Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Canadian mining

Here's a link to a very well-written article about the Canadian mining industry, a story that ran April 6 in the Financial Post Magazine.

Reporter Karen Mazurkewich adopts an almost elegaic tone as she ticks off the names of the great mining companies who have played a big part in that country's history:
Barrick Gold Corp., Falconbridge Ltd., Noranda Inc., Inco Ltd., Teck Resources Ltd.
These companies have either been swallowed up by foreign concerns, or they are now doing their mining outside Canada.

Is this because Canada's mineral wealth has been exhausted? Not at all. As Mazurkewich notes, the industry momentum has stalled due to "rising energy and labour costs, First Nations' protests, a provincial stealth tax on diamonds in Ontario and moratoriums on exploration."

She quoted Warren Irwin, a name that leaders of this blog may remember. Irwin, president and president and chief investment officer of Toronto's Rosseau Asset Management, which is invested in Noront Resources, says that battles with First Nation groups have made the climate too uncertain.

"Ontario thinks of itself as a stable world-class mining jurisdiction, but the reality outside is that it can get pretty lawless for exploration companies, and the government has been turning a blind eye to it," says Irwin. "As a direct result of the uncertainty in investing in mining in Ontario we have been forced to go to other jurisdictions for investments."

This blog can offer him nothing but a sympathetic ear, but it does offer that.

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