Mining giant sparks Europe’s new gold rush – by Andrew Cave (The Telegraph – October 15, 2011)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

The river runs red in Rosia Montana. The rouge-coloured run-off of zinc, iron, arsenic and other sulphides from nearly 2,000 years of gold mining make the waterway in Romania’s Transylvanian mountains live up to the area’s name, which means red mountain in Romanian.

Rosia Montana, Romania – If not deadly, a mouthful or two would certainly not be a good idea but the clean-up plan for this waterway has become a focal point of an epic planning battle over the future of the largest gold mine in Europe.

The mine, first exploited by the Romans in 131AD, has a reserve of 10m ounces of gold, putting it in the top 10 of worldwide undeveloped gold assets. Even with the recent drop in the gold price to $1,680 an ounce, that makes its potential highly lucrative, with an estimated production cost of $350 per ounce.

For Gabriel Resources, the Canadian mining group expected to mount a £1bn share listing in London to fund the project, getting it to production means moving hundreds of Romanians and demolishing dozens of houses, two churches and cutting down 1,000 hectares of forestry.

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Future glitters for [Timmins] Lake Shore Gold – by Chris Ribau (Timmins Daily Press – October 14, 2011)

 The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at news@thedailypress.ca.

Company set for major expansion of Timmins operations

Lake Shore Gold reported higher commercial production from its Timmins operations and is poised for a bright future.

The Timmins Chamber of Commerce hosted its Inside Their Business Luncheon Thursday at the Days Inn. Guest speaker Dan Gagnon, vice-president and general manager of Lake Shore Gold Corp, discussed key assests in the Timmins area, including the Timmins West Complex, the Bell Creek Mine and Bell Creek Mill.

“I’m grateful to talk about Lake Shore and our operations. I think we have a good story, and I’m always looking forward to sharing it with the community, because we are here to stay,” said Gagnon.

He reported higher commercial production from the company’s 100% owned Timmins Mine in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the first two quarters. Total gold poured year-to-date was more than 60,016 ounces, while gold sales in the third quarter totaled 16,570 ounces at an average price of US$1,726.

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No growth in North without respect, Edmonton conference told – by Dave Cooper (Calgary Herald – October 13, 2011)

http://www.calgaryherald.com/index.html

Manpower ‘a major concern’ because of region’s low population and lagging education levels

EDMONTON – With an estimated 30 per cent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas, about 13 per cent of its potential oil and big slice of its diamond production, Canada’s North holds a treasure chest of riches.

But the fast-growing region faces immense challenges that don’t register with most southern Canadians, including climate change, which is melting the ice sheets once used as virtual highways — forcing aboriginal inhabitants and the wildlife they depend on for food to adapt.

Economic opportunities for the small population scattered across the vast region are also significant, but a policy conference Wednesday was told that respect for the land and people of the North is the only way development will be sustainable and successful.

In the Yukon, 11 of 14 First Nations have land-claim agreements, modern treaties that give them considerable clout in economic development. Such arrangements with northern aboriginals now cover 40 per cent of Canada.

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Gold industry awaits technology breakthrough – by Dewald van Rensburg (Miningmx.com – October 10, 2011)

 http://www.miningmx.com/

[miningmx.com] — THERE is great excitement about a promising new technology which could make deep underground mining possible and ensure the future of South Africa’s gold industry.

Deep underground mines are engineering miracles, but the limitations of the available technology have long been evident to South Africa’s gold industry.

The world’s deepest mine is AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng, which extends about 4km underground. To be able to mine much deeper than this, where millions of currently inaccessible – or uneconomic – fine ounces of gold lie, would require a breakthrough.

Significantly, AngloGold was recently the first group to herald such a breakthrough with an apparently large degree of certainty. Within three to five years the group wants to develop machines to replace mineworkers at the stope face.

This target not only involves machines that can do the work of humans at the “coalface”, but also means the end of mining methods in standard use for more than a century.

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Rails to the Ring of Fire – Stan Sudol (Toronto Star – May 30, 2011)

The Toronto Star, has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

For the web’s largest database of articles on the Ring of Fire mining camp, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

“The Ring of Fire railroad should be subsidized by
governments as the huge economic impact will benefit
the economy for decades to come, help balance budgets
and alleviate aboriginal poverty in the surrounding
First Nations communities.” (Stan Sudol)

Notwithstanding the recent correction in commodity prices, near-record highs for gold, silver and a host of base metals essential for industry confirm that the commodity “supercycle” is back and with a vengeance.

