Archive | Canada Mining

American filmmaker Michael Moore’s website: ‘Your search did not match any documents’ [Vale Job Cutbacks in Thompson, Manitoba]

This article was originally published in the Thompson Citizen which was established in June 1960. The Citizen covers the City of Thompson and Nickel Belt Region of Northern Manitoba. The city has a population of about 13,500 residents while the regional population is more than 40,000.

February 4, 2011 – by John Barker
[email protected]

Video or blog entries related to Vale, Thompson and USW

It’s all the buzz. Churchill riding NDP MP Niki Ashton said Feb. 1 that “award-winning documentarian Michael Moore agreed to a request” by her to “help share her message about the devastating decision by Vale to close the Vale smelter and refinery in Thompson.”

Said Ashton: “Moore’s team expressed great interest in Vale’s decision and the devastating impact it would have on Ashton’s home community of Thompson. Moore’s team plans to post Ashton’s YouTube video on his website as well as post a series of blog entries by Ashton and the people who are losing their jobs … Moore and his team pointed to the parallels between the Thompson story and the story of Flint, Michigan as told in Moore’s film Roger and Me.”

Ashton went on to say Tuesday, “The story of Thompson parallels what the people of Flint, Michigan faced. Our community is the latest victim. Our goal was to get our message spread globally. We are fighting back. We are happy to have Michael Moore help us get our message to the world.” Continue Reading →

Mining Crucial to British Columbia’s Success – Randy Hawes, B.C. Minister of State for Mining

The following speech was delivered by Randy Hawes, British Columbia’s Minister of State for Mining, at the opening of AME BC Roundup 2011 conference in Vancouver on January 24, 2011.

“British Columbia is the first province in Canada to share direct provincial tax revenue
generated from new mines or mine expansions with First Nations. This only applies to
new mines and expansions. Resource revenue sharing will not cost the industry a cent.
This is a commitment to sharing revenue that the province will receive from new mine
developments.” (Randy Hawes – B.C. Minister of State for Mining – Jan/24/11)

This year’s theme, “exploring today for tomorrow’s resources,” is particularly apt. After spending $154 million on exploration in 2009, that figure more than doubled to $322 million in 2010.

This represents the third-highest total ever and a 109% increase on 2009. In 1999, the figure was just $25 million. This is an extraordinary turnaround and is indicative of a reinvigorated and optimistic mining industry.

It also underlines the importance the mineral industry is playing in the province’s economic recovery. Exploration investment is a key indicator of mining’s future and this suggests a very bright future indeed.

Perhaps the greatest indicator of mining’s excellent health is the development of new mines. The mining industry invested over $1 billion last year, expanding existing operations and developing new mines in B.C. Major mine expansions at Endako, Gibraltar, Highland Valley Copper, Wolverine and others underline the attractiveness of operating in British Columbia. Continue Reading →

Pan-Northern Ontario Initiative Seeks Saskatchewan Market – by Adelle Larmour

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. This article was posted on their website January 21, 2011.

More than $100 billion to be spent in Saskatchewan within the next decade

Northern Ontario companies stand to cash in on billons being spent in Saskatchewan on potash (above) and uranium mining over the next decade. More than $100 billion is expected to be invested in Saskatchewan over the next decade and some Northern Ontario businesses want a piece of the action.

Twenty-two businesses from across northeastern Ontario have united in a pan-Northern initiative under the auspices of Ontario’s North Economic Development Corporation (ONEDC), a non-profit corporation representing the five major Northern Ontario cities.

ONEDC (pronounced One DC), created to implement pan-Northern economic development initiatives, has been working with the support of the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry (MNDMF) and in-market consultants to help facilitate business opportunities for Northern Ontario suppliers. Continue Reading →

[Manitoba Government] Asleep at the Wheel [Vale Thompson Job Cutbacks] – Winnipeg Free Press Editorial (November 20, 2010)

The Winnipeg Free Press is the oldest newspaper in western Canada and has the largest readership in the province of Manitoba.

