Barrick Donation Boosts Health Care in Northwestern Ontario

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
 

Ontario Mining Association member Barrick Gold’s gift of $150,000 to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) will enhance health care services in Northwestern Ontario.  Matching support for some components of this donation by the Ontario Trust for Student Support increases the size of the gift to $235,000.

“This gift is in keeping with our policy and objective of giving back to the community,” said Jamie Sokalsky, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Barrick Gold.  “We want to share our success in the communities where we operate.”

Barrick Gold owns and operates Hemlo Mines in Marathon, which includes the Williams Mine and the David Bell Mine.  The donation was made earlier this week at a ceremony. The funds will be used for a number of purposes. The bulk of it ($100,000) will be employed to support the NOSM.

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Ontario Ring of Fire Chromite Mine Operator Still to be Determined -by Norm Tollinsky

Norm Tollinsky is editor of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal, a magazine that showcases the mining expertise of North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury. This article is from the March, 2010 issue.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

The discovery of a massive chromite deposit in Ontario’s Far North will create thousands of jobs and trigger an estimated $1.5 billion of spending on an open pit mine, a 350-kilomtre railway, a concentrator and an electric arc furnace, but a decision on who the operator of the mine will be was still up in the air at press time.

Cliffs Natural Resources’ acquisition of Freewest Resources gives the Cleveland, Ohio-based iron ore pellet and coal producer the green light to develop its wholly-owned Black Thor deposit or work with joint venture partners KWG Resources and Spider Resources to develop the Big Daddy deposit seven kilometres to the southwest.

“It’s still not clear which part of the chrome intrusion will be developed first. It’s in my interest to make it Big Daddy, but it could be Black Thor,” said Frank Smeenk, president and CEO of KWG Resources. “Big Daddy has the width, the grade and the consistency and seems to be the more concentrated portion of the intrusion…but there’s no data indicating a compelling case in favour of Big Daddy or Black Thor, so I think the source of financing may determine it.

“If KWG is able to put together a project financing package, then that would add to the attractiveness of Big Daddy being first.”

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[Viola MacMillian] The Prospector in the Pink Penthouse – by Christina MaCall

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on July 20, 1957.

Viola MacMillan believes “anybody can do anything” and has mink, a mansion, a Miami apartment and mines worth $10,000,000 to prove it

Mining papers credit her with building the Prospectors and Developers
Association from a loosely knit agglomeration of fieldmen and promoters
into a powerful organization representing one of the most important
segments of the mining industry.

The Prospector in the Pink Penthouse

Canada’s sprawling two-billion-dollar mining industry owes its boom to a motley army of men: sleek brokers in big city offices, lonely prospectors in frontier camps, geologists and bush pilots, road builders, professional engineers. But their spokesperson is a women who lives in a pink penthouse, wears a mink coat and buys size ten dresses from Sophie of Saks.

For fourteen years Viola Rita MacMillan has been president of the Prospectors and Developers Association, the largest organization of mining men on the continent, and in that time she has made scores of biting speeches that lash out at anything and everything impeding the development of mining. The sophisticated apartment and the soigné clothes are really only trappings. As she says herself, “I’m a miner. I love this business and I want to stay in it until I die.”

She doesn’t look much like a miner she so proudly calls herself. A small woman, she stands just over five feet tall and weighs little more than a hundred pounds. She has alert cobalt-blue eyes and short dark hair. The most striking thing about Voila MacMillan is the agility and speed of her movements. She darts about so quickly that bigger people sometimes feel almost cumbersome, when they are in her presence.

Mrs. MacMillan often says with firm conviction that Canada’s future greatness depends to a large extent on the growth of the mineral industry. For more than thirty years she has dedicated her unusual energy and persistence to that industry. In returen she has gained both money and prestige.

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Viola MacMillan: From the Ground Up: An Autobiograpy (Afterword) – by Virginia Heffernan (Part 2 of 2)

Virginia Heffernan, principal of GeoPen Communications, is a science and business writer who specializes in writing about mineral and energy resources. She provides research and writing services to both corporate and government clients and is a regular contributor to publications such as Investment Executive, The Northern Miner and Canadian Consulting Engineer. www.geopen.com/

“From the Ground Up” is an autobiography of one of Canada’s most notable mining women Viola MacMillan, best known for her involvement in the infamous Windfall mining scandal of 1964. Although her autobiography presents her side of the controversial story some gaps and context were missing. Virginia Hefferernan’s thorough investigation cleared up many of those gaps and provided much needed context in the “Afterword” final chapter of the autobiography.

