Archive | British Columbia Mining

U.S. officials accuse Canada of sitting on damning data on B.C. mining toxins in a transboundary river – by Bob Weber (Canadian Press/Global News – July 8, 2018)

United States officials are accusing their Canadian counterparts of sitting on damning new data about toxic chemicals from southern British Columbia coal mines in water shared by both countries.

In a letter to the U.S. State Department, Americans on the International Joint Commission say Canadian members are blocking the release of information on contaminants that are many times above guideline levels. The commission was created in 1909 as a way to discuss water that crosses the U.S.-Canada border.

The B.C. dispute, brewing for decades, burst open in June when the commission’s two Canadian members refused to endorse a report on selenium in the Elk River watershed just north of the border. Continue Reading →

Sustaining dialogue: Resources for Future Generations brings diverse viewpoints to vital issues – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – June 15, 2018)

Evidently the organizers want to find common ground between disparate, even polarized, viewpoints. And Vancouver, as a world capital of mining, a burgeoning high-tech centre for clean energy and a hotbed of environmental activism, might be the ideal venue for such an endeavour.

It’s here that Resources for Future Generations will assemble an international and divergent group to discuss three essentials to our survival on this planet: energy, minerals and water.

The event takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre between June 16 and 21 where, to offer just a few examples, representatives of Rio Tinto, the David Suzuki Foundation, Clean Energy Canada, the Tahltan Nation and Resource Works will meet and mingle, where the likes of Ross Beaty and Tzeporah Berman will share perspectives and where the public—the real stakeholders in all this—might gain a better understanding of resource-related issues. Continue Reading →

First Nations deserve resource rights, but ‘almighty dollar’ encourages risky development: activist (CBC Radio – May 27, 2018)

It’s not easy for Canada’s First Nations to act as both land protectors and drivers of economic development. But it is possible, says an Indigenous leader.

“We’re Canada’s first entrepreneurs,” J.P. Gladu, president of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business told Duncan McCue, host of Cross Country Checkup. “There’s always been an impact on the resources … now there’s an opportunity to build a modern-day economy and we know that there are going to be impacts.”

In a live broadcast from Prince Rupert, B.C., Sunday, Canadians weighed in on whether it’s time to transfer resource rights back to First Nations. Despite decades of commissions and reports, the issue of land rights remains contentious — and unresolved. Continue Reading →

Canada’s mining industry learned from Mount Polley tailings dam disaster – by Pierre Gratton (Vancouver Sun – May 23, 2018)

Pierre Gratton is President & CEO of The Mining Association of Canada.

I was pleased to read the column by Jacinda Mack and Loretta Williams in which they acknowledge the vital role minerals and metals will play in the transition to a low carbon economy.

B.C. products like metallurgical coal, copper and molybdenum are all critical to the supply of renewable energy technologies and zero-emission vehicles. B.C. and the rest of Canada’s mining sector have every reason to be a major, responsible supplier of these products to the world.

I also agree with their sentiment that there is an obligation on B.C.’s mining sector to provide these products responsibly. They call for stronger regulation of mines and for the adoption of industry standards, such as the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, or IRMA. Here is where I can provide some important additional information on both topics. Continue Reading →

[British Columbia] Mining going strong in north – by Frank Peebles (Prince George Citizen – May 22, 2018)

Mining in B.C. is on the rise. The northern region is leading the province in healthier returns from that sector of the economy that hasn’t been strong in recent years.

Operations near Prince George like Mount Milligan (north of Fort St. James) and Gibraltar (near McLeese Lake) have continued through the downturn, but a drop in global commodity prices caused an overall slowdown in many mining plays, and a significant cutback in the amount of exploration going on in the search for new deposits.

The price of key commodities like coal and copper are starting to climb again, said B.C. Mining Association vice-president of corporate affairs Lindsay Kislock and the signs of a waking industry are now being seen in B.C. where mining plays a pivotal role in the overall economy. Continue Reading →

Centerra gets $200 million for royalty portfolio and Kemess silver stream – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 17, 2018)

Canada’s Centerra Gold (TSX:CG) is selling its subsidiary AuRico Metals’ royalty portfolio and a silver stream on its Kemess project to Triple Flag Mining Finance Bermuda, in a deal valued at $200 million.

