Stephen B. Roman (1921 – 1988) – 1989 Candian Mining Hall of Fame Inductee

The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame was conceived by the late Maurice R. Brown, former editor and publisher of The Northern Miner, as a way to recognize and honour the legendary mine finders and builders of a great Canadian industry. The Hall was established in 1988. For more information about the extraordinary individuals who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, please go to their home website:
It was not for nothing that The Northern Miner, the weekly journal of Canada’s mining industry, in 1977 chose Stephen B. Roman as its first Mining Man of the Year.

He received the title, the newspaper said at the time, “because Stephen Roman has graphically shown that Canadian money and expertise can compete very successfully with anyone in the world.”
At that time, he had engineered, through his already big and fast-growing company, Denison Mines, the largest-ever uranium sales by a uranium producer.

A Slovakian immigrant who began his working life in Canada as a tomato picker. Roman subsequently took control of a penny mining stock in 1953, and from this built Denison into one of the country’s largest mining and resource empires, rising from the foundation of the company’s sprawling uranium mines at Elliot Lake, Ontario.

That globe-spanning empire now includes, in addition to its uranium interests, coal mining in British Columbia, potash mining in New Brunswick, and oil and gas production in Greece, Egypt, Spain, Italy and Western Canada.

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Stephen Roman Digging Up His Own Success – by Toronto Star Business Reporter Lisa Wright

Lisa Wright is a business reporter with the Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This article was originally published October 31, 2010.

His father [Stephen Roman] was a well-known [Denison Mines’ uranium operations at Elliot Lake] mining icon, but Stephen Roman is digging up his own success

Stephen Roman has endured various viruses and parasites and all manner of poisonous spiders and snakes – even a few on Bay St.—while prospecting for oil and metals around the world over the last 30 years.

The 57-year-old mining entrepreneur nearly died from cerebral malaria three years ago, when he lapsed into a coma after being bitten by mosquitoes at night in the Sahara Desert in uranium-rich Niger.

And his original exploration firm Exall Resources Ltd. suffered through an industry downturn so deep during the dot-com craze 10 years ago that he was forced to sell off his furniture and artwork to keep it afloat as metals prices tanked.

“That’s the hazard of the business,” the affable financier says in an interview. “People may think it’s all glamorous but there are a lot of risks. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it all adds to the fun.”

On top of all that, Stephen G. Roman – son of the late mining magnate Stephen B. Roman – has carried on the family name, and despite all the weight that carries has managed to stake out his own Roman empire.
Just a week before the market plummeted in 2008, the junior Roman sold Gold Eagle Mines and its coveted asset in Red Lake for $1.5 billion to giant Goldcorp Inc. – one of the highest prices ever paid to a non-operating junior whose discovery was not yet a proven resource.

And with some promising drilling up in northern Ontario, he and his Harte Gold investors bet they may be sitting on the next big gold find in the storied Hemlo gold camp, which was the centre of a Klondike-style gold rush in the early 1980s and is now run by Barrick Gold Corp. about 350 km east of Thunder Bay.

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“Ontario’s Mining Act” and the Importance of Exploration to the Future Prosperity of the Province – by R. S. Middleton (October/2008)

This letter was sent to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines in October/2008. The letter provides interesting background information on Ontario’s mineral exploration sector. R. S. Middleton is a well-known and respected geophysicist who has been involved with many mining projects around the world and in Canada over the past 40 years.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery


Meetings on changes to the Mining Act in Ontario were held on August 11, 13, 18, and September 8th, 2008 in Timmins, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Kingston and Toronto. The timing was particularly unfortunate since exploration people are always away in the field during the summer months so they were unable to take part or comment on the  proposed changes to the Act. This suggests either that the government has a poor understanding of the industry or that it has deliberately set in train a process to carry out its plans without proper consultation with the industry. Changing an Act of Parliament with only a three week review period is completely unacceptable in any parliamentary democracy.

Those of us away on field work have been unaware of any of the discussions and proposals that have taken place and consider that they have not been properly consulted.

Moreover holding hearings in a small number of towns over such a short time frame, will not elicit the input that is required from the industry.  Why was Ottawa not included in the hearings?  There are more exploration mining companies based in Ottawa than in Thunder Bay.

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A Brief Summary of the Mining Sector’s Contributions to Ontario – by R. S. Middleton, P.Eng.

R. S. Middleton is a well-known and respected geophysicist who has been involved with many mining projects around the world and in Canada over the past 40 years.

