Archive | Copper

Shifting Iron Range politics may not be enough for Trump in Minnesota – by Briana Bierschbach (Minneapolis Star Tribune – October 18, 2020)

https://www.startribune.com/

The scene in the northern Minnesota mining town of Virginia fit perfectly into the Trump campaign’s story line.

On one side of the street, a group of Republicans were waving Trump flags and singing “God Bless the U.S.A.” Across the street at the local steelworkers’ union office, a smaller group stood masked and silent, looking on with Joe Biden signs.

One of the Trump supporters made a crack about the size of the Biden crowd. Rob Farnsworth, a Republican state House candidate and member of the Minnesota teachers’ union, extended an invitation. Continue Reading →

‘Deal with the disaster’: the girl from Bougainville who grew up to take on a mining giant – by Leanne Jorari and Ben Doherty (The Guardian – October 16, 2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/

For all of Theonila Roka Matbob’s three decades, the scar on her land that was once the world’s largest copper mine has cast a pall.

The Panguna mine in Bougainville, eastern Papua New Guinea, has not yielded a single ounce in her lifetime – forced shut the year before Matbob was born – but she grew up in the shadow of the violent civil war it provoked.

When she was just three years old, her father, John Roka, was murdered by the secessionist soldiers who had forced the mine to close. Spending years in a “care centre” run by the PNG defence force, she remembers a childhood dominated by an all-pervasive fear, where the sound of gunshots regularly rang out across the valley, where neighbours disappeared from their homes, their bodies later found slaughtered. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Despite price rise, copper at historic low against gold – by Chris Hinde and Katja Freitag (Northern Miner – October 13, 2020)

Global mining news

According to the popular adage, copper has a doctorate in economics, with an ability to predict turning points in the global economy. This proverb stems from the metal’s use in widespread applications, from power generation and electricity distribution to iPhones.

Since the end of March, the price of the base metal has recovered remarkably well, rising from barely US$4,900 per tonne to over US$6,600 per tonne by the end of September. Dr. Copper is looking to next year, and the price rise of 35% in the second and third quarters suggests that a global economic recovery is upon us.

The price of gold benefits from the exact opposite, namely political and economic turmoil. We have had that in spades since March, so the precious metal has also performed well in the six months to end-September, rising 18% to US$1,900 per ounce. Continue Reading →

Minnesota Supreme Court hears dispute over canceled PolyMet mine permits – by Jennifer Bjorhus (Minneapolis Star Tribune – October 13, 2020)

https://www.startribune.com/

The Minnesota Supreme Court will decide whether state regulators erred in issuing permits for PolyMet Mining Corp.’s copper-nickel mine without a special hearing, and could impose further review of the $1 billion project.

The state’s highest court became involved Tuesday in the landmark mine project near Hoyt Lakes — a new type of mine for the state — after an appellate court struck down three permits and sent them back to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for a contested case hearing.

The lower court reversed PolyMet’s permit to mine and two dam safety permits in January, partly on the grounds that the DNR did not hold the contested-case hearing to vet significant objections from environmentalists and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, who live downstream from the planned mine. Continue Reading →

Want to have a say on the Marathon mine’s EA? – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 9, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Ottawa wants your feedback on a proposed open-pit palladium and copper mine near the north shore of Lake Superior.

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (formerly the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency) and the Government of Ontario are resuming an environmental assessment (EA) for Generation Mining’s proposed open-pit palladium mine near the town of Marathon.

The EA was placed on hold in 2014 at the request of Stillwater Canada, then the proponents of the mine project. The federal and provincial review panel that was established to assess the project was disbanded. Continue Reading →

Will it be Northern Ontario minerals going into Oakville-produced electric cars or Congolese? – by Maija Hoggett (Sudbury.com – October 12, 2020)

https://www.sudbury.com/

The North needs to ‘seize this moment,’ Timmins-James Bay MP Charllie Angus says

With the government investing in electric vehicles, Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus said the region should “seize this moment.”

At the Timmins Chamber’s town State of COVID-19 townhall Oct. 7, Angus talked about the exciting potential for the area.

The federal and provincial governments announced a combined $590-million investment on Oct. 8 for Ford Motor Company’s $1.8-million retooling of its Oakville assembly plant to start rolling electric vehicles off the line by 2025. Continue Reading →

Nornickel eyes doubling of copper production in Kola Peninsula – by Atle Staalesen (The Barents Observer – October 12, 2020)

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/

The mining and metallurgy company is facing serious troubles with its worn-out production facilities in the Kola Peninsula.

Not only is the company about to close its highly polluting plant in Nikel, the town located on the border to Norway and Finland. It is reportedly also in the process of taking radical measures with its copper production in Monchegorsk.

According to regional Governor Andrey Chibis, about 90 billion rubles is to be invested in a major modernization of the copper processing. The company’s existing processing facilities in Monchegorsk will be subject to reconstruction, he said in a regional government session this week. Continue Reading →

Northern Dynasty eyes controversial Alaska mine as high gold prices encourage ecologically dicey projects – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – October 7, 2020)

https://financialpost.com/

Last week, Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. issued a press release that declared its Pebble Mine, located in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, as the “most significant” source of rhenium in the world.

Rhenium, one of the rarest elements in the earth’s crust, is prized in military and industrial applications for its high melting point yet remained unheard of to most investors until U.S. President Donald Trump included it on a list of critical elements in 2017 whose permitting should be prioritized and streamlined.

