Archive | Newfoundland and Labrador Mining

Voisey’s Bay poised to capitalize on demand for cobalt, but Vale silent – by Terry Roberts (CBC News NL – February 06, 2018)

Sources say ballistic surge in cobalt prices makes underground mine project more likely

A ballistic surge in the price of cobalt could mean positive things for Labrador’s Voisey’s Bay mine, but if executives at Vale are excited, they certainly aren’t saying.

Reuters is reporting that the Brazilian mining giant, which owns the Voisey’s Bay mine and processing facility at Long Harbour, Placentia Bay, is looking to cash in on cobalt.

The international news agency is reporting that Vale is looking to sell unmined cobalt, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to investors and that could be a positive sign as the company decides whether to proceed with an underground mine at Voisey’s Bay. Continue Reading →

Baie Verte Mayor reigniting talks around former asbestos mine – by Cory Hurley (Western Star – January 18, 2018)

Proposed federal asbestos regulations do not mention former operations in province

BAIE VERTE, NL — Baie Verte Mayor Brandon Philpott says it’s time for all key players to start talking about the open pit and exposed asbestos fibres at the former Advocate Mines site again.

His comment came following Canada’s recent action toward its promised ban of the use, sale, import and export of asbestos and products containing that hazardous material.

The federal health and environment departments are supporting changes to eliminate the market for asbestos products in the country. The proposed regulations include an exemption to allow for cleanup of asbestos residue around former mines in an attempt to redevelop the sites. Continue Reading →

Rare earth element mine could mean big changes for Labrador town – by Evan Careen (St. John’s Telegram – December 20, 2017)

Public asked to comment on project located near St. Lewis

ST. LEWIS, NL – The federal and provincial governments are looking for comments on a proposed rare earth element mine on the south coast of Labrador. The Foxtrot Rare Earth Element Mine Project is currently the subject of an environmental assessment by the provincial government.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) is deciding whether a federal environmental assessment is required. Both processes are currently asking for comments from the public and impacted groups.

The proposed project is near the Town of St. Lewis. Mayor Helen Poole said council certainly plans to submit comments. “I know it’ll have an impact in all the communities in the area, but it’ll really impact us,” she said. “We’re excited but we have to be cautious on how it’s going to impact us, so we want this environmental study done.” Continue Reading →

Movers, shakers, even rock-breakers meet for mining conference in St. John’s – by Stephanie Kinsella (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – November 5, 2017)

Old meets new at the Mineral Resources Review in St. John’s — billed as the largest event of its kind in Atlantic Canada, with more than 700 delegates and exhibitors.

The four-day conference, which started Thursday, has courses, technical sessions and a trade show — and it’s a chance for participants to network and show their strengths.

CBC caught up with a couple of them: prospectors who are keeping it in the family, and the creator of a new app for rock enthusiasts or the curious types. Prospecting might seem like a trade of the past, but it’s still very much alive. Just ask Mark Stockley who, with his brother Stephen and cousin Troy, “go out in the woods, cracking open rocks” in Gambo. Continue Reading →

Indigenous workers at Voisey’s Bay anxious about Vale review of nickel operations (Canadian Press – August 23, 2017)

MONTREAL — Global mining giant Vale’s decision to review its global operations in light of depressed nickel prices is causing anxiety among Indigenous workers at its Voisey’s Bay mine in Labrador.

As part of its 60-day audit, the Brazilian miner (NYSE:VALE) has put on hold a decision about an underground expansion project at the Atlantic mine that would create more than 400 jobs and extend its life for 15 years.

“These are some of the higher paying jobs you find in our communities,” said Darryl Shiwak, Lands and Natural Resources Minister for the Inuit people of Nunatsiavut. “So with the high unemployment rate and the amount of seasonal work, these jobs are extremely important.” Continue Reading →

Vale reviewing Voisey’s Bay – by Staff (Sudbury Star – August 21, 2017)

Another of Vale Canada’s nickel operations in Canada is under review. CBC News is reporting that Vale’s plans to extend the life of the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in northern Labrador by moving operations underground are on hold.

