Archive | Canada Mining

Captain Positive: René Galipeau was living with brain cancer, then he contracted COVID-19 – by Joe O’Connor (National Post – March 26, 2020)

René Galipeau is just a few days shy of his 75th birthday, an age, his doctors believed, he would never live to see. Galipeau was diagnosed with cancer — for the first time — 28 years ago, a late-stage lymphoma he beat with the help of a bone marrow transplant from his identical twin, Roland.

He has since been diagnosed with skin cancer, bladder cancer and prostate cancer, a triple dose of bad news, all received at different points in his life, that he has likewise survived. About 18 months ago, the Toronto mining executive met with cancer specialists, yet again. This time they said he was a true goner. He had a brain tumour. He was given eight months to live, at best.

Galipeau registered the grim prognosis and got on with his life. “I shouldn’t have been here past last summer,” he says, chuckling. “Nobody knows why I am still here, but here I am, and I am doing fine. It’s black humour, you know. Really, I have to laugh, because if you can’t laugh at it what else can you do?” Continue Reading →

Barrick unveils 10-year plan to become world’s most valued gold miner – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – March 26, 2020)

Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: GOLD), the world’s second largest gold miner, has unveiled a 10-year production plan aimed at becoming the most valued bullion company.

The strategy, outlined in its first annual report since its merger with Randgold Resources, includes boosting Barrick’s production to about 5 million ounces of gold a year, with the bulk coming from its North American operations.

President and chief executive officer, Mark Bristow, said Nevada Gold Mines — its recent joint venture with Newmont (NYSE: NEM) — would be the “value foundation” of its business moving forward. Continue Reading →

Lucara’s Eira Thomas has a knack for finding huge diamond reserves. Now she want to disrupt the industry – by Alanna Mithell (Globe and Mail/ROB Magazine – March 27, 2020)

‘What started out as a treasure hunt is now much more about how we make a lasting contribution to the communities we are working with,’ the CEO and geologist says

Eira Thomas is on the run. The annual results for her company, Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp., are coming out in 11 days, and as its co-founder and chief executive, she is prepping for a round of board meetings and earnings presentations, including dashes to both Florida and Toronto for mining conferences.

Before that, she’s heading from her home in England to Morocco on a half-term school break with her two daughters. Plus, she’s experiencing such wretched technical glitches that she missed a Skype interview yesterday and had to rebook. Today, she apologetically comes on 24 minutes late, something so uncharacteristic that her personal assistant, who is in Zurich, has begun to worry. Life is a little frenetic, Thomas confesses.

Yet, when I ask her why diamonds hold such an allure, all of a sudden, the busy executive life seems to vanish. She savours her answer—and when it comes, it’s unexpected. Yes, there’s the thrill of the hunt. But she is a geologist, and so within the diamond she also reads the violent secrets of the inner Earth that created it billions of years ago, when the planet was much younger. Continue Reading →

First Quantum eyes stake sale in Panama mine – sources – by Clara Denina and Jeff Lewis (Reuters U.S. – March 24, 2020)

LONDON/TORONTO (Reuters) – Miner First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) is considering selling a minority stake in its flagship Cobre Panama copper mine to reduce debt, two banking sources familiar with the discussions said.

First Quantum’s possible move comes as global miners scramble to bolster finances strained by the coronavirus pandemic, which has battered stocks and copper prices CMCUc1. First Quantum shares are down more than 50% this year.

Total investment in Cobre Panama, located 120 km (75 miles) west of Panama City, up to 2019 stood at $6.3 billion, according to the company. Continue Reading →

Britain’s Endeavour to acquire Montreal-based Semafo in $1-billion deal – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 24, 2020)

Britain’s Endeavour Mining Corp. plans to acquire Canadian gold miner Semafo Inc. in a friendly deal worth $1-billion as an increasing cadre of global mining companies pare back operations and conserve cash with the COVID-19 pandemic worsening.

West Africa-focused Endeavour has agreed to pay 0.1422 of its shares for each Semafo share, a 55-per-cent premium to Semafo’s closing price on Friday.

