Magna Mining signs MoU with Mitsui for Canadian mine (Mining Technology – January 31, 2022)

Magna Mining has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mitsui for a proposed joint venture (JV) arrangement for the Shakespeare mine in Canada.

The MoU allows the two firms to discuss the potential for Mitsui to purchase a stake between 10% and 12.5% in the Shakespeare Ni-Cu-PGM Mine for cash consideration ranging from $8m to $10m. The non-binding MoU, however, is restricted to a 2,590ha area of the over-18,000ha Shakespeare Project.

Read more

Eira Thomas Confident Lucara Can Navigate Crisis – by Avi Krawitz (Rapaport Diamond Podcast – June 22, 2020)

RAPAPORT… The diamond mining sector has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. There has been a significant drop in demand — when rough sales could even take place — forcing miners to reconsider their production programs for 2020.

However, Lucara Diamond Corp. appears cautiously confident that it has the balance sheet, the sales platform, and the right product mix at its high-value Karowe mine in Botswana, to manage through the crisis.

In a June 16 interview as part of Rapaport’s ‘Recovery Webinar Series’, CEO Eira Thomas outlined her assessment of the diamond market and the company’s plans.

Read more

EDITORIAL: Support mines that support Nunavummiut (Nunavut News – April 17, 2019)

Nunavut News

Whether you notice it or not in your daily life, all reports show a glittering economic forecast for Nunavut. Speaking at the Nunavut Mining Symposium, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz noted that the territory is set for the strongest growth among all territories and provinces for 2019, at a rate of nine per cent.

“That’s pretty spectacular stuff,” Poloz said. “That’s not some fiction, that’s real.” Nunavut’s senior economist Francois Picotte piled on the good news, noting the territory will see very high growth for the next four years.

All of this is thanks to mining, which is becoming such an economic force in Nunavut that it will surpass even government in its weight in the territorial economy.

Read more

EDITORIAL: Peterborough’s Innovation Cluster exemplifies ties that bind Canada, Brazil – by Examiner Staff (Peterborough Examiner – March 20, 2019)

Water purification technology born here is used to help disaster victims

Canada has a complicated history with Brazil. Much of our shared experience is written in the language of commerce and has been controversial to the point of bitterness. But those are big-picture issues.

Scale the focus down and, as often is the case, smaller relationships create space for support and compassion. Peterborough is now part of just such a story, a reminder that people with open minds and hearts can find ways to cross international boundaries.

This story began in January when a huge tailing pond dam at Brumadinho in south-west Brazil collapsed. A torrent of mud and waste water from an iron mine swept away an entire section of rural Brumadinho, population 40,000. At least 300 people died.

Read more

I helped plan Energy East, and I know the government’s excuses are bunk – by Dennis McConaghy (Financial Post – October 12, 2017)

Dennis McConaghy was formerly the executive vice-president of pipeline strategy and development at TransCanada Pipelines.

I was a senior officer of TransCanada Pipelines when the Energy East project was conceived and developed commercially, up to the mid-summer of 2014 when I retired (I continue to be a shareholder but obviously I am no longer a company insider).

Two things are clear to me. One: the termination of the Energy East project is a major economic loss for Canada, removing an important option for providing market access for growing production from Canada’s oil sands resource, including direct access to eastern Canadian crude oil markets.

Two: The Trudeau government should be stepping up to accept some real culpability for contributing to TransCanada’s decision to abandon the project, instead of resorting to various sophistries and distortions. The real lessons to be learned from the Energy East termination cannot be ignored if this country is to ever have a regulatory and public-policy regime conducive for private capital to take on the risks of major hydrocarbon infrastructure.

Read more

AUDIO: Sudbury researcher John Gunn meets Sweden’s environmentally minded king – by Samantha Lui (CBC News Sudbury – July 13, 2016)

John Gunn shared the story of Sudbury’s regreening efforts with the king and other researchers

The regreening of Sudbury’s damaged landscapes is a story known across the world. In fact, it’s even caught the attention of Carl Gustaf, the king of Sweden. Sudbury’s John Gunn was recently invited to attend the king’s 12th Royal Colloquiam just outside of Stockholm.

The event’s been held since 1992 by Gustaf, and it invites leading scientists and researchers to take part in discussions about issues relating to environment and development. Gunn, who is the director of the Vale Living with Lakes Centre in the city, shared details about Sudbury’s progress over the years with the king and other researchers around the world.

“It was a great honour to participate in such a discussion group with the king of Sweden,” he said. “Sweden and the adjoining Norway are very supportive of international studies in the environment. I was pleased to be able to go and represent Sudbury and provide some information.”

