Tag Archives: First Nations

BHP greenlights Jansen Stage 1 potash project

BHP has approved $5.7 billion in capital expenditure for the Jansen Stage 1 (Jansen S1) potash project in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Jansen S1 is expected to produce approximately 4.35 Mt/y of potash, and has a basin position with the potential for further expansions (subject to studies and approvals), according to BHP. First ore is targeted in 2027, with construction expected to take approximately six years, followed by a ramp-up period of two years.

Jansen S1 includes the design, engineering and construction of an underground potash mine and surface infrastructure including a processing facility, a product storage building and a continuous automated rail loading system. Jansen S1 product will be shipped to export markets through Westshore, in Delta, British Columbia, and the project includes funding for the required port infrastructure. This infrastructure will be constructed by Westshore Terminals Investment Corporation as part of an agreement with BHP.

BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry, said Jansen is aligned with BHP’s strategy of growing the company’s exposure to future-facing commodities in world-class assets, which are large, low cost and expandable.

“This is an important milestone for BHP and an investment in a new commodity that we believe will create value for shareholders for generations,” Henry said.

“In addition to its merits as a stand-alone project, Jansen also brings with it a series of high returning growth options in an attractive investment jurisdiction. In developing the Jansen project, BHP has had ongoing positive engagement and collaboration with First Nations and local communities, and with the provincial and federal governments. Jansen is designed with a focus on sustainability, including being designed for low greenhouse gas emissions and low water consumption.

“We anticipate that demand growth will progressively absorb the excess capacity currently present in the industry, with opportunity for new supply expected by the late 2020s or early 2030s. That is broadly aligned with the expected timing of first production from Jansen.”

BHP said: “Beyond the 2020s, the industry’s long run trend prices are expected to be determined by Canadian greenfield solution mines. In addition to consuming more energy and water than conventional mines like Jansen, solution mines tend to have higher operating costs and higher sustaining capital requirements.”

At consensus prices, the go-forward investment on Jansen is expected to generate an internal rate of return of 12-14%, an expected payback period of seven years from first production and an underlying EBITDA margin of around 70% given its expected first quartile cost position, according to BHP.

BHP says the $4.5 billion (pre-tax) of capital invested to date has resulted in a significant initial outlay. The investment to date includes construction of the shafts and associated infrastructure ($2.97 billion scope of work), as well as engineering and procurement activities and preparation works related to Jansen S1 underground infrastructure. Approximately $220 million of the $2.97 billion approved for the current scope of work, expected to be completed in 2022, is not yet spent.

The construction of two shafts and associated infrastructure at the site is 93% complete and expected to be completed in 2022, with Cementation Canada set to carry out the post liner excavation, steel and equipping of the shafts.

The sinking of the shafts was carried out by DMC Mining Services using Herrenknecht’s Shaft Boring Roadheader.

To date about 50% of all engineering required for Jansen S1 has been completed, significantly de-risking the project, BHP says.

IMARC welcomes IWIMRA as First Nations partner

In what it says is an Australian first, the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) has welcomed the Indigenous Women in Mining and Resources Australia (IWIMRA) as its First Nations Partner.

The partnership will foster stronger connections between First Nations communities and the minerals and resources sector, as well as continue to raise the profile of First Nations people working in the industry globally, IMARC says.

IMARC, which is due to take place in Melbourne, both in-person and online from October 25-27, is partnering with IWIMRA to promote the importance of inclusiveness of First Nation women and men in the industry and the IMARC program, it said.

IWIMRA was founded in 2017 to create a stronger connection amongst Indigenous women in Australia’s mining and resource sector. Through lived experiences, and the narrative of Indigenous intersectionality, it is its priority to ensure the visibility, voice, and quality participation across the spectrum of the mining and minerals sector, the IWIMRA says.

IMARC takes place on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin nations. IMARC says it wishes to acknowledge them as the traditional owners of the lands and waterways and pay their respects to their elders, past and present, and emerging.

As the first resources event in Australia to have a First Nations Partner, IMARC Managing Director, Anita Richards, said that IMARC is committed to improving Indigenous presence at the event and across broader industry.

“This partnership enhances our commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion across all areas of the mining and resources industry as part of our Balance for Better Program where diversity and inclusion are a key focus of the conference and associated events,” Richards said.