It appears that a better expenditure of the $1 billion is the one Vale
plans — to sink it into new mining operations that will at least protect
1,000 of the 1,500 jobs Vale currently supplies. (Winnipeg Free Press Editorial)

Mines Minister Dave Chomiak is heading to Toronto on Monday to talk to Vale SA officials about the mining giant’s plan to wind down smelting and refining activities in Thompson over five years, moves that will cost the city 500 jobs. The trip will be a continuation of the frantic to-ing and fro-ing that Mr. Chomiak and Premier Greg Selinger have been engaged in since news broke Wednesday that Manitoba’s third largest city was going to take a very hard economic hit.

It might be that the hand-wringing and dashing-about is simply what politicians always do in the face of bad news — they must be seen to be “doing something,” no matter how ineffectual. Or it might be what it seems to be, that the government was caught completely off guard by the news. And that raises the question that Opposition Leader Hugh McFadyen has raised: Has the government been asleep at the wheel?

It was, after all, only seven years ago that Inco Ltd., which was subsequently bought by Vale for $20 billion, threatened to shut down all operations in Thompson because the price of nickel had fallen so low that the Thompson operations were no longer viable. So it might have been expected that the government was keeping a close eye on Thompson, which has long been represented by Steve Ashton. Continue Reading →

Done Deal: Vale Stands Firm as 500 Thompson, Manitoba Smelter and Refinery Jobs Disappear by 2015 – by Ryan Flanagan

This article was originally published in the Thompson Citizen which was established in June 1960. The Citizen covers the City of Thompson and Nickel Belt Region of Northern Manitoba. The city has a population of about 13,500 residents while the regional population is more than 40,000.

Martins asks for Thompson to start looking to the future

January 27, 2011 – by Ryan Flanagan
[email protected]

Tito Martins, president and chief executive officer of Vale Canada, was in Thompson Wednesday night to address the Thompson Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting, where he delivered a blunt message about Vale’s plans for Thompson’s smelter and refinery.

“The past has passed, it’s time to move on,” he said. “Let’s talk about the future. Let’s move on to find something else to be the important pillar of the Thompson economy.”

Although many – including provincial officials such as Dave Chomiak, minister of innovation, energy and mines, and Thompson MLA Steve Ashton – have been holding out hope that a deal could be negotiated to save the processing facilties, Martins was dismissive of that possibility.

“We don’t see any possibilities to actually change our decision, unless something really new comes up,” said Martins. “It was the obvious decision. The picture we have in front of us today doesn’t show us any alternative.” Martins did note that Vale is “obligated” to look at any proposals that might be sent their way, but added that a relaxing of environmental restrictions – the federal standards for sulphur dioxide, or SO2, emissions would require a reduction of 88 per cent from the current Thompson levels – would still not give them enough reason to leave the smelter and refinery open, as the opening of the Long Harbour refinery in 2013 will see feed from Voisey’s Bay sent there rather than Thompson, putting the feed levels at Thompson’s smelter and refinery well below the line of profitability. “Of all the scenarios we ran, there were some where we looking at bringing feed to Thompson,” said Martins. “There’s none available anywhere.” Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto Invests $10 Million in Sudbury’s Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation – Mark Henderson

Mark Henderson is editor of Research Money.

“We are attempting to establish a centre of excellence that can compete in the R&D space and collaborate with centres in Brazil and Chile … Our mandate is to establish R&D and innovation excellence in Ontario and Canada by bringing industry money together with people doing research and who can commercialize the work.” – CEMI President and CEO Dr. Peter Kaiser

Boost to growing mining cluster
Sudbury’s quest to become a major centre of mining R&D received a significant boost with a decision by Rio Tinto to invest $10 million in a Centre for Underground Mine Construction (CUMC), the fifth and final centre in its global research network. The centre is part of Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future program as the British-Australian mining giant banks on innovation to transition from open pit to underground mining by developing deeper underground mines to meet soaring demand for minerals.

To be based at the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), located at Sudbury’s Laurentian Univ, the Rio Tinto centre marks the first time a foreign-based multinational has committed to funding mining R&D through CEMI.

