Archive | Canada Mining

QUEBEC GOVERNMENT NEWS RELEASE: The Plan Nord: The Project of a Generation – Harness Northern Québec’s Enormous Economic Potential

Québec, May 9, 2011 –  “The Plan Nord, one of the biggest projects in Québec’s history, seeks to shape and develop a new economic space with enormous potential. Through its scope and the extent of its spinoff, the Plan Nord will benefit all regions of Québec and all sectors of our economy,” Québec Premier Jean Charest said.

“By advocating the adoption of concrete measures to responsibly develop the vast territory’s economic potential, the Plan Nord will facilitate the sustainable development of energy, forest, mining, wildlife, tourism and bio-food resources. It will foster business investment that ensures Quebecers’ prosperity,” Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and the Nord-du-Québec region Pierre Corbeil added.

It should be noted that the Plan Nord will be implemented over 25 years and lead, during that time, to $80 billion in investments. It will create or consolidate, on average, 20 000 jobs a year in addition to engendering $14 billion in revenues for the government and Québec society. Continue Reading →

QUEBEC GOVERNMENT NEWS RELEASE: The Plan Nord – “The Plan Nord is the project of a generation” – Jean Charest

Québec, May 9, 2011 –  Québec Premier Jean Charest, Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord Nathalie Normandeau, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and the Nord-du-Québec region Pierre Corbeil, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Pierre Arcand, Minister responsible for Native Affairs Geoffrey Kelley, and Minister for Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister responsible for the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region and the Côte-Nord region Serge Simard today launched the Plan Nord, one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken in Québec and the project of a generation. The Plan Nord first offered a perspective of sustainable development in Québec and is now one of the biggest economic, social and environmental development projects in Québec’s history.

“The Plan Nord will be carried out over 25 years and engender investments of over $80 billion. It will create or consolidate 20 000 jobs a year, on average, and generate $14 billion in revenue for the government and Québec society. The economic spinoff and social development stemming from the Plan Nord will enhance the living conditions of northern populations. Through the needs for manpower, knowledge and expertise that it engenders, its benefits will be felt throughout Québec. The Plan Nord will be to the coming decades what the development of La Manicouagan and James Bay was to the 1960s and 1970s,” Premier Charest said.

A unique approach

The Plan Nord is one of the most ambitious projects that Québec has undertaken. The approach adopted is equally ambitious. Since January 2010, a number of Aboriginal and local communities have worked together. Over 60 meetings were held of sectorial and consensus-building working groups in which over 450 people participated. Through its representative, participatory approach, the Plan Nord will be a unique model of sustainable development that reconciles social and economic development and environmental protection. Continue Reading →

North of 60: Frozen Out [Mining in the Northwest Territories] – by Bill Braden

 The Canadian Mining Journal is Canada’s first mining publication. This article is from the magazine’s May, 2011 issue.

Why is NWT exploration slowing so drastically?

Grassroots explorers shun the NWT, discouraged by high cost, scant infrastructure, a regulatory system that’s still a work in progress, and two land claims 

It’s not much of a dip — only $2 mil­lion from 2010 — but a new forecast for exploration spending in Canada confirms that mine finders have found friendlier places than the Northwest Territories to spend their exploration budgets. 

Natural Resources Canada reported the trend in March, predicting the NWT will see only $83 million invested this year, less than half the money invested just five years ago. 

Contrast that with Yukon’s projected $256.3 million this year, or Nunavut at $327.8 (up an eye-popping 71 and 24 per cent respectively from 2010) and it’s easy to see why the NWT should be worried, if not alarmed. 

