Port plan would aid Ring of Fire – by Kyle Gennings (Timmins Daily Press – October 17, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The Ring of Fire development has made headlines over past months and years for both the sheer scale and economic potential of its Chromite deposit and for the myriad of problems that both junior companies like KWG Resources and big mining conglomerates like Cliffs Natural Resources.

The logistical nightmare of exporting high-grade ore from the James Bay Lowlands to processing centres in Sudbury has plagued the development of the massive ore body.

But KWG Resources has brought forward a solution. The James Bay and Lowland Ports Authority.

“When the announcement was made regarding the dissolving of the ONTC and the ONR, the labour unions that represent those employees came to us (KWG) with an idea,” said Frank Smeenk, CEO of KWG Resources. “They talked to us about being from the North, about watching the development of the Ring of Fire, particularly the Black Horse deposit, and we know that we have a perfectly viable railroad business, maybe we can collaborate.”

Read more

Small stainless steel industry in Canada – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – October 17, 2013)

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

Re: From ore to steel, column by Stan Sudol — Aug. 31.

In my column on the potential of a stainless steel industry in Ontario, I mistakenly said that there is no stainless steel industry in Canada. I was given incorrect information. I should have said, “At the present time, there is no ‘major’ stainless steel production in Canada.”

Gratefully, ASW Steel Inc. president Tim Clutterbuck contacted me and indicated that his Welland, Ont.-based specialty steel facility dedicates 30% of its production capacity to stainless steel. The company employs about 95 employees and manufactures roughly 100,000 tonnes of specialty steel products annually, of which 30,000 tonnes are stainless steel ingots and billets, that are exported to the U.S. and Europe.

By comparison, Outokumpu, the biggest international producer, manufactures almost 3.6 million tons of stainless steels worldwide, slightly over 10% of the 35.4 million tonnes of global production last year, according to International Stainless Steel Forum preliminary figures.

Read more

Alert systems notify workers of underground danger – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – October 15, 2013)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

Sudbury’s Hard-Line is introducing a new product to the mining industry that will increase safety for workers, with the aim of preventing injury or death on the job.

The Prox Proximity Detection System, launched in August, is designed to alert workers when they get too close to a piece of heavy equipment while working underground.

“There have been incidents in the mining industry where these sorts of things happen because people become complacent with using a remote control,” said Max Gray, Hard-Line’s director of sales North America and global marketing. “They get too close to it, they make an error, and all of a sudden it’s too late for them to react. This system will warn them so they can react.”

Prox, which is integrated into Hard-Line’s Muckmaster Radio Remote Control System, detects when a remote operator enters a zone around the piece of machinery being operated. When a zone is breached, the system emits an audible and visual warning alert and can be programmed to slow or stop the machine automatically.

Read more

All-weather roads under consideration: chiefs – by Rick Garrick (Wawatay News – October 15, 2013)

http://wawataynews.ca/

Discussions about all-weather roads and winter roads are ramping up across Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory.

“We’ve had tons of resolutions regarding winter roads over the years, 20-30 years,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Les Louttit during the Sept. 27 Winter Roads and All-Weather Roads First Nations Forum in Thunder Bay. “But recently, in the past three or four years, First Nations are now starting to talk all-weather roads because of the difficulties they are encountering due to shorter seasons caused by climate change, warmer weather and thinner ice.”

Louttit said the changing conditions are putting winter-road workers’ lives at risk as well as increasing costs for construction.

“We had two deaths last year in northwestern Ontario,” Louttit said. “It’s hard to predict the weather, but in order for the winter roads to be viable, we need cold weather and thicker ice.”

Louttit said NAN is looking at developing a NAN-wide strategy on the transportation issue, noting the changing weather conditions and upcoming resource industry transportation requirements need to be considered.

Read more

Sudbury [mining Vale Glencore] merger likely: Analysts – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – October 15, 2013)

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

Glencore Xstrata and Vale could and likely will one day merge their Sudbury operations. If and when that happens, it will be a marriage of convenience, not a “Rock Hudson- Doris Day romance,” says a nickel analyst.

It would be complicated to join the companies’ operations, but it may be necessary to compete against record-high production of nickel pig iron in China, says Terry Orstlan. He wasn’t surprised last week when Reuters broke the news Vale and Glencore Xstrata were in talks to explore combining their Sudbury operations.

Orstlan has been advising that for years. “Talks, that is exactly what they are, talks,” said Ortslan of TSO & Associates in Montreal. “Let’s have coffee and talk. Let’s have tea and talk. Let’s go out and talk,” he said. It would have made sense 30 years ago for the nickel giants to join forces, said Ortslan.

