Archive | Manitoba Mining

Manitoba mining takes deep hit – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – February 22, 2018)

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

Province drops in Fraser Institute survey’s ranking of investment attractiveness

As if things couldn’t get any worse for the mining industry in Manitoba, its ranking in an annual survey on investment attractiveness has dropped dramatically.

In the Fraser Institute’s annual Survey of Mining Companies, which is being released today, Manitoba fell from second place among 104 jurisdictions last year to 18th place among 91 this year.

The survey asks industry players for their views on all sorts of policies from taxation, various types of regulations, availability of skilled labour, political stability, socioeconomic agreements/community development and uncertainty concerning environmental regulations and protected areas. Continue Reading →

First Nation, mining company announce partnership – by Alexandra Paul (Winnipeg Free Press – February 20, 2018)

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

A remote Manitoba First Nation has made history by partnering up with a mining company to explore diamond claims staked in the Oxford Lake area.

There’s only an outside chance the deal between Altius Resources Inc. and Manitoba’s Bunibonibee Cree Nation will lead to a new mining source for diamonds, but its chief and the lawyers who mediated the agreement with Altius say the deal breaks ground even if there’s never enough diamonds to open up a mine.

“It is very historic. It is, we believe, the first of its kind in Manitoba. It sets out the conditions for acquiring the First Nation’s consent. Which means the company has acquired it, but has done so on a whole series of protection and compensatory measures that are sufficient for the First Nation,” said Kate Kempton, counsel for the First Nation at the Toronto-based law firm Olthuis, Kleer and Townshend. Continue Reading →

$2 million in mine exploration funds coming from federal, Saskatchewan governments – by Eric Westhaver (Flin Flon Reminder – February 14, 2018)

http://www.thereminder.ca/

Mine exploration around Flin Flon is about to get a boost, courtesy of the federal and Saskatchewan governments. A joint venture between the two sides will provide a total of $2 million in funding for aerial exploration and incentives for junior mining companies.

Under the program, Saskatchewan’s provincial government will spend $1 million on a geophysical survey of the area around Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach. A budget proposal for other parts of the project is in the planning stages.

The surveying will be done jointly by the Geological Survey of Manitoba and the Geological Survey of Canada and Natural Resources Canada. Work on the project is expected to begin before early March. Continue Reading →

Exploration agreement aims to help junior mining companies in northern Sask. and Man. – by Bridget Yard (CBC News Saskatoon – January 31, 2018)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/

Future of Creighton, Sask.’s main industry ‘up in the air,’ according to longtime Mayor Bruce Fidler

An agreement between the Saskatchewan and federal governments worth approximately $2 million will aim to help junior mining companies in their exploration of northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The agreement was signed in December 2017.

The future of the mining camps near Creighton, Sask., which is approximately 430 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, is “up in the air,” according to the town’s mayor.

“The forecast put out a year ago by Hudbay [Minerals] was that the 777 mine, the one in operation right now where they’re producing ore, is going to run out and shut down in three or four years,” said Bruce Fidler. Continue Reading →

Mining company Klondex announces ‘immediate reduction’ of workers, operations at Manitoba gold mine (CBC News Manitoba – January 9, 2018)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/

Klondex acquired True North mining complex in Bissett in January 2016

The international mining company that owns an eastern Manitoba gold mine will be cutting back operations and workforce at the site effective immediately, according to a Tuesday news release.

Klondex Mines Ltd. announced “an immediate reduction of underground mining operations and workforce” at the True North mining complex near Bissett, Man. — about 165 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg — on its website on Tuesday. “We regret the implications these actions will have on our workforce and other stakeholders but must ensure the long-term sustainability of the Company,” said Klondex president Paul Huet in the written release.

The company acquired the 43,000-hectare complex in January 2016. According to the release, it decided to cut back operations at the mine because it didn’t make as much money as expected in 2017. Continue Reading →

Letter to the editor: A better suggestion for parkland in northern Manitoba – by Stephen Masson (Northern Miner – January 2, 2018)

Northern Miner

Stephen Masson is president of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Prospectors and Developers Association (MSPDA).

