How Canada hopes to buy its way on to the factory floor of the EV revolution – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – May 10, 2022)

Billions in government subsidies are going to keep automakers in the country — and so far it’s working

To the surprise of some, if not many, all five of the global automakers who assemble cars and trucks in Canada have committed to making electric vehicles and hybrids here — or “the cars of the future” in the words of federal industry minister François-Philippe Champagne.

The promises required billions of dollars of enticement from the federal and Ontario governments, but there’s no denying that the decision of Stellantis NV to retool its manufacturing operations in Windsor and Brampton to produce EV’s and hybrids signalled a change in the weather for Canada, a relatively high-cost producer which for decades has been losing auto investments to the southern United States and Mexico.

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Authorities hope to reach survivors trapped in Canadian-owned mine in Burkina Faso – by Georgie Smyth (CBC News World – May 10, 2022)

The race to reach eight workers trapped in a flooded, Canadian-owned zinc mine in West Africa is making progress. Trevali Mining Corp. says access to its Perkoa Mine in Burkina Faso is improving after more than 32 million litres of water were pumped out of the shaft.

Workers became trapped more than 500 metres below the surface on April 16, after heavy rain caused flash flooding which breached two embankments outside the mine, said Trevali in a statement to CBC News on Tuesday. Sixteen other workers underground at the time were able to escape.

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Nova Scotia: March, memorial service to mark 30th anniversary of Westray disaster – by Paul Palmeter (CBC News Nova Scotia – May 9, 2022)

26 men died in underground explosion at Pictou County mine

Joe MacKay will never forget the explosion at the Westray mine 30 years ago today. The underground explosion in Plymouth, N.S., killed 26 miners. One of them was MacKay’s brother, Mike. “He loved his bikes, including a chopper he just thought the world of,” said MacKay. “He loved his family. His kids meant everything to him.”

Mike MacKay was 38. He was the father of two young children. Like the other men who worked at the mine, he had only been working there for nine months after it opened in September 1991.

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JV Article: The mining industry ‘needs to do a better job telling its story on climate-related risks and opportunities,’ says Manifest Climate’s Pete Richardson – by Staff (Northern Miner – May 9, 2022)

Global mining news

Increasingly, financial regulators and investors are focused on ensuring that mining companies are prepared for the risks and opportunities of climate change.

However, the consequences of climate change for the mining industry “are informed by a complex and evolving dynamic, which presents both threats to the way the industry operates and significant business opportunities as the world pushes toward decarbonization,” says Pete Richardson, head of research at Manifest Climate.

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A Point in Time – by Jane Werniuk, P.Geo. (Canadian Mining Journal – May 5, 2022)

Celebrating Canada’s mining history and the 140th anniversary of Canadian Mining Journal – one of Canada’s oldest continuously published magazines

When this publication was born in 1882 (no, Marilyn Scales and I were not around then!), it was a very slim newsletter named The Canadian Mining Review. Within five years it had taken on a hot-headed and bold young Scottish cricketer/editor, B.T.A. Bell.

He not only transformed The Review into a national must-read monthly, but organized and energized the fledgeling mining groups across the country. He tried his best to rout out the scoundrels, while cajoling the country’s politicians and associations to get together.

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Barrick CEO Bristow rules out Kinross acquisition, says many of its mines are ‘marginal’ – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 5, 2022)

Mark Bristow, the chief executive officer of Barrick Gold Corp., says he has no intention of buying Kinross Gold Corp., putting an end to speculation that the big Canadian gold miner was poised to pounce on its struggling competitor.

Over the past few months, analysts have speculated that Toronto-based Barrick was in prime position to scoop-up Kinross at a bargain. Kinross shares have taken a beating since late last year, after the company unveiled the acquisition of Great Bear Resources Ltd., and after it was forced to sell its Russian mines in a hurry at a discount after the invasion of Ukraine.

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Guest opinion: Policy uncertainty remains major barrier to mining investment in Canada – by Jairo Yunis and Elmira Aliakbari (Calgary Herald – May 4, 2022)

Jairo Yunis and Elmira Aliakbari are analysts at the Fraser Institute.

The world is experiencing a shortage of the most important base metals (aluminum, copper, lithium, nickel, etc.) used to produce and manufacture a wide range of goods. Inventories are at multiyear lows and the International Monetary Fund’s Base Metals Price Index, which tracks the prices of these base metals, has gone up 21 per cent since November.

Why should you care? Because plans to decarbonize the world’s economy rely on an ample supply of base metals to produce batteries, electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines. As such, government policies are critically important in attracting much-needed investment to increase the production of metals and minerals to supply current and future demand.

