Archive | Canadian Regional Media and Web Publications

Maryjane and mining don’t mix despite the new relaxed law – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – October 17, 2018)

Mining companies have no tolerance for marijuana usage or any other drug that would impaired the ability of their employees to work safely.

No matter what the federal government has to say about the relaxed law regarding the use of recreational marijuana that comes into effect on Wednesday October 17, it won’t change the drug use policies set down by any of the major mining operations in the Timmins area.

Given that the people employed in the local mines and milling complexes often work with heavy equipment, expensive equipment and in some hostile environments, the buzzword is that any employee showing up for work must be unimpaired.

Pierre Noël, the Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator at Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines (PGM) said safety is the key concern. “Being fit for work. That is the still the golden rule at PGM,” he said. Continue Reading →

Feds give nod to expansion plan for western Nunavut gold mine – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – October 15, 2018)

But “high levels of Inuit employment” sought at TMAC Resources’ Madrid-Boston project

CAMBRIDGE BAY—The planned expansion for TMAC Resources Inc.‘s gold mine near Cambridge Bay has cleared one of its final hurdles.

On Friday, Caroline Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, and Dominic LeBlanc, minister of intergovernmental and northern affairs and internal trade, issued a letter saying they accepted the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s recommendation to issue a project certificate for the company’s proposed Madrid-Boston project.

Last June, the review board spelled out 39 recommendations for the project. In their letter, dated Oct. 10, the ministers accepted all the terms and conditions recommended by the review board. But they agreed with a call from the Kitikmeot Inuit Association to tweak one recommendation on Inuit employment, so TMAC will now be obliged, through various committees, to report and examine “barriers and opportunities to achieving the high levels of Inuit employment.” Continue Reading →

Depending on the enemy: The U.S. calls for new supply strategies to meet economic and defence risks – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – October 10, 2018)

The goal might be summed up by a new slogan: Make America Self-Reliant Again. Or, with a tad less concision: Let’s Stop Relying on an Economic Rival that’s a Potential Military Threat for the Stuff We Need to Compete with an Economic Rival that’s a Potential Military Threat.

A newly released study from the U.S. Secretary of Defense illustrates that absurd dilemma. The dependency runs the gamut from sourcing raw materials to refining them, manufacturing key components, developing R&D, training workers, even setting prices. As the report says, “The central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers.

It is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model—gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.” Continue Reading →

Electric vehicles could increase demand for Thompson, Manitoba nickel, says North Atlantic mining director – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – October 11, 2018)

Increasing demand for battery-powered vehicles could be the key to increased demand and prices for nickel, Vale’s director of North Atlantic mining operations told Thompson Chamber of Commerce members Oct. 3 while he was in town for Manitoba Operations’ annual open house.

But achieving price stability is a key to convincing the company’s board to invest in further developing Thompson’s mines to take advantage of that growing market, said Alistair Ross.

“We believe that society is on a path that they will not deflect from at least in the next 10 to 20 years and that is we’re not going to continue with internal combustion engines,” Ross said. “The answer to no more ICE – internal combustion engines – is battery electric.” Continue Reading →

Timmins metals explorer signs MOU with First Nation: Pancontinental Resources partners with Flying Post First Nation – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 12, 2018)

A junior miner searching for battery-grade metals in the Timmins area has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a nearby First Nation community. Pancontinental Resources (Pancon) inked the cooperation agreement with Flying Post First Nation, northwest of Timmins, which came into effect Oct.1.

The Toronto-based exploration outfit has three early stage nickel-cobalt-copper projects in the area. The MOU indicates that the company respects Aboriginal and treaty rights when engaged in exploration activities, and lays out a framework for future engagement.

It sets down a consultation and accommodation process with the First Nation, that, as the projects advance, can evolve into negotiations for an impact benefit agreement (IBM) should any of the three projects reach the feasibility stage. Continue Reading →

Cobalt refinery edges closer to restart: First Cobalt puts out the mill feed call to North American, international suppliers – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 11, 2018)

Securing outside feedstock is the key to a faster restart of a cobalt refinery in northeastern Ontario. First Cobalt announced Oct. 10 that it’s in discussions with “several parties” to obtain an outside supply of feedstock that could help finance the restart of its mill near the town of Cobalt.

The Toronto junior miner is evaluating all aspects of how soon to reopen the shuttered operation it purchased in 2017, and position it as a toll milling facility. How soon it reopens depends on the outcome of those talks with suppliers.

The company acquired the 22-year-old facility when it began assembling its sizeable land holdings of more than 11,700 hectares in the Cobalt camp, which includes 50 former silver mines containing cobalt material. Continue Reading →

A growing challenge for Sudbury, Northern Ontario – by Len Gillis (Sudbury Star – October 11, 2018)

New report reveals that as young people leave, Baby Boomers (born 1945 to 1965) are staying put and Northern Ontario is becoming ‘disproportionately older’

It’s not like it was 100 years ago. People these days, especially younger people, are leaving the North in droves to find work and better education.

That one of the key findings in a new report released this week by the Northern Policy Institute (NPI); the first of four reports authored by research analyst Christina Zefi.

The report also revealed that as young people leave, Baby Boomers (born 1945 to 1965) are staying put and Northern Ontario is becoming “disproportionately older.” Continue Reading →

Vale touts collective future of mining – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – October 5, 2018)

Company executive gives update on progress of technology upgrades focusing on Sudbury operation

The hive mentality is coming to mining, with the intention of making the industry more efficient, safer and ultimately sustainable. Vale Canada’s progress in that area was the subject of the season opening meeting of the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Institute of Mining on Sept. 20.

