Archive | Canadian Regional Media and Web Publications

National business leader blasts ferrochrome approval process – by David Helwig (Northern Ontario Business/Soo – October 10, 2019)

Saultites are suffering because of the tangled web of overlapping government approvals needed for Noront’s proposed ferrochrome smelter, a veteran federal politician and business leader told members of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 8.

“I want to be clear: civic engagement is important and communities must have a voice in project development,” said Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

During a 21-year political career, Beatty served as Conservative minister of national revenue, solicitor general, minister responsible for Canada Post, minister of communications, minister of national defence, minister of state for the Treasury Board, minister of national health and welfare, and secretary of state for external affairs. Continue Reading →

Vale participates in mental-health campaign – by Staff (Sudbury Star – October 9, 2019)

Vale is participating in a campaign to reduce stigmas around mental health. The Elephant in the Room initiative of Mood Disorders Society of Canada aims to break down barriers and provide support for those struggling with mental-health concerns.

Vale is a national sponsor of the organization and “continues to demonstrate commitment to raising awareness and addressing the stigma associated with mental illness within our communities and workplaces,” according to a release from Mood Disorders Society of Canada.

Vale’s Sudbury Operations will be inviting all employees who have received mental-health first aid training to support the launch of the campaign by bringing the Elephant in the Room – literally and figuratively — into the workplace in the form of a blue elephant. Continue Reading →

[Webequie FN] First Nation takes the lead on the supply road to the Ring of Fire – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 9, 2019)

A First Nation community is breaking new ground is leading the environmental assessment and consultation process on a proposed short supply road to the Ring of Fire.

Webequie First Nation, the closest fly-in community to the James Bay mineral belt, is hosting a series of public information sessions in Thunder Bay this week to share information with the public about the road project and to gather feedback.

It’s part of the early stages of a larger environmental assessment (EA) process that’s underway for a planned 107-kilometre all-season road between the Webequie Airport and the area around McFaulds Lake, better known as the Ring of Fire, 535 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. Continue Reading →

New plan to remove arsenic from Long Lake in Sudbury unveiled – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – October 9, 2019)

It took two years to develop approach to clean up Long Lake

After a two-year delay, a new plan has been put forward for arsenic cleanup at Long Lake that is expected to have less impact on area residents.

“Staff (members) have been working very hard behind the scenes to address the concerns that were raised two years ago,” said Brian McMahon, director of mine rehabilitation with the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

“We didn’t think ourselves that it would take so long to get to this stage, but I think the result is we’re going to have a much better approach for cleanup at Long Lake.” Continue Reading →

Column: Decide now on ferrochrome plant – by Tom Mills (Sudbury Star – October 5, 2019)

In this column, I’m not going to get into specifics about the possible health and environmental impacts of Sault Ste. Marie’s planned Noront Resources ferrochrome plant.

That makes me a lot like city council. They won’t discuss those things right now either. Now is not the time, argues Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano. Let the “process” unfold.

Eventually, there will be an environmental assessment, which apparently could take about five years, and public consultation. Provenzano said he has made it clear to Noront that, “There’s no way I’m signing up for something that will hurt anyone in our community.” Continue Reading →

New manager of Centre for Smart Mining at Sudbury’s Cambrian College wants to take applied research to the next level – by Colleen Romaniuk (Northern Ontario Business – October 2, 2019)

The mining industry is notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. Steve Gravel, the new manager of the Centre for Smart Mining (CSM) at Cambrian College in Sudbury, said that this happens for a number of reasons.

“There’s a baked-in risk inherent in the commodities market,” he said. “The economics are not really in favor of trialing new technologies in a very nimble way because of the capital intensive nature of doing it.” That’s why Gravel hopes that the centre will help to demystify new technologies for mining companies and their employees.

As part of the college’s applied research department, the CSM is tied into a larger national network of 30 Technology Access Centres (TAC) across Canada, which help companies access expertise, equipment, funding and provide the facilities to solve innovation challenges. Continue Reading →

Fatal mine accident avoidable, Sudbury inquest hears – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – October 4, 2019)

Development work was carried out on the 6,500-foot level of First Nickel Inc.’s Lockerby Mine in early 2013, wrapping up in March of that year.

That work included blasting out a drift – the 65-2-1-West area – that did not proceed as planned. The entranceway was off-line, so corrective blasting was done to try and straighten it out, and wire mesh, split sets (long metal tubes that help to reinforce a ceiling) and shotcrete (sprayed-on cement) were used to strengthen the ceiling and walls in preparation for production drilling and blasting.

The wider-than-expected entrance created a structural integrity issue, as the arch that was in place to help distribute the stress from the backfilled-area one level above was not large and strong enough. Continue Reading →

OPINION: The Ring of Fire bulldozer is here. Will it work? – by Charles Cirtwill (Northern Ontario Business – October 2, 2019)

It is possible, after all, to see the Ring of Fire as the only option for a new future for many communities.

During the provincial election, then candidate (now Premier) Doug Ford famously promised to come to the Ring of Fire and drive a bulldozer if that was what was needed to get the development moving. With the abandonment of the Framework Agreement and the return to individual nation-to-nation arrangements, he has done just that.

It is clear that the province has determined, after years of effort by at least three different governments, that the way forward is in working with willing partners. In this way, key pieces of infrastructure can be put in place while negotiations continue in other parts of the region. In the end, the hope would be that the pieces fit together into a cohesive whole.

