Archive | Canada Mining – North of 60

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 →

Why Canada’s diamond miners are on their knees – by Thomas Biesheuvel and Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – April 3, 2019)

The story of how two prospectors, down to their last nickels, discovered diamonds in Canada’s frozen north is the stuff of legend. Back in 1982, Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blusson laid low in a pup tent by day while their competitor De Beers hauled 45-gallon drums of rock samples to a nearby outpost for transport to South Africa.

Using the long hours of summer sunlight north of the 65th parallel, the two searched for indicator minerals — bits of garnet, chromite or zircon often found with diamonds — while their opponent slept. Nine years later their treasure hunt culminated with the discovery of a carrot-shaped funnel of blue-grey kimberlite rock that would become Ekati — the first great diamond mine outside Southern Africa or Russia.

For all the drama associated with the discovery in Canada’s Northwest Territories — hacking through snow and ice taller than the average person, battling Arctic winds and temperatures of -50 degrees Celsius — what came next is proof that diamond mining in Canada is not for the faint of heart. Continue Reading →

Panelists at Nunavut Mining Symposium want link to Canada’s road system – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – April 2, 2019)

Governments of NWT and Nunavut and Inuit orgs united in call for North-South road connection

At the Nunavut Mining Symposium, now underway in Iqaluit, you don’t have to look far to find supporters of a road linking Nunavut to the Northwest Territories or Manitoba, to reduce the North’s dependence on marine transportation and satellite telecommunications.

At a Monday morning panel session called, “Maybe the resources are the road?,” the Northwest Territories’ industry minister, Wally Schumann, Nunavut’s transportation minister, David Akeeagok, and Kitikmeot Inuit Association President Stanley Anablak all made pitches for roads and how the federal government should come up with money to help make that happen.

Anablak, a promoter of the Grays Bay port and road project, which would aim to join the Arctic coast to mines in the western Kitikmeot and eventually the N.W.T., said that proposed project in western Nunavut finally has regained Nunavut government support. Continue Reading →

Baffinland CEO makes a case for mine expansion – by Derek Neary (Nunavut News – March 31, 2019)

Nunavut News 

A proposed railway and many more cargo ships are the major concerns Baffinland Iron Mines’ CEO Brian Penney is hearing about in relation to the miner’s phase two expansion proposal, which would increase shipping to 12 million tonnes per year.

Penney said there’s misconceptions that the railway would reduce jobs for Inuit. He said there are only three or four existing Inuit truck drivers who go back and forth on the tote road from the mine to the port. However, Inuit represent close to 40 per cent of truck drivers at the mine site and the number of trucks at Mary River will rise dramatically if phase two proceeds.

“Anyone that drives a truck is going to be trained on driving trains,” the CEO said. “Inuit employment is only going to grow at Baffinland under all scenarios… we’re going to continue to build skills within the communities, to build skills that will make the workforce of the future for Baffinland. And hopefully someday Baffinland will be run by Inuit, totally.” Continue Reading →

New report gives thumbs up to Indigenous employment in Nunavut mines – by Hilary Bird (CBC News North – April 1, 2019)

Agnico Eagle Mining described as doing things right when it comes to training and retaining Indigenous workers

A new report from the Conference Board of Canada says employers looking to hire and keep northern Indigenous employees could learn from a Canadian gold mining company, Agnico Eagle Mines.

The study, Working Together: Indigenous Recruitment and Retention, was put together by researchers with the board’s centre for the North. Researchers interviewed dozens of corporations, public sector employers and Indigenous employees and found many employees often don’t apply for jobs because of a lack of education, life skills and housing support.

When it comes to Indigenous employment in mining, Nunavut is the front runner. Ninety-seven per cent of Nunavut residents who work in the industry in the territory are Indigenous. In the Northwest Territories, it’s 52 per cent. Continue Reading →

Mining North Works ‘demystifies’ the industry – by Terry Dobbin (Nunavut News – March 31, 2019)

Nunavut News

This is a guest op-ed written by the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

Mining is working for Nunavut, and the proof is in the pudding, as they say. Today we are seeing more and more Nunavummiut finding meaningful jobs in mining. We are seeing Nunavut mining business on the rise and more mining taxes and royalties flowing to public and Inuit governments than ever before.

But that doesn’t mean we can sit back and relax. More opportunities are available and we want Northerners to learn how to seize them. Our mines are looking for more Nunavummiut to take well-paying and interesting jobs. They’d like to do more business.

To help them achieve that – and to help people learn more about just how mining works for Nunavut and how they might become involved in it – the Chamber of Mines has launched a public awareness initiative named Mining North Works! A big goal of the Mining North Works program is to “demystify” mining. Another is to attract people into mining jobs. Continue Reading →

‘We’re not getting it’: Liberals sprinkle $700 million in Arctic but a strategic plan remains elusive – by Naomi Powell and Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 23, 2019)

The federal government needs to set a long-term strategy to truly unlock the economic potential of the region as Russia and China get a head-start

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s pre-election budget took steps to tackle the gaping infrastructure deficit in Canada’s north, but offered no timeline for when a highly anticipated long-term development strategy for the region will be complete.

