May 17, 2020

Changes that need to be made in the Canadian mining industry to protect the environment

community organizations
Canadian Energy and Mi
2 min
Is there a way to minimize all of the waste and damage in the Canadian mining industry?
The mining industry may be quite large in Canada, but it has recently come under fire for harming the surrounding environment. And while the industry ma...

The mining industry may be quite large in Canada, but it has recently come under fire for harming the surrounding environment. And while the industry may help to promote work and an overall better economy, are there ways to help ensure that damage and waste are avoided?

RECENT TOPIC: Canada resource ministers gather amid recession for Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference

Specifically, First Nations and community organizations from both Canada and Alaska are asking the Canadian Energy and Mines ministers to act immediately—they’re asking for these groups to prevent any further type of damage that has already been caused from the hundreds of mine waste dams and impoundments.

In a recent letter addressed to the groups mentioned above,  particular changes are needed following the failure of the Mount Polley tailings site in British Columbia. But what are these changes and can they be incorporated into daily plans?

First off, ministers are being asked to “recognize that there are certain places where the downstream values are too great to expose to the risks associated with the disposal of tailings sites.”

Furthermore, mining ventures taking place along transboundary rivers that flow into Southeast Alaska have led to environmentalists and fishery entities being greatly concerned about the potential negative impact of mine wastes on salmon habitat, which is critical to the overall economy and lifestyles of the surrounding residents.

RELATED TOPIC: New report questions the future of Quebec’s uranium mining industry

It would appear that change is possible and could happen, because also addressed in the letter are methods to possibly fixing the issues. These ideas include the creation of independent tailings review boards, as well as an International Joint Commission review for transboundary mines that are located on the Canada-U.S. border that actually present a risk to either country’s waters.

Furthermore, the letter went on to suggest that one of the mining dams failed due to faulty design. Therefore, design issues have been called into play, with a request for more in-depth pre-work to take place.

The technology used has also been called into question, with unsafe operational practices needing to be fixed, such as changing the way water is stores, as well as the overall regulation and operation of mining waste facilities.

But the real question is whether or not these changes will promote safety and an overall better environment for residents in the area. What are your thoughts and/or suggestions?

RECENT TOPIC: Report: Is Canada’s mining industry facing a labor shortage?  

[SOURCE: The Cordova Times]

Stay connected! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook 

Check out the latest edition of Mining Global

Share article

May 6, 2021

Copper, iron ore surge as Chinese investors unleash demand

Iron ore
3 min
Iron ore broke $200 a tonne for the first time, while copper approached a record high as Chinese investors unleashed fresh demand following May holiday

The reopening of major industrial economies is sparking a surge across commodities markets from corn to lumber, with tin climbing above $30,000 a tonne for the first time since 2011 on Thursday.

In the wake of mounting evidence of inflation fuelled by higher raw materials prices, investors are also increasingly focused on when the U.S. Federal Reserve might start throttling back its emergency support.


Many banks say the rally has further to run, particularly for copper, which will benefit from rising investment in new energy sectors. Copper is at the highest in a decade, fueling bets it will rally further to take out the record set in February 2011. Steel demand is surging as economies chart a path back to growth just as the world’s biggest miners have been hampered by operational issues, tightening ore supply.

“The long-term prospects for metals prices are ‘too good’ and point to higher prices in the next few years,” said Commerzbank AG analyst Daniel Briesemann. “The decarbonization trends in many countries, which include switching to electric vehicles and expanding wind and solar power, are likely to generate additional demand for metals.”

Trading house Trafigura Group and several major Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. expect copper to extend gains.

Copper rose as much as 1.6% to $10,108.50 a ton on the London Metal Exchange before trading at $10,080 as of 4:07 p.m. in London.

Iron Ore

Benchmark spot iron ore prices rose to a record, while futures in Singapore and China climbed.

The boom comes as China’s steelmakers keep output rates above 1 billion tons a year, despite a swath of production curbs aimed at reducing carbon emissions and reining in supply. Instead, those measures have boosted steel prices and profitability at mills, allowing them to better accommodate higher iron ore costs.

Spot iron ore with 62% content hit $201.15 a ton on Thursday, according to Mysteel. Futures in Singapore jumped as much as 5.1% to $196.40 a ton, the highest since contracts were launched in 2013. In Dalian, prices closed 8.8% higher.

Erik Hedborg, Principal Analyst, Steel at CRU Group commented: “Recent production cuts in Tangshan have boosted demand for higher-quality ore and prompted mills to build iron ore inventories as their margins are on the rise. Iron ore producers are enjoying exceptionally high margins as well, around two thirds of seaborne supply only require prices of $50 /dmt to break even.”


Still, some analysts including Commerzbank’s Briesemann expect a short-term correction as metals become detached from fundamentals. There’s also a risk that China could engage in policies that may cool demand for iron ore and copper.

The metals rally has boosted concerns about short-term Chinese demand. Some manufacturers and end-users have been slowing production or pushing back delivery times after costs surged, while weaker-than-expected domestic consumption has opened the arbitrage window for exports.

Tin climbed as much as 2% to $30,280 a ton on the LME, boosted by rising orders for the soldering metal. Tin is at the highest since May 2011, with a 48% gain this year making it the best performing metal on the LME.



Share article