“The challenge is we’re facing a matur­ing [diamond] industry and it will take many [conventional] projects to replace an Ekati-size mine,” says Tom Hoefer, Executive Director of the NWT & Yukon Chamber of Mines. Currently, the terri­tory has only four producing mines — three diamond, and the other, tungsten.  Continue Reading →


This policy document was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province. 
2011 Ontario Mining Association (OMA) Policy Paper

“China needs to build three cities larger than Sydney (or Toronto)
every year until 2030 to accommodate rural to urban migration.”
(Rio Tinto Presentation)

Ontario has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including untold mineral potential. For more than a century, word-class mineral discoveries in this province have brought development and prosperity, along with scientific and technological advances, enabling Ontario’s economy to evolve through innovation. From the earliest times, mining spurred on infrastructure development, enabled more equitable regional development and sustained a variety of support industries. These industries include obvious ones like manufacturing, but also perhaps some unexpected ones like education and financial services.

Today, mining continues to be an economic pillar of Ontario.  It is well positioned to grow its contribution to our economy.  Though the number fluctuates with various commodity price changes, mining in Ontario had revenues of $6.3 billion in 2009 (down by about 30% due to the global economic downturn).  The industry provides a major boost to our financial sector, with the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) currently being the leading global mining exchange, listing 57% of the world’s public mining companies and raising more mining equity capital than any other exchange. Continue Reading →

Mining Association of Canada Policy Document (April 14, 2011): Canada’s Mining Industry – Contributions, Challenges and Recommendations

The mission of the Mining Association of Canada is to promote, through the collective action of members, the growth and development of Canada’s mining and mineral-processing industry, for the benefit of all Canadians.

(A) Economic Impact of the Canadian Mining Industry

The mining industry contributed $32 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2009, employing 306,000 workers in mineral extraction, smelting, fabrication and manufacturing, and providing business to over 3,200 suppliers of engineering, environmental, financial and other expertise. In the years leading up to 2008, industry was paying an annual average of $10 billion in taxes and royalties to federal and provincial/territorial governments.

Although a drop in commodity prices brought this figure down to approximately $6 billion in 2009, tax and royalty payments are now increasing, and are expected to return to, or go beyond, pre‐2008 levels. While the industry is important in small communities, it also generates prosperity in our larger cities – Toronto (finance), Vancouver (exploration), Montreal (aluminum, iron ore), Edmonton (oil sands), Calgary (steelmaking coal) and Saskatoon (uranium, potash) have all emerged as global mining centres in particular areas.

On the international scene, the industry accounts for 19% of Canadian goods exports, with multi‐billion dollar exports in a dozen commodities. Over half of the freight revenues of Canada’s railroads are generated by the mining industry – high portions of Canada’s port and marine revenues are also attributable to the industry. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: MININGWATCH CANADA – Three of Four Federal Parties Would Introduce Measures to Curtail Abuses of Mining Companies – Conservatives Continue to Lag Behind Canadians’ Expectations

MiningWatch Canada is a pan-Canadian initiative supported by environmental, social justice, Aboriginal and labour organisations from across the country. It addresses the urgent need for a co-ordinated public interest response to the threats to public health, water and air quality, fish and wildlife habitat and community interests posed by irresponsible mineral policies and practices in Canada and around the world.

(Ottawa – April 12, 2011) MiningWatch Canada commends the Liberals, the NDP and the Green Party for their election platforms that include stronger measures to ensure that Canadian mining companies live up to international human rights and environmental standards in their operations overseas. Harper’s Conservative Party platform offers nothing new.

“It is clear that the Liberals, NDP and the Green Party understand that Canadians expect our mining companies to respect human rights and protect ecosystems that sustain communities, whether they operate in Canada or in developing countries,” says Catherine Coumans of MiningWatch Canada.

Unlike the Conservatives’ platform, the platforms of these three parties refer to the consensus reached by representatives of the extractive industries, labour, academics and civil society in 2007. MiningWatch was a part of the multi-stakeholder advisory group that made recommendations following the National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Extractives Sector. Continue Reading →

NDP Jack Layton’s Mining Strategy for Canada

When the NDP first released their Mining Strategy on March 7, 2011, probably very few in the mining sector paid much attention to the document. That was then and this is now! With the unprecedented surge in NDP support across the country – a historic game changer in Canadian political history – perhaps the mining sector had better pay much closer attention to NDP mining policy. – Stan Sudol


March 7, 2011

NDP only party with a mining strategy, and a mining critic – MP Gravelle

SUDBURY, ON – New Democrats unanimously endorsed a New Democrat Mining Strategy at this weekend’s Northern Council in Sudbury.