It is equally clear that at least some of the First Nations in the region share this view. This may be because of their relative need for new investment. It is possible, after all, to see the Ring of Fire as the only option for a new future for many communities. Continue Reading →

Sudbury inquest told: ‘I heard a big bump. It sounded like something had happened’ – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – October 1, 2019)

Normand Bisaillon had just started working on his dream home when he and his partner were killed in an accident five years ago at the now-shuttered Lockerby Mine, his widow told an inquest as it opened in Sudbury on Monday.

“This is a last chance to get it right,” Romeena Bisaillon told the five-member coroner’s jury at the end of her short address. “Please: let’s not waste it.” The inquest is looking at how Normand Bisaillon, 49, and Marc Methe, 34, were killed on May 6, 2014, and recommendations on how to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Greg Allaire, representing the Methe family, said Marc was an intelligent man who aimed for bigger things in his life and took on the drilling job with Taurus Drilling as a stepping-stone in his career. Continue Reading →

[Noront/Sault Ste. Marie] Ferrochrome facility must first pass rigorous tests: City – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – September 27, 2019)

Group of Sault MDs objects to development

The City of Sault Ste. Marie will not provide support for a ferrochrome plant in the city if due diligence shows that it will be harmful to its residents.

But any environmental assessment will take about five years to complete, along with a complete community engagement process that will outline processes to residents and answer their questions, says Mayor Christian Provenzano. And the process hasn’t even begun yet, he said.

Provenzano is concerned that there is much misinformation being spread across the community about the process that hasn’t even begun. He suggests that residents let the process unfold and the information be disseminated about what a ferrochrome plant would look like in Sault Ste. Marie, the technologies it will employ and any risks that may or may not exist. Continue Reading →

Mining generates $3 billion in business for suppliers – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – September 24, 2019)

If you live in Chetwynd or Tumbler Ridge, you are probably attuned to just how important mining is to B.C.’s economy. After all, three metallurgical coal mines operating in the region are a major employer for those communities.

The importance of mining to the rest of B.C.’s economy is not as well understood. But a new study has now put a number to mining’s spinoff impacts for other businesses throughout the province.

There are 17 operating mines and two smelters in B.C. that generate more than $12 billion in economic activity, according to a new study by the Mining Association of BC (MABC) and Mining Suppliers Association of BC (MSABC). Continue Reading →

Rankin Inlet mine ramps up production, putting strain on local housing – by Emma Tranter (Nunatsiaq News – September 26, 2019)

Meliadine gold mine set to enter phase two of production in 2023

MELIADINE MINE—A 25-kilometre road winds through the brilliant yellow tundra surrounding Rankin Inlet leading to Agnico Eagle’s newest gold mine. From a distance, the site looks like a small town, with new buildings stacked beside rows of living quarters.

The long-awaited mine, which cost more than $900 million to build, officially began commercial operations in May 2019. Agnico bought the property in 2010, but the area has been explored for its mineral potential since the 1980s, said Martin Plante, Meliadine’s general manager.

Although there were some “bumps along the way” to production, things are now going smoothly, Plante said. “Right now we are in production mode. We started to hire our permanent employees in 2017 at the mine and as the new department is getting in line, we’re starting to hire people in the other sectors too,” he said. Continue Reading →

Vale’s digital evolution takes shape: Sudbury nickel miner moving to world’s largest underground wireless network – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – September 19, 2019)

Vale Canada Ltd. is charging forward to provide LTE communications in its Canadian underground mining operations. In some cases, this will be an all new level of wireless communication, while in other cases it will mean switching away from existing Wi-Fi.

Vale said this means the company will soon be operating the largest privately owned underground LTE network in the world. LTE, or long-term evolution, is a higher form of wireless communications that most people associate with their cellular phones. In the mines, LTE will support a host of wireless devices and live connections to people and mobile equipment.

Vale described their new LTE system as an enabler, something that will allow the company to carry out significant changes for integrated operations scheduling, autonomous and tele-remote mining machines and huge efficiencies and cost savings for underground mine ventilation systems. Continue Reading →

New ‘green mine’ creates over 200 jobs – by Elena De Luigi (Timmins Daily Press – September 24, 2019)

CHAPLEAU — Up to 250 jobs have been created with the opening of the new Borden mine in Chapleau. The mine held its official inauguration Monday.

As the first electric mine in the world, it features “state-of-the-art” health and safety controls, digital mining technologies and processes and low-carbon energy vehicles.

The underground fleet will eliminate diesel particulate matter from the environment and lower greenhouse gas emissions to help reduce energy costs, protect employee health and minimize impacts to the environment. Marc Lauzier, general manager for the Newmont Goldcorp Porcupine and Borden mines, said Borden sets a global standard for clean mining. Continue Reading →

B.C. mining mogul predicts explosive gold market – by Hayley Woodin (Business In Vancouver – September 19, 2019)

The price of gold is headed for a new high, and when it does, money will flow to companies, predicts mining mogul and philanthropist Frank Giustra, chairman of Leagold Mining Corp. (TSX:LMC). “This is going to be an explosive gold market,” he told Kitco News in an interview earlier this month.

“The world is in uncharted waters right now. We’re living in a world with a global debt bubble, and any time you get debt bubbles of this magnitude that are global, that are fuelled by speculation, something’s going to happen.”

That something, he forecasts, is the price of gold hitting US$1,900 per ounce (about $2,500) – an approximate 27% increase above the spot price for gold midday on September 11. The prediction comes with a caveat: the potential for gold prices to boom comes in the context of a forecasted global economic bust. Continue Reading →