Pentagon warns of rising Chinese and Russian influence in Africa – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – February 9, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A senior U.S. military commander, describing Africa as a potential “failed continent,” has warned that Russia and China are aggressively expanding their influence across Africa in a new era of “great-power competition.”

The testimony this week by General Thomas Waldhauser, head of the U.S. military command for Africa, was a glimpse into the emerging world view of President Donald Trump’s administration, where Africa is seen largely as a battleground for superpower rivalry.

Gen. Waldhauser, testifying before a U.S. Senate committee, spelled out what he sees as evidence of the “harmful influence of non-African players” on the African continent – while excluding his own country from that description. Continue Reading →

Barrick CEO Says Cuts to Take Miner Beyond Where Thornton Could – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – February 13, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

(Bloomberg) — Mark Bristow, known throughout the gold industry for his relentless focus on costs, is counting on his belt-tightening skills to take Barrick Gold Corp. to the next level.

“John really drove this business on multiple fronts, but his primary focus was the debt,” Barrick CEO Bristow said Wednesday in an interview at Bloomberg’s Toronto office, referring to the miner’s executive chairman, John Thornton. “He really pushed the envelope on cash flow.”

The “easiest’’ way to manage cash flow is to increase the grade of the gold being mined, Bristow said. “You go to the high-grade zones, and you mine them, and you get your cash flow.” However, that approach has its limits; the next step is to cut costs sufficiently that lower-grade gold becomes profitable — which also boosts reserves, he said. Continue Reading →

[Ontario 1950s Uranium Boom] The Hunch that’ll pay off in Billions – by Leslie Roberts (MACLEAN’S Magazine – March 19, 1955)

https://archive.macleans.ca/

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 19, 1955.

The Hunch that’ll pay off in Billions

They scoffed at Franc Joubin when he insisted Algoma was rich in uranium. But, after a secret staking rush that reads like fiction, his colossal finds are now sparking the world’s biggest uranium mines and his theories have started a stampede from coast to coast

IN MID-MAY 1953 a mysterious expedition took off from South Porcupine in northern Ontario. Its members were a dozen geologists and mining engineers, eighty prospectors and, of all people, several young lawyers. The planes carried more than fifty tents, as many geiger counters, a hundred axes and other bush gear and several tons of food.

The planes took off at irregular intervals and headed north—a touch of cloak-and-dagger designed to confuse the curious. Most of them made several flights. As soon as settled areas were left behind, they turned southwest on compass bearings that carried them two hundred and fifty miles into the Algoma country, midway between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, just north of Lake Huron. Some of the parties landed on lakes within an outfielder’s throw of the CPR Soo Line and the hard-surfaced Trans-Canada highway. Continue Reading →

Vale CFO says miner’s top managers were unaware of dam risk report – by Marta Nogueira (Reuters Canada – February 12, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Senior management at Brazilian miner Vale were never shown internal security documents indicating that its dam at Brumadinho was at risk of collapse, the company’s chief financial officer said on Tuesday.

The CFO, Luciano Siani, was asked about management’s knowledge of the internal documents at a news conference a day after Reuters reported on them. The documents, dated Oct. 3, 2018, classified the dam at Brumadinho as being two times more likely to fail than the maximum level of risk tolerated under internal guidelines.

The dam collapsed in late January in one of the deadliest mining disasters in decades. Asked whether the company’s senior management had seen the internal report, Siani said, “No.” Continue Reading →

Canadian mine company says Mexico crime ring stole $2M-$3M – by Christopher Sherman (Financial Post – February 12, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Associated Press – MEXICO CITY — A sophisticated criminal gang in Mexico stole an estimated $2 million to $3 million in metal concentrates through a subtle scheme that went on for months, a Canadian mining company said Tuesday.

Telson Mining Corp. President Ralph Shearing said compromised truck drivers worked with thieves who foiled security measures while the material was being transported from the company’s Campo Morado mine in the southern state of Guerrero to the port of Manzanillo on the Pacific coast.

Shearing said additional safety measures have resolved the problem. He said the theft appears to have occurred over a period of four to five months while the Vancouver-based company investigated why the quality of its product was measured at a lower level on arrival than it was when it left the mine. Continue Reading →

African Leaders Put Rich Nations On Notice That Days Of Cheap Resources Are Ending – by Lisa Vives (InDepthNews.net – February 12, 2019)

https://www.indepthnews.net/

Global Information Network – NEW YORK | CAPE TOWN (IDN) – African leaders had a new message for foreign companies seeking the diamonds, gold, rubies and emeralds so plentiful in desperate dirt-poor countries and so pricey when polished and sold in New York, Paris and Switzerland.