“I am so pleased that provincial and federal New Democrats from Northern Ontario endorsed this plan which protects Canada’s strategic interest by ensuring Canadian workers and their communities will be the primary beneficiaries of our natural resources,” said NDP Leader Jack Layton. “Recent years have seen foreign control over Canada’s mining sector rise from 12% when the Harpers Conservatives took power to over 40% today. And Northern Ontario has paid its own price for this increase in foreign control.”

“Over 300,000 Canadians, particularly those living and working in rural, Northern and remote communities, are directly employed in the mining sector,” said Claude Gravelle, (Nickel Belt), the NDP’s Mining Critic and the strategy’s author. “The mining, metals and mineral exploration sector, is worth $66 billion and directly contributes almost 4% of Canada’s total GDP, even before consideration of economic spin-offs. So, it is critical that we have a strategic plan in place to defend our interests.” Continue Reading →

‘We have so much potential here’ [Sudbury] – by Laura Stricker (Sudbury Star-April 29, 2011)

The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. This article was published on April 29, 2011.

“We could be the research hub for mining and development in the world, and I know
we’re almost there…We have so much potential here in Sudbury. We’ve got wealth
and resources, we’ve got infrastructure … We could truly start to look at the big
pictures and start bringing things together.” 
(NDP Candidate-Glenn Thibeault, April 29, 2011)

Glenn Thibeault wants an oil and gas ombudsman with “teeth, not dentures.”

“The ombudsman can do a couple of things, as long as they have teeth. The one thing I don’t want to do is create this level of bureaucracy that costs money and doesn’t do anything besides saying, ‘Hey, you’re bad,’ ” Sudbury’s MP said during an editorial board meeting with The Sudbury Star.

The ombudsman would have to have punitive powers against the oil companies, Thibeault said, adding that he hopes the NDP’s plan to cut oil subsidies will have an impact.

“I’m hoping that ending oil subsidies is one of the things we can do to make (the companies) take notice, because right now the Conservatives are saying, ‘Yes, gas prices are high, but we’ll continue to give them a subsidy’ and the Liberals are not talking about this issue.” Continue Reading →

Gravelle on the gun registry: ‘I didn’t lie. I changed my mind’ – by Tony Muma (Sudbury Star-April 23, 2011)

The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. This article was published on April 23, 2011.

Gravelle touted the NDP’s Canadian Mining Strategy initiative and was surprised to learn nobody had ever thought of a mining strategy for Canada. The Mining Strategy would also involve better consultation of First Nations, Gravelle said.

Gravelle said the NDP would not have stopped a Vale takeover, they would have made it “more transparent. We’re not against foreign ownership, we’re against foreign takeover. But at the end of the day, we want such a takeover to be of net benefit to Canada.”

Claude Gravelle took time away from campaigning to have an editorial board meeting with The Sudbury Star and said simply: “e-12.”

In election speak, Gravelle was referring to the 12 days remaining (at that time) until Canadians go to the polls again to decide who will represent them in Ottawa. The federal election is May 2.

Gravelle, who held many different positions at Inco before becoming a town councillor in the former Town of Rayside-Balfour, said he knew what he was getting into when he became MP for Nickel Belt in 2008.

He said representing the riding involves “many long days, long hours, but it’s been fun.” Continue Reading →

[Teck Resources] Don Lindsay learns to keep his appetite in check – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – April 16, 2011)

 The Globe and Mail is 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. Brenda Bouw is the Globe’s mining reporter.

