iPods, Environmental Groups and the Mining Sector – by Paul Stothart

Paul Stothart - Mining Association of CanadaPaul Stothart is vice president, economic affairs of the Mining Association of Canada. He is responsible for advancing the industry’s interests regarding federal tax, trade, investment, transport and energy issues.

Few industry sectors are subject to as much scrutiny from environmental and social groups as the mining industry. Mineral extraction and processing, virtually by definition, involve intrusion upon the landscape — whether to conduct open pit or underground mining, to build access roads and power lines, to remove exploration samples, or to treat and manage waste products. These actions represent encounters between humans and the surrounding environment — and the attendant need to manage and minimize the risk that accompanies these encounters.

In the Canadian context, mining can involve accessing lands situated within the Boreal Forest. Accessing land and resources in northern Canada can frequently raise issues of aboriginal rights and relationships. Comparable issues, though on a greater scale, face the mining industry in its international operations, which often occur in countries with less developed infrastructure and with thinner environmental protection and community consultation capacities.

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Prospecting for Gold Mines in the Supply Sector- by Dr. David Robinson

Dr. David Robinson - Laurentian University Economics ProfessorDr. David Robinson is an economist at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada. His column was originally published in Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal a magazine that showcases the mining expertise of North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury.

Dr. David Robinson

Mining supply and service companies don’t normally own gold mines, but there are gold mines out there for companies that are looking. With mining booming and commentators expecting the good times to last, some innovations are getting long-overdue attention. Others are still waiting for the right company, or the right innovator to stumble across them.  It is a good time to go prospecting.

To position your company for the long run, you might want to look at some of the wilder prospects right now.  The trick is to figure out where to look. If it were easy, everyone would be rich. Strong prices and sustained demand are making a lot of our companies rich, in fact, but there are still some pretty interesting properties to stake. Here are a few hints.

 Think about boots, for example. Everyone wears boots. Anyone who has spent a day on his feet at a mine site knows that boots aren’t perfect. The way to make money on boots is to find a way to make boots increase productivity, reduce injuries, and minimize time lost. But how?

The gold mine is probably in custom orthotics. Bad boots hurt workers and cost companies money. Custom insoles reduce fatigue, backache and stress on the knees. Fatigue causes accidents and backache calls for prescription drugs and time off. 

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A Growing Regional System of Mining Innovation in Northern Ontario – by Dick DeStefano

Dick DeStefano - Executive Director SAMSSADick DeStefano is the Executive Director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA). His column was originally published in Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal, a magazine that showcases the mining expertise of North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury.

Dick DeStefano

“We are reaching a point where the mining supply industry in Sudbury and Northern Ontario is as important for the global mining industry as the orebodies. This is exemplified by the fact that the large mining firms located in the area expend on average 80 per cent of their supply dollars locally as compared to 30 per cent anywhere else in the world”.

-Professor Jean-Charles Cachon, Laurentian University, Sudbury, July 2008

This reliance on the local supply sector translates into an estimated $750 million spent on a local basis, annually.

A recent comparative study entitled Innovation, Marketing & Management Strategies among Mining Supply Firms: A Comparison between Canada & Chile (Antofagasta) written by Jean–Charles Cachon and Huguette Blanco, School of Commerce & Administration, Faculty of Management, Laurentian University, demonstrates again that the Sudbury mining cluster is a world leader.

The study, completed in June of 2008, compared strategies for innovation, marketing, and management, including human resources training, financing and quality control.

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What Has Gone Up Will Come Down – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales - Canadian Mining JournalMarilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication.

I am no economist, and I don’t have a magic formula to predict the future of commodity prices. Instead I read other people’s prognostications and watch for trends. Sadly, the trend that has is emerging involves a downturn in the cyclical high that miners have enjoyed since 2002.

For what my advice is worth, watch the US dollar get stronger. It would appear the recession caused by the sub-prime mortgage fiasco in that country was short-lived. The relative worth of the American dollar affects global commodity markets.

