Glencore in talks to buy Xstrata in blockbuster deal – by Clara Ferreira-Marques and Victoria Howley, Reuters (Sudbury Star – February 3, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

LONDON — Commodities trader Glencore is in talks to buy mining group Xstrata in an all-share transaction that could create a combined group worth more than 50 billion pounds (US$79 billion), shaking up the industry with its biggest deal to date.

Glencore, the world’s largest diversified commodities trader, already owns 34% of Xstrata and a tie-up between the two — a deal which would trump Rio Tinto’s $38 billion acquisition of Alcan in 2007 — has long been expected, as Glencore aims to add more mines to its trading clout.

“We’ve always had the belief these two companies should be together,” Glencore Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg told a financial conference in Moscow. Xstrata owns Xstrata Nickel, which in Sudbury employs about 1,000 people who work at Nickel Rim South mine, Fraser Mine, a mill and a smelter.

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Honourable Joe Oliver: Minister of Natural Resources Canada – Speech at the Canada Mining Innovation Council Signature Event 2012 (January 31, 2012 – Toronto, Canada)

The Canada Mining Innovation Council Signature Event 2012″ brings together industry, academic and government decision-makers to discuss the need for innovation in mining in Canada. 

“…so I’d like to take a moment to talk about the Ring of Fire, a
relatively new mining region in the James Bay lowlands….For Ontario, this area is of strategic importance since it could open up the entire region to greater prosperity.  It has significant potential to create wealth, and provide taxes and royalties for government.”  (Joe Oliver, Minister Natural Resources Canada)

The Hon. Joe Oliver: 

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.  Thank you also for all your good work and your leadership of this important council. 

Et sincère remerciement au Conseil canadien d’innovation minière pour l’occasion de prendre part à la discussion de ce matin. 

Thank you very much to the Canadian Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) for the opportunity to be part of the discussion this morning.  It’s an honour to be here on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  As Canada’s Minister responsible for mining, I take pride in being part of this network of industry, government and academic leaders who are working together to strengthen Canada’s role as a global leader in mining innovation. 

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New agreement strengthens Ontario mining industry-First Nations relations

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

A Memorandum of Understanding between Ontario Mining Association member Quadra FNX and the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation strengthens relationships among mining companies and First Nations in the province.  The MOU is designed to serve as a foundation for a working relationship between both parties concerning Quadra FNX’s advanced exploration program on the Victoria Project in Sudbury.

Quadra FNX and the Sagamok First Nation will work towards a full Impact Benefits Agreement.  The company is proceeding with efforts to gain environmental permitting for the project.  The MOU was signed in Sudbury by Chief Paul Eshkakogan of the Sagamok First Nation and Michael Winship, Chief Operating Officer of Quadra FNX.

“This MOU will facilitate open and timely dialogue between Quadra FNX and our First Nation as it relates to the company’s activities to develop the Victoria Advanced Exploration project,” said Chief Eshkakogan.  “We look forward to negotiating an IBA that will provide benefits for our members and ensure the environment and our traditional territories are protected.”

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NEWS REALEASE: Lonmin Plc Makes Private Placement in Wallbridge Mining

Toronto, Ontario – January 17, 2012 – Wallbridge Mining Company Limited (TSX:WM) today announced that it had entered into an agreement (which is subject to approval of the TSX) with the world’s third largest platinum producer Lonmin Plc (“Lonmin”) whereby Lonmin will purchase 13,157,895 units (“Units”) of Wallbridge at a price of C$0.19 (Canadian) per Unit which was calculated based on the 90 day volume-weighted average price to December 13, 2011, being the date the parties agreed upon the pricing for the transaction.

“This recent investment shows Lonmin’s continued confidence and support for our exploration work in Sudbury. The Sudbury Basin is the most attractive target area in the world for the discovery of high grade copper, nickel and platinum deposits” stated Alar Soever, CEO of Wallbridge.

“The long term relationship with Lonmin since January 2002 demonstrates that Lonmin continues to be not only a great Joint Venture partner, but also a supportive shareholder of Wallbridge in our exploration work in Sudbury” said Marz Kord, President of Wallbridge.

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Quadra boosts ore estimate at Victoria mine – by Star Staff (Sudbury Star – January 17, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Quadra FNX Mining announced Monday it has increased the resource estimate of its Victoria project in Sudbury by 16%.

The results from the company’s 2011 drill program at Victoria led Quadra FNX to boost resource tonnage to 14.5 million tonnes. When operating, the mine will produce nickel, copper and precious metals.

In addition, geophysical surveys show possible extensions of Victoria. Diamond drilling in 2012 will test these areas, Quadra FNX said in a release.

Even before the latest drill results became known, Quadra FNX had said the Victoria deposit was an exciting find. Its goal is to begin production in 2017, creating hundreds of new jobs.