We’re no longer a cheap date. That message – in so many words – was heard again and again at this year’s posh African Mining Indaba (February 3-6) – a glittering conference in Cape Town, South Africa, that unites investors, mining companies, governments and stakeholders from around the world with the single goal of advancing mining on the African continent.

Not every African leader was threatening to pull “unusual tax incentives” from contracts with western companies. But at least one president drew a line in the sand, declaring it was simply unjust that Africa, rich in minerals sought after by the world, should remain inhabited by the poorest people in the world. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Welcome to the accidental iron ore boom – by Elizabeth Knight (Sydney Morning Herald – February 13, 2019)

https://www.smh.com.au/

Even a month ago it would have seemed fanciful for anyone to suggest iron ore prices would be heading towards $US100 per tonne ($A141.33). But the market dynamics have changed.

Welcome to the accidental mining boom. There is a lot at stake in this latest boom for the profits of BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue not to mention the potential swell to the federal government’s coffers.

Just how meaningful the uplift will be for all involved depends on how long the current boomtime prices are sustained. With futures now hitting more than $US96 commodities experts are scrambling to assess how this will play out. Continue Reading →

Anglo’s Cutifani expresses confidence in iron ore tailings technology at Minas Rio – by David McKay (MiningMX – February 12, 2019)

MiningMX

THE Brumadinho dam disaster in Brazil on January 25 could have some far-reaching consequences, but Anglo American CEO, Mark Cutifani, said that the impact on the group’s own activities in the country would be limited.

Brumadinho is the place where Brazil’s state-owned mining company, Vale, operates its Feijao iron ore mine which, in turn, is part of the Paraopeba complex. The complex produced 26.2 million tonnes (Mt) of iron ore in Vale’s 2017 financial year, representing 7% of its total output.

It’s the second major tailings dam burst disaster in just over two years in Brazil. In the previous event, a tailings facility burst at Samarco – an operation owned by Vale in joint venture with BHP. Some 19 lives were lost. Continue Reading →

Timmins Bell Creek shaft delivers immediate benefits, enhanced opportunities – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – February 13, 2019)

https://www.timminspress.com/

The new shaft at Bell Creek Mine has been in operation since December, and management with Tahoe Resources Canada say the increase in productivity has been immediate.

The new shaft at Bell Creek Mine has been in operation since December, and management with Tahoe Resources Canada say the increase in productivity has been immediate.

“We currently are down to 1,200 metres below surface with our ramp but it’s become uneconomic to do that with trucks,” Peter Van Alphen, vice-president of operations for Tahoe Canada, who was in Timmins Tuesday for the official opening of the Bell Creek shaft.

“We’ve now taken the shaft down to a thousand (1,080) meters and that creates a whole new environment for us here at Bell Creek … Productivity will go up, costs will come down and we can increase our production rate.” Continue Reading →

Column: Nickel rally fades, electric vehicle buzz doesn’t – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – February 12, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Was it another false dawn for the nickel market? Last week’s rally to a five-month high of $13,350 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange has gone into sharp reverse. Nickel was trading back at $12,385 on Tuesday.

The trigger for the price surge was concern that Brazilian producer Vale’s nickel operations would suffer some sort of knock-on effect from the devastating tailings collapse at the company’s Brumadinho iron ore mine.

Such fears have proved unfounded. So far. There may still be ramifications for Vale’s Onca Puma ferronickel operations in the state of Para. But nickel’s ability to rally at all in the current gloomy macroeconomic environment is testament to continued investor interest in the metal’s potential demand boost from the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. Continue Reading →

SNC-Lavalin to halt bidding on mining projects after second profit warning – by Nicolas Van Praet (Globe and Mail – February 12, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. has stopped bidding on mining work and reduced its profit expectations for the second time in two weeks after failing to resolve a dispute with a key customer in South America.

Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin said in a statement on Monday it has halted all bidding on future mining engineering, procurement and construction projects. The move is one of several by the company as it tries to resolve unexpected problems on a mining contract with Chile’s Codelco, the world’s biggest copper producer. It also negotiated new debt covenants with lenders.

