Archive | Canada Mining – North of 60

Agnico Eagle’s mine training program has its critics – by Avery Zingel (CBC News North – May 16, 2019)

A worker at Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank Mine in Nunavut says a training program designed to train Nunavummiut allows southern contractors to rise, while Inuit wait for training. Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. operates the Meadowbank open-pit gold mine, north of Baker Lake and the Meliadine mine near Rankin Inlet.

CBC has agreed not to name the worker, who said he fears reprisal from the company. The man has been an employee with the company for over a decade, and said he has never been suspended.

The employee, who is not Inuit, said he is “fed up” with the treatment of his Inuit colleagues. The man said Inuit on his crew are overlooked for higher-paying positions and become frustrated when they are turned down for the training they need to advance. Continue Reading →

Study indicates mine contamination not a big health issue for Yellowknifers – by Richard Gleeson (CBC News North – May 15, 2019)

The most comprehensive study undertaken on the concentration of mine contaminants in people living in the Yellowknife area shows contaminant levels similar to those found in Canadians generally.

“We don’t have any evidence or reason to be concerned about the immediate health effects that we see in other populations that have high levels, like India and Bangladesh,” said Dr. Laurie Chan, the University of Ottawa professor leading the study.

Researchers analyzed tongue swabs, toenail clippings and urine from 2,037 residents of Yellowknife, Ndilo and Dettah. They measured concentrations of arsenic, lead and cadmium. In adults, they found arsenic levels slightly lower than levels measured in Canadians generally. The levels in children were higher than in Canadian children generally, but not high enough to be a concern. Continue Reading →

North: Sale of abandoned, contaminated mine site in Yukon gets go-ahead (CBC New North – May 7, 2019)

Yukon Supreme Court approves Alexco/JDS Group plan to purchase Mount Nansen mine site near Carmacks

A polluted mine site that was abandoned two decades ago and once called “an embarrassment to Canada” by a Yukon Supreme Court judge, may have a new owner to clean it up.

The federal government announced Monday that Alexco/JDS Group has been approved by the Yukon Supreme Court to purchase the Mount Nansen site near Carmacks, Yukon, and remediate the site within 10 years. The purchase price has not been made public.

The federal government would oversee and pay for the cleanup work, but Alexco/JDS will do the job and then own the site. It’s a similar arrangement to what the company has at Yukon’s Keno Hill district. Continue Reading →

Kugluktuk finding new ways to produce fresh food, mining company [TMAC Resources Inc.] lends a hand – by Jackie McKay (CBC News North – May 7, 2019)

Kugluktuk, Nunavut, is finding new ways to provide the community with fresh produce. In April the hamlet harvested its first batch of leafy greens from the community greenhouse.

The greenhouse is a converted shipping container with a hydroponic system. “It helps in many different ways, first is providing a reliable source of leafy greens which can be some of the most temperamental vegetables to fly up to the Arctic,” said Matt Stadnyk, manager of community economic development for the hamlet of Kugluktuk.

It’s mostly leafy greens such as mixed lettuce, spinach and kale grown at the moment. The container can produce about 325 plants a week. The idea is for the community to have an alternative to costly air freight for fresh produce. But the hamlet doesn’t want to create competition with the grocery stores. Continue Reading →

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Canada’s claim to the Northwest Passage is ‘illegitimate’ – by Mike Blanchfield (Canadian Press/National Post – May 7, 2019)

Pompeo’s statement is described as a ‘stunning rebuke’ of the 1988 Arctic Co-operation agreement reached by Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan

OTTAWA — Canada’s claim over the Northwest Passage is “illegitimate,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday in a major speech to the Arctic Council that Canadian experts called both provocative and frequently inaccurate.

Pompeo offered his characterization during a wide-ranging speech in Finland in which he also warned against China’s increased Arctic presence, saying it threatens North American security and could be harmful to the environment.

