Lundin expects to be back at full processing capacity at its Chapada mine within 60 days. Courtesy of Lundin Mining.

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Welcome back to your weekly mining news recap, where we catch you up on some of the news you may have missed. This week’s headlines include copper’s biggest decrease since mid-March, Kinross Gold purchasing a stake in the Peak Gold project and the Ontario government launching a new relief program for northern Ontario businesses.

A new EY mining and metals survey has shortlisted the top 10 business risks in the mining industry over the next 12 months. The survey results, taken from more than 250 global mining executives, show that licence to operate, high-impact risks and productivity and rising costs are the top three risks mining companies face in 2021. According to EY, the increased concerns with disruption as well as environmental and geopolitical risks compared to last year are a result of the challenges and uncertainty from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Copper prices fell to US$2.854 per pound of copper for December delivery on Oct.1, a decrease of 5.9 per cent, as reported by The decrease is the biggest decline in copper prices since mid-March, when prices dropped below US$2 per pound of copper, and comes a day after prices reached US$3 per pound. According to S&P Global, the price drop could be a result of a rapid buildup of inventories in warehouses managed by the London Metal Exchange.

Newmont and Agnico Eagle have formed an exploration joint venture in Colombia. The companies will explore Orosur Mining’s Anzá gold project, which totals 200 square kilometres, and other potential gold targets in Colombia. Agnico will solely fund the first US$2.9 million, equal to Newmont’s previous investment in the Anzá project, after which the companies will continue to fund the venture on a fifty-fifty basis.

Kinross Gold has purchased a 70 per cent interest in Royal Gold’s Peak Gold joint venture project in Alaska for US$93.7 million. The company plans to use the project to supplement its existing Alaska operations by transporting higher grade ore from the project and blending it with ore at its Fort Knox mine in order to reduce costs.

For over a decade, professor Mohamed Gamal El-Din has been working on developing a treatment for oil sands tailings pond water. Gamal El-Din and other researchers at the University of Alberta are now taking a new approach to the process by studying passive treatments rather than active treatments to the water. According to the researchers, this new process combines multiple technologies, including ozonation and biofiltering, to remove naphthenic acids and treat it more efficiently.

A new Geoscience BC report suggests that studying the specific characteristics of zircon minerals can help explorers detect porphyry copper deposits. Researchers studied the elements and properties of 42 rock samples collected from British Columbia’s south central and north central regions and determined that textural characteristics of zircon mineral grains can be used by explorers to identify copper exploration targets more effectively.

Throughout his mining engineering program at the University of British Columbia, Nathan Skubovius sought out a variety of mining experiences. During his summers, he worked in several different mining jobs, from geologist assistant to ventilation engineer, and organized an adventure program for Tahltan First Nation high school students. Now a drill and blast engineer at Teck, his advice for students and recent graduates entering the mining industry is to network, be social and try new things.

The government of Ontario has launched the Northern Ontario Recovery Program to help businesses adapt to new public health guidelines related to COVID-19. The program will help companies with projects to adjust to the ongoing pandemic, such as new customer and employee safety installations, building renovations and other equipment purchases. Applications for the program are open until Dec. 31 and will be administered by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

Lundin Mining has started working on resuming processing at its Chapada mine in Brazil, and expects to restart partial processing within one week and reach full capacity within 60 days. The mine’s processing activities were interrupted earlier this week, when the operations’ SAG and ball mill motors were damaged following a power outage. The company is currently working on repairing the damaged mill motors and stated it will provide updates on its 2020 guidance, which it withdrew earlier this week, when appropriate.

A study by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has determined that three decommissioned uranium mine sites near Bancroft, Ontario, are protected and are not expected to pose health impacts to local residents, as reported by Global News. The study began last year when staff collected sediment and water samples from the public areas around the Dyno, Madawaska and Bicroft sites, which were then analyzed for levels of radioactive and hazardous materials. The study concluded that the samples were within accepted government guidelines for public and environmental safety.

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