Barrick Gold reports 14% rise in dividend amid soaring gold prices, on track to achieve 2020 production guidance – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – August 10, 2020)

https://www.kitco.com/

(Kitco News) Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE:GOLD, TSX:GOLD.TO) said on Monday that it increased its Q2 dividend to shareholders by 14% to 8 cents per share, citing robust performance and strong balance sheets amid record-high gold prices.

The company also noted that its dividend more than doubled since the Barrick-Randgold merger announcement in September 2018.

“The Board believes that the dividend increase is sustainable and is reflective of the ongoing robust performance of our operations and continued improvement in the strength of our balance sheet, with total liquidity of $6.7 billion, including a cash balance of $3.7 billion as of the end of the second quarter, and no material debt repayments due before 2033,” said Senior executive vice-president and chief financial officer Graham Shuttleworth. Continue Reading →

Slow process of demolition to start on Vale’s Superstack – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – July 29, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

July 28 decommissioning of the structure makes way for first stage of multi-year project

With the news that Vale’s Superstack is no longer operational, the nickel giant is now poised to start the demolition process on the 50-year-old structure.

On July 28, the company announced it had decommissioned the 1,250-foot (381-metre) stack at its Copper Cliff Complex in Sudbury during a period of regular maintenance.

In the broader context, taking the stack out of service represents a landmark moment of the environmental progress for Vale (formerly INCO) and the mining industry as a whole. Continue Reading →

South Africa’s platinum miners, reeling from years of curtailed investments, take blow from coronavirus pandemic (South China Morning Post/Bloomberg – August 9, 2020)

https://www.scmp.com/

South Africa’s gold industry has been dying slowly for years. As the coronavirus undercuts the already fragile case for investment, its platinum mines may be next.

Beset by power and water shortages, alongside whipsawing government policies, South African producers have cut spending over the past decade on mines responsible for 75 per cent of global platinum supply.

The virus is accelerating that trend, damping demand for the catalytic converters that are the largest users of the metal, while stimulus packages push carmakers to speed a shift to electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

ANALYSIS: Can the West’s economies ever escape China’s magnetic pull? The story of rare-earth metals shows how hard it can be – by Matthew McClearn and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – August 10, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The COVID-19 crisis is forcing countries to find suppliers outside of China. Here’s how that turned out badly for firms that tried for a decade to take on their state-controlled mining machine

A decade ago, the future for Toronto-based Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. looked bright. Its flagship Nechalacho development project in the Northwest Territories was on track to produce rare-earth elements, crucial ingredients in a wide array of technologies from wind turbines to cruise missiles to MRI machines.

Avalon’s market capitalization would eventually climb close to a billion dollars. Today things look very different. Avalon’s value has dwindled to just $26-million, its shares trade for pennies and Nechalacho lies undeveloped.

“Unfortunately the bubble burst before we could get all the capital in place,” said Don Bubar, Avalon’s chief executive officer. Continue Reading →

What Trump got wrong by pushing coal – by Carolyn Kissane (The Hill – August 9, 2020)

https://thehill.com/

While campaigning in Columbus, Ohio, in March 2016, Hillary Clinton said something that she later cited as the comment she “regret[s] the most” from her presidential run.

Clinton announced that she would put coal miners and companies out of business if she became president. Her comments likely cost her significant support across the coal-mining states of Ohio, Kentucky, Wyoming, Montana and Pennsylvania.

In the end, it wasn’t Clinton who put the hurt on coal country but instead the rapidly declining costs of renewable energy, especially solar and wind, uber-cheap natural gas and an array of states and cities with ambitious climate change action plans requiring sharp reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Continue Reading →

Legacy of Canada’s role in atomic bomb is felt by northern Indigenous community – by Geoffrey Bird (The Conversation – August 9, 2020)

https://theconversation.com/

Geoffrey Bird is Professor of heritage, culture, and tourism at Royal Roads University.

As the world marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a little known part of the legacy is the impact on the Délı̨nę First Nation of the Northwest Territories. I explore their stories in the film A Moral Awakening, which is available online.

This heritage connects Indigenous people, Canadians and people all over the world who are concerned with peace, reconciliation and social justice. The film contributes to understanding of the global impact of nuclear weapons and its contested history.

But the main goal of A Moral Awakening is to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of the people of Délı̨nę, a story long silenced. Continue Reading →

Scientists find efficient way to extract REE from acid mine drainage – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – August 9, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Researchers at Penn State University developed a two-stage treatment process for acid mine drainage that enabled them to recover higher concentrations of rare earth elements using smaller amounts of chemicals than previously possible.

In a paper published in the Chemical Engineering Journal, the scientists say that AMD from coal mining operations in Appalachia represents a promising domestic source of REE because it often contains high concentrations of the minerals and because it is already being collected and treated due to environmental concerns.

This residue is produced when pyrite rock — iron sulphide — unearthed by mining activity interacts with water and air and then oxidizes, creating sulfuric acid. Continue Reading →

Tommy Knockers and the coal mines: A PA legend – by Emma Downey (North Central PA.com – August 8, 2020)

https://www.northcentralpa.com/

The coal mines of Pennsylvania were dark, dirty, and deadly. Among the many stories, folksongs, and superstitions of the coal miners comes the legend of a curious creature: The Tommy Knocker.

