Archive | Canada Mining

Golden blunders: How a string of technical mishaps has hampered Canada’s junior gold miners – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 13, 2019)

Reports overestimating the amount of gold led to junior miners flying high, but the gold was ‘never there’

Junior gold-mining executive Scott Caldwell was in a jovial mood as he sat down for a national television interview in February, 2016. Even though the price of gold bullion had tumbled by more than a third from its 2011 peak, and many of his competitors were struggling, his company was defying the odds.

Guyana Goldfields Inc. had managed to raise US$700-million from investors and put a high-grade gold mine into production in early 2016.

Mr. Caldwell, an avuncular mining engineer with a soothing tone, was happy to promote the company’s Aurora mine, located in a remote Guyanese rainforest, as a cash machine. Indeed, at the prevailing gold price of US$1,200 an ounce, Guyana looked like a surefire winner. Continue Reading →

Alberta’s oilpatch may help fill global lithium shortage – by Danielle Smith (Edmonton Journal – July 12, 2019)

Earlier this year, Tesla executives warned that the world may soon be facing a critical shortage of minerals and metals needed to build batteries, in particular nickel, copper and lithium.

Cobalt is also going to be a growing problem not only because of scarcity, but because it seems the only place it can be mined in great abundance is through the help of child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If the great transition to renewables is to take place, the world needs to find and develop more and better sources of these key battery components. When it comes to lithium, Alberta oilfields may hold the answer. Continue Reading →

OPINION: In the knot of reasons migrants are fleeing Central America, there seems to be a Canadian thread – by Denise Balkissoon (Globe and Mail – July 12, 2019)

Teresa Munoz is one of thousands of Central Americans searching for a better life in the United States. She’s not stuck in a cramped, unsanitary detention centre, but her immigration claim is mired in the Trump administration’s crackdown on asylum-seekers.

She’s from Guatemala, one of Central America’s “Northern Triangle” countries, along with Honduras and El Salvador. That’s where the majority of people apprehended at the Mexico-U.S. border are coming from. There are many complicated reasons they’re all leaving, including the violent aftershocks of decades-long civil wars and farmland droughts that are being worsened by climate change.

The situation can seem tragic but also impenetrable, a political tangle of causes and effects happening far away. But among the many miserable migration tales, Ms. Munoz’s story hits close to home: She says she fled because of threats and attacks following her activism against a mine owned by a Canadian company. Continue Reading →

Gold executives promise to ‘stick to their knitting’ and practice prudence as bullion prices soar – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – July 12, 2019)

Peter Marrone, chairman of Toronto-based Yamana Gold Inc., isn’t betting that a bull run is just around the corner even as gold prices soar to their highest point in a half-decade.

His cautious attitude about rising bullion prices is not unusual in a sector that is still suffering the hangover effects from the last time prices broke out. That was in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and gold mining companies used the added revenue for a shopping spree that left many with debt that has still not been fully paid down.

Now, after several weeks in which gold prices have hovered around US$1,400 per ounce — a threshold not crossed since 2013 — some gold bugs believe a United States-China trade war and continuing low interest rates will push prices even higher in the immediate future. Continue Reading →

Top 10 Canada-based diamond companies – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – July 2019)

Northern Miner

The Northern Miner has compiled a list of the top-10 diamond companies with headquarters in Canada, arranged by market capitalization, as of early July 2019.

1. Lucara Diamond – Market cap: $623 million

Lucara Diamond (TSX: LUC) is part of the Lundin Group of companies and owns the Karowe diamond mine, in Botswana, which has been in production since 2012, and is one of the world’s foremost producers of large, high quality, Type IIA diamonds in excess of 10.8 carats. These include the historic 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona (the second-largest gem diamond ever recovered), and the 813 carat Constellation, which was sold for a record US$63.1 million.

Since starting production, the company has sold 180 diamonds for more than $1 million each, and 10 single diamonds for more than $10 million apiece. The company has paid out more than US$249 million in dividends, a sum that exceeds the total capital invested to build the mine. Continue Reading →

CEO at Canadian miner Hudbay steps down, industry veteran steps in – by Nichola Saminather and Debroop Roy (Reuters Canada – July 10, 2019)

(Reuters) – Canada’s Hudbay Minerals Inc said on Wednesday that Chief Executive Officer Alan Hair has stepped down after more than 20 years with the company and named Peter Kukielski, who was backed by its second largest investor in a proxy battle, as interim CEO.

As part of its proxy fight, private equity firm Waterton Global Resource Management had nominated five directors to the company’s board. Three of them, including Kukielski, were elected in May following a settlement that ended the drawn-out battle.

Much of Waterton’s ire surrounded Hudbay’s reported talks to buy Chile’s Mantos Copper for about $780 million last year and what it described as an erosion of shareholder returns under its management and board. Continue Reading →

Hudbay CEO steps down after weathering Waterton proxy fight – by Danielle Bochove and Aoyon Ashraf (Bloomberg News – July 10, 2019)

Just months after withstanding a hard-fought proxy battle, the chief executive officer of Hudbay Minerals Inc. is leaving the Toronto-based miner.

Alan Hair, who has been with the company for more than 20 years, has stepped down, the company said Wednesday in a statement. Board member Peter Kukielski will step in as interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.

It’s been a tumultuous year for Hudbay, which saw one its largest shareholders, Waterton Global Resource Management, wage a public battle for sweeping changes to the miner, including, originally, Hair’s resignation. Waterton had sought to install Kukielski as CEO. Continue Reading →

Acacia Mining, independent consultant push Barrick Gold to increase takeover offer – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 10, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp. has been given more time to table a formal takeover bid for Acacia Mining PLC, as its London-based subsidiary pushes for a materially higher offer.