She said that IMARC will also highlight the impact and achievements of women in mining while reflecting the strides being made industry-wide to be more gender balanced and showcase the industry-wide benefits of diversity and inclusion.

In practical terms, the partnership between IMARC and IWIMRA will see additional Indigenous speakers and dedicated sessions across the conference program, additional Indigenous women delegates in attendance at the event as well as including an “exciting welcome” to country at the start of the conference, IMARC said.

“This is just the first of what we see as many opportunities to partner with IWIMRA as our values and objectives are very much aligned,” Richards said.

IWIMRA Co-Founder and CEO, Florence Drummond (pictured), said that the partnership with IMARC is a great fit, as IWIMRA aspires to lead with clarity and purpose and to work with industry to build solutions-driven, cross-culture influential relationships that will continue to contribute towards our sustainable future.

“We are so excited to be formalising this partnership with IMARC and it’s only now that we are starting to recognise how truly impactful it will be,” Drummond said. “There are the obvious benefits of participating at IMARC, such as IWIMRA having a physical presence with an exhibition booth, hosting panel sessions and speaking as part of the conference, however there is so much more to be gained beyond the transaction.

“This partnership, which has been progressing over the past three years, is truly transformational for IWIMRA. It means that we have action and commitment from a major global resources conference and that we have recognition, reconciliation and a real seat at the table.”

IWIMRA will be bringing 30 women from mining operations across Australia to IMARC to provide them with the kind of global mining exposure that will enable them to return to their own sites and continue to influence meaningful changes.

“From our history of compounded disadvantage and continued systemic challenges, it is understandable that many of our people are fatigued and frustrated at yet another mechanism for change,” Drummond said. “However, we have worked hard to agree on what shared value is in this context and to deliver this significant opportunity for all stakeholders. Based on trust, we plan for our 30 delegates to be a part of the conversation and to ask the hard questions so that they can be the spark or the catalyst for change back in their home communities. It is our priority to ensure this is a safe space for this.”

Drummond will further discuss this First Nations Partnership on Day 2 of IMARC, as part of the plenary conference program, before later interviewing the Development Partner Institute’s Executive Director, Wendy Tyrrell, about Indigenous engagement and how the industry can better attune with indigenous participation across the supply chain.

The day will conclude with an all IWIMRA line up within the METS Arena for a panel discussion on ‘The intersectionality of Indigenous women in the mining and resources sector, further explore our perspective of where we fit in a decarbonising industry’ before the AusIMM Diversity & Inclusion Networking Reception, where all 30 women will be in attendance to meet with attendees at the event.

International Mining is a media partner of IMARC

Minerals Council of Australia members to adopt Canada’s TSM sustainability system

Australia’s minerals industry is to introduce the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) system to, the Minerals Council of Australia says, further improve site-level performance through regular and transparent reporting on safety, environmental and social indicators, including partnerships with First Nations landholders and communities.

Adopting TSM – implemented worldwide among key mining nations – will support companies in demonstrating site-level safety, sustainability and environmental, social and governance performance through better measurement and accountability, the MCA said. TSM will also show how operations engage with Traditional Owners while supporting social and economic aspirations and heritage protection.

MCA CEO, Tania Constable, said the phased introduction of TSM as an expectation of MCA membership will give industry stakeholders, including First Nations partners, local communities and groups, investors and customers, additional assurance and visibility on the sector’s site-level sustainability performance across a range of important practical measures.

TSM builds on existing commitments to Enduring Value – the Australian minerals industry’s corporate-level sustainable development framework – by providing a consistent and independently verified approach to assess and communicate site level performance, supporting trust and enhancing confidence in the industry’s sustainability credentials, the MCA said.

Constable added: “Australian mining is a global leader in sustainability performance, and it’s time to take another step forward to enhance community, investor and customer trust and confidence in the industry.”

Mining Association of Canada CEO, Pierre Gratton, said: “TSM has led to better outcomes for mining communities in Canada and around the world, and it’s great that Australia has chosen TSM as the vehicle to demonstrate environmental and social performance in its mining sector. We are very proud of TSM’s increasingly global reach and power to improve sustainability through measuring site-level performance.”