Advertising the Pebble Mine as a significant source of rhenium marks the latest strategy by Northern Dynasty to advance its long delayed, highly controversial, project — a polymetallic deposit that contains copper, gold, molybdenum, rhenium and various other metals. Continue Reading →

BC’s Quesnel Trough: 1,000 km of mineral potential – by Ellsworth Dickson(Resource World – October 2020)

https://resourceworld.com/

The Quesnel Trough, also known as the Quesnel Terrane, is a Triassic/Jurassic-age arc of volcanosedimentary and intrusive rocks that hosts a number of alkalic copper-gold porphyry deposits with copper gold and silver values and sometimes molybdenum.

The Trough runs northwest some 1,000 km from the U.S. border in south-central British Columbia to close to the Yukon border. In addition to the copper-gold porphyry deposits, the Quesnel Trough, the longest mineral belt in Canada, is also known for several types of gold deposits.

The Teck Resources open pit Highland Valley Mine, which is, in fact, located about 50 km southwest of Kamloops, is expected to produce annual copper production of between 155,000 and 165,000 tonnes per year from 2021 to 2023. Continue Reading →

FOCUS: China to reassess domestic base metals mines to bolster resource security – by Julian Luk (Metal Bulletin – October 5, 2020)

https://www.metalbulletin.com/

After United States sanctions cut off supplies of microchips for Huawei smartphones, alarm bells began to ring out across all Chinese industries deemed as pivotal to the country’s future development, but reliant on imported materials.

And the base metals sector is one of the key areas, according to the chairman of Zijin Mining, Chen Jing-He. “Now we know the importance of securing the supply of microchips and food, but how about the feed for metals production – mined metals?

China relies heavily on base metals imports, so if foreign sanctions cut off our supplies, it could be even worse than running out of smartphone chips,” Chen told delegates at a recent strategic development conference on gold held in Beijing. Continue Reading →

A brutal war and rivers poisoned with every rainfall: how one mine destroyed an island – by Matthew G. Allen (The Conversation – September 30, 2020)

https://theconversation.com/

Matthew G. Allen is a Professor of Development Studies at The University of the South Pacific.

This week, 156 people from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, in Papua New Guinea, petitioned the Australian government to investigate Rio Tinto over a copper mine that devastated their homeland.

In 1988, disputes around the notorious Panguna mine sparked a lengthy civil war in Bougainville, leading to the deaths of up to 20,000 people. The war is long over and the mine has been closed for 30 years, but its brutal legacy continues.

When I conducted research in Bougainville in 2015, I estimated the deposit of the mine’s waste rock (tailings) downstream from the mine to be at least a kilometre wide at its greatest point. Local residents informed me it was tens of metres deep in places. Continue Reading →

Zambian Royalty Spat Halts $2 Billion of Copper Mine Investment – by Felix Njini, Taonga Clifford Mitimingi and Matthew Hill (Bloomberg News – September 30, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — Copper miners in Zambia have halted $2 billion of planned investments because a royalty tax introduced last year makes the projects unviable, according to an industry lobby group.

A plan by First Quantum Minerals Ltd. to invest $1 billion extending the life of its Kansanshi operation won’t proceed until the royalty is scrapped, said Sokwani Chilembo, chief executive officer of the Zambia Chamber of Mines. The same goes for EMR Capital-backed Lubambe Copper Mine’s project to invest a similar amount in a new mining operation, he said.

“We need this royalty payment regime removed for progress to begin,” Chilembo said in an interview. “If the government thinking is otherwise, good luck.” Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto hit with human rights claims over Bougainville mine (Agence France-Presse/Jakarta Post – September 29, 2020)

https://www.thejakartapost.com/

Rio Tinto is facing accusations it “side-stepped” responsibility to clean up poisonous waste from a closed mine on Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville island in a complaint filed Tuesday in Australia.

The complaint, lodged with Australian authorities by the Melbourne-based Human Rights Law Centre on behalf of more than 150 Bougainvilleans, heaps more pressure on the mining giant already under public attack for blowing up sacred Aboriginal sites.

It alleges the former Panguna copper and gold mine, which was at the center of a decade-long civil war in PNG, continues to leak waste into rivers more than three decades after it was shuttered. Continue Reading →

Pebble Partnership CEO resigns over leaked tape – by Editor (Mining.com – September 23, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM, NYSE: NAK) announced Wednesday that Tom Collier, CEO of its US-based subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership, has submitted his resignation in light of comments made about elected and regulatory officials in Alaska in private conversations videotaped by an environmental activist group.

The announcement comes as doubts about the proposed Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum mine have steadily risen over recent months.

In September, short seller J Capital Research accused Northern Dynasty management of “gaslighting investors” and said the mine plan “is on its face absurd.” Continue Reading →

An Alaska Mine Project Might Be Bigger Than Acknowledged – by Henry Fountain (New York Times – September 21, 2020)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Executives overseeing the development of a long-disputed copper and gold mine in Alaska were recorded saying they expected the project to become much bigger, and operate for much longer, than outlined in the proposal that is awaiting final approval by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The executives, who were recorded in remote meetings by members of an environmental advocacy group posing as potential investors, said the project, Pebble Mine, could potentially operate for 160 years or more beyond the current proposal of 20 years. And it could quickly double its output after the initial two decades, they said.

“Once you have something like this in production why would you want to stop?” Ronald W. Thiessen, chief executive of Northern Dynasty Minerals, the parent company of Pebble Limited Partnership, said in one of the recordings. Continue Reading →