Striking Gold: University of Michigan to invest in Gold & Copper
The University of Michigan will announce plans to invest up to $30million in a fund to buy North American gold and copper mines from struggling businesses in a meeting with this week.
With mining companies struggling to cope in a fluctuating asset market and riddled with debt, the move, which will be boosted by a $30million endowment from June 30, would come as a breath of fresh air to the industry.
“These opportunities arise from the financial distress of mining companies who took significant amounts of debt for M&A activity prior to the collapse in commodity prices since 2011,” said Kevin Hegarty, chief financial officer at the University of Michigan.
“Now looking to strengthen their balance sheets, these financially distressed companies are selling assets to raise cash and reduce debt levels.” He added.
The investment is a joint venture with Waterton Mining Parallel Fund, managed by Waterton Global Resources. The proposal for investment will be discussed in a meeting with the Board of Regents on May 19.
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.