Sunday 31st May 2020

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Posts tagged ‘ame’

Crisis response

April 3rd, 2020

A look at mining, exploration, infrastructure and supply chains under the pandemic

by Greg Klein | April 3, 2020

A look at mining, exploration, infrastructure and supply chains

 

Idled explorers: Can you help?

“Essential supplies and personnel are needed to create and operate temporary facilities for testing, triage, housing and isolation areas for vulnerable populations,” states the Association for Mineral Exploration. “As mineral explorers, we have access to the supplies needed and are in a unique position to help.”

AME calls on the industry to contribute excess capacity of the following:

  • Insulated structures (both hard and soft wall)

  • Camp gear such as furniture, lighting and kitchen appliances

  • Medical equipment

  • Camp support personnel such as caterers, housekeepers, janitors, etc.

  • Available medical staff including such qualifications as OFA3s, paramedics, RNs, etc.

  • Other supplies or skills

If you can help, please fill out this form and AME will be in touch. 

For further information contact Savannah Nadeau.

Preparing for a wider emergency

Given the danger of one crisis triggering others, essential infrastructure remains at risk. One plan to safeguard Ontario’s electricity service would require Toronto workers to bunk down in employer-supplied accommodation under lockdown conditions better known to isolated locations.

A look at mining, exploration, infrastructure and supply chains

Quarantines might require essential
services to provide job-site bed and board.
(Photo: Independent Electricity System Operator)

It hasn’t happened yet, but the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator stands ready for the possibility, according to a Canadian Press story published by the Globe and Mail. A not-for-profit agency established by the province, the IESO co-ordinates Ontario electricity supply to meet demand.

About 90% of its staff now work at home but another 48 employees must still come into work, CEO Peter Gregg said. Eight six-person teams now undergo 12-hour shifts in two Toronto-area control rooms.

“Should it become necessary, he said, bed, food and other on-site arrangements have been made to allow the operators to stay at their workplaces as a similar agency in New York has done,” CP reported.

Similar plans may well be underway not only for essential infrastructure but also for essential production, processing, manufacturing, communications, transportation and trade. One sign of the times to come could be locked-down camps in supermarket parking lots for our under-appreciated retail-sector heroes.

Meanwhile, retaining and protecting care-home staff already constitute a crisis within a crisis.

Australia guards against predatory foreign takeovers

With China prominently in mind, Australia has taken extra measures to protect companies and projects shattered by the COVID-19 economy. Canberra has temporarily granted its Foreign Investment Review Board extra powers to guard distressed companies and assets against acquisitions by opportunistic foreigners. Although previous foreign acquisitions came under review only when the price passed certain thresholds, now all such transactions get FIRB scrutiny.

The changes follow concerns raised by MPs on Australia’s intelligence and security committee. The Sydney Morning Herald quoted committee chairperson Andrew Hastie warning of “foreign state-owned enterprises working contrary to our national interest. More than ever, we need to protect ourselves from geo-strategic moves masquerading as legitimate business.”

Committee member Tim Wilson added, “We can’t allow foreign state-owned enterprises and their business fronts to use COVID-19’s economic carnage as a gateway to swoop distressed businesses and assets.”

Among protected assets are exploration and mining projects, utilities, infrastructure and an interest of 20% or more in a company or business.

Critical minerals become ever more critical

As Lynas Corp extended the suspension of its rare earths processing facility in line with Malaysian government pandemic orders, the company noted the importance of its products “in permanent magnets used in medical devices including ventilators, and in lanthanum products used in oil refineries for petroleum production.”

A look at mining, exploration, infrastructure and supply chains

The suspension of its Malaysian plant prompted
Lynas to emphasize REs’ criticality to virus treatment.
(Photo: Lynas Corp)

Originally set to expire on March 31, the government order currently stays in force until April 14. RE extraction continues at Lynas’ Mount Weld mine in Western Australia.

In late February Malaysia granted the company a three-year licence renewal for the processing facility, which had been threatened with closure due to controversy about its low-level radioactive tailings. Among conditions for the renewal are development of a permanent disposal facility for existing waste and putting a cracking and leaching plant in operation outside Malaysia by July 2023 to end the practice of transporting radioactive material to the country.