Pompeo reiterated long-held concerns about Russia’s military build-up in the Arctic and how that, too, is viewed as being counter to American security interests. Continue Reading →

Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine mine set to start commercial production – by Jim Bell (Nunatsiaq News – May 1, 2019)

Inuit orgs could rake in nearly half a billion from Agnico Eagle’s Kivalliq operations

Following the pouring of its first bar of gold last February, the Meliadine gold mine near Rankin Inlet will start commercial production this month, Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. said last week in its financial statements for the first quarter of 2019.

The processing plant at Meliadine has already produced 17,582 “pre-commercial” ounces of gold. And by the end of this year, AEM hopes to produce about 230,000 ounces, the company said.

The long-awaited Meliadine mine, which cost more than $900 million in capital expenditures, is expected to require about 900 employees, at least 350 of whom will be Inuit. “Three underground mining areas are now in operation, with operations in a fourth area expected to commence in the second quarter of 2019,” the company said. Continue Reading →

Glory to ghost; the 25-year NWT zinc town – by A.J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – April 26, 2019)

Like many single-industry towns, once the well dries up, people seek greener pastures. However, the residents of a place many probably have never even heard of hold on to the remnants of their past. For them, it was an important and irreplaceable land, it was their home.

Pine Point, Northwest Territories, was a town located 10 kilometers (6 miles) inland from the south shore of Great Slave Lake and 87 kilometers (54 miles) east of Hay River. Cominco Ltd. (now Teck Resources Ltd.) explored the area around Pine Point as early as 1929 but it wouldn’t be for at least thirty years until development would begin and the plans for a settlement established. Production started in 1965.

Cominco built its own townsite which became known as Pine Point. It became a territorial settlement with private businesses and boasted a population of nearly 2,000 at its peak. By the mid-1980s depressed prices caused economic difficulties for the mine. Cominco shut down operations in the summer of 1987, although it continued to mill until the following spring. Continue Reading →

Northerners aren’t ready to cash in on $1B Giant Mine cleanup, oversight board says – by Alex Brockman (CBC News North – April 24, 2019)

The $1-billion cleanup of Giant Mine will be one of the largest economic projects in the Northwest Territories, but northerners aren’t ready to take advantage of it, according to the latest report from the board overseeing the project.

The ongoing project could be a boon to northern contractors and workers, with $36.3 million spent in 2017-18 and $40.3 million in 2016-17 for care and maintenance work, such as tearing down buildings, repairing electrical equipment and keeping the site safe.

But only 20 per cent of the workers on those projects were from the North and only four per cent Indigenous, continuing downward trends from previous years, the Giant Mine Oversight Board reported in its 2018 annual report, released Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Agnico bets on high grade gold as it digs in Canada’s remote north – by Nichola Saminather (Reuters U.S. – April 23, 2019)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Agnico Eagle Mines is doubling down this year on Nunavut, Canada’s least developed territory, betting that the high-grade gold ores and slim competition there will offset the risks of digging in the remote location in the far north.

For miners desperate to shore up reserves, the choice is often between safer jurisdictions with inhospitable geographies and easier-to-reach ores in politically challenging locations. Investors have been rewarded for backing Agnico’s strategy.

The company’s shares have surged 71 percent over the past five years, trouncing the 0.3 percent gain in the benchmark S&P/TSX Global Gold Index. They believe the company is making the right move again, thanks to high-grade ores in Nunavut and Agnico’s 12 years’ experience in the Arctic territory. Continue Reading →

CLIMATE CHANGE THREATENS ICE ROADS. SATELLITES COULD HELP – by Nick Stockton (Wired Magazine – April 18, 2019)

FOR A FEW months each winter, Canada’s Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road is the world’s longest ice highway, a 300-plus-mile network of frozen lakes that connects lucrative diamond mines in Canada’s Northwest Territories to supplies from the nation’s not-quite-so-far north.

But warmer winters and earlier springs have shortened the road’s open season by up to two weeks over the past decade. The loss of the road for even such a short time is very expensive, because the only other way to reach these mines is by air.

