Archive | Canadian Regional Media and Web Publications

Glencore shutters Quebec mines; operations in Sudbury continue – by Staff (Sudbury Star – March 27, 2020)

Glencore said Thursday its Raglan nickel and Matagami zinc operations in Quebec will be on care and maintenance for the next three weeks. Nickel from Raglan is shipped to Glencore’s Sudbury operations, where it is processed. Operations in Sudbury will continue to run.

“The government of Quebec has ordered all non-essential businesses to close in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, our Raglan (nickel) and Matagami (zinc) operations in Quebec will be on care and maintenance for the next three weeks,” Glencore said in a statement. “In Ontario, the government has issued a similar decree, but mining has been designated an essential business and therefore our assets can continue to operate.”

The company said it is halting operations at its smaller mines around the world due to government restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus but added its larger operations were not materially impacted. Continue Reading →

COVID-19 puts Musselwhite Mine in mothballs: Newmont places four global mine operations on care and maintenance – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 23, 2020)

Musselwhite Mine in northwestern Ontario is one of four mines Newmont has chosen to temporarily suspending operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The remote, fly-in/fly-out operation is being placed in care and maintenance to protect nearby First Nations from the spread of the virus and also to adhere to government-mandated travel restrictions in Canada and South America.

Musselwhite is an underground gold mine, 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. The Newmont mines being temporarily mothballed are: Eléonore in Quebec, Cerro Negro in Argentina, and Yanacocha in Peru. Continue Reading →

Getting a relationship off on the right foot: Ed Collins helps bridge the cultural gap at DST Consulting Engineers – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 19, 2020)

Ed Collins’ teachings about Aboriginal culture seem to be rubbing off on some of his coworkers at DST Consulting Engineers. The manager of Indigenous relations said it’s not uncommon for a few of his non-Indigenous colleagues to come into his office to request a smudge ceremony as a stress reliever.

Some feel the need for a spiritual uplift or a mental cleansing to alleviate negative feelings. “We’re not healing the sick; we’re just healing the mind, the soul and body,” said Collins, a member of the Fort William First Nation.

DST is a consulting engineering firm specializing in environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, materials testing, and demolition. In the DST boardroom in Thunder Bay, where Collins is based, there’s a basket of small tobacco pouches to remind staff members of the custom of presenting the traditional gift when approaching a community Elder. Continue Reading →

Chris Stewart out as McEwen Mining president – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 18, 2020)

Chris Stewart is no longer president and chief operating officer of McEwen Mining. In a two-sentence news release, the Toronto-based gold miner with operations near Timmins made the announcement late on March 18.

The company gave no reason for his departure, adding only that his responsibilities are being spread out among the management team.

The move came just two days after the mid-tier miner posted its fourth quarter and year-end results showing its three mines in Timmins, Argentina and Nevada generated a cash gross profit of $33.7 million for 2019 and a gross profit of $9.0 million. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold extends life of Argentina mine (Resource World – March 17, 2020)

Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX; GOLD-NYSE] President and CEO Mark Bristow said the life of Barrick’s Veladero gold mine in Argentina has been extended to at least 10 years following a comprehensive review of the company’s strategy and business plan.

Bristow made the comments while briefing an Argentinian audience of local media, government authorities and local business and community leaders about the mine’s progress from Barrick’s offices in Chile. The briefing was broadcast via a video conference to comply with Covid-19 related travel restrictions imposed by Argentina.

“Our review included the reinterpretation of the mine’s geology and an ongoing infill drilling campaign,” Bristow said. “We established exploration and resource management teams to identify satellite orebodies with the potential to deliver an increase in resources and reserves,” he said. “Our aim is to extend Veladero’s life-of-mine beyond 2030 and elevate it to a Tier One asset.” Continue Reading →

No plans to shutter Vale or Glencore operations in Sudbury due to COVID-19 – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – March 18, 2020)

Vale has no plans to curtail or suspend its Greater Sudbury-area operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There has been no discussion of suspending operations in our North Atlantic Operations other than Voisey’s Bay and that there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst Vale employees to date,” Vale spokeswoman Danica Pagnuti said Tuesday. “In terms of Vale’s efforts to address COVID-19, since late January Vale has been taking all necessary measures to support the prevention of the COVID-19 at its sites. “

Pagnutti said a technical crisis committee and another executive committee were created to manage the actions resulting from this pandemic. To ensure everyone’s safety, all worldwide non-essential business trips have been cancelled or postponed until further notice, and the same approach is being taken for events. Continue Reading →

Vale & NORCAT VR training partnership. Extraordinary ways to the do the ordinary – by Len Gillis (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – March 2020)

With all the excitement over virtual reality (VR)and how it can change the workplace with high tech opportunities, mining company Vale has partnered with innovation leader NORCAT in Sudbury to carry out a very necessary part of business.

Jason Bubba, NORCAT’s director of training, said Vale is launching a new program that takes advantage of NORCAT’s extraordinary training centre to do something quite ordinary – training new hires.

“What we’re building right now are virtual reality pre-operational check programs for three pieces of underground equipment — for a forklift, for a scissor deck and for a utility vehicle,” said Bubba. “So these pieces are for entry-level workers so they can be trained on the equipment that they’re first going to use when they go to work for Vale.” Continue Reading →

Steve Matusch, president of Ionic Technology Group, has died at 52 – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – March 13, 2020)

Steve Matusch, the founder and president of Ionic Technology Group in Sudbury, has died at the age of 52. Matusch died while in hospital on Wednesday, March 11, following an illness. He would have been 53 in November.

Respected and well-known throughout the Northern Ontario mining service and supply industry, Matusch founded Ionic Engineering Ltd. in 2000 with the goal of offering the best innovative solutions to problems faced by industry.

