March Newsletter – 05.03.18




Behre Dolbear Group invites you to our 2018 PDAC welcome breakfast reception, Monday, March 5, 2018, between 7:30-9:30 a.m., in the Azure Restaurant at the InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel. (The hotel has direct access to the convention centre). A buffet breakfast will be served and we hope to see you there! Please RSVP to, if you will be attending. Thank you and see you at the convention!

  • SNC Sees Commodities Rebound Lifting Mining Margins and Backlog
  • Trump says U.S. to impose tariffs on steel, aluminum imports
  • SQM talks down lithium oversupply, says market to grow 80% a year
  • Chile to attract $60 billion in mining investments by 2038 — minister
  • Congo says will campaign to prevent child labour in cobalt mines
  • Seriti CEO Teke Keen to Study Bid for Guptas’ Optimum Coal Mine
  • Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology sponsoring Goldcorp’s #DisruptMining
  • Goldcorp announces the finalists for #DisruptMining 2018


SNC Sees Commodities Rebound Lifting Mining Margins and Backlog

  • Latin America, Middle East expected to be growth areas
  • ‘The bidding pipeline is very healthy,’ head of unit says

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. expects to bolster margins in its mining and metals business as soon as this year amid a rebound in commodities such as copper and fertilizers.

A pickup in demand will help Canada’s biggest engineering and construction company boost earnings before interest and taxes in the sector to 7 percent of revenue over time, Jose Suarez, who runs the mining unit, said this week. EBIT fell to 4.7 percent of revenue last year — the worst performance among SNC’s five engineering and construction units.

“We feel pretty bullish,” Suarez said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Montreal. “We are looking at some things in the short run that are going to pump up the backlog. The bidding pipeline is very healthy.”


Trump says U.S. to impose tariffs on steel, aluminum imports
Steve Holland, Susan Heavey

At a meeting with U.S. industry officials at the White House, Trump vowed to rebuild American steel and aluminum industries, saying they had been treaded unfairly by other countries for decades.

The move is likely to increase tensions with China, whose top trade official Lui He is in Washington for trade talks.

An early morning tweet from Trump that said the steel and aluminum sectors needed protecting from unfair trade drove shares in domestic industries sharply higher.

AK Steel Holding (AKS.N) was up 2.8 percent, U.S. Steel Corp (X.N) was up 2.3 percent and Nucor (NUE.N) rose 1 percent. By contrast, industrial stocks such as Boeing fell, with traders citing tariffs, which would hit manufacturers.



Among Canada’s provinces, Ontario and Quebec’s combined share grew to an as-recorded high of 49% in 2017. Uncover more facts about the Canadian #mining industry in this essential infographic:


SQM talks down lithium oversupply, says market to grow 80% a year
Cecilia Jamasmie

Chile’s Chemical and Mining Society (SQM), one of the world’s largest lithium producer, said global demand for the white metal, a key ingredient in the making of batteries that power electric vehicles, will continue to grow at rate of roughly 80% annually in the next five years.

According to chief executive officer Patricio de Solminihac, the world will need at least 50,000 tonnes of lithium a year until 2023 due to an expected increase in the use of electric vehicles and high tech devices, and the company wants to be ready to meet that demand.

SQM says lithium demand will continue to grow at rate of roughly 80% annually in the next five years.
Reporting results for 2017, SQM said it has earmarked $170 million to expand its production capacity from 48,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes this year, and then to 100,000 tonnes by 2019. “We will evaluate the timing for future expansions in the Salar de Atacama based on market conditions,” Solminihac said in the statement.



Chile to attract $60 billion in mining investments by 2038 — minister
Cecilia Jamasmie

Chile, the world’s No. 1 copper producer and one of the top lithium suppliers, is expected to attract about $60 billion in new mines and expansions over the next 20 years, the country’s minister of mining says.

According to Aurora Williams, miners with operations in the country currently spend $15 billion on support services a year, so the government has set an ambitious goal of helping locals to become providers for the industry.

Chile aims to form 250 world-class suppliers expected to export $10 billion by the end of the next decade.
The target, she says, it to have 250 world-class suppliers providing innovative solutions around the world and exporting $10 billion by the end of the next decade.

“The nature of mining has changed dramatically in recent years as the industry gets to grips with some of the major challenges it faces,” Williams says. “As a country we have identified some of those key challenges, [which] we would like to address through the development of new technology.”


Congo says will campaign to prevent child labour in cobalt mines
Reuters Staff

LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) – The Democratic Republic of Congo will launch this month new monitoring and tracing mechanisms to tackle child labour in cobalt and copper production, a mines ministry official said on Thursday.

Sourcing of the metals has come into focus as manufacturers scramble to secure supplies of cobalt, a key component in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, as production of electric cars surges.

Congo is by far the world’s biggest producer of cobalt, accounting for more than half of global supply. But rights groups say child labour is used to produce some of that cobalt. Amnesty International calculates a fifth of the country’s cobalt output is mined by hand by informal miners, including children .



