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Ontario Mineral


fall 2014

Cool water:

Ross Industries continues to provide ice-building solutions

SCC landmark decisions outline path forward for Ontario mining industry


EY reports on top 10 risks facing the mining industry The Sudbury Basin: One of the Ontario mining industry’s fascinating stories Actlabs: A Canadian company on the rise


ONLY GOING TO ONE MINING INVESTMENT SHOW THIS YEAR? MAKE IT PDAC. March 1 – 4, 2015 International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange Metro Toronto Convention Centre Toronto, Canada

Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada

Published by: DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada R3L 0G5 President and CEO: David Langstaff Publisher: Jason Stefanik Managing Editor: Katrina Senyk Advertising Sales Manager: Dayna Oulion Advertising Sales: Brian Gerow, Ross James, Mic Paterson Production services provided by: S.G. Bennett Marketing Services Art Director: Kathy Cable

Ontario Mineral

ExplorationREVIEW Message from the Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association


SCC landmark decisions outline path forward for Ontario mining industry 5 EY reports on top 10 risks facing the mining industry


The Sudbury Basin: One of the Ontario mining industry’s fascinating stories


What does the ‘off-site construction’ industry offer the mining industry?


Actlabs: A Canadian company on the rise


Maureen Jensen wins 2014 WIM Trailblazer Award


How to ‘extract more’ in mining


Global mineral industry to converge on Toronto for exploration and mining’s largest annual convention


Quest for quality


Kirkland Lake Gold Inc.’s Q2 production sets the stage for a successful first-half of fiscal 2015


‘Radioactive’ silver’s explosive profit fallout potential


How to be a great parent to your teenager when you work away from home


Cool water: Ross Industries continues to provide ice-building solutions


Protect your eyes: A message from the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association


Layout/Design: Joel Gunter Advertising Art: Sheri Kidd, Dana Jensen ©Copyright 2014. Ontario Mineral Exploration Review. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein and the reliability of the source, the publisher in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions or forwarding looking statements made by advertisers. Articles and advertisements in this publication are not solicitations to buy, hold or sell specific securities; they are for information purposes only. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers or employees. In­ves­tors should be aware that risk is associated with any security, strategy or in­vestment and are advised to seek the counsel of a competent investment advisor before making any investment, or utilizing any information contained in this publication.

Index to Advertisers Activation Laboratories Ltd.........................................15

Fladgate Exploration Consulting Corporation............24

AGAT Laboratories......................................................IBC

Future Buildings..........................................................25

ALS Minerals...............................................................11

Kirkland Lake Gold Inc..................................................6

Becker Varis.................................................................18

Norske Drilling............................................................23

Publications mail agreement #40934510 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to:

Breaker Technology.......................................................5

NRB........................................................................... OBC

Cassels Brock Lawyers..................................................7


DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3L 0G5 Email:

City Welding Sudbury Limited...................................17


Danatec Educational Services Ltd...............................17

Ross Industries Ltd......................................................33

Darby Manufacturing Sudbury Ltd.............................19

Structural Panels Inc...................................................23

Emerson Canada.........................................................21

Terraquest Airborne Ltd................................................5

Fabrithane Industrial Products Inc..............................19

Watson Gloves............................................................27

Subscription, advertising and circulation information can be obtained from the publisher.


Communications Inc.


Fall 2014


A message from the

Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association (NWOPA) By Bob Chataway, President, NWOPA The under-riding theme is to “Bring the Bush to Town”. The response from mining companies and the public has been fantastic. Check out the gallery of pictures from the first two years of the event at To celebrate the end of the year, after a successful season of prospecting, the membership will unwind and tell some lies at the Annual NWOPA Christmas Party. One fun activity at the party is to guess what the price of gold will be by the time of the next Christmas party. Surprisingly, recent winners have not been our ever-optimistic prospectors, with their guesses reaching up to $2,500.

Mining Day.

The Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association (NWOPA) operates out of Thunder Bay with a membership of approximately 450 prospectors, geologists, miners, service-industry personnel and government employees. NWOPA’s mission is to “Represent and further the interests, serve the needs, and support the individual prospectors in Northwestern Ontario”. How the elected board members carry out this mission is driven by our members. 2014 in review The year’s activities and events started with the Northwestern Ontario Mines and Minerals Symposium (NWOMMS) held in Thunder Bay in early April. The symposium highlights recent discoveries and successes in northwestern Ontario made by our prospector and junior mining company members. The speaker’s program is filled out with geoscience presentations. The NWOPA Awards Banquet brings everything together with a dinner and awards ceremony to acknowledge successful people and projects during the previous year. Delegates find the event an opportunity to keep abreast of developments in the exploration field, and a 4

Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

good place to network with more than 500 attendees while visiting the 100 exhibitors on the convention floor. NWOPA also participated in other local and regional shows (for instance, the NW Ontario Trappers Festival and the Geraldton Trade Show) as part of our public relations work and outreach to the general public. General meetings are held regularly for the membership, where the prospector can learn about the ongoing changes to the Mining Act, hear about the latest geological theory on where to find the next “big one”, or voice their opinions on topics of concern. In late May, the second annual Thunder Bay Mining Day took place at Marina Park on Thunder Bay’s beautiful waterfront. Mining Day is presented by NWOPA, CIM (local branch) and the CEDC (Thunder Bay Economic Development Commission). The event was co-sponsored by many of the companies with offices or activities in the northwestern Ontario region. Over 40 exhibitors presented interactive games and activities with a mining-related theme to entertain the public and demystify the work of the mining and exploration community.

2015: Looking Ahead This is probably the third or fourth year, when looking ahead to next year, that we have said the worst is over. Meanwhile, the downturn persists. Governments keep loading us up with more operational baggage and the financiers invest their money with anyone but the exploration industry, and on and on. Unfortunately, the industry has lost several good companies due to the extreme nature of the downturn; prospectors and geologists have resorted to other means to make ends meet; and the economies of many small northern towns are still suffering. Let’s hope this coming year breaks this trend. Eventually – yes eventually – the upturn in the industry will happen. Recently I was passing through the airport in Yellowknife and saw this slogan which I thought was worth repeating: “From the Stone Age to the Technology Age, where would we be without minerals, metals and mines?” Indeed. For information or membership details, please visit our webpage:

SCC landmark decisions outline path forward for Ontario mining industry By Melanie Franner

Brian Dominique, partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.

Linda Knol, partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.

