More Mines, Lower Commodity Prices on Horizon – by Marilyn Scales

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

We have all heard that “timing is everything”, and that truism applies as much to mine development as to anything. It seems that there is a growing number of new mines planned in Canada just as analysts warn of major corrections in commodities prices.

Softer prices are a result of a strengthening U.S. dollar, according to analysts. Oil prices have dropped to a three-month low, if one considers $119/bbl to be low. Perhaps it is compared to $140/bbl. The much-anticipated $1,000/oz threshold for gold was topped only three days in March 2008. The price of the yellow metal has been bouncing up and down since then from $850 to $990, averaging $900 so far in August. Copper has fallen from its high of over $4.00/lb in June this year back to approximately $3.50, and the pundits predict further losses. The zinc price is continuing to slide from its late 2006 high of slightly over $2.00/lb to under $1.00. Nickel reached a high of $24.00/lb in the first half of 2007, but it, too, is giving up ground, finishing June 2008 in the $8.00 neighbourhood. Analysts are beginning to say that even potash prices have peaked. And so it goes.

All of us mining industry watchers know this is a cyclical sector. Five years of rising prices have spurred exploration efforts around the world and across Canada. Many would-be miners want to cash in on the boom. The question becomes how many of them can do that before prices soften to the point that projects are once again shelved?

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Canada Reduced to “Branch Office” Status – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. Has Canada been reduced to the level of a mere “branch office” in the global mining industry? That’s what Don Argus, chairman of BHP BILLITON, called this country at a recent business gathering in Brisbane, Australia. He was talking about …

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Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources – The Honourable Gary Lunn – Toronto PDAC Speech

Honourable Gary Lunn - Canadian Minister of Natural Resources - Toronto PDAC -Government PhotoGood morning, everyone. Thank you, Pat [Pat Dillon, President of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada] for that kind introduction. It’s a great privilege to speak to the largest gathering of mining prospectors and developers in the world.

I want to thank Pat and PDAC for the invitation and also extend a special greeting to those of you who are here in Canada from all over the world for the first time.

Canada is one of the world’s leading mining countries, and our government continues to work with you to ensure we stay at the forefront.

It was a great week last week for both the mining and exploration industry. We tabled our federal budget – there were several investments that will benefit the Canadian minerals and metals sector, both directly and indirectly, and I’ll touch on those in a few minutes.

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Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources – Gary Lunn – An Introduction

The Honourable Gary Lunn was appointed Minister of Natural Resources by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on February 6, 2006. Since 1997, he has been the Member of Parliament for the beautiful Saanich –Gulf Islands in British Columbia. The Natural Resources portfolio is well suited to Minister Lunn because his early working days were spent in …

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