Committed to maintaining a non-Chinese supply chain, the company plans to locate the C&L plant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

Sharing the disease, hoarding the treatment

A problem recognized in American defence procurement has hit health care—the need to build non-Chinese supply chains. Most of the world’s ventilators and about half the masks are manufactured in China, points out a recent column by Terry Glavin.

The West is learning, finally and the hard way, “that thriving liberal democracies cannot co-exist for long within a model of neo-liberal globalization that admits into its embrace such a tyrannical state-capitalist monstrosity as the People’s Republic of China.”

The U.S., for example, relies heavily on China for antibiotics, painkillers, surgical gowns, equipment that measures blood oxygen levels and magnetic resonance imaging scanners. China effectively banned medical equipment exports as soon as Wuhan went on lockdown, Glavin adds.

“It probably didn’t help that Ottawa sent 16,000 tonnes of gear to China back in February. That was a lot of gear—1,101 masks, 50,118 face shields, 36,425 medical coveralls, 200,000 pairs of gloves and so on—but a drop in Beijing’s bucket. A New York Times investigation last month found that China had imported 56 million respirators and masks, just in the first week of the Wuhan shutdown.

“It is not known how much of that cargo came from the massive bulk-buying campaign organized and carried out across Canada by affiliates of the United Front Work Department, the overseas propaganda and influence-peddling arm of the Chinese Communist Party.”

A look at mining, exploration, infrastructure and supply chains

Desperate need for health care supplies
pits country against country. (Photo: 3M)

Nor does the non-Chinese world display altruism. In response to the crisis, the EU and more than 50 countries have either banned or restricted exports of medical equipment, Glavin states.

By April 3 global health care products supplier 3M revealed that Washington asked the company to stop exporting U.S.-manufactured N95 respirators to Canada and Latin America. 3M noted “significant humanitarian implications” but also the possibility of trade retaliation. “If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease.”

The company did win China’s permission to import 10 million of its own Chinese-manufactured N95s into the U.S.

Meanwhile the Canadian government comes under increasing criticism for discouraging the public from wearing masks.

Chinese supply chains also jeopardized by Chinese disease

As the world’s main exporter of manufactured goods, China’s the main importer of raw materials, especially metals. But, as the world’s main exporter of disease, China managed to threaten its own supplies.

Reuters columnist Andy Home outlined lockdown-imposed cutbacks of copper, zinc and lead from Chile and Peru, and chrome from South Africa; reductions in cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo, in tin from already depleting Myanmar, and in nickel from the Philippines, the latter a hoped-for replacement after Indonesia banned unprocessed exports.

The longer the lockdowns, “the greater the potential for supply chain disruption,” Home comments. “As the biggest buyer of metallic raw materials, this is a ticking time-bomb for China’s metals producers.”

Miners’ providence unevenly distributed

Probably no other foreign shutdowns have affected as many Canadian miners and explorers as that of Mexico. Considered non-essential, their work will be suspended until April 30, with extensions more than likely. Mexico’s announcement must have sounded familiar to Pan American Silver TSX:PAAS, which had already pressed the pause button to comply with national quarantines in Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. That currently limits the company’s mining to Timmins, where production has been reduced by about 10% to 20% to allow physical distancing.

A look at mining, exploration, infrastructure and supply chains

Mauritania exempted Kinross Gold’s Tasiast mine
from domestic travel restrictions. (Photo: Kinross Gold)

One company more favourably located, so far, is Kinross Gold TSX:K. As of April 1, operations continued at its seven mines in Nevada, Alaska, Brazil, Mauritania, Russia and Ghana, while work went on at its four non-producing projects in Alaska, Mauritania, Russia and Chile.

Expanded shutdowns ordered by Ontario on April 3 include many construction and industrial projects but exempt mining. Earlier that day New Gold TSX:NGD announced Rainy River’s restart after a two-week suspension to allow self-isolation among employees. Many of the mine’s workers live locally and made short trips into Minnesota before the border closed.

Quebec border restrictions have hindered the Ontario operations of Kirkland Lake Gold TSX:KL, cutting off a source of employees and contractors. As a result the company reduced production at its Macassa mine and suspended work at its Holt complex, comprising three gold mines and a mill. Kirkland reduced operations at its Detour Lake mine effective March 23, after a worker showed COVID-19 symptoms and self-isolated on March 14. He tested positive on March 26. Production continues at the company’s Fosterville mine in Australia.