 The wealth extracted from the north has benefited southern Ontario and particularly Toronto since the 1800’s.  The discovery of silver at Cobalt in 1903 was a major historical event.  The enormous wealth produced at Cobalt was a major boost to  the early Toronto Stock Exchange.  The prospectors spread northward and found the Hollinger Gold Mine in 1909 and hence the town (now the  City of Timmins). 

The Town of Timmins needed a Newspaper and Radio station.  This was Roy Thomson’s first business and the beginning of the Thomson newspaper chain and empire.  Where is the monument to this success and financial wealth?  In Toronto on King Street – Roy Thomson Hall!  Where is the original head office where Roy’s son David worked as a cub reporter?  It was in downtown Timmins on the corner of Cedar and Second Street, which is now an empty space since the building was torn down.

The dividends paid by the Hollinger Mine financed the Noranda Smelter for Noranda Mines (based in Toronto.)  Hollinger money started the Iron Ore Company of Canada in Quebec and Labrador, the source for iron ore to make steel in Hamilton, Ontario and the USA.  Who was the lawyer and president for IOCC, Brian Mulroney!

Next to the Hollinger Mine was the McIntyre Mine which produced the funds to start Falconbridge Nickel in 1934 whose office was in Toronto.  The Dome mine, six miles to the east, started Dome Petroleum and the Canadian Oil Industry.  Argus Corporation (from Toronto) took over the Hollinger Gold Mine and remaining treasury and Conrad Black (from Toronto) used these funds to buy up many newspapers.  Hollinger Inc. held the Financial Post (now National Post), Daily Telegraph (London, England) Jerusalem Post, Vancouver Sun, Chicago Papers etc. and the rest of this story is still being played out.

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OTTAWA, Canada (October 27, 2010) – The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) and the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) today issued the following statement in response to the defeat of bill C-300, a private members bill entitled An Act Respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries in the House of Commons:

“Canada’s mining and exploration industry, which employs more than 306,000 Canadians, is pleased that the Parliament of Canada saw the importance of defeating bill C-300, a fundamentally flawed private members bill that would have damaged Canada’s exploration and mining industry and jeopardized jobs here in Canada and the local jobs in the communities in which we work. We appreciate the efforts of the Government of Canada in exposing the flaws of the bill and in working to defeat it in the House.

Canada’s mining and exploration industry is already actively engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility practices and bill C-300 would not have enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Canada’s competitors would have used the passage of bill C-300 as a tool to undermine the competitiveness of Canadian firms in the highly competitive global extraction industry. Frivolous or vexatious claims would have been filed against Canadian firms by competitive interests at no cost or risk to themselves, tying up important projects and putting well paying local jobs and community development projects in developing countries at risk.

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Ring of Fire: Ontario Embarking on a Major Economic Development Project – by Geophysicist R.S. Middleton, P.Eng.

Map Courtesy KWG Resources Inc.This article originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of the Ontario Prospector which is published by the Ontario Prospectors Association.

R. S. Middleton is a well-known and respected geophysicist who has been involved with many mining projects around the world and in Canada over the past 40 years.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

A New Chromite Industry for North America

Ontario has been blessed in that a number of world class mineral discoveries have been made over the past 125 years which has brought wealth and prosperity to its citizens and Canada.  These discoveries have sustained thousands of support industries that have manufactured and supplied the implements to extract the metals, industrial minerals and gemstones that form the Mining Industry of Ontario.  Revenues from these mining operations make up approximately 30% of government tax revenue and were the foundation and beginning of the financial industry based in Toronto.

The discovery of the Sudbury nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE (Platinum Group Element) deposits at the end of the 19th century are the largest contributor of revenue with a gross metal value of over $190 billion.  The multitude of silver mines found in 1903 in Cobalt, Ontario generated millions of ounces of silver with by-product cobalt, arsenic, nickel and bismuth and became the strength of the Toronto Stock Exchange in the early 1900’s.  By 1909 prospectors operating from the Cobalt Camp found the famous Porcupine Gold Camp (Timmins) which has now produced over 70 million ounces of gold from 100 years of production.

Prospectors from both Timmins and Cobalt then found the Kirkland Lake – Larder Lake gold mines and the Noranda Camp in Quebec.  Also from Timmins the Kidd Creek copper-zinc-silver mine (1963) with a gross metal value reaching $75 billion, the Kamiskotia (1915), Detour gold (1974) and Hemlo (1979) camps were found.  Geraldton-Beardmore and the Red Lake gold camps were developed in the 1920’s-1930’s in part with the financial base built by Timmins.