Salvation may come from space. A Canadian researcher has demonstrated that radar emitted from satellites can peer through the ice, determining not just its thickness but also its quality. (Does it have a lot of bubbles? Continue Reading →

EDITORIAL: Support mines that support Nunavummiut (Nunavut News – April 17, 2019)

Nunavut News

Whether you notice it or not in your daily life, all reports show a glittering economic forecast for Nunavut. Speaking at the Nunavut Mining Symposium, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz noted that the territory is set for the strongest growth among all territories and provinces for 2019, at a rate of nine per cent.

“That’s pretty spectacular stuff,” Poloz said. “That’s not some fiction, that’s real.” Nunavut’s senior economist Francois Picotte piled on the good news, noting the territory will see very high growth for the next four years.

All of this is thanks to mining, which is becoming such an economic force in Nunavut that it will surpass even government in its weight in the territorial economy. Continue Reading →

Grays Bay Road and Port gets going again – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – April 9, 2019)

“We have just applied for funding from the federal government to make the project ‘shovel ready’”

Western Nunavut’s Grays Bay Road and Port Project is back: the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s wholly-owned subsidiary, the Nunavut Resources Corp., has reapplied for money from the federal trade corridors program.

“We have just applied for funding from the federal government to make the project ‘shovel ready,” said Scott Northey, the NRC’s director and CEO, who spoke at last week’s Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit. To do that, they’ll need about $22-million to add to the roughly $7 million that Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. has committed to the project.

The $550-million Grays Bay project would involve the construction of a 227-kilometre all-weather road running from the site of the defunct Jericho mine, which is located at the northern end of the Tibbit-Contwoyto winter road, to a deep-sea port at Grays Bay on Coronation Gulf. Continue Reading →

Northern spending pays off, MAC report shows – by Don Wall (Journal of Commerce – April 5, 2019)

Journal of Commerce

Toronto may be the global centre for mining finance but recent statistics on capital development spending in the sector illustrate that the three sparsely populated territories in Canada’s North are also notable heavyweights.

The most recent edition of Facts of Figures of the Canadian Mining Industry, published in March by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), showed that the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut together received 22 per cent, or $570 million, of total 2017 Canadian spending on exploration and the territories also accounted for 13 per cent ($990 million) of total mine complex development expenditures in Canada.

Facts and Figures 2018, prepared by MAC’s vice-president for economic and northern affairs Brendan Marshall, offers ample evidence of the links between permitting certainty, investment climate and the prognosis for future spending on development — and thus how much work constructors hired to build mine infrastructure can look forward to. Continue Reading →

‘Bit of a lark:’ Canadian miner files claim on disputed Arctic island – by Bob Weber (National Post – April 4, 2019)

CANADIAN PRESS – A longtime mining geologist and developer has come up with his own solution to Canada’s long-running Arctic sovereignty dispute with Denmark.

John Robins has filed and been granted a mineral exploration claim under Canadian law to Hans Island — a remote pimple of rock between Ellesmere Island and Greenland that lies exactly on the international border.

“It was done on a bit of a lark,” said Robins, who’s involved with a number of Vancouver-based mining companies. “The reason I applied for it is more just to stir the pot a bit.” Continue Reading →

De Beers dreams of building the diamond mine of the future in Nunavut – by John Thompson (Nunatsiaq News – April 4, 2019)

De Beers Group envisions building a diamond mine on Baffin Island that’s relatively small, moveable and powered by clean energy. It may not even have a road running to it.

Tom Ormsby, De Beers Canada’s head of external and corporate affairs, offered the Nunavut Mining Symposium a glimpse of the company’s brainstorming during a talk on Wednesday, April 3.

In September 2018, De Beers acquired the Chidliak diamond property as part of its purchase of Peregrine Diamonds. The site is about 120 kilometres northeast of Iqaluit and about 200 kilometres south of Pangnirtung. Continue Reading →