mount Polley without better regulation, report says (CBC News British Columbia – August 28, 2018)

Research predicts 2 dam failures every 10 years

A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is warning that B.C. could see more disasters like the Mount Polley dam collapse if regulations around mining remain unchanged.

According to the report, co-published by the Corporate Mapping Project, the Wilderness Committee and Brazil-based PoEMAS, there could be as many as two dam failures every 10 years.

On Aug. 4, 2014, the Mount Polley mine’s tailings dam broke, sending 24 million cubic metres of mining waste into nearby lakes and rivers. Continue Reading →

Clean up that damn [British Columbia] mine – by Brian Lynch (Juneau Empire – August 17, 2018)

Brian Lynch of Petersburg is a commercial fisheries biologist retired after a 30 year career with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and currently works in Petersburg for Rivers Without Borders on transboundary mining issues.

The Tulsequah Chief mine has been polluting the Taku Watershed with acid mine drainage (AMD) for over 60 years now. This pollution is in violation of British Columbia and Canadian laws and mine permits.

The most recent study done by B.C. found “unacceptable risks” from the toxic drainage. Three years ago the B.C. Mines Minister visited Juneau and promised to remedy the problem, yet nothing has been done. So, why is the pollution still happening?

Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott’s efforts to draw attention to the need for B.C. to promptly and completely close and clean up the mine site have been helpful, but more is needed to get B.C. to move beyond promises and to take action. Continue Reading →

Gold Billionaire Ross Beaty’s Unfinished Business – by Goldfinger ( – August 14, 2018)

Intelligent. Impatient. Addicted to the game of creating wealth for others. Billionaire mining entrepreneur Ross Beaty has built one successful resource company after another. The Vancouver geologist formed Lumina Copper in the early 2000s to acquire and develop copper projects. Early investors there were rewarded with staggering returns of over 8000% (Full story).

Beaty created Pan American Silver, one of the world’s largest silver producers. He’s backed countless other successful mining startups including Ventana Gold and Augusta Resource Corp. in a big way. In 2009, Beaty turned his sights to renewable energy, and built Alterra Power into a successful producer that was acquired for $1.1 billion last year.

He’s been honored with the Order of Canada (2017), the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame (2018), the B.C. Business Laureates Hall of Fame (2017), and countless others for his entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

We recently caught up with Mr. Beaty to learn about his new gold business and hear his thoughts on the mining cycle. Continue Reading →