Archive | Canada Mining

M&A deals reshape Canadian mining landscape – by Kelsey Rolfe (Northern Miner – February 19, 2020)

Global mining news

The flurry of M&A transactions last year brought a much-awaited consolidation of the global gold sector. It also brought significant changes to the Canadian mining landscape:

Newmont’s (NYSE: NEM) takeover of Goldcorp wiped a major Canadian firm off the board, and Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD), while still Canadian, has undeniably shifted its focus away from the country, with few executives remaining in its Toronto headquarters and only one Canadian mine.

Those headline-making deals have prompted concerns that Canada’s influence in the global gold mining sector is waning. Franco-Nevada (TSX: FNV; NYSE: FNV) Chairman Pierre Lassonde said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg in January 2019 that Barrick’s smaller footprint in Canada was the same kind of diminishment of the country’s mining sector that Barrick founder Peter Munk had decried. Continue Reading →

Questions raised about Centerra Gold’s safety practices after another death at Kumtor mine – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 19, 2020)

An employee of Canadian gold company Centerra Gold Inc. has been killed in an accident at its huge Kumtor mine in the Kyrgyz Republic, the third fatality at the same site in the past few months.

Toronto-based Centerra said a driver died while operating an excavator on the weekend. The rig tipped and slipped into a water-filled basin at the high-altitude mine. The mid-sized gold producer is working with regulators and state authorities to determine the cause of the accident.

The Kumtor open pit gold mine in the landlocked country of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia is Centerra’s biggest operation by far. Last year, the facility produced 600,000 ounces of gold, or about three-quarters of Centerra’s entire output. The company also has mines in Canada and Turkey. Continue Reading →

Barrick buckling down for ‘grunt’ work ahead, CEO Bristow says – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – February 13, 2020)

TORONTO — Since Mark Bristow took the helm of Barrick Gold Corp. in a transformational merger one year ago, the company has enjoyed a 42 per cent surge in its share price amid rising bullion prices and a streamlined portfolio and corporate structure that has won over many investors.

Still, in an interview at his office in a downtown Toronto high rise on Wednesday, Bristow suggested the coming year would reveal new, more difficult challenges.

“I don’t want to sound flippant,” he told the Financial Post, “but these last 12 months we set out to do something and we did it, but there was a lot of low-hanging fruit. Now it’s the grunt to get it to the next level.” Continue Reading →

Barrick CEO says younger generation desperately needed to rejuvenate ‘dinosaur’ gold industry – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 13, 2020)

Mark Bristow, the chief executive officer of Barrick Gold Corp., says the gold sector is in desperate need of fresh young blood to rejuvenate what has become a “dinosaur” industry.

“The industry needs to grow and be more relevant,” Mr. Bristow said in an interview in Toronto, after the release of the company’s fourth-quarter financial results. Mr. Bristow stressed the need for mining companies to both attract younger employees with fresh ideas, and a sprier set of investors.

Attending the annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference – one of the industry’s premier events – Mr. Bristow said, is like “walking into an old age home.” Continue Reading →

Ivanhoe’s Friedland hits out at ‘fiction’ that mining copper in Chile is safer than Congo – by Brendan Ryan ( – February 11, 2020)


BILLIONAIRE mining entrepreneur, Robert Friedland, put the boot into Chile and its established major copper mining groups.

Friedland, whose company Ivanhoe Mines is developing major new copper and zinc mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), said at the Mining Indaba last week: “It’s absolutely silly to think that Chile is a safe place to mine and should have a three or four per cent discount rate and, somehow, the DRC should have a 12% discount rate.

“There’s this fiction that somehow Africa is dangerous and it’s safe for industry to go to Chile or Peru. I challenge that. I would rather be in Africa – in the DRC – which was the world’s largest producer of copper until Chile got invented in the 1970’s.” Continue Reading →

The Liberals have reached a crossroad with Alberta. What they do next could define them – by John Ivison (National Post – February 11, 2020)

The decision over whether to approve Teck Resources’ Frontier oilsands mine in Alberta has brought the federal Liberals to a crossroads in their pursuit of economic growth and a cleaner environment. One path leads to more jobs but a despoiled environment; the other to lower greenhouse gas emissions but rising Western alienation and lower tax receipts.

As director Woody Allen noted in his film Side Effects, when forced to choose between utter hopelessness and total extinction: “Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.” It is a defining moment in the life of this government.

The Liberals would prefer to deflect the blame elsewhere – in this case, dumping the inevitable tailings deposits over the head of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Continue Reading →

Canada wants to phase out fossil fuels. First, it needs to learn from phasing out coal – by Heather Scoffield (Toronto Star – February 8, 2020)

Wendy Berry says people will drive a couple of hours from Red Deer, Alta., for the made-from-scratch pizza that she serves up at her restaurant in the hamlet of Tomahawk, but that’s not enough to keep her going these days.

She is worried sick about paying the mortgage and having enough left over to feed her family now that the shuttering of Canada’s coal industry put an end to the catering side of her business.

It was supposed to be a “just transition” — that buzzy phrase that was on the tips of everyone’s tongues at the global climate talks in Madrid this winter, and that made it into the federal Liberal election platform as a commitment to help fossil-fuel workers who are regulated out of a job as the government pushes us towards a low-carbon economy. Continue Reading →

U.S. Energy Secretary Hopes Mexico, Canada Will Help Export American Coal – by Timothy Gardner (Reuters U.S. – February 7, 2020)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said on Friday that Canada and Mexico could help export U.S. coal to Asia to get around the blocking of shipments by West Coast states concerned about the impact of the fuel on climate change.

Brouillette said he expects the two U.S. neighbors will offer opportunities to export coal in talks that could be facilitated by the new North American trade agreement, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, that President Donald Trump signed last month.

