Archive | Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances

[Bill James] Former Falconbridge CEO was ‘a miner’s miner’ – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – October 19, 2018)

In 1982, Mr. James joined Falconbridge Ltd. as CEO at a time when the great
nickel company was in deep trouble….Not surprisingly, the layoffs garnered
resentment from some quarters.

According to Sudbury native Stan Sudol, owner and editor of RepublicOfMining.com,
a joke making rounds at the time was,  “Bill James dies and goes to hell, but the
devil kicked him out, because he kept shutting down his furnaces.” But eventually it
was Mr. James who had the last laugh – by 1984, Falconbridge was back in the black.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Canadian mining company Falconbridge Inc. had a big problem in the early 1980s. Its operations in war-torn Zimbabwe were in chaos. Rebels opposing leader Robert Mugabe were firing at Falconbridge’s Blanket gold mine security force with rocket-propelled grenades. Workers there were also getting hungry, with food provisions running low due to blockades. Thirteen-thousand kilometres away in Toronto, Falconbridge’s chief executive didn’t mess around. Bill James flew 24 hours to Zimbabwe and went straight to the dictator’s office.

“Bill wasn’t a wallflower. He’d barge into anyone’s office,” said Bill McNamara, a longtime friend of Mr. James and a lawyer with Torys LLP. Mr. James’s demands, delivered in his signature loud, gravelly baritone, were simple: He wanted food for his employees and assault rifles for their protection.

“Mugabe’s looking like someone’s hit him on the head with a two-by-four,” Mr. McNamara said. “[Thinking,] ‘Who the hell is this guy?’ ” But here’s the thing. Mr. Mugabe knew that without that mine in operation, Zimbabwe would suffer economically. The next morning, five truckloads of maize showed up at the mine, along with a dozen AK-47s. Continue Reading →

No Ferrochrome Sudbury plans protest – by Staff (Sudbury Star – June 26, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

A group opposed to a $1-billion ferrochrome plant in Sudbury that could create as many at 1,000 direct and indirect jobs is planning a protest for Tuesday.

Members of No Ferrochrome Sudbury said in a release they will hold an information protest at the boat launch on the Wahnapitae River, across the street from the Wahnapitae Community Centre on Glenbower Crescent near Highway 17. The protest will begin at 10 a.m.

“The event is to raise awareness about the potential for hexavalent chromium to contaminate the City of Greater Sudbury’s water treatment facility on the Wahnapitae River,” No Ferrochrome Sudbury said. “This treatment facility provides drinking water to 60 per cent of the city’s population, including New Sudbury, Garson, Coniston and Wahnapitae.” Continue Reading →

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

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

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 →

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

http://resourceclips.com/

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 →

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

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

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)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

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: Move 10,000 civil service jobs North [Part 3 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 5, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Without a doubt, the provincial economy overall is doing great. Growth rates of 2.8 per cent in 2017 and a slightly lower rate of 2.4 per cent predicted for this year has allowed the Ontario to gain 335,000 new jobs and lowered unemployment to 5.5 per cent in March.

However, the vast majority of that prosperity is focused on the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In fact, over the past decade, roughly 80 per cent of new jobs created in Ontario went to the GTA, 10 per cent to Ottawa and the rest of the province had to make due with the remaining 10 per cent.

Is it any wonder why the GTA is drowning in prosperity, with crowded subways, congested highways and an over-inflated housing market?

In the1980s, former Liberal premier David Peterson had an innovative vision of sharing the job wealth with the rest of the province as the government is a major employer. He transferred 1,600 civil service jobs from a number of ministries to Northern Ontario. Thousands of other jobs were also moved to various cities in southern Ontario like Kingston, Peterborough, Orillia and Guelph. Continue Reading →

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

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

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)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

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 →

Stan Sudol: Ontario politicians disregard mining issues, to the province’s peril – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – June 1, 2018)

http://resourceclips.com/

One of Canada’s greatest mineral discoveries since 1883, the Ring of Fire offers tremendous potential to a region plagued by endemic poverty and to a province burdened with the world’s largest sub-national debt.

Meanwhile Ontario law requires mining companies to monitor carbon emissions from portable toilets. With a provincial election coming on June 7, something’s terribly lacking in campaign discussion, not to mention political vision, says Stan Sudol.