In his last budget before the fall election, Morneau earmarked $700 million for Northern and Arctic initiatives, including $18 million for a hydroelectricity project in the Northwest Territories, $75 million for economic development programming and $400 million over eight years for infrastructure projects in the sparsely populated area.

Though Tuesday’s budget also reaffirmed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2016 commitment to co-develop an “Arctic and Northern Policy Framework” with local residents and stakeholders, it did not set a date for when it will be unveiled. Continue Reading →

[Canada Diamond Mining] GUEST COMMENT: I beg to differ with MLA O’Reilly – by Tom Hoefer (Yellowknifer – March 20, 2019)

Tom Hoefer is the executive director of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

Editor’s note: The NWT & Nunavut Chamber of mines was the recent recipient of the NAPEG Professional Award of Merit in Geoscience, from the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (NAPEG). NAPEG recognized the chamber for its, “dedication to, and support of, the North’s mineral resources industry.” This non-profit association is an advocate for responsible and sustainable mineral exploration and development for the North.

In regard to Frame Lake MLA Kevin O’Reilly’s attempted rebuke (Hansard, March 14) of Premier Bob McLeod’s speech at the recent Arctic Oil and Gas Symposium in Calgary, let me provide a different perspective.

While it may sound strange that a minerals guy would attend, I also attended the conference. Organizers invited me to share experiences and successes in Northern mineral resource development, something oil and gas developers might find helpful. Continue Reading →

Inuit hope fresh deals with mining companies boost employment at new projects – by Bob Weber (Canadian Press/CTV News – March 16, 2019)

Inuit leaders are hoping a new cycle of mine expansion in Nunavut brings with it a motherlode of jobs and economic spinoffs. “Inuit are very eager and wanting to participate in the economy,” said P.J. Akeeagok of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

His group recently signed an agreement with a mining company that has a billion-dollar expansion proposal before northern regulators. Baffinland’s Mary River mine on the northern end of Baffin Island is considered one of the richest iron deposits in the world.

That’s not the only mining news out of Nunavut. Quebec-based Agnico-Eagle has begun to pour gold at its new mine near Rankin Inlet and is developing another nearby deposit. The two projects represent $1.6 billion in investment since 2017. Agnico-Eagle, which already has about 800 employees and 300 contractors at its Meadowbank mine, expects to hire more for the new ones. Continue Reading →

How Canada’s North can fulfill its great mining potential – by Ashley Stedman and Elmira Aliakbari (Troy Media – March 12, 2019)

Ashley Stedman is a senior policy analyst and Elmira Aliakbari is the associate director of natural-resource studies at the Fraser Institute.

Mining investors are eyeing all three territories in Canada’s North, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of mining companies. For the first time in more than five years, all three territories are among the top 15 most attractive regions for mining investment worldwide.

But territorial governments and the federal government must implement policy reforms to capitalize on this moment, which could bring much-needed investment, employment and government revenue to areas of the North.

Every year, the Fraser Institute surveys miners around the world to determine which jurisdictions are attractive – or unattractive – for investment based on policies and geology. The survey spotlights policies (taxes, duplicative regulations, availability of labour and skills, etc.) that govern the mining industry and impact the investment attractiveness of jurisdictions. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Mining Revenues Strong in Northwest Territories; pass $1 billion in Nunavut

Yellowknife, NT (March 11, 2019) Mineral production continues to be strong at over $2 billion in the Northwest Territories, and with production growth has surpassed $1 billion for two consecutive years in Nunavut according to recently released statistics posted by Natural Resources Canada.

Preliminary estimates for 2018 show that the total value of NWT mining production is $2.111 billion, up slightly by $6 million (0.3%) from $2.105 billion in 2017. Of this:

• Diamond production accounts for nearly the entire value (99.4%) at $2.097 billion, up slightly by $6 million (0.3%) from $2.091 billion; and
• With no other minerals produced in the NWT, sand, gravel, and stone production value accounts for the remaining $13 million. Continue Reading →

New report urges slowdown at Nunavut’s Mary River iron mine – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – March 5, 2019)

The more Baffinland Mining Corp.’s Mary River iron mine in north Baffin ramps up production, the fewer relative benefits will flow to Inuit, a new report concludes.

“The most important thing is that ramping up production in the short term will result to significant loss of benefits to Inuit in particular and the territory more generally,” said Trevor Taylor, the Iqaluit-based vice-president of conservation for Oceans North, which commissioned the report.

The report, prepared by John Loxley, an economist from the University of Manitoba, found that Inuit occupy “a very small share of the jobs at this mine” and the rapid expansion of the workforce will in all likelihood further reduce the Inuit share. Continue Reading →