Vale mulls hedge tactic – by Reuters and Star Staff (Sudbury Star – August 9, 2013)

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

As they continue to work on making their nickel operations more efficient, Vale officials say they may adopt hedge-accounting rules to smooth out the impact of currency fluctuations like those that slammed the company’s second-quarter earnings. Chief Executive Murilo Ferreira made the comments Thursday as the company discussed its second quarter results with analysts and reporters.

Under hedge accounting, companies set aside some dollar-denominated export proceeds to compensate for the impact of exchange-rate moves on the local-currency value of debt, spreading currency gains and losses over several years. The practice is allowed under the International Financial Reporting Standards of the IFRS Foundation, the accounting rule-book used by Vale.

As Brazil’s real currency has weakened, companies have seen the local currency value of dollar debts soar and the cost of servicing the debt rise. Staterun oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s largest company by revenue, last month said it had begun to use hedge accounting in May.

“We had a strong financial performance in a challenging environment,” Ferreira said in a conference call with analysts and journalists. “The financial impact of forex does not reflect our true operations.”

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Ontario: The ‘have not’ province – by Peter Andre Globensky (Wawatay News – August 8, 2013)

http://www.wawataynews.ca/

There is considerable evidence to indicate that the reckless and hell-bent-for-leather policy of developing the Alberta tar sands at all costs has been, in fact, quite costly. Not only to First Nations communities in northern Alberta who live “downstream” from the goo and the guck and the ravaged natural environment, but to the economy of the country – particularly to the economy of Ontario.

The rise in the value of the Canadian petro-dollar, fuelled by escalating oil prices, has made Canadian exports much more expensive for foreign buyers to purchase. The result: a too-rapid decline in Ontario’s manufacturing sector and an attendant decrease in commercial and industrial taxes have helped reduce Ontario to a “have not” province.

It is now a recipient of transfer payments from the federal government when once it was a contributor of those payments to other provinces. At one time not so long ago, Ontario had a well-earned reputation for playing a leadership role in the Canadian federation – being the mediator between the federal government and the other provinces who always seemed to have squabbling with each other and the feds as a favoured pastime. However, no longer can it claim that high ground.

What is even more disturbing, however, is how far Ontario has fallen behind other, more progressive Canadian jurisdictions in recognizing the need for and actively promoting a constructive dialogue around resource development and revenue sharing with First Nation communities. In that way as well, Ontario has become a “have not” province.

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[Timmins] City to collect own data on open pit – by Benjamin Aubé (Timmins Daily Press – August 8, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – It’s another sign that the Hollinger Mine will soon be coming back to life, courtesy of Goldcorp/Porcupine Gold Mines.

As Timmins residents well know, with renewed activity at the historic gold mine will come daily blasts and the bustle of trucking and transporting its precious resources.

A big part of the success of the Hollinger open-pit project will depend on the company keeping noise, vibrations, dust levels and emissions to a minimum so as not to disturb the properties and daily lives of neighbouring residents.

Timmins city council ensured measures will be taken to monitor such levels, entering into an eight-year agreement with Aercoustics. The contract will give the city its own set of information regarding the mine’s activities.

“They will provide us with our own monitoring equipment so we can compare that information to the information collected by Goldcorp,” explained city head of public works and engineering Luc Duval.

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Modest growth forecast for Sudbury – by Laura Shantora Nelles (Sudbury Star – August 8, 2013)

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

Greater Sudbury’s economy is set to grow this year by a modest 1.2%, and the city can expect slow but steady growth over the next five years, a Conference Board of Canada report said Wednesday.

In its five-year forecast, the Conference Board predicted Sudbury’s unemployment rate will dip to 5.7% in 2017. In June, the unemployment rate was 7.5%. Conference Board economist Jane McIntrye said increased production in mining and non-residential construction sectors will help boost growth in Greater Sudbury.

