Haul trucks at Baffinland Iron Mines' Mary River mine in Nunavut. The Nunavut Impact Review Board recommended this week that Northern Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc reject Baffinland’s request to increase its annual haulage from Mary River. Courtesy of Baffinland Iron Mines

Welcome back to your weekly mining news recap. At the end of the week we’ll catch you up on the mining news from CIM Magazine and elsewhere that you may have missed. In this week’s headlines: Nevsun finds a buyer in Zijin Mining, Tahoe faces protests in Peru and an unfavourable court ruling in Guatemala, and a Laurentian University researcher explains how bacteria can help cold-weather mining projects.


Monarques Gold is suspending production on its Beaufor mine starting in mid-December, due to low-grade ore recovered at the mine and the low price of gold. Ten workers will at the mine for care and maintenance work during Beaufor’s suspension. However, exploration activities around the mine will continue as planned and the company has stated that it is seeking for ways to re-open the mine profitably.

Tahoe Resources also temporarily suspended operations at its La Arena mine in Peru. According to a statement from the company, a group of 80 to 100 protestors made their way to the La Arena mine in Peru and demanded payment from the company. The protest stemmed from talks the company had with community officials over allegations that the dust and vibrations from the mine were having negative impacts on the community. According to a press release from the company, the protest has since been resolved, and operations restarted Thursday evening.

In further Tahoe news, the Guatemalan Constitutional Court upheld the decision to suspend the company’s mine permit for its Escobal mine, pending consultation with the Xinca Indigenous residents of the surrounding area.The court ordered the country’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) to carry out consultation immediately, but one Guatemalan legal expert argues the consultation guidelines laid out in the ruling are not strong enough and disregard the principle of free, prior and informed consent.

Nevsun Resources announced it would be acquired by Chinese miner Zijin Mining a month after rejecting a hostile takeover from Lundin Mining. Zijin will purchase Nevsun for $1.86 billion, or $6 per share, which was higher than Lundin’s bid of $4.75. Zijin said in a statement that it is looking to prolong the life of Nevsun’s Bisha copper-zinc mine in Eritrea, and will be fast-tracking the Timok gold-copper project in Serbia towards production.

Albemarle Corp., the world’s largest lithium producer, is looking to buy FMC’s lithium division as demand for the element ramps up, Reuters reported. The purchase of FMC’s lithium operation, which will be known as Livent, is dependent on the performance of its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) this fall. The lithium market will be watching the IPO carefully, as Livent will be the first stand-alone lithium producer to go public.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board recommended that Northern Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc reject Baffinland Iron Mines’ request to increase its annual haulage from its Mary River mine, Nunatsiaq reported. The increase, which would have brought Baffinland’s annual hauling total to 6 million tonnes, up from 4.2 million tonnes currently, was rejected on grounds that the company did not demonstrate how it would mitigate the effects of increase marine shipping and haul-truck traffic. The company was, however, given permission to build a diesel fuel-tank farm and new employee accommodations. LeBlanc has 90 days to accept, reject, or change the board’s decision.

One of Continental Gold’s mining engineers was killed and another injured in an armed attack in northwest Columbia, the Associated Press reported. According to Continental, the attack was perpetrated by two armed individuals Wednesday morning, in the town of Buritica, near the company’s project by the same name. The injured employee is currently in stable condition.

If you’re looking for some weekend reading, our Q&A from the August issue with Nadia Mykytczuk, Industrial Research Chair in biomining, bioremediation, and science communication at Laurentian University, is now online. Her work focuses on how tiny micro-organisms can be used to reduce the environmental impact of mining operations, even in arctic temperatures. She is looking to start a Centre for Mine Waste Biotechnology in order to help bring her findings to the world.