Archive | Canadian Media Resource Articles

Canadian miners struggle with wave of African tax increases – by Niall McGee and Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – March 22, 2018)

A wave of African tax increases is engulfing some of Canada’s biggest mining companies, leaving them scrambling to negotiate with newly assertive governments that have lost patience with traditional tax deals.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. is the latest Canadian company to be hit with a massive tax bill. Zambian authorities have told the company to pay an additional US$8-billion in taxes and penalties for failing to pay proper duties on imported supplies over the past five years.

First Quantum’s chief executive, Philip Pascall, admitted on Wednesday that he had been completely blindsided by the shock announcement. “I literally heard about this the day before yesterday,” he told investors in a conference call as he tried to mollify their concerns. Continue Reading →

Chemical, mining industries say rail backlog causing plant shutdowns, lost sales – by Eric Atkins (Globe and Mail – March 22, 2018)

The rail backlog that has angered the North American grain industry and led to the ouster of one railway chief has spread to chemical and metals companies, who say unreliable train service is causing plant shutdowns and lost sales.

Bob Masterson, chief executive of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, said inadequate rail service has disrupted production at 13 plants, including five that had “complete shutdowns.” Eight companies said the rail problems extended to their customers, who also had to halt production because of delayed train deliveries, he said, declining to identify the companies.

Teck Resources Ltd., a miner that says it is the biggest customer of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and the country’s biggest rail shipper, claimed rail service failures have cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade. Continue Reading →

Global copper deficit widens 21% in 2017 as refined supplies stagnate – by Henry Lazenby ( – March 21, 2018)

VANCOUVER ( – The latest data from the Lisbon, Portugal-based International Copper Study Group (ICSG) points to a 21% year-on-year widening in the global deficit of refined copper, as refined supplies remain stagnant.

During 2017, the global refined copper balance slid to a deficit of 163 000 t of red metal, compared with the 135 000 t recorded during 2016, which has been adjusted for changes in Chinese bonded stocks.

According to the ICSG, global mine output in 2017 fell 2% year-on-year to 20-million tonnes, which was mainly attributable to a 1% decline in Chile production – the world’s largest producer of the red metal – which was negatively affected by the strike at the Escondida mine in the first part of the year and lower output from State-owned Codelco mines. Continue Reading →

EV adoption rate reaching critical mass as search for ethical cobalt heats up – by Henry Lazenby ( – March 20, 2018)

VANCOUVER ( – Cobalt company Cobalt 27 is seeing an ideal storm brewing for its key commodity as the adoption rate of electric vehicles (EVs) accelerates faster than even optimistic forecasts had speculated.

“Cobalt 27 is a proxy for the adoption of the EV,” executive chairperson Anthony Milewski told Mining Weekly Online in an interview. “What our most recent raise tells one is that the thematic is picking up pace.”

He pointed to the EV adoption rate hitting 1.8% at the end of 2017. “Currently, Wall Street has projections for 2025 of an EV penetration rate of 15%. Continue Reading →

South Africa black ownership to roll out in May – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – March 20, 2018)

Mining companies operating in South Africa, including Anglo American (LON:AAL) and Sibanye Gold (JSE:SGL) (NYSE:SBGL), may soon have to increase their black-owned stakes to 30%, from a previous 26%, but the government is promising to deliver “policy certainty” in return.

Newly appointed Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe said the key to regain investors and miners confidence in the South Africa’s mining sector was to finalize revised plans for black ownership in the industry by the end of May, Xinhua reports.

The Chamber of Mines, which represents the majority of the miners operating in the country, the world’s top platinum producer, has suspended a court challenge to the modified charter approved by Mantashe’s predecessor, Mosebenzi Zwane, which it says were imposed without consultation. Continue Reading →

Alberta pushes back against federal caribou protection plan – by Kelly cryderman (Globe and Mail – March 20, 2018)

The Alberta government is pushing back against a federal deadline for a plan to protect woodland caribou under the Species at Risk Act, saying the still-fragile state of the province’s economy means it will suspend any consideration of setting aside conservation lands until it studies the socio-economic effects.

A strongly worded letter – in government terms – from Alberta to Ottawa Monday sets up the potential of a political showdown over environmental measures. It asks Ottawa to ante up more funding, saying the cost of restoration over the next four decades could top $1-billion and that even rearing facilities for caribou will cost $75-million.

Premier Rachel Notley’s government also said it is sending a delegation to Ottawa to discuss the “enormous undertaking to fulfill federal law,” and asks that Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna hold off from “prematurely implementing federal protection orders that will not have effective outcomes for Canadians and Albertans.” Continue Reading →

Doug Ford tells supporters he can ‘take back’ Ontario from Liberals – by Maija Kappler (Globe and Mail – March 19, 2018)

He also vowed to take advantage of lucrative natural resources
in northern Ontario. Proposed mining projects in the province’s
“Ring of Fire” will take place even “if I have to hop on a bulldozer myself,” he said.

Doug Ford told a group of nearly 2,000 supporters that he plans to “take back this province” at his first major event since he was made leader of the Progressive Conservative party earlier this month.

Addressing a large and enthusiastic crowd at a rally in Toronto on Monday night, Ford said he believes he can build a majority government because Ontario voters are united in their dislike of Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Ford positioned his party as one that will attract voters who have previously been loyal Liberal or NDP supporters. “It’s not about being red or being blue, it’s about turning this province around,” he said. Continue Reading →

Is Ottawa’s ‘supercluster’ funding initiative a superboondoggle in the making? – by Sean Silcoff (Globe and Mail – March 17, 2018)

On the morning of Feb. 15, federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains strode to the stage at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa with his jacket off, sleeves rolled up. The room was full of CEOs and entrepreneurs, academics and reporters, all waiting to hear who was about to win the federal lottery.

