Archive | Canadian Media Resource Articles

World Gold Council unveils new principles of responsible mining – by Gabriel Friedman (Ottawa Citizen – September 12, 2019)

As gold mining executives gather in Colorado for back-to-back conferences this month, the World Gold Council is hoping to polish the sector’s image with the release of a new responsible mining framework.

Released on Thursday, and nearly two years in the making, the Responsible Gold Mining Principles aim to create a set of global standards certifying that bullion has been extracted, processed and refined with a nod to environmental, social and governance issues.

The principles come at a time when all corporations are facing increasing scrutiny of their operations and supply chains from investors, consumers and activists. The gold mining sector in particular has been trying to clean up its reputation in the wake of environmental disasters, such as the Mount Polley Mine tailings dam failure in British Columbia in 2014, as well as reports of human rights abuses at mines abroad. Continue Reading →

Ontario to work with First Nations to unlock Ring of Fire – by Jean Lian (Northern Miner – September 2019)

Global mining news

Rick Gregford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, announced in August that the province would work directly with First Nation communities to develop infrastructure that unlocks the mineral-rich region in northern Ontario.

Establishing bilateral agreements with individual First Nation communities to replace the previous Liberal government’s collective-negotiations approach under a 2014 framework agreement with nine Matawa First Nation communities will expedite the building of a north–south corridor to the Ring of Fire.

Noront Resources (TSXV: NOT) — which says it holds 85% of all claims staked in the Ring of Fire — and Marten Falls First Nation released a statement in late August applauding the provincial government’s move. Continue Reading →

McEwen Mining grows Black Fox complex in Ontario – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – September 6, 2019)

Global mining news

Two years ago, McEwen Mining (TSX: MUX; NYSE: MUX) purchased the Black Fox mine complex in northeastern Ontario for US$35 million. The complex, 70 km from Timmins and about 9 km from Matheson, included the Black Fox underground gold mine, a 2,400-tonne-per-day mill, a tailings facility, the past-producing Stock gold mine, and two development projects — Grey Fox and Froome.

The acquisition from Primero Mining also came with US$150 million in tax pools the company could use to shelter future income. (Those tax pools are currently worth about US$197 million.) The Toronto-based mining company thinks the deal was a steal.

Primero had purchased the property from Brigus Gold in 2014 for more than $300 million and assumed liabilities of about $140 million. It then spent another $120 million on capex and exploration, McEwen Mining says. Continue Reading →

Ten mining stocks to watch in Canada’s materials sector – by Noor Hussain (Globe and Mail – September 9, 2019)


When markets are unstable and volatility is on the rise, investors tend to investigate alternative defensive products in order to protect their wealth. The materials sector can be seen as defensive insofar as gold (its production being a key part of this sector) is negatively correlated to the market.

Last month, because of the strong rally of gold and silver, materials was one of the best performing sectors in Canada. The sector rose 5.7 per cent in August compared with the S&P/TSX Composite Index, which gained 0.2 per cent. Year to date, the sector has advanced 22.9 per cent compared with 14.8 per cent for the S&P/TSX.

Today, we will take a deeper dive into this sector and analyze some companies that have benefited from this trend.

THE SCREEN Continue Reading →

[Kirkland Lake Gold] Canada’s TSX 60 to gain a gold miner, lose an energy player – by David Milstead (Globe and Mail – September 10, 2019)

The index of Canada’s biggest stocks has welcomed a gold company and said goodbye to an energy player, but the changes that weren’t made are even more notable.

S&P Dow Jones Indices said it will add Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. when it rebalances the S&P/TSX 60 on Sept. 23 and remove Husky Energy Inc. to do so. Kirkland Lake is up about 75 per cent this year, while Husky has declined by about one-third.

Often loosely described as a blue-chip index, the S&P/TSX 60 is not simply composed of the 60 best-performing stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange, however, nor is it the five dozen most valuable companies. Instead, there are a handful of complex rules governing membership, and one of them, regarding sector balancing, suggested that the committee might have added Air Canada to the ranks – and delete either Bombardier Inc. or SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. to do so. Continue Reading →

Cobalt 27 faces investor outcry amid accusations it’s selling ‘crown jewel’ assets at a loss – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 7, 2019)

Proposed buyout has some shareholders feeling like the company bought high and sold low as it tries to steer investors from cobalt to nickel

Toronto-based Cobalt 27 Capital Corp., which billed itself as an investment in the electric vehicle revolution, is facing outcries from some of its largest shareholders as it tries to sell its most valuable assets during a market low-point.