Some explorers have been idled by government restrictions, others by market conditions. Still, some companies have money and jurisdictions in which to spend it. Liberty Gold TSX:LGD, for example, resumed drilling its Black Pine gold project in Idaho on March 31.

Some jurisdictions, like B.C. and New Brunswick, have extended work requirement deadlines to help companies keep exploration claims active.

“China needs to be held responsible”

A few Canadian journalists are saying what we might never hear from our politicians. Here, for example, is Toronto Sun columnist Lorrie Goldstein:

“China needs to be held responsible. The problem is, because of its political power— and you see it in the World Health Organization announcements, in Canadian announcements—they’ve been praising what China did. There would have been a virus anyway. China made it worse. More people are dying, more people are being infected, and its dictators need to be held to account.”

COVID-19 supplies and skills: Mineral explorers are in a unique position to help

April 1st, 2020

April 1, 2020

“Essential supplies and personnel are needed to create and operate temporary facilities for testing, triage, housing and isolation areas for vulnerable populations,” states the Association for Mineral Exploration. “As mineral explorers, we have access to the supplies needed and are in a unique position to help.”

AME calls on the industry to contribute excess capacity of the following items and services:

COVID-19 supplies Mineral explorers are in a unique position to help

  • Insulated structures (both hard and soft wall)

  • Camp gear such as furniture, lighting and kitchen appliances

  • Medical equipment

  • Camp support personnel such as caterers, housekeepers, janitors, etc.

  • Available medical staff including such qualifications as OFA3s, paramedics, RNs, etc.

  • Other supplies or skills

If you can help, please fill out this form and AME will be in touch. 

For further information contact Savannah Nadeau.

Native participation, as well as technical innovation, took priority at the Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup 2020

January 31st, 2020

…Read more

Caught on camera: AME Roundup wraps up with over 6,100 attendees from 38 countries

January 24th, 2020

by Greg Klein | January 24, 2020

Another successful four-day event came to a close as the Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference ended its 37th annual meeting on January 23. As one of the world’s top exploration-related events, Roundup attracted miners, suppliers, executives, experts, explorers and community representatives for a variety of programs that emphasized innovation and engagement.

This year’s theme, Lens on Discovery, brought to light new tools and techniques to uncover the deposits of tomorrow. Over 300 companies shared the Exhibit Hall with popular Roundup attractions like the Innovation Stage and Hub, Project Generators’ Hub, Core Shack and Prospectors’ Tent.

Gathering Place continued an AME tradition of encouraging dialogue between industry and natives. Among this year’s noteworthy presentations, Tahltan – A History related the band’s “exploration and mining history, trials and tribulations encountered along the way and how they have come to be leaders in the industry.”

The annual Awards Gala feted winners in 11 categories, showing the wide range of achievement necessary to supply the world with commodities luxurious, useful or essential. As AME chairperson Rob McLeod noted, “From exploration to finance, safety to sustainability, our members continue to make positive contributions to mineral exploration and mine development around the world.”

Roundup returns from January 18 to 21, 2021.

 

AME Roundup wraps up with 6,190 attendees from 38 countries

Innovation and engagement took priority at the four-day conference.

 

AME Roundup wraps up with 6,190 attendees from 38 countries

As usual, drill core came under intense scrutiny.

 

AME Roundup wraps up with 6,190 attendees from 38 countries

Exhibits displayed the work of budding explorers.

 

AME Roundup wraps up with 6,190 attendees from 38 countries

With each additional glass, the official beverage of geoscientists seemed to brighten industry prospects.

 

Kendra Johnston of the Association for Mineral Exploration acknowledges the work of Geoscience BC

January 22nd, 2020

…Read more

Native participation, technical innovation to be highlighted at AME Roundup 2020

January 13th, 2020

by Greg Klein | January 13, 2020

Reconciliation’s sudden prominence sometimes gives the issue a flavour-of-the-month aspect. But it’s a commitment that’s hardly new to the Association for Mineral Exploration. Continuing the work of past years, Roundup 2020 presents an example of native engagement through several presentations, discussions and speakers. That’s one of the topics that bring together indigenous communities, geoscience professionals, company executives, government reps, academics, students and something like 6,500 attendees from 37 countries at one of the industry’s most significant global events.

Native participation, technical innovation to be highlighted at AME Roundup 2020

Native music and ceremonies help
set the ambience for AME Roundup.

