Manitoba faces ‘potentially deal-breaking uncertainty’ over treaty land claims in its mineral exploration sector according to an article by Martin Cash in the Winnipeg Free Press. This is compounding problems for the mineral exploration sector at a time when metal prices are low, investors are already avoiding the sector, and equipment is subject to an additional 1% sales tax.
The legal quagmire of Aboriginal consultation has taken an interesting turn in recent weeks. Northern Superior Resources (NSR) – a Sudbury-based junior miner – has filed suit against the
province of Ontario for $110 million on the basis the province has failed to fulfill its duty to consult with First Nations.
As I noted recently, Prime
Minister Stephen Harper has announced that Canada will “establish new, mandatory
reporting standards for payments made to foreign and domestic governments by
Canadian extractive companies.” The move is being lauded by many, but does face
some opposition, including opposition from some business groups and trade
associations in the U.S.
Quebec is in the news again as a second lawsuit has been filed in response to their natural resource policy changes in recent years. As Nicolas Van Praet explains in the Financial Post, U.S. based mining company Strateco is suing the federal government due to potential losses relating to some $125 million in investments made to date in obtaining permission to engage in Uranium exploration at the company’s Matoush uranium mining project.
Lawrence Solomon has a great piece in the Financial Post, pointing out that U.S. exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) would not break Russia’s hold on the natural gas market in Europe.
Peter Koven’s reporting from PDAC
2014 in the Financial Post included an interview with the Colombian mining and
energy minister, Amylkar Acosta.
British Columbia’s First Nations are shifting away from confrontation and towards partnership agreements with government on
resource development, reports Tamsyn Burgman in the National Post.
Canada’s mining industry is global, with Canadian listed firms active in exploration and development projects around the world. Practices that are seen as bribery in Canada may be quite common in emerging economies where miners operate, such as requests from public officials for under-the-table payments to help obtain permits, licenses, and other permissions. Changes to legislation to combat corruption and bribery abroad enacted by the UK, the USA, and Canada are bringing changes for the mining industry.
After more than a decade of war and nation-building, members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)—the multitasking army of armies that has tried to transform Afghanistan into a healthy, or at least harmless, nation-state—are heading for the exits. Although ISAF will leave behind a better country than what was there in 2001, Afghanistan remains a battered landa. However, that land may hold a silver lining.
On January 16th, the Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group released its recommendations on Mandatory Disclosure of Payments from Canadian Mining Companies to Governments.
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