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Chile Mine Rescue Teaches Us That Modern Civilization Built on Mining — John R. Hunt (On the Rocks)

I spent most of one night and the next day watching the rescue of the Chilean miners. Like most people I am delighted, and a little surprised, that the rescue was successful. The news they are likely to make a very healthy buck out of their adventure is also pleasing.

I thought the commentators missed one point when they were pontificating about mining and miners. If it were not for the metal ore miners dig up, modern civilization could not exist. This is not an exaggeration. Just walk around your home and consider all the things made out of metal, or held together with metal.

Plastics have replaced some metal but I even your computer has some vital bits of gold and other precious metals performing tasks I do not understand and cannot spell. That awful tangle of wires that connect your computer, printer, scanner and also connect to the power source are most likely made of copper, possibly from the same mine the 33 Chileans were trapped in.

Mining is dangerous, even if safety regulations have made mining a lot safer in Canada than in many other countries. Even as this is written there is news of miners trapped beneath the surface in Ecuador and a much bigger and nastier accident in China.

According to many reports the Chinese mines kill more than 2,000 miners a year. There are not only many big operations which can be supervised but also many illegal small mines where anything goes.

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Leaked PDAC Sponsored Corporate Social Responsibility Report Flawed by – Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.

 If words such as “suppressed report” and “international violations by Canadian mining companies” were not written to be inflammatory, I miss my guess. Such was the headline above a report leaked by MiningWatch to the Montreal Gazette, Toronto Star and various news outlets. MiningWatch’s release also made hay out of the fact that the report was commissioned by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. The implication is that the mining industry is trying to hide its bad behaviour from the public.

In fairness, I called the PDAC and learned that the leaked document was a first draft and the final draft was not identical. I was also told that the association wanted a benchmark survey and was disappointed with the quality of the study.

So I looked over the 16 pages of “Corporate Social Responsibility: Movements and Footprints of Canadian Mining and Exploration Firms in the Developing World.” It was prepared by the Canadian Centre for the Study of Resource Conflict, that has no dated material more recent than 2006 on its website. I did learn that the CCSRC is associated with Royal Roads University.

I turned past the title page. It seems 75% of the world’s mining companies are Canadian, and 33% of all violations are attributed to Canadian miners. Followed by India, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, companies from these five countries are responsible for 63% of all corporate social responsibility violations.

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The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is a national association representing the mineral exploration and development industry. Its 7,000 individual and corporate members are involved in the exploration, discovery and development of new mines and new wealth. The PDAC’s annual convention is the world’s largest annual gathering of the mineral industry.

TORONTO, Canada (October 19, 2010) – The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) today issued the following statement regarding media reports on the Canadian exploration and mining industry:

“In August 2009 the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) commissioned the Canadian Centre for the Study of Resource Conflict to conduct an internal study on the public’s perception of the Canadian exploration and mining industry’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) record. The study was for internal industry deliberation to inform its ongoing thinking on CSR.

The study deals with unproven allegations, not proven violations.

The internal study suggests that Canadian exploration and mining companies are alleged to be involved in approximately 5 “incidents” per year, over the course of the study’s 10-year timeframe. This is consistent with the data collected and published by the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

To provide some perspective: Canada has 1,800 exploration and mining companies operating 10,000 projects in over 100 countries at any one time. Given this and the fact that Canada is the headquarters of more than 75 per cent of the world’s mining and exploration companies, the PDAC found the results encouraging but with room for improvement.

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Canadian Mining Firms Worst for Environment, Rights: Report – by Toronto Star Reporter Les Whittington

Les Whittington is with the Ottawa Bureau of the Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This article was originally published October 19, 2010.

OTTAWA—Canadian mining companies are far and away the worst offenders in environmental, human rights and other abuses around the world, according to a global study commissioned by an industry association but never made public.

“Canadian companies have been the most significant group involved in unfortunate incidents in the developing world,” the report obtained by the Toronto Star concludes.

“Canadian companies have played a much more major role than their peers from Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States” in these incidents, says the Canadian Centre for the Study of Resource Conflict, an independent, non-profit think tank.

The problems involving Canada’s mining and exploration corporations go far beyond workplace issues. “Canadian companies are more likely to be engaged in community conflict, environmental and unethical behaviour, and are less likely to be involved in incidents related to occupational concerns.”

