Thursday 27th October 2016

Resource Clips

September, 2013

September 30th, 2013

Looking at Prima Fluorspar the Grandich Report
Lessons from the Sprott Precious Metals Roundtable GoldSeek
The Fed’s grand illusion: Why the Fed didn’t taper Equedia
Sprott’s Charles Oliver sees the shine returning to metals the Gold Report
Northern promise: Home of the world’s richest gold mine braces for coming headwinds VantageWire
Partnerships lay foundations for graphene commercialization Industrial Minerals

Athabasca Basin and beyond

September 29th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Alpha/Fission extend one PLS zone, disagree about certainty of a “fifth zone”

The news from Patterson Lake South continues to impress—even when the joint venture partners don’t interpret it quite the same way. Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU says a 150-metre step-out found a “fifth high-grade zone.” Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW prefers to call it a “potential” fifth high-grade zone. Either way, the September 23 news was one of three announcements last week that included an extension to an existing zone’s strike length.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

Patterson Lake South now has a fifth zone—or a
potential fifth zone, depending on whom you listen to.

The new or potential new zone sits about halfway between the R390E and R780E zones, which are either the second and third of four zones, or the second and fourth of five zones, along a 1.02-kilometre southwest-northeast trend. With luck future drill results will bring Alpha into agreement with Fission, thereby simplifying sentence structure.

Hole PLS13-085 was collared 150 metres grid east of R390E, reached a depth of 317 metres and struck the basement unconformity at 62.4 metres without encountering sandstone. Preliminary results come from a hand-held scintillometer, which measures radiation up to an off-scale level of more than 9,999 counts per second. Scintillometer readings are no substitute for assays, which are pending. Some highlights showed:

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 33.5 metres, starting at 67 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 2,200 cps over 9.5 metres, starting at 111 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 16.5 metres, starting at 123 metres

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 9.5 metres, starting at 160.5 metres

True widths weren’t available. With a -89 degree dip, downhole depths were close to vertical depths.

Two days later, and with greater unanimity, the 50/50 partners released assays for holes that had previously reported scintillometer readings. Ranking as one of the best PLS holes so far, PLS13-072 reached a total depth of 209 metres. It found no sandstone and struck the basement unconformity at 55.7 metres. Some highlights include:

  • 8.15% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 34.5 metres, starting at 61 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 19.28% over 7.5 metres)

  • (and including 21.53% over 4 metres)

  • 0.58% over 11 metres, starting at 98.5 metres

  • 0.57% over 8.5 metres, starting at 125 metres

  • (including 1.61% over 2.5 metres)

  • 2.22% over 6.5 metres, starting at 137 metres

  • (including 10.65% over 1 metre)

With an -89 degree dip, the depths were close to vertical.

PLS13-073 struck sandstone at 50 metres and the basement unconformity at 53 metres, before stopping at 248 metres. Some highlights include:

  • 0.25% over 19.5 metres, starting at 102 metres in vertical depth

  • (including 0.92% over 3 metres)

  • 0.59% over 10 metres, starting at 132.5 metres

  • (including 4.81% over 1 metre)

True thicknesses are still to come.

When their scintillometer readings were reported earlier (here and here), the two holes extended R390E’s strike 15 metres grid west and 15 metres grid east respectively. But on September 27 the JV announced a further extension, bringing the zone’s strike to about 255 metres and suggesting the possibility “of extending the zone south along the entire length of the corridor as it becomes further delineated.” Here are some highlights from the eight holes reported:

Hole PLS13-087A reached a total depth of 227 metres, encountering sandstone at 50 metres and the basement unconformity at 50.9 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 14.5 metres, starting at 68.5 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 2,100 cps over 17 metres, starting at 98 metres

Hole PLS13-088 reached a total depth of 296 metres, encountering sandstone at 53 metres and the basement unconformity at 54.3 metres.

  • <300 to 9,800 cps over 23.5 metres, starting at 80 metres in downhole depth

  • 400 to 8,100 cps over 8 metres, starting at 135 metres

Hole PLS13-094 reached a total depth of 272.3 metres, encountering sandstone at 50.7 metres and the basement unconformity at 53.4 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 12 metres, starting at 130 metres in downhole depth

Hole PLS13-095 reached a total depth of 275 metres, encountering sandstone at 47.6 metres and the basement unconformity at 51.7 metres.

