Archive | Ontario Mining

First new all-electric mine dumps diesel; cuts costs, pollution – by Susan Taylor and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – June 21, 2018)

CHAPLEAU, Ontario/LONDON (Reuters) – Hundreds of feet below thick boreal forest blanketing the Canadian Shield, a squad of near-silent, battery-powered machines are tunneling toward gold in a multimillion-dollar mining experiment to ditch diesel.

Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) (GG.N) is building the world’s first new all-electric mine, a high-stakes gambit to replace noisy, fume-belching equipment being closely watched by a diesel-dependent industry.

A rough-hewn tunnel, some 800 feet underground, seems an incongruous setting for revolutionary technology, but front-line workers call it a game changer. Continue Reading →

Ignore the green lobby, Doug Ford. Ontarians voted for affordable energy this time – by Peter Shawn Taylor (Financial Post – June 12, 2018)

Peter Shawn Taylor is a journalist, policy research analyst and a contributing writer for Canadians for Affordable Energy.

Elections are often considered to be referendums on the economy. When the economy is performing well, incumbent governments are supposed to benefit from a contented electorate. That’s not what happened in Ontario.

By most measures, the Ontario economy is doing just fine. Unemployment, one of the most important indicators for voters, is the lowest it’s been in several decades. GDP growth is in the two-per-cent range — decent, if not spectacular. Housing starts and other measures of consumer spending seem reasonably strong as well.

Nevertheless, Ontario’s long-governing Liberals were just shown the door in spectacular fashion. Voters were willing to look past the Liberals’ ugly scandals in previous elections for the sake of predictability. But when voters looked at the economy this time, they plainly could not get past one aspect of it that was actually in horrible shape: Energy affordability. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario cities await Noront smelter decision – by Gary Rinne ( – June 14, 2018)

THUNDER BAY — Officials in four northern Ontario centres including Thunder Bay are still waiting to hear Noront Resources’ decision on where it proposes to set up a ferrochrome processor. Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie all submitted bids to host the smelter for chromite mined in the Ring of Fire.

At the beginning of February, Noront said it had hired Hatch, a Mississauga-based engineering and consulting company, to help evaluate the bids.

In the same announcement, the company estimated that “the adjudication process will conclude in three to four months,” and said “a decision will be publicly announced at that time along with the criteria and rationale for site selection.” Continue Reading →

One of Sudbury’s ‘unique’ places disappearing – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – June 15, 2018)

As Vale erects a pair of new, efficient stacks on its Copper Cliff smelter, it is simultaneously tearing down a huge, abandoned building near Fielding Road that, in its day, also helped to reduce emissions.

The structure housed a few peregrine falcons for a spell, too, but those birds — since relocated to an adjacent chimney — won’t be affected, Vale promises, except in the sense that they will have “front-row seats of the dramatic events from their nearby nesting boxes.”

The roaster kiln building, quite prominent as you drive between Copper Cliff and Lively, “operated from 1955 to the late 1980s as part of Inco’s iron ore recovery plant,” said Danica Pagnutti, with corporate and Indigenous affairs at Vale, in an email to The Star. Decommissioning of the structure is now underway and one corner has already been removed, with the remainder to be taken down gradually over the next few months. Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s nickel in demand again – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – June 13, 2018)

It’s the type of metal needed for electric cars

In the first half of 2017, nickel was selling for an average price of US$4.43 a pound and there was an increasing glut of nickel in London Metal Exchange warehouses. On Aug. 31, that glut reached a whopping 389,154 tonnes. Fast-forward to today and it’s a totally different picture.

Last week, LME nickel stockpiles had shrunk to 278,800 tonnes. The metal also broke through the US$7-a-pound mark last week — a gain of about $1.50 pound since last December. Nickel started the day Friday at $7.10 pound, but had dropped to $6.96/pound U.S. by the end of the day, and has dropped a bit more since then.

Terry Ortslan, mining analyst with TSO & Associates in Montreal, said a combination of the weakening of the U.S. dollar and hoarding by traders in anticipation of nickel needed for electric vehicles is causing rising prices and inventory drops. Continue Reading →

Tahoe tops in Ontario Mine Rescue Competition (Timmins Daily Press – June 10, 2018)

MATACHEWAN – Mine rescue volunteers from Tahoe Canada Timmins West & Bell Creek Mines did not earn the most silverware, but they did earn the coveted golden hard hats from Ontario Mine Rescue, a part of Workplace Safety North (WSN), as the overall winners of the 69th-annual Provincial Competition in Matachewan, near Kirkland Lake, this week.