“The opening of the Clarabelle and Totten mines, as well as the water sports centre and the addition to Dynamic Earth, (along with) road construction and those type of projects, will contribute to growth on the non-residential side.”

The board said housing will begin to pick up next year. Sudbury’s residential housing starts were down 9.9% in 2012 from 2011, due to a steady decrease in population over the last five years.

McIntyre said the city’s population is expected to remain about the same, which should help get the housing market back on track next year.

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Calls for spring bear hunt resume – by Bryan Meadows (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – August 8, 2013)

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

A Thunder Bay-based conservation group is calling for a return of the spring bear hunt after a city man was attacked by a black bear in Sandbar Provincial Park on the weekend.

The Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen’s Alliance says that hunting bears in the spring would help the animals develop a greater fear of humans, and not consider them as food.

Executive director John Kaplanis said Wednesday that “NOSA is extremely worried that while the Ministry of Natural Resources is well aware of the increase in aggressive bear activity and predatory type bear attacks on humans, little is being done to regulate this sort of bear behaviour.

“The concern is that black bears are learning to regard humans as prey, much the same as other vulnerable prey sources such as moose calves,” he said.

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Sudbury PC candidate backs mine safety call (Sudbury Star – August 8, 2013)

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

The Progressive Conservative candidate for Sudbury said Wednesday she supports a call for a public inquiry into mine safety in Ontario. In a release, Paula Peroni said she can relate to the issue in a very personal way. “My father worked for Inco (now Vale) and was very severely injured in 1978, which almost cost him his life,” Peroni said.

She criticized the governing Liberals, who have refused to call an inquiry, despite pressure from the Steelworkers union and a Sudbury-based lobby groups, MINES — Mining Inquiry Needs Ever yone’s Support.

The Steelworkers have been calling for an inquiry since the deaths of two Sudbury miners, Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, at Vale’s Stobie Mine, in 2011. They were killed when they were buried by tonnes of rock and water.

A Steelworkers investigation concluded the deaths could have been prevented. Local 6500 of the Steelworkers represent production workers at Vale’s Sudbury operations.

Vale is facing nine charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and one of its supervisors is facing six charges under the act after a Labour ministry investigation into the deaths.

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Ring of Fire minister in town Aug. 16 – by Darren MacDonald (Sudbury Northern Life – August 07, 2013)

http://www.northernlife.ca/

The new man in charge of FedNor and the Ring of Fire portfolio is making his first trip as a cabinet minister to Sudbury next week. Kenora MP Greg Rickford was appointed to the posts when Prime Minister Stephen Harper shuffled his cabinet last month. He replaced longtime FedNor Minister Tony Clement.

Rickford will speak at the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce’s President’s Series Luncheon, which runs noon to 2 p.m. at Bryston’s on the Park in Copper Cliff. Jonathan Laderoute, the chamber’s policy and communications manger, said Rickford’s office hasn’t revealed many details of what the minister wants to talk about.

“But it goes without saying he’s going to talk about the Ring of Fire and how that impacts the province and the country as a whole,” Laderoute said. “But other than that, they’re playing their cards pretty close to their chest. We’ll have to wait and see.”

The Ring of Fire is a massive chromite discovery in northwestern Ontario, much of which is owned by Cliffs Natural Resources. The U.S.-based company announced last year that it would build a smelter near Capreol to process the ore, but problems coming to an agreement with the province over hydro rates and reaching deals with local First Nations led Cliffs to put those plans on hold.

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Mushkegowuk launches lawsuit on treaty promises – by Lenny Carpenter (Wawatay News – August 7, 2013)

http://wawataynews.ca/

During a conference on Treaty 9 held in Kashechewan First Nation in 1987, respected Elder James Wesley of Attawapiskat recalled words of a man who was present when treaty commissioners met with First Nations in 1905.

“Henry Reuben says he was sitting there and saw them writing the important things,” Wesley is quoted as saying at the time. “There was someone there that did the writing. So this is what is lost. Maybe one day it will show up.”