Afterword (March 2001)

The frenzy begins

“Some of the drillers started buying stock through their brokers, who would have told their other clients that if the drillers were buying, there must be something in the core. The market activity just blossomed from there, almost regardless of what the MacMillans did,” says Ford. Blossomed is an understatement. On Monday morning, Windfall shares opened at $1.10. Before the market closed at 3:30 PM, 1.57 million shares had changed hands and the price had reached $2. When rumours that the core contained 2.4% copper and 8% zinc surfaced later in the week, the trading accelerated and by the closing bell on July 10th, the price had doubled again to $4. “Such trading removed from the market any semblance of order and reduced it to a scene of uncontrollable speculative frenzy,” observed Justice Arthur Kelly, the judge who presided over the royal commission.

In the absence of any concrete information, the press and brokerage houses latched onto rumour. They became enthusiastic boosters of the Windfall play, fuelling even more optimism in the market. The Northern Miner congratulated the “Mining MacMillans” for taking an intelligent gamble on the Prosser claims and The New York Herald Tribune reported a “major base metal drill core.” Brokers added credence to the rumours by reporting them to investors as fact. “Frustrated by their efforts to get accurate information and feeling under compulsion to provide whatever information was available, (the brokers) gave out such reports as they were able to gather,” concluded Justice Kelly. Just like during the Bre-X mining scandal that was to hit three decades later, the  information mongers whose impartiality is so vital to the investing public were either unable or unwilling to see that the emperor was wearing no clothes.

Throughout this frenzy, the MacMillans kept their lips sealed save for two statements issued to the press on July 7th and again, under orders from the TSE, on July 15th. Both releases were equivocal, saying little more than that the first hole had been stopped at 530 feet, the core had not yet been sent for assay and drilling would continue. The second release read as follows:

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Viola MacMillan: From the Ground Up: An Autobiograpy (Afterword) – by Virginia Heffernan (Part 1 of 2)

Virginia Heffernan, principal of GeoPen Communications, is a science and business writer who specializes in writing about mineral and energy resources. She provides research and writing services to both corporate and government clients and is a regular contributor to publications such as Investment Executive, The Northern Miner and Canadian Consulting Engineer. www.geopen.com/

“From the Ground Up” is an autobiography of one of Canada’s most notable mining women, Viola MacMillan, best known for her involvement in the infamous Windfall mining scandal of 1964. Although her autobiography presents her side of the controversial story some gaps and context were missing. Virginia Hefferernan’s thorough investigation cleared up many of those gaps and provided much needed context in the “Afterword” final chapter of the autobiography.

Afterword (March 2001)

The name Viola MacMillan evokes one of two responses. Those who knew her personally describe a generous and dynamic professional who became the sacrificial lamb of a corrupt Bay Street. Those introduced to her by the press recall a scoundrel who swindled innocent investors out of their savings. Will the real Viola Rita MacMillan please stand up?

If MacMillan were alive today, she would readily rise and state her case, just as she did on the 1960s television program, “To Tell the Truth.” As her memoirs divulge, she was an aggressive personality who rose from humble beginnings to achieve success in the mining industry: Canada’s own Horatio Alger, some would say. Despite her tiny stature – she stood just five feet tall and weighed little more than 100 pounds – she fought her way to the top of a man’s world by sheer force of will and a refusal to take ‘no’ for an answer. “Anybody, regardless of sex or circumstance, can do anything they want to do. All you need is the guts to stick to things,” was her favourite response to queries about the secret of her success.

But she rarely spoke of what became known as the Windfall affair, a mining scandal in the 1960s that triggered a royal commission investigation, exposed weaknesses in the market regulatory system and shamed several high-ranking officials. Even MacMillan’s otherwise detailed autobiography gives scant attention to an event that not only rocked her world, but changed the dynamics of share trading in Canada forever. MacMillan carried a long list of accomplishments to her grave, but her name will always be synonymous with Windfall.

