Archive | Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances

Column: Elon Musk should invest in Sudbury – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – July 28, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Elon Musk is practically begging nickel miners to boost production as potential future shortages would severely impact his ability to manufacture electric vehicles as the metal is a key component for the batteries on which Tesla Inc. depends.

Historically, nickel has always been a boom/bust metal due to the fact the world only produces about 2.1 million metric tonnes of the material a year as opposed to a more commonly used metal like copper at 20 million metric tonnes. And roughly only half of nickel production is of the Class-1 type that is used in batteries that run electric vehicles.

Currently, the cost of nickel is nearing a cyclical bottom, hence the reluctance of nickel miners to invest the possible near billion dollars it takes to bring on a new mine. Continue Reading →

As Elon Musk calls for more nickel production, a mining analyst has some suggestions – by Darren MacDonald (CTV News Northern Ontario – July 24, 2020)

https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/

SUDBURY — Earlier this week, Tesla boss Elon Musk called for global mining companies to boost their production of nickel, a key element in making batteries for electric cars.

“Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way,” Musk said Wednesday, as the company announced second-quarter results. “Don’t wait for nickel to go back to some high point you experienced five years ago … Wherever you are in the world, please mine more nickel.”

Musk made the comments as Tesla is boosting its production of electric vehicles. Overall, demand for the type of nickel needed in electric car batteries grew by 28 per cent in 2019 alone. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Basin Nickel Deposits: An Enduring and Extraordinary Resource – by Stan Sudol (July 24, 2020)

Inco World War Two Poster

Notwithstanding the historical hype of the Klondike Gold Rush in Canadian society, the two most important mining events in our history are the discoveries of the Sudbury nickel mines in 1883 and the Cobalt silver boom of 1903.

Both were the result of railroads – the construction of the Canadian Pacific to British Columbia in Sudbury’s case and the building of the provincial Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway, going through Cobalt, which was for the colonization of northern Ontario.

But the similarities end there. Sudbury was built with U.S. capital and strategic technology. Cobalt was largely built and significantly financed by Canadian business and was the start of Canada’s global reputation as mine finders and builders. The two camps had much overlap but were also very distinct in their own rights.

Ohio-born businessman Samual J. Ritchie was the driving force who really started mining production in the Sudbury Basin with the founding of the Canadian Copper Company in 1886. A subsequent merger in 1902 with the New Jersey-based Orford Copper Company, which had the vital technology to separate the nickel from the copper in Sudbury’s complex ore, lead to the creation of the legendary International Nickel Company. (INCO) Continue Reading →

COLUMN: Advice to Elon Musk About Potential Nickel Shortages – Stan Sudol (July 23, 2020)

Elon Musk is practically begging nickel miners to boost production as potential future shortages would severely impact his ability to manufacture electric vehicles as the metal is a key component for the batteries Tesla Inc. depends on.

Historically, nickel has always been a boom/bust metal due to the fact the world only produces about 2.1 million metric tonnes of the material a year as opposed to a more commonly used metal like copper at 20 million metric tonnes. And roughly only half of nickel production is of the Class-1 type that is used in batteries that run electric vehicles.

Currently the cost of nickel is nearing a cyclical bottom, hence the reluctance of nickel miners to invest the possible near billion it takes to bring on a new mine.

Musk is a multi-billionaire and his company stock is at an all time high. Instead of whining to the mineral industry to invest “their shareholder money” in new nickel production at a time of low returns here are some suggestions to calm his fear of future shortages: Continue Reading →

ESSAY/COLUMN – Orefinders Battles Mistango on Kirkland Lake’s Mile of Gold – Stan Sudol (July 23, 2020)

(L to R) Antoine Schwartzmann, Stephen Stewart, Charles Beaudry, Keith Benn, Chitrali Sarkar

Who says mining is not sustainable? The recent announcement by IAMGOLD to start building a C$2 billion Cote Lake open pit gold mine 140 km north of Sudbury which will employ 1,000 workers during peak construction and roughly 450 full-time middle-class jobs is welcome news. The mine life is expected to be around 18 years, however, ongoing exploration may extend the life of mine.

Vale’s Creighton mine which started production in 1901, is still going strong 8,000 feet below surface. The deeper the company goes, the richer the nickel/copper and PGM content of the ore gets. Kirkland Lake’s Macassa gold mine started production in 1933. With new discoveries at deeper levels and a roughly $320 million investment for a new mine shaft, Kirkland Lake Gold’s CEO Tony Makuch is extending the mine’s life for another 30 to 40 years!

Northern Ontario’s mining camps have seen many mines whose lifespans have lasted 50 years or much longer while hundreds of others with shorter operations have still provided tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity for the Ontario economy over the past century.