China, India, Brazil and many other developing economies are continuing their rapid pace of growth. In 2010, China overtook Japan to become the world’s second largest economy and surpassed the United States to become the biggest producer of cars.

In March, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney remarked: “Commodity markets are in the midst of a supercycle. . . . Rapid urbanization underpins this growth. . . . Even though history teaches that all booms are finite, this one could go on for some time.”

Quebec’s visionary 25-year “Plan Nord” will see billions invested in northern resource development and infrastructure to take advantage of the tsunami in global metal demand and generate much needed revenue for government programs.

In Ontario, the isolated Ring of Fire mining camp in the James Bay lowlands is one of the most exciting and possibly the richest new Canadian mineral discovery in more than a generation. It has been compared with both the Sudbury Basin and the Abitibi Greenstone belt that includes Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Noranda and Val d’Or.

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Barrick Gold’s Tanzanian headache: Blood and Stone – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – Report on Business Magazine – October, 2011)

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.

Across the cavernous pits and the mountains of waste rock, the alarm wails eerily, warning that an explosion is imminent. Dozens of villagers gather silently at the edge of a pit, past the holes that have been torn in the fence, waiting for their chance.

Then comes the blast. As a plume of smoke curls into the sky, the scavengers scramble into the pit, eager to prise a living from the freshly smashed rock.

Suddenly the police appear, careering over the rocky road from another corner of the vast mine. The pickup truck full of armed men in green uniforms bounces across the wasteland like a scene from Mad Max. The truck hurtles toward the scavengers, but is halted by a boulder that they have pulled across its path. By the time the police can leap down and move the boulder, the scavengers have scattered into the nearby trees, where they wait for their next opportunity.

This is the daily ritual of conflict at the North Mara gold mine in Tanzania: Intrude and retreat, pursue and withdraw—punctuated by flare-ups that sometimes leave people dead.

For an eyewitness, it’s difficult to reconcile this cycle of violence with the avowed community-friendly policies of the mine’s parent company, Barrick Gold Corp. and the professed goal of its founder, Peter Munk, of making good corporate citizenship the “calling card that precedes us wherever we go.”

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Going deeper underground [Guatemala mining conflicts] – by Lyndsie Bourgon (Corporate Knights Magazine – Fall, 2011)

Corporate Knights: The Magazine for Clean Capitalism is a quarterly Canadian magazine dedicated to the promotion of responsible business practices within Canada and the advancement of social and environmental sustainability worldwide. (wiki)

In Guatemala, victims of human rights abuses involving Canadian mining companies are left to pick up the pieces. At home in Canada, company lawyers skirt around questions of accountability, and justice ultimately falls through the cracks.

Gory Wanless sits at his desk in downtown Toronto, flipping through photo after photo of burning huts and maimed bodies. He points out where Adolfo Ich was hacked in the arm with a machete before being shot in the head, and where the home belonging to one of 11 women allegedly raped once stood in Lote Ocho, a small village in Guatemala.

Wanless, a lawyer at Klippensteins Barristers and Solicitors, is working on two cases that have implicated Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals Inc. and its subsidiary, HMI Nickel Inc., in serious human rights abuses in Guatemala. Both cases concern Guatemala’s CGN security forces, employed by HMI Nickel. In Choc v. HudBay, it’s alleged that security personnel shot and killed Adolfo Ich, a well-known Mayan Q’eqchi community organizer, in public and in broad daylight on September 27, 2009.

His wife, Angelica Choc, has brought a wrongful death case forward against HudBay. In the other lawsuit, Caal v. HudBay, it’s alleged that CGN employees, the Guatemalan army and police took part in the gang rape of 11 Mayan Q’eqchi women during the forceful eviction of their homes in Lote Ocho. The women are suing HudBay for negligence.

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Planning for a gold mine: Plan Nord’s impact on Quebec’s mining industry – by Nochane Rousseau (Canadian Mining Journal – September, 2011)

The Canadian Mining Journal is Canada’s first mining publication providing information on Canadian mining and exploration trends, technologies, operations, and industry events.

