Archive | Ontario Mining

Sudbury’s Copper Cliff South Mine Suspending Production – by Bill Bradley

Northern Life, Greater Sudbury’s community newspaper, gave Republic of permission to post Bill Bradley’s article.

Greater Sudbury’s economy will now be further affected by the growing world economic crisis.

In early November, Xstrata Nickel announced it will cease operations at Craig and Thayer-Lindsay nickel mines, affecting 250 employees. Early retirement options are being pursued by the company and union.

Now the city’s largest employer, Vale Inco, with over 5,000 employees, is stopping production at one mine and mothballing a development project due to slumping prices and demand, said Vale Inco spokespersons Thursday.

Vale Inco announced production cutbacks at its Greater Sudbury operations Thursday morning.

However, for now, the shutdown of the Copper Cliff South Mine and the one year postponement of the Copper Cliff Deep project will not involve layoffs of any Vale Inco employees, said Cory McPhee, director, Vale Inco communications and public affairs.

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Deal With Ontario Aboriginal Groups or No Deal? – by Marilyn Scales

Deal or no deal? – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.

The long-simmering dispute between Frontenac Ventures of Oakville, Ontario, and the native bands with claims on a stretch of wilderness north of Sharbot Lake is settled. Or is it?

This is cottage country, picturesque and serene. Frontenac wants to explore what is known as the Robertsville property for uranium. Several Aboriginal bands protested and blockaded the area early in 2008. They have unsettled land claims, and they demand a say in how the lands is to be used. The province of Ontario mediated the dispute, and a deal appears to have been hashed out.

On Dec. 1, interested parties met for an hour in the Frontenac County Courthouse to finalize the agreement they had reached. The deal has been called “historic” because it covers consultation and accommodation of Aboriginal values and environmental protection on the part of the mineral exploration industry.

The deal finalized earlier this week involves Frontenac Ventures and the Shabot Obaadjiwan, the Snimikobi Algonquins and the Algonquins of Ontario. Therein lies the rub. It does not include the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, which also lays claim to the area. Readers will remember that former Ardoch chief Robert Lovelace was jailed earlier this year for his part in the protests.

So a settlement has been reached, but not reached with everyone. Reportedly, the province has not responded to the Ardoch Algonquin’s request six weeks ago that negotiations with the band be reopened. I suspect the band will continue its quest, but not at the expense of sending any more members to jail, I hope.

Postponements to Ontario Mining Act Revisions Best for Industry and Aboriginal Groups – by Gregory Reynolds

Gregory Reynolds - Timmins ColumnistWhen it comes to timing mining cycles or stock movements, when everyone believes something it usually turns out that they are wrong.

The 10-year boom in commodities turned out to be less than four years and no one knows when it will resume.

Yet, there is a bright side for the Canadian mining industry, and especially the Ontario segment. The provincial government has postponed its planned revisions to the Ontario Mining Act.

Bowing to several pressure groups, the McGuinty government had intended to ram through major changes before the New Year. The world-wide meltdown in credit facilities brought the Liberals to their senses.

Ontario has four major industries, new vehicle and parts manufacturing, mining, forestry and tourism. Even before the housing crisis in the United States spread into every sector of the world economy, the forestry industry was written off by Queen’s Park.

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Kevin Costante – Deputy Minister of Northern Development and Mines SAMSSA Speech – Sudbury, Ontario

Kevin Costante - Deputy Minister of Northern Development and Mines at the SAMSSA Annual MeetingSudbury Area Mining Supply and Services Association (SAMSSA) Speech
November 26, 2008
Sudbury, Ontario



While the mining sector has seen unprecedented growth, driven by high commodity prices, it is not immune to the current economic climate.

No one understands that better than the mining community in Sudbury.

Accepting the reality of boom and bust cycles and dealing with them over the course of a century has made Sudbury’s mining industry competitive and a cut above the rest.