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 11.5 metres, starting at 68 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 7 metres, starting at 93.5 metres

  • <300 to 5,800 cps over 33 metres, starting at 116 metres

Hole PLS13-100 reached a total depth of 263 metres, encountering sandstone at 53 metres and the basement unconformity at 53.3 metres.

  • 790 to >9,999 cps over 6 metres, starting at 53 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to 8,000 cps over 20 metres, starting at 99.5 metres

  • <300 to>9,999 cps over 8.5 metres, starting at 134 metres

Hole PLS13-102 reached a total depth of 275 metres, encountering sandstone at 58.3 metres and the basement unconformity at 58.8 metres.

  • <300 to 6,000 cps over 29 metres, starting at 103 metres in downhole depth

  • <300 to >9,999 cps over 10.5 metres, starting at 137.5 metres

Again, true thicknesses were unavailable. With dips ranging from -84 to -89 degrees, downhole depths were close to vertical. Assays are pending for these holes but this summer’s drilling has extended R390E more than four-fold from last winter’s 60-metre strike.

Fission acts as project operator on the current $6.95-million program. On September 18 the partners signed a definitive agreement for Fission’s acquisition of Alpha and sole control over PLS, with the companies’ other assets to be spun out into two separate companies.

Rockgate rejects Mega merger, mulls Denison deal and other possibilities

Just one day before their shareholders were to vote on a merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA, Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors scuttled the proposal. Although a “superior” offer from Denison Mines TSX:DML led to their September 24 announcement, Rockgate directors expressed reservations, said they needed more time for due diligence and expressed interest in receiving other offers.

Read more about Mega’s and Denison’s competing ambitions for Rockgate.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Rockgate delineates Falea project’s 880 zone in Mali

Meanwhile work continues on the object of those affections, Rockgate’s Falea flagship in southwestern Mali. On September 26 the company released assays from four holes on the 880 zone, which was discovered last fall. The results show:

  • 0.59% U3O8, 45.7 grams per tonne silver and 0.17% copper over 2.7 metres, starting at 301.4 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.06% U3O8, 118.3 g/t silver and 0.78% copper over 2 metres, starting at 303 metres

  • 0.12% U3O8, 86.3 g/t silver and 0.52% copper over 3 metres, starting at 320 metres

  • 0.17% U3O8, 17.1 g/t silver and 0.16% copper over 4 metres, starting at 304.5 metres

  • (including 1.13% U3O8, 96 g/t silver and 1.14% copper over 0.5 metres)

Intercepts are estimated at 96% to 100% of true widths. Mineralization remains open in several directions, the company stated.

This year’s 19-hole, 5,910-metre program included 14 holes totalling 4,563 metres on the 880 zone’s 500-metre strike length. Another five holes totalling 1,347 metres tested the project’s Central zone. The 880 zone has yet to be included in Falea’s resource estimate. Released last December, it shows:

  • a measured category of 1.39 million tonnes averaging 0.14% U3O8 for 4.29 million pounds U3O8, with 3.52 million ounces silver and 6.05 million pounds copper

  • an indicated category of 14.28 million tonnes averaging 0.08% U3O8 for 25.29 million pounds U3O8, with 24.43 million ounces silver and 68.17 million pounds copper

  • an inferred category of 15.35 million tonnes averaging 0.05% U3O8 for 15.69 million pounds U3O8, with 8.91 million ounces silver and 81.19 million pounds copper

Rockgate plans to incorporate the 880 zone into an updated resource, likely to coincide with a pre-feasibility study scheduled for completion early next year. The company says it’s been “entirely unaffected” by last year’s military coup and this year’s fighting between French troops and al-Qaida-linked rebels.

NexGen completes two-thirds of Rook 1 drilling, awaits Radio assays

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 21 to 27, 2013

Brecciated core from NexGen Energy’s Rook 1 drill program.

NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE updated its PLS-adjacent Rook 1 drill campaign September 25. With 3,000 metres planned, the company has sunk eight holes totalling 1,957 metres on an area about 700 metres along interpreted extensions of the PLS 3B conductor and a parallel conductor approximately 800 metres east.

“All holes intersected varying types of structural zones in basement lithologies, ranging from small fractures through to wide, heavily brecciated material,” the company stated. Scintillometer readings found intercepts of elevated levels in several holes, while all eight holes reached shallow basement rock at downhole depths ranging from 48.7 metres to 82.6 metres. Weather permitting, drilling will continue to October. Winter drilling is planned for the same area.

Assays are still pending from NexGen’s nine-hole, 3,473-metre campaign at Radio, where the company holds a 70% option two kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s NYE:RIO Roughrider deposits on the northeastern Basin. In late August NexGen closed $5 million in private placements.

Canadian International Minerals options two claim groups to Rio Grande;
Rio Grande offers $900,000 private placement, grants options

Canadian International Minerals TSXV:CIN announced on September 24 it optioned Rio Grande Mining TSXV:RGV a 75% interest in the Britts Lake East and Firebag East/Descharme claims about 35 kilometres southwest of PLS. Under the agreement Rio Grande would pay a total of $100,000 and issue Canadian International 500,000 shares. Rio Grande would also spend $250,000 by year one, $500,000 by year two and $1.5 million by year three. The companies didn’t specify whether those are aggregate or separate yearly figures.

Canadian International retains a 2% NSR, of which Rio Grande may buy half for $1 million. Canadian International will act as project operator on a planned winter campaign to include radon and helium surveys, as well as lake sediment sampling on the 18,041-hectare package.

Canadian International also holds a 50% interest in each of two other Saskatchewan uranium prospects, the 4,639-hectare Coflin Lake property and the 34,762-hectare Clearwater property.

On September 25 Rio Grande announced a private placement of up to $900,000, consisting of six million units at $0.10 and another 2.5 million units at $0.12. The company also granted 900,000 options to insiders at $0.12 for five years.

Western Athabasca Syndicate reports radon and radiometric anomalies at Preston Lake

A four-company strategic alliance focused on the PLS area’s Western Athabasca Syndicate project reported anomalous radon and scintillometer findings on September 26. Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC, Noka Resources TSXV:NX and Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY stated an initial radon-in-water survey found nine of 291 samples measuring over 23 picocuries per litre, with the highest reaching 98 pCi/L. The anomalies appear as both clusters and discrete point anomalies, the companies added. Fission and Alpha based their initial PLS drill targets on these measurements of radon gas.

Additionally, WASP’s 217-kilometre scintillometer survey found 25 areas radiating over 1,000 cps, more than twice the typical background level. More Phase II results are pending while Phase III field work continues with the intention of identifying drill targets.

Next Page 1 | 2

Safer, more efficient nuclear fuel almost ready to hit the market

September 27th, 2013

by Cecilia Jamasmie | September 26, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

U.S. researchers have reached a new milestone in the development of a fourth-generation reactor fuel, known as tristructural-isotropic (TRISO), as they prove it can resist high-temperature accident conditions.

The team from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory says the finding proves the new kind of nuclear energy is more robust than previously thought.

Safer, more efficient nuclear fuel almost ready to hit the market

A pellet of TRISO fuel, a more efficient fuel for high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactors. (Photo: Idaho National Laboratory)

Specifically, the team found that even at 1,800 degrees Celsius (more than 200 degrees Celsius greater than postulated accident conditions) most fission products remained inside the fuel particles, which each boast their own primary containment system.

“The ability of the fuel to retain fission products at such high temperatures translates directly to enhanced safety of the reactor,” said a statement from Paul Demkowicz, the technical lead for post-irradiation examination of TRISO fuel. “This sort of test data is important input for reactor design and reactor licensing.”

The news comes amid increasing tension over the situation at Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant, whose ongoing leaks came under the international spotlight in recent weeks, when the country’s nuclear authority disclosed in early September that radiation levels around the plant were “18 times higher” than thought.

The U.S. has the highest number of commercial nuclear power plants and is the biggest consumer of nuclear fuel in the world.

The country stopped producing highly enriched uranium in 1964, when it reached the maximum of 30,000 nuclear warheads in its possession.