When Vale was owned by Inco and Glencore Xstrata by Falconbridge, their vastly differ-e nt cultures and powerful unions made a merger unthinkable.

Read more

The first step towards corporate accountability for actions abroad? – by Sonya Nigam (Canadian Lawyer – October 14, 2013)

http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/index.php

Human Rights . . . Here & There

There is no doubt as a resource-based economy, Canada has developed an impressive and robust extractive industry sector some would argue is part of our “national security interests.” While this sector brings important gains to the Canadian economy, oil, gas, and mining activities are increasingly taking place in remote areas that have a detrimental effect on local, often indigenous, populations.

Increasingly, Canadian extractive companies and their subsidiaries have been the subject of allegations of human rights violations associated with their overseas activities, particularly when operating in developing countries. For years, liability before Canadian courts has been avoided. However, the recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court in Choc v. Hudbay Minerals Inc. may be the first step towards recognition that Canadian companies should be accountable for their behaviour outside Canada.

Under international human rights law, states have international legal duties to protect the human rights of individuals within their territory and subject to their jurisdiction. However, for a range of reasons host states may be unable or unwilling to regulate the conduct of foreign business actors, even where not doing so violates their international obligations to protect human rights.

Read more

Risk of ‘irreversible damage’ seen in Ring of Fire – by Wendy Parker (In Support of Mining.com – October 11, 2013)

http://insupportofmining.wordpress.com/

Ontario is “risking irreversible damage to wildlife and wilderness” by rushing to develop mines, roads and power lines in its fragile far north. That’s the warning from Gord Miller, the province’s environmental commissioner, who has singled out the stalled Ring of Fire project for special attention in his annual report to the provincial legislature.

In a Thursday release highlighting his Ring of Fire concerns, Miller says Ontario’s “long-held rule” has been to establish planning controls before projects can be built.

In the case of far northern mineral activity, however, “infrastructure such as highways and transmission corridors are already on the drawing board” and “there’s been little analysis or public debate of their effect on the environment or their benefits for First Nations.”

Miller maintains there is still time “to get things right” in the far northern region by ensuring that land-use plans, jointly created by First Nations and the Ontario government, are in place before development proceeds.

Read more

Ontario MNR gets failing grade – Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal (October 11, 2013)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

WHEN Ontario’s Liberal government considered the mounting budget deficit and how to keep it from further damaging the province’s economy and its regions, it called in an expert. Respected former banker Don Drummond was asked to provide a detailed analysis of government spending and recommendations on how to save money.

The Drummond report became Ontario’s budgetary blueprint going forward, as they say. Now the other shoe has dropped.
Not many Ontario citizens disagreed with the general nature of this independent advice. No department was spared at least a detailed examination and most were ordered to provide minor and not-so-minor scenarios to reduce spending.

Education escaped the knife and some arbitrated contract settlements excepted a general wage freeze. But for the most part tough love was felt government-wide. Ontario would pretty much cut spending across the board and thus responsibly recover from the recession that took such a toll, south to north.

Read more

Ontario jobs driven to Quebec – by John R. Hunt (North Bay Nugget – October 12, 2013)

http://www.nugget.ca/

This has been a very badly kept secret. Ontario has been losing thousands of man-hours of work and natural resources worth thousands and probably millions of dollars. Highway 11 is being pounded daily by a flotilla of trucks and in both Latchford and Temagami there have been concerns about pedestrian and traffic safety.

It is known that the trucks are carrying mine concentrates from Sudbury to be refined in Noranda, Que.

There appears to have been a total news blackout. One might have expected the unions to be howling and protesting. But little or nothing has hit the headlines. Perhaps everyone is scared of the big mining companies.

All this may change Thursday evening when the Latchford town council will consider resolutions directed to Ontario government departments. They will point out that Hwy. 11 is the town’s Main Street. The heavy traffic is wearing down the recently renovated pavement and that the trucks often appear to be traveling in convoys of eight to nine vehicles which makes life very difficult for pedestrians and automobile drivers.

Read more

Mining a blockbuster – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – October 11, 2013)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

Robert Friedland is going Hollywood.

The billionaire mining mogul has purchased a Hollywood film studio to make movies, but he’s not ditching his bread and butter any time soon. Friedland’s goal is to produce films that highlight the importance of mining and underscore the urgency of finding new ore bodies to satisfy the globe’s growing appetite for metals.

“It’s remarkable how many people who live in urban environments don’t understand the supply chain,” Friedland said during an Oct. 9 talk at Laurentian University in Sudbury. “They don’t understand that if you walk in the room to turn on a light switch, somewhere a generator has to kick in and provide that power; there’s no storage of electricity in the grid.”