The minerals industry knows it cannot depend solely on high commodity prices to drive business. What it can and does depend on are the perseverance and innovation that characterize the industry, at all times, good and bad.

It is the strength developed during the lean times that gives industry the efficiencies that lead to profitability during the good times.

Commodities demand has definitely slowed, but it has not disappeared.

Growth trends may recede for a while but they will not grind to a halt. 

Demand from growing countries like China and India will not evaporate.  China’s GDP is still above 7 per cent.  Chinese demand for oil and most key commodities is still growing.

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Ontario Deputy Minister of Northern Development and Mines – Kevin Costante – An Introduction

Prior to joining the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Kevin was the Deputy Minister and Associate Secretary of the Cabinet, Policy, Cabinet Office. He served as Deputy of the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) twice from June 1999 to August 2000 and mostly recently from February 2004 to May 2007.

He has also served as Deputy Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities from August 2000 to February 2004. Kevin originally joined MCSS in 1992 and from August 1993 to January 1998, he was Assistant Deputy Minister, Social Assistance and Employment Opportunities.

From January 1998 to June 1999, Kevin was the Assistant Deputy Minister, Program Management Division, for MCSS. In this position, he was responsible for the management and delivery of ministry programs throughout the province. Before joining MCSS, Kevin held a series of positions at the Ontario Ministry of Finance, including Director of Fiscal Planning.
He started his public service career in Saskatchewan, where he worked for a total of nine years at the Ministry of Education and the Saskatchewan Treasury Board.

Born and raised in Temagami, Ontario, Kevin has a B.A. (Honours) and a Masters of Public Administration from Queen’s University in Kingston.

Sudbury Basin Mining Cluster Still Awash With Opportunities – by Bill Bradley

Northern Life, Greater Sudbury’s community newspaper, gave Republic of permission to post Bill Bradley’s article.

Times may not be as bad as they may seem for the mining cluster, said participants at a mining cluster meeting Wednesday morning at the Howard Johnson Hotel on Brady Street.

The Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA) was holding its annual general meeting. Association members employ an estimated 15,000 workers locally.

Though executive director Dick DeStefano has admitted several hundred layoffs have occurred, in general, the mining cluster remains healthy.

Access to financing, a key component of business health, still remains viable so far.

Denis Goupil, associate director of northern Ontario operations of Roynat Capital, said while the chartered banks may be tightening up their lending practices in the short term, other long term finance companies like his organization and the Business Development Bank, have a longer outlook.

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Historically, the Value of Gold Always Rises During a Financial Crisis – Gregory Reynolds

When in the midst of a perfect hurricane that is threatening the world’s financial structure, it helps to remember an old adage – To know where you are going, look back to where you have been.

The era that should be examined is the Great Depression which began in 1929 with many similar events to what happened in the past few months. It didn’t officially end until 1939 when the world plunged into the Second World War but the reality is that the worst ended in 1934.

The slow climb to normality took six years but it could be seen and measured.

The single most important step taken by the United States, then as now a world power, was the decision on Jan. 31, 1934 to raise the price of gold from US$20.67 an ounce to $35 an ounce.

As president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt surveyed the wreckage of the U.S. banking system and decided drastic action was required. On March 6, 1933 he closed all the banks for a three day holiday.

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Claiming Our Stake! Building a Sustainable Community (Part 2 of 3) – Stan Sudol

Claiming Our Stake! Building a Sustainable CommunityINVESTMENT REQUIREMENTS


Local Operations Managed by Two Major Mining Companies

lnco is planning capital expenditures of about $2 billion in the Sudbury Basin over the next five years to expand current production and build new mines. The company is embarking on the largest period of growth in Sudbury in more than 30 years. This is a conservative estimate and depending on the financial clout of the new owner, may be increased substantially, lnco has plans for new mine developments that include the Kelly Lake and Totten deposits, milling upgrades, smelter improvements, including investments in sulphur emission reductions and expansions at the nickel refinery. The company intends to maintain the stability of their workforce, with longer-term growth potential.

