Archive | Mining Power Issues

Mines could go nuclear in less than 10 years – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – March 15, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Historic panel talks “reliable, clean and cost-effective” energy being researched partly in Sudbury

Nuclear power is grabbing the attention of the mining industry, to the point where there is a real possibility there could be portable reactors powering mines in less than 10 years.

That was the news delivered at a first-of-its-kind panel discussion at the Prospectors and Developers Association’s (PDAC) annual convention, in Toronto on March 3.

The panel included Vic Pakalnis, president and CEO of Sudbury-based Mirarco, which is part of development of the technology to create small modular reactors (SMR); Diane Cameron of Natural Resources Canada; Ryan Blinn of Westinghouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh, Penn.; Corey McDaniel of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in Chalk River, Ont.; Frank Saunders of Bruce Power in Tiverton; and Nathan Tedford from Hatch Ltd. in Mississauga. Continue Reading →

Federal government gives $4.2 million to renewables projects at northern mines – by Kylie Williams (CIM Magazine – January 29, 2019)

https://magazine.cim.org/en/

Wind turbines and compressed air energy storage to displace diesel at Raglan and Hope Bay

The federal government is investing $4.2 million in two renewable energy projects in Quebec and Nunavut to reduce reliance on fossil fuels at mines in Canada’s north.

Both projects will be managed by Tugliq Energy Corporation, a renewable energy company focused on remote regions.

The projects will be funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Energy Innovation Program, said Paul Lefebvre, the parliamentary secretary to Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, at the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia’s (AME) Roundup conference in Vancouver on Monday. Continue Reading →

Mining company optimistic about N.W.T. proposed power expansion – by Richard Gleeson (CBC News Canada North – January 25, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Environmental group says money could be better spent helping communities off the power grid

A company that’s trying to revive mining in the Yellowknife area is optimistic about funding for the Taltson hydroelectric system — the biggest infrastructure project in the Northwest Territories.

“We’re obviously happy to see somebody starting to pay attention to power in the North,” said Joe Campbell, the executive chairman of TerraX Minerals.

The company is exploring 776 square kilometres of land in and around the city. It’s part of the historic Yellowknife greenstone belt that gave rise to the two gold mines — Con and Giant — and supported the city for more than 50 years. Continue Reading →

News Release: First Nations call on Ontario to fix unjust process threatening electrical transmission reliability (January 17, 2019)

Toronto, Ontario – Today, leaders of six First Nations call on the Ontario Government to intervene and fix a broken process created by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and the previous Ontario government that ignores First Nations’ rights and northern development pertaining to a necessary and important electricity transmission project planned for Northern Ontario.

The six First Nations are part of Bamkushwada Limited Partnership (BLP). BLP has developed a relationship with NextBridge, the East-West of the East-West Tie Transmission Project that was awarded Leave to Develop by the OEB in 2012. BLP becomes partnered with NextBridge in ownership of this Project when it goes into operation, providing many millions in business contracting and hundreds of employment opportunities for First Nations, and for northern municipalities.

This transmission line is a priority initiative of the Province of Ontario, needed to ensure the reliability of electrical service to communities in the Northwest. Without the Project in-service by 2020, as has been urgently deemed necessary by the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and the Independent Electricity System Operator, residential and business customers face a higher likelihood of outages and less reliable electricity overall. NextBridge (partnered with BLP) is the only proponent that can build this line in the timelines that are required by Ontario. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: NAN WELCOMES PIKANGIKUM’S CONNECTION TO PROVINCIAL ELECTRICITY GRID (December 20, 2018)

THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, on behalf of the Executive Council, celebrates the shut down of Pikangikum First Nation’s diesel generating station and official energization of the transmission line during a ceremony in the community today.

“This is an enormous achievement and I congratulate Chief Dean Owen and Council for their years of effort to secure a connection to the provincial electricity grid. A reliable power source will finally end Pikangikum’s reliance on diesel generation and help the community advance plans for growth and development,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.

“We also congratulate Wataynikaneyap Power for their work to connect 17 First Nations to the provincial electricity grid through the first phase of this project. Connecting our remote communities to the provincial grid is better for the environment and will help improve the lives of our members.” Continue Reading →

Northwest Ontario wants regional power pricing – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – December 7, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

The abundance of hydro-electric power generation in northwestern Ontario has community leaders calling on Queen’s Park for a regional electricity pricing system to attract industry. The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) is endorsing a proposal from the energy task force of Common Voice Northwest, a public policy think-tank.