Due to the negative impact from the project, SNC-Lavalin could book a fourth-quarter 2018 loss of up to $350-million in the mining unit, the company said. That in turn would hurt overall annual profit, which is now expected to come in between $1.20 and $1.35 a share for 2018, the company said. That is down from a previous forecast of $2.15 to $2.30 a share. Continue Reading →

China Steps up Its Mining Interests in Greenland – by Marc Lanteigne and Mingming Shi (The Diplomat – February 12, 2019)

https://thediplomat.com/

China’s growing involvement in Greenland presents risks and opportunities.

A major component of China’s expanding interests in the Arctic, as outlined in Beijing’s January 2018 White Paper on the region, has been the development of joint ventures on resource extraction, including fossil fuels and raw materials.

While Russia has been receiving the lion’s share of attention in the area of Chinese resource diplomacy in the Arctic, with the China-supported Yamal liquefied natural gas project being a major example, Greenland is emerging as another key component of Beijing’s emerging ‘Ice Silk Road.’

As the Greenland Ice Sheet continues to erode due to regional climate change (a paper published last month by the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science concluded that ice loss on the island has been accelerating significantly since the start of this century), more parts of Greenland’s coastal regions are opening up to potential mining projects. Continue Reading →

The Remote Island Sitting on $58 Billion of Gold and Copper – by Aaron Clark and Dan Murtaugh (Bloomberg News – February 12, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

A mining company claiming interests in copper and gold reserves estimated at $58 billion on the Pacific island of Bougainville said its rights are under threat by efforts to revive the resource sector in the run up to a independence referendum.

At the heart of the dispute is the Panguna mine, which was operated by Sydney-listed Bougainville Copper Ltd. for 17 years before shutting in 1989 amid clashes that killed as many as 20,000 people in the autonomous region of Papua New Guinea.

Now the company, known as BCL, is warning investors that legislation proposed by Bougainville’s government will make significant changes to its mining law, including granting powers to a new British Virgin Island-registered company to take mining leases across the island. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Banning asbestos is a victory for all Canadians. But the fight is not over – by Hassan Yussuff (Globe and Mail – February 12, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Hassan Yussuff is the president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

In my 20s and 30s, I worked as a mechanic in tight spaces under vehicles, handling clutches and brake pads without any protective gear. That meant I was exposed to asbestos, placing me among the more than 150,000 Canadians estimated to have come into contact with this deadly substance at work, many of whom work in construction, auto maintenance, ship building, waste management and remediation.

I have been lucky that it has not yet impacted my health. But for far too long, thousands of families have been shattered by the death of a loved one from asbestos-related diseases. It is estimated that 100,000 people worldwide die from such illnesses and that there are 2,000 new asbestos-related cancer cases each year in Canada, most of them fatal.

The enactment of a federal ban of asbestos and asbestos-containing products in December – the product of a hard fight by Canada’s unions, health advocates and affected families – is a significant step in the right direction. So too was the accompanying endorsement for listing chrysotile asbestos in the Rotterdam Convention, a multilateral treaty around the trade of hazardous materials. Continue Reading →

Social-justice Democrats’ ‘Green New Deal’ will turn America into Venezuela – by Rex Murphy (National Post – February 12, 2019)

https://nationalpost.com/

The Green New Deal uses environmentalism as a lever to pursue a far-larger, more sinister, agenda, a mad leap to a socialist nightworld

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is out to prove she is the Thomas Jefferson of the infantile social-justice progressive Left. And she is doing one (non-carbon emitting) hell of a job. She is a marvel. In her mere 35 days as a freshperson in Congress she’s made her mark.

She’s the Cardi B (I like to fake hipitude) of the Democratic party (the very seal of death to the Hillary era – it’s done); she takes to Twitter like a (Donald) duck to water, provokes whole rivers of drool over at CNN and MSNBC, and is the very embodiment and avatar of every social-justice warrior and barista malcontent’s idea of the perfect politician.

Ocasio-Cortez, like the Bishop of Ussher before her, knows when the world will end: 2030. She has said so — “We only have 12 years left.” And on that rock she has built her church. Her policies are determined from her predetermined date of apocalypse in 2030, unless … unless we heed her urgent call. Continue Reading →