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What's up with the biggest thing happening in mining in NW Ontario?

Ring of Fire News – December 20, 2013

  • NOTE:  As of December 24, I’m going to be on a bit of an “intenet sabbatical”, so no updates until the week of January 6.  In the meantime, enjoy the links in the blogroll here, and have a happy, healthy and festive holiday season – hope Santa’s good to you and yours!
  • It appears to be a cold trip to Marten Falls for Noront Resources this week – Twitter posts & pix here, here, here and here
  • Commentary at rabble.ca  The December 6 commentary in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business by David Parkinson (Ring of Fire could get burned by heavy-handed tax regime – subscription required) rightly draws attention to the low tax rate applied to mining in Ontario. However, Parkinson is entirely off the mark in concluding that we ought not follow Quebec’s example of implementing modest increases in our tax rates because Quebec has scared away exploration companies.  First, the main driver of exploration expenditures is commodity prices, something well beyond the control of the Quebec government. Declines in exploraiton expenditures have been seen across most jurisdictions due to the decline in prices of most minerals.  Second, exploration companies don’t pay taxes because they don’t generate profits for tax purposes and are unlikely to factor in potential future taxation of an operating mine that may be decades down the road.  Third, Quebec’s increase in taxes was modest, and Quebec remains in the mid-to lower range of mining taxes collected in Canada.  Fourth, while exploration expenditures in Quebec have declined, the province that has seen the greatest increase in relative exploration expenditures in Canada is Saskatchewan – which has the highest tax rates on mining in the country.  Finally, Parkinson relies on the Fraser Institute’s annual ranking of mining jurisdictions. This is a highly subjective and fickle ranking that is more akin to a mood ring for the mining sector than a serious evaluation of what’s happening on the ground ….”
  • Analyst eyes on Cliffs this past week  Stock analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on shares of Cliffs Natural Resources in a report issued on Thursday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm set a “market perform” rating and a $25.00 price target on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein”s price target points to a potential upside of 6.34% from the company”s current price.  Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) opened at 23.51 on Thursday. Cliffs Natural Resources has a 52 week low of $15.41 and a 52 week high of $40.40. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $25.96 and a 200-day moving average of $21.6. The company”s market cap is $3.600 billion ….”
  • “…. Our Focus Today Is On Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, Frontier Communications Corp.  Cliffs Natural Resources Inc shares fell 1.18% and closed at $23.51. The company on Dec. 12 announced an agreement with the United Steelworkers Union for a new six-year labor contract that will cover approximately 229 represented workers at Cliffs’ Pointe Noire operation in Quebec. The agreement has been ratified by United Steelworkers local union memberships ….”
  • Cliffs Natural Resources decided to suspend its $3.3 billion chromite project Ring of Fire, in Ontario, Canada by the end of this month for an indefinite period. It is going to halt all technical work, including the feasibility study and exploration. This is due to uncertainty about developing transport infrastructure. Cliffs has already spent about $500 million, out of which it spent $350 million to obtain mineral rights of three chromite deposits.  Ring of Fire has great potential and it has the potential to hold minerals worth $48 billion. Cliffs is also optimistic about this project. However, it’s facing a major logistic challenges due to lack of rail lines and highways. Cliffs planned to build an all-weather road to its deposits, but it didn’t receive permission from Ontario’s land and mining commissioner. The company’s monthly expense on this project development is around $4 million, and without proper infrastructure for
    transportation, the company cannot start mining ….”
  • Letter to the editor“…. Is jobs for some for 50 years a goodeturn for the devastation that is very likely to befall the Ring of Fire communities, the water, the soil, the forest and every animal species that lives there? Ask the people of Fort MacKay and Fort Chipewyan, in Alberta, and Grassy Narrows, in Northwestern Ontario.  I support everyone who advocates for slowing down the Ring of Fire project. I”d like to see Matawa First Nations manage the mines. Let there be smaller projects over a longer time frame run by and employing Matawa community members. No more fast-tracked snatch-and-grab by multinational corporations taking our tax dollars, enormous profits and our finite resources out of our country and leaving behind pollution and continued poverty of the local population!”
  • Not JUST Ring of Fire, but good to know  Ontario is launching a comprehensive mining safety review to further improve the health and well-being of workers in the sector.  Starting in early 2014, the province’s Chief Prevention Officer will lead an advisory group of industry, labour, and health and safety representatives to begin a collaborative, evidence-based review on a wide range of areas ….” – more here

All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act. The blog is not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

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