Two recent rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) have brought to the fore the issue of Canadian Aboriginal land title and treaty harvesting rights. The first case (Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia) saw the SCC rule in favour of Aboriginal title to over 1,750 kilometres of land in British Columbia to the Tsilhqot’in Nation. Fifteen days later, on July 11, 2014, the SCC ruled in the second case (Grassy Narrows First Nation v. Ontario) that the Government of

Ontario has the authority to “take up” land in the Keewatin Territory (which is located in northwestern Ontario) under the terms of Treaty 3. Although the two rulings may at initial glance seem at odds with each other, both have helped to define how future Aboriginal land and treaty rights will be established and/ or interpreted in Canada. And both have produced precedent-setting decisions that will be felt by industry for many years to come.

New Law in the Making “There is no question that these two recent SCC rulings are significant,” states Brian Dominique, partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, the law firm that represented Goldcorp Inc. at the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the SCC in the Grassy Narrows case. “Each is significant for its own reasons.” In the B.C. Tsilhqot’in case, the SCC ruling recognized and made a finding of Aboriginal title to lands in Canada for the very first time. It did so on lands in which there was no existing land treaty in place. In making its ruling, the SCC clarified the legal test for the establishment of Aboriginal title, namely that the First Nation asserting title must establish: sufficient pre-sovereignty occupation; continuous occupation; and exclusive historic occupation. If Aboriginal title is established, then the Aboriginal titleholders have the right to decide how the land will be used and to the benefits of such use. But also significant is the fact that the SCC ruled in favour of provincial constitutional authority to infringe Aboriginal title

Fall 2014


and treaty harvesting rights if the infringement can be justified. This ruling reversed previous case law that had recognized that right solely to the federal government. “The test for determining if a province can infringe upon Aboriginal title or treaty harvesting rights requires the government to demonstrate a compelling and substantial objective and that its actions are consistent with the fiduciary duty it owes to the affected First Nations,” explains Linda Knol, partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.


Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

“Proof that the government’s actions are consistent with its fiduciary duties involves the following considerations: the infringement must be necessary to achieve the government’s objectives, the government must go no further than necessary to achieve its objectives, and the benefits must not outweigh the adverse affects on the Aboriginal interest.” The government’s infringement can be justified, in principle, for the development of agriculture, forestry, mining, hydroelec-

tric power, general economic development, protection of the environment or endangered species, the building of infrastructure, and the settlement of foreign populations to support these objectives. Infringement or Adverse Effects Between the two decisions, the SCC has outlined how the government is to address Aboriginal title and treaty harvesting rights under various scenarios, including cases where Aboriginal title has been established, cases where Aboriginal title has been asserted but not yet established, and cases where the First Nation has surrendered title under a treaty but has retained the right to harvest over any surrendered land not taken up by the Crown. In each of these scenarios, the common factor is the duty of the Crown to consult with and potentially accommodate any First Nation whose interests may be affected by a proposed project or the taking up of land. These “good faith” consultations are mandatory. In cases where Aboriginal title has been established, any taking up of land (by, for example, granting a mining lease or approving a gas pipeline) without the consent of the Aboriginal titleholder will constitute an infringement of the Aboriginal titleholder’s rights that must be justified by the Crown. What isn’t quite as concrete is the definition of “infringement” in the context of treaty harvesting rights. Knol notes that in the Grassy Narrows ruling, the SCC confirmed its 2005 decision in Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada that the Crown’s authority to take up treaty lands is not unconditional. “Ontario has the duty to consult with First Nations and to accommodate their interests where appropriate, and Ontario cannot take up so much surrendered treaty land that the First Nation’s right to harvest in their traditional territories becomes meaningless,” she states. “However, the test that the courts will apply to determine the point at which a treaty harvesting right becomes meaningless is still unclear.” Dominique notes that the rulings by the SCC are already being interpreted by interested parties in different ways. “I think we’ll see at least another 20 years of litiga-

tion on the issue of infringement before a

happened if the SCC didn’t find in favour

full framework of basic principals are estab-

of Ontario in order to understand the sig-

lished,” he says. “The Aboriginal side is likely

nificance of the decision,” says Knol. “If the

to approach the requirements of consulta-

SCC had ruled the other way, then all of the

tion as having to meet the higher standard

land-use decisions that Ontario made over

of infringement in all instances, rather than

the last 100 years in the Keewatin Territo-

the standard required to be met for an ad-

ry, such as the grant or issuance of mining

verse affect.”

leases and forestry licences and other interests in land, would have been called into

Canada versus Ontario

question as it would have been uncertain if

The Grassy Narrows decision was significant for a couple of other important

Ontario had the authority to grant or issue them.”

reasons. For one, it put to bed the question

Had the SCC ruled against Ontario in

of whether Canada alone is responsible for

this case, it would also have set a precedent

fulfilling the Treaty 3 promises. Canada was

for other treaties and other provincial gov-

the Crown signatory to the treaty, which


was signed in 1873, but it subsequently an-

“Had the ruling gone the other way, not

nexed that land to Ontario. The SCC ruled

only would Treaty 3 have to be re-written, in

that, as Crown representatives, both Canada

essence, but it would put into question the

and Ontario are responsible for fulfilling

terms of several of the other land treaties

the Treaty 3 promises within their respec-

across the country,” adds Dominique.

tive spheres of jurisdiction. “In the Grassy Narrows SCC ruling, I think one has to look at what would have

Moving Forward Although the two recent SCC decisions

have gone a long way in defining Aboriginal land title and treaty rights, they have also opened the door to further interpretation that will more than likely require additional court cases, appeals and potentially, SCC rulings. As to how industry will deal with these issues, only time will tell. Until then, the status quo remains. “The fact that Ontario is substantially a treaty province is an obvious benefit,” states Dominique. “There may be some uncertainties in the future, but on a day-by-day basis, it’s kind of business as usual for industry. Ontario mining companies, for the most part, understand the need to consult with and accommodate the interests of First Nations in good faith. They’ve been doing that already. At some point, however, the parties are going to come to loggerheads about how to determine the distinction between impairment and infringement. But until then, it’s business as usual, as industry and Aboriginal peoples have come to know it.”

We dig mining. ”Dirt Law.” Those two words cover a lot of ground – claims, permits, treaty negotiations, development deals, working with vendors, with governments, you name it. It’s the law of day-to-day mine operations. To make sure it’s done right, here are two more words: Cassels Brock. © 2014 Cassels Brock. All rights reserved.

Cassels Brock - December 2, 2014 Ontario Mineral Exploration Review Magazine Half page horizontal - 7” x 4.625”

Submitted by: Heather Murray 416 869 5782 - fax 416 642 7137

Falleither 2014 Please PRINT a hard copy of the file and FAX it or SCAN and EMAIL it back to me, thanks!


