Kinross Gold's Tasiast mine, an open-pit gold operation in Mauritania. Courtesy of Kinross Gold Corp

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. Among this week’s headlines: a Montreal-based joint venture seeks to develop carbon-free metal making, Kinross hit by changing policies in two African countries it operates in, and a new boss in at New Gold.


Canadian Natural Resources is working with Titanium Corporation to extract zircon and titanium from tailings that in the past would be discarded. In a report we published earlier this week, the two firms are coming together to design a plant to shrink an oil sands mine’s environmental footprint by extracting value from what would previously been viewed as waste. The plant is still being designed, but with the end goal in mind of extracting useful metals from tailings, resulting in both added value for the mine and cleaner tailings.

Ghana and Mauritania are the latest African countries to reassess their mining codes in a bid to see more profits from their countries natural resources, to the dismay of miners such as Kinross Gold Corp already operating in those countries. The Toronto-based miner had a key permit to expand their Mauritania project blocked, with discussions on “all the company’s activities in Mauritania” still to come, while Ghana announced a proposed mining code review. Plagued by shifting policies in Africa and Russia, Kinross shares have declined 14 per cent on the year.

Apple is backing a joint venture between Alcoa Corp and Rio Tinto Group to develop a new, environmentally friendly way to make aluminum, a material used in a variety of products, including Apple devices. The two companies, Apple, and the Canadian government are investing a combined $188 million into the project, which will be based in Montreal and have a research facility in Saguenay, Quebec. The new, cleaner process – which Apple is hoping will aid their bid to produce all their products from recycled materials – is expected to become operationalin 2024.

Canadian miners with the best safety records were honored  at the annual CIM Convention in Vancouver earlier this week with the presentation of the John T. Ryan trophies. Sponsored by Mine Safety Appliances Canada, the awards recognize mines with the lowers reportable injury frequency over the year. This year, Rambler was the top winner in the National Metal Category for its Newfoundland and Labrador operations, while Mosaic’s Esterhazy K1 mine in Saskatchewan won the National Select Award. Westmoreland Coal’s Genesee mine in Alberta took top honors in the National Coal category.

Raymond Threlkeld has been appointed president and CEO of New Gold, the company announced this week. The former Rainy River Resources president, who led the company until its acquisition by New Gold in 2013, will succeed Hannes Portmann at the reigns of the Ontario-based miner. New Gold is looking to bounce back from a first quarter that saw lower-than-expected returns from its Rainy River Mine, due to some operational and mechanical problems with the project’s processing plant.