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In This Issue:

Facts & Figures: Mining Industry’s Top Needs for 2015

Despite a positive long-term outlook for Canadian metals and minerals, the year ahead will be challenging for the Canadian mining industry based on findings from MAC’s latest Facts & Figures 2014 report. The report details the Canadian mining industry’s recent performance, its vast economic contributions, and the challenges and opportunities ahead of the industry.  

A major economic and employment driver in Canada:
  • Canada’s mining sector contributed $54 billion to the national GDP and represented 19.6% of total Canadian goods exports in 2013.
  • 380,000 people work in mining, accounting for one in every 47 jobs in Canada.
  • 3,400 companies in Canada supply goods and services to the industry, further extending mining’s economic and employment reach.
There were some indicators revealing that Canada’s mining industry may have lost ground recently. In 2013, exploration investment fell year-over-year by 41% to $2.3 billion. Spending intentions for 2014 anticipate investment levels to drop even further to $2.1 billion, approaching the low of $1.9 billion seen in 2009 during the global recession. Notably, in 2013, Canada slipped from being the world’s top destination for exploration spending—a position it held for the last decade—to the second spot behind Australia.

“To adjust to lower prices for some commodities, and to cope with high operating costs and a still uncertain global economy, it is more critical than ever that government remain focused on expanding Canada’s trade network and enhancing Canada’s overall competitiveness as a destination for new mining development through strategic investments and effective policies.”
— Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC

Top three issues for the Canadian mining industry in 2015:
  1. State of the global mining economy: Recent uncertainty over the short-term global economic outlook, particularly the softening of China’s growth, caused commodity prices to decline in 2014 and volatility is expected to persist in the year ahead. Despite challenges, the prevailing view is that the industry’s economic prospects over the long term remain strong, especially as the middle classes of China, India and other emerging nations continue to grow.  
  2. Lack of critical infrastructure: Mines require infrastructure like roads, ports, railways and power grids to operate, which are often not available in remote and northern regions of Canada. Immense opportunity for mining development lies in Canada’s northern regions, and would provide significant socio-economic benefits to northern communities. 
  3. Complex regulatory environment: Recent years have seen significant changes to the regulatory regime for mining in Canada. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act and the Navigation Protection Act were amended in 2012, and a review of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations is still ongoing. As regulators transition to the new regulatory regime, it is crucial that mining projects are reviewed once, and that various federal requirements, along with Aboriginal and public considerations, are integrated into a unified, robust and timely process with meaningful consultation. 
To view the full report, visit

IAMGOLD Expects Sky-High Benefits from New Solar Plant 

In October 2014, IAMGOLD Corporation’s Rosebel Gold Mine in Suriname officially launched the country’s first large-scale solar energy project. The solar farm consists of 17,000 solar panels that deliver 5 megawatts of energy daily, enough to power heavy mining equipment at the nearby Rosebel mine.  With the solar farm now operational, the company estimates it will save more than $1.5 million annually in energy costs.

The solar farm will provide the overburdened electricity grid with some relief, and will help both IAMGOLD and communities in the region overcome challenges with power shortages that are commonplace in the country. Based on the success seen thus far with the solar farm, the Surinamese government has expressed interest in exploring further development of sustainable energy in the future.

IAMGOLD estimates the costs for the project will be recovered in just six or seven years and will have a life span of 20 years. The solar plant will remain in the community and will be transferred to the people of the Brokopondo region of Suriname when IAMGOLD is no longer active in the region.
Launch of the solar energy project near IAMGOLD’s Rosebel Gold Mine in Suriname.

Glencore Harnesses the Power of Wind at the Raglan Mine

Sitting on a plateau 600 metres high on the Ungava Peninsula in northern Quebec, Glencore’s Raglan Mine is well suited to take advantage of the power of wind. Last year, the company did exactly that when it completed its construction of a 120-metre high wind turbine, which is considered Nunavik territory’s newest, and likely, tallest structure.

With energy being the second largest budget item at the mine, there was a strong business case for Glencore to explore renewable energy solutions. The Raglan Mine’s northern location meant it lacked access to the provincial power grid or the natural gas network, creating a heavy reliance on costly diesel fuel.

The 3 megawatt (MW) turbine is expected to offset the mine’s diesel dependence by 5%, amounting to approximately 2.4 million litres annually. The wind turbine will eventually be coupled with a 1.8 MW wind energy storage facility—the first of its kind in the Canadian Arctic. By twinning the wind turbine with this storage system, the company will capture surplus energy and will allow the mine to use it at times when there is less wind.

