Sunday 27th September 2020

Resource Clips

Week in review

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In Sunday’s Sun News, Ezra Levant emphasized what the Daily Press had previously suggested—that these blockades are regular occurrences and the protestors are, as Levant said, “shakedown artists.” This time, he wrote, the company refused further payoffs. Then two police forces refused to remove the lawbreakers even when a judge specifically ordered them to do so.

But one of the police forces, the native Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service, did carry out an order from the Attawapiskat chief to detain and evict a TV reporter who tried to interview reserve residents. “The problem is no longer the trespassers,” Levant stated. “It’s the police, who would rather disobey a court order than commit the sin of political incorrectness.”

Yet the judge betrayed signs of appeasement himself. He cautioned De Beers’ lawyer about suing the protestors, according to Monday’s Daily Press. Relations with the serial blockaders and their supporters “may sour somewhat if you do something like that,” Judge Robert Riopelle actually said. He suggested the company at least wait for another blockade.

In Tuesday’s Daily Press, reporter Ron Grech looked further ahead: “The challenge is convincing De Beers’ decision-makers in South Africa the prospects in Attawapiskat are worth the trouble of investing in exploration to extend the life of the mine beyond 2018.”

Even so, Canada holds its own internationally

We challenge the Fraser Institute to adapt [its Survey of Mining Companies] to make it a more useful and accurate barometer of industry trends using real facts and data rather than just perceptions.—Gavin Dirom,
AME BC president/CEO

Canada obviously presents challenges, but it did slightly improve its overall score in the Fraser Institute’s latest Survey of Mining Companies released on Thursday. Three Canadian jurisdictions stayed within the top 10, although two others were bumped down into the teens. The most dramatic change was for the better, with the Northwest Territories moving up to 29th place in overall world standings, compared to 48th last year. That left Nunavut last among Canadians at #37. British Columbia wasn’t far away at #31.

If the survey made B.C. seem less than impressive, the Association for Mineral Exploration BC was less than impressed with the survey. In a Thursday news release, chairperson Michael McPhie said the report doesn’t reflect confidence shown by record exploration spending of $680 million in 2012. “At the same time,” he conceded, “we do recognize that many of our members are challenged by delays in permitting and uncertainty about first nations consultation requirements.”

The survey remains “of interest,” the organization stated. But AME BC president/CEO Gavin Dirom added, “As in previous years, however, we challenge the Fraser Institute to adapt the survey to make it a more useful and accurate barometer of industry trends using real facts and data rather than just perceptions.”

Here are 12 Canadian provinces and territories (Prince Edward Island didn’t make the survey) as they were ranked out of 96 jurisdictions internationally. Last year’s positions are in brackets.

3. Alberta (3)
4. New Brunswick (1)
8. Yukon (10)
11. Quebec (5)
12. Nova Scotia (15)
13. Saskatchewan (6)
16. Ontario (13)
18. Newfoundland and Labrador (16)
21. Manitoba (20)
29. Northwest Territories (48)
31. British Columbia (31)
37. Nunavut (36)

Download a copy of the Fraser Institute’s Survey of Mining Companies 2012/2013.

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