Iamgold announced in its first quarter report that the remaining capital costs of its Côté Gold project are increasing by approximately 90 per cent. Courtesy of Iamgold.

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 what you might have missed if you weren’t able to join us in Vancouver for CIMBC22, Iamgold facing significant cost increases at its Côté gold project and a timeline for mining to start in the Ring of Fire.

CIMBC22 was a great success this week, we were glad to see so many of you in person for the first time since 2019 and be a part of all the thought-provoking discussions it sparked. If you couldn’t be there yourself, or missed a panel you meant to go to, you can still catch up with our coverage of the convention.

Anne Marie Toutant is CIM’s new president for 2022-2023, bringing years of operational experience to the role. Get to know her through our Q&A, in which she speaks on her career so far – from her beginnings doing mine-plan designs in Alberta to her vice-presidency at Suncor – and reveals her vision for CIM’s future.

Rio Tinto is North America’s first producer of scandium oxide after successfully producing a high-purity first batch of the critical mineral at its Sorel-Tracy plant in Quebec. Production is expected to ramp up to three tonnes of scandium oxide per year, accounting for roughly 20 per cent of the global market. Rio Tinto is producing the mineral, used in solid oxide fuel cells and aluminium alloys, by extracting it from the waste streams of titanium dioxide without any additional mining.

Iamgold is facing a 90 per cent increase to the remaining capital costs of its Coté Gold project in Ontario, bringing its previous estimate of US$710 million to US$760 million up to between US$1.2 billion and US$1.3 billion to finish construction, as reported by Mining.comMaryse Belanger, a chair on the board, has taken over as interim president and CEO to tackle the funding gap. Iamgold will be providing an updated costs and schedule estimate by the end of the second quarter, with its current costs guidance for 2022 and 2023 now suspended.

According to Noront Resources CEO Alan Coutts, we are six years out from mining starting in the Ring of Fire, with production expected to begin at the company’s Eagle’s Nest nickel mine in 2028, as reported by Northern Ontario Business. Noront, which was recently acquired by Australia’s Wyloo, is working to advance road construction to the region, where an environmental assessment for the road building is underway.

A comprehensive database of Canada’s mining history is now available after nine years of work led by Donna Beneteau, assistant professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Civil, Geological, and Environmental Engineering. The Historical Canadian Mines Data Hub and Visualization Centre, hosted by CIM, covers 14,000 mines from the 1700s to today, providing their location on a map as well as their operational and production details. The Hub is expected to prove useful for students and job seekers as well as companies looking for mergers and acquisitions.

Data collection is important, but without the right tools to interpret it, all that data can simply pile up without providing useful insights. Analytics companies are using artificial intelligence to partner with mining companies to convert their data into accessible conclusions. With the enhanced analysis provided, mining companies get to increase the efficiency of their operations from their data without having to invest in in-house analytics departments.

As the industry gets deeper and deeper into data, it will need more tech talent like data scientists and software developers. These coveted applicants demand flexibility, benefits and work that reflects their values, requiring the mining companies to adapt their recruitment strategies.

Anglo American unveiled a prototype of its new hydrogen-powered mine haul truck, the largest of its kind in the world. Designed for the conditions at the company’s Mogalakwena PGMs mine in South Africa, the hybrid truck boasts a 2-megawatt hydrogen battery and can carry a 290-tonne payload. The prototype is part of Anglo American’s strategy towards carbon neutral operations by 2040.  

Agnico Eagle and the Northern College Training Division are coming together to create a $4.58-million project giving tuition-free mining training to students, as reported by TimminsToday. The program, which begins this month, will allow up to 146 people to enroll and participate in experiences such as job training at Agnico Eagle’s Detour Lake and Macassa mines, incentivizing students to consider a career in mining.

More first quarter reports have come out this week. The highlights include:

Cameco reported net earnings of $40 million and produced 1.9 million pounds of uranium in the first quarter. It also added 40 million pounds to its portfolio of long-term uranium contracts in 2022.

Taseko produced 21.4 million pounds of copper and 236,000 pounds of molybdenum at its Gibraltar mine and announced a 40-per cent increase to the operation’s proven and probable sulphide reserves. The company also reported its net income at $5.1 million.

Iamgold produced 174,000 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of US$1,490 per ounce and reported net earnings of US$23.8 million. 

Lundin Gold reported a net income of US$23.2 million in Q1 and produced 121,665 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of US$696 per ounce.

Centerra Gold produced 93,784 ounces of gold and 20.6 million pounds of copper at an all-in sustaining cost of US$735 per ounce gold and US$2.11 per pound copper. Net earnings were US$89.4 million.

B2Gold reported a net income of US$81 million and produced 209,365 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of US$1,036 per ounce. The company also announced an updated mineral resource estimate for its Anaconda area near the Fekola mine, which could provide an additional 80,000 to 100,000 ounces per year as early as late 2022.

Calibre Mining produced 51,989 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of US$1,199, with a net income of US$11.7 million in the first quarter.

That’s all for this week. If you’ve got feedback, you can always reach us at editor@cim.org. If you’ve got something to add, why not join the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram pages?