The Vancouver, B.C.-based company also said that during 2011, it produced 220 million pounds of copper, 103,000 ounces of precious metals and 10 million pounds of nickel.

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NEWS RELEASE: Wallbridge Mining Highlights Plans for 2012

January 05, 2012


  • Wallbridge Mining is to advance the Broken Hammer copper-PGE project through feasibility with permitting and a production decision expected in 2012.
  • Wallbridge Mining plans 15,000 metres exploration drilling in Sudbury with a focus on Implats, Lonmin and Xstrata joint ventures.
  • Continued drilling at Parkin, following up high grade nickel-copper-PGE results at Milnet.

Toronto, Ontario — January 5, 2012 – Wallbridge Mining Company Limited (TSX: WM, FWB: WC7) (“Wallbridge”) today provided a business update highlighting its direction for 2012. Wallbridge plans include advancing its Broken Hammer copper-platinum group element (“PGE”) project through feasibility and completing over 15,000 metres of exploration diamond drilling on its Sudbury area projects.

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Nickel on a rollercoaster – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – January 3, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The European economic malaise and competition from upstart nickel pig iron producers will likely combine to keep the price of nickel fluctuating in 2012, says a metals analyst.

Price volatility is bound to continue next year, says Montreal-based Terry Ortslan of TSO & Associates. From a high of $16.91 a pound in 2007 on the London Metals Exchange to a low of $6.65 a pound in 2009, nickel averaged about $12.25 a pound in 2011, said Ortslan.

“Recently, the prices are struggling at $8 a pound,” Orstlan said last week, after returning from a business trip to China, where nickel continues to be in high demand.

Ortslan says $7 a pound would be a “low target” for 2012, although he would not rule out that possibility because of Europe’s economic woes and China’s ongoing production from non-traditional sources.

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Vale hatches a plan [worker shortages] – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – January 3, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Vale Ltd. is devising strategies to deal with one of its greatest challenges — the looming shortage of skilled tradespeople, and production and maintenance workers for its Canadian operations.

The Brazil-based miner has launched a country-wide advertising campaign to convince Canadians they can live the good life in Sudbury, rather than having to fly in and out of mining or oil sands operations.

Vale expects to hire at least 300 full-time people in 2012, mostly engineers and skilled tradespeople. But it will be looking for miners as well. A recent call for 60 production and maintenance workers netted 800 resumes, said Vale spokeswoman Angie Robson.

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Sherritt CEO [Ian Delaney] reflects on 40 years in the capitalism game – by Jennifer Wells (Toronto Star – January 1, 2012)

The Toronto Star, has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

“You do understand it’s a lottery,” says the fired executive. “You know the whole damn thing’s a lottery.” The fired executive is talking about life, that damn thing, that single ticket you’re given. Punched once, you’re done. Adios.

So the executive, who enjoyed the benefits that come along with a multimillion-dollar salary and a chief executive officer’s title, up and fired himself four weeks ago, an act that has put him in the mood to reflect on the past 40 years playing the capitalism game.

It’s a good year for reflection.

The year the eurozone went to hell in a handbasket. The year of the Occupy movement. The year of economic foreboding. There’s 1 per cent. There’s 99 per cent. There’s one-tenth of 1 per cent. Like this guy. So.

Ian Delaney often reaches for small words and sprinkles them over the boardroom table as if they were full sentences.

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Russia re-embraces a cold war — in the North – by Paul Watson (Toronto Star – December 17, 2011)

The Toronto Star, has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

MURMANSK, Russia— In the noonday twilight, as dockworkers squint through the gloom to move mountainous heaps of coal bound for Europe, the hum of Arctic power is unmistakable.

The stevedores labour in the damp cold, 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, part of the vanguard leading Russia’s latest push to build its future on the rich resources of the Far North.

Grab buckets with massive steel jaws, dangling from yellow cranes several storeys high, chomp at mounds of coal, iron ore pellets and other bulk cargo steadily replenished by a stream of trains from the south. And this is a slow winter’s day.

Russians stopped wondering about whether to develop the Arctic generations ago. The only question now is, how fast can progress march?

The Kremlin has declared the Arctic critical to the country’s 21st-century economy and national security. And it is risking billions on a strategy to reverse years of neglect and decline in its Far North.

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Why Ian Delaney, the Smiling Barracuda of Bay Street, is moving on – by Jacquie Mcnish (Globe and Mail – December 17, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

TORONTO— Weeks away from ending a 21-year run at the helm of Sherritt International Corp., Ian Delaney has lost none of the bluster that defined his tumultuous reign at the mining conglomerate.

“I’m not retiring; I’m firing myself,” he says, flashing the toothy grin that years ago earned him the nickname, the Smiling Barracuda of Bay Street.

