Regional News - U.S. & Canada December 2017

QIO to Restart Bloom Lake

Quebec Iron Ore (QIO) has confirmed the March 2018 restart of the Bloom Lake iron ore mine located near Fermont, Quebec. After acquiring Bloom Lake in April 2016, QIO secured the necessary funding and has been upgrading and optimizing the facilities, procuring off-take partners and forming mutually beneficial alliances with the host community. QIO is also proud to announce it is in the process of swiftly hiring more than 450 people to restart Bloom Lake

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McArthur River Idles Uranium Production

Due to continued uranium price weakness, Cameco announced that production from the McArthur River mining and Key Lake milling operations in northern Saskatchewan will be temporarily suspended by the end of January.

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Falco Agrees to Purchase Sandvik Mining Fleet

Falco Resources has signed an agreement to purchase the underground mining fleet for its Horne 5 project in Rouyn-Noranda, Québec, from Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, Val d’Or, Québec. “The purchase of the mining fleet brings the Horne 5 project one step closer to production,” said Falco President and CEO Luc Lessard. “Through this agreement, we were able to secure favorable pricing and terms and have managed to further de-risk the project.

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Suncor Lowers Capital Spending, Increases Production

Suncor released its 2018 corporate guidance that includes a capital program of between C$4.5 billion and C$5 billion and average upstream production of 740,000 to 780,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). The midpoints of these ranges represent a year-over-year production increase of more than 10% and a capital spending reduction of approximately C$750 million.

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PEA Supports Development of New Brunswick Project

Trevali Mining has reported the results of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) that considers concurrent development of the company’s Halfmile and Stratmat massive sulphide zinc-lead-silver deposits in the Bathurst mining camp of New Brunswick, Canada. The PEA includes two options: a new concentrator complex at the Stratmat site to treat production from both mining operations and development of the mines to provide feed to Trevali’s Caribou mining complex, also in the Bathurst camp, after the exhaustion of the Caribou underground resource.

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McEwen Mining Receives Key Permit for Gold Bar

In early November, McEwen Mining Inc. said it received a signed Record of Decision (RoD) on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Gold Bar project in Eureka County, Nevada, and that construction would begin immediately. Gold Bar would be the first new gold mine in Nevada to gain permit approval in several years.

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Regional News - U.S. & Canada November 2017

Rainy River Pours First Gold

New Gold has completed its first gold pour at its Rainy River mine, and the company’s commissioning plans remain on schedule. The first pour yielded approximately 500 ounces (oz) of gold and 600 oz of silver.
“Our team is proud to have delivered on all of the key project milestones since the beginning of 2017, however, the first gold pour is a particularly special one for New Gold and its stakeholders,” said Hannes Portmann, president and CEO, Rainy River. “This achievement is reflective of a true team effort as it would not have been possible without the commitment and resilience of our workforce as well as the strong support of our local communities and Indigenous partners — thank you.”

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Sibanye-Stillwater Begins Processing Blitz Ore

Sibanye-Stillwater began processing palladium-platinum ore from its Blitz project adjacent to its underground Stillwater mine in south-central Montana on September 29. Completion of a secondary escape-way system at the Blitz 10 stope block concluded the final infrastructure required for production to begin.

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Cliffs Acquires the Remaining Interest in Tilden

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. has acquired U.S. Steel Corp.’s 15% equity interest in the Tilden Mining Co. for $105 million in cash. Cliffs previously owned an 85% interest in the joint venture and now has 100% ownership of the mine. The transaction closed on September 29.

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Feasibility Study Supports eCobalt’s Idaho Project

eCobalt Solutions has reported positive economics from a feasibility study of its Idaho Cobalt Project (ICP), which includes an underground mine and mill near the town of Salmon in east-central Idaho and a hydrometallurgical cobalt refining operation on a railhead in the town of Blackfoot to the southeast. A combined cobalt-copper-gold concentrate would be produced at the mine site and processed at the Blackfoot plant. The vertically integrated project would produce cobalt chemicals for the rechargeable batteries market, as well as byproduct copper concentrate, copper sulphate, magnesium sulphate and gold.

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Haile Gold Mine Achieves Commercial Production

OceanaGold Corp. announced that the Haile gold mine commenced commercial production on October 1. “The achievement of commercial production is a major milestone. It was through the hard work and dedication of our workforce and unwavering support from our shareholders, local stakeholders and partners that we are at this pivotal point only less than two years after taking ownership of this world-class asset located in South Carolina,” said Mick Wilkes, OceanaGold president and CEO. “The operation is back on track following the disappointment of the second quarter.”