“That’s why the USMCA was so important,” Brouillette said at an Atlantic Council event in Washington. “We hope to work more collaboratively with both Mexico and Canada to find export facilities to get the coal from Wyoming,” and other states in the U.S. West to Asia and other global markets. Continue Reading →

EDITORIAL: Alberta gets all the attention. New Brunswick faces its own climate test with Maritime Iron (Globe and Mail – February 10, 2020)

The proposed Frontier oil sands mine in Alberta has attracted a lot of attention in recent weeks, with the Trudeau government appearing to waver on approving a project that has cleared all its regulatory hurdles. That debate encapsulates the strain between a potential economic win and Canada’s climate-change goals.

Frontier, however, is hardly alone among the difficult industrial-development questions facing the country.

New Brunswick is wrestling with its own Frontier-like challenge. In mid-January, a small Toronto company called Maritime Iron filed its plans to the provincial government for an environmental review. The company wants to build a facility to turn iron ore into pig iron, a product used in steelmaking. The site is beside a coal-power plant in rural New Brunswick near Bathurst. Continue Reading →

Ivanhoe’s giant Kamoa-Kakula copper project in DRC keeps getting bigger – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – February 5, 2020)

Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) has unveiled a fresh set of mind-boggling figures from its flagship copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, confirming that the already large asset has room to grow.

The updated mineral resource estimate (MRE) puts the combined Kamoa-Kakula project at 423 million tonnes grading 4.68% copper, at a 3% cut off. Indicated mineral resource, in turn, now stands at 1.4 billion tonnes grading 2.7% copper, at a 1% cut-off.

The 400 km2 mining concession comprises two large, near-surface, flat-lying, stratiform copper deposits. One of them, Kakula, is being fast-tracked to commercial production, with the initial 3.8-million-tonne-a-year mining operation scheduled to produce first concentrate in the third quarter of 2021. Continue Reading →

Weekend rockfall the 11th at Donkin Mine since 2017 – by Sharon Montgomery (Halifax Chronicle Herald – February 4, 2020)

DONKIN, N.S. — Kameron Collieries has experienced another rockfall at their Donkin Mine. “This is in a production area, about 70 feet from where they were last mining,” said Scott Nauss, the senior director of inspections and compliance with the Department of Labour.

Nauss said the rockfall occurred at an intersection sometime over the weekend. “There was no production, no mining going on,” he said. “The nightshift came in over the weekend and noticed it.”

The mine cordoned off the area and reported it to the department first thing Monday morning. Nauss said a stop-work order was issued for that section of the mine. He said they responded right away and conducted an inspection. Continue Reading →

Canada’s $97bn mining industry has room for improvement, MAC says – by Mariaan Webb ( – February 5, 2020)

While the prospects for Canadian investment and the attractiveness for new mine investment are brighter, certain competitiveness metrics remain depressed, highlighting the need for improvements if the country’s mining industry is to reach its full potential.

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) warns in its ‘Facts and Figures 2019’ report, published on Tuesday, that there are signs that Canada’s leadership position is slipping, potentially jeopardising the country’s ability to seize new opportunities for growth.

For instance, 2019 saw only a modest increase in the value of mining projects planned and under construction from 2010 to 2019. It increased by $8-billion year-on-year, with the total ten-year projected value of $80-billion remaining 50% below the 2014 level of $160-billion. Continue Reading →

Generalist investors shun gold stocks, despite bullion’s big move – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 3, 2020)

Generalist investors are largely shunning gold stocks, despite the brisk run up in the price of gold bullion – stalling share prices and straining efforts to raise capital.

Since late 2011, when the price of bullion went into a multiyear tailspin, generalists – or sector-agnostic investors (as opposed to specialist mining funds) – have mostly abandoned gold stocks.

But even as the price of gold has climbed from US$1,050 an ounce in late 2015, to roughly US$1,580 currently, investors have by and large stayed away. “Generalists are still largely underweight, or not involved in the gold sector,” James Bell, analyst with RBC Dominion Securities Inc., wrote in a recent note to clients. Continue Reading →

Canadian rare earths metals look for shot in the arm from U.S. government funds – by Gabriel Friedman (Finacial Post – January 31, 2020)

The U.S. government is putting up millions of dollars for the construction of processing plants in North America, and Canadian companies are eligible to apply

In a development that could resuscitate Canada’s rare earths metals’ sector, the U.S. government is putting up millions of dollars for the construction of processing plants in North America, according to a document obtained by the Financial Post.

Rare earths metals are considered increasingly important for cutting-edge military and technological applications, but the supply chain is almost entirely located in Asia with Chinese companies dominating the sector.

Now, as part of a U.S. government-led effort to build out a North American supply chain amid rising tensions with China, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory is planning to award an estimated US$40 million in matching funds to companies that can separate and process anywhere from 500 to 5,000 metric tons of rare earth elements on an annual basis. Continue Reading →

Canada boasts substantial REE resources – by Rose Ragsdale (Metal Tech News – January 21, 2020)

Rare earth elements in Canada have recaptured the spotlight now that the United States has entered a new alliance with its northern neighbor to develop robust supply chains for critical minerals needed for important manufacturing sectors, including communication technology, aerospace and defense, and clean technology.

A final agreement between the two countries, reported in December, delivers on a commitment made by their leaders in June to advance joint initiatives to address shared mineral security concerns and ensure continued economic growth and the national security of both nations.

“Canada is in a unique position to strengthen global supply chains for critical minerals. We are proud to partner with the United States through the Energy Resource Governance Initiative, to advance responsible development of critical minerals and ensure mineral security,” Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, said in a Dec. 18 statement. Continue Reading →