Ionic’s general manager, André Dumais, said five years ago, Matusch developed primary sclerosing cholangitis, which led to a rare and aggressive form of liver cancer in 2018. In an effort to combat the illness, Matusch had undergone a live liver transplant, an experimental surgery, in November. Continue Reading →

Nunavut’s Baffinland gears up its crisis management plan for COVID-19 – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – March 16, 2020)

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has clamped down on travel to and from its Mary River iron mine site in an effort to stave off the spread of the new coronavirus. To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, the company said today.

“However, given the possible risk of infection throughout the North and more specifically, our neighboring communities with whom we share the closest relationship, we are making arrangements to limit the potential exposure of our Nunavummiut (Inuit and non-Inuit in Nunavut) employees to the coronavirus,” said the company.

To do this, Baffinland said it is temporarily instructing all Nunavummiut to not report for work and to remain in their home communities.  “Nunavummiut currently at site will return home during the coming week,” Baffinland said in its release. Continue Reading →

Wet’suwet’en Band Councils Still in the Dark on Deal with Hereditary Chiefs – by Jason Unrau (The Epoch Times – March 12, 2020)

More than a week after federal and provincial ministers made a deal with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs protesting a natural gas pipeline, elected Wet’suwet’en leaders say they haven’t yet seen details of the deal, which will implement a 22-year-old Supreme Court of Canada decision over aboriginal rights and title in their region.

“We were excluded from the process,” said Wet’suwet’en First Nation Chief Maureen Luggi of the meetings held over three days between the hereditary chiefs and Indigenous-Crown Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and her provincial B.C. counterpart Scott Fraser.

Luggi’s community is one of six Wet’suwet’en First Nations in northeastern British Columbia whose interests are entwined in both the landmark 1997 Delgamuukw decision and the Coastal GasLink pipeline, five of which have signed deals related to the $6.6 billion project. Continue Reading →

Australian mine contractor moves into Hemlo – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 9, 2020)

Western Australian mining interests have been steadily scooping up gold exploration properties in northwestern Ontario. One company is mobilizing to run an underground gold mine in the region. Perth-headquartered Barminco has signed a letter of intent with Barrick to provide underground contract mining at its Hemlo Mine, near Marathon.

Barminco bills itself as one of the world’s largest hard rock underground mining services companies in the world with operations in Australia, Asia and Africa. This would be the company’s first foray into Canada, starting in April.

Under the three-year, $200-million mining services contract, Barminco’s scope of work would involve mine development, production and haulage, and using mine equipment provided by Barrick. Continue Reading →

Policy or geology?: What’s behind Canada’s plunging reputation among miners? – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – February 28, 2020)

If you think that’s bad news, be glad the poll ended when it did. The Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies 2019 imposed a November 8 deadline on respondents. Shut Down Canada didn’t really gain momentum until a bit later.

Even so, for the first time in a decade no Canadian jurisdiction made the top 10 for the survey’s main list, the Investment Attractiveness Index (IAI). Media coverage played up the role of provincial and territorial governments in jeopardizing what was—until recently and at least by Canadians—generally considered the world’s pre-eminent mining country.

In doing so, reporters followed the institute’s commentary which, in keeping with its advocacy purpose, emphasized politicians’ ability to help or hinder the industry. But a closer look suggests miners and explorers gave other concerns higher priority. Continue Reading →

Review board grants Baffinland’s request to extend its production limit – by Emma Tranter (Nunatsiaq News – March 11, 2020)

Mining company can continue producing six million tonnes per year until end of 2021

The Nunavut Impact Review Board has granted Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s request to temporarily extend its production limit at the Mary River mine.

In a March 5 news release, Kaviq Kaluraq, the chair of the NIRB, said the mining company’s request to extend its production limit from four to six million tonnes of iron ore is granted until Dec. 31, 2021. Baffinland had requested only a one-year extension, until the end of 2020, in its letter to the NIRB, dated Dec. 19, 2019.

But in its release, NIRB said a one-year extension “would have the effect of imposing undue limits on the timelines and manner in which the board’s assessment of the phase two development proposal proceeds.” Continue Reading →

Feds bullish on nuclear: Minister visits Sask. north – by Glenn Hicks ( – March 10, 2020)

“Show me a credible plan that doesn’t involve nuclear.” That’s the strong endorsement for Saskatchewan’s uranium sector from federal Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan who has just wrapped a visit to the North.

O’Regan, who has been minister for a few months, said he wanted to acquaint himself with the world’s richest uranium mine at Cigar Lake and also visit the various northern communities who rely on mining jobs, such as Hatchet Lake, Black Lake and Fond du Lac. But he also carried with him an unequivocal message about Ottawa’s stance on nuclear as part of the route toward net-zero emissions by 2050.

“There is no way that we can reach net-zero without nuclear energy, and there is no way we can reach net-zero without the mining industry,” he told paNOW. “When we talk of a carbon-free future we often point to things like electric cars. Well, they’re built of something: they’re built with metals and minerals.” Continue Reading →

THE DRIFT 2020: Clean-tech company ready to tackle mining legacy sites – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 28, 2020)

Indigenous-owned Carbonix using wood waste residue to trap industrial contaminants

A First Nation clean technology company in northwestern Ontario believes it has a green solution to clean up contaminated environments. Carbonix, a Fort William First Nation-based firm, is developing a proprietary process to use activated carbon to treat industrial waste streams and clean up contaminated environments.

The privately owned company sees substantial opportunities surrounding abandoned mines in Ontario in supporting remediation efforts to treat tailings and acid rock drainage.

Carbonix CEO Paul Pede has high hopes 2020 will be an “inflection point” for the “nano media company” once they are able to roll out their technology across Canada, including an upcoming pilot project in Alberta to treat water and tailings in the oilsands. Continue Reading →