Archive | British Columbia Mining

B.C.’s UNDRIP law a big step, but not necessarily a big change for mining – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – January 21, 2020)

B.C.’s new law on living up to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a big development, but it shouldn’t change much about how mining exploration happens in the province.

The legislation writes into law the requirement that government seek informed, prior consent of First Nations on resource development, but “I bet you recognize in industry, you’ve been doing this for a long time,” a senior civil servant, Doug Caul, told the Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup conference in Vancouver.

Caul, deputy minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation, said resource developers have already been following the guidance set by court decisions on respecting Aboriginal rights and title and putting in the upfront work to build relationships with Indigenous communities. Continue Reading →

Mines Minister Mungall addresses a B.C. mining exploration sector facing challenges – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – January 20, 2020)

Energy and Mines Minister Michelle Mungall greeted a mining-exploration sector that is looking for more certainty, clarity and speed from government on permitting its activities as she helped open its annual convention in Vancouver on Monday.

Mungall is “a fabulous supporter” of mining, said Kendra Johnston, CEO of the Association of Mineral Exploration B.C., but exploration firms need certainty around the timeliness of permits and consistency around permit requirements. “Government is well aware of the issues industry has been having,” Johnston said.

Mungall, along with Paul Lefebvre, the federal parliamentary secretary for natural resources, helped open the Association for Mineral Exploration’s 2020 Roundup convention, which brings together more than 5,000 delegates from industry, government and First Nations for one of the biggest technical conferences on mining exploration in Canada. Continue Reading →

OPINION: B.C.’s gas-pipeline protest will end in a whimper, not a bang – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – January 10, 2020)

While uncertainty surrounds the final outcome of a blockade that has halted construction of an important natural gas pipeline in northern B.C., be assured that the protest by a small group of Indigenous leaders and environmental activists has zero chance of jeopardizing completion of the project.

There is simply too much at stake, not the least of which is Canada’s international reputation for resource development – which is not great as it is.

The rest of Canada has become inured to environmental confrontations in British Columbia. There is a long, sharp history of them, one that continues to shape the nature and scope of the crusades we are witnessing today. They have become intertwined more recently with court decisions that have handed Indigenous groups more power than they’ve ever known. Continue Reading →

Teck Resources coal deal with Ridley raises concerns about rival Westshore – by David Berman (Globe and Mail – January 9, 2020)

Teck Resources Ltd. has struck a deal with Ridley Terminals Inc. to double, and perhaps triple, its shipments of steel-making coal through Prince Rupert, B.C., sending the shares of rival Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. to their lowest levels since 2016.

The deal, announced by Teck on Wednesday, will run from January, 2021, to December, 2021, and will increase its coal shipments through Ridley from a capacity of three million tonnes a year to six million tonnes. Teck has the option to further increase this volume to a capacity of nine million tonnes, effectively tripling the company’s current shipments.

The diversified mining company, based in Vancouver, has overhauled parts of its steel-making coal operations in recent months as it attempts to reduce costs. In December, Canadian National Railway Co. won a five-year contract long held by rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. to haul Teck’s B.C.-mined coal to West Coast ports – boosting CN’s annual revenue by as much as $250-million. Continue Reading →

Make Prince Rupert the New Hong Kong in Canada – by Peter Scholz (The Epoch Times – December 1, 2019)

Peter Scholz MCIP PMP is a Professional Land Planner in Arviat, Nunavut, Canada.

A century ago, when Canada’s prime ministers were visionaries and not bank-appointed aspirants of positive branding, our founding fathers dreamed of a Canada with three major ports on the West Coast.

The first would be near the southern border and guard the Dominion from the South: Vancouver. The second would be near the southern border of Alaska, either Seward or Prince Rupert, and guard us from the North. The third would be a smaller port and serve the Yukon and Stikine: Skagway, which the Americans managed to convince an international mediator to give to Alaska.

Charles Melville Hays died on the Titanic. He was the magnate and visionary who made it his task to mirror the Canadian Pacific Railway/Vancouver success with the Grand Trunk Railway (later the Canadian National)/Prince Rupert pairing). Continue Reading →

Ottawa should watch and learn as B.C. is about to become a testing ground for Indigenous rights – Editorial (Globe and Mail – November 25, 2019)

British Columbia is about to become the first place in Canada to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

The NDP provincial government in late October introduced a bill that calls on it, working with Indigenous people, to “take all measures necessary” to align the laws of B.C. with UNDRIP. The UN passed the declaration and its 46 articles as a non-binding resolution in 2007. The B.C. bill is on track to become law as soon as this week.

And yet it is still not clear what UNDRIP in B.C. law will mean, or what the consequences will be. There are concerns about the phrase “free, prior and informed consent” in a number of articles in the declaration – including around resource development. The meaning of consent is undefined and the impact is difficult to predict. This page has previously expressed these worries, but there may be a silver lining in B.C.’s move to codify the declaration. Continue Reading →

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 →