Falconbridge’s half billion-dollar Nickel Rim South project, currently under construction, may become the richest individual mine in Canadian history. Continue Reading →

Will the Ontario Government Strengthen or Hold Back the Province’s Booming Mining Sector – by Gregory Reynolds

Gregory Reynolds - Timmins ColumnistThe Dark Days for the British Columbia mining industry began in 1991 with the election of a New Democratic Party government. The introduction of intolerable tax levels eventual led in some instances to mining companies paying 103 per cent taxes on income.

It led to 10 years of stagnation. Money, jobs and people fled the province. The question that mining people in Ontario are asking these days is whether that could happen here.

The lesson of B.C. should be enough for a provincial government to be careful in its handling of an industry that is cyclical in nature and dependent on economic factors largely beyond its control. It seems politicians find certain elementary facts hard to accept.

The Canadian mining industry operates in an environment where prices and demand are determined elsewhere. Commodity prices are not set in Canada.

Payment is in U.S. dollars and therefore the monetary policies of our giant neighbour to the south are more important than those under the control of Queen’s Park or even Ottawa.

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Mineral Resource Sharing Needs to be Addressed in the Canadian Federal Election – by Bill Bradley

Northern Life, Greater Sudbury’s community newspaper, gave Republic of permission to post Bill Bradley’s article.

Campaigning federal politicians are getting an earful from city residents.

As they canvas door-to-door, they are hearing similar complaints from the electorate — poor roads, lack
of health care facilities and services for themselves and their loved ones, lack of affordable housing, and high gas prices.

City councillors hear the same concerns every day.

Behind all these complaints lies an unfortunate truth — northern Ontario is not getting its fair share of resource revenues. Northern Life in this election has been alerting candidates to a report entitled A Refined Argument: Report of the Advisory Panel On Municipal Mining Revenue presented to and adopted by city council February 27.

Prepared by a citizens committee, chaired by retired former Inco vice-president Jose Bianco, the report presents some stark facts. On page 29, in a graph entitled Growth in Tax Revenue Generated By The Ontario Mining Industry in Ontario (2001 to 2005), is shown the following: federal revenues from the mining sector increased 77.6 per cent, and provincial revenues from the mining sector increased 109.8 per cent.

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The Mighty Sudbury Basin – Politically Secure, Enormously Pro-Mining and Geologically Rich – is on a Mine Building Boom – by Nick Stewart (Part B)

This article was first published in Northern Ontario Business, a newspaper that has been providing northerners with relevant and insightful editorial content, business news and information for over 25 years.

FNX Mining

The first half of 2008 has been a busy one for the mid-tier miner with a new shaft in operation and a change at the top.

President John Lill resigned from the company in early August, indicating a desire to pursue other interests. Lill had taken up the mantle of president and CEO in September 2007, replacing Terry MacGibbon, who has since been appointed to his prior roles.

The company’s Podolsky mine went into production earlier this year and has shown greater results than exploration potential had indicated.

With expectations for copper grades of 3 per cent, production has shown 12 per cent in the first quarter, and more than 5 per cent in the second. It’s expected to average out between 6 and 7 per cent over the rest of the year.

“Historically, in the Sudbury basin, these types of deposits have mined about 20 to 40 per cent better than they drilled off,” says MacGibbon.

Having cost $150 million to put into production, Podolsky has been a 300-tonne per day producer since January. That number will rise to 1,000 tonnes by year’s end, representing 400,000 tonnes annually at full production.

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The Mighty Sudbury Basin – Politically Secure, Enormously Pro-Mining and Geologically Rich – is on a Mine Building Boom – by Nick Stewart (Part A)

This article was first published in Northern Ontario Business, a newspaper that has been providing northerners with relevant and insightful editorial content, business news and information for over 25 years.

While much of southern Ontario’s manufacturing economy is taking a beating, Sudbury and its mineral industry is riding high with record capital investments in mining. Here’s a round-up of what’s going on with the big and small producers.