The decision may signal a reversal in Canada’s flagging reputation as an innovative mining nation — a status that has been threatened by a rash of foreign takeovers of some of Canada’s biggest mining enterprises. For instance, the former Falconbridge was acquired by Xstrata based in Zug Switzerland, while Inco was absorbed by Vale Ltd, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rio Tinto’s CUMC will be set up as a division of CEMI with a steering committee to direct R&D initiatives. Continue Reading →

Battle of the Canadian Gold Rushes: Klondike Versus Northern Ontario – by Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant, who writes extensively about mining issues.([email protected])

The Yukon Klondike

I have a small complaint about Canadian mining history or more importantly, our media coverage of past gold rushes. The Yukon Klondike gold rush of 1896-1899 seems to take all the glory – thanks to writers like Jack London, Robert W. Service and Canadian literary icon, Pierre Berton – while northern Ontario’s four globally significant gold/silver discoveries in the first half of the last century do not get the historical respect they deserve.

The initial Klondike discovery, on August 16, 1896, at a fish camp near the junction of the Yukon and Klondike rivers, is credited to George Carmack and his Tagish Indian brothers-in-law, Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson (Tagish) Charlie. Robert Henderson, a Nova Scotia prospector is credited as a cofounder, since it was on his advice that the discovery was made, however he made no money from the find.

At the height of the rush, Dawson City, the main staging town at the mouth of the Klondike River had a booming population of about 30,000 and was known as the most cosmopolitan city west of Winnipeg and north of Vancouver.  Due to its isolation, all the claims had been staked by the time most people finally arrived. Some of the most memorable photographs from the period show a thin line of thousands of people climbing the legendary Chilkoot Pass – the shortest but most difficult route to the goldfields – bringing the required year’s supply of food and living material.

Fortunes were made and lost in Dawson City’s “rip-roaring” frontier atmosphere where prostitutes were tolerated and nearly everyone was on the lookout for charlatans and con men. Many became rich just supplying services to the stampeders.  In total, about 12.5 million ounces of gold was produced during this short-lived rush that lasted for less than a decade. Continue Reading →

Real Help for the North – by Peter Foster (National Post)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper. This column was originally published in the Financial Post on January 4, 2011.

Whoever wins the contest for control of BIM, the people of Baffin Island are
far more likely to thrive being “exploited” by filthy capitalists than being
“helped” by governments. National Post, Peter Foster (January 4, 2011)

The Baffinland Iron mine Would Bring Desperately Needed Jobs

From a financial point of view, the takeover contest for control of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., BIM, hardly registers. The latest round of bidding for the company puts a value on it of $570-million, a piddling amount when compared with, say, the $44-billion market capitalization of Potash Corp. In other respects, however, BIM may be more genuinely “strategic” than the Saskatchewan mining giant, a proposed takeover of which was deep sixed earlier this year because of the “S” word.

In fact, the rejection of BHP Billiton’s bid for Potash was all about electoral politics. However, the location of Bafflinland’s prime asset is genuinely strategic in terms of the Conservative government’s Arctic aspirations. Also, the project would bring desperately needed jobs and revenue to the region of Nunavut, where it costs Canadian taxpayers $1-billion a year to service some 33,000 people living in an area the size of Western Europe.

U.S.-controlled Nunavut Iron Ore Acquisition Inc. made a hostile bid for BIM in September. Since then, Luxembourg-based steelmaking giant ArcelorMittal has arrived on the scene as a white knight. Last week Arcelor upped its bid to $1.40 per share for all the Baffinland shares. Nunavut Iron Ore, which was set up solely to acquire Baffinland, immediately upped its own bid to $1.45, but for only 60% of the equity.

Continue Reading →

Sudbury Mining Research Centre CEMI Recruits Star Candidate – by Norm Tollinsky

This article was originally published in the December, 2010 issue of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal.

The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) is a world-class mining research and innovation centre located in the hardrock mining heartland of Sudbury, Ontario.

The new deputy director of the Sudbury-based Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) sees an urgent need to “broaden the base of the intellectual capacity that’s applied to mining issues.”

Doug Morrison, formerly global mining sector leader with Golder Associates, says in light of the lack of highly skilled personnel entering the mining industry, more effort has to be made to enlist researchers in other related disciplines to focus on mining issues.

“I don’t think there’s a long lineup of people waiting to join the mining industry these days, so what we need to do is create as much of a critical mass as we can by being much more collaborative.