The price of crude oil has dropped from its US$145/bbl high in mid-July to below US$109 despite Hurricane Gustav’s trek across the Gulf of Mexico. The storm blew through the oil-producing region at a relatively mild strength of Category 2 and 1. Analysts who said only a week ago that Canadian gas prices would skyrocket to C$1.75/litre are now saying they will drop even further than the C$1.25/litre it is in Eastern Ontario today.

Everyone jumped on the bandwagon as the gold price topped US$1,000/oz in mid-March. Exploration, development and takeover activity reached a fever pitch. But the high cannot be sustained. With the exception of a brief rise to US$977/oz six weeks ago, the gold price continues to slide, closing just short of US$800/oz on Sept. 2. I would hazard a guess that no other metal price reflects such an inverse correlation to the value of the U.S. dollar.

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Four Laurentian University Groups Create Mining Research Expertise in Sudbury – by Janet Gibson

Northern Life, Greater Sudbury’s community newspaper, gave Republic of Mining.com permission to post Janet Gibson’s article. www.northernlife.ca

JGIBSON@NORTHERNLIFE.CA

Four groups have joined forces to form a world-class mining research centre on the fourth floor of the Willet Green Miller Centre at Laurentian University.

Late last month, staff from CEMI, MASHA, CAMIRO and MIRARCO explained their acronyms and described their projects to more than 100 invited guests from the university, mining companies, city and provincial government.

“Our biggest challenge is to make this work for those who invest,” said the CEO of CEMI, Dr. Peter Kaiser, noting his organization has received $50 million in the last five years, half of which is being devoted to problems associated with deep mining.

Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI):

Some projects Kaiser and his staff are working on this year are mining footwall and offset deposits, reducing the risks of deep mining and restoring peatlands and uplands in the Hudson Bay lowlands.

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Honourable Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper – Geo-mapping for Northern Energy and Minerals Program Speech – 26 August 2008, Ottawa, Ontario

Honourable Prime Minister of Canada - Stephen Harper

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  First of all, thank you Gary Lunn for your introduction, and thank you for all the work you’ve done as our Minister of Natural Resources to make today’s important announcement possible.  Greetings to Daniel Caron, Jeffrey Murray and to everyone here who has joined us at the Library and Archives Canada, which is acting as our gracious host this morning.

Ladies and gentlemen, later today I will begin another tour of Canada’s North.  I’ve done this at least once each year since becoming Prime Minister.  I look forward to going north because I see some of Canada’s most spectacular landscapes and I meet some of Canada’s most hardy and dynamic people.  As Prime Minister, I have visited all of the territorial capitals, met polar bears in Churchill, tried dog sledding in Yellowknife.  I’ve looked over the breathtaking Nahanni Falls, visited the future site of a year-round military training base at Resolute Bay, concluded a land claims agreement at Kuujuuaq and stood at the future deep water port of Nanasivik. 

I’ve even dipped my toe into the Arctic Ocean at Alert, the northernmost human settlement on Earth.  Each time I do this, it’s really a great experience, and I come back to Ottawa inspired by the vastness, the beauty and the potential of our North.  And each time I return more determined than ever to draw the gaze of all Canadians northward. 

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Canada Will Rule the North – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. In a bid to encourage economic development and defend Canadian sovereignty throughout the North, the federal government announced a new program of geo-mapping for Canada’s Arctic. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement on Aug. 26, 2008, noting, “As I’ve …

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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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Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (5 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.

Ontario’s Mining Act

The purpose of the Mining Act, which applies throughout Ontario, is “to encourage prospecting, staking and exploration for the development of mineral resources and to minimize the impact of these activities on public health and safety and the environment through rehabilitation of mining lands in Ontario.”

Despite its name, the Mining Act has limited application in the day-to-day activities of operating mines. Generally, it focuses on activities that occur before and after mineral production. These activities include the acquisition and maintenance of mineral rights – claim staking, prospecting, mineral exploration and mine development related to mining land tenure – and the safe, environmentally sustainable closure of mining operations.

The Mining Act does not, however, regulate the following matters, which are covered by other legislation:

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Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (4 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.

