Let’s Celebrate 25 Years of Diamonds! – by Tom Hoefer (May 9, 2016)


Tom Hoefer is the Executive Director, NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of diamonds in Canada, in our own Northwest Territories, and what progress we have made!

All too often it seems we are so busy focused on the task at hand that we forget to celebrate our successes. Twenty-five years of diamonds marks a good time to measure our progress. It’s also a good time to ask ourselves, where would we be had there never been a diamond rush? And what can we all do to ensure future generations have similar opportunity to benefit from our abundant resources?

I was reminded of this when the Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, Canada’s Minister of Science, Innovation & Economic Development, recently visited Yellowknife. He stressed three themes:

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TORONTO, March 21, 2016 — Due to overwhelming demand, the next group of inductees into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame will be celebrated at a new venue for the first time in 29 years. On January 12, 2017, the Mining Hall of Fame’s Annual awards evening will officially move to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Established in 1988, the Mining Hall of Fame (CMHF) hosts the seminal annual event for the industry, attracting attendees from across the country and around the globe. “This is an exciting time for the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame and a new venue will provide us with a tremendous opportunity to respond to the intense demand for increased capacity,” says Patricia Dillon, Mining Hall of Fame chairperson.

The transition to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was a significant decision, and one not taken lightly by the board of directors. “Obviously there is substantial history attached to the original venue; however, we felt this was the best way to honour inductees and serve the attendees,” says Dillon.

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The Mining Supercycle And Its Demise – by Christopher Ecclestone (InvestorIntel.com – December 2, 2015)


The “death throes” of the once vaunted Commodities Supercycle have been dragging on now since 2011 and are starting to look like the much derided “death scene” in the original Brideshead Revisited in which Sir Laurence Olivier took seemingly forever to depart the mortal coil.

Like the Supercycle, that scene had an inevitability about it and eventually the viewers were anxious for it all to be over.

Those amongst us who believed the Supercycle was immortal have now been brought down to earth because all good things must end… but maybe it’s a truism that all bad things must end too… so in the wake of the Supercycle’s demise (and there are a few hardies out there who sustain it will rise from its grave) we now should accept matters and look beyond.

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NEWS RELEASE: Kirkland Lake Gold Creates an Ontario-Focused Intermediate Gold Producer With the Acquisition of St Andrew


TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Nov. 16, 2015) – Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. (“Kirkland Lake” ) (TSX:KGI) and St Andrew Goldfields Ltd. (“St Andrew”) (TSX:SAS)(OTCQX:STADF) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a binding definitive agreement (the “Agreement”) whereby Kirkland Lake will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of St Andrew pursuant to a plan of arrangement (the “Transaction”) to create a multi-asset, Ontario-focused, intermediate gold producer.

Under the terms of the Agreement, common shareholders of St Andrew will receive 0.0906 of one common share of Kirkland Lake (the “Exchange Ratio”) for each St Andrew common share held. The Exchange Ratio represents the equivalent of C$0.47 per St Andrew common share, based on the closing price of Kirkland Lake on November 16, 2015. The Exchange Ratio implies a 46% premium based on both companies’ 20-day volume-weighted average prices and a 25% premium to St Andrew’s closing price, both as at November 16, 2015 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Exchange Ratio implies a total equity value of approximately C$178 million on a fully diluted in-the-money basis.

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Exclusive: First Quantum hires Jefferies to sell nickel assets – sources – by Euan Rocha and Freya Berry (Reuters U.S. – November 5, 2015)


TORONTO/LONDON – First Quantum Minerals has retained Jefferies to explore a sale of its two nickel mines as the Canadian base metal miner looks to trim debt levels and double down on its bets in copper, three sources familiar with the matter said

The sources, who declined to be named as details of the plan are not public, said the move to sell the assets would help the company achieve its goal of reducing its debt levels by over $1 billion.

A spokeswoman for First Quantum declined to comment on the plan. A spokeswoman for Jefferies was not immediately reachable.

Two of the sources said the assets on the block are Kevitsa, a nickel-copper-platinum mine in Finland and Ravensthorpe, a nickel mine located in Western Australia that the company bought back in 2010.