In January, Mr. Delaney, 68, will hand the reins to successor David Pathe, saying it’s time. “One of the disadvantages about getting old is you get too thoughtful. We need younger people who have higher energy levels,” Mr. Delaney says.

Still, talking to the chief executive officer over a simple lunch of baked chicken and steamed vegetables at Sheritt’s spartan offices in Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood, the Bay Street legend sounds more restless than tired. “The intensity is gone,” he says, poking at a steamed vegetable. “I can no longer flip the company on its ear every 18 months with a deal.”

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NFB Film: The Hole Story – by Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie


The following is from the National Film Board of Canada Press Kit


“Don’t know much about mines? Not many people do. Mines don’t talk. Especially about their history.” Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie explore this history in their latest documentary, The Hole Story. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada, the film continues in the same provocative vein as their earlier Forest Alert.

The history of mining in Canada is the story of astronomical profits made with utter disregard for the environment and human health. It’s also a corrupt and sometimes sinister story. For example, during the First World War, nickel from Sudbury was sold to the German army to make the bullets that ended up killing soldiers from Sudbury in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. In Cobalt, a town in Ontario that once had no garbage collection, people were dying of typhoid.

Meanwhile, the first Canadian mining magnates were growing filthy rich selling silver to England from the 40 mines surrounding the town.

Timmins has its own shameful mining story. In the woods,50 kilometres west of the railroad, prospectors quickly staked their claims before heading to the government office to register their hectares and take ownership of the subsoil.

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Northern mining communities prosper as south struggles – by Chip Martin/QMI Agency (December 12, 2011)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Mining analyst Sudol said the high-tech nature of mining
in 2011 is not well understood. “We all talk about high
tech in Kitchener-Waterloo and Silicon Valley in California
and we are sort of ignoring an extraordinarily interesting
concentration of mining technology, research and education
in Sudbury.”

The same thing killing jobs in southwestern Ontario is creating them by the thousands in Northern Ontario.

The industrialization and urbanization of China, Brazil and India is causing the flight of well-paid industrial jobs to those emerging economies. The fallout is unemployment in Ontario’s industrial sector and unemployment rates soaring to 9.8% in London and 10.8% in Windsor.

But the loss for the south is a gain for the north.

Unemployment is low in places such as Kirkland Lake and Sudbury. Mines and mine-related businesses are clamouring for workers.

“The industrialization and urbanization of China, India and Brazil and many other developing countries will be ongoing for many generations to come,” says respected mining consultant and analyst Stan Sudol.

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Quadra Takeover Up for Grabs With Escalating Price Driving Deal – by Tara Lachapelle and Liezel Hill – ( – December 8, 2011)

Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. is poised to secure the largest takeover price increase in North America as the cheapest copper bid on record leaves room for Vale SA (VALE3) or Antofagasta (ANTO) Plc to make a competing offer.

Poland’s KGHM Polska Miedz SA agreed this week to buy Quadra for C$2.28 billion ($2.26 billion) including net cash, valuing the Canadian miner at 5.2 times net income, the lowest for a copper takeover of similar size, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price is also a 36 percent discount to net asset value, based on analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. After closing 5.4 percent above the bid yesterday, Quadra is more likely to draw a higher offer than any other deal greater than $500 million in North America, the data show.

While the Vancouver-based company agreed not to solicit rival proposals to KGHM’s C$15 a share in cash, Quadra may still lure offers from Vale (VALE5) or Antofagasta with its copper deposit in Chile and mines in the U.S. and Canada, according to Stifel Nicolaus & Co. With analysts expecting Quadra to reach C$18.28 in the next 12 months as an independent company, a bidding war may push the price tag to as much as C$28.25, 88 percent higher than the current agreement, said Salman Partners Inc.

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Investors question ‘cheap’ takeover offer for Quadra FNX – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – December 7, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. has agreed to a $3-billion takeover by Polish copper producer KGHM Polska Miedz SA, triggering criticism the company is accepting a low-ball offer due to an overly cautious view of the metal’s prospects.

The $15-a-share, all-cash bid offers a 40-per-cent premium to Quadra’s recent stock price. But some investors believe it’s a stingy offer that undervalues the company’s assets, which include the promising Sierra Gorda copper project in Chile and operations in Sudbury, Ont.

“Unless the operations are running much weaker than expected, we do not see why one of the most bullish copper companies is selling out so cheap,” said Cormark Securities analyst Cliff Hale-Sanders. .”

Toronto-based hedge fund West Face Capital Inc., which said Tuesday that it owns a 6-per-cent stake in Quadra, called the bid opportunistic. “Given the fact that the shares were trading at $16 a few months ago, it is puzzling that the board did not attempt to contact any other purchasers or run a process,” said chief executive officer Greg Boland.

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