Archive | Manitoba Mining

Alistair Ross stepping down as head of Vale Canadian mining operations, including those in Thompson – by Kyle Darbyson (Thompson Citizen – December 13, 2018)

Vale’s management structure in Canada continues to change with the company recently announcing that Alistair Ross will step down as the director of North Atlantic mining operations by the end of the month when his contract expires. According to a Dec. 11 Vale memo, Mike McCann, who has worked for the Brazilian mining giant in Sudbury for the last six years, will replace Ross Jan 1.

“Mike has done a superb job leading processing operations across the North Atlantic and Asia, delivering value projects and achieving production and safety improvements in a number of areas across our business,” said Ricus Grimbeek, chief operating officer for Vale Base Metals, in that memo. “I have every confidence that Mike will continue his track record of success leading our mining and milling operations.”

This move is the latest change to Vale’s Thompson management, which began back in July when Manitoba Operations vice-president Mark Scott’s position was eliminated. Ross was given the responsibility of overseeing Vale’s Canadian operations in Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador at that time. Continue Reading →

Exploration deals move Manitoba mining into modern era – by Bill Redekop (Winnipeg Free Press – December 10, 2018)

First Nation inclusion in the mineral exploration process is still in the dark ages in Manitoba and the mining sector has suffered as a result, says a Toronto lawyer who specializes in such contracts.

Kate Kempton, who negotiated two recent contracts in Manitoba where mineral exploration crosses traditional First Nation land, says there are hundreds of such contracts across the country already, but Manitoba’s just getting started.

“Frankly, it’s about time,” Kempton said in a phone interview. “First Nations were getting completely left behind.” Kempton, who is with Toronto law firm Olthuis Kleer Townshend, recently completed a “mineral exploration accommodation agreement” for lithium between New Age Metals and Sagkeeng First Nation in southeastern Manitoba. Continue Reading →

Hudbay Minerals’ exit from historic Manitoba mining town puts 800 jobs in peril – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – November 30, 2018)

Hudbay Minerals Inc. says it will close its mine in Flin Flon, Man. in 2021, ending hopes it would maintain a threadbare workforce in the town where it employed more than 800 people.

In a memo this week, Robert Assabgui, vice-president of Hudbay’s Manitoba Business Unit, told employees the company had hoped to keep the zinc plant operational, but can’t find enough ore to make it feasible.

“Despite a lot of work over the past few years, the most likely scenario is that mining operations will cease in Flin Flon in 2021,” Assabgui wrote in the memo, also sent to the Financial Post. “As a result, the Flin Flon mill will also cease operations.” Continue Reading →

[Manitoba Mining] Flin Flon’s only mine slated to close by 2021, future of 800 jobs uncertain – by Ian Froese (CBC News Manitoba – November 28, 2018)

A mining operation in Flin Flon that employs 800 people will leave the community in three years. The closure of Hudbay’s 777 mine — the only mine in the northern Manitoba city — has long been forecasted, but employees learned this week through an internal letter that the company’s attempts to find a replacement for the mine have fallen short.

The mining city’s largest employer will also close its mill in Flin Flon, 630 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, and will “most likely” cease operations at its zinc plant by 2021.The closures will inevitably result in job losses, though the company expects to transfer some positions to nearby mine and mill operations in Snow Lake, Man.

“We have to be honest: after mining for 90 years in the Flin Flon area, we now know that we won’t have an anchor mine to replace 777 and sustain operations in Flin Flon the same way they are today,” said the internal letter, which the company supplied to CBC News on Wednesday. Continue Reading →

Rockcliff Metals drills historic gold mine in Manitoba – by Staff ( – October 29, 2018)

Rockcliff Metals (TSX.V: RCLF) announced that it is about to kick off a first phase drill program on its high-grade Laguna Gold property located in Snow Lake, Manitoba.

The Laguna Gold Property hosts the past producing Rex-Laguna Mine that was Manitoba’s first and highest-grade gold mine. The 2,500-metre drill program marks the first drill program on the property in over 70 years.