London-based Endeavour, whose main listing is on the Toronto Stock Exchange, operates gold mines in Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. Montreal-based Semafo’s main operations are in Burkina Faso, including its biggest mine, Boungou, which was idled late last year after a deadly terrorist attack. Continue Reading →

Canadian mining companies grapple with coronavirus pandemic – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 23, 2020)

Canadian mining companies are paring back operations, quarantining workers, and putting development projects on hold, in the midst of widespread travel restrictions and lockdowns as COVID-19 spreads around the world.

Toronto-based New Gold Inc. said on Friday it has suspended mining at a northwestern Ontario mine near the U.S. border to minimize the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus. About 70 per cent of the workforce at its Rainy River mine is local and employees routinely go back and forth to Minnesota. Many mine workers have already been self-isolating for some time due to the heightened risk brought on by cross-border travel.

The entire 800-plus workforce at Kinross Gold Corp.’s Kupol gold mine in Russia remain in isolation, even after two workers suspected of having COVID-19 tested negative. The senior gold miner started isolating employees at the remote mine in the country’s far east last Saturday after the two individuals got sick and were hospitalized. Continue Reading →

Endeavour stock slides, Semafo soars, after $1-billion buyout announced – by Dan Healing (BNN/Bloomberg/Canadian Press – March 23, 2020)

MONTREAL — A $1-billion deal to combine two Quebec companies with West African gold mining operations was met with sharply divergent reactions from their shareholders on Monday.

Stock in Montreal-based Endeavour Mining Corp. fell by as much as $4.15 or 19.2 per cent to $17.50 on the Toronto Stock Exchange after it announced the deal to acquire Semafo Inc. In contrast, Montreal-based Semafo rose by as much as 32 per cent or 64 cents to $2.63.

The acquisition includes Semafo’s Boungou gold mine in Burkina Faso which was shut down in November after gunmen attacked a bus convoy of 241 workers on the road to the operation, killing 39 people and injuring at least 60 others. Continue Reading →

‘Shut it down’: Mining continues amid global COVID-19 pandemic, but warning signs mounting – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 20, 2020)

As the race to contain the spread of coronavirus reaches a sprint in many parts of the world, the mining sector is still grappling with the best way to deal with a situation that has left it few easy choices. So far, operations at many mines have moved forward, often largely unaffected.

But there are signs that trouble is brewing. On Tuesday morning, for example, Ricus Grimbeek, chief executive of Vancouver-based Trevali Mining Corp. learned that in Peru — where his company operates an underground zinc mine — the government planned to lockdown the country essentially by restricting all non-emergency travel.

The situation posed an obvious dilemma for Grimbeek, and other mining companies in the country, for many reasons, including that most mines need time to change directions. Putting a mine on care and maintenance requires personnel to work, and there could be environmental damage and high expenses involved. Continue Reading →

No industry left unscathed in Canadian economy gearing down – by Jen Skerritt, Danielle Bochove and Sandra Mergulhao (Bloomberg News – March 18, 2020)

First, office workers and bartenders were sent home. Now, the cogs of Canadian industry are slowly grinding down as major companies curb operations to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Firms like Vale SA are idling some operations while Canadian oil sands producers Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Suncor Energy Inc. are delaying maintenance work as coronavirus cases rise across Canada. Growth forecasts that were already revised lower amid the pandemic and tumbling oil prices are being cut again. Economists expect the virus will spur a recession with few industries left untouched.

“It looks like it’s going to be a broad-based economic downturn rather than companies being hit on their supply chains,” said Robert Hogue, senior economist at Royal Bank of Canada. “I’m pressed to think of any sectors that will be unscathed.” Continue Reading →

Global copper production to grow 3% annually until 2029 – by Editor ( – March 18, 2020)

Global copper mine production will see steady growth over the next few years, as a number of new projects and expansions come online, supported by rising copper prices and demand, Fitch Solutions forecasts in a new report.

Fitch analysts predict global copper mine production to increase by an average annual rate of 3.1% over 2020-2029, with total output rising from 20.3 to 26.8 million tonnes over the same period.