“Every university has research being done. The vast majority of these researchers have no idea of the challenges that the mining industry faces, but many of them are working on issues that could be of value to the mining industry,” he said. As examples, Morrison cites researchers focused on environmental sciences, chemistry, physics and biology. Continue Reading →

Clement’s Takeover Hangover [Vale, Inco, Sudbury]-by Andy Hoffman and Jacquie McNish (July 22, 2009)

The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media. Originally published July 22, 2009

“There was going to be no buyer, [for Inco] there were going to be no jobs, [Sudbury] there weren’t going to be any capital investments, there was going to be no employer.” — Industry Minister Tony Clement

“He’s either sadly misinformed or he’s ignoring the facts because back in 2006 we were a very successful company. There were lots of companies trying to buy us, not just [Vale].”— Scott Hand, Inco’s former CEO

The wave of foreign takeovers that cut a swath through Canada’s resource sector in 2006 and 2007 has become a critical problem for Industry Minister Tony Clement as the new owners break their acquisition promises not to slash jobs and production.

Mr. Clement is under fire for ill-informed comments regarding the sale of nickel producer Inco to a Brazilian mining giant, and for taking an inconsistent approach to enforcing the commitments the foreign companies made in order to win Ottawa’s consent for the controversial deals.

Last week, the government took the extraordinary step of going to court to demand United States Steel Corp. meet job and production pledges that were part of its acquisition of Stelco Inc. in 2007. The move, a first in Canada, has shocked industry and legal observers who say that Industry Canada has been much more flexible with other foreign buyers.

But Mr. Clement then portrayed Inco’s acquirer, Brazil’s Vale SA, as a local saviour – even though Vale, too, is cutting jobs earlier than promised, closing operations and grappling with a strike. Mr. Clement said Sudbury, the site of Inco’s flagship nickel operations, would have become a “Valley of Death” if the Brazilians hadn’t bought the company for $19-billion. Continue Reading →

The Crisis in Manitoba Mining Versus the Prosperity in Saskatchewan – by Stephen L. Masson

Stephen L. Masson, M.Sc. P.Geo. is the President, of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Prospectors and Developers Association

“Saskatchewan has now become a “have” province based on the enormous revenues of its mining industry plus oil and gas, whereas Manitoba struggles despite the huge mineral potential of the province.” Stephen L. Masson (December, 2010)

Another year of good metal prices but lower exploration costs has made for continued strength in the mineral exploration of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but far more in Saskatchewan than Manitoba.

Soaring gold has made it possible for even small juniors to fund their projects at whatever stage. Uranium in Saskatchewan and Rare Earth metal exploration in both provinces remains strong. Nickel exploration in the Thompson Nickel Belt continues at a good pace, although the shut-down of the Bucko Lake Mine offered a small wrinkle in this otherwise promising historic exploration real estate.

The Snow Lake, Flin Flon, and Sherridon Camps saw continued strong exploration, riding in part on the coattails of the huge Lalor Lake Zn-Cu-Au discovery in the Chisel basin of Snow Lake. Hudbay Minerals is now proceeding towards development of this large and very rich deposit. Continued success by Hudson Bay and VMS on the Reed Lake deposit promises a near surface deposit rich in copper, with a recent hole reporting 6.69 per cent copper over 71.69 m.

Flin Flon continues to dominate the Copper-Zinc news as one of the great mining camps in this country, which remarkably continues to turn out discoveries and world class deposits. Halo continues to increase its inventory of Copper Zinc in the Sherridon Camp and Rockcliff, along with VMS, Callinan, and Copper Reef, which are aggressively exploring in the Snow Lake and main Flin Flon Camps. Continue Reading →

Mining Has Become the World’s Most Popular Profession – by Russell Noble

Russell Noble is the editor of the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. This editorial is from the December, 2010 issue.

Thanks to a cave-in, mining is now the world’s most popular profession.

Forget about doctors and firefighters for a moment because, to paraphrase, the word popular means: “known to the general masses of people,” and with that, who can argue that the recently televised rescue of 33 miners in Chile didn’t make mining popular?

No other event in the history of the industry has brought more attention to the profession than the rescue of those miners. That single event taught more than a billion people around the world just what mining is all about.

They learned about the earth and where minerals are found, they learned about the research and engineering that’s involved with getting at those minerals and, most importantly, they learned about the people who risk their lives to retrieve those minerals.