EY reports on top 10 risks facing the mining industry By Lisa Fattori In September, EY released its annual Business Risks Facing Mining and Metals, a report that rates the top 10 business risks for the mining sector. The 2014-15 reports lists productivity, capital decisions and social licence to operate as the top three risks facing the industry this year. Moving from second place in 2013 to top spot this year, productivity is identified as the key priority for companies. According to the Business Risks study, the industry’s pre-occupation with growth during the supercycle created a decade-long decline in productivity. With softer commodity prices and narrower margins, weak productivity is more obvious and is a barrier to improved profitability. Reversing the trend is essential for long-term profitability and will require a broad transformation by all participants in the sector. Capital allocation dilemmas have fallen to second place this year, thanks to a deluge of asset write-downs in 2013. While major companies have seen steady progress in cap-

ital management and optimization, many junior and exploration companies remain cash-starved and focused on survival. Capital projects, however, have moved up in the rankings, from seventh place in 2013 to fifth place this year. As a result of weakened productivity, companies have not been operating as efficiently or cost-effectively as possible. In today’s capitally constrained mining and metals sector, there is no room for waste and companies have to be diligent about cost-effectiveness when it comes to major capital projects. Mega projects started during the boom still need to be completed, but the demand for new reserves will spark investment in new projects and companies have to be prepared for the next cycle. Improved capital projects management will be needed to avoid the cost overruns, schedule delays and inefficiencies that occurred during the supercycle. “Companies must put the people and processes in place to ensure projects are

Top 10 risks

Over 7 years


2008 (peak of supercycle)

01 Productivity improvement 02 Capital dilemmas – allocation and access

01 Skills shortage (now balancing talent needs) 02 Industry consolidation

03 Social license to operate (STLO)

03 Infrastructure access

04 Resource nationalism

04 Social License to operate

05 Capital projects

05 Climate change concerns

06 Price and currency volatility

06 Rising costs

07 Infrastructure access

07 Pipeline shrinkage

08 Sharing the benefits

08 Resource nationalism

09 Balancing talent needs

09 Access to secure energy

10 Access to water and energy (new to top 10)

10 Increased regulation

Remained on the risk radar over seven years


Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

The new entrant to this year’s list, ranking tenth, is access to water and energy. Essential to a mine’s operations, affordable water and energy is increasingly difficult to obtain, which impacts costs and a company’s ability to operate. Energy costs are increasing and there are competing demands for water in many regions, particularly in Chile, Peru, South Africa and Mongolia. delivered on time and budget,” says Bruce Sprague, EY’s Canadian mining and metals leader. “That includes finding the right engineering, procurement, and construction management teams who offer the right kind of experience, leading practices and technology able to deliver the best results.” At third place, social licence to operate has become a greater risk, due to the number and frequency of projects being slowed or stopped by communities and environmental activists. According to EY, community conflicts over environmental and social concerns can cost large-scale operating mines up to U.S. $20 million a week in lost value. Good corporate citizenship is more than engaging stakeholders at the onset of a project; it requires ongoing dialogue to preempt misunderstandings and conflict, and a concerted effort to nurture a relationship of trust. By investing in the communities

At third place, social licence to operate has become a greater risk, due to the number and frequency of projects being slowed or stopped by communities and environmental activists. According to EY, community conflicts over environmental and social concerns can cost large-scale operating mines up to U.S. $20 million a week in lost value. in which they operate – schools, hospitals and infrastructure – as well as hiring locally, mining operators provide long-term benefits to a community and demonstrate company goodwill. “Social licence to operate is an increasingly important part of doing business in the mining and metals sector,” Sprague says. “Stakeholders are demanding greater transparency around corporate responsibility efforts. They’re holding companies to a higher standard. At the same time, companies recognize the importance of working with local communities and governments to ensure a wider economic benefit. “Companies must take a proactive approach to obtaining a social licence that goes above and beyond minimum requirements. That means engaging early and openly with local communities and implementing strategies to address concerns.” The new entrant to this year’s list, ranking tenth, is access to water and energy. Essential to a mine’s operations, affordable water and energy is increasingly difficult to obtain, which impacts costs and a company’s ability to operate. Energy costs are increasing and there are competing demands for water in many regions, particularly in Chile, Peru, South Africa and Mongolia. EY reports that mining companies spent U.S. $11.9 billion on water infrastructure globally last year, which is an increase of 250 percent over 2009. Since 2000, global energy prices have increased 260 per cent, and by 2015, global demand for energy is expected to increase by 36 per cent. Unreliable access to energy and the need for improved water management are a few of the challenges that have bumped this category into the top 10 list of risks. Other 2014 risks include resource nationalism (4), price and currency volatility (6), infrastructure access (7), sharing the benefits (8), and balancing talent needs (9).

While balancing talent needs has dropped in ranking, the focus is now on skilled, rather than unskilled, workers. Closely tied to the need for enhanced productivity is the demand for expertise in automation, mechanization and data analytics, as well as government relations and community engagement specialists. To avoid an acute skills shortage in the next cycle, companies need to invest in grooming the next generation of highly skilled workers.

“Companies must get creative when it comes to sourcing and retaining talent,” Sprague says. “That includes partnering with industry, academia and government to develop the next pipeline of skilled workers. It also means improving inclusiveness by tapping into underutilized demographics. Collaborating with sectors, like oil and gas, that share similar skillsets will also create a broader resource pool.” Fall 2014


The Sudbury Basin: One of the Ontario mining industry’s fascinating stories By Leonard Melman discovery of further ore bodies. Eventually, land was purchased for mining by the Murray Brothers, which eventually became the Murray Mine. During Sudbury mining’s initial years of production, nickel was of minor interest, with most attention being garnered by copper as evidenced by the first important area mining company, the Canadian Copper Company. However, two important events took place over the next 30 years, both of which served to raise nickel’s profile. In the first case, a German chemist named Ludwig Mond discovered new uses for nickel and also developed a means to effectively mine the metal, leading to the formation of the Mond Nickel Company in 1904. His company quickly bought up the Garson and Victoria mines to ensure a future supply of ore. Mond later merged with the International Nickel Company, which had bought out Canadian Copper and was

Ontario has had a fascinating mining histo-

politan Toronto within the immense area

ry stretching back almost two centuries, one

later renamed INCO. During the same pe-

known as the Canadian Shield. Greater

which is replete with numerous fascinating

riod, Falconbridge Nickel Mines was found-

Sudbury is an important northern Ontario

and exciting highlights, such as the Hemlo

ed and those two corporations became the

economic centre, with a regional popula-

Gold discoveries; Uranium mining near

dominant forces in area mining for decades

tion of approximately 160,000; much of its

Elliot Lake; huge mineral potentialities of

to come.

economic and social development can be

In the second case, the really vital driving

the “Ring of Fire” region; as well as historic

attributed to the mining industry, particu-

force behind nickel’s growth was the advent

development and mineral recoveries from

larly including nickel mining.

of World War I and its demand for massive

districts such as Red Lake, Abitibi, Detour

The breakthrough event was a rather

armaments manufacturing. Nickel was de-

serendipitous spotting of a cluster of rust-

termined to be of vital importance in armor

However, for sheer geologic fascination

coloured rocks by one Thomas Flanagan,

plating and demand for the metal escalated

along with historic economic impact, few

a blacksmith working with a Canadian

sharply – leading to the initial boom in a

events in Ontario`s mining history can

Pacific Railway blasting crew in an area to

series of “boom and bust” cycles for nickel

match the Sudbury Basin.

the northwest of present-day Sudbury in

– and for the Sudbury area.