Reprinted by permission of

Lakeland Resources director Ryan Fletcher discusses the boulders with high-grade uranium found down-ice from the company’s Gibbon’s Creek target in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin

September 27th, 2013

…Read More

September 27th, 2013

Lessons from the Sprott Precious Metals Roundtable GoldSeek
The Fed’s grand illusion: Why the Fed didn’t taper Equedia
Sprott’s Charles Oliver sees the shine returning to metals the Gold Report
Northern promise: Home of the world’s richest gold mine braces for coming headwinds VantageWire
Update: U.S. stocks/bonds/dollar, gold, mining and exploration the Grandich Report
Partnerships lay foundations for graphene commercialization Industrial Minerals

Rumours of the supercycle’s death are greatly exaggerated: McKinsey

September 26th, 2013

by Ana Komnenic | September 26, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

Don’t sound the death knell just yet: The resource “supercycle” might not be breathing its last breath.

The resource sector’s period of sharp price rises and heightened volatility is “alive and well,” say analysts of the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Co.

“Rumours of the supercycle’s death are greatly exaggerated,” authors of the 2013 Trends Survey write. “Despite recent falls, commodity prices are still near their levels of early to mid-2008, just before the global financial crisis hit.”

By historic standards, resource prices are still high—even as the global economy slowly pulls itself out of recession.

Rumours of the supercycle’s death are greatly exaggerated: McKinsey

McKinsey uses an interactive tool to track movements in commodity prices over time.
(This is a modified screenshot. Try the tool yourself here.)

On average, metals prices in nominal terms have increased by 176% since 2000.

Copper prices grew by 344%.

The authors also note that as supply becomes “increasingly unresponsive to demand,” price volatility is not going to disappear.

Ramping up supply will be a challenge but not because of any near-term absolute shortage of natural resources, the researchers write. Rather, three “persistent forces” are making it difficult to increase supply, including “a challenging geology that makes it hard to extract resources.”

The researchers also challenge the notion that demand from emerging markets, particularly China, is driving up prices. McKinsey’s Basic Materials Institute finds that while this factor is important, the changing cost of supply is a big piece of the puzzle.

“In the future … demand from China, more challenging access to supply, logistical and skills challenges, and the incorporation of environmental costs will all shape metals prices,” the report’s executive summary reads.

Reprinted by permission of

Eric Sprott sold six million insider shares to throw Barkerville a lifeline

September 26th, 2013

by Frik Els | September 25, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

Barkerville Gold Mines TSXV:BGM announced Tuesday a $15-million loan from a company (2176423 Ontario Ltd) wholly owned by Eric Sprott.

Eric Sprott sold six million insider shares to throw Barkerville a lifeline

Barkerville president/CEO
Frank Callaghan has reason to smile.

Barkerville will use the money to keep operating, apply for reinstatement on the TSX Venture exchange and pay back a $1.5-million bridge loan from Sprott Resource Lending Partnership.

The lifeline extended by Sprott comes less than a week after the legendary precious metals investor sold some six million shares at $2.70 in his investment management company Sprott Inc TSX:SII according to Canadian Insider.

Trade in Vancouver-headquartered Barkerville was suspended in August last year after problems with the technical report for its Cariboo project in central British Columbia.

At the end of June 2012, when Barkerville announced mouth-watering resource estimates—10.6 million ounces of contained gold at some of the best grades in the industry—for the Cow Mountain section, its stock exploded.

It did not take long for red flags to be raised about what would have been one of the richest gold deposits in the world. The stock duly tanked.

Almost a year later the updated estimate shows a much more sober resource of 1.04 million ounces indicated and 3.94 million ounces inferred.

When Barkerville’s shares start trading again it will be interesting to see if retail investors display the same kind of confidence in the company as Eric Sprott clearly does.

Reprinted by permission of

A near-term success story?

September 26th, 2013

Fluorspar is seen as an important future growth area in Mongolia

Reprinted by permission of Industrial Minerals | September 26, 2013

Genghis Khan, the most famous of all Mongolians, is known for creating the world’s largest empire in the 13th century, stretching from Poland in the west, to Korea in the east, and from Siberia in the north to the Gulf of Oman and Vietnam in the south.