Mr. Bains was there to announce the five groups chosen to share the spoils of one of his government’s signature economic initiatives: the $950-million supercluster program. First, though, he had some explaining to do. “This comes up time and time again: What is a supercluster?” he said.

“I know it’s a jargony term,” he acknowledged, before offering a quick explanation: “It’s a made-in-Canada Silicon Valley that will create tens of thousands of jobs.” Continue Reading →

Klondex shares surge on news of Hecla acquisition – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 20, 2018)

Shares in struggling Canadian junior gold producer Klondex Mines Ltd. surged after U.S.-based Hecla Mining Co. announced it intends to pay a premium of almost 80 per cent to acquire the company in a transaction worth US$462-million.

Idaho-based Hecla’s cash and stock offer is worth US$2.47 a share (about $3.23) – a roughly 79-per-cent premium compared with Friday’s closing price.

Under the transaction, Hecla is acquiring Klondex’s U.S. gold mines, but its Canadian assets are set to be spun out into a separate publicly traded company, to be owned by existing Klondex shareholders. Continue Reading →

The coming carbon tax showdown – by Margaret Wente (Globe and Mail – March 20, 2018)

Not so long ago, Justin Trudeau’s energy strategy looked so simple. It rested on a Grand Bargain. Canada would build a pipeline or two, and the citizens would do penance in the form of carbon taxes that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Everybody –environmentalists, the oil industry and right-thinking Canadians – would be happy.

Today, that bargain is looking mighty shaky. Opponents of Trans Mountain aren’t interested in it. Alberta’s Premier, Rachel Notley, will probably lose her job next year because she has delivered carbon taxes but no pipeline.

Her nemesis, Jason Kenney, is planning to abolish the carbon tax as soon as he beats her (as is likely). He points out that it has utterly failed to secure a social licence for pipelines. “Very expensive political theatre for Albertans,” he calls it. Continue Reading →

Notorious Russian troll farm targeted Trudeau, Canadian oil in online campaigns – by Alexander Panetta (Canadian Press/Toronto Star – March 19, 2018)

WASHINGTON—The same Russian online troll farm that meddled in the American presidential election has also taken swipes at Canadian targets, including oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Evidence is embedded in data made publicly available through investigations in the United States, where congressional probes have been examining Russian information campaigns following the 2016 presidential election.

One report from a Republican-led committee in the House of Representatives released this month said the St. Petersburg troll factory, members of which now face criminal charges in the U.S., posted online about energy roughly half as often as it did about American presidential politics. Continue Reading →

Battery makers descend on Australia, Canada cobalt developers – by Melanie Burton and Nicole Mordant (Reuters U.S. – March 19, 2018)

MELBOURNE/VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Nervous Asian battery makers are turning to early-stage cobalt projects in Australia and Canada to lock in supplies of the critical battery ingredient ahead of expected shortages as demand for electric vehicles revs up.

Mine developers say interest from Japanese and Korean firms is particularly strong as they compete with rivals from China, which has built deep supply chain ties with the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world’s top producer.

The central African country accounts for nearly two-thirds of global cobalt output and production is set to rise despite concerns over the use of child miners and rising royalties. “We are starting to see the first signs of an arms race to secure long term cobalt supplies,” said Joe Kaderavek, chief executive of Australia’s Cobalt Blue (COB.AX). Continue Reading →

[Canada] Implementation of national securities regulator questioned as summer deadline nears Alexandra Posadzki (Globe and Mail – March 19, 2018)

The year 2018 was promised as the time that Canada’s patchwork system of provincial securities regulators would be consolidated under a single regulatory body.

The effort to create a co-operative, pan-Canadian regulator, dubbed the Capital Markets Regulatory Authority, or CMRA, has been fraught with legal challenges, delays and interprovincial bickering.

Currently, there are five provinces and one territory – Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and the Yukon – that have agreed to participate, while Quebec and Alberta staunchly oppose the plan. Continue Reading →

Hecla Mining buying Klondex for US$462M, to spin out Canadian assets – by Ian Vandaelle (Business Network News – March 18, 2018)

Hecla Mining is buying Klondex Mines for US$462 million in a cash and stock. Under the terms of the deal, Klondex shareholders will receive US$2.47 per share, a 59 per cent premium to Klondex’s volume-weighted average price over the last 30 days.

“This transaction is an excellent outcome for Klondex and our shareholders, delivering premium value and a clear pathway to develop and optimize the Nevada mining assets and create further value in the future,” Klondex President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Huet said in a press release.

The crown jewels of the deal are Klondex’s mines in Nevada — Fire Creek, Midas and Hollister — which will increase Hecla’s annual production by 162,000 gold equivalent ounces. All-in costs per ounce at those mines came in at US$1,084 last fiscal year, far below the $1,767 at its True North mine 250 kilometers northeast of Winnipeg. Continue Reading →

Cape Breton Miners’ Museum to install simulator to recreate mining experience (CBC News Nova Scotia – March 14, 2018)

Museum will receive $1.5M from federal government for upgrades

The Cape Breton Miners’ Museum has received just over $1.5 million for upgrades to recreate the mining experience. “This is like a dream come true,” said museum executive director Mary Pat Mombourquette.

“This is going to help us create a vital, dynamic museum that will immerse our visitors in the coal-mining experience. I can’t wait to start making it happen.”

The money from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Heritage Canada will pay for the construction of a briefing room and a lamp house, recreating a miner’s daily trip to and from the mine. The museum in Glace Bay, N.S., already famously features a guided tour of an actual underground coal mine. Continue Reading →