Ontario to aid northern industrial sectors with energy costs – by Sarah St-Pierre (CIM Magazine – April 22, 2022)


With the Northern Energy Advantage Program, Ontario doubles down on a shift towards green industry

Through its recently unveiled Northern Energy Advantage Program (NEAP), the Ontario government is aiming to strengthen Northern Ontario’s industrial sector by bringing down its electricity costs and building towards net-zero emissions.

Under the program, which is a revamp of the former Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) program, participating companies will receive rebates of $20 per megawatt-hour on electricity costs.

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With an election in sight, Doug Ford once again ready to hop on the Ring of Fire ‘bulldozer’ – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – April 8, 2022)


Ontario premier appears in the Sault to charge up Algoma Steel and the critical minerals mining industry

Premier Doug Ford didn’t back down from his government’s commitment to invest in the development of a north-south road network into the Ring of Fire.

The premier and some provincial cabinet ministers were in Sault Ste. Marie on April 8, surrounded by steel coils on the floor of Algoma Steel’s Direct Strip Production Complex to unveil the province’s expanded Northern Energy Advantage Program (NEAP), a power rebate program for heavy industrial users in the North.

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Inside the Indigenous-led power line deal that put 17 First Nations on the grid – by Wendy Stueck (Globe and Mail – October 14, 2021)


By the time Wataynikaneyap Power announced, in October, 2019, that it had locked in financing to start building an 1,800-kilometre transmission line to connect 17 First Nations communities to the Ontario power grid, Margaret Kenequanash had earned a chance to catch her breath.

A member of the North Caribou Lake First Nation, Ms. Kenequanash had been pursuing the transmission project for more than a decade, first as a community leader and, since 2017, as Wataynikaneyap’s chief executive officer.

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The Drift: Could the mining industry consider the nuclear option to power remote mines? – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 23, 2021)


Laurentian University research institute studies how small-scale reactors could replace diesel generation in the Far North

Is there a viable marriage between mining and nuclear power? Laurentian University researcher François Caron aims to find out. There are 10 off-grid operating mines in remote areas of Canada, most of them reliant on diesel generation.

That’ll be a no-go in the years to come as the mining industry faces mounting pressure from society, government climate change legislation, even environmentally conscious investors, to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions and carbon footprint.

To be able to power potential mining camps in greenfield areas where grid power doesn’t reach, the nuclear energy option is being increasingly examined.

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Failure of Eskom to be “the death knell” of SA mining sector, says Exxaro’s Mgojo – by David McKay (MiningMX.com – January 15, 2020)


EXXARO Resources CEO, Mxolisi Mgojo, said that without a properly functioning power utility company – Eskom – South Africa’s mining industry would cease to function.

“The current state of Eskom is going to be the one thing that is going to be the death knell of this industry,” Mgojo was cited by Bloomberg News to have said in an article republished by Yahoo Finance. Mgojo is also the president of the Minerals Council South Africa.

Mgojo was commenting at a conference organised by Business Unity South Africa, the country’s largest business lobby group. “Without fixing Eskom we don’t have a mining industry. It is as dire as that.”

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South Africa’s mining industry calls for action to end power crisis (Reuters U.S. – January 13, 2020)


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s mining industry body on Monday urged the government to bring on stream new private sector power sources to ease the power crisis that has pushed the country to the brink of recession.

Struggling state-owned utility Eskom was forced to implement power cuts across the country last year and also last week even though many businesses and factories were closed for the holidays.

The power cuts have piled pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa, who came to power with a pledge to revive investor confidence and boost economic growth.

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OPINION: Bringing an end to South Africa’s power struggle – by Sizwe Dlamini (Independent Online – December 17, 2019)


CAPE TOWN – South Africa remains one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world with more than $2.5 trillion (R36.2 trillion) mineral wealth still in situ.

This is according to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, who told delegates at the Africa Down Under event earlier this year that as things stood no country could match South Africa in terms of mineral diversity offerings.

Data from Statistics SA show that South Africa’s mining industry is one of the key economic sectors in the country, contributing about 7.5 percent to gross domestic product (GDP), 30 percent of export earnings, and more than 450 000 direct jobs.

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South African mining revival threatened as power cuts take toll – by Felix Njini (MiningWeekly/Bloomberg – December 12, 2019)


JOHANNESBURG – When South Africa’s State-owned utility announced record power cuts on Monday afternoon, Impala Platinum Holdings had two hours to hoist thousands of workers from 1 km deep shafts.

The deepening crisis at debt-ridden Eskom Holdings shut down South Africa’s key mining industry for 24 hours, hitting gold and platinum producers that had been enjoying a renaissance on the back of higher metal prices. The rolling blackouts threaten to tip South Africa’s economy into recession and hobble miners already impacted by community protests and xenophobic violence.