The transaction, said the company’s President and chief executive, Scott Perry, is meant to generate cash to continue developing key projects, as well as growing the miner’s pipeline, through the sale of non-core assets. He said the move would also allow Centerra strengthen its balance sheet.

The Toronto-based miner said the deal implied selling AuRico Metals’ royalty portfolio, including net smelter returns royalties on Kliyul, Chuchi and Redton exploration properties, an upfront cash payment of $155 million. Continue Reading →

Time for mining to clean up its act – by Jacinda Mack and Loretta Williams (Vancouver Sun – May 16, 2018)

Jacinda Mack is co-founder of Stand for Water, a project of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining (FNWARM). Loretta Williams is chair of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining.

We are told that B.C.’s natural resources can play a key role in the global transition to a low-carbon future. From clean-energy cars and wind turbines that require copper, steelmaking coal and molybdenum, to silver and selenium for solar cells; it is said that the province has the potential to be a leader in clean-energy mining.

But supplying the essential ingredients for green energy is at risk, unless B.C. mining laws can enforce practices that uphold First Nations rights and the environment. Sadly, that’s not the case, and hasn’t been, since the first B.C. gold rush nearly 170 years ago.

First Nations’ experience of mining in B.C. has been negative from the outset. The Mount Polley tailings-dam disaster in 2014 was simply the latest in a history of destruction and misery caused by generations of badly regulated mining operations, an outdated Mines Act and the province’s failure to live up to its commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Continue Reading →

Jobs, revenues, share prices benefit as higher commodity prices boost B.C. mining – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – May 11, 2018)

Click here for full report:

The bull’s still not back but higher commodity prices continue to sustain a mood of cautious optimism among British Columbia miners, PricewaterhouseCoopers assures us. Its 50th annual report on B.C. mining sketched a broad picture of the province’s industry by surveying 13 companies, focusing on 15 operating mines, a smelter and seven projects in the exploration, permitting or environmental review stage.

Among survey participants, gross revenue hit $11.7 billion in 2017, a 35% jump from the previous year and reflecting an upward trend in the mining cycle. (Except for commodity prices, all figures are given in Canadian dollars.) Governments scooped up $859 million in total mining revenues from those companies last year, compared with $650 million in 2016. Continue Reading →

Editorial: sitting on a gold mine: Quesnel’s mining past may well be its future – by Melanie Law (Quesnel Cariboo Observer – May 12, 2018)

Quesnel Cariboo Observer

The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources has declared May to be mining month, and as a city with its roots firmly planted in the industry, we’ve got a lot to celebrate.

The Cariboo Gold Rush attracted Canadians from across the country in the mid-1800s, as well as Americans, Brits and Chinese people hoping to find their fortune.

Quesnel is one of the many communities that became important in those days – hence the iconic gold pan, hundreds of times larger than an actual pan, located at the city’s northern entrance. Continue Reading →

Yes, anti-pipeline Vancouver really is North America’s largest exporter of coal – by Tristin Hopper (National Post – April 13, 2018)

A city dead set against expanding petroleum exports is decidedly less irked about another type of fossil fuel

Lately, it’s one of the few things that oil boosters and environmental activists can agree upon: Calling Vancouver a hypocrite for opposing carbon emissions while also being the continent’s largest coal port.

