State lawmakers join call to feds to intervene in Canadian mining upriver of Alaska – by Sage Smiley (Alaska Public Radio – March 16, 2023)


Southeast Alaska lawmakers are joining tribal and municipal governments, calling on the federal government to stop – at least temporarily – British Columbia’s mining activities in transboundary watersheds.

Southeast Alaska’s major river systems – the Taku, Unuk and Stikine – originate in British Columbia. Those transboundary watersheds are peppered with mineral claims, active mines and shuttered former mining operations.

Read more

The Year That Made and Broke BC – by Crawford Kilian (The Tyee – March 15, 2023)

The 1858 gold rush brought sweeping change, and sealed a grim future for Indigenous people.

Gold, Grit, Guns is an extraordinary book that focuses on the lives of four prospectors and their mixed fortunes in the B.C. gold rush of 1858. Their diaries vividly describe the expense and hard work it took just to reach an unclaimed gravel bar, and then to find the flakes and nuggets of gold it might contain. In the process of getting rich, or more likely going broke, they also began the breaking of an ecosystem and an economy thousands of years old.

The year 1858 was a pivotal one for the western regions of British North America: it saw the transformation of “New Caledonia” into the Crown colony of British Columbia (soon to merge with the colony of Vancouver Island).

Read more

Teck Coal appeals B.C. fines for contaminating Kootenay waterways (CBC British Columbia – March 12, 2023)

Local Ktunaxa First Nation upset mining company seeking reduction to $16 million in penalties

A local First Nation says it’s “disappointed” Teck Coal is seeking to reduce the $16 million in fines it was assessed by the B.C. Ministry of Environment in January for polluting waterways in B.C.’s East Kootenay.

In January, the province imposed three administrative penalties on Teck Coal Limited, a subsidiary of Teck Resources, citing the company’s failure to have water treatment facilities ready by a required date. The company had been asked to have the facilities ready in order to limit emissions of nitrate and selenium from its Fording River operations in the Elk Valley.

Read more

Resource firms move ahead with UNDRIP compliance as B.C. legal changes lag – by Chuck Chiang (Globe and Mail/Canadian Press – March 12, 2023)

While British Columbia slogs through reforms to comply with a United Nations resolution on Indigenous rights, the private sector has been quietly embracing the benchmarks of its own accord.

B.C. lawyer Merle Alexander said he had worked on two deals between First Nations and resource companies in the past year, both complying in large part with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which B.C. committed to adopting in 2019.

Read more

BC exploration spending hits ten-year record – by Mariaan Webb (Mining Weekly – March 8, 2023)

Exploration spending in British Columbia reached C$740-million, surpassing the previous ten-year high of C$681-million seen in 2012, with copper being the driving force behind the record-setting year.

Conversely, the number of projects and total metres drilled decreased by 24% and 20%, respectively, from the previous year as exploration shifted toward earlier stage activities, EY’s seventh yearly British Columbia mineral and coal exploration survey has found.

Read more

No more free entry?: A legal challenge by two First Nations threatens BC’s mineral claim system. – by CBA National/ABC National – February 27, 2023)

It all used to be so simple. Way back in the Wild West days of mineral exploration in Canada, prospectors searching for surface signs of gold, silver or copper would cut down trees at four corners of a small plot to “stake” a claim. All a claim-jumper had to do was knock down the stumps.

It’s harder now — many jurisdictions have moved their claims online, making claim-jumping much less likely. But the basic model of “open entry” underlying exploration rights — the model that allows virtually anyone to stake an exploration claim simply by clicking on a map and paying a fee — remains the dominant model for mining regulation in Canada. In British Columbia, it’s under attack.

Read more

OPINION: Teck’s coal spinoff is greenwashing and a blow to the ESG movement – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – February 28, 2023)

If the ESG movement had one target, it was coal, the grubbiest of the fossil fuels. Mining companies in the Western world eventually succumbed to ESG pressure when they realized that sending their coal operations packing would not only clean up their acts but create value, as investors would reward them for having done good for the planet.

So out went the coal, and the share multiples of the companies behind the spinoffs or sales of the fuel climbed. But coal not only refused to die a polite death, it became hugely profitable after Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, triggering an energy crisis that sent many countries, from Germany to Pakistan, scrambling for the product they once vowed to downgrade to fringe status.

