Once again commodities are coming to Canada’s rescue – by Jack M. Mintz (Financial Post – April 6, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

Canada’s per capita GDP growth from 2016 to 2020 was the worst five-year performance since the Great Depression: an annual rate of minus 0.75 per cent. Sure, the pandemic was the major reason for negative growth in that period but even so, 2016-19 per capita growth was only 0.5 per cent a year — barely better than flatlined.

No surprise in that. Canada was gut-punched by a quick, sharp decline in commodity prices in late 2014, moribund business investment after 2015, and transportation blockages holding back resource exports in 2018 and 2019. It was hard to gain any speed.

But good news is coming to the Canadian economy, including Alberta and the other Western provinces. As health restrictions lift, people will want to restore what they missed most – entertainment, travel and social gatherings – instead of onetime purchasing of consumer durables (housing and autos). Continue Reading →

Fort William First Nation ready to be the host community of a lithium processing plant – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 31, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Avalon Advanced Material signs letter of intent with northwestern Ontario community on brownfield site search

A potential developer of a lithium chemical plant in northwestern Ontario has inked an agreement with Fort William First Nation (FWFN), next to Thunder Bay, to identify a suitable refinery site on reserve land.

Toronto’s Avalon Advanced Materials has signed a letter of intent with the community to collaborate on the possible construction of a lithium processing plant on Fort William’s spacious heavy industrial lands.

The reserve has more than 1,100 acres of brownfield property available, formerly known as the Grand Trunk Pacific Lands, that is being marketed as a development-ready industrial business park. Continue Reading →

Kirkland Lake expects Detour to produce up to 900k oz annually by 2032 – by Staff (Canadian Mining Journal – March 31, 2021)

https://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Miner Kirkland Lake Gold (TSX, NYSE: KL; ASX: KLA) expects its Detour Lake open pit mine in northern Ontario to reach a gold output rate of 900,000 oz. a year by 2032, based on the company’s latest life-of-mine plan for the asset.

This technical report also forecasts average production of 680,000 to 720,000 oz. a year between 2021 and 2024, increasing to 800,000 oz. in 2025, as announced earlier this year.

The latest forecasts do not account for any of the exploration upside realized by Kirkland Lake since acquiring the asset at the end of January 2020 and don’t fully incorporate the impact of business improvement initiatives realized since acquisition. Continue Reading →

China’s Commodities Binge Makes America’s Future More Expensive – by Jack Farchy, Alfred Cang and Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – April 1, 2021)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The U.S. spending plan faces a big problem: Beijing got to all the raw materials first.

Fresh from passing a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday turned his attention to a similarly vast package of investment in infrastructure, and that means the U.S. is going to need more commodities. There’s just one problem: China.

America requires steel, cement, and tarmacadam for roads and bridges, and cobalt, lithium, and rare earths for batteries. Above all, it needs copper—and lots of it.

Copper will go into the electric vehicles that President Biden has said he’ll buy for the government fleet, in the charging stations to power them, and in the cables connecting new wind turbines and solar farms to the grid. Continue Reading →

[Nickel/Cobalt Nodules] [Open Letter to Brands Calling for a Ban on Seafloor Minerals – by Deep Green Metals – April 1, 2021)

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To: BMW, Volvo, Google and Samsung SDI

At DeepGreen, we agree that seafloor minerals development should be approached cautiously and with an exacting commitment to science-based impact analysis and environmental protection.

A precautionary approach has informed our strategy from the outset, including our mission to provide battery metals sourced from deep-ocean nodules that generate zero solid waste, no toxic tailings, and a fraction of the carbon emissions compared to land-based sources.

Such environmental benefits can be achieved only through collecting polymetallic nodules, 4,000 meters deep on the abyssal plain where the abundance of life is up to 1,500 times less than in the vibrant ecosystems on land from where battery metals are currently sourced. Continue Reading →

Stars are aligning for uranium price rally – by Frik Els (Mining.com – March 31, 2021)

https://www.mining.com/

The uranium market is emerging from years in the doldrums as the overhang from the nuclear disaster in Japan is cleared and global demand picks up steam.

The spot price for U3O8 moved above $30 per pound for the first time this year as uranium producers and mine developers hoover up above-ground inventories and reactor construction continues apace.

Two new research notes from BMO Capital Markets and Morgan Stanley say today’s price marks a floor and predict a rally in prices over the next few years to the ~$50 level by 2024. Continue Reading →

MEDIA RELEASE: STEELWORKERS RATIFY NEW FOUR AND A HALF YEAR CONTRACT WITH VALE IN SUDBURY (March 31, 2021)

SUDBURY, March 31, 2021 – Vale and United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2020 are pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached on a new four and a half year Collective Bargaining Agreement between Vale, Ontario Operations and USW Local 2020. The new agreement takes effect on April 1, 2021.

“The negotiation process has been both productive and respectful, and we are encouraged that we have been able to reach an agreement that the bargaining committee fully endorsed” said Sherri Hawkes, President of USW Local 2020-05.

“We are pleased that the agreement appropriately meets the needs for both the company and union members” said Mitch Medina, Manager of Employee and Labour Relations for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations. “I feel this is exemplified in the endorsement of the agreement by the USW Local 2020 bargaining committee reflecting the positive collaboration throughout the negotiation process.” Continue Reading →

Trafigura, New Caledonia group complete takeover of Vale’s Goro nickel, cobalt unit – by Diana Kinch (S&P Global – March 31, 2021)

https://www.spglobal.com/

London — The Prony Resources New Caledonia consortium announced March 31 it has completed acquisition of Vale Canada’s Nouvelle-Calédonie S.A.S. (VNC) nickel and cobalt operation. Prony Resources is owned by New Caledonia entities together with international commodities trader Trafigura.