Khan, famed for his brutality, should also be recognized for creating the trade route known as the Silk Road, opening the region to trade and information, and providing a passage between Asia and Europe.

Fluorspar is seen as an important future growth area in Mongolia

On site at Delgerkhan, chief geologist Ian Furigay, Prima director
Sean Charland, Prima CEO Robert Bick and Firebird fund manager
James Passin study an historic vein map.

And, as present-day companies have discovered, this trading principle still functions, with Mongolia both encouraging and facilitating foreign investment.

The country’s largest export is copper, followed by apparel, livestock, animal products and cashmere, according to Economy Watch. Its major export partners are China, Canada, UK and Luxembourg.

Fluorspar, although slightly further down the list, is also seen as an important future growth area.

Mongolia produced 420,000 tonnes per annum in 2012, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

It is the third-largest producer in the world, with most of its supply feeding China and Russia.

In fact, insufficient transportation infrastructure means Mongolia’s only markets for fluorspar are these two countries, largely via the Trans-Mongolian Railway, which connects China (at Zamyn-Uud) and Russia (at the Altanbulag port).

While Mongolian production has recently stuttered as global demand has fallen, most market commentators believe that the market will pick up.

Prima-ed for a great deal

Vancouver-based Prima Fluorspar TSXV:PF signed a letter of intent (LOI) in September with New York fund Firebird Management, which holds a 99.8% majority stake in Berkh Uul JSC, owners of the Delgerkhan fluorspar mine.

The acquisition of the Delgerkhan mine [would position] Prima to become a major global fluorspar producer and supplier.—Robert Bick,
CEO of Prima Fluorspar

“The acquisition of the Delgerkhan mine [would position] Prima to become a major global fluorspar producer and supplier,” CEO Robert Bick told Industrial Minerals.

[The project holds an historic, non-43-101 resource of 6.62 million tonnes averaging 33.7% calcium fluoride (CaF2) indicated and 3.02 million tonnes averaging 33% inferred.]

The Delgerkhan fluorspar mine has an interesting history, having worked as a fluorspar mine since the 1950s, with approximately 90,000 metres drilled in the period between 1950 to 2000.

“Delgerkhan is one of the largest in the world,” James Passin, fund manager at Firebird, told IM. Passin has been developing the mine since 2011.

“We have been working on drilling the deposit to produce an NI 43-101-compliant resource. There is fluorspar that we would intend to produce through an open-cast mine. The rest of the deposit will be produced by underground mining by rehabilitating the existing shafts,” he told IM.

Historically, the mine produced metallurgical-grade fluorspar (metspar), but Firebird believes “there’s potential to build a flotation plant and produce acid grade as well as metspar.”

The next steps for the project are to dewater and remediate the existing mine infrastructure, with a target date of Q4 2014 for first production, at a run rate of 120,000 tpa.

Mongolia Minerals Corp

Mongolia Minerals Corp is developing its Dai Uul project in the Dornogovi province. The project is not as advanced as Firebird’s, but it recently increased its reserve estimation. [Mongolian reserves don’t correspond with NI 43-101 resources or reserves.]

The company underwent an extensive drilling campaign in 2012 to enlarge the existing reserve base, and is working towards establishing [an Australian] JORC-compliant resource.

“It bears noting that under the Mongolian reserve code, to be included in reserve calculations, reserve blocks need to have an average grade of 25% CaF2 or above, which is higher than typical international norms,” James Rodriguez de Castro, managing director, told IM.

Testwork is currently underway to explore the possibility of recovering additional fluorspar by including lower-grade ore into the economically exploitable reserves through pre-concentration.

Lower costs

Both Passin and Rodriguez de Castro agree that developing a project in Mongolia has cost advantages.

“We have a huge cost advantage on the existing infrastructure and mining assets, which will allow us to get to production without having to invest a lot of capital, compared to a lot of other large fluorspar deposits,” Passin said.

Reprinted by permission of Industrial Minerals.

Disclaimer: Prima Fluorspar Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Prima Fluorspar.