And both camps are correct. According to the data, Canada’s mecca of anti-pipeline sentiment does indeed rank as the largest single exporter of coal in North America. Vancouver’s various coal facilities exported 36.8 million tonnes of coal in 2017, according to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

This places the B.C. city well above Norfolk, Virginia, the busiest coal port in the United States. Despite a massive spike in U.S. coal exports for 2017, only 31.5 million tonnes of coal moved out of Norfolk last year. Continue Reading →

[Mount Polley tailings spill] Imperial’s VP environment talks remediation – by Alisha Hiyate (Canadian Mining Journal – April 2018)

Imperial Metals Mount Polley Mine Remediation & Monitoring Updates:

Vice-president ‘Lyn Anglin speaks about the aftermath of the Mount Polley tailings spill

When the Mount Polley tailings storage facility failed in August 2014, it sent 7.3 million cubic metres of fine tailings, 600,000 cubic metres of construction materials and 17 million cubic metres of water into the local watershed, uprooting trees and vegetation in its path and depositing the slurry in Hazeltine Creek, Quesnel Lake, Polley Lake and Edney Creek.

Three and half years later, the mine’s owner Mount Polley Mining Corp., a subsidiary of Imperial Metals, has spent about $70 million on rehabilitation efforts.

It also has 3.5 years’ worth of data from testing of water, aquatic life, soil and plants to assess the effects of the tailings facility breach, contained in thousands of pages of studies including post event environmental impact assessment reports, a human health risk assessment, and an ecological risk assessment, all of which are posted on its website. Continue Reading →

After Mount Polley: The activists and filmmaker behind the documentary ‘Uprivers’ – by Kevin Gulufsen (Juneau Empire – April 8, 2018)

Indigenous activists Jacinda Mack and Carrie James come from two different countries and opposite ends of rivers their livelihoods depend on. One issue unites them: concerns over under-regulation of Canadian mining projects on the U.S.-Canada border.

Mack, a Canadian from the Indigenous Xat’sull community, hails from Williams Lake, a small town near the headwaters of the Fraser River. She’s experienced environmental disaster before.

In August 2014, a tailings dam failed at Mount Polley mine, sending 847 million cubic feet of mining waste into nearby rivers, places she used to harvest subsistence foods to feed her family. Continue Reading →

‘Is it climate change?’: Unexpected early thaw in B.C. a relief for Centerra Gold’s Mount Milligan mine – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 23, 2018)

Climate change giveth, and climate change taketh away — that is, if you can attribute anything to climate change.

Last December, Toronto-based Centerra Gold Inc. shut down the mill at its Mount Milligan mine in British Columbia after anemic snowmelt runoff and an unexpected extreme cold snap froze the shallow supply of water in its tailing ponds. On Friday, the company announced that same mill resumed operating at near full capacity, ahead of schedule, thanks in part to an earlier-than-expected thaw. The company’s stock rose 2.2 per cent to $7.31 per share.

Scientists say that climate change is making water management increasingly difficult because weather patterns are less predictable, but Centerra’s chief executive Scott Perry expressed skepticism. Continue Reading →

Kitimat would be biggest loser if U.S. revokes tariff exemption – by Nelson Bennett (Business Vancouver – March 13, 2018)

Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter employs 1,000, exports $600 million annually to U.S.

Vancouver’s shipbuilding and construction industries could pay more for steel and aluminum if the U.S. revokes an exemption granted to Canada under plans to impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% tariffs on aluminum imports.

But no community in B.C. would suffer more than Kitimat under the tariffs if they result in a worst-case scenario: layoffs or even a complete shutdown of the Rio Tinto Alcan (NYSE:RIO) smelter there.

The smelter is Kitimat’s biggest employer and taxpayer. With a workforce of 1,000, it employs one out of every six people in the town of 6,400 inhabitants. It sells roughly $600 million worth of aluminum to the U.S. annually, so a 10% tariff would add $60 million to U.S. prices. Continue Reading →

British Columbia to reform Environmental Assessment Process in the fall – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – March 7, 2018)

The government of British Columbia revealed today the timeline that will guide the procedures to reform the province’s environmental assessment process.

Known by its initials, the EAP is a course of action to predict environmental effects of proposed initiatives, particularly mining and resource extraction projects, before they are carried out.

In general, an EAP should identify potential adverse environmental effects; propose measures to mitigate adverse environmental impacts; predict whether there will be significant adverse environmental effects after mitigation measures are implemented; and include a follow-up program to verify the accuracy of the environmental assessment and the effectiveness of the mitigation measures. Continue Reading →