In all, no other profession has been so vividly showcased before the eyes of the world. Continue Reading →

Mapping the Economic Potential of Canada’s North – Chapter 3: Metal and Non-Metallic Mineral Mining

The Conference Board of Canada is the foremost independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. It is not a government department or agency and conducts, publishes, and disseminates objective and non-partisan research on economic trends, as well as organizational performance and public policy issues. Click here for Mapping the Economic Potential of Canada’s North.

Please note that charts and maps are omitted from this posting.

The metal and non-metallic mineral mining industry has a long history of providing wealth and employment to Canadians. From the Klondike gold rush in the late 1800s, to the large-scale development and production of potash in Saskatchewan, to diamonds in the Northwest Territories, the industry has maintained its lustre on the global stage.

The industry has endured many boom-bust cycles in its history. In the 1960s, metal and non-metallic mineral mining directly accounted for over 2 per cent of the Canadian economy; by 2009, the industry’s share had shrunk to 0.5 per cent. But the situation is expected to turn around in the coming years as mining continues to be developed— particularly in Canada’s North.

The metal and non-metallic mineral mining industry
has a long history of providing wealth and employment
to Canadians.

Even in 2009—the worst year for mining in recent history—the industry contributed $6.5 billion to the
Canadian economy (in real terms) and continued to export a diverse variety of resources. There are many
spin-off benefits not included in the $6.5 billion: construction, transportation, utilities, warehousing, and
communications are some of the other industries that benefit directly from the development and production
of a single mine.

Continue Reading →

News Release: Conference Board of Canada – Mining And Related Support Industries Offer The Greatest Economic Potential For Northern Canada

The Conference Board of Canada is the foremost independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. It is not a government department or agency and conducts, publishes, and disseminates objective and non-partisan research on economic trends, as well as organizational performance and public policy issues. Click here for Mapping the Economic Potential of Canada’s North.

Ottawa, December 17 —The natural resources sector – and the industries that support it – provide the strongest potential for Northern Canada’s future economic development, The Conference Board of Canada concludes in a study for its Centre for the North, released today.

This report, Mapping the Economic Potential of Canada’s North, is one of a series of foundational studies for the Centre for the North. It is intended to provide a launch pad for further inquiry into the future economic development potential of the North.

“The economic potential of Northern Canada is highly dependent on its mining and oil and gas resources,” said Len Coad, Director, Environment, Energy and Technology Policy, The Conference Board of Canada. “These primary industries also drive growth in other sectors of Northern economies, including communication, electricity and transportation infrastructure, and commercial services. They can contribute to the prosperity of northern communities by providing jobs and supporting local businesses.”

The Conference Board uses the Northern Development Ministers Forum’s definition of the North as the basis for this research. Based on this definition, the North comprises the three territories and the northern parts of seven provinces – 80 per cent of Canada’s land mass in all, but it makes up less than seven per cent of the population. This study identified a collection of seven key industries—oil and gas, mining, forestry, fishing, utilities, construction, and tourism. Continue Reading →

[Barrick Gold’s]Aaron Regent: A New-generation CEO – by Globe and Mail Reporter Brenda Bouw (Originally Published December 18, 2010)

Brenda Bouw is the mining reporter for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media. This article was orginally published December 18, 2010.
When Aaron Regent walks into Ki, a modern Japanese restaurant in the heart of Bay Street, amid a cluster of other dark-suited businessmen during a recent lunch hour rush, his presence is immediately noted.

Within seconds, the hostess greets him as “Mr. Regent” and whisks him and his party to his usual table, a quiet corner booth located alongside a calming rock and marble water feature.

Ki is a regular lunch spot for Mr. Regent, in part because it’s located inside Brookfield Place, the same downtown Toronto office tower that is home to the head office of Barrick, where he celebrates his two-year anniversary as president and chief executive officer next month. The Irish-born executive has spent much of his career around this particular square mile of prime real estate, working either at Brookfield Asset Management (where he was, most recently, co-head of its vast infrastructure group) or within the nexus of companies affiliated with it.

So when he was offered the Barrick job by legendary founder Peter Munk, the physical move was easy – he merely had to change floors. That is where the simple part ended, however.

Barrick is a complicated beast with interests in 25 mines scattered across five continents, each with its own challenges.

Continue Reading →