September 26th, 2013

The Fed’s grand illusion: Why the Fed didn’t taper Equedia
Sprott’s Charles Oliver sees the shine returning to metals the Gold Report
Northern promise: Home of the world’s richest gold mine braces for coming headwinds VantageWire
Update: U.S. stocks/bonds/dollar, gold, mining and exploration the Grandich Report
GoldSeek TV interviews Thomas Drolet about Fukushima, uranium supply and prices GoldSeek
Partnerships lay foundations for graphene commercialization Industrial Minerals

Controversial mining company hires recently retired B.C. politician

September 26th, 2013

by Greg Klein | September 26, 2013

Former British Columbia cabinet minister Blair Lekstrom has joined HD Mining International, a company that plans to staff underground operations at its proposed Murray River coal mine exclusively with Chinese workers. A Canadian Press story published by the Vancouver Sun on September 25 cited an August 22 letter from HD Mining that confirmed the hire.

Last May the company defeated a court challenge by two unions against its use of Canada’s temporary foreign workers program to import Mandarin-speaking underground staff. The company argued that no Canadians were qualified to do the work. The unions presented evidence that HD Mining was offering pay rates below Canadian standards, the company rejected qualified Canadians and many of the job ads posted in Canada made Mandarin a language requirement.

Controversial mining company hires newly retired B.C. politician

Former BC MLA
Blair Lekstrom

Critics also expressed strong concerns about job safety, pointing to the Chinese mining industry’s notoriously high death rate. As Bloomberg reported in April, “China’s history of mining incidents includes the world’s worst safety record at its coal mines, which saw 1,973 people killed in accidents in 2011 and 2,433 the year before that, according to the State Administration of Work Safety.”

HD Mining is held 55% by Huiyong Holdings, a coal mining company in China, 40% by Canadian Dehua International Mines Group and 5% by an unnamed party.

Penggui Yan, chairperson of both HD Mining and Huiyong Holdings, was formerly a Chinese government official and manager of the state-owned mining company Shenhua Group, the Globe and Mail reported in February. Canadian Dehua has proposed at least three more Chinese-staffed coal mines for the same northeastern B.C. region.

The BC Liberal government strongly supported HD Mining’s plan and knew about a similar scheme by Naishun Liu, Canadian Dehua’s Chinese-born founder and chairperson, at least as far back as 2007.

Last November Vancouver Province columnist Michael Smyth revealed that “the main point person for the Chinese mining companies in B.C. is Jody Shimkus, a former assistant deputy minister of mining in the Liberal government.”

Smyth reported she left her government job in January 2012 to join HD Mining: “Under conflict-of-interest rules, senior managers face work restrictions for one year after they leave government. Senior managers can’t take a job with a company they dealt with in government, and can’t lobby or make representations on behalf of a company to the ministry where they formerly worked, the rules say.”

Smyth quoted Shimkus, “I never dealt with HD in government and I haven’t lobbied for them.”

Smyth added that “she also said she didn’t know about the one-year work restrictions when she signed on as HD’s vice-president of environmental and regulatory affairs.”

She told Smyth, “I don’t know what ‘make representations’ means. All I’ve done is help them through the environmental permitting process.”

Lekstrom, first elected to his northeastern B.C. riding in 2001, retired prior to last May’s B.C. provincial election. He held cabinet positions for Transportation and Infrastructure from March 2011 to September 2012, and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources from January 2009 to June 2010. He held the latter ministry when the province banned mining in southeastern B.C.’s Flathead Valley following pressure by American environmentalists and politicians.

HD Mining originally stated it would import between 400 and 480 Chinese workers at a time on two-year visas to staff Murray River’s underground operations up to 2025. In January, following widespread criticism, the company said it would “transition” 10% of the underground jobs to Canadians each year. The question remains of how many of those jobs will go to imported miners who become Canadian citizens.

Speaking to in May, United Steelworkers western Canada director Stephen Hunt said, “If you look at the debacle with HD Mining, no one even thought of employing first nations people.”

In an April article about Chinese-owned and staffed mines in Tibet, the Economist stated, “Managers at big state-owned firms are usually Han Chinese, who in turn tend to regard their own ethnic kin as easier to control and communicate with than Tibetans.”