Lake and others.

The Sudbury Basin is located approxi-

1883. Flanagan mentioned the rocks to sev-

The signing of the Armistice on Novem-

mately 400 kilometres north of metro-

eral people, and early exploration led to the

ber 11, 1918, marked the end of WWI, lead-


Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

ing to a dramatic drop in nickel demand,

scape” and, in fact, the devastation was so

Krista McCracken, a researcher at Algoma

followed by the shutting down of many area

complete that American astronauts training

University was able to report, “…regreening


for their Apollo Missions were sent to the

has improved the environmental conditions

Fortunately, during this period, addi-

Sudbury area to study both crater-type for-

in the area, air quality has been significantly

tional uses for nickel were discovered, spe-

mations, as well as areas without vegetation.

cifically including the development of the

However, in more recent times, Sudbury

improved and landscapes are returning to

stainless steel industry and, thanks to the

has become famous for the opposite rea-

Roaring Twenties’ economic growth, pros-

son. For several decades, the city and en-

perity returned to the area; but it turned out

virons have engaged in measures to return

to be short-lived, as the Great Depression

Sudbury to a more natural state, consistent

beginning in the early 1930s evaporated

with the region’s dense vegetation and bo-

metals and, thanks to hard past lessons, will

demand once again. World War II brought

real forest environment. Over 3,000 hect-

also work to ensure that sustainable envi-

with it a new boom and even though peace

ares have been treated to restore soil vital-

ronmental progress continues to improve

followed in 1945, industrial development

ity and about nine million trees have been

the region’s quality of life.

served to sustain increasing demand for

replanted through the years. As a result,

their natural state.” Going forward, it appears likely Sudbury will continue to benefit economically from rising demand for nickel and other base

Not a bad combination at all.

nickel throughout the coming decades. The geologic origination of the Sudbury Nickel Belt itself is remarkable. As mining developed and geological interest in the area intensified, based on extensive exploration, professionals in the field declared that the mineral wealth was contained within an oval-shaped deposit presently measuring 60 kilometres in length and 35 kilometres in width. They also state that the deposit was the result of a massive meteor known as a “bolide” that impacted the Earth with tremendous force 1.85 billion years ago. The heat generated by this bolide impact caused the melting of an array of minerals, leaving them behind to be discovered eons into the future. They also theorize that the impact crater – the second largest known on Earth – was originally circular, with a circumference of approximately 250 kilometres. There is yet another fascinating aspect of mining history in Sudbury. For decades, recovery of metals was accomplished via a

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method known as “roasting”. This involved generating intense heat by burning masses of cordwood in order to melt and recover the metals from broken ore. Unfortunately, this method released clouds of vegetationdestroying sulfur dioxide fumes, resulting in considerable environmental devastation and, although smelter technology did advance over time, harmful gases continued to be released well into the 1950s. The net result was the landscape around

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Sudbury began to be compared to a “moonFall 2014


What does the ‘off-site construction’ industry offer the mining industry? By Laurie Robert, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing – NRB Inc., Grimsby, Ont.

As more and more research and case studies are completed worldwide on modularization and prefabrication, there is a significantly increased level of awareness of the value benefits building off-site can bring to an owner and their team. The term “off-site construction” is used to describe a myriad of building elements, from prefabricated sub-assemblies, such as bathroom pods, mechanical racks or headwalls, to entire single or multi-storey buildings also commonly referred to today as “permanent modular construction” 12

Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

(PMC). PMC is an alternative project-delivery method that removes the construction of the entire building (including structure, envelope, finishes, electrical, mechanical and other program-specific systems) away from the active – and often remote – mine site and constructs it in a controlled plant environment. Various PMC providers may use different methods and materials, but NRB Inc. builds the entire structure with the modules together for precision fit and finish, using structural and light-gauge steel framing

with pre-poured concrete floors. When the building is up to 90 per cent complete, the modules are disassembled and transported to the project, where they are crane-set on foundations and structurally, mechanically, electrically and architecturally reconnected and sealed to form a complete, permanent building. MATCHING CLIENT NEEDS AND VENDOR RESOURCES For the mining industry, workforce housing (temporary or permanent) is a widely

recognized and highly utilized modular building application. Additionally, though, companies are looking to PMC for a variety of other surface structures, such as operations centres, mine-dry buildings, and administration facilities, as well as metallurgical labs, pump houses and electrical equipment shelters. Buildings that might traditionally be site-constructed are now being designed and built off-site, meeting the needs for extended lifecycle and durability. The commercial modular construction industry is comprised of two primary sectors; there are companies that specialize in relocatable buildings, and those that specialize in permanent buildings. Industrial mine-site locations and their project scope demands can present a myriad of logistical challenges not found on a typical commercial building site, such as remote locations, high levels of daily surface activity, restricted or timed site access; as well as stringent document control, Q&A and inspection test plans – and most importantly, very rigorous health and safety protocols. It is prudent to match your facility requirements and site logistics to companies with similar prior experiences and resources. WORKING THROUGH THE DESIGN PROCESS A successful modular project requires some advance collaborative planning to avoid pitfalls that can occur when attempting to convert a conventionally designed building project over to a modular project too late in the game. The design team should consult with or include a qualified modular builder who can guide the design process and optimize the use of modularization. While permanent modular construction can meet most any requirements for aesthetics, building science, mechanical and electrical systems, life safety and life-cycle durability – there are certain conditions inherent to the elemental design principles that need to be considered. The module layout needs to be completed by the modular builder, with the input of other stakeholders in the event some minor changes are needed. The final “Modular Key Plan”, as it is commonly known, is then “frozen” and becomes an essential part of the structural design process.