Tommy Knockers pronounced “knacker,” were described as small, little men who worked alongside the miners inside the mines. The creatures were known to be mischievous, described as stealing miners’ tools or food, but also benevolent helpers.

The creatures were blamed for missing tools and stolen items as well as saving the lives of many miners. The miners believed the creatures would “knock” on the side of the mine to warn miners of an impending collapse. Continue Reading →

The Greats: Canada’s Notable Mining Financiers – by Phil Gracin (The Deep Dive – August 9, 2020)

https://thedeepdive.ca/

Mining exploration, besides being a high-risk, high-reward endeavour, is a very capital intensive business. It can take many millions of dollars to take an exploration project from grassroots to an operating mine.

Most exploration projects do not turn into mines, for a wide variety of reasons. However, it still takes a lot of money to find out whether or not there will be a positive outcome.

Financing mine exploration requires investors who are not overly risk averse. Banks, by definition, have a low tolerance for risk. As such they often will only fund mining projects once they reach the economic feasibility stage, after many of the obvious risks have been mitigated. Continue Reading →

Aluminum tariffs could worsen can shortage – Glenda Luymes (Vancouver Sun – August 9, 2020)

https://vancouversun.com/

B.C. brewers don’t want the Canadian government to respond with retaliatory tariffs on aluminum cans

The U.S. government’s decision to impose tariffs on Canadian aluminum has B.C. beverage makers concerned it could make cans more costly during an existing shortage.

Local craft brewers told Postmedia they haven’t been affected by can shortages that have made some American soft drinks difficult to find during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are concerned it could become an issue in the future.

“It is scary because the effect it could have is enormous,” said Iain Hill, owner and brewmaster at Strange Fellows Brewing in Vancouver. “It would be like someone saying we’re going to turn off the water for three days a week. You can’t do without it.” Continue Reading →

Northern First Nations call for a major overhaul of mining legislation – by Haley Ritchie (Yukon News – August 8, 2020)

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The Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Vuntut Gwitchin governments are the latest to call for a major overhaul of mining policy in a submission to the Yukon Mineral Development Strategy.

“This is long overdue,” said Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Deputy Chief Simon Nagano, who added that the current outdated legislation is cumbersome for everyone involved.

“We’re not anti-mining. There’s a lot of First Nations families out there that work in the industry. We want to work with (First Nations), the miners, the Yukon government so that each party is happy. Finally, when the Yukon government can agree to have this completed it’ll be a benefit to all three,” he said. Continue Reading →

Life in Kyrgyzstan’s once-booming uranium mining town, where the past poisons the future – by Liza Premiyak (The Calvert Journal – August 10, 2020)

https://www.calvertjournal.com/

Mailuu-Suu is a small town in southern Kyrgyzstan, secretly built by the Soviets in the 1950s. The uranium extracted there from the surrounding mountains between 1946 and 1968 was reportedly used to create the first atomic bomb for the Soviet nuclear programme.

But improperly managed, the mines also heralded environmental catastrophe. In 1958, a dam failure caused nuclear waste to collapse into the area’s water system.

Even when operations were running smoothly, nuclear waste was often hastily disposed of close to the town. Much of it remains. Today, earthquakes and landslides pose an ever present threat to the town’s uranium dumps. Continue Reading →

As gold prices surge, Canadian producers better positioned than last rally – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – August 10, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Thanks to lower costs, better management and more favourable currency markets, Canadian gold companies are better positioned to benefit from record high bullion prices than a decade ago, the last time the commodity was in an extended bull run.

Last week, the price of gold hit an all-time high, surging far past the previous record of US$1,920 an ounce in 2011. Gold has been one of the world’s best-performing asset classes this year because of unprecedented COVID-19-induced stock market volatility.

Historically, investors have sought refuge in the metal during times of great uncertainty. On Friday, gold futures closed at US$2,046 an ounce. Continue Reading →

The Dirty Secrets Of ‘Clean’ Electric Vehicles – by Tilak Doshi (Forbes Magazine – August 2, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

The widespread view that fossil fuels are “dirty” and renewables such as wind and solar energy and electric vehicles are “clean” has become a fixture of mainstream media and policy assumptions across the political spectrum in developed countries, perhaps with the exception of the Trump-led US administration.

Indeed the ultimate question we are led to believe is how quickly can enlightened Western governments, led by an alleged scientific consensus, “decarbonize” with clean energy in a race to save the world from impending climate catastrophe.

The ‘net zero by 2050’ mantra, calling for carbon emissions to be completely mitigated within three decades, is now the clarion call by governments and intergovernmental agencies around the developed world, ranging from several EU member states and the UK, to the International Energy Agency and the International Monetary Fund. Continue Reading →

New Documentary Film, ‘Juice,’ Challenges Elitism Of Anti-Growth Environmentalism – by Micheal Shellenberger (Forbes Magazine – August 7, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” Green Book Award Winner, and author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All (Harper Collins, June 30, 2020).

The root cause of climate change, say many activist leaders, is economic growth. “How dare you!” Greta Thunberg told the United Nations last September “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth!”

And yet it was economic growth that lifted Thunberg’s ancestors out of agrarian poverty, raised life expectancy from 40 to 70 years, and liberated women and girls from feudal patriarchy.

Without Sweden’s economic growth, and the fossil fuels upon which it depended, the person who is Greta Thunberg would not exist. Continue Reading →