Operations at Prony Resources recommenced in the week of March 28 with the restart of nickel production expected mid-April, the company said in a statement.

The operation, designed to produce up to 57,000 mt/year of processed nickel, with cobalt as a byproduct, is believed to have been at a standstill since mid-December 2020, following protests by independence activists on the Southwest Pacific French island territory of New Caledonia. Prior to this it had been producing below capacity. Continue Reading →

World’s No. 3 Gold Miner Sounds Cautious Note on Deals – by Feliz Njini (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – April 1, 2021)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.’s acting Chief Executive Officer Christine Ramon said the world’s No. 3 gold miner won’t be rushed into deals as the industry braces for another round of mergers and acquisitions.

AngloGold won’t focus on scale for “the sake of it,” Ramon said during a panel discussion alongside the CEOs of Barrick Gold Corp. and Sibanye Stillwater Ltd., both proponents of consolidation.

Barrick and Newmont Corp. led a wave of mega deals two years ago and there are expectations that miners, flush with cash, will again look to expand through acquisitions. Continue Reading →

Gold Falters on Brightening Economic Outlook – by Joe Wallace (Wall Street Journal – April 1, 2021)

https://www.wsj.com/

The gold market has lost its glint, dashing the hopes of people who predicted that lavish stimulus spending by central banks and governments would send bullion prices to new heights this year.

Gold futures on Wednesday closed their worst quarter since 2016, falling 9.5% to $1,713.80 a troy ounce. Few assets have fared worse: namely, the price of orange-juice futures, cocoa, Turkey’s lira and long-term U.S. government bonds.

The precious metal has suffered a reversal in fortunes since August, when prices closed at a record $2,069.40 a troy ounce. Gold has since dropped 17%. Continue Reading →

[Sponsored] The Gold Rush in Newfoundland (Investing News Network – March 31, 2021)

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Canada is one of the world’s leading mining nations, ranking among the top five global producers for minerals such as gold, potash, cadmium, cobalt, graphite, nickel and many others.

In 2019, the country’s total mineral production reached C$48.2 billion. While Ontario and Quebec represent two key mineral exploration jurisdictions within Canada, one major province is often overlooked by investors looking to gain a share of the country’s precious metals sector: Atlantic Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador.

The discussion around mining in Eastern Canada is often overshadowed by the prolific Abitibi greenstone belt that spans across the border between Ontario and Quebec, but Newfoundland offers one of the most extensive mining histories in Canada, with small-scale mining dating back to the 1770s, expanding into a major industry by the 1860s. Continue Reading →

Inuit women experiencing harassment, lower pay at Canadian mine sites, report says – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 31, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

More than half of Inuit women surveyed by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada in a report funded by the federal government said they have been sexually harassed at mining sites in Canada’s Far North.

According to the report released on Wednesday by Pauktuutit, a national non-profit Inuit women’s advocacy organization, the most frequent harassment incidents directed at Inuit women were “sexual comments, jokes, unwanted touching and emotional abuse.”

Some of the Inuit reported being the subject of sexual violence as frequently as every shift. Some reported feeling particularly vulnerable because they worked in housekeeping and janitorial positions that often placed them in private areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms. Continue Reading →

Top Nickel Miner Vale Turns Page on 14-Year New Caledonia Foray – by James Attwood (Bloomberg News – March 31, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca

(Bloomberg) — Vale SA, the biggest producer of mined nickel, closed a deal to divest its underperforming New Caledonian mine to a group that includes the operation’s managers and workers.

The divestment will allow operations to continue and gives Vale the right to a portion of output amid growing demand for the battery metal, Rio de Janeiro-based Vale said in a statement Wednesday.

Tesla Inc. will support the operation through a “technical and industrial partnership” with the consortium, called Prony Resources. Continue Reading →

The builder of a Dubreuilville gold mine is now an owner – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 31, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Argonaut Gold ahead of schedule in clearing room for open-pit operation

The builders of an open-pit gold camp, outside Dubreuilville, have taken an ownership stake in the project.

Argonaut Gold has raised $10 million through a private placement share offering with its contractor, Ausenco Engineering Canada.

This arrangement was first contemplated last January when Ausenco came aboard through a fix-bid engineering, procurement, construction and commission contract to to build the on-site processing plant at Magino. Continue Reading →

Yukon parties debate economic policy in chamber of commerce debate – by John Last and Philippe Morin (CBC News North – March 31, 2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Yukon politicians faced off Tuesday night in a debate organized by the Yukon Chamber of Commerce. The debate, which lasted over two hours, saw questions focused mainly on economic issues, posed by industry groups like the Yukon Chamber of Mines and the First Nation Chamber of Commerce.

Parties grappled with procurement policy, the future of tourism, and the territory’s recovery from COVID-19. “This election is about who Yukoners trust to lead this territory out of the pandemic, and into … a prosperous future,” said Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon.

“Too many small businesses have suffered,” said NDP Leader Kate White. “We need a government that gets what people are going through…. We need a government that’s pro-people.” Continue Reading →