The company roared into the market in mid-2017 with an initial public offering, ultimately raising hundreds of millions of dollars to stockpile and acquire royalties on cobalt, an essential metal used in lithium-ion batteries. Within about a year the price of cobalt had hit a five-year peak, only to crash in the latter half of 2018 and never fully recover.

Now the company wants to steer its investors into nickel and to sell its main cobalt assets to its largest shareholder, Pala Investments. Other shareholders would receive $3.57 in cash, plus equity in Nickel 28, a new company that would hold the remaining assets including a stake in a nickel mine in Papua New Guinea. Continue Reading →

The glitter appears to be coming off the rally in all things gold – by Tim Shufelt (Globe and Mail – September 7, 2019)

After a stellar three-month stretch for gold bullion and the stocks of companies that dig it out of the ground, the glitter appears to be coming off the rally in all things gold.

An easing of global recession fears and a nascent rebound in long-term bond yields have taken back some of the gains in gold and gold equities through an otherwise ascendant summer.

As of Wednesday, gold prices were higher than US$1,550 an ounce for the first time since 2013, while the group of gold stocks within the S&P/TSX Composite Index was up by more than 50 per cent on the year. In the last two trading days of the week, however, Canadian gold stocks declined by 8.1 per cent, while spot prices declined to US$1,507. Continue Reading →

Is Chile losing ground in the lithium space? – by Tom Azzopardi (Northern Miner – September 4, 2019)

Northern Miner

Chile should lead the world in lithium production. The Salar de Atacama in northern Chile is the world’s largest and richest lithium resource, containing almost half the world’s known reserves, according to the United States Geological Survey. And the region’s geological and climatic conditions make it the most competitive place to produce the mineral.

The country’s only two lithium producers, Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) (NYSE: SQM), enjoy production costs of less than US$3,000 a tonne, compared to almost US$4,000 a tonne in some Argentinean salars.

So when lithium demand and prices began to take off earlier this decade, Chile’s economic development agency, Corporación de Fomento de la Producción (CORFO), which owns mineral rights on the Salar, signed new lease contracts with Albemarle and SQM allowing them to increase production to around two million tonnes over the life of the leases. Continue Reading →

Court allows legal challenge against Trans Mountain just as construction resumes on pipeline – by Justine Hunter and Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – September 5, 2019)

The federal Court of Appeal has allowed a legal challenge to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project to proceed, just as construction – delayed by earlier court battles – is resuming both in British Columbia and Alberta.

A judicial review will determine whether Ottawa has adequately consulted with Indigenous communities about the project. The court, in a ruling released Wednesday, denied applications for a review on environmental matters, but ecology groups say they are now considering an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The court was emphatic that opposition to the pipeline, led by six First Nations communities, is not legal grounds to stop the $7.4-billion expansion project. But, in an unusually prescriptive ruling, the court has directed an expedited hearing to determine if there are grounds to overturn the project for a second time. Continue Reading →

The Tories are dissolving the Ring of Fire agreement. So what comes next? – by Jon Thompson ( – September 3, 2019) speaks with people close to the issue about why it’s proved so divisive — and what the future may hold for Indigenous-government relations in the north

Greg Rickford, Ontario’s minister of northern development, mines and energy, and Indigenous affairs, last week issued a 90-day notice to Matawa chiefs that the province is dissolving the Ring of Fire regional-framework agreement.

“Frankly, to this point, it’s been a little complicated and lengthy,” Rickford told reporters in Sault Ste. Marie. “It has not necessarily met the timelines that the market should expect a project to come on board.”