Vale said a depressed market has led to a review of all projects, including Voisey’s Bay underground. “The nickel price has been depressed for some time now with no immediate or short-term relief in sight,” wrote Vale spokesperson Cory McPhee in an email to CBC News.

“During this period we are not approving any new project contracts.” Last month, Vale said it would seek out fresh copper mining options and stop expanding nickel production capacity after its second-quarter net income plunged on forex losses, rising costs and weaker iron ore prices. Continue Reading →

‘Proof is in the pudding’ and the iron ore is there, says Tacora on Wabush Mines – by Stephanie Tobin (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – July 20, 2017)

First employees getting hired, company will be in Lab West to prep for business by next summer

The company that purchased the Scully Mine in Wabush says it has a five-year deal with the world’s largest iron ore trader and hopes to have the operation back up and running by this time next year.

Tacora Resources is currently going through the Companies’ Creditors Agreement Act (CCAA) purchase process for the site, since the mine has been locked in creditor protection since being shuttered by Cliffs Natural Resources in 2014.

Matt Lehtinen, Tacora CEO and president, says his company has been looking at Wabush Mines since January 2016 and working hard these past eight months to buy and reopen the operation. “I really thought that we had found a diamond in the rough,” he said. “We saw a lot of potential.” Continue Reading →

Couillard wants Quebec and Newfoundland to cooperate on mining, roads – by Presse Canadienne (Montreal Gazette – July 19, 2017)

EDMONTON — The premiers of Quebec and Newfoundland say their governments will work to increase mining in the Labrador trough and expand Route 138 in the Côte-Nord region.

Discussions between both governments began Wednesday in Edmonton during a meeting of Canada’s premiers and could end in a formal agreement by year’s end, according to Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

The two provinces share a border, near Blanc Sablon, and their relationship hasn’t always been an easy one. For years the Newfoundland government has contested the Churchill Falls agreement, which largely benefits Hydro-Québec. Continue Reading →

Alderon offers $1 million for part of Wabush Mines to use as tailings disposal for Kami – by Andrew Topf ( – April 9, 2017)

Part of the Wabush Mines complex in western Labrador may be running once again, albeit in a less glorified form that when it was Canada’s third largest iron ore mine.

Last week Alderon Iron Ore Corp., (TSX:IRON) a Vancouver-based iron ore junior, said it made a binding offer to purchase assets related to the Scully Mine in Wabush, for the purpose of disposing tailings produced from its flagship Kami project, as described in a preliminary economic assessment (PEA).

Part of Wabush Mines, Scully Mine began operating in 1965, with iron concentrate railed to a pelletizing facility in Pointe Noire, Quebec, for shipment to Europe and throughout North America. Before it closed in 2014, a victim of low iron ore prices, Wabush Mines was Canada’s third largest iron ore operation, with an annual capacity of 6 million tonnes. The site since then has been tied up in regulatory proceedings. Continue Reading →

$2M federal loan helps secure future of Baie Verte copper mine – by Curtis Rumbolt (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – November 7, 2016)

Rambler Metals and Mining says a $2-million loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency announced last week will help secure the long-term future of its copper mine on the Baie Verte Peninsula.

Rambler chief executive officer Norman Williams said the repayable loan is the last piece in a financial package that will extend the life of the mine to more than 20 years and eventually secure more than 200 direct jobs from the gold and copper mine’s operations. “It’s about setting up those 200 jobs for the long-term prosperity up on the peninsula,” CEO Norman Williams told the Central Morning Show Monday.