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NEWS RELEASE: Excellon Reports on the Passing of Peter Crossgrove, Chairman


TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – June 03, 2015) – Excellon Resources Inc. (TSX: EXN)(OTC: EXLLF) (“Excellon” or the “Company”), reports with sadness that Peter A. Crossgrove, CPG, O.C., Chairman of the Board of Directors, passed away yesterday afternoon.

“Today we mourn the passing of a great figure in Canadian mining,” commented Brendan Cahill, President and Chief Executive Officer. “He was an entrepreneur who experienced success in many industries worldwide. He was a connector of people and ideas who asked for nothing in return. He was selfless in his work and fundraising for charitable causes. He was an exceptional mentor, for so many as well as myself. Our deepest condolences go to Peter’s family and all of the people he touched over the years.”

Peter Crossgrove served as a Director of Excellon since 2005 and was Chairman of the Board since 2008. He had been in the mining industry for almost his entire career and most recently sat on various boards of directors including, Detour Gold, Lake Shore Gold, Pelangio Exploration, Dundee REIT and Dundee Industrial REIT. He previously served on the Board of Barrick Gold for 22 years; was CEO and Vice Chairman of Placer Dome; and was a founder of Masonite International.

Peter was the recipient of the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario, The Upper Canada Medal, Queens Golden Jubilee Medal and Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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India steel mills set US$46 bln plan to expand capacity (Ejinsight.com – June 2, 2015)


Indian steel mills plan to invest 2.94 trillion rupees (US$46.13 billion) in the next 10 years to expand production capacity.

The target is 300 million tons of production capacity by 2025, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

Falling demand from China has resulted in a global oversupply but India is planning for the longer term, Tomar said.

He expects considerable homegrown demand as the government adds infrastructure such as roads, ports, housing and real estate for which steel will be a key component.

India, the world’s third largest steel producer by volume, has been struggling to add new capacity in recent years, mainly because of delays in securing environmental approvals and opposition by farmers who refuse to make way for plant construction.

In 2013, ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, scrapped plans to build a plant in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, citing delays in acquiring land.

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Rob McEwen on the aftermath of a Mexican gold heist – Interview by Andrew Bell (Business Network News -April 9, 2015)

http://www.bnn.ca/ Kidnapping, robbery and even murder are becoming the cost of doing business in Mexico for Canadian-run precious metals mines. Gold producer McEwen Mining (MUX.TO 0.00%) is the latest victim, with armed thieves making off with gold concentrate worth $8.5-million US. For a look at the heist and investigation, and how the company will improve …

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Eldorado Gold faces accusations of tax avoidance in Greece – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – March 31, 2015)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Canada’s Eldorado Gold Corp., the biggest foreign investor in Greece, is engaged in a tax-avoidance scheme that uses mailbox companies in the Netherlands to lower its tax load, a new report from a Dutch foundation says.

The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, known as SOMO, made the claim in a detailed 116-page report called Fool’s Gold, which was released in Amsterdam Monday and will be presented Wednesday in Athens at a panel discussion featuring Norway’s Eva Joly, a member of the Green Party in the European Parliament.

The report claims the scheme has cost the Greek government at least €1.7-million ($2.3-million) in revenue in the past two years.

The timing of the report was apparently no accident. It came as Eldorado fights hard to keep its Greek mining operations going in the face of threats from Greece’s new radical left Syriza government to shut down or curtail them over environmental concerns. It also came a month after the European Parliament’s committee on tax rulings revealed it is examining allegations that some European Union countries are using special tax regimes or deals to favour large companies.

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Accent: Nuke waste plans stir Northern angst – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – March 28, 2015)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Nuclear is in the news, making some residents of Northern Ontario nervous. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization is scouting for a permanent storage solution for the waste produced by Ontario Power Generation Inc., Hydro-Quebec and the New Brunswick Power Corporation reactors.

Blind River and Elliot Lake are in the running to host a deep geologic repository (DGR), a storage facility that plunges more than 500 metres underground, in which nuclear waste will be buried. White River, Ignace, Hornepayne and Manitouwadge are also under consideration.

Robert Beaudoin sees red flags. A regular contributor to the Facebook group, Citizens Concerned about Nuclear Waste in Elliot Lake, which currently has 274 members, he believes there is “a lot of business potential” in the city and the presence of a DGR would be a deterrent.

