|Barrick Gold said on Monday it had entered into an “enhanced strategic cooperation agreement” with Chinese state-owned miner Shandong Gold. As part of the agreement, Shandong will study whether building Barrick’s Lama project as an open pit, heap leach mine in Argentina makes sense. (The Chilean government ordered Barrick to close all the surface facilities for the Pascua-Lama project, which straddled the Chilean-Argentine border, earlier this year.) According to the Financial Post, the agreement shows “how Chinese companies have in recent years stepped up their involvement with Canadian mining companies.”
Pretium Resources met its production targets for the first half of the year at its Brucejack mine, achieving steady production, after a fitful ramp up. The company recovered 111,340 ounces of gold at 14.9 grams per tonne gold in the second quarter, a 47 per cent increase from the previous quarter. After Brucejack went into production last summer it had a strong first three months; however, due to unexpected equipment downtime and difficulty blasting a high-grade stope, the following two quarters have seen lacklustre production.
Long-term planning and sustainable development were the focus at the inaugural Resources for Future Generations (RFG 2018) conference, which drew more than 2,000 people to Vancouver in mid-June. The new event aimed to discuss the future of resource management within an interdisciplinary framework, by bringing together a wide range of industry professionals and academics. We recapped the conference, and spoke with John Thompson, the chair of its organizing committee, on Wednesday.
Rio Tinto announced it plans to sell its interest in the Grasberg gold and copper mine in Indonesia to Inalum, the country’s state mining company, in a tentative US$3.5-billion deal. Inalum will also pay US$350 million to Freeport McMoRan to increase its stake in Grasberg to 51 per cent, up from 9.3 per cent previously. The changes will give Freeport 49 per cent ownership of the mine, bringing it into compliance with 2017 Indonesian legislation that requires all mines in the country to be majority-owned by the government.
Kentucky is experiencing what experts are calling the worst epidemic of black lung on record, but a new state law may limit miners’ ability to get workers’ compensation benefits. Black lung is an incurable disease that impacts coal miners, and is triggered when miners inhale coal and rock dust. Previously, federally certified radiologists were able to assess coal miners’ X-rays for benefit claims, but as Vice reported yesterday, the new law will allow only pulmonologists to do that work, reducing the number of specialists able to do the work to five, down from 11 previously. The law goes into effect tomorrow.
A team of researchers from the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Russia, Brazil and Germany released a set of criteria that would help the International Seabed Authority (ISA) protect local biodiversity from deep-sea mining activities. The researchers say the guidelines will help identify areas of “particular environmental importance” that should be protected from mining, and have taken into account expected climate change-caused future changes to the seafloor over the next century. The ISA is responsible for reviewing all applications for mining activities outside of national jurisdiction, and creating environmental management plans for those areas. You can read the full report here.
If you’re looking for some weekend reading, our annual Names to Know feature from the June-July issue is now online. We have profiles on nine of the people you should be watching right now – from Teck Resources vice-president of digital systems Kalev Ruberg to Newtrax Technologies COO Lawrence Clark to Goldcorp’s Red Lake exploration manager, Maura Kolb.
Have a great weekend! And make sure to watch out for black cats, falling ladders and other Freaky Friday occurrences.
Your weekly mining news recap is published Fridays on the CIM Magazine website.