Ekati boss envisions another 25 years of mining – by Derek Neary (NNSL.com – July 4, 2024)


Agnico Eagle hits new marks at Meliadine and Meadowbank

The Northwest Territories’ economy continues to lean heavily on diamond production, which is waning overall, and, to a lesser extent, rare earths. In Nunavut, gold and iron ore are the backbone of GDP. Here are some noteworthy occurrences from operating mining companies in both territories.

Burgundy Diamond Mines

Burgundy Diamond Mines, owner of Ekati, reported a major jump in carats sold in its first quarter report for 2024. Its 1.32 million carats sold played a central part in the $117 million (U.S.) in revenues generated for the quarter. The total yield was 1.15 million carats, down from 1.18 million a year earlier.

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Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm may have to change strategy as company enters new round of upheaval – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – June 8, 2024)


Extrovert or introvert, buyer or builder, opportunistic or judicious. These are the existential questions that Rio Tinto must answer for itself as the global mining industry enters a new round of upheaval, driven by the lunge for metals critical to a low-carbon future. Which way will Rio, a primarily iron ore and aluminum producer, go?

No one knows, and there are enormous risks in both playing the mergers and acquisitions game and avoiding it. Rio knows it needs more copper – it is ranked a lowly eighth in terms of production. At the same time, its reputation for capital discipline and conservative thinking might make it shy away from bidding wars and hostile deals, perhaps even big mergers and acquisitions of the friendly variety.

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Iron ore prices lack conviction despite China stimulus moves – by Clyde Russell (Reuters – May 28, 2024)


LAUNCESTON, Australia, May 28 (Reuters) – The balance of risks for iron ore prices are tilted to the downside despite top buyer China’s most recent steps to boost its struggling property sector.

A series of stimulus measures announced earlier this month will see up to 1 trillion yuan ($138 billion) in new property funding, an easing of mortgage rules and allowing local governments to buy some apartments in order to clear overhangs.

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Baffinland hopes railroad to Steensby is built in next few years – by Jeff Pelletier Nunatsiaq News – April 24, 2024)


Application to temporarily continue increased iron ore shipments from Milne Inlet submitted to Nunavut Impact Review Board

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. is applying to continue exporting six million tonnes of iron ore from Mary River Mine through Milne Inlet, its northern marine shipping corridor, until 2030 or its railroad to Steensby Inlet is built.

Megan Lord-Hoyle, the company’s vice-president of sustainable development, shared the news Wednesday during a presentation at the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit. The company previously applied to ship 12 million tonnes of ore through Milne Inlet, but the federal government shot that plan down in 2022.

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Iron ore boom of the 2000s repeating – this time with critical metals – by James Cooper (Northern Miner – February 22, 2024)


A headline published in The Age back in July 2003 reads: “[Andrew] Forrest has a grand $1.2bn plan for tiny Perth mining company.” That company was called Allied Mining and Processing and you’ve probably never heard of it. But from small roots this tiny outfit grew into one of Australia’s largest listed companies with a market cap exceeding A$88 billion.

Twenty years ago, Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest renamed this micro-cap stock to Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG). The rest is history, but it was quite the story behind Twiggy’s road to immense wealth. Fortescue was perhaps the single biggest success story from the last mining boom. A stock that grew from a measly A2¢ per share back in 2003 to more than $10 a share just five years later.

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Iron ore rally built on more than just China optimism – by Clyde Russell (Reuters – January 29, 2024)


LAUNCESTON, Australia, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Iron ore is having a strong start to the year, with rising prices and robust imports by China, sparked by optimism the world’s largest buyer of the steel raw material is adding enough stimulus to boost demand.

The optimism in the past week has consigned China’s soft steel production data for December to memory, with both sentiment and fundamentals supporting the iron ore market. Iron ore contracts traded in Singapore ended at $135.31 a metric ton on Jan. 26, posting a weekly increase after declining for the two previous weeks.

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Swedish town pays a price for its mining success – by Erika Page (Christian Science Monitor – January 25, 2024)


Annica Henelund swings open the front door of her fabric shop as she has thousands of times before. Inside, not much has changed in the past 51 years. Piles of bright cloth line tabletops and shelves from floor to ceiling. Most of it will never be sold. In a few short weeks, the store must be empty and ready for demolition.

Residents of Kiruna have long known this moment would come. As the state-owned iron-ore mining company LKAB expands its operations underground, this Arctic town is sinking into the ground. So it’s relocating. A shiny new city center located 2 miles east was inaugurated last fall.