MacMillan and the mining industry were joined at the hip.

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Golden Hope For a Timmins, Ontario Wasteland – by Nick Stewart

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. This article was published in the January, 2011 issue.

Goldcorp Inc. is just months away from making a production decision to dig up the literal “heart of gold” a stone’s throw from downtown Timmins. 

The Vancouver-based producer is working fervently through the winter months to build a case for a series of open pit mines at the very centre of the historic mining community, potentially making Timmins a unique portrait of modern mining in Ontario.

The project will carve out a patch of land just south of Highway 101, the main drag along which most of the city’s major commercial activity is located. The 250-acre property is surrounded by a pharmacy, a fast food outlet, a hotel, the Shania Twain Centre, the Gold Mine Tour and residential suburbs on two sides. The downtown core is across the street to the west.

This large area is the site of the shuttered but still treacherous underground Hollinger Mine, closed in 1968. Its hundreds of miles of tunnels have plagued the community with sinkholes and subsidences, creating a restricted wasteland and resulting in millions in property damage.

By mining out the area, Goldcorp stands to not only tap into the abandoned riches beneath the soil, but also to later transform it into safe, usable land. Like the issues surrounding the property itself, the new mining project is rife with logistical challenges, not the least of which involves determining what was left in the ground following nearly a century of mining.

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KWG Resources News Release: RING OF FIRE CHIEFS INVITED TO JOIN CANADA CHROME BOARD

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

MONTREAL, Canada, Jan. 18, 2011 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) —
Symbol on TSX Venture Exchange: KWG
Shares issued and outstanding: 623,458,941

KWG Resources Inc. (KWG) has extended invitations to the Chiefs of five First Nations in the Ring of Fire area to join the Board of Directors of its subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation (“CCC”).

“Late last year we advised Chiefs Elijah Moonias, Cornelius Wabasse, Sonny Gagnon, Roy Moonias and Lewis Nate that there appeared to be technical and economic merit to proceeding with a feasibility study of the railroad for which we have staked a right-of-way and sampled soil profiles,” said KWG President Frank Smeenk. “Should subsequent development ensue which physically affects their traditional lands, there must first be prior consultation and accommodation, as is well understood by all constituencies. The entire Matawa family of First Nations is enthusiastic to see these developments progress. To facilitate and expedite the process, we felt that the extensive consultation necessary could be most effectively undertaken by having the leading members of the five most directly impacted communities participate in the corporate planning from the outset. In this way those who are most affected by these hoped-for developments can become the proponents of them.”

Golder Associates were retained by CCC to conduct testing of the soil profiles from samples taken last winter at 1000-foot intervals along the length of the potential right-of-way.

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Minister [Gravelle] Tries to Calm Fears for Ring of Fire – by Chelsey Romain (Timmins Daily Press)

This article was originally published in the Timmins Daily Press on January 11, 2011. Timmins is the second largest mining community in Ontario with a population of about 45,000.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

“We consider it an absolute priority that the greatest value-added opportunities take place with the Ring of Fire development. That very much includes the processing facility be in the North.” (MNDMF Minister Michael Gravelle – Jan/11/2011)

“We are very, very concerned about plans for the Ring of Fire because, quite frankly, there doesn’t seem to be any plan. There doesn’t seem to be a plan that involves Northern communities or the First Nation people who live up in the region.” MP Charlie Angus (NDP — Timmins-James Bay – Jan/11/2011)

Vows ore won’t go to China

The Far North’s Ring of Fire project has been hailed as the next great thing in mining, bigger than the Porcupine Camp and Sudbury’s ore body combined.

But there is fear among those wanting to benefit from the project that Northern Ontario, more specifically the Northeast and Timmins, will be left out, while foreign countries reap the rewards.

A recent comment from Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Maintenance of Way Employees president William Brehl that ore mined from the Ring of Fire could be shipped to China for processing has political leaders saying discussion on the subject needs to take place now.

“We are very, very concerned about plans for the Ring of Fire because, quite frankly, there doesn’t seem to be any plan,” said MP Charlie Angus (NDP — Timmins-James Bay). “There doesn’t seem to be a plan that involves Northern communities or the First Nation people who live up in the region.”

