Argentine policies have Canadian miners rethinking projects – by Pav Jordan (Globe and Mail – May 23, 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.

Efforts by Argentina to fine-tune its economy are forcing miners to reassess investment plans in the Andean country that is home to massive gold, copper and other resource deposits.

Argentina, Latin America’s third-largest economy, has moved aggressively in recent months to stem capital outflows and bolster the market with measures including forced repatriation of export revenue on local markets and requirements for companies to source equipment locally.

The measures could hinder access to cash flow in one of the world’s most capital-intensive industries, and cause operational delays in terms of getting equipment to remote sites in a timely manner.

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Silver, and gold, lining to Haiti’s geological vulnerability – by Martha Mendoza (Globe and Mail – May 12, 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.

TROU DU NORD, HAITI— Its capital is blighted with earthquake rubble. Its countryside is shorn of trees, chopped down for fuel. And yet, Haiti’s land may hold the key to relieving centuries of poverty, disaster and disease: There is gold hidden in its hills – and silver and copper, too.

A flurry of exploratory drilling in the past year has found precious metals worth potentially $20-billion deep below the tropical ridges in the country’s northeastern mountains. Now, a mining company is drilling around the clock to determine how to get those metals out.

“If the mining companies are honest and if Haiti has a good government, then here is a way for this country to move forward,” said Bureau of Mines director Dieuseul Anglade.

Haiti’s geological vulnerability is also its promise. Massive tectonic plates squeeze the island with horrifying consequences, but deep cracks between them form convenient veins for gold, silver and copper pushed up from the hot innards of the planet. Prospectors from California to Chile know earthquake faults often have, quite literally, a golden lining.

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Teck cashes in on Chile’s copper – by Gordon Pitts (Globe and Mail – April 30, 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.

ANDACOLLO, CHILE – For centuries, pilgrims have thronged to the Chilean mountain town of Andacollo – to worship at the historic church and to mine the dusty hills for copper.

The Incas built parts of their civilization on the rich copper and gold deposits unearthed here before Spanish conquerors swept in. Since then, church and mines have become intertwined in the culture: The epic rescue of 33 Chilean miners in 2010 is attributed by many here to prayers uttered at Our Lady of Andacollo.

Now a new wave of pilgrims is worshipping at the altar of Andacollo – Canadians, in the form of Teck Resources Ltd., (TCK.B-T36.860.110.30%) the Vancouver-based mining giant that has spent more than $440-million (U.S.) expanding an open-pit copper project on the edge of town.

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Chile $100bn copper push under threat on power scarcity – by Matt Craze ( – April 26, 2012)

President of Chilean mining lobby group Consejo Minero, Joaquin Villarino, says the country will have to shelve many of its mining investments due to the high cost and scarcity of electricity.

(Bloomberg) – The biggest-ever pipeline of copper projects is under threat as Chile, the world’s top producer, struggles to contain rising opposition to new power plants.
At least 5,000 megawatts of capacity, including a $5 billion coal-fired plant proposed by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, are facing delays or have been shelved as companies including BHP Billiton Ltd. and Anglo American Plc spend as much as $100 billion on copper and metals projects in Chile.
The country, struck by a power blackout as recently as this week, needs to boost capacity by 47 percent within 8 years to keep pace with consumption. Protesters from fishermen to university students oppose the plants, prompting miners to consider their own projects to help meet China’s copper demand.

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Argentina’s expropriation of energy company only isolates country – Globe and Mail Editorial (April 19, 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.

The decision by Argentina’s President to nationalize the country’s largest energy company may pander to popular sentiment at home, but will only further isolate the country internationally.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced the expropriation of 51 per cent of Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales to a cheering audience on live television on Monday.

This is a losing cause – just as is Argentina’s claim for sovereignty of the British-controlled Falkland Islands.

The country already has a weak standing in world financial markets, following its failure to repay all of its loans after defaulting on a $100-billion debt in 2001. The latest move will cause more uncertainty and make it more difficult to attract the kind of foreign investment and expert partners needed to develop Argentina’s reserves of shale hydrocarbons.

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Argentina’s move to take control of YPF could jeopardize foreign investment – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – April 17, 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.

OTTAWA — Argentina is planning to nationalize control of the country’s largest oil company, a move that could discourage foreign investors in one of the world’s hottest emerging oil and gas plays.
President Cristina Fernandez on Monday sent a bill to the country’s Congress to expropriate 51 per cent of the shares of YPF, the Argentine subsidiary of Spain’s Repsol, complaining the company is failing to meet its investment obligations in the country.

