Nemaska Lithium wants to develop a long-life operation to mine the spodumene hard rock deposit it has in Quebec. Courtesy of Nemaska Lithium

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. Among this week’s developments: Ontario’s mining act modernization project moves ahead, Nemaska Lithium scales up and the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame grows by four.


Monday was the last day that Ontario prospectors could stake a claim the traditional way -- with boots on the ground. The move to online staking, which begins in the spring, is part of the broader effort to modernize the province’s mining sector. Next month prospectors can begin creating their online profiles. Many who have made a career of staking claims in Ontario’s hinterland fear the change will spell the end of their way of life.

This week Torex Gold announced it had regained access to its El Limon-Guajes Mine in southwest Mexico. A mining union, which does not currently represent the unionized workers at the mine, has blocked the primary access to the operation since early November, forcing an end to work there. “This access has allowed crews to inspect the site, make maintenance plans, and plans to re-start the operations if the security of the site can be assured,” the Vancouver-based company reported on Monday. There is a formal process in place to potentially end the stand-off. The competing unions are scheduled to meet at the end of the month to agree on a voting day where workers can choose which union they want to represent them.

On Tuesday Nemaska Lithium announced it would take $801 million to bring its Whabouchi mine and concentrator as well as its hydrometallurgy plant to full production. The feasibility study, updated from the previous one in 2016, extended the expected mine life to 33 years, an increase of seven years, and doubled the after-tax net present value to $2.4 billion with an eight per cent discount rate. The mine and concentrator would be located in the James Bay lowlands of western Quebec and the hydrometallurgy plant constructed in Shawinigan. The operation would produce 16,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year.

The who’s who of mining got together in Toronto on Thursday for a ceremony honouring the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame’s 2018 inductees. This year Ross Beaty, Robert Gannicott, Terrance MacGibbon and Edward Thompson were added to the hall. You can read more about all four and their accomplishments in our piece from last fall, when the list was announced.