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Taseko Building Test Facility at Florence Copper

Taseko Mines is proceeding with construction of a production test facility (PTF) at its Florence in-situ copper recovery project in south-central Arizona. The go-ahead for the PTF followed final project permitting approval by the Environmental Protection Agency. Estimated remaining costs to construct the PTF stand at $25 million.

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Regional News - U.S. & Canada October 2017

Coeur Acquires Silvertip Mine in British Columbia

Coeur Mining will acquire privately owned JDS Silver Holdings Ltd. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, JDS Silver Inc., which owns the high-grade silver-zinc-lead Silvertip mine located in northern British Columbia, Canada, adding a sixth producing mine to Coeur’s North American-focused platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Coeur will pay an initial consideration of $200 million, consisting of $146.5 million in cash, $38.5 million of Coeur shares (approximately 4.3 million new shares) and will assume $15 million in existing debt. Additional potential payments of up to $50 million are contingent upon achieving specific future permitting and exploration milestones at Silvertip.

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Pure Gold PEA Advances the Madsen Gold Project

Pure Gold Mining has reported the results of a positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of its high-grade Madsen gold project in the Red Lake mining district of Ontario. The PEA is based on an updated resource estimate and describes a robust 14-year underground mining operation with highly attractive economics at base-case metal prices.

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Minnesota Releases Dam Safety Permits for PolyMet

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released two draft dam safety permits and a public waters work permit for public review and comment. These are two of the major permits Polymet Mining needed to build and operate its NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals project in northeastern Minnesota. The draft public waters work permit is required for a culvert extension to widen Dunka Road, the connecting road between the plant and mine site.

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MSHA Proposes Changes to Workplace Examination Rules

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published two proposed rules in the Federal Register that would change the final rule on examinations of working places in metal and nonmetal (M/NM) mines that was published on January 23. The first proposed rule would make limited changes to the final rule, according to MSHA. It would require that an examination of the working place be conducted before work begins or as miners begin work in that place, and that the examination record include descriptions of adverse conditions that are not corrected promptly and the dates of corrective action for these conditions. It would provide mine operators additional flexibility in managing their safety and health programs and reduce regulatory burdens without reducing the protections afforded miners. The proposed rule would continue to permit mine operators with consecutive shifts or those that operate on a 24-hour, 365-day basis to conduct an examination on the previous shift.

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Regional News - U.S. & Canada September 2017

Newrange Starts Geophysical Surveys at Pamlico in Nevada

MPX Geophysics has started flying high-resolution airborne magnetic and radiometric surveys at Newrange Gold’s high-grade Pamlico gold project in Nevada. The company also contracted for a ground-based gravity survey to start on or about August 21. These property-wide geophysical surveys have never been done at Pamlico and are designed to help identify subtle alteration styles and the distribution and extent of favorable rock types that host the majority of the gold occurrences at Pamlico. The geophysical data will help refine known targets, as well as identify new targets for follow-up.

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CEO: Trump Favors National Source for Rare Earths

The Trump administration favors the idea of converting the processing plant at Mountain Pass rare earth mine to a national lab for research into rare earth elements (REEs) mining and processing, according to Michael Silver, CEO, American Elements Corp. Silver met with the president in July after a consortium spearheaded by a company allegedly linked to the Chinese government acquired the mine, formerly owned by Molycorp, at a bankruptcy auction. Rival bidder, Tom Clarke, owner of ERP Strategic Minerals, said he would contest the result in court.

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NexGen Eying Major Athabasca Basin Uranium Mine Development

NexGen Energy reported that positive results from an independent initial preliminary economic assessment (PEA) support planned development of a major new underground uranium mine on its Arrow deposit in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. The positive results are a function of a conventional long-hole stope mine plan to extract compact, near-vertical uranium mineralization localized in competent, crystalline basement rocks.

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Cliffs Natural Resources Has New Name

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. announced it has renamed the company to its historical name Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. The company has been an important part of the North American iron and steel industry for many decades. The name change is part of the celebration of the 170th anniversary of the company. It is effective immediately.

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MSHA Expected to Delay, Amend Workplace Exam Rule

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will likely propose changes to its embattled Workplace Examination Rule, Husch Blackwell reported. The rule, a holdover from the former President Barack Obama administration, requires extensive changes to the way mine operators must perform, record, communicate and respond to workplace examinations performed on every shift.

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McClean Lake Mill is Granted 10-year License Renewal

AREVA Resources Canada and Denison Mines have been granted a 10-year license renewal for the McClean Lake uranium milling operation, valid as of July 1, 2017, and extending to June 30, 2027. The McClean Lake mill is located approximately 800 kilometers (km) northeast of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and is owned 70% by AREVA, 22.5% by Denison Mines, and 7.5% by OURD Canada. AREVA is the operator.

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