The Ring of Fire, a large mineral belt discovered in 2007, comprises 5,000 square kilometres in the James Bay lowlands. According to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, establishing a mining development there could create as many as 5,500 jobs and more than $9 billion in economic activity over the course of a decade. Continue Reading →

Canadian Voters Must Treat Climate Change ‘As If It’s War,’ Leading Activists Say – by Mia Rabson (Canadian Press/Huffington Post – September 4, 2019)

David Suzuki, Stephen Lewis are planning events to engage people during the campaign.

OTTAWA — Two leading Canadian activists say voters need to think about climate change as if we are country at war against greenhouse-gas emissions.

“There’s never been a moment quite like this in human history,” said Stephen Lewis, a former Ontario NDP leader, who chaired a 1988 international conference on climate change on the initiative of then prime minister Brian Mulroney.

He said similar scientific conclusions were drawn then as from more recent climate science, but three decades of little action have put humanity in a much more worrying position. Continue Reading →

Rapidly rising gold price squelching M&A activity – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – September 3, 2019)

The big run in gold bullion means potentially higher profits for miners, but investors say the same dynamic is stifling mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, as both buyers and sellers struggle to come to grips with where the commodity price will eventually land.

“When the gold price is rising, it’s going to be hard to get deals done. But if you saw it settle at US$1,500 [an ounce] for five or six months, I think you’d start seeing deals again,” said Jonathan Goodman, chief executive of investment manager Dundee Corp., and chairman of gold-mining company Dundee Precious Metals Inc.

After trading sideways for the best part of three years, gold has risen by about 20 per cent in 2019, as investors buy the precious metal as a hedge against macroeconomic troubles, including a global economic slowdown, and geopolitical tremors, such as the continuing trade war between the United States and China. On Friday, gold futures traded at around US$1,520 an ounce. Continue Reading →

Leo Gerard, retired president of United Steel Workers: ‘No one believed more in workers’ – by David Shribman (Globe and Mail – September 2, 2019)

Canadian labour activist Leo Gerard recently retired after 18 years as international president of the United Steel Workers (USW) – the largest industrial union in North America. The onetime smelter worker devoted his career to battling the wealth gap.

Mr. Gerard faced numerous headwinds as a labour leader. He has grappled with declining rates of union membership. He has taken on leaders of both U.S. political parties, whose free-trade orthodoxy collided with his members’ concerns about imports of steel and other products. And he has struggled with members of his own union who have little in common culturally with U.S. President Donald Trump, but are nonetheless drawn to the Manhattan tycoon because of his populist approach and his nationalistic rhetoric.

The discord roiled Mr. Gerard’s union and placed him in a difficult political position. He argued just after the Trump triumph that the new President was elected “by stealing our agenda.” Continue Reading →

Voisey’s Bay underground development hits 10% completion (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – August 28, 2019)

Workers staying on floating hotel while work on new living quarters underway

The quest to mine nickel from beneath the ground at Voisey’s Bay in Labrador is picking up steam with more than 430 workers on site. Joao Zanon, the project director for Vale, said the team ran into challenges in the early stages of the project during the harsh northern Labrador winter.

Once the snow melted and summer arrived, the project ramped up. A little over 10 per cent of the underground development is now complete, with a goal to be operational in the first half of 2020.

“We’ve picked up the development quite a lot in the past months and the speed will continue to increase as we … are able to mobilize more people to work underground,” Zanon said. Continue Reading →

Ontario government ends Ring of Fire regional agreement with Matawa First Nations – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 27, 2019)

Funding for regional talks between province, 9 Matawa First Nations ran out in late 2018

The provincial government has officially ended the regional framework agreement between Queen’s Park and the First Nations closest to the Ring of Fire, pledging to move forward with a series of bilateral agreements that the province’s Indigenous Affairs minister says will remove delays to completing projects that communities themselves want to see.

At the top of that list, Greg Rickford said in an interview with CBC News, is a north-south corridor that, not only could lead to road access to the mineral-rich James Bay lowlands, but can also connect by road, as well as add to the provincial power grid and expand modern telecommunications to, “at least four, five Indigenous communities.”

“That has additional health and social and economic benefits that move beyond the more obvious opportunities of creating mines,” he said. “To the extent that Noront [Resources] or other mining companies could build mines on that corridor, then we have a great value proposition.” Continue Reading →