The Manitoba Saskatchewan Prospectors and Developers Association (MSPDA) takes the strong view that while it agrees with Stephen Fletcher’s view that a creating a new national park on Manitoba’s Nickel Belt is an irresponsible action by the federal government (T.N.M., Nov. 16-Dec. 10/17), he should not have so quickly suggested a park in the Seal River area as an alternative.

Mr. Fletcher, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Charleswood-St James-Assiniboia and long-time federal Conservative Member of Parliament from 2004-15, is correct that establishing a park on the nickel belt only discourages further exploration in the province by its placement on an area of high mineral potential.

This is especially true given that northern Manitoba’s mining industry is in serious trouble. Vale in Thompson closed Birch Tree and in 2018 will close the smelter in Thompson. Add this to the closure in just three years of Triple 7 and Reed Lake mines operated by Hudbay Minerals. Continue Reading →

MLA Steven Fletcher: Don’t create national park on Thompson Nickel Belt extension (Northern Miner – December 2017)

Northern Miner

The following is an edited transcript of Steven Fletcher — Independent Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for Assiniboia and a Conservative Member of the Canadian Parliament from 2004–15 — speaking in the Manitoba Assembly on Nov. 9 on the subject of a proposal to establish a national park overtop an extension of the Thompson nickel belt.

This is an issue of urgency and of public importance. The federal Liberal government announced, in their 2017 budget, plans for a national park. Though we are all supportive of parks, it’s very important where the parks are located.

The federal government announced it, apparently without consulting anyone — First Nations communities, not sure if they consulted the provincial government or not. If they did, the provincial government should have said no. And if they didn’t, the provincial government should have said no immediately after the announcement. Continue Reading →

Staking out a future: Thompson adjusts as mining industry slows – by Brett Purdy (CBC News Manitoba – November 28, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/

Vale still largest employer in Thompson but other industries helping develop diverse economy

Rajinder Thethy has put almost $750,000 in his carwash business in Thompson, Man., and it’s investments like his the northern city is banking on to help stabilize — and build — the economy as the local mining industry slows.

Thethy, who has lived and worked in Thompson for 22 years, originally built the carwash with some partners back in 2004 as a side gig. He was a professional accountant at the time. But in January 2016, he decided he wanted a major career-and-life change and to be more devoted as a business owner.

“I know what the Thompsonites need so for me to stay here and expand my business just made perfect sense,” he said. Continue Reading →

Job losses in northern Manitoba could reach 1,500 in next 3 years: Briefing note (CBC News Manitoba – October 23, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/

As many as 1,500 jobs in northern Manitoba could be lost over the next two or three years, according to an internal document sent to Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen in May.

The briefing note, dated May 10, 2017 and obtained by the New Democrats through a freedom-of-information request, projects the job losses could amount to as much as $100 million in lost income, with a loss to the regional economy of roughly $300 million.

The numbers were part of an advisory note to Pedersen ahead of the province’s Look North initiative, announced in its throne speech in November 2016. Continue Reading →

[Manitoba Mining] Look North economic strategy battles difficult future north of 53rd parallel – by Sean Kavanagh (CBC News Manitoba – October 20, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/

A mix of optimism, a fresh start and a healthy dose of reality pervade the Look North report on the economy of northern Manitoba.

“What we’re suggesting is this is a starting point so we can capitalize on the opportunities that exist in the north,” said Look North task force co-chair Chuck Davidson, president of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

The Look North report and action plan for northern Manitoba economic development was produced by a provincially appointed task force that held its first meeting in December 2016. The task force is co-chaired by Davidson and Christian Sinclair, an independent business adviser and member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. Continue Reading →

Last muck, last hoist, last truck at Vale’s Birchtree Mine – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – October 5, 2017)

http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

The transition of Birchtree Mine to care and maintenance status, which began in the last few days of September and officially got underway Oct. 2, didn’t affect as many employees as previously estimated and no one will be laid off until the end of the year but the effects will still be felt.

The last day of mucking at Birchtree was Sept. 27 and the last hoist day was Sept. 30, when an event to commemorate the occasion was held for employees, their families and dignitaries such as Mayor Dennis Fenske, Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle, Vale Manitoba Operations vice-president Mark Scott and United Steelworkers Local 6166 president Les Ellsworth, said corporate affairs, organizational design and human resources manager Ryan Land.