Nochane Rousseau, Leader, Mining Industry Services and Plan Nord Project – PwC. For more information, please visit PwC’s mining site at: www.pwc.com/ca/mining.

“The plan addresses these issues [infrastructure] by
outlining actions the Quebec government will take to
build the necessary strategic infrastructure in
territories with the highest economic potential—an
“if you build it, they will come” mentality.”

“Beyond being rich in resources, the province’s mining
industry is well established and affordable
hydro-electricity is a competitive advantage for miners
operating in Quebec.” (Nochane Rousseau, Leader, Mining
Industry Services and Plan Nord Project – PwC)

Twenty-five years may seem like a lifetime away, but the Quebec government’s Plan Nord could result in a huge transformation of Northern Quebec in what’s, in reality, a relatively short amount of time, given its ambitious objectives.

The numbers are nothing short of impressive. The Quebec Government projects Plan Nord to lead to over $80 billion in investments – $47 billion towards renewable energy and $33 billion for investments in the mining sector and public infrastructure such as roads, rail and airports. It will also create or consolidate about 20,000 jobs per year over a 25-year period. In its recently released plan, the government says it hopes the initiative will be to the coming decades what the development of La Manicouagan and James Bay were to the 1960-70s.

The mining industry could play a huge part in this investment. The 1.2 million km area the plan covers is a wealth of untapped opportunities that could surely captivate the interest of domestic and global mining companies. This territory produces all of Quebec’s nickel, zinc and iron ore, to name a few, and also represents a significant portion of gold production.

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Lake Shore Gold plans $80-million expansion – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – September 21, 2011)

Ron Grech is a reporter for The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at  rgrech@thedailypress.ca

Lake Shore Gold is spending $80 million over the next 14 months to expand the processing mill at its Bell Creek complex near Timmins. Production for the mine has reached a level where it is exceeding the mill’s capacity.

“We need to expand the mill,” said Dan Gagnon, vice-president and general manager of Timmins operations for Lake Shore Gold.

Gagnon along with Brian Buss, Lake Shore’s director of project development and technical services, made a presentation to Timmins council Monday night, detailing expansion plans and targets for production growth.

Lake Shore has three key mining complexes — Bell Creek, Timmins West and Thunder Creek — west of the city plus some other properties just east of Timmins.

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Gold miners seek to close the gap with bullion – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – September 20, 2011)

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— The world’s top gold miners are forging ahead with expansion plans and higher dividend payments, despite worries that bullion is bound for a correction after a spectacular runup beyond $1,900 (U.S.) an ounce earlier this month.

The companies are vowing to tackle the issue of share values that lag gold prices through aggressive growth plans, rising margins and sweetened dividends, despite the challenges of rising costs and increased competition for investors.

Executives believe that the price of gold will continue to rise and that equities will soon catch up and could even surpass physical gold in returns to investors.

“I do think the equities will respond,” Barrick Gold Corp.chief executive office Aaron Regent told investors at the Denver Gold Show in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday. “The equities have not reflected the strong fundamentals of the underlying businesses.”

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Respect for indigenous cultures: How Barrick is forging strong relationships with indigenous peoples in North America – (August 19, 2011)

This article came from Barrick Gold internal magazine Beyond Borders: Responsible Mining at Barrick Gold Corporation

Indigenous peoples often have historical and cultural ties to land endowed with important natural resources. To unlock the value of these resources for the benefit of everyone involved, responsible mining companies must understand and address a range of unique challenges and opportunities.

Barrick works constructively with indigenous peoples around the world. In North America, although Native peoples may have different cultural traditions, the challenges they face and their partnerships with Barrick often have striking similarities.

Alaska

The Donlin Gold project in Alaska is a large, undeveloped gold deposit, approximately 450 kilometers northwest of Anchorage. Barrick has a 50 per cent interest in the project; NovaGold owns the remaining 50 per cent stake.

There are nearly 70 distinct communities near the Donlin project site and along the route of a proposed natural gas pipeline that would supply power to the mine. These communities need to be addressed as individual cultural and indigenous entities.

