Potential Mutanda restart, BHP to embark on base metal exploration and call for climate action


Equinox Gold has suspended operations at its Los Filos mine in Mexico due to “illegal blockades” at the mine. Courtesy of Equinox Gold.

Welcome to your weekly mining news recap, where we catch up with you on some of the news you might have missed. This week we have stories of tailings storage compliance in British Columbia, a blockade at Equinox’s Los Filos mine and Western Copper and Gold releasing its latest assessment for the Casino project.

A new report from Wood Mackenzie says more action is needed from the gold industry to meet and exceed the 1.5 degree Celsius climate benchmark outlined in the Paris Agreement., Mines.com reports. The report estimated that the gold industry emitted more than 55 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2019, and although this is low compared to other industries in the energy sector, the head of research on the Gold Mackenzie’s Rory Townsend said there was still work to be done: it is obvious that some mines have a lot more ground to cover than others. Those who are beholden to carbon-intensive grids might have difficulty unless the approval process for on-site renewable alternatives accelerates dramatically. “

Western Australian mining leaders have apologized to victims of sexual assault and harassment at state mining sites, ABC News reports. Directors of Rio Tinto, BHP, FMG and Woodside said they had a “zero tolerance policy” on assault and harassment, in light of two BHP employees accused of sexual assault in two separate incidents.

Glencore may restart its Mutanda copper-cobalt mine after it was suspended in August 2019 due to low cobalt prices, Global mining reports. The leaders met with the Minister of Mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi, to discuss restarting her Mutanda operation. In 2018, its last full year of operation, Mutanda produced 199 kilotonnes of copper and 27.3 kilotonnes of cobalt.

Western Copper and Gold released a preliminary economic assessment for its Casino project in Whitehorse, Yukon. The PEA for the gold, silver and copper surface mine project estimates an after-tax NPV of $ 2.3 billion with an 8% discount and a mine life of 25 years, processing 1.3 billion tonnes of mineralized material. The PEA also considered the possibility of expanding mining to a second phase, which would seek to process another billion tonnes of ore from the mine over an additional 22 years.

An audit by British Columbia’s chief mine auditor found that more than one in four tailings storage facilities (TSFs) did not meet the requirements of the province’s newly revised code, CTV News reports. The audit, which examined more than 60 TSFs, also found that the province’s Ministry of Mines is not consistent in its approach to non-operational TSFs versus operating TSFs, and that the ministry does not have sufficient resources to inspect all TSFs.

BHP Group CTO Laura Tyler said the company plans to nearly double base metal exploration spending over the next five years. Its current the annual exploration budget is between 70 and 80 million US dollars, excluding the costs of early joint ventures, Reuters reports. The company is also moving its global exploration headquarters from Santiago, Chile, to Toronto, a move that Tyler says will bring the company “closer to the action.”

Kinross Gold provided an update on the temporary suspension of machining at its Tasiast mine following a fire on June 15, confirming that there were no injuries and mining activities have resumed as well as construction work at the Tasiast 24k extension, Kitco reports. The company also revised its production forecast for 2021 to 2.1 million ounces of gold equivalent, down 300,000 ounces from its Feb. 10 disclosure of 2.4 million ounces.

Strikes and demonstrations around the Jeffrey asbestos mine in Asbestos, Quebec in 1949 triggered a chain reaction leading to the massive cultural change known as the Quiet Revolution of Quebec. The attention paid to the demonstrations was also an opportunity for the future Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau to increase his political presence by supporting the cause in his newspaper. Free City.

Training partnerships between mining companies and indigenous communities have obtained positive results both for companies in need of manpower and for indigenous communities looking for employment opportunities. These partnerships also make it possible to harmonize the relations between two groups which have historically had tense and sometimes conflicting relations, while increasing the pool of skilled labor living near numerous mining sites.

Equinox Gold reported in a Press release that it temporarily suspends mining activities at its Los Filos mine in Mexico. The report says this is due to “illegal blockades of unionized workers and community members in Xochipala”, both of whom are said to be “demanding payments in excess of their contractual agreements.” The brief statement ended with a statement that Equinox is working to find a “long-term solution that will allow the mine to operate efficiently.”

Editor’s Note: In last week’s recap, it was not clear that workers returning to Agnico Eagle’s operations in Nunavut were residents of Nunavut and that the mine had been in continuous operation since those workers had been working. been sent home last spring. We apologize for the mistake.

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