The last day of September also saw the ceremonial last truck of ore roll out of the mine and the first care and maintenance shift was Oct. 2. About 60 employees will work on asset recovery until November and the mine will be on care and maintenance as of Dec. 31, after which will it will employ only six workers. Continue Reading →

[Vale and Thompson, Manitoba] The first shoe drops (Thompson Citizen – October 4, 2017)

http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

Thompson inched into a new era Oct. 1 as Birchtree Mine stopped production of nickel ore and began the process of transitioning into care and maintenance status, a position it was previously in from 1978 until it reopened in 1989.

The move affects an estimated 150 jobs within the mine and up to 50 in processing, service and support roles, Vale Manitoba Operations said in May, when the decision to move to care and maintenance was made because it is unprofitable to continue mining at current nickel prices.

At any time, this would have been bad news for Thompson’s economy. While some affected employees may opt for early retirement and stick around and others may find new jobs locally, some will be moving out of town and taking the money that they spent on accommodations and goods and services elsewhere. That will have a trickle-down effect that even people who aren’t employed in anything mining-related will feel. Continue Reading →

Closing Time: Last hoist for Thompson’s Birchtree Mine – by John Barker (Soundings John Barker – September 30, 2017)

https://soundingsjohnbarker.wordpress.com/

On the surface, it was an unseasonably warm and brilliant orange early autumn day. Underground, it was closing time. Not last call, but rather the hard rock mining on-the-job equivalent: last hoist.

This day has almost come for Birchtree Mine in Thompson, Manitoba before. In fact, the day did come for Birchtree for most of a decade in the 1980s, as the mine was on “care and maintenance” because of unfavourable market conditions from December 1977 through 1989.

And on Oct. 18, 2012, Vale had announced care and maintenance was being considered for Birchtree Mine in 10 months time in August 2013. After finding $100 million in cost savings at its Manitoba Operations, bringing its cost per metric tonne for finished nickel to under US$10,000, Birchtree Mine would receive on May 6, 2013 a reprieve that lasted almost 4½ years. Until now. Continue Reading →

‘Toke Mountain’ may have opened door to tailings-based mining – by Jonathon Naylor (Flin Flon Reminder – September 18, 2017)

http://www.thereminder.ca/

What if mine waste isn’t waste at all, but another potential source of riches for resource-based communities? That was the enticing question raised by BacTech Mining Corporation upon its arrival in northern Manitoba.

The little-known Toronto-based company was built on the premise that it could process mine waste, known as tailings, for the benefit of both its bottom line and public safety. BacTech’s expertise revolves around bioleaching, a process that employs bacteria to cleanse tailings of their toxic components.

At the same time, bioleaching exposes metals trapped within the tailings, permitting conventional recovery at a potentially significant profit. At least as far back as 2010, BacTech had its sights set on northern Manitoba – and with good reason. Continue Reading →

As 777 winds down, Hudbay looks to Lalor – by D’Arcy Jenish (Canadian Mining Journal – June 2017)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

For nearly a century – 90 years in December, to be precise – Hudbay Minerals has been the cornerstone and lifeblood of the northern Manitoba community of Flin Flon. But change is coming to this quintessential one-industry, resource-based Canadian town. In 2020, Hudbay is scheduled to close the 777 mine – its only remaining mining operation in the immediate vicinity of Flin Flon.

Meantime, the company is continuing to develop and expand its base and precious metal Lalor mine, which began producing in late 2014 and is located in Snow Lake, 215 km east of Flin Flon. “We have undertaken a program of re-evaluating exploration opportunities with the Flin Flon area,” says Cashel Meagher, Hudbay’s senior vice-president and chief operating officer. “The obvious future in northern Manitoba will divert from Flin Flon to Lalor. We want to perpetuate the life of the Lalor mine.”

In fact, the potential at Lalor has continued to increase since Hudbay launched an aggressive exploration program in 2007. The company drilled 180 holes from surface and identified a sizeable deposit of ore-grade material – zinc on top, copper beneath it and a halo of contact gold beneath the copper. Continue Reading →