In a press release, the Toronto-based miner explained that gold mineralization on Laguna is controlled by thrust faults attributed to the major regional Crowduck Bay Fault which crosses the entire length of the property. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Mining industry in Manitoba is near collapse – by Steve Fletcher (Northern Miner – October 23, 2018)

Northern Miner

Steven Fletcher is Leader of the Manitoba Party and a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in the Constituency of Assiniboia. He was a federal Member of Parliament for 11 years and a federal Cabinet Minister for five years in Stephen Harper’s government. He worked in the mining industry before an automobile collision with a moose left him a quadriplegic.

Mining in Manitoba is vanishing like an early morning fog. The mining industry is near collapse in the keystone province, while I continue to raise the mining crisis in the provincial legislature to no avail. The Manitoba government’s policy on mining is confused, if it exists at all.

Before entering politics, I worked in the mining industry as an engineer in training. My education as a geological engineer provided me with unique opportunities to see most open-pit and underground operations in Manitoba.

Since 2008, poor public policy has exasperated the demise of the mining industry in Manitoba. Yes, low commodity prices have played a significant role, but the nail in the coffin to mining in Manitoba has been government ignorance of the important role that mining has played in our history. Continue Reading →

Vale still keen on nickel, at least in the long term – by Staff (Sudbury Star – October 25, 2018)

Vale said Wednesday it remains optimistic about the long-term prospects for nickel. The short-term, however, is another matter.

The company’s third quarter “results represented a tipping point for the Base Metals business,” Eduardo Bartolomeo, executive officer for Vale’s Base Metals division, said in a release. “We are undergoing an important restructuring process led by our new management team with the focus on optimizing our operations, stabilizing our cost structure and reviewing mine plans.

“We are creating the basis for the nickel business to generate strong cash flows in any price scenario, while keeping the optionality to capture the upside of emerging demand for nickel in electric vehicles.” Part of that restructuring has led to mine closures and job cuts in Sudbury and Thompson, Man. Continue Reading →

Hudbay Investor Seeks Changes to Miner’s Board – by Scott Deveau (Bloomberg News – October 17, 2018)

An investor in Hudbay Minerals Inc. wants to meet with the Toronto miner to discuss replacing members of its board, as well as to seek assurances it won’t pursue acquisitions or joint venture without consulting shareholders, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Waterton Global Resource Management has expressed its concerns to Hudbay Chairman Alan Hibben, telling him that it would reserve the right to do anything it deemed necessary to improve the company’s performance, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.

Waterton — which has been building its position in Hudbay — now holds about 7 percent of its shares, up from 4.8 percent, this person said. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Rockcliff Identifies Gold Along a 10-Kilometre Long Horizon at the SLG Gold Property, Snow Lake, Manitoba (October 18, 2018)

For original news release and maps:

Toronto, ON – October 18, 2018 – Rockcliff Metals Corporation (“Rockcliff” or the “Company”) (TSX.V: RCLF) (FRANKFURT: RO0, WKN: A2H60G) is pleased to announce that geological prospecting has identified the “McLeod Gold Horizon”, more than a 10-kilometre long mineralized corridor associated with gold and copper mineralization on the Company”s SLG Gold Property.

President & CEO of Rockcliff, Ken Lapierre commented: “This strategic property hosts multiple historical gold-rich zones along several regional structural fault splays. The McLeod Gold Horizon has never been drill tested, yet hosts numerous historical gold showings. Rockcliff”s grab samples confirmed the presence of high-grade gold and copper mineralization. In 2019, we plan to advance this gold asset with additional surface work in preparation for a drill program focusing on top priority gold targets.”

The SLG Gold Property is immediately adjacent to three former gold producers with total production of over 1.4M ounces and a 2,000 tonne per day gold mill facility. Continue Reading →

Electric vehicles could increase demand for Thompson, Manitoba nickel, says North Atlantic mining director – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – October 11, 2018)

Increasing demand for battery-powered vehicles could be the key to increased demand and prices for nickel, Vale’s director of North Atlantic mining operations told Thompson Chamber of Commerce members Oct. 3 while he was in town for Manitoba Operations’ annual open house.