The research surfaced as a long, fierce political battle over legislation to tighten federal government scrutiny of Canadian mining operations abroad comes to a head. Bill C-300, a private member’s bill put forward by Toronto Liberal MP John McKay, will be voted on in the Commons next week.

The proportion of incidents globally that involve Canadian corporations is very large, according to the report. “Of the 171 companies identified in incidents involving mining and exploration companies over the past 10 years, 34 per cent are Canadian,” the Centre found.

It said the high incidence of involvement of Canadian companies is in line with the Canadian industry’s dominant position in global mining and exploration.

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John Pollesel, Vale Canada COO and Director for Base Metal Operations North Atlantic, Speech to Sudbury Chamber of Commerce – October 13, 2010 – Sudbury, Ontario

John Pollesel, Vale Canada COO and Director for Base Metals North Atlantic

John Pollesel is the Director for Base Metal Operations North Atlantic and Chief Operating Officer for Vale Canada, reporting to Tito Martins, Executive Director Base Metals and Vale Canada Chief Executive Officer.

John Pollsel has extensive management experience, specializing in the mining industry where he has been employed for more than 20 years. He joined Vale in August of 2008 in the capacity of VP Sustainability and Business Services for the Ontario Operations and in July of 2009 was promoted to the role of VP Production Services and Support for the Canada/UK region and General Manager for Ontario Operations.

Mr. Pollesel is a Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario and a Certified Management Accountant. He graduated from Laurentian University with a Masters degree in Business Administration and holds an Honors BA in Accounting from the University of Waterloo.

Our objective is to create a sustainable, profitable and long-term operation in Sudbury – contributing further decades of employment, economic growth and community support. There is an important caveat, however. We must demonstrate our willingness and ability to become a more productive and efficient operation. Aspiring to the status quo is simply no longer an option. – John Pollesel, Sudbury, Ont.


Thank you, and good evening everyone. It’s a pleasure to have been invited to speak to you at your Chamber’s Annual General Meeting.

Vale is a proud member of the Chamber of Commerce and we’ve been active on the Chamber’s Board for many years. In fact, personally I was proud to have sat as a Board member a few years back.

Vale and the Chamber have enjoyed a very long and productive relationship together…the Chamber has been there for us during some tough times, and we’ve been there for the Chamber as an active partner on a number of fronts. It’s a beneficial and productive partnership that we look forward to continuing.

I want to especially recognize Debbi Nicholson, who has been an exemplary leader of the Chamber for more than 30 years.

Debbi – you lead with dignity, good business sense and a keen awareness of what is best for our community. I congratulate you and your team on all the things you’ve accomplished throughout your long tenure with the Greater Sudbury Chamber.

* * * * *

Tonight, I am here to speak to you about Vale and our future in the Sudbury Basin.

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Ontario Significantly Declines in Global Mine Rankings – Ian Ross

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. This article was published in the October, 2010 issue.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Uncertainty in regulations and land tenure worries miners

Ontario may promote itself as being among the best mining jurisdictions in the world, but some industry executives polled in a Fraser Institute survey are second-guessing that blanket statement. A special mid-year report penned by researchers Fred McMahon and Miguel Cervantes raises some red flag issues for investment.

Confidence in Ontario continues to sag due to respondents’ concerns over government policy, dealings with First Nations, and uncertainty over whether a big chunk of Ontario’s untapped mineral resource will be set aside for protection.

“Mining is a long-term endeavor,” said Fred McMahon, vice-president of the Vancouver-based international public policy think tank. “That kind of instability is very damaging.”

Some mining companies accused the McGuinty government of trying to
“kill Ontario” and hinted that antimining environmental activist groups
have considerable weight in shaping public policy.

As commodity prices improve, Mc-Mahon said governments, unions and non-government organizations are finding mining an easy target to tear up existing agreements, drive up costs, and introduce “predatory taxes” that cause instability in investment.

McMahon said these dramatic changes in recent months prompted the Fraser Institute to release its firstever mid-year report card in August.

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Prospectors Oppose Far North Act (Bill 191) – More Northern Consultation Needed – by Frank P. Tagliamonte

Frank P. Tagliamonte is a North Bay-based geologist and prospector.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

The McGuinty government has recently passed legislation, the Far North Act – Bill 191, that will be detrimental for all the citizens of Ontario, especially the North.