Meanwhile car manufacturing at Oshawa’s General Motors plant started in 1907 and unfortunately closed in 2018, dealing a devastating blow to southern Ontario’s auto-focused economy. Similarly, in 2011, Ford Motor Company permanently closed its St. Thomas assembly plant that opened in 1967. Now there are rumour’s that Ford may be closing its giant auto assembly plant in Oakville. Continue Reading →

Basic Facts About the Ring of Fire Including FNs Traditional Territories – by Stan Sudol

This post was originally published last year. A lot has happened in the Ring of Fire since then so I thought I would repost with some updates and interesting links. Some of the most significant developments have been the cancellation of the March 26, 2014 Regional “Framework Agreement” and the election of a new Chief for Eabametoong. On June 17th of this year, Harvey Yesno, former Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation was elected replacing former Chief Elizabeth Atlookan.

Eabametoong is the largest populated community among the five isolated FNs in the Ring of Fire and is also one of the original signatories to Treaty 9 in 1905 along with Marten Falls. I will elaborate on the importance of Treaty 9 in a future update.

Chief Yesno seems to be a very pragmatic, pro-business individual who sees economic development on Eabametoong’s tradiational territories as a way of improving the standard of living in his community. This link https://bit.ly/2wZDqi5 brings you to a previous keynote speech he gave in 2014 while this link is a recent profile in Northern Ontario Business https://bit.ly/2nbGm9v . Continue Reading →

Rockcliff gears up to drill in Snow Lake – by Stan Sudol (Northern Miner – July 15, 2019)

Rockcliff Metal’s founder Ken LaPierre at the 2019 PDAC Mining Convention. A $29 Million financing has turbo-charged junior Rockcliff Metals, which plans to complete over 100,000 metres of exploration drilling over next 18 months. Rockcliff is the 2nd largest landholder in the legendary Flin Flon/Snow Lake greenstone belt in Northern Manitoba after HudBay Minerals. (Photo by Stan Sudol)

Northern Miner

At the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto in March 2018, Rockcliff Metals (CSE: RCLF) was a struggling junior with a large land package in the lesser known but geologically rich Flin Flon–Snow Lake (FF–SL) greenstone belt, with eight high-grade, base-metal volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits and five gold properties.

It began as a tough year for Rockcliff, and it turned even rougher the week before the PDAC convention, when Kenneth Lapierre, Rockcliff’s president and CEO at the time, slipped on freshly fallen snow when taking out the garbage at home.

Not thinking much about his sore ankle, the six-foot-three-inch, former hockey-playing, karate-practising jock then started shovelling the driveway. Twelve hours later, the swelling and pain in his ankle demanded a trip to the doctor, where he learned that it was broken, and that he had torn all the soft tissue. Continue Reading →

Miners waiting for higher nickel, metals prices – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – January 18, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

The prices of nickel and other metals prices will recover, especially when more electric vehicles are built, mining analysts say. When they do, work at Levack Mine’s Morrison deposit will resume. Until then, KGHM Sudbury will keep the deposit in a care and maintenance mode, company officials say.

“It was very difficult,” Steve Dunlop, KGHM Sudbury general manager, said about meetings with employees held Wednesday to break the news. “Our concern is certainly with our employees. We are a fairly tight family. All of our workers have 10-plus years and the staff (members) have also been with us for quite a long time. It was very difficult.”

Slumping world nickel prices have prompted KGHM Sudbury to halt production at its Morrison deposit, putting an estimated 120 employees out of work as of late March when the mine goes into care and maintenance mode. A total of 87 of the affected 120 employees are members of United Steelworkers Local 2020. Continue Reading →

The Ring of Fire: Some clarification and context from Stan Sudol – by Greg Klein (Recource Clips – December 4, 2018)

http://resourceclips.com/

Urban journalists hundreds of kilometres away might not get it, but regional opposition to Ring of Fire development is anything but unanimous. That’s emphasized in a recent post by Republic of Mining commentator Stan Sudol: Not all the region’s native bands oppose development. Those that do, moreover, have traditional territories outside the proposed mining areas.

“As with non-Aboriginal society, First Nations do not speak with one voice,” he points out. Two of five regional chiefs got considerable news coverage by criticizing a proposed road that would connect the provincial highway system with the mineral-rich region. Those chiefs represent the Eabametoong and Neskantaga bands, both with traditional territories outside the Ring of Fire.

“In fact, the Eabametoong reserve is a little over 170 kilometres southwest of the proposed first mine in the Ring of Fire—Noront Resources’ Eagle’s Nest underground nickel-copper mine—while Neskantaga is about 130 kilometres in the same direction.” Continue Reading →

[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 →