Based on the success of this pilot project, Glencore will consider installing additional turbines that could generate a total of 9 to 12 MW of energy, reducing the mine’s overall diesel consumption by 40%. The company also would like to share the results and the expertise of its research and development investment with 14 local Nunavik villages that are currently not connected to the electrical grid.
Wind turbine at Glencore’s Raglan Mine in northern Quebec.

Empowering Women through Literacy in Rural Zambia

In rural Zambia, most women drop out of school early to help support their families or to get married. As a result, women’s literacy rates in rural communities are extremely low. This limits their economic prospects and acts as a major barrier to women wishing to enter the world of business.  What’s more, saving money is difficult and obtaining credit is virtually impossible, making starting a business an even greater challenge. 

However, a program called Nsabo Yetu (“Our Wealth” in the local language, kiiKaonde) is working to change local women’s economic prospects. The program teaches women how to read and write, how to save and manage money, and how to start and sustain a business. Established in 2010, the Nsabo Yetu program has more than 2,000 participants in the region near Barrick Gold Corporation’s Lumwana copper mine. Originally intended for rural communities, the program has been extended to Lumwana Township, a community of 7,000 on the Lumwana mine site that is home to employees and their families.

Barrick contributes about $150,000 annually to the program, largely for the development of training materials and for administration and consulting fees. Designed to be a self-sustaining program, Nsabo Yetu is administered by a local NGO, Children with Future in Zambia, and the Lumwana Sustainability Department. Ultimately, the women will administer and govern the entire program themselves.

A large part of the program is financing micro-business initiatives with savings generated by the participants. Collectively, the women have saved more than $60,000 (ZMK370,000), which serve as seed money that participants can use to start their own enterprises. Florence Kawatu is one such member who parlayed Nsabo Yetu loans into a successful convenience store in the community of Shilenda. The money she earns helps fund school fees for her five children and also allows her to financially support extended family members.

The program’s successful outcomes have not gone unnoticed in other parts of the country, and there is growing demand from people in other communities looking to replicate it in their areas. To learn more about Nsabo Yeto, read the full article on the program in Barrick’s latest Beyond Borders publication at
Group of women in rural Zambia during a literacy lesson through the Barrick-sponsored women empowerment program, Nsabo Yetu.

Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Fetes 2015 Inductees

The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame celebrated its 27th annual induction ceremony in Toronto on January 15th by honouring four new members for their outstanding lifetime achievements in the industry. The 2015 inductees are: 

Peter Bradshaw (Born 1938). Early in his career, Bradshaw made waves in the exploration industry, developing ground-breaking geochemical processes and exploration methods. After joining a predecessor of Placer Dome in 1979, he contributed to the Porgera project’s advancement in Papua New Guinea. Convinced the deposit, then regarded as uneconomic, had potential for a high-grade zone, he launched a low-cost exploration program that discovered exactly that. Thanks to his instincts, Porgera has produced more than 18 million ounces of gold. Bradshaw’s most enduring legacy; however, is the internationally-recognized Mineral Deposit Research Unit at the University of British Columbia, which is devoted to innovation in mineral exploration.

Ronald Netolitzky (Born 1943). An accomplished geologist, Netolitzky has seen several of his discoveries turn into producing mines. He was instrumental in the discovery of the Snip and Eskay Creek properties in northwest British Columbia, which became two of Canada’s most successful, high-grade precious metal mines. He also contributed to the growth of many junior companies and, at last count, was involved in 12 significant mergers and acquisitions. Netolitzky remains active in gold and uranium exploration in Saskatchewan, the very place where his career began 50 years ago.

Ian Telfer (Born 1946). Telfer earned his reputation as a financially astute and visionary mining entrepreneur by building a series of companies through timely mergers and acquisitions. The companies that he founded or led—TVX Gold, Wheaton River (later merged with Goldcorp), Silver Wheaton, Terrane Minerals and Uranium One, among others—reached a combined market capitalization of more than $50 billion at their peak. Telfer is widely known for his philanthropy. In 2007, he donated $25 million to the University of Ottawa—the largest ever individual donation to a business school—creating the Telfer School of Business. 

Mackenzie Iles Watson (Born 1935). Over the course of his 50-year career, Watson assisted in major discoveries in Eastern Canada, which took incredible foresight in pursuing projects with significant economic potential. He is associated with the discoveries of the Holloway gold mine and chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire in Ontario, and the Strange Lake rare earths project in Quebec. Watson is also dedicated to giving back, is active in industry associations, provides scholarships to students, and mentors young geoscientists entering the field.

MAC is a major sponsor of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. More information about the inductees and the nomination process is available at
(Left to Right) Ian Telfer, Peter Bradshaw, Ron Netolitzky, and Mackenzie Iles Watson are the 2015 inductees into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.
About the Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
MAC is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry.  Its members account for most of Canada’s production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, steel making coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.
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