Briefly , this act has been initiated and promoted by an environmental lobby group and embraced by the McGuinty government without meaningful consultation with First Nations and the citizens of Ontario, particularly Northerners. It has been rejected by most mayors of Northern Ontario communities and when its impact is fully understood , will likely be opposed by cities and towns in the South as well.

This Act will prohibit all natural resource development, mining, timbering and hydro projects,  in a vast land mass comprising some 250,000 acres in Northern Ontario – not Southern Ontario.

Can Ontario realistically abandon potentially rich and vast resource areas that will provide employment, especially for First Nation communities, mineral riches and abundant tax revenues to a deeply indebted Province?

This land mass overlies the mineral-rich Canadian Shield with the potential to host world-class mining camps such as Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Sudbury and Red Lake.

Already a diamond mine is in production, producing world-quality diamonds within the soon to be “off-limits area.” Rich deposits of chromite, copper and nickel have recently been discovered in a small part of this vast area known as the Ring of Fire – one of the most important new mining camps in Canada. There is enormous potential for many more discoveries in the years ahead.

Can Ontario realistically abandon potentially rich and vast resource areas that will provide employment, especially for First Nation communities, mineral riches and abundant tax revenues to a deeply indebted Province? 

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[Ontario Far North Act] Canada’s Worst Government – by Terence Corcoran (National Post-October 16, 2009)

 Terence Corcoran is the Financial Post editor, the business sector of the  National Post, Canada’s second largest national paper. This article was originally published on October 16, 2009.

Every now and then a province falls into the hands of blundering politicians so inept that their government ends up deserving of the title “Canada’s Worst Government.” It’s a rare award.  At any time somebody has to be the worst, but no award for routine bottom-of-the-barrel performance seems necessary.  Occasionally, however, the metric of incompetence is so large and conspicuous it demands special recognition.  The Liberal regime of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, now slipping into deep deficits that are likely to exceed $30-billion over two years and continue into the future, has hit the tipping point and triggered its candidacy as Canada’s Worst Government.

The new deficit outlook, announced yesterday and to be documented in a fiscal statement next week, comes in the wake of Ontario’s $1-billion eHealth fiasco. That followed the province’s Green Energy Act, a plan to force electricity users to pay 80 cents for a kilowatt hour of solar power and subsidize scores of industrial rent seekers. The province is also a leading promoter of endless nanny state rules and regulations that serve no purpose except to give the premier an opportunity to issue a statement and deliver one of his patented sanctimonious speeches.

Far North Act

 Below the radar of media attention, there is more. This is about one of those so-far unrecognized bits of McGuinty Liberal bungling. Next week, the Ontario legislature will begin taking another look at two monster pieces of legislation allegedly aimed at bringing new order to the province’s shambling mining legislation. First is Bill 173, the Mining Amendment Act, which among other things is an attempt to bring Aboriginal communities into the administration of the province’s scatter-brained mining laws. Second is Bill 191, the Far North Act. It also attempts to bring Aboriginal participaton into decision-making over resource development of Ontario’s far north. What these two bills actually do, however, is trample on everybody’s property rights, from First Nation rights to the rights of cottage owners caught in the murky legislation that sets out mineral rights across the province.

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Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) News Release – PDAC Supports NAN’s Campaign Against Ontario Bill 191 – September 15, 2010

Toronto, Ontario, September 15, 2010 – The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is supporting Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s (NAN) opposition to Bill 191, the Far North Act.

Bill 191 would give legal effect to the Ontario government’s plans for the northern boreal region. Without adequate consultation or consideration of the implications for First Nations communities, the mineral industry or northern municipalities, the provincial government proposes to permanently remove more than 50% of the Far North boreal region of Ontario from the possibility of sustainable economic development through the creation of an interconnected network of protected areas.

The negative implications of Bill 191 will be felt by First Nations communities that make up 90% of the population of the Far North and will deprive First Nations of the benefits that responsible mineral resource development can provide.

NAN has expressed the need for First Nations to have meaningful participation in land use decisions in the Far North, which Bill 191 does not provide, and has asked the McGuinty government to scrap the legislation altogether.

The PDAC agrees that Bill 191 should be stopped and hopes that the Ontario government will recognize the serious flaws with the legislation.

“Mineral exploration and development serves an important role in creating opportunity for northern Ontario’s First Nations and municipalities,” said Scott Jobin-Bevans, PDAC President, “The PDAC is encouraging its members to sign the Nishnawbe Aski Nation petition.”

The NAN petition is available at

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