“If you are building a great country, there are certain things that anchor, that form a base, that you should not give away, and no other country does. Unfortunately, we did give it away in 2006-2007 [Inco and Falconbridge] and we’ve seen what happened.”
(Teck CEO Don Lindsay-April 16, 2011)

Commodities are booming and Teck Resources Ltd. is flush with cash. But the company isn’t in a rush to spend it – and neither, apparently, is Don Lindsay. Today, he’s lunching on a soup-and-sandwich combo from Tim Hortons – a meal he regularly eats at his desk on the 34th floor of the company’s Vancouver headquarters.

“How much growth do we need?” the 52-year-old chief executive officer asks. “Because we have a lot.”

A focused approach is the product of a tough lesson for the diversified miner, which only two years ago was on the brink of disaster after a debt-heavy acquisition on the eve of the global economic meltdown.

Mr. Lindsay was in his third year as the company’s CEO when he orchestrated the ill-timed $14-billion purchase of Fording Canadian Coal Trust. The deal, which Teck financed with $9.8-billion (U.S.) in debt, pushed the company close to ruin. Fearing the worst, investors drove Teck stock to a multiyear low of just above $3, and some were calling for his resignation. Continue Reading →

[Canada] Northern diamonds in the rough – by Lisa Wright (Toronto Star – April 23, 2011)

Lisa Wright is a business reporter with the Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This article was originally published April 23, 2011.

These women know the drill in a quest for a girl’s best friend

It was the little Canadian diamond mine that could – then fell off the rails.

Hopes were high for the Jericho mine when it started cranking out carats five years ago in Nunavut, 420 km northeast of Yellowknife. But operational setbacks, the strong loonie, skyrocketing oil prices and sinking rough diamond prices all took their toll. Former owner Tahera Diamond Corp. went into bankruptcy protection and was forced to mothball it less than two years into production.

But the daughter of a Canadian mining icon and a very determined geologist hope to breathe new life into this former gem after purchasing the shuttered property last year with a goal of reopening it as early as next year.

“Ultimately we bought Jericho with a view that it wasn’t irreparably broken, but there is a lot of work to do to get it to where we want it,” says Julie Lassonde, executive chairman of the mine’s new owner Shear Diamonds Ltd. Continue Reading →

Time for Canada to get Serious on Metals Recycling – by Paul Stothart

Paul Stothart is vice-president, economic affairs of the Mining Association of Canada. He is responsible for advancing the industry’s interests regarding federal tax, trade, investment, transport and energy issues. This article was published in November, 2010.

As a consequence of its fundamental role (such as turning rock into 99.99% pure metal), the Canadian and global mining industry faces a range of environmental challenges relating to water use, tailings management, air emissions and energy efficiency, among others. And, as a consequence of its global presence and importance in developing countries, the sector faces a range of social issues – Aboriginal relations, community engagement, social and health investments, and others. 

On these two inter-related themes, there is no shortage of demands placed upon the mining industry. In assuming its responsibilities, the industry invests heavily in schools, roads, hospitals, clinics and nutrition programs, among other initiatives, and adheres to numerous standards and protocols in addition to host government laws and regulations. One MAC member company has reported fully 15 codes and protocols that guide its global practice in the area of corporate social responsibility. These actions and investments are for the betterment of Canadian and global society, just as the products themselves, as built from minerals and metals, contribute to an improved quality of life. 

However, one socio-environmental area that does not receive sufficient attention in Canada, and where Canada arguably lags Europe, China and other regions, relates to the recycling of metals. Continue Reading →

Not another wimp out [Comparisons to Brazilian Takeover of Inco] – by Martin Goldfarb (Toronto Star-April 18, 2011)

The Toronto Star, which is the largest circulation newspaper in the country, has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Martin Goldfarb is principal at Goldfarb Intelligence Marketing and was official Liberal party pollster from 1972 to 1984.