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When formulating the project schedule, establish a reasonable but finite time to get the final design, submittals and approvals completed to 100 per cent and stay with it. Unlike conventional construction, where the length of the project schedule may permit decisions or changes to be made during construction, once the modular project hits the plant floor, contemplated changes or change directives can adversely affect the flow of the construction process, and the schedule. In order to gain the optimal advantage of the accelerated scheduling, the objective is to avoid discontinuance, so capturing the complete design intent and code requirements upstream is necessary. The modular builder may also ask for staged approvals that best fit their production schedule, particularly for items on the critical path such as structural steel, so owners and their consultants should be prepared to review and approve the shop drawings as they are submitted. BENEFITS INCLUDE SAFETY, SCHEDULE, QUALITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY For mining operations, building a complete structure off-site under controlled conditions has many benefits. Reduced On-Site Activity – Better Safety – As much as 90 per cent of the building construction takes place away from the working mine site, so the final amount of construction activity on site is significantly minimized, resulting in less disruption and better safety. Accelerated Scheduling – The construction of the building occurs simultaneously to the development of the site, and the result can be a savings of 30 to 50 per cent in the overall schedule when compared to traditional construction processes. Building in a 14

Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

controlled plant environment with a stable and reliable workforce also contributes to the acceleration, with less downtime due to weather and travel. Quality Management – Buildings that are constructed in controlled conditions are easier to manage for quality of construction. Regimented QA/QC programs with inspection test plans set to coincide with the owners’ requirements all result in a more streamlined quality process and product. Environmental Responsibility – Building off-site is an inherently greener construction process. Generally, permanent modular buildings by NRB are of steel construction so there is always a high level of recycled content. Waste can be managed upstream through avoidance, rather than downstream through diversion. Materials are not subjected to weather, loss or damage and can usually be re-inventoried to the manufacturer’s warehouse if not needed. The plant may have multiple construction projects destined for various final locations going on at any one given time, so commodity material deliveries can be consolidated, and workforce travel is local, for up to 90 per cent of the building construction, minimizing GHG emissions. Building offsite also means site disturbance is kept to a minimum, thus protecting habitat. Finally, and most notably, a key inherent benefit of this construction process is the ability to “deconstruct” should the time finally come for the mine to be closed and decommissioned. Permanent modular construction has the ability to virtually come apart in the same sub-assemblies it was installed in so it can be removed, relocated

and reused or repurposed in an alternative location. This means one building does not have to be abandoned or demolished while another is newly constructed elsewhere, saving significant impact on the environment. CASE STUDY: The first commercial modular building to receive LEED Gold certification was for the mining industry! The 60,000-square-foot administration, operations centre and mine dry was built off-site at NRB Inc., in Grimsby, Ontario, for the Xstrata Nickel Rim project. It was completed in just 10 months, from design development through to commissioning – about half the time originally set for building the facility on site. Of that, only four months were actually spent working on the busy mine site – a considerable reduction in activity and time, compared to site-built construction. In August 2010, Xstrata Nickel Rim South Project received its LEED Gold certification. The Xstrata Nickel Rim Project, through an integrated team “whole building design” approach, is 65 per cent more energy-efficient, with 40 per cent indoor water savings and 26 per cent raw materials savings primarily through recycled steel. These are highlights and guidelines to consider when exploring the innovative possibilities in off-site construction available today for the mining industry. To become more familiar with methods and materials, or to learn more about the Xstrata Nickel Rim LEED Gold-certified project, visit our website at

Actlabs: A Canadian company on the rise By Veronica Di Cecco & Ariella Hoffman

The new Actlabs global headquarters in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada.

In 1987, Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Actlabs), currently the largest analytical geochemical laboratory in Eastern Canada, was founded by its president, Eric Hoffman, PhD, P.Geo. Starting as a one-man operation, the company has since grown to over 1,000 employees in 27 locations across 13 countries. During this time, Actlabs has striven to be leaders in quality, innovation and service. The company is proud to now serve a diverse range of clients in the commercial, academic and public sectors and aims to provide solutions to virtually any problem a client may have. This is done using its wide range of technologies and services that are unsurpassed by any contract mineral lab in the world. In the mining sector, these services include fire assay, AAS, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, XRF, XRD, QEMSCAN, MLA, INAA, metallurgy, and much more. These services are capable of assisting at all stages of mineral projects, covering the entire life-cycle of mineral resources, from grassroots testing to mine operation. As well, Actlabs is capable of analyzing a variety of natural materials, from waters and

vegetation to soils, rocks and concentrates. Actlabs is committed to bringing the most modern technologies and a higher level of competencies to the analytical laboratory for the mineral industry. Actlabs was one of

the first mineral labs in the world to become an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory. In addition to maintaining the highest quality in conventional geochemical techniques, the company continues to invest heavily in the research and development of new products so that our clients can be at the forefront of exploration technology. As the company adopts new technologies, they work diligently to develop new methods that take full advantage of the instrumentation. Actlabs has its roots in the application of Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) to the minerals industry. In 1978, Dr. Hoffman introduced neutron activation to this sector and formed Actlabs in 1987 to continue large-scale applications. INAA involves irradiating a sample in a nuclear reactor and measuring the gamma radiation induced in the sample. Each activated element emits a “fingerprint� of radiation that can be measured and quantified to determine the concentration in a sample. This

Fall 2014


XRF instruments in Ancaster, Ontario.

is an important technique as it is non-destructive, and provides a 35-element characterization of the sample. In many situations, this remains the method of choice for analysis. In 1993, prior to most of its competitors, Actlabs was proud to develop largescale ICP-MS services and to introduce enzyme-selective extractions to assist in locating deeply buried deposits. R&D, always a mainstay of the company, led to the recent development of bioleach. In 1996, Spatiotemporal Geochemical Hydrocarbon (SGH) services were developed. Unique to Actlabs, this method has been proven through numerous research studies to be capable of identifying and locating a target at depth using Pathfinder Classes of organic compounds. Both SGH and Bioleach anomalies are caused by bacterial interaction with mineral and petroleum deposits. Continuing with Actlabs’ commitment to innovation, in 2002, the company was the first commercial laboratory to introduce High-Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (HR-ICP-MS) to the minerals industry. This technique remains exclusive to Actlabs among commercial mineral labs, and is capable of detecting ions present in the range of parts per quadrillion. Such a range is required to 16

Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

measure gold concentrations in vegetation and natural waters, and is used as a regional tool for identifying prospective blind deposits. This technique has also been effective in locating deeply buried mineralization using hydrogeochemical surveys. For example, multi-element anomalies in surface waters surrounding the Pebble Porphyry Copper Deposit were only able to be detected by HR-ICP-MS (Eppinger et al., 2013). This success demonstrated that HR-ICP-MS can be a very effective tool in regional exploration studies. A lithium metaborate/tetraborate fusion, combined with analysis by ICP-OES and ICP-MS, has been proven to produce highquality lithogeochemistry data. At Actlabs, this lithogeochemistry technique employs a fusion robot, capable of fusing 2,400 samples per day with a higher reproducibility than manual methods, thus enabling greater repeatability in the fusion process. This allows Actlabs to maintain rapid turnaround times and provide high-quality analyses at a low cost to the customer. Geometallurgical and applied mineralogical services at Actlabs are unique to commercial labs worldwide as the company employs both FEG-MLA and FEG-QEMSCAN instruments. These FEG (Field Emission Gun) instruments allow Actlabs to “see” grains as fine as 0.3 microns and to process samples at a faster rate. This reduces the cost of analysis to its customers. The company also provides extractive metallurgical services including comminution, flotation, gravity concentration, magnetic separation and hydrometallurgical techniques. In 2009, Actlabs received an award for being a Canadian Innovation Leader from the Canadian Minister of Science and Technology, linking scientific research to commercialization, jobs and economic growth and we strive to continue along this path in our future. In 2013, Dr. Hoffman received the Association of Applied Geochemists’ Gold Medal for outstanding scientific achievement in applied geochemistry at the International Applied Geochemistry Symposium in Rotorua, New Zealand. The medal is in recognition of past and on-going contributions to applied geochemistry, particularly in the development and adoption of new analytical techniques and in bringing these techniques to common global use in the

industry. Dr. Hoffman has anticipated the needs of the applied geochemist as exploration proceeds into progressively more challenging terrains. In April of 2014, Actlabs moved into its new 200,000-square-foot global headquarters in Ancaster, Ontario. The construction of this new facility has allowed the various laboratories of Actlabs in Ancaster, previously distributed across five buildings, to come together and work under one roof. This has greatly improved the efficiency and turnaround time of the services supplied by Actlabs. Actlabs is proud to be a Canadian company providing high-quality analysis locally for its customers. Across Canada, the company has 12 locations, with six full laboratories in Ontario. Five of these laboratories are located in mining districts across Northern Ontario: Dryden, Thunder Bay, Geraldton, Timmins and Sudbury. The company differs from its competitors by operating full laboratories that can perform the analyses locally and are conveniently located near to its customers. In addition to Ontario, there are two full labs in British Columbia in Kamloops and Stewart, two full labs in Quebec in Ste-Germaine-Boulé and Val-D’or, a sample preparation facility in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and one in Goose Bay, Labrador. Actlabs adds value for the projects of its customers through its quick turnaround time for exploration and mine production samples (24- to 48-hour turnaround times) as well as high-volume geochemistry analysis. Through the company’s large network of full-service laboratories throughout Ontario, Actlabs is able to offer a one-week regular turnaround for gold analysis in Ontario and Manitoba. To take advantage of this fast turnaround service, program sign-up is required. Actlabs has also established a global presence with customers in over 90 countries. The company operates 15 international facilities in mining districts in the following countries: Australia, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Finland, Guyana, Mexico, Mongolia, Namibia, Panama, and Venezuela. Not only has Actlabs expanded its global presence, but it has also expanded the breadth of services and industries it serves. In addition to serving the mineral

industry, Actlabs also provides services to many industries across the world: agriculture, forensics, life sciences, environmental and occupational health, materials testing, and petroleum. The company provides custom mobile laboratories based on a customer’s project requirements. A standard or customized solution will be designed and developed using state-of-the-art equipment and supplies. Actlabs also provides customized standard reference material (SRM) that can be certified through round-robin analysis. SRMs of known elemental composition play an important role in the quality assurance of grassroots exploration programs and development projects. Using customized SRMs provides an excellent means to compare and evaluate the accuracy and precision of the labs that you are using for your program. Actlabs holds technical presentations throughout the year at its facilities, during conferences, as well as through online webinars. Topics include quality assurance/ quality control (QA/QC), applied mineralogy, metallurgy, SGH, and selective extrac-

Wet Chemistry Lab, Ancaster, Ontario.

tions. If you are interested in attending a presentation or have recommendations for additional topics, please contact Actlabs. Additional information on any of the company’s locations or services can be found throughout its website or by emailing for general inquiries. Actlabs would like to extend its appreciation to everyone who has helped make the company a success. Actlabs wouldn’t be the company it has become without the support of its loyal customers, peers in the industry,


and its dedicated employees. With more than 27 years’ experience in providing highquality analytical services to the mineral industry, the company has developed the means and the expertise to assist you with your next project. Actlabs new global headquarters: 41 Bittern Street, Ancaster, ON L9G 4V5 Toll Free: 1-888-228-5227 Email: Website:

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Maureen Jensen wins 2014 WIM Trailblazer Award By Lisa Fattori

Winner of the 2014 Women in Mining Canada (WIM) Trailblazer Award, Maureen Jensen has made a significant contribution to the mining industry, in general, and to women, in particular, by exemplifying the success that women can achieve when they

pursue a career in the minerals sector. With a career that spans 37 years, Jensen has worn several hats – starting out as an exploration geologist in the field and moving into technical management and senior executive positions, before taking on her current position as executive director and chief administrative officer of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) in 2011. She has also lent her professional service to several organizations, including serving as president of the Association of Professional Geologists of Ontario, and 18 years as director of the PDAC. The Trailblazer Award is testament to Jensen’s leadership, work ethic and love of science – a passion that continues to this day. “If you love science and the outdoors, geology provides an extremely interesting career,” Jensen says. “It’s the perfect blend of hands-on work and exploring new ideas. There are so many different areas, such as deep sea work, and you can work all over the world. I’m very happy that after all these

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years, I’m still very passionate about my job.” Introduced in 2012, the WIM Canada Trailblazer Award recognizes women who have taken personal career risks and helped to advance the careers of other women. The prize highlights successful women, which encourages more women to explore a career in the mining sector. The third annual Trailblazer Award was presented March 4th, 2014, at the Women in Mining International reception during the PDAC conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Jensen’s career in the mining sector began after she graduated with a degree in geology from the University of Toronto in 1979. She worked as an exploration geologist for BP Minerals, founded her own geological consulting firm, and held increasingly senior positions with Noble Peak Resources Ltd. While at Noble Peak, Jensen increased market capital ten-fold and successfully merged Noble Peak with another company. Jensen’s career advancement during this time is all the more impressive, given the economic downturn of the 1990s and the fact that there were fewer women working in mining at that period of time. “You have to be tenacious, and not care what people think,” Jensen says. “My advice to young women considering a career in this field is to take as much science and math as they can. Try a lot of different types of jobs, until you find the one that is a good fit. When you find out what makes you passionate, just go for it.” By 1998, Jensen had parlayed her technical and management expertise into the business and regulatory side of the mining sector, holding senior positions in regulatory and business portfolios at the Toronto Stock Exchange. “When you’re running public companies, there are certain regulations you must comply with, so I was very

