Mining Association of Canada in support of Trans-Pacific Partnership
The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has given its full support to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), with Canada having agreed to sign the partnership alongside 10 other member nations on 8 March.
Canada’s mineral and metal exports to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries has increased in recent years, with Japan being Canada’s fourth largest export market.
With this in mind, those within the Canadian mining industry stand to benefit greatly from the CPTPP, with a number of these countries currently applying significant tariffs to mineral and metal imports:
- Japan, 7.9%
- Vietnam, 40%
- Malaysia, 50%
- Australia, 5%
- New Zealand, 10%
- Brunei, 20%
“Canada is a trading nation, our economy fundamentally buttressed by access to global markets,” said stated Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, the Mining Association of Canada. “We strongly support Canada's participation in the CPTPP, and we are hopeful that the deal is signed in the near future. This massive trading block is not only important to our sector, which requires access to new and emerging markets, but for the Canadian economy writ large.”
The agreement will also seek to address challenges posed to the movement of labour, products and services across borders, enabling the Canadian mining industry to remain competitive globally.
“The rest of the world continues to look to Canada as a leader when it comes to mining,” Gratton said. “Part of maintaining that global leadership is ensuring that Canada's mining and supply sectors have access to modern and comprehensive trade and investment vehicles to meet the world where it does business.”
The TPP represents over 494mn people and over $10tn of GDP – equating to 13% of global GDP.
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.”