Read more

Donald Trump says he would approve Keystone XL, but with new deal and piece of the profits – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – May 27, 2016)

CALGARY — The U.S. environmental movement’s biggest win yet, the defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline, could be history if Donald Trump takes the White House in November.

The Republican presidential candidate confirmed Thursday he would approve TransCanada Corp.’s proposed oil pipeline to link Alberta’s oilsands to refineries in the U.S. Gulf, but on different terms.

“I would absolutely approve it, 100 percent, but I would want a better deal,” Trump told reporters at a press conference in Bismarck, N.D., where he was scheduled to give a speech to an oil conference on the energy policies he would pursue. “I want it built, but I want a piece of the profits,” Trump said. “That’s how we’re going to make our country rich again.”

Read more

Idaho silver mine shaft sunk to final depth of 9,587 feet – by Frik Els ( – May 24, 2016)

The Lucky Friday silver, lead and zinc mine is located deep in the Bitterroot Mountains, in one of the world’s most prolific silver-producing districts: northern Idaho’s Silver Valley.

Lucky Friday has been in commercial production since 1942 and this week the number 4 shaft project to extend the life of the mine for another generation reached a big milestone. Cementation USA Inc. on Tuesday announced it has completed sinking the deepest shaft in the United States at the mine owned by Hecla Mining outside the town of Mullan in Shoshone county, Idaho.

With a finished diameter of 18 feet, the Lucky Friday #4 Shaft was sunk to a final depth of 9,587 feet (2.92 kilometres) below surface. The project is moving into the furnishing construction phase where shaft steel and the final conveyances will be installed.

Read more

Freeport Sees Indonesia Deal ‘Imminently’ on Export Curbs – by Liezel Hill (Bloomberg News – July 23, 2014)

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) expects to sign a deal with the Indonesian government “imminently” to resolve a dispute that has curbed production at the world’s third-biggest copper mine.

The largest publicly traded copper producer and the government have developed a memorandum of understanding under which the company would commit to help develop a smelter, Phoenix-based Freeport said today in a statement. The agreement includes reduced export taxes and higher royalties for copper and gold.

The agreement, which would enable the immediate resumption of exports, also states that Freeport and Indonesia would start negotiations immediately on changes to the company’s contract to operate in the country.

Freeport reduced operating levels this year at its Grasberg copper and gold mine after Indonesia introduced restrictions and duties on mineral exports in a bid to increase local processing. Exports of concentrates, a semi-processed raw material, have yet to resume after months of negotiations between the company and government officials.

Freeport has been able to run Grasberg at about half of normal rates because it sends some concentrate to a domestic smelter it helped build in the 1990s.

Read more

Bill passed to provide $270m for SE Alaska mines – by Henry Lazenby ( – May 6, 2014)

TORONTO ( – The Alaska State Legislature has unanimously passed Senate Bill 99 (SB 99), which includes provisions authorising the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) to make up to $270-million available for infrastructure and construction costs at two south-east Alaska mining projects.

The passing of the Bill provides TSX-V-listed Prince of Wales Island project developers Ucore Rare Metals and Heatherdale Resources with the state-backed financial boost needed to develop the deposits into mines amid an otherwise tight financial market.

Introduced by Senator Lesil McGuire in 2013, SB 99 also aims to clarify ambiguous language associated with the Sustainable Energy Transmission and Supply Development Fund within the AIDEA. The AIDEA is a public corporation created by Alaska lawmakers to promote economic development across the state, and has been active in the financing of multiple capital project initiatives in the Alaska mining sector since 1985.

The Delong Mountain Transportation System, a road and port facility connecting the isolated Red Dog mine to world markets, and the Skagway Ore Terminal, a south-east Alaska facility that ships about 37-million pounds of copper concentrates from Capstone Mining’s Minto mine, in Canada’s Yukon Territory, are examples of mining-related projects the authority has funded.

Read more

Price slump hits B.C. coal miners – by Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – April 16, 2014)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

VANCOUVER — A devastating price slump is hammering British Columbia’s coal sector as a U.S.-based company halts mining in the province while other players face mounting pressure.

Walter Energy Inc. highlighted the troubles Tuesday when it announced its decision to stop B.C. mining until coal prices recover.

Last week Virginia-based James River Coal Co. filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States, underscoring tough times in the global industry.

The coal industry has traditionally been a key driver of B.C.’s economy, with companies generating billions of dollars in revenue every year and employing thousands of workers. Now producers are starting to question the viability of their projects as prices hit new lows.

