Archive | Canadian Media Resource Articles

Aboriginal group’s planned potash mine looks to markets to India – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – November 16, 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.

A First Nations group in Saskatchewan is in talks to sell potash to the Indian government, a move that would help vault the aboriginal group into the fertilizer industry and transform its economy.

The Muskowekwan First Nation sits on 25,000 hectares of land in the southeastern part of Saskatchewan where big North American fertilizer producers Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Mosaic Co. are already operating mines.

Owning the land could make it easier for the First Nation group to build the mine and give the aboriginal group an advantage over other entrepreneurs hoping to get into the fertilizer business as demand increases from growing economies in Asia.

“It’s not easy to find a project with one land owner,” said Reginald Bellerose, the chief for the Muskowekwan First Nation. But the group has some big hurdles to clear before the mine would become a reality. One is finding financing for the $3-billion project. Continue Reading →

Oil sands industry fights back amid withering criticism – by Yadullah Hussain (National Post – November 15, 2013)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

As withering criticism of the oil sands continues unabated, the industry is fighting back, armed with its own set of facts and highlighting the strides made in tackling the environmental issues that have sullied its reputation.

Criticism of Canada’s oil sands is not a new phenomenon, but the industry is at a key stage of its development with about one million barrels per day of production under construction, according to IHS CERA data. Companies are mulling new projects in the hopes of near-doubling oil sands production within a decade, while decisions on major pipeline projects are in the offing.

Meanwhile, the European Union is determined to “reduce its emissions through policies to stop the development of highly greenhouse-gas-intensive unconventional fossil fuels such as tar sands,” according to an official press document. An EU decision against the oil sands could be a stigma that’s tough to shake off.

The criticism has come from all quarters. Neil Maxwell, interim commissioner of Canada’s Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD), said in a report published Nov. 5: “Despite efforts over decades and progress in some areas, the government has not met key legislative responsibilities, deadlines, and commitments to protect nature and advance sustainable development.” Continue Reading →

Commentary – CETA to benefit PDAC members: Joe Oliver (Northern Miner – November 13, 2013)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry. 

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, met with the full board of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in Toronto on Nov. 12. The following is an excerpt of his prepared speech, as it relates to the proposed Canada-European Union free trade agreement, formally called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which is supported in principle by the PDAC.

Our government is working hard to position Canada to take full advantage of growth in emerging economies. Key to achieving this success will be market access through new infrastructure and market diversification.

Your industry is ahead of the curve in this regard — with markets and market access already well-established worldwide.

As you know, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso recently announced an agreement-in-principle on a free trade agreement with the European Union.

The Canada–EU trade agreement is by far Canada’s most ambitious trade initiative ever. The EU is the largest economy in the world — with its 27 member states, 500 million consumers and annual economic activity of $17 trillion. Continue Reading →

‘Minimal consultation’ with First Nations on Ring of Fire – CBC News Thunder Bay (November 14, 2013)

First Nations leader says new development corporation shows Ontario ‘pretending’ to consult

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation says Ontario’s latest announcement about the Ring of Fire shows the province is not properly consulting First Nations.

NAN Deputy Grand Chief Les Louttit calls the province’s proposed Ring of Fire development corporation a “Father knows best” approach, adding he hasn’t had any contact from the province about its plan.

“This is normal, a normal policy for this government,” he said. “You pretend to consult and you do minimal consultation, then you defer that responsibility to the industry.”

Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle said the province sent letters to individual First Nations and mining companies “to determine who else wants to be part of this development corporation, who will be involved in the future development of the project from an infrastructure point of view. Continue Reading →

As Kinross revamps, profit plunges 80 per cent – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – November 14, 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.

Kinross Gold Corp.’s third-quarter profit sank 80 per cent as a result of lower bullion prices, but the company further slashed costs and said it would produce more gold than previously expected from its mines in the Americas, West Africa and Russia.

The improved outlook for Kinross is good news for a company that has seen its share price plummet after it spent a year writing down much of its expensive acquisition of Red Back Mining Inc. and its Tasiast gold project in the Mauritanian desert.

The company cut its total capital expenditures for the year to $1.4-billion (U.S.) from $1.45-billion and said it expects its expenses to fall even further in 2014 to between $800-million and $900-million.

“We continue our focus on reducing capital and other costs in a lower gold price environment,” Kinross chief executive officer J. Paul Rollinson said in a statement announcing the company’s third-quarter results. Continue Reading →

The tale of two oil sands: Pembina vs Canadian Manufacturers – by Terence Corcoran (National Post – November 14, 2013)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

Whom do you believe Pembina Institute versus Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters over the benefits of oil sands development.