Roundup also places precious metals, base metals and energy minerals under scrutiny, both from geological and market perspectives. Recognizing the utility of good hard cash, the challenges of finance and capital markets come up for discussion.

Popular features like the Core Shack, Prospectors’ Tent and Project Generators’ Hub return, as does the annual AME Awards Gala that celebrates some standout success stories. Social events bring networking opportunities while the Exhibit Hall showcases miners, explorers, support industries and the new technology that’s taking mining into the future.

Over 650 companies involved in exploration, development and mining operations will take part, along with over 100 reps from governments, geological surveys and first nations.

Innovation is the emphasis of this year’s theme, Lens on Discovery. Artificial intelligence and machine learning provide some of the tools and techniques opening new opportunities in discovery, development and production.

Among many native-related events will be Tahltan: A History. Mining Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Asp and Tahltan central government president Chad Day will relate the band’s experience with mining and exploration, including the “trials and tribulations encountered along the way” as the Tahltan became industry leaders.

And Gathering Place returns, once again promising the exchange of a wide range of views on native issues.

Another priority will be youth, with several events intended to interest kids, teens and young adults in mining-related careers.

Two days of short courses precede Roundup, while the event ends with a TMX live market close.

Roundup 2020 takes place from January 20 to 23 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. Click here for more info.

Conrad Black to address the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference in January

November 29th, 2019

by Greg Klein | November 29, 2019

Conrad Black to speak at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference in January

Conrad Black

He was born rich, made himself richer, built a media empire, lost a media empire, wrote history, made history, disrupted Canadian journalism, got thrown into prison and returned as one of Canada’s most compelling social and political commentators.

That’s his short-form CV in one long sentence. But Conrad Black’s a writer who likes long sentences. He’s also a public speaker who’ll be appearing at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, held January 19 and 20.

This will be an opportunity to hear an uncategorizable voice in Canadian public discourse, with perspectives on a number of issues that affect resource industries. He’ll head a lineup of over 60 speakers including Rick Rule, Frank Holmes, Marin Katusa and Brent Cook, among others. Over 350 exhibitors and 9,000 investors are expected to attend.

The conference takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre West from January 19 to 20. Click here for more info on VRIC 2020.

VRIC conveniently overlaps the Association for Mineral Exploration’s Roundup 2020, held next door at the Vancouver Convention Centre East from January 20 to 23. Click here for more info on AME Roundup 2020.

Read Conscription, colonization, a gold-backed buck: Some Conrad Black remedies for Canada.

Association for Mineral Exploration names 2018 award winners as Roundup approaches

December 6th, 2018

by Greg Klein | December 6, 2018

As Roundup approaches, the Association for Mineral Exploration names 2018 award winners

The Chidliak discovery brings another potential diamond mine to Canada’s Arctic.
(Photo: De Beers)

 

Mine finders, financiers and builders will be honoured, but so will others including educators and a gold panner, as well as leaders in social and environmental responsibility and in health and safety. It takes a wide range of abilities to supply the world with the stuff we need and the Association for Mineral Exploration recognizes diverse achievements in its Celebration of Excellence awards. Winners were announced on December 6 in advance of AME’s annual Roundup conference scheduled for January 28 to 31 in Vancouver.

As Roundup approaches, the Association for Mineral Exploration names 2018 award winners

Yukon Dan Moore shares an award with geologist
and social responsibility practitioner Peter Bradshaw.

Al McOnie, Seymour Iles and Jared Chipman of Alexco Resource TSX:AXR win the 2018 H.H. “Spud” Huestis Award for Excellence in Prospecting and Mineral Exploration. The trio gets credit for the recent discovery and delineation of over 60 million silver ounces in the Flame & Moth and Bermingham deposits in Yukon’s Keno Hill Silver District.

John McCluskey wins the Murray Pezim Award for Perseverance and Success in Financing Mineral Exploration. McCluskey played a crucial role in acquiring, financing and encouraging the discoveries of La India (Grayd Resources, bought out by Agnico Eagle Mines TSX:AEM in 2012), Mulatos (Alamos Gold TSX:AGI) and Kemess East (AuRico Metals, acquired by Centerra Gold TSX:CG in January), as well as his ongoing success as CEO of Alamos.