In 2020, Fitch forecasts Chile to increase production modestly by 0.5% to 5.89 million tonnes. Growth will be led by the ramp-up of BHP’s Spence Growth Option over H2 2020, increasing production at Lundin Mining’s Candelaria mine and a rebound in production from mines hampered by heavy rains in the beginning of 2019. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold extends life of Argentina mine (Resource World – March 17, 2020)

Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX; GOLD-NYSE] President and CEO Mark Bristow said the life of Barrick’s Veladero gold mine in Argentina has been extended to at least 10 years following a comprehensive review of the company’s strategy and business plan.

Bristow made the comments while briefing an Argentinian audience of local media, government authorities and local business and community leaders about the mine’s progress from Barrick’s offices in Chile. The briefing was broadcast via a video conference to comply with Covid-19 related travel restrictions imposed by Argentina.

“Our review included the reinterpretation of the mine’s geology and an ongoing infill drilling campaign,” Bristow said. “We established exploration and resource management teams to identify satellite orebodies with the potential to deliver an increase in resources and reserves,” he said. “Our aim is to extend Veladero’s life-of-mine beyond 2030 and elevate it to a Tier One asset.” Continue Reading →

Canadian mining companies respond to the COVID-19 pandemic – by Tijana Mitrovic (CIM Magazine – March 17, 2020)

Mining companies operating in Canada are taking measures to protect employees in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. As the novel coronavirus has spread to over 140 countries, companies such as Agnico Eagle Mines and Vale are using different strategies to protect their workers and operations as the situation unfolds.

According to Nunatsiaq News, Agnico Eagle Mines created a new senior management task force to work on response measures to the pandemic, and will be adopting more cleaning, medical care and isolation measures at its mine sites.

In addition, the company is implementing its existing pandemic plan in response to COVID-19. As part of the plan, which was developed following the SARS and H1N1 outbreaks, the company will begin screening employees for the virus at its Nunavut mines in Rankin Inlet and Baker Lake and its Quebec mines in Mirabel and Val d’Or. How companies will accommodate workers it sends home for suspected symptoms of the virus, such as a cough or sore throat, remains uncertain. Continue Reading →

OPINION: To lead on climate, Canada should invest in the next generation of nuclear reactors – by Robert Bryce (Globe and Mail – March 14, 2020)

Robert Bryce’s latest book is A Question of Power: Electricity and The Wealth of Nations, from which this essay is adapted.

Coal use in Canada continues to decline. In 2018, the amount of electricity produced from coal was about 59 terawatt-hours, or roughly half as much as the country’s utilities were producing in 2000.

Canada was able to slash its coal use thanks to its reliable nuclear plants, an increase in natural-gas-fired generation and growth in renewables. But if you think the rest of the world is going to quit using coal, think again. A total of nearly 200 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity is now under construction around the world in places such as China, India, Turkey, Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Furthermore, and perhaps most surprisingly, Japan, the birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s first international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions, is also building new coal plants, up to 22 of them. Continue Reading →

Canadian mining companies prepare pandemic plans for coronavirus – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 14, 2020)

Like many large Canadian mining companies, Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. is taking precautionary steps in the face of the global spread of the novel coronavirus.

At its Constancia copper mine in Peru, all of its workers are being screened for any sign of the virus, with their temperatures being taken upon entry to the site. In the event of someone contracting the virus, the company has isolation facilities in place, and ambulances on standby.

Back at the Toronto head office, the IT department recently did extensive testing to ensure that people can work from home if need be. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said Peter Kukielski, chief executive officer of Hudbay. Continue Reading →

Gold miners struggle to gain traction despite metal’s safe-haven status – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 13, 2020)

At the start of 2020, the stars seemed to align for Christian Milau, chief executive of Vancouver-based Equinox Gold Corp. His company’s stock was trading up 58 per cent as high as $12.89, a sharp rise in the aftermath of its announcement in December that it would merge with fellow intermediate gold miner Leagold Mining Corp., which rose a similar amount to $4.20.

The nil-premium, merger of equals appeared to be exactly what investors had been clamouring for. Together, the two companies had more assets, and that increased the geographical diversification of their portfolio, which translated into a lower cost of capital, a higher trading multiple and a market capitalization large enough to attract attention from several index funds.

“It really was a case where the sum of the parts are worth more,” said Milau. But as the fallout from the spread of coronavirus rocks the equity markets, all those benefits appear to have flown out the window. Continue Reading →