The move has heightened concern among investors in companies exploring for oil and gas in the country – including several Canadian plays.
In addition to U.S. giants such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Apache Corp., (APA-N94.552.282.47%) Calgary-based companies that have properties in the South American country include Americas Petrogas Inc., (BOE-X2.38-0.46-16.20%) Gran Tierra Energy Inc., (GTE-T6.24-0.05-0.79%) and ArPetrol Ltd. (RPT-X0.05-0.005-9.09%)

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Peru miners rescued six days after being trapped by cave-in – by Mauricio Munoz (Toronto Star – April 12, 2012)

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.

Associated Press

ICA, PERU—Nine Peruvian miners were rescued Wednesday after six days trapped in an abandoned copper mine.

The nine, ranging in age from 23 to 58, walked out without assistance about an hour after dawn from a reinforced tunnel that rescuers had built as they removed more than 8 metres of dirt and rock.

The miners wore sunglasses and were covered with blankets. President Ollanta Humala greeted them.  Humala had spent the night at the mine 240 kilometres southeast of Lima. The miners were trapped by a cave-in triggered by an explosion they themselves had set.

They had communicated with rescuers through a hose, in place before the collapse, by which they also received food and medicine during their ordeal in a horizontal shaft dug into a mountainside.

“It’s pretty ugly inside,” one of the rescued men, Edwin Bellido, told RPP radio. “We slept on the ground on muddy plastic.”

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HudBay Minerals eyes further growth in Peru – by Euan Rocha ( – April 10, 2012)

HudBay seeks to replicate its Manitoba model in Peru

TORONTO, April 10 (Reuters) – Base metals miner HudBay Minerals is looking at expanding its asset base in Peru as it seeks to create a new hub that will replicate the successes enjoyed at its mines in the Canadian province of Manitoba, the company’s top executive says.

HudBay, which traces its roots back more than 80 years to the Flin Flon mine in northern Manitoba, has used much of the infrastructure developed at Flin Flon for decades, moving gradually from one deposit to the next.

“We are trying to do the same thing in Peru,” said HudBay Chief Executive David Garofalo. “We are building a large 70,000 to 80,000 tonne a day concentrator there and we’ve tied up about 22,000 hectares of real estate along the trend and we’re looking to tie up more.

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Fidel Castro attacks Stephen Harper over environmental damage from oilsands [and Canadian mining] – by Oakland Ross (Toronto Star – April 10, 2012)

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.

Canada may be Cuba’s leading source of tourists, an important economic partner, and one of just two countries in the region never to have broken off diplomatic ties with the island — the other is Mexico — but Fidel Castro says he doesn’t even know Stephen Harper’s name.
In a column that appeared Monday in Granma, official organ of the Cuban Communist Party, the island’s former ruler says he believes the Prime Minister goes by the name Stephen Harper — but it’s hard to be sure. In other words, Stephen Who?
Devoting his 1,100-word column almost entirely to Canada and its alleged shortcomings, Castro, 85, finds much to criticize and lament about this “beautiful and extensive country.” Are we a colony, a republic, or a kingdom? According to the man with the famous beard, we apparently don’t know ourselves — and neither does he.

Worst of all, however, is the human and environmental damage that Castro says is being inflicted upon many Latin American countries by rapacious Canadian mining companies.

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Stephen Harper’s Illusions [including Castro’s thoughts about Canadian oilsands and miners] – by Fidel Castro (Cuban News Agency – April 8, 2012)

I think –and I do not intend to offend anyone- that this is how the Prime Minister of Canada is called. I deduced it from a statement published on “Holy Wednesday” by a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of that country. The United Nations Organization membership is made up by almost 200 States –allegedly independent States. They continuously change or are forced into change. Many of their representatives are honorable persons, friends of Cuba; but it is impossible to remember the specifics about each
and every one of them.

During the second half of the twentieth century, I had the privilege of living through years of intensive erudition and I realized that Canadians, located in the northernmost region of this hemisphere, were always respectful towards our country. They invested in areas of their interest and traded with Cuba, but they did not interfere in the internal affairs of our State.

The revolutionary process that began on January 1st, 1959, did not introduce any measure that affected their interests, which were taken into account by the Revolution in maintaining normal and constructive relations with the authorities of that country where a significant effort was being made in the interest of its own development. Thus, they were not accomplices of the economic blockade, the war and the mercenary invasion that the United States launched against Cuba.