“If you love science and the outdoors, geology provides an extremely interesting career,” Jensen says. “It’s the perfect blend of hands-on work and exploring new ideas. There are so many different areas, such as deep sea work, and you can work all over the world. I’m very happy that after all these years, I’m still very passionate about my job.” vocal about regulatory issues,” she says. “After Bre-X, I re-wrote regulatory rules for the TSE and found that I really enjoyed the regulation side of the business.” In 2008, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) was founded and Jensen held senior positions with the organization, including senior vicepresident of Surveillance and Compliance, where she was responsible for the compliance and market surveillance functions of all registered dealers and registrants. “At IIROC, we implemented a system to detect certain trade behaviours, so we could identify big trends,” Jensen says. “Canada

is the only country in the world where the equity market is looked at by one regulator through one system.” In her current position as head of the OSC, Jensen is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the organization, including its enforcement, market regulation and compliance functions. In January 2014, Jensen was instrumental in leading the call for all TSX companies to disclose the number of women on their boards and in executive positions, as well as their targets regarding the representation of women within their organizations. Despite the difficult investment climate

for exploration and junior mining companies, Jensen is optimistic about new opportunities that will present themselves in the next year. “It’s going to be a tough year,” she says, “but people will be re-trenching and re-thinking their exploration projects. Companies will find new properties with higher-grade deposits; they’ll look at old places with new ideas. There’s also a generational change going on in mining, with many people starting to retire. This creates an opportunity for young people to reimagine companies – to look at deposits and theories in new ways.”


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How to ‘extract more’ in mining Using modern technological innovations creates a more effective and secure business for employees and operators.

In today’s “pinched” commodities markets, Emerson mining specialists are working with miners who have come to understand that running a safe, effective, and efficient mine, mill and refining process goes a long way towards improving the bottom line. Using modern technological innovations creates a more effective and secure business for employees and operators. A safer “uptime engineered” mine helps mitigate operational and financial risk for owners and shareholders alike. Miners globally are implementing the latest Emerson technologies, including energyefficient mechanical and electrical drive systems; wireless communications; advanced sensing-like sonar and radar; industry-leading efficient computer power and cooling; and machinery health monitoring. These are just a few of the innovations currently available to the mining industry. Emerson

provides design and diagnostic tools that are supported by thousands of application specialists and engineering staff; expertise that is available world-wide. Emerson invests in innovation, registering over 1,000 patents per year, and offering hundreds of tried and tested advanced systems and technologies to help facilitate miners’ goals. These mining solutions are available through each of the Emerson five specialized business platforms. Trusted brands such as Fisher valves, Rosemount analytics, DeltaV and Plantweb are well-known technologies under the Emerson Process Management platform. These brands are known for controlling and monitoring essential systems in real time. Also within this platform is CSI, designed to predict and prevent unscheduled shutdowns due to equipment failure. The term “reliability” can be used to describe the brands within the Emerson Industrial Automation group. Kop-Flex, Appleton Electric, Asco Numatics and Browning are just a few brands with specialized mining expertise. Emerson Network Power provides data-centre solutions, anywhere. Telecommunications and data management infrastructure are essential to a successful mine. Liebert, Asco Power, and Emerson Energy Systems are just a few brands within this

platform that specialize in grid-to-chip connectivity. Vilter and Copeland compressors are well-known for their industrial gas-compression capabilities. These hard-working Emerson Climate-Technologies brands bring efficiency to the mine through their innovative heat-moving capabilities. Rounding out the five platforms is the long-established RIDGID tool brand. Professionals in mining have relied on these hand and advanced diagnostic tools for decades. These are just a few examples of the multiple brands within the five Emerson platforms that are dedicated to providing efficiencies and increased reliability in mining. Supporting uptime is the focus of Emerson in mining; uptime that will help the mine extract more. Emerson is a 120-year-old, $24.4-billion per year, Fortune 500 company with 135,000 employees, 235 manufacturing facilities world-wide, and more than 80 years’ global-experience in minerals and mining. Emerson was founded on leading-edge technology, and continues to be a leadingedge technology provider today. For more information, visit or email

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Global mineral industry to converge on Toronto for exploration and mining’s largest annual convention

Q&A 2014 with the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, and PDAC president Rod Thomas.

The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange is set to once again take place in downtown Toronto from March 1 to 4th, 2015. The PDAC Convention is the industry’s largest annual event that provides a world of opportunities for attendees to learn about the latest trends, technologies and personalities


Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

shaping the mineral exploration and mining sector. The convention attracts investors, analysts, mining executives, geologists, prospectors and government delegations from all over the world. In 2014, more than 25,000 people attended the convention for the fourth consecutive year. “Canada leads all global countries in

mineral exploration spending, and since Toronto is the global capital of mining finance, it makes sense that we host the industry’s most important networking and educational event here,” says PDAC president Rod Thomas. “We’re looking forward to another banner year for the PDAC Convention.” Over the past 83 years, the PDAC Convention has grown exponentially; and this year will be no exception as PDAC 2015 will be extending into the North Building of the MTCC to host additional exhibit space, as well as the PDAC Core Shack. Entrance to Trade Show North will be complimentary during the inaugural year, and show hours have been extended to ensure attendees can cover both the North and South buildings of the MTCC. The PDAC 2015 Convention will feature a series of topical short courses, workshops and technical sessions designed to showcase the challenges and trends facing our industry. New additions include a session on Plan Nord, a course on the geology of copper, and a keynote session that explores the role of retail investors in the junior mining sector. “The convention is designed to help the sector find the creative answers it needs to

The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaks to attendees of the 2014 PDAC Convention.

meet the challenges it faces,” says Thomas. “Programming reflects economic and industry trends, and aims to provide networking and educational opportunities to encourage a healthy mineral exploration industry.” PDAC 2015 Convention highlights: • Technical Program will feature 19 sessions by industry experts • Trade Show will feature over 500 exhibitors promoting technology, products and services • Investors Exchange will feature over 540 exhibitors – free, and open to the public • Prospectors Tent will feature maps, sam-

Investors Exchange.