Inco is an example worth remembering. At one point Inco was
a global leader, dominating a mining category. It was the soul
of the city of Sudbury and added stature to Ontario. It produced
intellectual property in the mining industry that was second to
none and respected globally. It provided work to miners, engineers, lawyers, bankers and others. So much of this was lost. The intellectual property and pride that Inco brought to Canada,
Ontario and Sudbury are all but gone. What happened? Management ceased to lead. In so doing it became vulnerable to takeover. (Martin Goldfarb-April 18, 2011)

Australia said No to Singapore. Australia decided its stock exchange is not for sale. Now we in Canada are thinking about whether or not the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) should be taken over by the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

A country is more than a business. There are totems in our country that define our personality, help create our character and engender pride, independence and a sense of our own charisma. Some arise from our geography (the Rockies, the Arctic), some from our natural resources (oil, water, lumber, maple syrup) and some from government (national health care). All help give us a sense of who we are.

But there are other totems in Canada that are not a function of our geography, our geology or our government. These are institutions created by the citizens of our country in business and academia — our universities and our internationally recognized businesses, such as RIM today, and in the past, Inco and Falconbridge. Inco and Falconbridge have disappeared but should never have been allowed to do so. A dose of economic nationalism is good for our soul. In some circumstances, profit should be second to the national interest. National interests help define who we are. Continue Reading →

A War of Words or a War of Worlds: Brazilian Vale versus North American USWA – by Kim T. Morris (Part 3 of 3)

Kim Morris won third place in the 2011 Arthur W. Page Society and Institute for Public Relations case study competition – business school category.

Her case study entry was on the Vale Sudbury year long strike – A War of Words or a War of Worlds: Brazilian Vale versus North American USWA.  She  is a senior adviser of communications and public affairs at the North East Community Care Access Centre.



Public perception of Vale has changed dramatically since 2006. There is mistrust and suspicion surrounding the company’s motives and future plans for the Sudbury operations. Actions and decisions made during the 11 month strike have tarnished Vale’s reputation not only in the Sudbury area, but province-wide, and possibly internationally. Unions from across the world weighed in on the labor dispute. In January 2010, the trade magazine Metal Bulletin described Vale’s hard line as an attempt to break the union.

Reputation matters. Reputation impacts a wide variety of areas: consumer purchasing decisions, employee recruitment and retention, investment decisions, even how media covers your news [40]. From an outsider’s point of view, Vale does not seem very concerned with its reputation, choosing to place profits ahead of its people.

USWA Local 6500 also needs to rebuild and revamp its reputation. Given the lack of community support received during the strike, the actions of certain members, and the harsh and hateful words spoken during the dispute, the union has a long road ahead of it if it is to restore its reputation to where it was prior to the strike. Continue Reading →

A War of Words or a War of Worlds: Brazilian Vale versus North American USWA – by Kim T. Morris (Part 2 of 3)

Kim Morris won third place in the 2011 Arthur W. Page Society and Institute for Public Relations case study competition – business school category.

Her case study entry was on the Vale Sudbury year long strike – A War of Words or a War of Worlds: Brazilian Vale versus North American USWA.  She  is a senior adviser of communications and public affairs at the North East Community Care Access Centre.

USWA Local 6500

The executive of USWA Local 6500 anticipated difficult negotiations from the start. This was a new company and the negotiating team did not know what to expect. The only thing that was clear was that there would be no concessions on the part of the union.

Talks collapsed mere weeks after they began and the gloves came off shortly thereafter with both sides blaming the other for the impasse [23]. It was at this time that the USWA Local 6500 first alleged that the root cause of the problem was a lack of understanding by Vale’s Brazilian owners as to North American culture, along with a desire to trample workers’ rights and reduce their compensation package [23].

As the months wore on, the USWA Local 6500 web page featured alleged replacement workers, providing names and addresses as well as photos of the individuals. Anonymous members posted that there should be retaliation toward these so-called “scabs”. This resulted in a flurry of threats, assaults and damage to property throughout the community. In May 2010, Vale fired nine strikers for purported violations of its code of conduct on the picket line. There were also criminal charges laid against some of the nine strikers for other offences related to the strike. The matter is still before the Ontario Labor Relations Board and the courts. Continue Reading →