|In the wake of two tailings dam disasters in recent years, Brazil’s foremost mining association, Instituto Brasileiro de Mineraçã (IBRAM), decided the industry needed to increase transparency and accountability. As such, IBRAM announced on Monday that it would be adopting the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining program as a requirement for its members. The program involves several levels of oversight from within the company and from third-party auditors.
Similarly, the World Gold Council – a group made up of miners that produce close to 60 per cent of gold production from market-listed companies – released its comprehensive framework for ethical and sustainable gold mining: the Responsible Gold Mining Principles on Thursday. This framework focuses on ten principles spread across three key areas – governance, social and environment – and requires independent assurance on each company’s progress on an annual basis across the company’s entire supply chain.
Interoperability between autonomous systems – the ability for hardware and software from different companies to easily interact with one another – could lead to increased productivity and safety benefits for mining operations. According to recent reports, however, interoperability will never be achieved without unity across the entire mining industry. Mining companies, third party suppliers and original equipment manufacturers all need to be in alignment for the industry to move forward.
McEwen Mining announced that it would be reducing its 2019 production guidance by 36,000 to 40,000 ounces of gold for its Black Fox mine and 30,000 to 33,000 ounces for its Gold Bar mine, due to continued production issues at both sites. The company has been unable to safely access past production areas at Black Fox and is experiencing start-up delays at Gold Bar. Chairman and owner Rob McEwen says that “management has been making steady progress towards resolving these production issues.”
Pure Gold Mining announced the recipients of its surface engineering and procurement and underground mine design engineering contracts for its Madsen gold mine in Ontario. JDS Energy & Mining, in partnership with Hatch and Knight Piesold, will take on the surface engineering, while Dumas will be responsible for the underground. With the engineering partners selected, Pure Gold has commenced construction on the mine, which will have its projected first gold pour in late 2020.
Osisko Gold Royalties is purchasing Quebec-based Stornoway Diamond Corp. following its filing for creditor protection, as reported by the Financial Post. The agreement between Osisko and Stornoway has Osisko assuming all of Stornoway’s debts and liabilities while providing Stornoway with $20 million to continue work on its Renard diamond mine in north-central Quebec. In a letter of intent from June, Stornoway said that the downward trend in the price of rough diamonds, as well as other factors, contributed to the company’s lack of capital.
Nutrien announced that it would be temporarily shutting down three of its Saskatchewan potash mines – Allan, Lanigan and Vanscoy – for eight weeks, as reported by the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. According to a Nutrien spokesperson, the shutdowns are due to weak palm oil prices reducing fertilizer demand and a suspension of potash imports into China. The shutdowns are expected to affect the jobs of between 600 and 700 miners.
The Supreme Court of British Columbia issued an injunction preventing Taseko Mines from proceeding with work on its drilling program for its New Prosperity project until a court rules whether the work infringes on Tsilhqot’in Indigenous rights, as reported by The Star. The Tsilhqot’in Nation and Taseko have battled over this project for some time, with Taseko celebrating its win at the Supreme Court of Canada authorizing mineral exploration back in June.
Barrick announced that the scheme of arrangement between itself and Acacia Mining has been sanctioned by the High Court of Justice in England and Wales, meaning the agreement between both companies will proceed. Along with that comes a series of director changes for Acacia, with Peter Geleta, Rachel English, Steve Lucas, Deborah Gudgeon, Alan Ashworth and Adrian Reynolds resigning from the company, and Graham Shuttleworth, Barrick’s CFO, and Martin Welsh, the company’s general counsel and company secretary for Africa and the Middle East, replacing them.