Confidence in the mining industry suffers following legislation in Queensland
A survey published by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has revealed that confidence in the mining industry from chief executives is at its lowest in five years.
“The so-called chain of responsibility legislation has ended up going way too far, and is causing severe angst and uncertainty in the business community,” said QRC executive director Michael Roche.
The Environmental (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Bill was introduced in March 2016 to prevent irresponsible businesses leaving taxpayers in Queensland footing the bill of subsequent environmental clean ups.
But the latest findings in the survey have shown that it is has only proven to make some CEO’s question the future of the industry.
“Confidence is fast disappearing in our regulatory system. It’s little wonder the resource leaders’ sentiment has substantially changed,”
"This legislation is so far-reaching and has created so much uncertainty that investors are now putting their plans on hold," he said.
Environment Minister Steven Miles leapt to the defence of the legislation, believing the fear of those in the industry is unwarranted when considering the benefits.
"I think, once the dust settles, people will see that they are being used responsibly and the fears expressed by some are unfounded," Dr Miles said.
Read the May 2016 issue of Mining Global magazine
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.