On Tuesday, just hours before a deadline set by a British takeover panel was set to expire, Barrick was granted a 10-day extension to consider a report by an independent mining consultant that argues Acacia is worth about 38 per cent more than Barrick is willing to pay.

In a release, Acacia said that SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd. has calculated the “preferred” value for Acacia to be 271 pence ($4.45) a share. In May, Toronto-based Barrick said it was willing to pay 0.153 of its own shares for each Acacia share it doesn’t already own, or roughly 197 pence a share. Continue Reading →

Medallion considering US, Canada for rare-earth plant – by Mariaan Webb ( – July 9, 2019)

TSX-V-listed junior Medallion Resources, which is pursuing production of magnet metals, believes the time is right to start selecting potential sites for a rare-earth plant as part of a strategy to rebuild a North American rare earth value chain.

The company is seeking third-party proposals to advance the development of a North American extraction plant, with one proposal calling for the evaluation of logistics and plant sitting operations in the US and Canada, while the other calls for the development of the process engineering design for Medallion’s rare-earth flowsheet.

Rare earths have been front and centre in recent months, as a result of the trade friction between China and the US. These metals are also increasingly important to the electrification of transportation, particularly electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

Roof collapse at coal mine – by Michael Tutton (Canadian Press/Global News – July 8, 2019)

Nova Scotia’s Labour Department said Monday that inspectors have been sent to the mine to look at the extent of the rock fall that occurred over the weekend, when no workers were in the area.

Scott Nauss, the province’s senior director of inspection compliance, says there were no injuries in the incident, which comes after a series of roof collapses last year in working areas of the Donkin mine.

Kameron Coal’s operations in Cape Breton were suspended for just under a month in late December before the company was allowed to partially resume activities in one portion of the mine while it prepared a revised roof support plan. Continue Reading →

Top 10 Canadian miners by market cap – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – July 9, 2019)

Northern Miner

The Northern Miner presents the top-10 Canada-headquartered mining companies by market capitalization, as of July 2019.

1. Nutrien

Market capitalization: $41.8 billion

Nutrien (TSX: NTR; NYSE: NTR) is the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services, and produces and distributes over 26 million tonnes of potash, nitrogen and phosphate products each year. In 2018, the company sold 13 million tonnes of potash, 10 million tonnes of nitrogen, and 4 million tonnes of phosphate.

It was formed in a 2018 merger between Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world’s largest potash producer, second-largest phosphate producer and third-largest nitrogen producer, and Agrium, a retail supplier of agricultural products and service.

In February, Nutrien approved the purchase of up to 5% of its outstanding common shares over a one-year period through a normal course issuer bid, noting that the company’s “strong balance sheet and cash flow provide a significant opportunity to enhance shareholder value.” Continue Reading →

Canada, U.S. gain as India cuts dependence on Australian coking coal – by Sudarshan Varadhan (Reuters U.S. – June 25, 2019)

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Shipments of coking coal from the United States and Canada rose to a sixth of all Indian imports of the fuel during the year ended March 2019, as steelmakers in the coal guzzling country look to cut their dependence on Australia.

Australia’s share in India’s coking coal market fell to 71%, or 36.91 million tons, during the year ended March 2019 from about 88% three years ago, India coal ministry data reviewed by Reuters showed. The United States and Canada had a 5.6% share of the market three years ago.

Regular interruptions in India’s main supplier over the last few years, including a flood in a major coal producing region in February and a cyclone which tore into Queensland in 2017, have caused worries about major supply disruptions in India. Continue Reading →

Gold on six-year high, with observers predicting ‘multiyear bull market’ – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 1, 2019)

After about three years of going nowhere, gold is once again the commodity du jour and some observers predict the rally is just getting going.

Since hitting a record high in late 2011 just shy of US$1,900 an ounce, gold has largely been out of favour among investors. As recently as August of last year, the precious metal was trading at US$1,170, almost 40 per cent below its peak.

But last week, gold futures hit a six-year high, driven on by expectations of interest-rate cuts and a weaker U.S. dollar. In the past month alone, gold has jumped 10 per cent, catapulting to more than US$1,400 an ounce. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Global geopolitics sideswipe African uranium miners – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – June 18, 2019)

Northern Miner

The global uranium mining market in the 2010s took a hit from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011 — which cut global uranium demand some 10% for many years — and the simultaneous ramping up of low-cost uranium production out of Kazakhstan that has transformed the country into the world’s largest uranium producer.

Thanks to the massive devaluation of the Kazakhstan tenge currency in 2014 and 2015, the country is also easily the lowest-cost producer in the world, with its in-situ recovery mines operated by Kazatomprom and Uranium One dominating the first two quartiles of uranium mining costs globally in 2018.

With Kremlin-backed Russian interests heavily influencing Kazatomprom and Uranium One, and the Russian government striking numerous nuclear-energy cooperation deals in developing countries across the globe, it couldn’t be clearer that the global nuclear fuel cycle is increasingly controlled by Russia, with all its geopolitical implications for the rest of this century. Continue Reading →

Barrick doubles down on allegations of overvaluation by Acacia – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 27, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp. says its proposal to acquire Acacia Mining PLC is “fair,” and it’s doubling down on claims that its London-based subsidiary has overvalued some of its mines.

In a statement on Wednesday, Barrick said that “certain assumptions made by Acacia in relation to its mine plans are not appropriately risked or supportable and that adjustments should be made.”

Last week, Barrick expressed skepticism about the true value of some of Acacia’s assets, suggesting its own analysis shows that Acacia may be overestimating grade and underestimating costs at some of its mines. Continue Reading →