Eight years later, the diaries of the three commissioners were discovered and, according to Mushkegowuk Council, verify what Elders have been saying all along: the commissioners made oral promises that are not reflected in the treaty. The diaries serve as the key piece of evidence in a lawsuit being launched by Mushkegowuk against the Ontario and Canadian government.

A statement of claim sent to the Ontario Superior Court on July 4 by Mushkegowuk Council asserts that the governments of Ontario and Canada have “no power or right under Treaty 9 to unilaterally restrict or extinguish” the harvesting rights of the Mushkegowuk people by authorizing resource companies to develop on their traditional territory.

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Web portal aims at educating First Nations youth in mining – by Lenny Carpenter (Wawatay News – August 6, 2013)

http://wawataynews.ca/

An online web portal aimed at helping First Nations youth explore the world of mining was launched on July 25.
Learning2mine.ca is an interactive web portal developed by Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education & Training Institute that provides information on the mining industry and careers.

Rosie Mosquito, Oshki’s executive director, said the portal was developed with the upcoming mining opportunities within the Ring of Fire in mind as First Nations stand to benefit from such opportunities.

“With all the mining opportunities that will become available in the north, we want to see First Nations people employed as engineers, environmental technicians, project managers, geophysicists, and in administration,” Mosquito said. “This new portal encourages young people to prepare for a career in the mining industry and most importantly provides them guidance in how to get started.”

Learning2Mine.ca features a mining game called Waaniike, where the player explores the land and discovers resources and artifacts using mining gear and equipment. The game combines traditional knowledge and modern mining practices and aims to build “mining literacy” in the player.

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Partners look to powerful future – by Kyle Gennings (Timmins Daily Press – August 6, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

COCHRANE – Tuesday marked a turning point for the Taykwa Tagamou Nation (TTN). The Cochrane-based First Nation signed an agreement with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) with full blessing from Liberal Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli.

Through its corporation Coral Rapids Power, TTN entered into a partnership with OPG to develop a generating station capable of producing about 25 megawatts of hydroelectric power on New Post Creek as it enters the Abitibi River.

“Here as we announce this facility at New Post Creek and as we make our way to the Lower Mattagami Project, we are reminded of the very important role that Ontario’s First Nations and Metis community play in Ontario’s energy system,” said Chiarelli. “In transmission, in generation and in hydroelectric, and so it is truly exciting to be here today and celebrate this exciting new partnership between Ontario Power Generation and Coral Rapids Power.”

Chiarelli said this is the first of many steps towards creating a network of clean energy creation which will benefit Ontarians for decades to come.

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Ontario Minister gets a charge from hydro project – by Kyle Gennings (Timmins Daily Press – August 6, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli visited the Northeast on Tuesday. He was fully charged over plans for hydro generating improvements. The Ottawa West – Nepean MPP was named to the cabinet in February when newly elected Premier Kathleen Wynne dismantled the array longstanding McGuinty Ministers.

Chiarelli visited both Cochrane and the Lower Mattagami Project in an effort to shed light on the good clean energy projects being developed throughout the Northeast.

“What we are seeing here is capacity building for Northern Ontario,” said Chiarelli, while overlooking the expansion of the Smoky Falls Generating station, roughly 80 kilometres north of Smooth Rock Falls.

“This is 450 megawatts of hydroelectricity generation, 1,500 jobs at maximum, a significant number of which will be made available to First Nations members who have been trained and apprenticing on this particular site.” The energy being generated from the site will be distributed throughout the province. “This energy will be traveling all of the way down south,” said Chiarelli.

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Mining a challenging career for Vale manager – Women in Mining: Samantha Espley – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – August 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.

At her first summer mining job, while an engineering student at the University of Toronto, Samantha Espley was one of four women—of 10 students—hired on at Falconbridge’s Keno Gold Mine in Val d’Or, Que. It wasn’t until later that it dawned on her how unique it was to work with that many other women.