“NOMA Board and most residents of the Northwest believe strongly that they should receive the benefit of the low-cost hydro-electric generation scattered throughout the region rather than being forced to pay the higher blended price applied to the entire province,” said NOMA president Wendy Landry in a Dec. 6 statement.

Zonal, or regional pricing, regime was being studied earlier this year by the province’s Independent Electrical System Operator (IESO). It was part of a larger review of the method by which Ontario structures its wholesale electricity rates. The review finished in November. Continue Reading →

Powering the North: $1.6 billion project connects remote communities to grid – by Nick Purdon and Leonardo Palleja (CBC News Canada North – December 2, 2018)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Ambitious Wataynikaneyap plan involves 17 towns, aims to create skilled jobs in North

“It would mean to me that I am worth something.” That’s why Anthony Begg wants a job on the Wataynikaneyap Power Project. Begg, 24, is one of a dozen trainees taking a two-week “work readiness” course in Kingfisher Lake, Ont.

Located about 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay with no road access, Kingfisher Lake — population 350 — is as remote a community as there is in this country. The training course doesn’t guarantee Begg work on the $1.6-billion project, but it brings hope to a region with an unemployment rate seven times the national average.

“It’s like a second chance to rebuild my life,” says Begg, who dropped out of school part-way through Grade 11. “I didn’t finish, because in my teenage years I was heavily in my addiction, like drinking and drugs and all that stupid stuff.” Begg ended up in jail for assault, but says prison changed him for the better. “I looked around my surroundings and I thought to myself, ‘I don’t want to be like these people. I want to work.'” Continue Reading →

Indigenous Partnerships in Powerful Alignment at Goldcorp’s Musselwhite (Goldcorp.com Blog – November 27, 2018)

Between 2012 and 2015, Goldcorp’s Musselwhite mine partnered with surrounding First Nations communities and provided early funding to create a joint-venture called Wataynikaneyap (Watay) Power, to bring electrical grid connection into the northwest region of Ontario, Canada, and potentially provide power to Musselwhite.

Musselwhite, a fly-in, fly-out operation located approximately 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, operates in a region where 25 remote First Nations communities rely on high-cost diesel generation as their sole source of electricity, burning approximately 25 million litres of diesel fuel a year to get electricity into their homes and businesses – enough diesel to fill 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

With additional fuel delivery challenges and environmental disadvantages, this has limited the growth of the communities and their access to economic opportunities. Similarly, Musselwhite has also been significantly constrained by limited transmission grid capacity in the area, resulting in a heavy reliance on diesel generation. Continue Reading →

Will Ford keep his promise to lower hydro costs? He’d better – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – October 30, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s boast, like that of U.S. President Donald Trump’s, is “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” Trump’s strict adherence to keeping his promises — he has kept two-thirds of his 334 promises to date and broken none of any significance — explains the intense loyalty of his base, his rising popularity and the likelihood of his re-election.

Ford has, like Trump, broken out of the gate upon assuming office by fulfilling an impressive number of election promises, among them scrapping the carbon tax and repealing the Green Energy Act.

But the single most important one for super-charging the provincial economy — lowering electricity rates toward free-market prices by cancelling the above-market renewable energy contracts the past Liberal government handed out to friends and benefactors — seems on course to be broken. Continue Reading →

Mine developments spur power line planning: Hydro One to start design work on Thunder Bay-Atikokan-Dryden transmission project – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 29, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

The province’s power systems manager wants Hydro One to get a jumpstart on power line planning in northwestern Ontario in anticipation of new mines coming into production.

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is requesting Hydro One start development work for a new transmission line, extending west of Thunder Bay. Known as the Northwest Bulk Transmission Line, it was identified by the provincial government as a priority in the Long-Term Energy Plan in 2017.

It’s a three-phase project that involves running a double circuit 230-kilovolt line from Thunder Bay to Atikokan, from Atikokan to Dryden, and from Dryden to the Manitoba border. The IESO recommends Hydro One starts work on the first two phases. Continue Reading →

Getting cracking on East-West Tie, say northwest Ontario leaders – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 28, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Government delays in power line expansion project causes exodus of skilled labour

Workers who were trained to start building the East-West Tie transmission line this fall are transitioning into other industrial jobs.