Xstrata Nickel

The world’s fourth-largest nickel miner has a series of major local investments on the go and recently received approval from head offices in Switzerland for $455 million to move them forward.

Of that total, $280 million will be spent on developing the new Fraser Morgan mine, which goes into operation in 2010, producing 7,000 tonnes of nickel per year. Up to $70 million has been spent on the project to date.
The remaining $175 million will go towards the local Strathcona Mill, which currently handles 2.4 million tonnes of ore. The investment will expanded that to 3.4 million.

These are just a small part of Xstrata’s local growth plan, which includes bringing its flagship Nickel Rim South mine into production in 2009, having first hit upon its value in 2001. Once fully operational, it will annually produce between 12,000 and 15,000 tonnes of nickel, 50,000 tonnes of copper and several hundred ounces of precious metals.

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Ontario Mining Act Public Consultations are Flawed – by Don McKinnon

The world-class Hemlo deposit was the major gold discovery in Canada during the 1980s. The three individuals who were responsible for discovering one of the country’s richest gold camps were Don McKinnon, John Larche and David Bell. Don McKinnon is still an active Timmins-based prospector.

It was a farce.

That is the only way to describe the so-called public consultation session on changes to the Ontario Mining Act (OMA) held in Timmins Aug.11.

The 70 people who turned out were told they could not:

1-ask questions;

2-make any statements to the room;

3-have any other material other than a government handout; and

4-question Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle as he broke his promise to attend.

Any changes to the OMA will have an important bearing, either a negative or positive impact, on a $10.7 billion Ontario industry.

Premier Dalton McGuinty wants “focused discussions” with municipalities, the mineral industry, Aboriginals, prospectors and the public. He certainly went about it in a strange way. Continue Reading →

Honourable Michael Gravelle – Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines – Welcome Speech at Public Consultation – Toronto, Ontario

Honourable Michael Gravelle - Ontario Minister of Northern Development and MinesMODERNIZING ONTARIO’S MINING ACT

September 8, 2008


Good evening, ladies and gentlemen and thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this consultation.

And thank you for your interest in helping my ministry undertake this next important, indeed historic stage in our government’s commitment to modernize Ontario’s Mining Act.

Historic because together we have the opportunity to ensure this legislation promotes sustainable development that benefits all Ontarians.

As Canada’s largest producer of minerals, Ontario accounted for 28 per cent of the national total in 2007, at an approximate value of $10.7 billion. 

The fact is our mineral sector is a powerhouse that employs tens of thousands of people and pumps millions into the economy.

Our government understands this and we’re proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s leading mining jurisdictions.
We also believe that mining holds tremendous potential, especially for the province’s northern, rural and Aboriginal communities. 

We want the industry to be competitive, vibrant and prosperous.

But we want to ensure this potential and this prosperity is developed in a way that respects communities.

In short, our task is to find a balance – and this is where we need your help.

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Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (6 of 6)

Ontario, the largest mineral producer in Canada, is modernizing its Mining Act. These six postings are from a provincial policy document – titled “Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act – Finding A Balance” produced by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Elements of the Review

The government believes five critical policy issues must be addressed in this review of Ontario’s Mining Act:

1. Mineral tenure system and security of investment

Potential adjustments to the mineral tenure system, including free entry, to assure investment security while taking into account other interests, including Aboriginal community concerns and private landowners’ issues.

2. Aboriginal rights and interests related to mining development

Potential approaches to consultation and accommodation related to the broad range of mineral sector activities as they affect Aboriginal and treaty rights.

3. Regulatory processes for exploration activities on Crown Land

Potential approaches to regulating exploration activities, including consultation and accommodation with Aboriginal communities.

4. Land use planning in Ontario’s Far North

Potential approaches to the requirement that new mines in the Far North would need community land use plans supported by local First Nations.

5. Private rights and interests relating to mining development (mineral rights/surface rights issues)

Potential approaches to address mineral rights and surface rights issues.

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