Sunday 27th September 2020

Resource Clips

Week in review

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Is gold lent out, sold short or stored safely?

Fairy-tale Frankfurt, home to the Bundesbank.

Another GATA post links to a Jan Skoyles article entitled “Five things repatriating gold bullion says about the country.”

Germany’s reserves should total 3,395.5 tonnes. Nearly half, 1,536 tonnes, has been entrusted to the Fed, according to Spiegel. But on October 24 the Telegraph reported different numbers: Roughly 66% with the Fed, 21% with the Bank of England and 8% with the Bank of France. The stuff was stored abroad to protect it from Soviet attack, the Telegraph stated.

Nine people missing as Russian gold freighter disappears

Should Germany first locate, then re-locate its bullion, security would be an obvious challenge. On Sunday a freighter carrying 700 tons of gold ore worth $800,000 went missing in the Sea of Okhotsk, off Russia’s east coast, Bloomberg reported. A search failed to find the ship or any of its nine crew members.

Chinese coal miners’ work permits investigated

Canada’s federal government will review about 200 work permits issued to Chinese nationals to work for Chinese interests in Canadian mines. According to a Canadian Press story published by the Vancouver Sun on Tuesday, the department of Human Resources and Skills Development will determine whether HD Mining International met government requirements when it applied for the permits.

The 200 miners were expected to arrive soon to begin underground bulk sampling at the company’s Murray River coal project in northeastern British Columbia. HD Mining said the permits were necessary because Canadians lack longwall mining experience and the project will use Chinese technology.

HD Mining is held 40% by Canadian Dehua International Mines Group and 55% by Huiyong Holdings. Canadian Dehua has three other coal projects in northeastern B.C. Should all four go into production, the company intends to employ approximately 2,000 Chinese underground workers.

To meet government requirements for the permits, the jobs were first posted in Canada. But Mandarin was required for at least 70 positions. The wages offered didn’t meet Canadian standards. The most controversial aspect of the plan, however, involves safety concerns. On October 11 United Steelworkers communications officer Brad West told ResourceClips, “The Chinese coal mine industry is probably one of the most dangerous in the world. The U.S. Mine Rescue Association’s numbers indicate that between 2001 and 2011, 50,000 coal miners have died in Chinese mines.”

Canadian Press also reported that Canadian Labour Congress president Ken Georgetti called on the government to rescind the permits. “A large pool of unemployed workers with skills suited for the mining sector exist[s] in the province and across Canada,” he said.

CP noted that the feds’ inquiry is “confidential, meaning any findings of the investigation may not be made public.”

Read more about Canadian Dehua and HD International here, here and here.

Lay down your cards

With its TSXV entry on Tuesday, Mason Graphite TSXV:LLG challenged two better-known companies on two fronts. Mason’s trading premiere brings to greater prominence a resource estimate released last summer, which steals Focus Graphite’s TSXV:FMS bragging rights to the highest-grade graphite resource. Mason also competes with Energizer Resources TSX:EGZ for the claim of having the world’s largest known graphite deposit. That dispute will remain unsettled, however, until Energizer releases its first resource, scheduled for this month, and Mason releases its two updates, scheduled for December and Q1 2013.

Read more about this week’s graphite news here and here.

Wall Street unoccupied

This week’s NYSE news made history. This time the disaster had natural causes.

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