Johannesburg-based Implats was ordered to cut electricity usage to 55 MW from about 300 MW, forcing it to reduce power to furnaces by 90% and shutting down refrigeration and compressor plants.

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Palladium Tops $1,900 as South Africa Power Cuts Fuel Supply Woe – by Elena Mazneva and Justina Vasquez (Bloomberg/Yahoo – December 10, 2019)


(Bloomberg) Palladium surged to a record, topping $1,900 an ounce, after South African mining companies halted operations in response to the country’s power cuts. Platinum also rose.

South Africa, the world’s biggest producer of platinum and No. 2 palladium supplier, faced a sixth day of rolling blackouts Tuesday. State utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. is struggling with breakdowns at plants and heavy rains that have soaked coal used as fuel.

“Tight supply that potentially could get even tighter due to production problems in South Africa helps provide the underlying support,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S.

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Ramaphosa Cuts Short Trip as Power Crisis Grips South Africa – by Paul Vecchiatto and Liezel Hill (Bloomberg/Yahoo – December 11, 2019)


(Bloomberg) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short a trip abroad to deal with an escalating crisis at the state power company, as week-long blackouts threaten to tip the economy into recession.

The rand declined the most in a month Tuesday as Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said there’s a high likelihood of power cuts all week and mining companies including Sibanye Gold Ltd., the world’s biggest platinum producer, temporarily halted operations. Vodacom Group Ltd., the nation’s biggest mobile operator, said the outages are disrupting its service.

Ramaphosa returned from Egypt, having terminated his trip a day early to “attend to urgent domestic priorities,” the presidency said in a statement. Eskom management will brief the president on Wednesday morning on “plans to mitigate and resolve the current electricity crisis,” it said.

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South African mines grind to halt as floods worsen power crisis – by Helen Reid (Reuters U.S. – December 10, 2019)


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Mines across South Africa are shutting down after flash flooding caused the largest power blackouts in more than a decade, threatening a key export sector in a further blow to the country’s already slowing economy.

Heavy rains across parts of South Africa have submerged whole neighborhoods, leading to mass evacuations and aggravating problems at state-owned utility Eskom, which has been struggling to keep the lights on since 2008.

Harmony Gold, Impala Platinum, and Sibanye-Stillwater all said they had been forced to cut production since Monday owing to power shortages. “There are very few underground mines that operated overnight and will be operating normally today,” said a spokesman for the Minerals Council, an industry body.

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Nfld. & Labrador: Nalcor building $22M transmission line to Labrador mining project (CBC News – August 19, 2019)


The provincial and federal governments announced new funding Friday for a project to provide hydroelectricity to a mining operation in western Labrador.

The province’s Department of Natural Resources said Nalcor will build a new terminal station and a 27-kilometre transmission line from the Menihek Hydroelectric Generating Station’s existing line to the Tata Steel processing site.

The transmission line will enable Tata Steel to reduce the mine’s diesel consumption by up to 40 per cent. Lisa Dempster, minister of municipal affairs and environment, says her department prioritized the project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging resource development in Labrador.

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UPDATE 1-Zimbabwe faces worst power cuts in 3 years, mines hit (Reuters Africa – May 13, 2019)


HARARA, May 13 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s state power utility imposed the worst rolling blackouts in three years on Monday, with households and industries including mines set to be without electricity for up to eight hours daily.

The power cuts are bound to stoke mounting public anger against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government as Zimbabweans grapple with an economic crisis that has seen shortages of U.S. dollars, fuel, food and medicines as well as soaring inflation that is eroding earnings and savings.

Many Zimbabweans say life is getting harder and that Mnangagwa is failing to deliver on pre-election promises last year to rebuild an economy shattered during Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.

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Sudbury: Ontario hears from mining executives about electricity prices (CBC News Sudbury – May 6, 2019)


Consultation sessions recently held in Sudbury

Some mining officials say the key to mining success in Ontario is keeping electricity prices competitive.

On Friday, consultation sessions were held in Sudbury between industry stakeholders and the provincial government. Markham MPP Paul Calandra and Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano, parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, met with mining officials.

“We want to hear first hand from the mining sector on how we can improve our electricity system to make businesses more competitive,” Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford said.

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Ontario changes regulations on who pays to upgrade power lines (CBC News Thunder Bay – April 15, 2019)


Changes approved by the Ontario Energy Board could make upgrades to power lines across the province cheaper for industries setting up shop in far-flung parts of the province.

The OEB recently overhauled the rules on who pays for the upgrades to power lines. Previously, if industry required a line to be upgraded, it would bear the full cost of the upgrade. Now, a company only has to pay a portion of the upgrade.

Iain Angus, the co-chair of the energy task force with Common Voice Northwest, said one example is an upgrade needed on the power line to Greenstone.

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