The always reliably off-kilter Pembina Institute, fomenter of oil sands phobia in Alberta and organizing backer of green energy madness in Ontario, seems keen on triggering a nation-splitting debate over the oil sands. In a report Wednesday, the Calgary-based organization, advised by political heavyweights such as Preston Manning and David McLaughlin, said development of the oil sands threatens to impose burdens on manufacturing and other sectors across Canada.

The arguments in the new report—Booms, Busts and Bitumen: The Economic Implications of Canadian Oil Sands Development — hinge mostly on the discredited idea that energy development turns the Canadian dollar into a “petrocurrency” which in turns makes Canadian manufacturing a victim of “Dutch disease.” The Dutch disease theory had been widely dismissed by the Bank of Canada and others over the last year or so, but Pembina has never been inclined to let its bad ideas die a respectable death.

And so Boom, Busts and Bitumen is an attempt to perform CPR on Dutch disease. Continue Reading →

Alberta’s real oil problem? Too much love – by Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – November 14, 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.

CALGARY — The way Alberta Premier Alison Redford tells it, if there is one problem with the oil sands, it’s that people love them too much. This was a message Ms. Redford sought to convey this week to anyone in Washington questioning Alberta’s commitment to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions from its energy production. Sure, the numbers will increase, she says, but her province’s energy industry is just giving the people what they want – more bitumen.

Of course, the talking point stems from a couple of key developments that could affect the eventual U.S. government decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Adding urgency, it comes as Alberta’s coffers face another hit due to a return this month to deeply discounted heavy oil prices, a function of tight space on conduits carrying it to traditional markets.

One was the recent Environment Canada projection that rising emissions from the oil sands will overshadow reductions in other sectors. As a result, in six years, the country’s carbon emissions will be 20 per cent above the Harper government’s target under the Copenhagen Accord on climate change. Continue Reading →

Oliver touts benefits of EU trade deal for Canada’s mining sector – by Richard Backwell (Globe and Mail – November 13, 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.

Canada’s free-trade deal with Europe will smooth the movement of capital and people across the Atlantic, a benefit that could help the mining sector even more than provisions that reduce tariffs on physical metals and minerals.

While the Canada-Europe trade agreement (CETA) will reduce tariffs currently as high as seven per cent on some mineral products, there are many other ancillary benefits that are just as important, federal Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver told the board of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada on Tuesday.

The EU has promised better market access for Canadian investment, and the deal will “establishing a predictable, rules-based investment climate and provide a high standard of protection for investors,” Mr. Oliver said.

In fact, the investment environment will be improved in both directions, Mr. Oliver said, because there will be no unpleasant surprises. Continue Reading →

Quebec mining reforms mired in bottomless pit of politics – by Sophie Cousineau (Globe and Mail – November 13, 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.

MONTREAL — Amid a slew of bad mining news, this was a little gem: Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. plans to build a $1.3-billion plant in the Centre-du-Québec city of Bécancour to process heavy rare earth minerals, to be extracted from its Strange Lake deposit in Northern Quebec. The plant, billed as the largest facility of its kind in North America, will employ 300 people when it opens in 2017.

But just like rare earth minerals, which are essential to the production of myriads of electronic goods and gizmos, but whose supply is uncertain as top-producer China curtails its exports, such interesting projects are increasingly rare.

Recent surveys of mining executives conducted by the Institut de la Statistique du Québec point to a nearly 10-per-cent decrease in mining investment in the province this year, to a little over $4.6-billion. It would be the first decline for Canada’s top destination for mining investments in more than a decade, after a record 2012. And while 2013 will remain a good year by historical standards, the slide will likely continue, with a 28-per-cent drop in exploration spending expected to follow the already steep 26-per-cent fall of 2012. Continue Reading →

The reality of a U.S. oil boom – and its threat to Canada – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – November 13, 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.

OTTAWA — The U.S. oil boom will vault the country into first place among crude producers within two years, the International Energy Agency says, which will pose a stiff challenge for the Canadian energy industry as it faces rapidly declining American demand for imported oil.

“On the back of light, tight oil output, the United States is on the verge of becoming the world’s largest oil producer, and is well on its way of realizing the American dream of net energy self-sufficiency,” the Paris-based IEA said in its annual energy forecast, released Tuesday.

The IEA said oil prices would continue to rise and spur development of unconventional resources such as U.S. tight oil plays, the oil sands in Canada and deep-water production in Brazil. Oil prices are expected to climb steadily to $128 (U.S) a barrel in 2012 terms by 2035, said the IEA, which advises developed countries on energy issues. Continue Reading →

Saskatchewan: the place to be [Mining and Oil] (Regina Leader-Post – November 13, 2013)

When it was announced in late September that Saskatchewan’s population had surpassed 1.1 million for the first time ever, Premier Brad Wall was quick to offer comment, and understandably so. According to the figures from Statistics Canada, the province had added 100,000 people since 2007. At the time of the announcement, it had grown by 6,895 in the preceding quarter-the largest increase in any quarter since Statistics Canada began keeping quarterly estimates.

