Global mining code a benchmark for the industry, says lead consultant
Last month saw the launch of a model mining code from the World Initiative of Mining Lawyers (WIOML), designed to influence and guide mining countries in attracting investment and securing fair benefits from mineral exploitation within their borders.
The code has been welcomed by Andrew van Zyl, partner and principal consultant engineers and scientists, SRK Consulting. Van Zyl was speaking at the WIOML conference in France, where the code was officially launched.
“The code provides a good starting point for countries without a code in place yet, it also provides a useful benchmark against which a country could compare its existing code.” He said.
Applying a clear and reasonable mining code will go a long way to attracting investors, said Van Zyl, and should be augmented by a culture of constructive collaboration among mining stakeholders – which could gain traction while the global economy waits for commodity prices to improve.
“There is little appetite or ability right now to raise the billions of dollars needed to develop large mining projects,” he said.
“But there is the time to invest much smaller amounts in the vital but neglected process of forging agreement and trust between miners, governments, communities, NGOs and other interested parties.”
Mining Global has spoken with Al Gourley, Head parent of Mining at Fasken Martineau and Chairman & Director of the World Initiative of Mining Lawyers. Look out in the coming months for the interview and editorial exploring the mining code, it’s impact on the industry and how WIMOL hopes to influence a culture of change across the global industry.
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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.