“I didn’t really think much of it at the time until after I realized how few women there really were to choose from,” said Sudbury-based Espley, who was the only woman in her engineering class. “So it was quite a neat experience.”

After graduating, Stan Bharti, who would later bestow Laurentian University’s engineering school with a $10-million endowment, interviewed Espley for her position at Falconbridge, where she remained for a few years before hiring on at Inco (now Vale). Since then, she’s worked in research, been a general foreman underground, acted as superintendent of business systems, and served as manager of nickel services for mining operations. She’s currently the general manager for mines and technical services.

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Mining engineer an “oddity” in Canada – Women in Mining: Imola Götz – by Liz Cowan (Northern Ontario Business – August 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.

Imola Götz’s choice to study mining engineering wasn’t an unusual one while growing up in Romania. “There were many mines around my home town and I knew the possibilities and thought this was a very interesting career,” said the chief engineer at Goldcorp’s Porcupine Gold Mines in Timmins.

It was not unusual to find women working in the industry, with many filling technical positions. However, when she immigrated to Canada more than two decades ago, she was surprised there were not as many women working in the industry or pursuing engineering.

“When I got to Canada I was an oddity and I often got asked why I chose mining,” said Götz. She has been with Goldcorp for nearly 10 years and previously spent about 15 years in Manitouwadge. Her husband, Laszlo Götz, also works for Porcupine Gold Mines as its environmental manager. The couple decided to leave Romania early in their careers since the communist regime was “getting more and more intolerable.”

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Falling profits for Vale – by Reuters and Star Staff (August 6, 2013)

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

Battered by falling iron ore and nickel prices, Vale on Wednesday is expected to report a 30% drop in second-quarter profit to $1.85 billion US from a year earlier, analysts are predicting. If so, it would be Vale’s eighth consecutive quarterly profit fall, according to the average preliminary estimates of seven analysts surveyed by Reuters.

Most of the decline is due to a 12% drop in average iron ore prices and a 38% decline in nickel prices, more than offset-t ing increases in volumes shipped by the world’s No. 1 iron ore miner and No. 2 nickel producer.

Its shares have been the worst performer among the world’s big five mining companies, down 27% this year, despite a rally from nearly four-year lows in July. Of the big five, Rio Tinto, Brazil’s Vale, Glencore Xstrata and Anglo American are expected to report sharp drops in profit.

They have been slammed by weaker copper, iron ore and coal prices as they struggle to sell off assets. Anglo — the first of the diversified majors to publish results — said last week underlying operating profit fell in the six months to $3.3 billion, ahead of a consensus estimate of $3.12 billion.

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Queen’s Park: First Nations have iron grip on Ontario’s economy – by Ian Harvey (Law Times News – August 5, 2013)

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

Ian Harvey has been a journalist for 35 years writing about a diverse range of issues including legal and political affairs. His e-mail address is ianharvey@rogers.com

Ontario’s economic future is in the hands of First Nations who effectively control all resource development. Moving forward, there will be no oil flowing in a pipeline nor will there be any copper, gold, nickel, uranium or chromite pulled from the earth unless a First Nation has approved and is getting its cut.

It’s the result of years of neglect coming to fruition, says Bill Gallagher, a Waterloo, Ont.-area lawyer whose book, Resource Rulers: Fortune and Folly on Canada’s Road to Resources, is turning heads.

“Natives have amassed an unprecedented legal winning streak in the last decade, 185 wins almost in a row, across the resources sector,” says Gallagher, who spent 30 years negotiating deals in the resource sector, including at Voisey’s Bay, N.L., where he sees parallels with Ontario’s Ring of Fire mines. “Ontario is behind in dealing with this.”

The province is also the target of a $100-million lawsuit brought by Solid Gold Resources Corp. this year. The northern gold-mining explorer staked a claim in 2007, but before exploratory drilling, it was advised by the province, following direction in Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), to consult with the local Wahgoshig First Nation.

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