Samantha Espley, Vale’s general manager of mines and mills, technical services department in Sudbury, gave the featured presentation on the company’s road map for its operations.

The physical and technological changes are part of a grander plan to change the behaviour of how different sections work in the mines, bringing them together to work as one large hub, all sharing data to make operational decisions in real time. Continue Reading →

Tahoe mine rescue team gets nod for fastest time at int’l competition – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – October 5, 2018)

The Tahoe Resources mine rescue team from Timmins is back home after a gruelling week spent at the biennial International Mine Rescue Competition held in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The competition ran Sept. 22 to 28.

Team Tahoe didn’t take home the winning hardware but Timmins Mine Rescue Officer Danny Taillefer said Tahoe and Ontario Mine Rescue performed well despite the stiff competition.

One of the seven Russian teams participating in the event, Emercom, took the overall top honours. A feather in the cap for Team Tahoe was a certificate for being the team with the fastest time for correctly performing various mock disaster scenarios. Continue Reading →

Ex-Ring of Fire consultation czar to oversee Trans Mountain Project – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 3, 2018)

Ontario’s former chief negotiator in the Ring of Fire consultation process has landed a new –but similar – position as Ottawa’s point person on the stalled Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

Retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci has been chosen as the federal representative to oversee consultation with the First Nation and Metis communities impacted by the project.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi announced the appointment of Iacobucci on Oct. 3 as Ottawa said it will not be appealing the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision from last August. Instead, the government will re-do the consultation process with a third round of talks with the 117 Indigenous groups along the pipeline’s path. Continue Reading →

Manitoba government response incoming on mining protocols – by Eric Westhaver (Flin Flon Reminder – October 2, 2018)

New rules could soon be coming for Manitoba mining companies hoping to work with First Nations groups.

A formal response from the provincial government regarding the Manitoba-First Nations Mineral Development Protocol is due to come later this month, according to previous provincial statements.

In June, the provincial government and the Ministry of Growth, Enterprise and Trade announced a report from the project’s co-chairs – Ron Evans, former chief of Norway House Cree Nation, and Jim Downey, former deputy premier and MLA – that detailed the set of protocols. “A formal response is currently being finalized,” said a provincial spokesperson. Continue Reading →

Innovators talk Sudbury’s technology future – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – October 2, 2018)

Gribbons had a more pragmatic approach. He explained the city should
be working with its strength in mining. Sudbury is known worldwide as
a hard rock mining centre with decades of experience in the basin.
“We have mining intelligence that you don’t see anywhere else in the
world,” he said. “So when you look to playing with your strengths,
you try find an unfair advantage. We have one in mining technology.”

Growing Sudbury’s technology sector means entrepreneurs must create marketable products and investors must be there to support their efforts. A Sept. 20 forum, hosted by Sudbury CodeOp, featured three different perspectives on doing business in Sudbury as an entrepreneur in the region’s technology sector.

A panel discussion featured Peter Dal Bianco, founder of Bianco’s Group of Companies; Michael Gribbons, vice-president of sales and marketing for Maestro Digital Mine and founder of Synergy Controls Corporation; and Kyle McCall, manager of the NORCAT Innovation Mill. Continue Reading →

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

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 →

How new approaches to coal mining revived a B.C. district – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – September 21, 2018)

Expertise, acumen and timing had a lot to do with it, but September 21 marks the second anniversary of a success story that strongly demonstrates mining’s intangible benefits. Two years ago Conuma Coal Resources re-opened its newly acquired Brule mine in northeastern British Columbia, then re-started two more open pits in the same region. While the advantages of resource industries often extend well beyond jobs and the economy, this is a company that actively pursues a mission in addition to profits.

But profitable Conuma is. It’s also the Peace River coal field’s only miner, following a 2014 downturn that closed the last of the district’s metallurgical fuel operations run by Walter Energy, Anglo American and Teck Resources.

After Walter entered bankruptcy proceedings the following year, something like 80 firms looked over the company’s Peace assets, with a proposal coming from a liquidator that would have dismantled the projects, says Conuma president Mark Bartkoski. He and a highly experienced group put together their privately-held company in summer 2016. Continue Reading →

Vale issues update on momentous year in Thompson mining history – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – September 27, 2018)

Vale Manitoba Operations’ 2017-18 update entitled “A New Era” comes at a time when the mining company has ceased smelting and refining operations in Thompson after nearly 60 years of integrated nickel production.

The first Bessemer nickel matte was produced in the smelter on Sept. 10, 1960 and the first official production of nickel cathodes from the refinery occurred on March 25, 1961. The last anodes were poured in the smelter on July 8 of this year and the last nickel cathode was pulled on July 16. By that time, the new concentrate load-out facility was already complete, with the first shipment of concentrate having been loaded onto a truck bound for Sudbury June 24.

Over their lifetimes, the smelter and refinery produced nearly than 2.5 million tonnes of electro-nickel. “The decision in 2010 to decommission the smelter and refinery gave plenty of time for our people, the company and
the City of Thompson to prepare,” said a message from North Atlantic and Asia refineries director Ricus Grimbeek in the report. Continue Reading →