Seriti CEO Teke Keen to Study Bid for Guptas’ Optimum Coal Mine

  • Guptas acquired mine through Tegeta from Glencore in 2015
  • Teke previously operated Optimum before stake sale to Glencore

Seriti Resources Holdings Ltd. would consider purchasing Optimum Coal Mine, which is under administration and linked to the politically connected Gupta family.

Optimum — acquired by a company part-owned by the Gupta family from Glencore Plc in December 2015 — started business rescue proceedings last week after citing a “hardship clause” as it stopped supplying the Hendrina power station. Businesses owned by the Gupta family are struggling as banks are unwilling to work with them after allegations of corruption related to their links with former South African President Jacob Zuma.



Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology sponsoring Goldcorp’s #DisruptMining
International Mining

As the mining industry prepares to gather at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Conference in Toronto, March 4-7, Goldcorp’s #DisruptMining event held on Sunday March 4 highlights the innovators and technology leaders in the mining industry. Sandvik was eager to play an active part in 2018 as a sponsor of the event.

Sandvik shares Goldcorp’s vision in supporting entrepreneurs as they work to develop disruptive innovations for the mining industry, delivering safe, sustainable and productive mines for the future.

“We’ve enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Goldcorp” says Peter Corcoran, Vice President, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology Canada. “Many of our industry leading technologies are successfully deployed at Goldcorp properties. Events like #DisruptMining are an example of their drive to advance the industry forward.


Goldcorp announces the finalists for #DisruptMining 2018
Paul Moore, International Mining

Goldcorp has announced the four finalists and eight semi-finalists for #DisruptMining 2018, an innovation accelerator designed to encourage new technologies and ideas to solve some of the biggest challenges in mining, with a $1 million investment up for grabs. “Over 100 impressive submissions were received, making for a difficult selection process to determine finalists.” The sold-out live finale will take place on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at the Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, where finalists will pitch their concepts in a “shark-tank” style event.

“Our goal was to uncover the next revolutionary concept that will truly disrupt our industry. We were incredibly impressed by the caliber of submissions we received this year and look forward to engaging in discussions with all the semi-finalists and finalists,” stated Goldcorp COO, Todd White. “The four finalists represent the innovative thinking and collaboration our industry needs to ensure mining stays relevant and does its job to fuel the 21st century economy efficiently and responsibly.”

The four finalists pitching their disruptive technology to the panel of judges are:

Acoustic Zoom Inc.: Acoustic Zoom aims to unlock the potential of Canada’s mineral exploration sector with high frequency 3D imaging to help map complex geological formations deep within the earth’s micro-structure.  After earning a spot as a semi-finalist in #DisruptMining 2017, Acoustic Zoom is back. A breakthrough in its ultra high-frequency 3D Borehole Seismic imaging method provides an unprecedented resolution of subsurface geological structures, while reducing 3D survey costs by up to 90 percent. Acoustic Zoom’s method is intended to help exploration teams drill smarter, guide planning and achieve investment value quicker with more actionable and accurate information.

EnviroLeach Technologies: EnviroLeach has developed the world’s only safe, stable, sustainable, eco-friendly and economic alternative to cyanide. A unique, cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to the current methods used in the hydrometallurgical extraction of precious metals, including the prolific use of cyanide, strong acids, mercury and smelting processes. The EnviroLeach process, a patented chemistry based on five FDA-approved ingredients, results in a product that is non-toxic, safe to use and provides similar or superior leach kinetics and recoveries to that of cyanide. It’s the first economically and technically viable alternative to the use of cyanide since its introduction in the 1870s. Adoption and application of the EnviroLeach method is expected to help to reduce the environmental impact of mining, streamline permitting processes, improve occupational safety and enhance operational efficiencies.

LlamaZOO Interactive Inc.: LlamaZOO Interactive has created MineLife VR, a software platform which enables companies to represent a mine plan from exploration to reclamation in an interactive 1:1 scale using virtual reality, creating efficiencies and value across investor, government, and community relations; resource management; mine planning and reclamation; and business development. Founded by former game designers and developers from Electronic Arts and Microsoft, LlamaZOO’s technology empowers mining companies to tell a better story with their data – making it more accessible and actionable for technical and non-technical stakeholders alike. MineLife VR represents the first time that spatial data of such a large and complex nature has been successfully synthesized into a life-sized, interactive, virtual reality experience. If a picture tells a thousand words then MineLife’s VR lets you experience a million.

Open Mineral AG: Open Mineral, founded by former Glencore executives, is digitizing the relic practices of physical commodity trading that has operated the same way for decades.  By expanding the number of suitable metal concentrate counterparties available worldwide, the Open Mineral Exchange is transforming the way physical commodity trading is conducted. With streamlined contract negotiations and execution to increase efficiency and profitability for the participants, Open Mineral is a ‘one-stop shop’ for trade execution with sights on implementing blockchain solutions to further reduce processing time and costs while improving cash-flow in concentrate trade transactions.