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Northern [Ontario] debate the day’s priority – (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal editorial – September 16, 2011)

The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

THE LIBERALS had to know this was coming. Yet they went ahead in spite of the downside, apparently preferring it to having party leaders debate Northern Ontario issues in Thunder Bay where the Liberals hold both seats. The political blowback is coming hard and fast, and with seven days to go it can only get worse.

Last month, three key regional organizations formally confirmed an invitation to provincial party leaders to debate northern issues at a conference here Sept. 23, in the midst of the provincial election campaign.

The Northwestern Ontario Regional Conference is hosted by the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA), the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce (NOACC) and the Northwestern Ontario Development Network (NODN). It brings together municipal, business and economic development leaders from across the Northwest.

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Placer Dome Incorporated History: 1910-2002 – by International Directory of Company Histories

For a large selection of corporate histories click: International Directory of Company Histories

Company History: (Please Note that Placer Dome was taken over by Barrick Gold in 2006)

Placer Dome Inc., the fifth largest gold mining company in the world, produces approximately 3.5 million ounces of gold annually. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the company also mines silver and copper and has interests in 18 mines, many outside of Canada, in countries including South Africa, Australia, the United States, and Papua New Guinea. A leader in mine exploration, Placer Dome spent about $60 million in 2003 on exploration.

The Creation of a New Company

Placer Dome Inc. was formed in 1987 by the amalgamation of three Canadian mining companies, creating the largest gold producer in North America with an annual output of more than 800,000 ounces of gold. Dome Mines Limited, the oldest of the three predecessors and one of Canada’s most venerable gold producers, was incorporated in 1910, following the discovery of the Dome Mine, a hard-rock mine in northern Ontario, which was still producing gold in 1997. The mine and the company got their name from the shape of the gold-studded rock structure a band of prospectors literally stumbled over in 1909.

Placer Development Limited was incorporated in British Columbia in 1926 and made its first earnings during the 1930s, dredging gold from the gravel of a river in Papua New Guinea, then under Australian mandate. “Placer,” which was Spanish for shoal, referred to water-borne deposits of sand or gravel containing particles of gold or silver. Mining that deposit was no easy task.

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OMA member Osisko builds First Nation knowledge into environmental approval process

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 Osisko Mining Corporation is reaching out to incorporate Traditional Knowledge into the Environmental Assessment of its Hammond Reef gold property in Northwestern Ontario. The company recently held an Elders Forum on site.  More than 65 Elders from neighbouring First Nations, company staff and government officials participated.  Nine First Nations communities were represented at the Forum.  

Chiefs and councils of these First Nations made hearing from the Elders about this project a main concern.  Elders, while not always the most senior residents of First Nations communities, are generally respected for their wisdom, patience and understanding.  They value traditional teachings and passing them along to younger generations.   

“The Elders Forum provided us with a unique opportunity to approach the Environmental Assessment process from a Traditional Knowledge perspective,” said Peter Hinz, Mineral Development Consultant with the Ministry of Northern Development Mines and Forestry. “This was an excellent opportunity to facilitate an open exchange of information and perspectives between First Nations, industry and government.”  

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Once upon a mine [Barrick CEO Aaron Regent profile] – by Paul McLaughlin (CAmagazine – August 2011)

CAmagazine is the leading accounting publication and preferred information source for Canadian chartered accountants and financial executives.

Paul McLaughlin is a Toronto-based freelance writer www.paulmclaughlin.ca

Two years and two risky deals later, Barrick’s CEO Aaron Regent has shown the mining community that he’s one leader not afraid of taking chances

When Aaron Regent, the president and CEO of Barrick Gold Corp., addressed the annual general meeting of the world’s largest gold producer in April, he had a lot of good news to bestow.

In a matter-of-fact tone, the 45-year-old CA, who had been appointed to the challenging role some 27 months earlier, began by telling the assembled shareholders at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre that Barrick had “a strong year in 2010.” That was an understatement. The price of gold had surged to US$1,228 an ounce last year, up 25% from the year before and more than 200% since 2004.

In May it was nudging US$1,512 on the New York Stock Exchange and in June reached US$1,540 an ounce. Those numbers contributed significantly to Barrick, which has 25 operating mines and six projects on five continents, being able to report record adjusted first-quarter net earnings in 2011 of US$1.1 billion, up 32% from the prior year’s same period. Operating cash flow also jumped, by 27% from the previous first quarter, to US$1.44 billion.

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