Up for debate is whether or not the companies involved with the project will decide to have a processing plant in the North. Stating Ontario’s lack of competitiveness versus other provinces as well as other countries, there is concern that a processing plant could be built elsewhere, most specifically China.

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Sudbury’s Mining Reseach Hub Gets $10-Million Rio Tinto Investment – by Nick Stewart

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. This article was posted on the newspaper website on January 11, 2011.

“While this is a real game-changing technology that’s developing, we still need to
do drill and blast conventional advances, and that has to happen at a higher
speed too.” (Dr. Peter Kaiser, CEMI President and CEO)

Sudbury, Canada turning into Silicon Valley of hardrock mining reseach

A $10-million research effort funded by Rio Tinto and coordinated through the Sudbury-based Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation will first be tested at the mining giant’s Northparkes Mine in New South Wales, Australia.

A $10-million investment in one of Sudbury’s major mining research nodes by Rio Tinto in December may well benefit other mining operations in Sudbury and around the North, according to project leaders.

The U.K.-based company’s partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) will target the high-speed construction and development of underground mines and the development of ground support systems.

As the company seeks to rapidly move away from open pits to these new underground environments, Rio Tinto will focus on its own mechanized tunnelling and shaft sinking systems, whose issues are common across many Sudbury-area projects, said CEMI president and CEO Peter Kaiser.

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Battle of the Canadian Gold Rushes: Klondike Versus Northern Ontario – by Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant, who writes extensively about mining issues.(stan.sudol@republicofmining.com)

The Yukon Klondike

I have a small complaint about Canadian mining history or more importantly, our media coverage of past gold rushes. The Yukon Klondike gold rush of 1896-1899 seems to take all the glory – thanks to writers like Jack London, Robert W. Service and Canadian literary icon, Pierre Berton – while northern Ontario’s four globally significant gold/silver discoveries in the first half of the last century do not get the historical respect they deserve.

The initial Klondike discovery, on August 16, 1896, at a fish camp near the junction of the Yukon and Klondike rivers, is credited to George Carmack and his Tagish Indian brothers-in-law, Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson (Tagish) Charlie. Robert Henderson, a Nova Scotia prospector is credited as a cofounder, since it was on his advice that the discovery was made, however he made no money from the find.

At the height of the rush, Dawson City, the main staging town at the mouth of the Klondike River had a booming population of about 30,000 and was known as the most cosmopolitan city west of Winnipeg and north of Vancouver.  Due to its isolation, all the claims had been staked by the time most people finally arrived. Some of the most memorable photographs from the period show a thin line of thousands of people climbing the legendary Chilkoot Pass – the shortest but most difficult route to the goldfields – bringing the required year’s supply of food and living material.

Fortunes were made and lost in Dawson City’s “rip-roaring” frontier atmosphere where prostitutes were tolerated and nearly everyone was on the lookout for charlatans and con men. Many became rich just supplying services to the stampeders.  In total, about 12.5 million ounces of gold was produced during this short-lived rush that lasted for less than a decade.

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Noront Resources May Go Underground in the Ring of Fire – by Ian Ross

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. This article was published in the January, 2011 issue.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

“Mining companies from Canada think nothing of establishing social programs for poor communities in Brazil or South Africa. They hesitate in Canada. As a Canadian, I’ve got a problem with that. I think it’s an obligation for us as Canadians to help the First Nations get out of this welfare state and start (helping them) develop and become self-sufficient in developing community jobs.” – Noront CEO Wes Hanson

Noront Resources has subterreanean plan for Ring of Fire

A leading junior nickel and chromite miner in the Ring of Fire wants to establish a light environmental footprint in the James Bay region.

Wes Hanson, Noront Resources’ president and chief executive officer, laid out his company’s impressive conceptual plans before a receptive audience of businesspeople and mining suppliers in Sudbury in late November.

While their McFauld’s Lake rivals, Cliffs Natural Resources and KWG-Canada Chrome, are mapping out ambitious plans for an open pit chromite mine and railroad in the Far North, Noront Resources’ development concept is positively subterreanean.