Friedland, the chairman and founder of Ivanhoe Capital Corp. and executive chairman and founder of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., gave the inaugural lecture in a series presented by the Goodman School of Mines.

Read more

CEMI, SNOLAB team up to interpret mining data – by Heidi Ulrichsen (Sudbury Northern Life – October 11, 2013)

http://www.northernlife.ca/

A facility which will collect data from underground sensors will help mines improve safety and efficiency, according to an executive at the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI).

With the help of a $750,000 investment from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, CEMI is setting up the Mining Observatory Data Control Centre (MODCC) in the SNOLAB surface building at Vale’s Creighton Mine.

Damien Duff, vice-president of geoscience and geotechnical research and development at CEMI, explains that most mine equipment – everything from load haul dump machines to ventilation systems – already contains sophisticated sensors.

There’s also sensors in the rock itself collecting data about seismicity. MODCC will harness this information so that mines can be operated or designed differently to maximize safety and efficiency, he said.

“So if we get that data collected, integrated and then analyzed through some kind of sophisticated data analysis and then a sharing process, imagine the value we can derive from it,” Duff said.

Read more

It’s off to court for Cliffs – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 11, 2013)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

Cliffs Natural Resources is heading to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to appeal a ruling that denied the Ohio miner access to its Ring of Fire chromite deposit.

In September, the Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner ruled against the company which was seeking a road easement atop the mining claims of KWG Resources, a development partner and a rival in the James Bay region.

This week, Toronto-based KWG announced that Cliffs had served them with a notice to appeal.

Bill Boor, Cliffs vice-president of global ferroalloys, said last month they were unlikely to launch an appeal given the length of time it would take to get a hearing and in believing a real solution resided with the Ontario government.

This week, Boor said they decided to exercise that option within the 30-day appeal window, but he’s not hopeful anything will be resolved anytime soon. “We decided to do it but I don’t think it’s the solution.”

Read more

Mining legend [Robert Friedland] speaks to Sudbury students – by Staff (Sudbury Star – October 11, 2013)

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

Canadian mining companies have a responsibility to help people to make the goods they need to live in a smart and ethical way, one of the men who discovered Voisey’s Bay told a Sudbury audience this week.

Robert Friedland, chairman and founder of Ivanhoe Capital Corporation and executive chairman and founder of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., delivered Laurentian University’s Goodman School of Mines’ inaugural lecture series on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, he spoke to Laurentian students. “We’ll soon be sharing this planet with nine billion other inhabitants — most of whom, given a choice, would prefer to live in safety and comfort, drive cars, and have air conditioning and smartphones.” he said. “They also want clean air and clean water.

“In addition to its fundamental mission of finding and producing critical materials to support growing economies, the mining industry has a responsibility to present and future generations to develop and adhere to ethical and responsive practices, delivering effective management of the impacts of mining metals.”

Read more

Cliffs to appeal roads decision – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – October 10, 2013)

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

Cliffs Natural Resources announced Wednesday it plans to appeal the Sept. 10 decision by the Mining and Lands Commissioner, who dismissed its application to build a 340-km all-weather road that traversed land staked by Montreal-based KWG Resources Inc.

“The appeal raises important issues of law under the Mining Act and the interpretation of the law may have significant negative ramifications for the development of mining claims,” Cliffs wrote in a state-m ent it issued Wednesday, which marked the deadline to initiate the appellate process.

The Cleveland-based company had sought to dismiss the consent of its rival company in order to establish a transportation channel from its Black Thor deposit to the community of Greenstone.

The company deems the road “essential to the development of the Ring of Fire and a necessary component” of its chromite project, according to a Sept. 20 press release. Cliffs plans to ship the chromite to a smelter in Capreol. The smelter would create as many as 500 jobs in the Sudbury area.

Read more

Northern Summit vital for growth – by Wayne Snider (Timmins Daily Press – October 8, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Northern Ontario is facing numerous challenges which impact our potential for economic development.

Given the price being fetched by mining commodities (anyone remember 15 years ago when the price of gold was under $300 an ounce?) and the likely resurgence of the lumber industry in the coming years, — due to the predicted rebound of the U.S. housing market — Northern Ontario has the potential to be booming.

This is why it is vital for the provincial government to come to the table for a Northern Summit, as requested collectively by the mayors from the North’s largest cities.

In the summer, Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren was involved with a group of Northern mayors to present a new document — Northern Priorities — to the premier and cabinet ministers. Northern Priorities attempts to assist the government in linking municipalities with its Northern Growth Plan.

“We had asked in our document within 90 days of our presentation, which was mid-August, to have a Northern Summit,” Laughren said. “They were very receptive … (and) would try to have this summit and their participation would be before Jan. 1.”

Read more