Vale Canada East Mines’ rescue team, Sudbury District champions, took home three awards – Team Firefighting, Team First Aid, and second overall, but Tahoe Canada was presented the top award during the closing banquet Friday, June 8, in Kirkland Lake.

Tahoe Canada won the Timmins District competition in Timmins in May. The Tahoe Canada rescue team consisted of: Capt. Adam Weagle, No. 2 Sylvain Falardeau, No. 3 Nick Schwehr, No. 4 Mat Johnson, Vice-capt. Pierre Gagne, No. 6 Rick Martin, and Briefing Officer Terry Roy. Continue Reading →

IAMGOLD breaking new ground with Coté mine – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – June 7, 2018)

GOGAMA – The new gold mining project being planned near Gogama will present some unique technical challenges, but an official with IAMGOLD Corporation said he is confident his company will be able to overcome and succeed.

This will include such things as moving a lake and using driverless haulage trucks. Steve Bowles, manager of the Coté Gold Project, was one of the key speakers this week at the gala dinner put on by the CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum) as part of the Big Event Mine Expo.

Bowles was providing an update on the project which is the former Trelawney Mining prospect located in Chester Township, about 20 kilometres southwest of Gogama. Work is expected to begin on a new open pit mine in the new year. Continue Reading →

The Ontario election: What does Ford’s nation have in store for mining? – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – June 7, 2018)

He reportedly promised to get Ring of Fire development started even if he had to climb onto a bulldozer to blaze a trail himself. Now Doug Ford and Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives have won a resounding majority, already apparent less than half an hour after polls closed and five days after Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne conceded defeat.

Canada-wide, this has probably been the most closely watched provincial election outside Quebec for many years. Celebrated by some as a populist and disliked by the establishment for the same reason, Ford was nevertheless granted a degree of civility that the media generally begrudged his late brother, former Toronto mayor Rob Ford. Although a veteran of municipal politics and a long-time PC member, this marks Doug Ford’s first foray as a provincial candidate.

Elegant for its simplicity was his party’s five-point plan, starting with “scrap the carbon tax.” He’d “cut gas prices by 10 cents a litre, reduce middle class income taxes by 20%, cut your hydro bills by 12%,” create “quality” jobs, slash government waste and “end hallway health care” with new beds and additional treatment. Continue Reading →

How the election could change who gets a share of resource revenues – by Jon Thompson ( – June 6, 2018)

The relationship between First Nations, the mining industry, and the province remains strained — but there’s hope that progress can be made after June 7

THUNDER BAY — For the first time in Ontario election history, every major party is running on a promise to share natural resource revenue with First Nations.

The relationship between First Nations, mining interests, and the province remains fraught and consultations can be strained, but the tenor of the conversation has changed: Ontario has gone from jailing First Nations leaders over grassroots protests to sitting at the negotiating table with them to work out resource-sharing deals.

In 2008 an Ontario Superior Court decision jailed the leadership of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation (KI) — a fly-in community located 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. KI had expressed strong opposition to a mining company called Platinex drilling on its traditional territory, which had happened since 2001. Continue Reading →

Mining industry to see shortfall of employees by 2027 – by Joshua Santos (Timmins Daily Press – June 7, 2018)

About 3,000 workers may be needed in the mining industry by 2027. This follows a report presented by the Far Northeast Training Board (FNETB) at the Canadian Mining Expo at the McIntyre Community Centre on Wednesday. The number is based on workers eligible to retire and foreseen expansions in the next 10 years.

“If something happens in the economy that is out of our control, that may change but our forecast is based on what we know today and that’s all we can go by,” said Julie Joncas, executive director of the Far Northeast Training Board (FNETB).

That 3,000 figure is composed of 2,000 people that can retire by 2027 while 1,000 are from companies expanding their businesses looking for workers. The current workforce in the surveyed region is composed of 6,500 workers. An estimated total of 7,500 will be required by 2027, according to the report. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Northern Ontario being strangled [Part 1 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 2, 2018)

On June 7, the people of Ontario will be going to the polls in one of the most pivotal elections in the province’s history. While Northern Ontario – north of the French and Mattawa rivers, as I have never recognized the Parry Sound and Muskoka ridings as being part of the North – encompasses roughly 90 per cent of the province’s land mass, its population has been steadily declining to slightly over five per cent of Ontario’s total.

