MABC: The voice for mining companies and smelters in British Columbia
Since 1901, the Mining Association of British Columbia,(MABC) one of the oldest associations in the province, has represented the collective needs and interests of coal, metal, industrial mineral mining companies and smelters in British Columbia. In doing so, MABC has come to be regarded as the predominant voice of mining in British Columbia.
Mining is an essential part of the provincial economy and the Mining Association of BC is committed to supporting the future growth and development of this important industry. BC’s mining sector, one of the province’s largest and oldest industries, is a resilient job creator and economic engine that benefits all British Columbian’s. As a world leader in mineral development and mining, the sector made up nearly 30 percent of all B.C. exports and directly employed more than 10,000 people in 2013.
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The Mining Association of BC focuses on actively representing the BC mining industry on several key issues of public policy including aboriginal and community relations, environment, health and safety, human resources, competitiveness and the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative.
TSM is the Canadian mining industry’s commitment to responsible mining, accountability and transparency. TSM measures a mining operation’s performance in Aboriginal and community outreach, safety and health, environmental protection and crisis management planning. It empowers the BC mining industry to operate in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible way.
Environmental protection is a priority objective for the BC mining industry in the development, operation and closure of mines. BC mining companies are committed to continuous improvement in environmental stewardship through world class practices and innovation in water quality management, GHG emission reductions, energy conservation and tailings management.
Mining is integral to the health of the BC economy, social services and future job growth. BC mines are global leaders in environmental stewardship and responsible development, using good planning and mitigation measures every day to minimize impacts.
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The mining industry continues to represent significant economic opportunities for B.C., with an estimated $30 billion in investment in 30 projects currently in varying stages of the feasibility and environmental assessment processes.
A skilled workforce is essential to meet the future demands of this growing industry and there are a number of initiatives underway to ensure B.C. is prepared, including training and support services available through the Aboriginal Mentoring & Training Association. MABC’s website also provides useful and practical information to support career development and growth, including information on the over 120 mining related occupations, featured educational institutions, and an online job board.
Gerald Group resolves iron ore dispute with Sierra Leone
Gerald Group, the US commodity trader, will pay Sierra Leone $20mn and cede a 10% stake in an iron ore project as part of the resolution to a nearly two-year dispute that led to the shutdown of production, the two sides revealed.
Gerald's wholly-owned subsidiary SL Mining filed for arbitration in August 2019 over a royalty payment dispute and suspended the Marampa mine the following month. Sierra Leone's government responded by cancelling its mining licence.
As part of the agreement signed on Friday, Sierra Leone will take a non-dilutable 10% stake in a new company that will replace SL Mining and resume operations at Marampa by June 1, Gerald said in a statement.
Gerald will make two $10mn payments this year and will have the immediate right to ship its current stockpile of about 707,000 tonnes of iron ore, it said.
Both sides will withdraw their legal claims before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the statement added.
Gerald’s chairman and CEO Craig Dean commented: "I am delighted that we have been able to resolve our differences and have a fresh start and new beginning with the government of Sierra Leone."
Sierra Leone's Mines Minister Timothy Kabba told a news conference on Tuesday that the agreement was a milestone for the country.
"Whatever the pain we may have borne or dreaded throughout these two years ... this outcome justifies our action," he said.
Gerald estimates that Marampa holds about 1 billion tonnes of iron ore with a potential lifespan of 30 years.
Back in 2019, Dean spoke with Mining about the development of Marampa and commented: "SL Mining offers a substantial opportunity for Gerald Group as our Marampa mine in Sierra Leone is set to deliver six million tonnes of high-grade iron ore during its operational life. If you analyse the iron ore market it has transformed, even from a couple of years ago when prices were very low. Now prices have stabilised we’re in a favourable position with our first shipments leaving for China.
"Our goal is to make ‘Marampa Blue’ an internationally recognised premium grade iron ore brand. We intend to expand the delivery of high-grade 65% iron ore concentrate to markets in Europe and Africa.”