Backing up his insights with factual detail, the Sudbury native, former mine worker, communications consultant and mining commentator presents a highly informed perspective at his website, The Republic of Mining. Are the hurdles to Ring of Fire development insurmountable? Sudol points out: Continue Reading →

What Does Northern Ontario Want From Queen’s Park? – by Stan Sudol (RepublicOfMining.com – May 31, 2018)

Northern Ontario Being Strangled

On June 7th, 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 currently and growing. By the way, this is the largest sub-national debt in the world and twice as large as California which has a population of almost 40 million. We are paying roughly $1 billion a month to service that debt. That will surely rise when interest rates, which are at historic lows, eventually start going up! Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: No ‘weakness’ in city’s bid for Noront’s ferrochrome plant – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – February 3, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Sudol believes Sudbury is the right choice for the ferrochrome
smelter. “The facility in Finland does not have a detrimental
effect on their local environment or workers. It will be the
same in Sudbury,” he said. “Sudbury is serviced by two class
one rail lines, has a number of brownfield sites that can be
used to construct and expand the facility and has no issues
with power availability.

“With strategic clusters of mine supply and services, mining
education – two colleges and a university – and a wide assortment
of underground, metallurgical, environmental, and health and safety
research in the community, Noront can take advantage of more than

135 years of mining expertise that is unmatched anywhere else in
Northern Ontario or the entire country for that matter. (Stan Sudol)

On the heels of his fact-finding mission to Finland, Mayor Brian Bigger is really excited about Sudbury’s bid to host the Noront Resources ferrochrome production facility.

For one thing, there is already a skilled and knowledgeable work force in Sudbury that supports eight mines, two smelters and two mills.

“There is a lot of expertise within our community to support that kind of operation,” Bigger said this week. “We’re familiar with these types of operations in Sudbury. We understand what’s required to support that kind of business.” Continue Reading →

A small town in Quebec could power the next wave of electric cars – by Ashley Renders (Vice News – January 30, 2018)

https://news.vice.com/

But Sudol doubts recycling would satisfy the demand for batteries.
The global population is growing and people want cell phones, cars,
urban transportation and a higher standard of living—all of this
is metal intensive, says Sudol. If we can’t dig for these metals
in a place like Quebec, which has strong restoration policies and
labour laws, “then where on Earth are we going to get these metals?”
he asks.

In other words, as long as car companies and cell phone companies
are clamoring for battery metals, Sudol sees only two options:
child miners in the DRC or rule of law in Quebec.

A small town in Northern Quebec could hold the keys to a future where electric vehicles are the norm.

A Toronto-based mining company called RNC Minerals Corporation wants to build a “battery metals” mine near Amos, Quebec, a town of less than 13,000 people that sits on the largest untouched deposit of nickel sulphide and cobalt in the world, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data cited by a company report. Continue Reading →

Nickel on the upswing – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – January 3, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

“So, we should remember that the many sustainable mining
practices — lowering carbon emissions, mine safety and an
96 per cent reductions in sulphur emissions since 1970, just
to name a few — done in the Sudbury Basin to supply the
necessary nickel, copper and cobalt puts this community in
a leading role in the transition to a green auto future.

“Both the provincial and federal levels of government should
recognize this important fact and ensure none of their green
energy policies hinder the future growth of this strategic
sector.” (Stan Sudol – RepublicOfMining.com)

It looks like 2018 will be a very good year for nickel. Last month, world metal markets closed for the Christmas break with nickel on an upswing. The metal reached $5.46/pound U.S., more than $1 U.S. higher than the average price of $4.43/pound U.S. in the first half of the year..

The $5.46 U.S. price was also 23 cents higher than the $5.23U.S. recorded back on Nov. 27. The amount of nickel sitting in London Metal Exchange warehouses –another indicator of where prices are headed — is also showing signs of life. On Nov. 27, there were 382,362 tonnes of nickel in the warehouses. But as of Dec. 20, the total had fallen to 373,400. Continue Reading →

Some Highlights of 150 years of Canadian Mining – by Stan Sudol (Canadian Business History Association Conference – September 12, 2017)

British Columbia Gold Rush – Wiki Photo

http://bit.ly/2gyCMjA

This speech was given at the Canadian Business History Association Conference at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto on September 12, 2017.

Good morning everyone.

For over 150 years the strategic mining sector has played a major role in the economic development of Canada as well as opening up many parts of the country’s isolated north for settlement. It also helped solidify our western and northern borders during the first few decades of Canada’s existence at a time of threatening American expansion.

British Columbia Gold Rush

In 1848, placer gold – which refers to the metal found in rivers and streams – was discovered in California. This was the first of a series of gold rushes throughout the world over the next 80 years.

Miners at the Mucho Oro (Much Gold) gold mine near Barkerville – Wiki Photo

Fortunately, when these placer gold deposits started to decline by 1858, a similar discovery was made hundreds of miles to the north at the mouth of the Fraser River, in a territory known as New Caledonia.

At that time, this region was controlled by the Hudson Bay Company and the colony of Vancouver Island was ruled by Governor James Douglas who was based in Victoria. He was fearful that an influx of about 30,000 miners, many from California, would cause the territory to be annexed by the Americans. Continue Reading →