What We Have Learned So Far

Consultation with Aboriginal Communities

In February 2007, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines released a discussion paper, Toward Developing an Aboriginal Consultation Approach for Mineral Sector Activities, and initiated a collaborative engagement process with the goal of developing an improved Aboriginal consultation approach.

The ministry held community-based discussions across Ontario, met with several political territorial organizations and tribal councils, as well as the Métis Nation of Ontario, and held several facilitated workshops. Through these discussions, we learned that Aboriginal communities have a variety of views on mineral sector activities, and when and how they want to be consulted.

Aboriginal communities told us:
• They want to be consulted and accommodated at all stages of the mining sequence, including preliminary exploration
• They desire meaningful participation in land use decision making and economic development
• They desire a measure of control over development within their traditional territories, including proposed activities before exploration work is undertaken
• They require assistance to build capacity that would allow them to participate fully.

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Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (3 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.

Purpose of the Review

Blueprint for Development

Released in March 2006, Ontario’s Mineral Development Strategy serves as a blueprint for the future of mineral development in Ontario. It commits Ontario to sound management, effective stewardship and responsible development of the province’s mineral resources.

Ontario is modernizing its Mining Act to ensure that this legislation promotes fair and balanced development that benefits all Ontarians in a sustainable, socially appropriate way, while supporting a vibrant, safe, environmentally sound mining industry.

Modernization will bring the Mining Act into harmony with the values of today’s society while maintaining a framework that supports the mineral industry’s contribution to Ontario’s economy. This process supports Premier Dalton McGuinty’s July 14, 2008 Far North Planning announcement, including his promise that the government will modernize the way mining companies stake and explore their claims to be more respectful of private land owners and Aboriginal communities.

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Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (2 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.

Overview of Ontario’s Mining Industry

The mineral sector is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal workers in Canada.

Ontario is Canada’s largest producer of minerals, accounting for 28 per cent of the national total in 2007, at an approximate value of $10.7 billion. Exploration spending in Ontario has risen fourfold from $120 million in 2002 to $500 million in 2007. In 2008 that figure is expected to exceed $625 million.

Ontario is a leading producer in a number of base and precious metals. The province ranks among the top 10 global producers of platinum, nickel and cobalt and among the top 20 global producers of gold, silver, copper and zinc. Currently, there are 43 producing mines across Ontario: 28 metal mines; 14 major industrial mineral operations and Ontario’s first diamond mine.

The mining sector employs 100,000 Ontarians directly and indirectly. The average weekly earnings of the mining sector are 50 per cent higher than any of Ontario’s other industrial sectors. Mining companies inject approximately $1 billion annually into the Ontario economy and support over 1,000 local businesses.

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Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act – Minister Michael Gravelle’s Message (1 of 6)

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

Ontarians share a fundamental value – a deep and profound love for the natural wonders of this province.

The natural world of trees and rocks and water and wildlife has built our economy into one of the strongest in the world. Since earliest times, it has inspired our art and shaped our character as a people. It sustains us and lies at the core of our self-image.

Whether we are urbanites who relish our annual canoe trips with the kids; Cree hunters awaiting the return of the geese to Hanna Bay; lone prospectors plying their craft in the winter wilderness; cottagers enjoying the sunset at the lake; or small-towners sneaking out at lunch to dip a line in a local stream – whoever we are and whatever we do, we all love this place.

In a sense, we Ontarians are all people of the land. It is natural, then, that the land – and the uses we put it to – should spark strong feelings. Sometimes we find ourselves at odds with each other. Occasionally, these differences lead to conflicts.

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Alaska Votes for Gold, Not Fishing – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. This week the voters of Alaska were asked to decide whether or not they favour prohibitive clean water regulations for new mines in that state. Ballot Measure 4 was aimed specifically at stopping Vancouver’s NORTHERN DYNASTY MINERALS (50%) and South …

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Looking Through Stone – Poems About the Earth – by Susan Ioannou

Excerpt from Susan Ioannou’s book of poetry Looking Through Stone – Poems About the Earth. If you would like to order Susan Ioannou’s book of poetry, go to Your Scrivener Press GEOLOGIST He bids on the obscure: a speck inching across kilometres of scrub   to map and pick samples out of sediments,   or cragged above …

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