But achieving price stability is a key to convincing the company’s board to invest in further developing Thompson’s mines to take advantage of that growing market, said Alistair Ross.

“We believe that society is on a path that they will not deflect from at least in the next 10 to 20 years and that is we’re not going to continue with internal combustion engines,” Ross said. “The answer to no more ICE – internal combustion engines – is battery electric.” Continue Reading →

Manitoba government response incoming on mining protocols – by Eric Westhaver (Flin Flon Reminder – October 2, 2018)

New rules could soon be coming for Manitoba mining companies hoping to work with First Nations groups.

A formal response from the provincial government regarding the Manitoba-First Nations Mineral Development Protocol is due to come later this month, according to previous provincial statements.

In June, the provincial government and the Ministry of Growth, Enterprise and Trade announced a report from the project’s co-chairs – Ron Evans, former chief of Norway House Cree Nation, and Jim Downey, former deputy premier and MLA – that detailed the set of protocols. “A formal response is currently being finalized,” said a provincial spokesperson. Continue Reading →

Vale issues update on momentous year in Thompson mining history – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – September 27, 2018)

Vale Manitoba Operations’ 2017-18 update entitled “A New Era” comes at a time when the mining company has ceased smelting and refining operations in Thompson after nearly 60 years of integrated nickel production.

The first Bessemer nickel matte was produced in the smelter on Sept. 10, 1960 and the first official production of nickel cathodes from the refinery occurred on March 25, 1961. The last anodes were poured in the smelter on July 8 of this year and the last nickel cathode was pulled on July 16. By that time, the new concentrate load-out facility was already complete, with the first shipment of concentrate having been loaded onto a truck bound for Sudbury June 24.

Over their lifetimes, the smelter and refinery produced nearly than 2.5 million tonnes of electro-nickel. “The decision in 2010 to decommission the smelter and refinery gave plenty of time for our people, the company and
the City of Thompson to prepare,” said a message from North Atlantic and Asia refineries director Ricus Grimbeek in the report. Continue Reading →

Churchill residents hopeful railway deal will revitalize their shuttered port – by Rob Drinkwater (Canadian Press/Globe and Mail – September 3, 2018)

News of a deal to sell and repair a Manitoba town’s broken rail line means more than just a return to reasonably priced groceries and easier access for visitors to the polar bear capital of Canada.

It has brought hope that Churchill, the once-bustling port on Hudson Bay, will soon be busy again.

“The future looks bright in terms of that to happen,” Churchill Mayor Mike Spence said Saturday, a day after an announcement that the rail line, port facilities and tank farm in Churchill have been sold by Omnitrax. Continue Reading →

Changes at Vale contribute to uncertain mood in Thompson (Thompson Citizen – August 29, 2018)

As Thompson reaches the end of the month that it was dreading for years, if not quite since the smelter and refinery closure plans were first announced in 2010, there’s a feeling that we might not be through the worst of the adjustment yet.

Over this summer, Vale has announced changes to its Manitoba Operations, including the elimination of Mark Scott’s former role as the vice-president in Thompson and the shifting of responsibility for overseeing the mine to Alistair Ross, the company’s new North Atlantic mines director.

A few weeks later, the maintenance shutdown was extended by three to four weeks to preach the importance of safety after some potentially dangerous incidents. Continue Reading →

[Manitoba] Province’s mining protocol might discourage investment if First Nations have veto: prospectors – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – August 30, 2018)

An association representing mineral prospectors and developers says that comments made by a government minister about the Manitoba-First Nations Mineral Development Protocol report could endanger the province’s mining industry, particularly in the north.

“The comments of Manitoba’s honourable minister of growth, enterprise and trade during the public announcement of the Manitoba First Nations Mineral Development Protocol implied that the First Nation communities’ consent would be required before exploration permits would be issued,” said an Aug. 29 statement from Manitoba Saskatchewan Prospectors and Developers Association (MSPDA) president Stephen Masson.

“He went on to say that communities could decide not to have exploration and mining in their traditional land use areas , which is essentially a veto which would have huge implications for the survival of Manitoba’s mining industry.” Continue Reading →