Archive | Gold and Silver

The Devastating Costs of the Amazon Gold Rush – by Donovan Webster (Smithsonian Magazine – February, 2012)

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Spurred by rising global demand for the metal, miners are destroying invaluable rainforest in Peru’s Amazon basin

It’s a few hours before dawn in the Peruvian rainforest, and five bare light bulbs hang from a wire above a 40-foot-deep pit. Gold miners, operating illegally, have worked in this chasm since 11 a.m. yesterday. Standing waist-deep in muddy water, they chew coca leaves to stave off exhaustion and hunger.

In the pit a minivan-size gasoline engine, set on a wooden cargo pallet, powers a pump, which siphons water from a nearby river. A man holding a flexible ribbed-plastic hose aims the water jet at the walls, tearing away chunks of earth and enlarging the pit every minute until it’s now about the size of six football fields laid side by side. The engine also drives an industrial vacuum pump. Another hose suctions the gold-fleck-laced soil torn loose by the water cannon.

At first light, workers hefting huge Stihl chain saws roar into action, cutting down trees that may be 1,200 years old. Red macaws and brilliant-feathered toucans take off, heading deeper into the rainforest. The chain saw crews also set fires, making way for more pits. Continue Reading →

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Mining Movie – 1948)

This information is from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia:

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a 1948 American film written and directed by John Huston, a feature film adaptation of B. Traven’s 1927 novel of the same name, in which two impecunious Americans Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) and Bob Curtin (Tim Holt) during the 1920s in Mexico join with an old-timer, Howard (Walter Huston, the director’s father), to prospect for gold. The old-timer accurately predicts trouble, but is willing to go anyway.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was one of the first Hollywood films to be filmed almost entirely on location outside the United States (in the state of Durango and street scenes in Tampico, Mexico), although the night scenes were filmed back in the studio. The film is quite faithful to the novel. In 1990, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Continue Reading →

Rob McEwen: Mining magnate with a vision – by Gordon Pitts (Globe and Mail – February 4, 2012)

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.

Rob McEwen, the near-billionaire nationalist, philanthropist, libertarian, gold-loving, regulation-hating metals magnate, is as steamed as the plate of tagliatelle pasta sitting in front of him.

“It’s the parentalness of government that pisses me off. Get out! We have to take risks on our own,” he says.

The 61-year-old is reacting to the roadblocks encountered in his new mining venture, the latest chapter in a colourful and wildly successful career highlighted by converting a struggling gold mine in Northern Ontario into a global colossus called Goldcorp. The mining tycoon is merging two junior companies to form what he hopes will be his next – perhaps last – big winner. But the regulatory and governance process has taken three months longer than expected, costing $6-million in legal and advisory fees.

“This is an unnecessary tax on shareholders,” he fumes, his usually soft voice rising above the lunchtime clatter at Canoe, a darling of Bay Street expense accounts sitting 54 floors above downtown Toronto. “Wouldn’t we be better served to, say, cut a cheque to our shareholders as a dividend?” Continue Reading →

Canadian goldbug stakes his name on McEwen Mining – by Pav Jordan (Reuters – January 24, 2012)

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TORONTO (Reuters) – Rob McEwen, the Canadian investor who founded the world’s second-largest gold producer, is putting his name on the line with his latest precious-metal venture, aiming to build his McEwen Mining into an S&P 500 company within a few years.

McEwen’s new investment vehicle is a midtier gold and silver miner formed through the combination of two other companies he leads, U.S. Gold Corp UXG.TO and Minera Andes MAI.TO.

U.S. Gold acquired Minera Andes in an all-stock deal announced in June. The enlarged company, now called McEwen Mining, is due to list in Toronto and New York on Friday with a market capitalization of some $1.3 billion.

McEwen, who helped turn Goldcorp into an industry powerhouse in the 1990s before cutting ties, has set a goal of nearly quadrupling the value of his new company to $5 billion by 2015. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: McEwen Mining: US Gold and Minera Andes Business Combination Completed

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Jan. 24, 2012) – McEwen Mining Inc. (“McEwen Mining”) is pleased to announce that the previously announced business combination (the “Combination”), pursuant to which US Gold Corporation acquired Minera Andes Inc. and was renamed McEwen Mining, has been successfully completed and closed today. The Combination was carried out by way of a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Alberta), which was approved by the shareholders of both US Gold and Minera Andes on January 19, 2012 and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta on January 20, 2012.