In 2011, coal prices soared to $300 (U.S.) a tonne. Prices for metallurgical coal have since tumbled to roughly $120 a tonne, hurt by ample new supplies from Australia, slower-than-forecast economic growth in China and a shift away from long-term coal pricing contracts that had provided some stability.

Read more

Opinion: Taseko seeks path forward for New Prosperity – by Russ Hallbauer (Vancouver Sun – September 2, 2013)

Misinformation tainted hearings, sowed mistrust

Russ Hallbauer is president and CEO of Taseko Mines Ltd.

The final weeks of the First Nations community hearing sessions of the federal environmental assessment for New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine witnessed emotional testimony from many Tsilhqot’in and Shuswap First Nations peoples.

The New Prosperity project is located in British Columbia’s Cariboo-Chilcotin region. It proposes to save the culturally sensitive Fish Lake, and it will have a significant positive socio-economic impact on the region, British Columbia and Canada.

The Tsilhqot’in people have a long history and traditional connection to the land throughout their traditional territory, including in the proposed mining area around Fish Lake.

These communities, many with strong family ties, are working to heal some pressing social issues by strengthening awareness of their heritage and traditional practices among their youth as well as more broadly in the general population.

Read more

Toward less of a potash oligopoly – Editorial (Globe and Mail – July 31, 2013)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

The breakup of Belarus Potash Co., one of two international potash cartels, is good news for consumers and farmers across the world, which carries a promise of less expensive fertilizer and (as a result) cheaper food. It is hard to see how BPC’s North American equivalent, Canpotex International Pte. Ltd., the marketing organization shared by Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., Agrium Inc. and The Mosaic Co., will be able to maintain potash prices at their previous levels. The raison d’être of Canpotex is likely to be in question. Without the quasi-duopoly of Canpotex and BPC, the potash market will be substantially more competitive.

OAO Uralkali, the Russian member of BPC, has accused its former Belarussian partner, Belaruskali, of selling potash outside BPC. Indeed, last December, the dictatorial President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, issued a decree cancelling BPC’s exclusive right to market and export Belarussian potash; maybe Belaruskali was just being obedient.

But Uralkali may have another motive, too; it has the advantage of being able to ship potash directly by rail to China, a country with a great appetite for fertilizer. Uralkali appears to have decided to seek buyers by offering attractive prices, rather than by restricting supply.

Read more

For First Nations, Great Jobs in a Controversial Industry -by Katie Hyslop (The – July 26, 2013)

One organization’s success teaching Aboriginal people mining skills isn’t without complications.

Unemployment for Aboriginal people in the province is twice as high as the rest of British Columbians. But Aboriginal people are defying the employment odds in the province’s mining industry, thanks in part to the BC Aboriginal Training Association (BCAMTA), which provides job training for the mining industry to Aboriginal people in B.C.

In a July 22 press conference in Vancouver, the association released a PricewaterhouseCoopers audit of their practices from their start in January 2010 until March 2013. Results show the organization has registered 1,533 training candidates, 500 of which have successfully achieved employment in their field.

BCAMTA’s work has paid off for the economy, too. CEO Laurie Sterritt says a $6.68-million federal government investment to start the program has translated into a $53.4-million annual contribution to B.C.’s GDP.

“This isn’t a one time boost to the economy: this is an amount that will grow as our employee candidates get salary increases, earn bonus payouts, and move up the ladder to more senior positions,” she said.

Read more

SA seventh-largest iron-ore producer – by Yolandi Booyens ( – July 26, 2013)

South Africa’s position as the number three supplier of iron-ore to China emphasises the strategic importance of iron-ore deposits in the country and its importance as a significant iron-ore contributor worldwide, says minerals adviser Venmyn Deloitte MD Andy Clay.

He adds that this is testimony to the rapid historical development of South Africa’s iron-ore mines, in conjunction with the South African government’s infrastructure development.

South Africa is the seventh-largest producer of iron-ore and has also traditionally been the fourth-largest exporter worldwide. The country increased the percentage of iron it exports because of the suspension of mine operations in Goa, India, in September 2012 , owing to contraventions in terms of mining without licences or beyond licensed areas.

As a result, the global demand that Goa’s iron-ore mining operations used to meet can now be met by South Africa, in addition to other producers, such as Australia. “One of the factors that enables South Africa to export so much ore is the efficient Sishen iron-ore rail line,” notes Clay.

Opened in 1947, the Sishen mine is iron-ore supplier Kumba’s flagship operation and one of the largest openpit mines in the world. It has sufficient resources to sustain 21 years of production. It operates 24/7 and, in 2011, it transported 38.9-million tons of iron-ore.

Read more