The Toronto miner has preliminary plans for a massive underground complex beneath the swamps of the James Bay Lowlands. With no operating mines to produce a steady flow of cash, Noront is focused on minimizing costs and is determined not to damage one of the world’s largest wetlands.

Noront is eyeballing a mine, mill and tailings storage facility that are completely underground. There will be no headframe on surface. “The goal is to build a mine you can walk over and not even know it’s there,” said Hanson.

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Rare Earths Provide Ontario With a Rare Economic Opportunity

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
 

The burgeoning global markets and growing high-tech applications for rare earth elements provides Ontario with an opportunity to expand its mining – and manufacturing — sectors.  The 17 rare earth elements with strange sounding names are essential to the production of items such as permanent magnets, rechargeable batteries, electric and hydrogen vehicles, lasers and the miniaturization of electronic devices among others. 

As markets and applications expand, supply is strained.  Worldwide demand for these elements is expected to outstrip supply by 40,000 tonnes annually unless new sources are developed.  The Ontario Mineral Deposit Inventory documents more than 200 known rare element and rare earth element mineral occurrences across the province.   

The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry says rare element and rare earth element minerals are among the non-traditional metals being targeted for exploration in Ontario.  Areas with rare earth development potential in the province would include Bancroft, Elliot Lake, Hearst, Kenora, Marathon and Moosonee.

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Northern Ontario Mine Construction Underway for Detour Gold – by Adelle Larmour

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. This article was published in the January, 2011 issue.

The start of Detour Gold’s mine project will produce a wealth of economic spinoffs across the North

Cochrane is one of the northeastern Ontario communities reaping spinoff benefits as the project site preparations begin for one of Canada’s largest undeveloped gold reserves.

Detour Gold Corporation, a Toronto-based junior, received provincial approval for its closure plan and environmental assessment in early November. It has prompted the procurement process for mining equipment and services that will help build and operate the open-pit mine for a targeted production date of early 2013.

Located at Detour Lake, about 180 kilometres northeast of Cochrane, the project is situated on the site of Placer Dome’s former Detour Lake Mine, an historic producer of 1.8 million ounces of gold. Detour Gold has aggressively performed more than 450,000 metres of drilling and has completed a feasibility study since acquiring the property three years ago.

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Xstrata Helps Raise Operatic Voices in Mining Communities

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
 

Ontario Mining Association member Xstrata Nickel is a “Major Sponsor” of the Canadian Opera Company helping to bring productions to communities far from singing distance of traditional major performing centres.  The Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour takes student-friendly operatic performances to classrooms in Ontario – and beyond.

Throughout Xstrata’s sponsorship of the COC, it has assisted in bringing operatic education, art and culture to cities such as Sudbury and Timmins in Northern Ontario and other communities in which it has mining operations.  This year, the Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour ventured further afield and brought its production of Cinderella to communities near Xstrata Nickel’s Raglan Mine in Nunavik, Quebec.

The Raglan Mine is located in the Arctic region of Quebec north of the 60th parallel of latitude.  The mine site is situated more than 1,800 kilometres north of the home of the COC at University Avenue and Queen Street West in Toronto.  Undaunted by geography and climate, five singers, one music director, one stage manager, two COC staff and a photographer headed to Nunavik.

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OMA Contributes to Skills Canada Ontario Career Blog

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
 

The Ontario Mining Association is participating in Skills Canada Ontario’s blog www.skillswork.blogspot.com/ to promote awareness in skilled trades and technology career paths in the mineral industry.  The OMA is contributing to this communications forum to help students better understand the employment prospects offered by the mining industry.

“The OMA has been an active partner with Skills Canada Ontario for more than five years.  In 2010, the OMA celebrated its 90th anniversary and it is one of the longest serving trade organizations in the country,” said the OMA.  “We represent companies engaged in responsible exploration, extraction and processing of Ontario’s mineral resources.”

“Like other sectors, mining foresees a future demand for technologically smart and skilled people.  The flip side of this need for industry is boundless opportunity for young people embarking on training for future employment.  In some ways being a partner with an educational organization like Skills Canada Ontario is like being a member of a health club – the more you use it, the more you get out of it.”