Shares of McEwen Mining will commence trading on the NYSE and the TSX, subject to final exchange approvals, under the symbol “MUX” on Friday January 27, 2012. Holders of Minera Andes shares will receive 0.45 of an exchangeable share of McEwen Mining – Minera Andes Acquisition Corp. for each one (1) Minera Andes share held. These exchangeable shares of McEwen Mining – Minera Andes Acquisition Corp., will also start trading on the TSX on January 27, 2012 under the symbol “MAQ”. The exchangeable shares of McEwen Mining – Minera Andes Acquisition Corp. are convertible on a one-for-one basis at any time into shares of McEwen Mining. McEwen Mining will have an aggregate of 267,084,203 shares of common stock outstanding and issuable upon the exchange of exchangeable shares. Continue Reading →

China enhances position as world No. 1 gold producer – but where’s it all going? – by Lawrence Williams ( – February 1, 2012)

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China’s gold output rose again in 2011 confirming its position as global No. 1 producer, but is it surreptitiously taking all its domestic production into its reserves?

LONDON –  As had been expected, China, already the world No. 1 gold producer, saw its output rise again this year.  The country produced a record 360.96 tonnes  of the yellow metal in 2011, a 5.9% increase, making it the world’s top gold producer for a fifth consecutive year, according to  the China Gold Association.

Meanwhile, the country has been importing record amounts of gold as well with the volumes coming in through Hong Kong, which are officially reported figures, climbing to over 100 tonnes in November – and by all accounts gold purchasing in China has been booming since then, so imports are likely to have remained at this kind of level in December and January as well.  Estimates have suggested that China’s total gold imports for 2011 will have been some 490 tonnes – double that of 2010, but this may well be an under-estimate, possibly a substantial one. Continue Reading →

Hemlo Mines creates opportunities for First Nations students

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

Ontario Mining Association member Barrick Hemlo Mines is providing opportunities for residents of two nearby First Nations, Pic River and Pic Mobert, in Northwestern Ontario.  In 2009, the original 1992 agreement between Hemlo and these First Nations was broadened.  It creates a framework to train First Nations people in skills for present and future mining employment, to support business development and to include involvement in environmental stewardship programs.

“The agreement helps build capacity in First Nation communities to ensure that they benefit from mining,” said Roger Souckey, Superintendent of Employee Relations at Hemlo Mines.  “About  50 First Nations people work at Hemlo Mines, or about 10% of the workforce.  The mine is a benefit to the area.”

The Hemlo Operations of Barrick include the Williams and David Bell gold mines.  The mines purchased goods and services worth $35 million in Ontario in 2010 and $147 million in Canada.  In 2010, Hemlo Mines paid taxes and royalties of $8 million and contributed a further $800,000 in a variety of donations to local communities. Continue Reading →

Goldcorp plans draining, mine site reclamation – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – January 31, 2012)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper

Timmins council was provided with an outline Monday night of two projects being undertaken over the next couple of months by Goldcorp. The two projects reflect opposite ends of the spectrum for mining operations.

One relates to the planned re-opening of the Hollinger mine site, while the other concerns the reclamation of the old Halnor site.

In preparation for the Hollinger open pit mine, Goldcorp is draining groundwater and letting it flow into Pearl Lake. The lake is already used as a basin for groundwater that is pumped out from the old McIntyre mine workings.

Luc Duval, the city’s director of public works and engineering, said the Hollinger project requires the pumping of more water. It will flow into a creek the crosses under McIntyre Rd. and empties into Pearl Lake. Continue Reading →

Miner Solid Gold sues Ontario over court ruling halting its operations – by Romina Maurino (Canadian Business – January 25, 2012)

This article came from the Canadian Business website:

The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Solid Gold Resources Corp. (TSXV:SLD) says it plans to sue the Ontario government for $100 million over a ruling that temporarily prevents the junior mining company from drilling on Crown land near traditional First Nation territory.

The company alleges the province is liable for losses it suffered after a ruling earlier this month sided with the Wahgoshig First Nation in saying Solid Gold failed to consult before beginning its exploration.

Solid Gold has said any duty to consult with First Nations falls to the government, not the mining company, and it’s not something the province can delegate.

Solid Gold president Darryl Stretch, who is appealing the injunction, said the ruling has far-reaching implications because it means it would now be up to companies to get consent from First Nations on any project that runs near their traditional land. Continue Reading →

Canadian mining company denies link to shooting death of protester in Mexico – by Peter O’Neil (National Post – Janurary 26, 2012)

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

OTTAWA — Vancouver-based mining company Fortuna Silver says it has nothing to do with the shooting death of a protester in a town near the company’s mine site in Mexico.

Police have arrested the alleged shooter implicated in the death of Bernardo Mendez Vazquez, who was shot last week during a protest that news reports have linked to opposition to the gold and silver mine.

The shooting took place in the town of San Jose del Progreso, where the mine is the chief employer. The town and mine in the southwestern state of Oaxaca have been the sites of past conflicts involving groups who say the mine is an environmental threat to the arid region’s scarce water supply.

