Having taken a couple weeks off to move, I am slowly getting settled into the new place. For any readers who might wish to contact me, I am now at 1128A Klondike Road, Kanata, ON K2K 0H2, and the phone number is 613-270-0213. The email address remains unchanged: MScales@CanadianMiningJournal.com.
Despite not writing the Daily Headline News, I want to share a few items from the last two weeks that were of interest to me.
First is the resignation of interim Liberal party leader Bob Rae from the federal government. Many will be sad to see him go, and perhaps as many will cheer his departure. What was little covered by the daily press is that his full-time occupation is now as chief negotiator for the Matawa First Nations communities.
“It’s good news for us,” said Allan Towegishig, chief of the Long Lake #58 First Nation.
“If he’s going to be a part-time parliamentarian, he’ll have lots of work over there, and with him resigning he’ll have more time to focus on our issues.”
Those issues include resource development on lands traditionally used by Aboriginal peoples. Rae will represent nine First Nation groups in discussions with the Ontario government about development in the Ring of Fire, where Cliffs Natural Resources recently announced the temporary suspension of work at its Big Daddy chromite project. The company said delays related to environmental assessment, land surface rights, and stalled negotiations with the province were to blame.
Second, new numbers from MiHR, the Mining Industry Human Resource Council, indicate that the Canadian mineral industry will need 145,000 new workers by 2023, and the number could go as high as 200,000. As readers are aware, all industries are facing shortfalls as Baby Boomers retire. In mining, 20% of the workforce will be eligible to retire in the next three to five years, and 6% are currently eligible.
MiHR’s report, Canadian Mining Industry Employment, Hiring Requirements and Available Talent Ten Year Outlook, 2013, is available at MiHR.ca.
Third, Richmont Mines of Montreal has completed the 7,700-tonne bulk sample from the W zone gold project at Val d’Or, QC. The sample assayed 5.30 g/t Au and produced about 1,315 oz when it was milled. The property is now in a three-month pre-production phase with commercial production expected in early October. The 2014 production rate will be 6,000 t/m. (see Richmont-Mines.com)
Last, the board of Vancouver’s Coalspur Mines has approved the $458-million development of the 6 million t/y Vista thermal coal project near Hinton, AB. The company says significant savings are possible by developing the project in a single stage rather than two stages that would have cost $655 million. Commissioning is to begin in mid-2015, and the project will be designed for eventual expansion to 12 million t/y. (see Coalspur.com)
I want to thank Northern Miner editor John Cumming for helping us with the Daily Headline News the first week of my vacation and CMJ publisher Robert Seagraves for holding down the fort last week.