Suncor and Teck increased their stakes in the Fort Hills oil sands mine, pictured, to resolve a dispute with Total SA. Courtesy of Suncor Energy

Happy 2018 everyone, and welcome back to your weekly mining news recap. At the end of every week we’ll catch you up on the mining news from CIM Magazine and elsewhere that you might have missed. It’s been a quiet week, but among the developments you should note: Roxgold gets a new permit at its Burkina Faso project, Crystallex loses a lawsuit against a Venezuelan-owned oil refiner and the U.S. plans to dramatically increase offshore drilling.


Nutrien Ltd., the company formed in the merger of potash giants PotashCorp of Saskatchewan and Agrium, began trading on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges on Tuesday. Though the merger was announced in 2016, the companies did not receive regulatory approval to complete the deal until the last week of December. Outgoing Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall told Reuters that Nutrien has promised to establish its head office in the province.

Roxgold received a permitting approval to develop its Bagassi South project in Burkina Faso, the company announced on Tuesday. Development and construction work at the mine will commence in early 2018, and the company has applied for an extension of its exploitation permit, which will mark the final step in the permitting process.

A U.S. court dismissed a lawsuit from Vancouver miner Crystallex International against asset transfers by oil refiner Citgo, which is owned by a Venezuelan state oil company, on Wednesday. The lawsuit stemmed from Crystallex’s successful international arbitration against Venezuela in 2016, after the country nationalized the company’s assets. The company won US$1.4 billion, which the country has refused to pay.

On Thursday, we reported that Suncor Energy and Teck Resources had increased their stakes in the Fort Hills oil sands mine to resolve a dispute with the project’s third partner, French oil and gas company Total SA. The two companies took higher shares in the mine from Total’s stake, which brings Suncor to a 53.06 per cent interest, Teck to 20.89 per cent, and Total to 26.05 per cent.

The United States Department of the Interior announced on Thursday that it will allow offshore drilling in nearly all U.S. waters, which Scientific American called “the single largest expansion of offshore oil and gas leasing ever proposed by the federal government.” Areas included in the expansion are parts of the Pacific Ocean, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and more than 100 million acres in the Arctic and along much of the Eastern Seaboard.

Meanwhile, over the holiday break we were promoting our editors’ top 10 favourite stories from the year. You can check them out here, and our five most-read stories for the year here.

Have a good weekend, and stay warm!