“This is just going to put the big red letter on us,” he says. “Who’s going to want to live here? I can’t. I’ll take a loss on my house just to get away. I don’t want to raise my son around this.” He says he would rather lose his house and declare bankruptcy than jeopardize the safety of his seven-year-old. If the DGR is built in Elliot Lake, Beaudoin plans to relocate his family to the East Coast.

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Time for Ring of Fire is now – by Allan O’Dette (Timmins Daily Press – March 20, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

Allan O’Dette is the President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier this week, federal Treasury Board President Tony Clement left many in the business community scratching their heads when he said that the Ring of Fire will not be developed “before economic conditions improve.”

Until then, he said, it is not realistic to expect his government to step in and “boost” the Ring of Fire. Minister Clement’s comments are perplexing. To which economic conditions is he referring?

The downturn in the global commodity cycle has had little impact on the economics of the Ring of Fire, which hinges on the forecast price of nickel and demand for stainless steel. The outlook for these indicators is positive: nickel prices are projected to increase by up to 40% over the next four years and demand for stainless steel remains strong, driven upward by robust consumer demand in developing countries for stainless steel appliances.

It would appear that Minister Clement’s comments are informed by a false narrative that has caught on in the discourse about the Ring of Fire: that the downturn in iron ore prices is impacting the economics of the Ring of Fire.

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South Africa drops out of top 10 in Africa for mining investment – by Frik Els (Mining.com – February 24, 2015)


According to the latest annual global survey released Tuesday by Canadian think tank the Fraser Institute, South Africa has fallen out of the top ten mining investment destinations on the continent and dropped 11 places to 67th globally.

The institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2014, rates 122 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic appeal and the extent to which government policies encourage exploration and investment.

“While it is useful to measure the attractiveness of a jurisdiction based on policy factors such as onerous regulations, taxation levels, the quality of infrastructure and so forth, investment decisions are often based on the pure mineral potential of a jurisdiction. Indeed respondents consistently indicate that roughly only 40% of their investment decision is determined by policy factors,” according to the report.

The survey covers Central African Republic, Egypt, Lesotho, Mauritania, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda for the first time, but it’s at the top of the rankings that trends are most visible. And it’s not encouraging for the continent’s long-time stalwart.

South Africa is ranked the 11th most attractive African destination for investment in the resources sector behind the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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My Turn: Mining disasters must end with Mount Polley – by Bill Bennett (Juneau Empire – February 24, 2015)


Bill Bennett is the Minister of Energy and Mines for the province of British Columbia.

It’s unfortunate your editorial has seized upon the Mount Polley mine tailings storage facility failure to undermine the long tradition of respectful relations and co-operation between British Columbia and Alaska on mining development and environmental protection.

A breach of this magnitude is unprecedented in British Columbia in over 160 years of mining. Major breaches of tailings storage facilities have happened all over the world, including in many U.S. states. Your suggestion, based on the Mount Polley failure, that in B.C. we are somehow less responsible in developing our mining industry than you are in Alaska, or that we’re charging forward without due care for environmental protection is based on a misrepresentation of the facts. Let me set the record straight on a few things.

The independent panel traced the cause of the failure at Mount Polley to the original design of the tailings storage facility, and concluded that government inspectors could not have detected the issue.

The panel also noted that it considered the technical qualifications of British Columbia government inspectors as among the best that it has encountered among agencies with similar duties.

Most importantly, it is most certainly not “business as usual” in British Columbia regarding mine tailings storage facilities.

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NEWS RELEASE: The Fraser Institute: Quebec’s Mining Reputation Rebounds in International Mining Survey


Click here for full report: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/survey-of-mining-companies-2014.pdf

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Feb. 24, 2015) – Quebec is re-establishing itself as one of Canada’s – and one of the world’s – most attractive jurisdictions for mining investment, according to an annual global survey of mining executives released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.

The Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2014, rates 122 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic attractiveness and the extent to which government policies encourage exploration and investment. In this year’s survey, Quebec jumps up six spots and now ranks as the number three jurisdiction for mining investment in Canada and sixth worldwide.

“Quebec was atop the national and international rankings from 2007 to 2010 but tumbled down the list in recent years as a result of increased red tape, royalty hikes and uncertainty around new regulations,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resources.

“The confidence mining executives now have in Quebec is due in part to the province’s proactive approach to mining policy and its Plan Nord strategy to encourage investment and mineral exploration in northern Quebec.”

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