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Fidel Castro blasts Harper over oilsands environmental impact [and Canadian miners] – by Mike Blanchfield ( – April 9, 2012)

Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro is criticizing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government for environmental damage caused by the extraction of crude from the Alberta oilsands.
The father of Cuba’s communist revolution of more than half a century ago offered the observation in a characteristically rambling new essay on the state of hemispheric affairs that was published over the weekend.
The ailing octogenarian handed the Cuban presidency to his brother, Raul, four years ago, but still periodically offers up his musings on the world in postings on his government’s website. “Stephen Harper’s Illusions” is his latest instalment.

In it, Castro claims that the United States — a country he loathes because of its economically crippling embargo — is forcing Canada to extract oil, which is causing irreparable damage to the environment.

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Ecuador Indians march against mining on their lands – by Gonzalo Solano (Globe and Mail – March 23, 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.

QUITO— The Associated Press – The lands of the Shuar Indians in the Ecuadoran Amazon are rich in wildlife such as tapirs, toucans and red howler monkeys. They also hold treasures more coveted by outsiders: rich deposits of copper and other minerals that the government is eager to cash in on.
Projects to build open-pit mines that would rip into their forest-covered hills have spawned a protest movement that sets leaders of the ethnic group against the country’s popular president, Rafael Correa, who says development is essential to the future of this nation’s 14 million people.
More than 1,000 indigenous protesters reached Ecuador’s capital on Thursday after a two-week, 700-kilometre march from the Amazon to oppose plans for large-scale mining projects on their lands.

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Brazil’s commodity curse – by Matthew Bristow And Juan Pablo (National Post – March 17, 2012)

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

Bloomberg News

RIO DE JANEIRO. In 2007, Brazilian geologists made the biggest oil find in the Americas in three decades. Buried more than eight kilometres below sea level, the discovery was estimated to raise the country’s crude reserves by 62%.

Brazil was already the world’s natural-resource powerhouse: its biggest exporter of coffee, sugar, orange juice and beef. The prospect of it becoming a major energy power as well prompted then-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to declare amid a rush of patriotism that “God is Brazilian.”

Brazil has struggled for half a century to break its dependence on commodities, grappling with the socalled resource curse. Depending on how profits are managed, the new oil wealth could be a godsend that drives a new era of development or a burden that holds the nation back, said Alberto Ramos, a senior Latin America economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York.

“They can be Norway, or they can be many other countries where oil did not bring growth and development,” Mr. Ramos said in a telephone interview. “You’d better be smart and forward-looking about using it, otherwise it might hurt you.”

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FRASER INSTITUTE NEWS RELEASE: New Brunswick trumps Alberta as world’s No. 1 spot for mining investment;

February 23, 2012

TORONTO–New Brunswick is the world’s most attractive jurisdiction for
mineral exploration and development in the view of the international mining industry, according to the Survey of Mining Companies: 2011/2012, released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank.

“New Brunswick shot to the top of the rankings as miners lauded the province for its fair, transparent, and efficient legal system and consistency in the enforcement and interpretation of existing environmental regulations,” said Fred McMahon, Fraser Institute vice-president of international policy research and coordinator of the survey.

“Combine that with a competitive taxation regime and minimal uncertainty
around disputed land claims and New Brunswick has emerged as a superstar in the view of the global mining community.”

New Brunswick vaulted to first place from 23rd last year, unseating Alberta
at the top of the global rankings as that province fell to third overall.
Quebec, which enjoyed a three-year reign at No. 1 from 2007 to 2010,
continued to lose support among mining executives as it fell to fifth place
from fourth in 2011.

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Africa: The Back Story to Cida-Mining Partnerships – by Catherine Coumans (All – February 9, 2012)

Catherine Coumans is the research co-ordinator and Asia Pacific program co-ordinator for MiningWatch Canada. She is the author of Whose Development? Mining, Local Resistance, and Development Agendas.


Mining companies’ branding of themselves as bringers of development needs to be critically examined against the burgeoning ‘resource curse’ literature that links mining to deepening national impoverishment in mining-dependent developing countries

The Canadian International Development Agency’s funding of Corporate Social Responsibility projects mostly near mine sites is intended to help Canadian mining companies compete for access to lucrative ore bodies in developing countries in the face of increasing local opposition to mining.

As I write this, thousands of Cajamarcans in Peru are protesting Newmont Mining Corp.’s proposed Conga mine that will destroy four lakes they depend on for their water supplies and livelihoods.

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