“[It’s] about 20 years of mining. When you have employment to that level, and that magnitude, hopefully we’re going to see lots of people come and go and retire and stay on the Baie Verte Peninsula.” Continue Reading →

IOC in Labrador on backburner with Rio Tinto shakeup, but not dead: analyst (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – June 27, 2016)

A shakeup with the leadership of the company that owns the iron ore mining operation in western Labrador could mean a slowdown, but one analyst says it’s unlikely the Iron Ore Company of Canada will shut down.

Rio Tinto last week appointed Jean-Sébastien Jacques to take over the company as chief executive. The mining giant has also reorganized its operations, with iron ore operations taking a back seat to copper.

With an oversupply of iron ore expected for the next 10 years, Rio Tinto’s focus will be on its other commodities and resources, like copper and iron ore, in Western Australia. Continue Reading →

New St. Lawrence fluorspar mine means high hopes for local job seekers (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – April 25, 2016)

Much excitement following employment information session, says deputy mayor

The deputy mayor of St. Lawrence, on Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula, says there’s much optimism in his town now that preparation work for a new fluorspar mine is underway.

Jack Walsh told the St. John’s Morning Show that contractor Pennecon is now clearing land at the site where the open pit mine will be developed. “We’re very enthusiastic about our future here,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest from all over the peninsula.”

Once it’s up and running, the operation will mine for fluorspar — or fluorite, a mineral used for a wide range of industrial and commercial materials, including for camera and telescope lenses. Walsh said Canada Fluorspar Inc. has ordered equipment for the actual construction of the mill, and work on that site will start in June. Pennecon expects to be done clearing the land in the next 10 days. Continue Reading →

How the madness of Muskrat Falls might finally be fixed – by Tom Adams (Financial Post – April 22, 2016)

Mired in controversy, cost overruns, construction delays, politicized decision-making, existential litigation and secrecy, the Lower Churchill Muskrat Falls hydroelectric megaproject in Labrador has just generated the first good news in its history.

The energy-development arm of Newfoundland and Labrador’s government, Nalcor Energy, has this week seen a changing of the guard. Out are Nalcor’s board and CEO. Together, they had an intimate association with the former provincial Progressive Conservative government, which had initiated and shielded the Muskrat Falls project from prying eyes.

In, as of Thursday, is a new CEO, Stan Marshall, recently retired as the head of the private utility powerhouse Fortis Inc. Under Marshall, Fortis rose from its roots as a medium-sized domestic power distributor based in St. John’s to become an extremely successful international multi-energy utility company. Continue Reading →

Chance of new life as American buyer eyes Wabush Mines – by Glenn Payette (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – April 13, 2016)

300 to 400 jobs if mine gets back in production

A United States company is looking to buy Wabush Mines with a view to having it re-opened within a year. Virginia-based ERP Compliant Fuels has submitted a bid to Cliffs Natural Resources which owns the mine but closed it in 2014.

“We are very interested and trying to close the transaction this spring,” said ERP co-founder Tom Clarke. Clarke said his company hopes to take full advantage of what the mine has to offer.

“The mine can produce up to six million metric tonnes, and employment would probably be somewhere between 300 and 400 people once we get back to the six million tonne production level.” Continue Reading →

[Newfoundland and Labrador] A BOOM GOES BUST – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – March 19, 2016)

After riding the oil boom for more than a decade, Newfoundland and Labrador has fallen on hard times. Multibillion-dollar projects have dried up, iron ore mines have shuttered and the fallout of crude’s price plunge has pushed the deficit to a record $2-billion. How the province is grappling with a return to ‘have-not’ status

ST. JOHN’S – Rick Farrell was among hundreds who lost their jobs in December when the shipyard where they worked finished making a gigantic module for Newfoundland and Labrador’s fourth offshore oil field – Hebron.

Unlike previous years when unemployed tradespeople could easily find work in Alberta, that was no longer an option with oil prices plunging.

The layoffs hit Mr. Farrell’s hometown of Marystown hard and rippled across Newfoundland’s Burin peninsula, hurting the local businesses and small communities that dot the province’s southern coast. Continue Reading →