The system includes guiding principles and standardised protocols to be adapted for Australian implementation, including:

  • Communities and people: Indigenous and community relationships, safety and health, crisis management and communication planning, preventing child and forced labour;
  • Environmental stewardship: biodiversity conservation management, tailings management, water stewardship; and
  • Climate change: site-level targets and management.

The program was established in 2004 by the Mining Association of Canada to enable mining companies to demonstrate how they are meeting society’s needs for minerals, metals and energy products in the most socially, economically and environmentally responsible way, with its core strengths including:

  • Accountability: participation in TSM will be an expectation for all Mining Association of Canada members for their Australian operations, with assessments conducted at the facility level where the mining activity takes place;
  • Transparency: members will publicly report their performance in line with standardised protocols and indicators; and
  • Credibility: TSM includes ongoing consultation with a national Community of Interest Advisory Panel, an independent multi-stakeholder group, to oversee and shape the program for continual advancement.

Nunavut Government tables Mine Training Centre plan

Following a mid-term retreat in Arviat, Nunavut, last week, the territory’s cabinet has said it plans to establish a Nunavut Mine Training Centre in Rankin Inlet, with engagement from industry partners in the region.

Such a centre would come on top of the territory’s trades training centre, called Sanatuliqsarvik, which offers courses on maintenance operations and underground mining.

In the past decade or so as devolution has neared, Nunavut has risen in the mining investment rankings as the government has looked to attract more miners with exploration incentive schemes and, recently, government-funded infrastructure plans.

Only recently, the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) pledged investment towards the first phase of construction of the Grays Bay Road and Port project, which would support mineral development in the Nunavut portion of the Slave Geological Province where base and precious metal deposits are thought to lie.

Such moves have seen the likes of Agnico Eagle Mines (Meadowbank, Meliadine (pictured) and Amaruq), Baffinland Iron Mines (Mary River), MMG (Izok), Sabina Gold & Silver (Back River) and TMAC Resources (Hope Bay) retain and build on their strategic positions in this northerly part of Canada.

The proposed training centre from the government would potentially see more local First Nations take part in the future of these operations.

Reflecting on the mid-term retreat, Nunavut Premier, Joe Savikataaq, said: “We are a united Executive Council, with clear goals and strong ideas for Nunavut. We are now close to halfway through our mandate, and we remain committed to accountability and ensuring the Government of Nunavut achieves the goals of our mandate.

“After a productive two days, we have specific direction to move forward and accomplish our work to benefit all Nunavummiut.”

Northern Ontario set for Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development

Manitoulin area residents, entrepreneurs, First Nations and communities are being encouraged to increase their participate in northern Ontario’s mining and minerals industry, as well as the aquaculture and business sectors, through a series of Government of Canada investments totalling more than C$3.4 million ($2.6 million).

The FedNor funding is aimed at supporting five initiatives that, among other things, will enable Waubetek Business Development Corporation to establish and operate a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development for four years. Other funding recipients include LaCloche and Manitoulin Business Assistance Corp, Sheshegwaning First Nation and March of Dimes Canada.

Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, made the announcement this week on behalf of Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor.

“The goal of the Centre for Indigenous Mineral Development is to enhance the participation of the indigenous people in the mines industry, as well as to assist industry and government through information sharing and best practice protocols with Indigenous engagement,” the government said. “Access to information will help employers and prospective employees fill or secure jobs, and facilitate networking and business development opportunities.”

Martin Bayer, Chair, Waubetek Business Development Corporation, said: “In 2015, at the request of First Nation leaders throughout our region, Waubetek developed and launched a mining strategy that would help ensure meaningful engagement, build capacity and create much needed employment for our First Nation people and help foster more Indigenous businesses opportunities in the mining industry. The strategy was developed through engagement sessions with our community rights holders.

“Our First Nations’ primary interest is to ensure that we are adequately consulted when it comes to mining and exploration within our traditional territories and to ensure that we have more opportunities to participate in the benefits that might come from this development in a sustainable way, including meaningful jobs, business opportunities, joint management and care of the lands on which these projects operate.

“A Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Minerals Development would help our communities build capacity and advance our interests and build a clearinghouse of industry information about things like leading practices and processes that are needed by our First Nations. We are grateful that FedNor also sees the benefits of helping to establish a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Minerals Development.”