This slow exodus comes from the uncertainty over when construction of the multi-million-dollar power line expansion will finally start as Ontario Energy Board (OEB) hearings begin shortly on two competing bids from NextBridge Infrastructure and Hydro One.

According to Matthew Dupuis, chief of the Red Rock Indian Band, time is of the essence and there seems to be no sense of urgency by the new Ford government to get the often-delayed project back on track. Dupuis is also president of Supercom Industries, a contracting and training joint venture run by six First Nation communities on the north shore of Lake Superior across whose traditional land the power line project will cross. Continue Reading →

Northwest Ontario leaders campaign to save Thunder Bay Generating Station from closure – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 31, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

New mining projects, delays to East-West Tie construction prompt questions to Ford government about regional power plan

With a half-dozen new mines expected to go into production over the next two years, a delegation from northwestern Ontario wants face time with Energy Minister Greg Rickford to make its case to keep the Thunder Bay Generating Station operational.

The recent discovery of corrosion on a boiler at the power plant and the prospect of a $5 million repair bill, six months of downtime, at a point when the facility’s fuel contract with the province expires in 2020, Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) decided to jettison the plant.

“We still think the Thunder Bay Generating Station will be needed in the not-too-distant future,” said Iain Angus, a Thunder Bay city councillor and co-chair of Common Voice Northwest’s Energy Task Force, a regional advocacy group. Continue Reading →

Make Ontario hydro great again by reviving the Common Sense Revolution – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – June 29, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Ontario was once known as the engine of Canada’s economy. Today that engine is sputtering after a decade and a half of anemic growth. The province faces a deteriorating credit rating and its runaway $325-billion debt, the highest of any subnational jurisdiction in the Western world, will balloon to $400 billion in six years.

Ontario’s power plants were once called the province’s crown jewels, lauded as the single biggest symbols of the province’s success.

Today, the power sector is the single biggest reason for the province’s fall, the victim of a politically correct Green Energy Act that scrapped high-performing plants in favour of renewable-energy losers that forced Ontarians to pay some of the continent’s highest electricity rates, leading to an exodus of some 300,000 manufacturing jobs and to suffering in much of the provincial economy outside the Greater Toronto Area. Continue Reading →

Ignore the green lobby, Doug Ford. Ontarians voted for affordable energy this time – by Peter Shawn Taylor (Financial Post – June 12, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Peter Shawn Taylor is a journalist, policy research analyst and a contributing writer for Canadians for Affordable Energy.

Elections are often considered to be referendums on the economy. When the economy is performing well, incumbent governments are supposed to benefit from a contented electorate. That’s not what happened in Ontario.

By most measures, the Ontario economy is doing just fine. Unemployment, one of the most important indicators for voters, is the lowest it’s been in several decades. GDP growth is in the two-per-cent range — decent, if not spectacular. Housing starts and other measures of consumer spending seem reasonably strong as well.

Nevertheless, Ontario’s long-governing Liberals were just shown the door in spectacular fashion. Voters were willing to look past the Liberals’ ugly scandals in previous elections for the sake of predictability. But when voters looked at the economy this time, they plainly could not get past one aspect of it that was actually in horrible shape: Energy affordability. Continue Reading →

The diesel-addicted mining industry is finally embracing renewable energy, but it’s not just because of the environment – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 11, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

With diesel prices rising in tandem with oil prices, the quest for sustainability has pushed many companies to look closely at their energy usage

About a 10-hour drive northwest of Toronto, in an area with no history of mining and little exploration, Goldcorp Inc. is tunneling a hole, currently at least 120 meters below the pine tree forests and lakes that dot the surface, for what it hopes will be one of its most sustainable mines yet.

Borden, as the mine is to be called when it starts producing in 2019, will be modest in size at about 250,000 ounces of gold per year under current estimates.

But Goldcorp harbours big ambitions to make it the first all-electric underground mine in Canada where everything from the trucks that haul ore, to the ventilation system that provides oxygen to its subterranean workers, run off energy taken from the electrical grid. Continue Reading →