Read more

Teck Resources to spin off coal business, end Keevil family control – by Andrew Willis (Globe and Mail – February 22, 2023)

Teck Resources Ltd. launched a sweeping restructuring on Tuesday by announcing plans to spin off its coal business and end the founding Keevil family’s six-decade run at the helm of the country’s largest base metals miner.

Vancouver-based Teck is asking shareholders to approve hiving off its steelmaking coal mines in British Columbia into a new company called Elk Valley Resources Ltd. Teck valued its offspring at $11.5-billion and will list Elk Valley on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The parent will focus on increasing copper production at mines in North and South America, and be renamed Teck Metals Corp.

Read more

Teck Resources is exploring spin-out of steelmaking coal operations – by Andrew Willis (Globe and Mail – February 17, 2023)

Teck Resources Ltd. is exploring a spin-out of its steelmaking coal division, or other ways to exit its largest business, as part of a strategic shift to mining metals that will power a greener economy.

Vancouver-based Teck, the country’s largest coal producer, said on Thursday it is “evaluating alternatives for its steelmaking coal business, including the possible spin-out of an interest in that business to its shareholders.” The announcement came after Bloomberg reported the company could announce a transaction as early as next week.

Read more

Teck is said to plan coal spinoff to focus on metals – by Thomas Biesheuvel, Dinesh Nair and Jacob Lorinc (Bloomberg News – February 16, 2023)

Teck Resources Ltd. is planning to separate its multibillion-dollar steelmaking coal business to focus more on industrial metals, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Canadian miner is expected to make an announcement on the spinoff as early as next week, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Deliberations are ongoing and no final decision has been made, the people said.

Read more

B.C. fines Teck Coal $16 million for contaminating Kootenay waterways – by Winston Szeto (CBC News British Columbia – February 8, 2023)

The company failed to treat effluent for selenium and nitrate, Ministry of Environment says

A Canadian mining company has been fined more than $16 million for polluting waterways in B.C.’s East Kootenay.

The B.C. Ministry of Environment has imposed three administrative penalties on Teck Coal Limited, a subsidiary of Teck Resources, citing the company’s failure to have water treatment facilities ready by a required date to limit emissions of nitrate and selenium from its Fording River operations in the Elk Valley.

Read more

Teck misses copper guidance, expects more extreme weather events – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – February 1, 2023)

Teck misses copper and steelmaking coal output goals

Extreme weather events hurt Teck Resources Ltd. in 2022 as the Vancouver-based miner missed its copper and steelmaking coal output goals, the company said on Jan. 31.

The miner produced 65,400 tonnes of copper in its fourth quarter that ended on Dec. 31, pushing its overall annual production to 270,500 tonnes in 2022. That was lower than its estimate of 273,000 to 290,000 tonnes. In 2021, the company produced 72,000 tonnes of copper in its fourth quarter and 287,000 tonnes overall.

Read more

Are metals headed for a golden age? – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – January 30, 2023)

Resource investors predict gold prices could hit record high this year

Gold prices could break an all-time high in 2023 and the outlook for “every single metal on the periodic table” is incredibly bullish, which could be very good for the junior exploration sector.

Those were some of the prognostications Monday at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, which followed on the heels of last week’s Association of Mineral Exploration (AME) Roundup conference, attended by close to 6,000 people from around the world.

Read more

B.C. had record spending on exploration in 2022 – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – January 23, 2023)

British Columbia had record spending on mineral exploration in 2022 and there are eight new mines or mine expansions in the queue, Premier David Eby said Monday at the opening of the Association of Mineral Exploration (AME) Roundup conference in Vancouver.

Eby said there was $740 million spent in mineral exploration in B.C. in 2022 – a record – and mineral production in B.C. is also expected to be a record: $18.2 billion.

Read more

B.C. mineral tenure regime does not respect duty to consult, First Nations argue in challenge – by Ian Burns (Lawyers Daily – January 20, 2023)

British Columbia’s “free entry” mineral tenure regime, which has been largely unchanged for decades and is sometimes described as a Gold Rush-era relic, will soon be before a court due to challenges by two First Nations who say it has an adverse effect on their rights.

Under the provincial Mineral Tenure Act, there is an automatic registration system where a person known as a “free miner” can acquire a mineral claim on the Internet, select cells on a map and pay a fee of $1.75 per hectare to obtain a claim, with no notice required to the people whose land the miner stakes.

Read more