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Mining giants told to pay $9.7bn over Brazil dam disaster – by Peter Hoskins (BBC.com – January 26, 2024)


A federal judge in Brazil has ordered mining giants BHP, Vale and their Samarco iron ore joint venture to pay 47.6bn reais ($9.67bn) in damages over a deadly dam burst in 2015.

The collapse of the Fundão dam in the south-east of the country caused a giant mudslide that killed 19 people. It also severely polluted the Rio Doce river, compromising the waterway to its outlet in the Atlantic Ocean. It was not immediately clear how much each company is required to pay.

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How did Vale tailings dam burst and kills hundreds? – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Northern Miner – January 17, 2024)


Construction details in the tailings dam at Vale’s (NYSE: VALE) Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine in Brazil may have caused the burst that killed at least 270 people when 10 million cubic metres of sludge destroyed neighbouring settlements and took out a railway bridge, according to Swiss researchers.

Why the dam broke in 2019 specifically – three years after the pond was last loaded with new tailings – and why no significant displacements had been detected before the collapse, is the focus of a new paper by scientists at the university ETH Zurich.

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World’s biggest mining project to start after 27 years of setbacks and scandals – by Tom Wilson (Financial Times – January 7, 2024)


Rio Tinto hopes $20bn Guinea iron ore, rail and port plan will pave way for ‘new era’ of mining

The world’s biggest mining project, a $20bn iron ore, rail and port development in a remote corner of west Africa, is expected to start this year after a 27-year wait beset by setbacks, scandals and several false dawns.

UK-listed Rio Tinto first secured an exploration licence in the Simandou mountains in south-eastern Guinea, 550km from the coastal capital, in 1997. Since then the country of 13mn people has had two coups d’état, four heads of state and three presidential elections.

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Gina Rinehart looks to life beyond the rivers of cash from iron ore – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – December 14, 2023)


The mining magnate, crowned The Australian Financial Review Business Person of the Year, is recognised for her preparedness to take big bets and the role she’s played in shaping Australia’s economy.

Wesfarmers boss Rob Scott is an unabashed fan of billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart and her achievements in business and contributions to philanthropic and community causes. Rinehart, says Scott, is “the driving force behind one of Australia’s largest and most successful private companies, which has created thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of value to the community”.

He adds: “She is ambitious for Australia and our key export industries and is investing to make a difference. “Many people would not appreciate the extent and generosity of Gina’s philanthropic and community support, but it is substantial, and her support of many of our Olympic athletes is remarkable.”

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Mining Giant Vale Says China Can’t Control the Price of Iron Ore – by Mariana Durao and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – December 5, 2023)


(Bloomberg) — China may be the world’s biggest buyer of iron ore, but even that powerful position doesn’t mean that Beijing can succeed in dictating prices for the steelmaking ingredient, said the head of No. 2 producer Vale SA.

The comments by Vale Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Bartolomeo come as China has appeared to ramp up its decades-long struggle to wrest more power over the iron ore market from Vale and its two Australian rivals, BHP Group and Rio Tinto Group, which together dominate global production.

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Baffinland gets OK to ship more ore from Nunavut mine (CBC News Canada North – November 20, 2023)


Mining company can ship 6 million tonnes of ore annually until Dec. 31, 2024

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has been given the OK to ship more ore from its Mary River mine in Nunavut. The company can ship up to six million tonnes of ore per year until Dec. 31, 2024 — that’s up from 4.2 million tonnes per year.

Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal approved the plan following a recommendation from the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB). Baffinland has in past requested, and been approved for, similar such temporary increases.

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The world’s iron ore powerhouse is preparing to reinvent itself – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – October 28, 2023)


Vast heaps of crushed brown rock hem the Indian Ocean at Western Australia’s Parker Point port — each a stockpile of 200,000 tons of iron ore, ready to be poured into a procession of bulk carriers bound for Asia’s steel mills.

Rio Tinto Group, the world’s largest iron ore producer, shipped its first cargo of the steelmaking ingredient from this spot in 1966, at the dawn of a boom that minted billionaires and lifted the Australian economy, generating A$1.3 trillion ($820 billion) in earnings in the past two decades alone. Last year, iron ore shipments accounted for about 5% of the country’s gross domestic product.

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Vale to sell sand from Brazilian iron ore tailings – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – October 24, 2023)


International miners creates spinoff company to market treated tailings as ‘sustainable sand’ for construction, road projects

Vale SA, the international parent company of Vale Canada, has had difficulty with the safety of some of its tailings dams, said it has created a new company to sell and distribute sand from its iron ore tailings properties.

Two dams operated by Vale SA failed in recent years, leaving hundreds of miners and civilians dead and creating significant environmental damage. Vale said the new company, named Agera, will be based in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil and is planned to develop and expand what Vale calls the Sustainable Sand business.

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