But Fortuna Silver president Jorge Ganoza said “misinformation” is behind media reports tying his company to the violence, which also left another protester with a leg wound. Continue Reading →

Gold junior [Solid Gold Resources] sues Ontario govt for C$100m over ‘precedent-setting’ ruling – by Matthew Hill ( – Janaury 24, 2012)

Mining Weekly is South Africa’s premier source of weekly news on mining developments in Africa’s most important industry. Mining Weekly provides in-depth coverage of mining projects and the personalities reshaping the mining industry.

TORONTO ( – Solid Gold Resources, a Toronto-based junior with precious-metals prospects in Ontario, said on Tuesday it is suing the Ontario government for C$100-million, and possibly more.

The company is seeking damages sustained as a result of a January 3 Superior Court of Ontario ruling that prevents it from drilling at its Lake Abitibi property, located east of Timmins in northern Ontario, for 120 days while the TSX-V-listed company consults with the Wahgoshig First Nation.

Judge Carol Brown’s judgement “squarely conflicts with the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Haida Nation v. British Columbia, which held that third parties cannot be held liable for failing to discharge the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate,” Solid Gold said in a statement on January 19.

It said it would appeal the decision. Continue Reading →

Pan American Silver buys Minefinders Corp. – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – January 24, 2012)

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 – Pan American Silver Corp. plans to create a silver-producing powerhouse with the proposed $1.5-billion acquisition of Mexico-focused Minefinders Corp. But investors weren’t impressed, driving down Pan American shares 10 per cent on Monday.

Pan American is offering cash or shares – or both – for fellow Vancouver-based company Minefinders, owner of the Dolores silver and gold mine in northern Mexico and the nearby La Bolsa property set to begin production later this year.

The deal will create a combined company valued at $4-billion and double Pan American’s silver production to 50 million ounces by 2015, with eight mines across Latin America. Still, Pan American shareholders showed concern about the dilution of their shares as a result of the transaction.

Continue Reading →

5 Gold Miners Become Takeover Targets – by Marc Courtenay (Seeking – January 22, 2012)

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What investors really get paid for is holding ‘dogs’. Small stocks tend to have higher average returns than big stocks, and value stocks tend to have higher average returns than growth stocks. – Kenneth R. French–Dartmouth Economist NBER

Like an old familiar song, it seems that as soon as a company which is making money announces some bad news and disappointing “guidance”, the stock price craters. Like “blood-to-hungry sharks”, this brings the company to the attention of larger “fish” who may gobble it up for its cash and holdings. This is exactly what has happened to Kinross Gold (KGC). The company had disappointing news released on Monday and Tuesday, January 16 and 17th that caused its shares to plunge to a new 52-week low of $9.96. This was a 24% drop from its January 12th high of $13.11.

The Canadian gold producer said Tuesday that it expects production to be flat to slightly higher this year, while production costs will rise between 12% and 19% due to higher labor and mine expenses. Kinross also said it expects to record an accounting charge, mostly related to a decline in the value of one of its mines. Continue Reading →

Kinross Gold Could Be a Takeover Target – by Charles Mead, Liezel Hill and Rita Nazareth ( – January 20, 2012)

By paying too much for acquisitions in western Africa, Kinross Gold Corp. (K) is now turning itself into the cheapest gold-mining target in the world.

Kinross, Canada’s third-largest gold producer, fell the most in almost two decades after saying this week it will write down the value of its Tasiast mine in Mauritania. The company sold for 76 cents per dollar of net assets yesterday, versus the industry median of 2.5 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Writing off the excess $4.6 billion it spent on Tasiast would still leave Kinross at a 50 percent discount to its competitors, the data show.

While Kinross bought the Mauritanian mine for almost three times what the gold deposit is worth, the company is facing rising labor and raw material costs that may delay production at some of its projects. After more than quadrupling revenue in the past five years as gold prices reached a record, Kinross may now attract interest from Newmont Mining Corp. or Polyus Gold International Ltd. (PLGL) as they try to boost capacity to meet demand, said Stifel Nicolaus & Co. On its own, analysts say Kinross is worth 50 percent more than its current price. Continue Reading →

The War Against Us [Coeur d’Alene silver region] – by David Bond ( – January 16, 2012)

This commentary is by editor David Bond

Wallace, Idaho – Just when was it that the United Snakes of America declared war on the Coeur d’Alene Mining District, and why?

We were ruminating, fulminating on these weighty questions last week. Pretty clearly, the opening salvo was fired in the final decade of the 19th Century, when Federal troops were dispatched under a declaration of martial law to lock up 600 miners here who were striking for decent wages.

Then of course during World War II there was the undeclared conscription of lead and zinc miners here who were prevented from taking better paying jobs in the shipyards of Puget Sound to keep wresting rocks from our earth that could be smelted into bullets and cartridges to kill Germans and Japanese. Continue Reading →