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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Regional News - U.S. & Canada August 2017

Pretium Pours First Gold at Brucejack

Pretium Resources announced on June 30 it has poured the first gold at its Brucejack mine in northwest British Columbia and followed up with an announcement on July 7 that the mine has reached commercial production. The gold pour announcement included a report that Brucejack’s flotation and gravity circuits are operational and that gold-silver flotation concentrate is being produced and bagged, with initial shipments scheduled to depart in the near term.

The commercial production date was defined as the first day of the calendar month immediately following the first calendar month during which the Brucejack plant processed ore at an average rate of 60% of monthly nameplate capacity. Annual processing capacity is 985,500 metric tons per year (mt/y) or 2,700 mt per day (mt/d).

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September Gold Pour Targeted for Rainy River

New Gold Inc. reported in late June that it is targeting first gold production from its Rainy River project in northwest Ontario in September, with the project expected to reach commercial production in November. Project planning calls for production of 325,000 oz/y of gold at full production. The processing rate will be 21,000 mt/d from a combination of open-pit, underground and stockpiled ore.

Project spending for Rainy River totaled $903 million through March, and spending of an additional $389 million was planned through to the start of commercial production.

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Alcoa Plans Partial Restart of Warrick Smelter

Alcoa Corp. announced plans to restart three of five potlines at its Warrick Operations aluminum smelter near Evansville, Indiana. The process to restart the three lines, with 161,400 mt of annual capacity, will begin immediately and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2018. The three potlines will directly supply the Warrick rolling mill, which serves the North American market with flat-rolled aluminum.

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World News - U.S. & Canada July 2017

Stillwater Reaches 2-year Wage Agreement With US Steel Workers

Sibanye announced that it has secured a two-year wage agreement with the United Steel Workers of America, International Union, the representative union at its Stillwater Operations in Montana, USA. Negotiations with the United Steel Workers of America, International Union at East Boulder, will take place at year end.
The terms of the agreement include a 2% general wage increase for all job categories effective from June 2, 2017, to January 1, 2018, with a further 1% increase effective from January 1, 2018, to June 1, 2018. A 2% annual increase will be in effect for the second year of the agreement, from June 2, 2018, to June 1, 2019.

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Dominion Going Underground at the Misery Kimberlite Pipe

Dominion Diamond has reported positive results from a prefeasibility study (PFS) of development of an underground mine, to be called “Misery Deep,” below the Misery open pit at Ekati diamond mining operations in Canada’s Northwest Territories, approximately 300 km northeast of Yellowknife. The Misery kimberlite pipe is located in the Core Zone joint venture at Ekati, in which Dominion has an 88.9% participating interest.

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Cliffs Natural Resources Picks Ohio for HBI Plant

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. announced it has selected a site in Toledo, Ohio, for the development of its first hot briquetted iron (HBI) production plant. Midrex Technologies was selected to design, engineer and procure equipment for the new plant, which will have the nominal capacity to produce 1.6 million tons of HBI per year.
“Today’s announcement marks a very important strategic milestone for Cliffs as we begin to implement our plans to be the sole producer of high-quality HBI for the EAF steel market in the Great Lakes region,” said Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO. “We look forward to the strong margin and earnings potential this new product will generate for Cliffs shareholders.”

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Capstone Mining Agrees to Sell Kutcho Project

Capstone Mining Corp. has entered into a definitive share purchase agreement to sell its Kutcho development project to Desert Star Resources Ltd. Under the terms of the agreement, Capstone will receive C$28.8 million in cash, common shares of Desert Star representing 9.9% of the issued and outstanding shares upon completion of the transaction, and will have the right to nominate one representative to the Desert Star board of directors under certain circumstances.

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NAP Extends Mine Life at Lac des Iles

North American Palladium (NAP) has announced the results of a feasibility study that includes a new life-of-mine plan for its Lac des Iles mine in northwestern Ontario. Highlights of the study include mining a total of 37.7 million mt from surface and underground sources over a 9.5-year mine life at an average grade of 2.21 g/mt palladium and containing 2.68 million oz of palladium.

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