Eric Friedland, executive chairperson of Peregrine Diamonds (acquired by De Beers in September), Geoff Woad, former head of world diamond exploration for BHP Billiton NYSE:BHP and Brooke Clements, former Peregrine president, win the Hugo Dummett Award for Excellence in Diamond Exploration and Development for their part in discovering the Chidliak Diamond Province in Nunavut.

Tom Henricksen wins the Colin Spence Award for Excellence in Global Mineral Exploration  for “outstanding contributions to mineral discovery, and being involved in some monumental discoveries and/or acquisitions across the world.”

Matt Andrews and Monica Moretto win the Robert R. Hedley Award for Excellence in Social and Environmental Responsibility for their work with Pan American Silver TSX:PAAS.

Paycore Drilling wins the David Barr Award for Excellence in Leadership and Innovation in Mineral Exploration Health and Safety for the Paycore crew’s rescue operation following a helicopter crash.

Yukon Dan Moore and Peter Bradshaw share the Gold Pan Award for separate endeavours demonstrating “exceptional meritorious service to the mineral exploration community.”

As Roundup approaches, the Association for Mineral Exploration names 2018 award winners

Norman Keevil’s award honours his achievements
in B.C. and adjacent parts of the Cordillera.
(Photo: Teck Resources)

J. Greg Dawson and Victoria Yehl win the Frank Woodside Award for Distinguished Service to AME and/or Mineral Exploration for achievements that include Dawson’s research in land use planning and Yehl’s work as an AME organizer.

AME’s 2019 Outreach Education Fund grants $10,000 each to two groups: MineralsEd for the Kids & Rocks Classroom Workshop, and Britannia Mine Museum for its Education Program.

Norman Keevil, chairperson emeritus/special adviser for Teck Resources TSX:TECK.A/TSX:TECK.B and author of Never Rest on Your Ores: Building a Mining Company, One Stone at a Time, wins a Special Tribute for his achievements and contributions to exploration, discovery and development.

Congratulating the winners, AME chairperson ‘Lyn Anglin said, “The theme of AME’s 2019 Roundup conference is Elements for Discovery and these individuals and teams, through their remarkable efforts in elements of exploration, development and outreach, have generated discoveries and advancements which will bring benefits to the many diverse communities throughout British Columbia and Canada.”

Winners will be feted at the January 30 Awards Gala, part of AME Roundup from January 28 to 31 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. Two days of short courses precede the event. Discounted early bird registration remains open until 4:00 p.m. December 14. Click here to register.

Read more about AME’s Celebration of Excellence award winners and their achievements.

Edie Thome takes the helm at the Association for Mineral Exploration

May 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 16, 2017

A new leader from outside mining but with a highly complementary background nonetheless, Edie Thome joins the Association for Mineral Exploration as president/CEO on June 19.

Edie Thome takes the helm at the Association for Mineral Exploration

Edie Thome

She “brings a wealth of experience in government relations, permitting and public affairs as well as on-the-ground experience working with stakeholders, First Nations, elected officials and land owners on projects in the resource sector,” AME announced. “Through her work, she is familiar with advocacy efforts at both the provincial and federal levels and, specifically, how the legislative and regulatory framework can support or hinder productive, responsible resource development within British Columbia and Canada.”

Most recently she’s been BC Hydro’s director of environment, permitting and compliance, aboriginal relations and public affairs, holding those responsibilities for the Site C dam megaproject. Previous roles included risk management, environment, operations and customer service for BC Hydro, as well as VP of customer service, airport operations and corporate communications for Harmony Airways. Since 2014 Thome has chaired the non-profit Canadian Hydropower Association.

Welcoming her, AME chairperson Diane Nicolson said, “With her experience in stakeholder engagement and government affairs as well as association management, she is well-positioned to lead AME as it continues to work with First Nations, local communities and government in ensuring mineral discoveries can be advanced and developed into new mines, providing important economic opportunities here in British Columbia and around the world.”

Thome replaces Gavin C. Dirom, who leaves to pursue other opportunities. In a February statement announcing his departure, Nicolson thanked him for eight years of service, “especially through the prolonged downturn and into the current recovery in the industry. Under Gavin’s leadership, AME has been a stabilizing factor and a strong advocate for mineral exploration and development.”

AME represents over 415 corporate and 4,200 individual members active in B.C. and internationally.