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Industry stakeholders, experts applaud feds’ critical minerals spending, as geopolitics loom large in supply chains – by Mike Lapointe (Hill Times – May 3, 2022)

Canada must ‘learn from other market-oriented liberal democracies,’ when it comes to the development of our critical mineral sector, says Conservative resources critic Greg McLean.

The federal government’s recent $3.8-billion budget proposal to develop Canada’s increasingly important critical minerals sector has been met with support from industry experts.

But David Billedeau, senior director of natural resources and environmental sustainability at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says it’s still “the start of a very long journey—other countries are more advanced in this space than Canada, and we need to catch up.”

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BHP President, Minerals Americas Rag Udd Speech – (Economic Club of Canada – May 2, 2022)

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. As a proud Canadian myself, it is great to be back in Canada visiting the teams in Saskatchewan and Toronto.

Today, I am going to focus on three key points:

  • The exciting period of development ahead for the resources industry;
  • The opportunities Canada has to benefit from this development; and
  • Our plans for investment in Canada, and in particular our new Potash investment in Saskatchewan

And you will have to forgive me, but as a Canadian mining engineer who has worked all over the world with different commodities, I have been accused of being overly enthusiastic about Jansen and potash – so I have asked the organisers to keep me crisp on timing so we have plenty of time for questions.

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Canada in ‘active discussions’ with EV supply chain companies – minister – by Steve Scherer (Reuters – May 4, 2022)

Canada is talking to a number of companies interested in setting up production in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain, the industry minister said, as the government seeks to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and play a role in the shift toward greener cars.

There are “very active discussions with a number of players” to develop an EV supply chain, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in an interview last week. Champagne did not name the companies, only saying he spoke to representatives of Volkswagen last week, and has recently talked to executives from companies in the United States, Japan and Korea.

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Barrick’s massive Donlin gold project in Alaska faces pushback from Indigenous groups – by Nial McGee (Globe and Mail – May 3, 2022)

Barrick Gold Corp. is facing pushback from Indigenous stakeholders in Alaska who are concerned about the environmental damage the massive Donlin gold mine could cause if it gets the go ahead.

Toronto-based Barrick, the world’s second biggest gold producer, held its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday and two of the three questions asked by stakeholders revolved around Donlin’s potentially negative impact on the ecosystem.

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Canada’s top mining CEOs got pay raises in 2021 despite a mixed year for the industry – by David Milstead and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 3, 2022)

Most chief executive officers at large Canadian mining companies received pay raises in 2021, even as the industry’s performance was decidedly mixed. Franco-Nevada Corp. said CEO Paul Brink made $4.76-million, up from $3.49-million in 2020. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. said CEO Philip Pascall made $6.65-million last year, up from $5.03-million in 2020.

However, pay declined at Canada’s biggest and most valuable miner: Barrick Gold Corp. The company’s CEO Mark Bristow made $18.15-million, down from $24.32-million in 2020. The pay packets – mostly increases for the heads of base metals miners and decreases for several gold CEOs – were partly a function of copper’s outperformance of gold last year.

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With critical minerals budget, Liberals finally embrace natural resources – by Heather Exner-Pirot (Toronto Star – April 27, 2022)

To see the federal Liberals finally aligning with our much-maligned resource sector in such a big way is a game changer.

One of the biggest ticket items from this month’s federal budget was $3.8 billion for critical minerals — the mining products we need to produce everything from fertilizer to windmills to touch screens.

The timing is great, as commodities are booming. The demand for some of the minerals required for the energy transition, for example, is set to quintuple. Public funds will be directed toward supports for mineral surveying, processing and recycling, as well as tax credits for digging new mines and subsidies for infrastructure.

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As Canada builds its battery metals industry, can it compete with the world’s behemoths? – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 26, 2022)

Canada’s battery metals sector is showing signs of life, but impediments remain to this country gaining meaningful global market share in an industry dominated by China. Over the past few months, Canada has landed its first electric-car battery plant, and a new deep-pocketed owner has taken possession of Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining assets, which the province is hoping will supply battery-grade nickel.

The federal government delivered another potential boost to the battery sector when it said in its 2022 budget that it is prepared to spend $3.8-billion to fund the critical minerals industry over the next eight years.

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B.C. Hells Angel member and former CFL player accused in US$194-million pump-and-dump scam – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 21, 2022)

Courtney Vasseur, a British Columbia Hells Angels member, and former Canadian Football League player David Sidoo are among 16 people accused of perpetrating a sprawling international pump-and-dump scam that lasted more than a decade and bilked investors out of an alleged US$194-million.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are alleging that the defendants, almost half of which are Canadian citizens, manipulated the share prices of scores of U.S. penny stock companies over a period of about 15 years.

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