Unfortunately, our impact on provincial policies is almost negligible.

A buck a beer, cheaper gas, tax breaks combined with unaffordable infrastructure and social commitments, twinning the trans-Canada in Northern Ontario, buying back Hydro One and jumping on a bulldozer to start building the road into the Ring of Fire are part of a bevy of mostly worthy but unsustainable promises Conservative Doug Ford, Liberal Kathleen Wynne and NDP Andrea Horwath have made.

However, I seldom hear any actual policy initiatives to grow the economy and create wealth so we can afford all these election initiatives and perhaps, just perhaps, put a little money on our provincial debt, which has more than doubled during the past 15 years under the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal era, from about $138 billion in 2003-04 to $325 billion today and growing. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: A slow road to the Ring [Part 2 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 4, 2018)

Let’s be brutally honest and frank. Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne and her mines minister, Michael Gravelle, have utterly failed in moving the Ring of Fire forward, which is located in the isolated James Bay lowlands about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

For slightly more than five years, they have not been able to get shovels in the ground for an essential road into the most promising mineral discoveries in Canada since the Sudbury Basin in 1883, which was found during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

By coincidence, it took a bit less than five years to build the entire CPR in the early 1880s from Ontario to Vancouver – a distance of roughly 4,200 kilometres. The distance between the Ring and the provincial highway system is about 280 kms.

But to cut both of these politicians some political slack, enormous blame must also be given to the previous Harper and current Trudeau governments, as well. First Nations are primarily a federal responsibility – though that doesn’t prevent the province from stepping in if there is a dire need of some sort. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Sudbury as the ‘Harvard’ of hardrock mining [Part 4 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 6, 2018)

The Sudbury Basin is Ontario’s metallic equivalent to the Alberta oils sands without the massive open pits as most of the mines historically have been underground. For 135 years, the region’s unique polymetallic ore-bodies have produced nickel, copper and significant quantities of cobalt, gold, silver and platinum group metals (PGMs).

It is the third largest source of PGMs after South Africa and Russia. Many multi-generational families earn good middle-class salaries in the many mines, two mills, two smelters and one refinery. Roughly 30 per cent of provincial mining activity takes place in Sudbury, according to the Ontario Mining Association.

Glencore’s recent C$900 million investment in the development of its Onaping Depth project and Vale’s C$760 million phase one development of its Copper Cliff Deep mine are indications of growing confidence in the future of the region. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: How do we pay for all of this? [Part 5 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 6, 2018)

The gulf between Northern Ontario’s needs and the ability of politicians and bureaucrats to address them has never been wider. There was time, so very long ago, when a northern politician like the legendary Leo Bernier could impress the premier to resolve the region’s many unique issues.

Those times are long gone and Northern Ontario’s MPPs seem to play second fiddle to a very powerful and media savvy environmental movement, who have no problems riding roughshod over the region’s needs or just don’t have the political clout at Queen’s Park to address their issues. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines is a very small ministry.

Half in jest, I often wonder if the North needs to establish an embassy somewhere adjacent to the legislature – the disconnection really is that bad.

When Canada hit the debt wall in the mid-1990s and global financial markets were basically calling our currency a “northern peso,” then Prime Minister Jean Chretien made the shockingly brave political choice to treat the voters like intelligent adults and talk honestly about the need to address the nation’s critical financial state. Continue Reading →

Ignace puts plan in place to woo business, investment – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 7, 2018)

Township offering incentives in campaign to revitalize community

Ignace is rolling out the welcome mat for investors. The northwestern Ontario forestry town is set to unveil a promotional campaign and community readiness strategy on June 14 to showcase the new approach it’s taking toward future development that officials believe is surely coming their way.

Branding the event as “Explore our possibilities and celebrate our success,” the township is providing a slew of incentives to attract people and business, and offer a glimpse of the economic prospects in the hopper for the Trans-Canada Highway community, about a three-hour drive west of Thunder Bay.

“We believe that Ignace is going to be transformed in the coming years,” boldly predicts Jason Felix, the township’s economic development manager. Continue Reading →