“Saskatchewan is the place to be in Canada right now,” Wall said. “We have the strongest job growth and lowest unemployment in Canada, and we have a great quality of life in this province. “It’s a great place to find a job or start a business. It’s a great place to live and raise a family. It’s no wonder our population is growing.”

Such a statement is not hyperbolic. There are approximately 100,000 new Saskatchewan residents who apparently agree with Wall’s assessment of where their fortunes are potentially brightest. It’s one of the fastest and most sustained periods of population growth the province has experienced in living memory, and the latest signs of a sea change for a province that once saw its residents, its investment dollars and its economic fortunes trickle across its borders to other jurisdictions. Continue Reading →

Despite Obama, U.S. the star of World Energy Outlook – by Peter Foster (National Post – November 13, 2013)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

The U.S., despite its president, is set to be the star of the energy scene out to 2035, and – thanks to the shale gas revolution – of the emissions reduction scene too

The International Energy Agency was set up in the early 1970s after the first OPEC crisis to persuade countries to avoid their natural beggar-thy-neighbour tendency during oil supply disruptions, and instead share the pain. That is, it was an agency set up to try to dissuade bad policy. Although it took a while, largely due to more bad policies, markets learned to deal with supply problems. Bad policies continue to be the main source of economic disruption.

With the decline of its original function, the IEA has morphed into a typical global bureaucracy whose overriding purpose is to expand the reach of global bureaucracy. It sees itself at the centre of a global energy “dialogue” whose theme is the inadequacy of markets and the capacity of wise policy to correct for their shortcomings, despite the copious counter evidence of history.

The IEA’s annual World Energy Outlooks are most significant for indicating how off beam previous outlooks have been, but the thing about organizations such as the IEA is that they are as shameless as they are self-promoting. Continue Reading →

Romania shuts door on Gabriel’s giant Rosia Montana gold mine – by Armina Ligaya (National Post – November 12, 2013)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

The last lifeline for Gabriel Resources Ltd.’s controversial mining project in northwestern Romania went dead on Monday, after a parliamentary commission voted down a draft bill which would have allowed Europe’s largest open pit gold mine to move forward.

The rejection of the draft bill, which would have finally set out a course for development of the mine, came after 14 years of waiting for permits amid mounting political turbulence.

The news sent the Canadian mining company’s already-depressed stock down 10%, or 9.3¢ to close at 82.7¢ on the Toronto Stock Exchange Monday. Jonathan Henry, the chief executive of Gabriel Resources, however, said he was “confident” there could still be “a potential path forward” for the project.

The draft bill specific to Rosia Montana was rejected, he said, but Romania may go forward with a general gold and silver mining bill which could leave the door open for Gabriel’s project, he said Monday. Continue Reading →

AUDIO: North Bay mayor hopes ONTC can help Ring of Fire (CBC News Sudbury – November 12, 2013)

Morning North – Future of ONTC still unclear

The mayor of North Bay is is hoping the conversation about how to get to the Ring of Fire mining region will include the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

The ONTC is still in limbo more than a year after the province announced it would be broken up and sold off. Last week, the province announced a new development corporation will help sort out a transportation link to the Ring of Fire in the far north.

North Bay Mayor Al McDonald wants to see the ONTC included in the plan. “It’s interesting that the government wants to set up this corporation,” said McDonald, who sits on a committee advising on the future of the ONTC.

“In the meantime, they are going down the road of divesting another corporation that has served us for 100 years.” Few details have been released on how the new development corporation will decide how to best access the Ring of Fire.

Continue Reading →

Gabriel Resources’ Romanian mining project suffers setback – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – November 12, 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.

Rome – Gabriel Resources Ltd.’s 15-year effort to develop Europe’s biggest gold mine suffered yet another setback when a Romanian parliamentary commission overwhelmingly rejected a draft law that, if passed, would have allowed construction of the $1-billion (U.S.) project.

But Toronto-listed Gabriel said the rejection of the draft bill does not mean that the proposed Rosia Montana mine in Transylvania is dead.

A spokesman noted that the draft law was turned down because Romania wants broader legislation to deal with all gold and silver mines, not just the Rosia Montana project. The draft bill dealt only with Rosia Montana.

“The commission believes the bill under consideration does not entirely meet all the complex requirements on the conduct of business in mineral resources exploitation in Romania and therefore proposes its rejection,” Attila Korody, one of the 19 lawmakers on the commission, told Reuters Monday evening. Continue Reading →