ples and claim results of independent prospectors • Core Shack will feature more than 60 of the latest mineral discoveries from around the world • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Event Series • Aboriginal Program will include the Aboriginal Forum and the Skookum Jim Award • Student Program will include the Student-Industry Networking Luncheon and the Student-Industry Forum • Topical short courses and workshops • Popular ticketed events including lun-

cheons, the PDAC Awards Evening and the Gala The PDAC is a national association representing the mineral exploration and development industry. The PDAC has more than 10,000 individual and corporate members, and encourages the highest standards of technical, environmental, safety and social practices in Canada and around the world. The early registration deadline is February 6, 2015. For more information about the convention or to register, visit


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ing industries since 1996. The dedication to quality in this ISO 9001-2008-certified operation, combined with the success of the design and performance of the products, has allowed Becker Varis to gain a strong presence worldwide. As a result, the company is constantly breaking into new markets and continues to thrive with its industry-leading Smartcom Leaky Feeder, which helped established its international reputation. Becker Varis is getting ready to unveil its latest offering, a new and improved Becker Smartcom Leaky Feeder system. In doing so, they are keeping up with customer demands while continuing to lead the industry in capacity, maintainability and overall quality. The Smartblast remote-blast initiation and Smartcom Ethernet-over leaky feeder have continued to complement the Smartcom system and have followed in its improvements. Mines around the globe have relied on the Smartcom Leaky Feeder as their main communications backbone for quite some time now, and Becker Varis has led the way with over 500 Smartcom systems installed worldwide. The company continues its ongoing quest for industry-leading capacity and quality by offering a new and improved Becker Smartcom Leaky Feeder system. If you are already using the existing Smart-

com system, it’s not a problem as the new Becker Smartcom is completely backwardscompatible. Some of its features include an I/O board add-on, separate Ethernet bands, and two-way remote diagnostics with OPC capabilities. The existing user-friendly webbased software, which brought the Smartcom system to the forefront of leaky feeder diagnostics, is still available but now you can link the Becker Smartcom remote diagnostics to an OPC server, allowing maximum interoperability with other applications such as SCADA/HMI or any other OPCcompatible client. The remote diagnostics provides critical system information helping in system maintenance, troubleshooting and overall system confidence. The new and improved Becker Smartcom system is sure to keep Becker Varis on track in leading the way in underground communications. First introduced in underground mines in 2004, Smartblast has since been proven to be a safe, reliable and cost-efficient tool implemented by mines around the globe. Smartblast units communicate over a secure radio channel carried by the mine’s existing leaky feeder network. There was a time when each Smartblast controller was limited to initiating a maximum of eight remote blasting units but those days are over; with the new RB1673 series, up to 64 remotes can be tied into one, thus eliminating the need for multiple controllers. There is also a PC-based Smartblast controller available to upgrade existing RB1670 series users. Capable of electronic and shock-tube detonation, Smartblast enables all personnel to be on surface and out of harm’s way during blasting. Smartblast’s cost-savings can be measured in reduced maintenance, alone, as it eliminates the need to maintain a separate central blast cable system. Just maintain one system, your existing Smartcom Leaky Feeder, and initiate safely with Smartblast. Technology in underground mining is continuously advancing and Becker Varis is advancing along with it, offering high-speed data transfer through leaky feeder. And now

with the new Becker Smartcom amplifier offering separate Ethernet bands, there is no need for frequency conversion. The result is increased data throughput and a more robust and reliable network. Just like household cable Internet, Smartcom Ethernet utilizes industry-standard cablemodem technology to provide wired and wireless Ethernet applications throughout the mine, such as computer networking, IP cameras, and equipment-monitoring among others. If data needs to be transferred, Smartcom Ethernet can do it. With its experienced team of engineers and software specialists, Becker Varis also provides the latest in resource-tracking systems, collision avoidance and other practical product advancements. Through communication, Becker Varis continues to enhance mine safety and productivity around the world with its quality products. BECKER VARIS (705) 674-8111

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Kirkland Lake Gold Inc.’s Q2 production sets the stage for a successful first-half of fiscal 2015

Aerial of the Macassa Mine Main Shaft.

On November 16th, 2014, Kirkland Lake Gold (KL Gold) posted second-quarter production results for fiscal 2015, selling 38,335 ounce of gold at a head grade of 0.41 ounces per ton (opt), or 14.0 grams per tonne (g/t). For the first-half of fiscal 2015, gold ounces sold totalled 76,878 ounces, with an average head grade of 0.43 opt or 15.2 g/t, putting KL Gold on track to meet its annual pro26

Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

duction guidance of between 140,000 to 155,000 ounces. KL Gold also saw a slight increase in cash and ended the quarter with $41.4 million on the balance sheet. KL Gold will publish its full financials for fiscal Q2 of 2015 on December 8th, 2014, and will show two quarters of success under the management of George Ogilvie, P.Eng., company president and CEO.

KL Gold currently operates the Macassa Mine, located in the Kirkland Lake Gold Camp, host to seven former producing mines (of which KL Gold owns five). This camp boasts historic production of over 25 million ounces in its 100-year lifetime, and has tremendous exploration potential, especially when we consider the high-grade nature of the gold to which this camp is host.

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KL Gold has been under the leadership of Ogilvie for just over one year. Ogilvie and his team have done a great job in unlocking

the true potential of the Macassa Mine, one of the five former producers that KL Gold owns, and the second-highest-grade gold

mine in the world by reserve grade (17.1 g/t). The mine is one that has potential to ensure profitability for its shareholders, investors, and the community in which it operates, even in a depressed gold price environment. KL Gold’s strategic growth plan will ensure a positive return on investment for its shareholders. As well, with excellent potential for additional discoveries, KL Gold can feel confident in additional organic growth in the years to come. Kirkland Lake Gold is a company with a rich history and a profitable future ahead of it. Look out for KL Gold’s fiscal 2015 second-quarter financial results to be released before the market opens on December 8th, 2014, with a conference call to be held at 11:00 a.m. EDT that same day. KL Gold currently trades under the symbol “KGI” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the AIM in London, England.





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Fall 2014


‘Radioactive’ silver’s explosive profit fallout potential By David H. Smith

Over the past several years, the grinding sideways to lower action in the metals and miners sectors has sorely tested the resolve of investors, both large and small. If you have a position in the resource sector and your patience has not seriously frayed, then you probably don’t have nerve endings! Nevertheless, there is ample reason to believe that this cyclical bear trend, within the context of the larger and more enduring secular bull-run, is simply part and parcel of what takes place as the full investment cycle plays itself out. When the metals test your ‘mettle’ Remember that “a victim focuses on his/ her vulnerability, but a survivor concentrates on his/her ability to respond”. In this context, there are several important things you can do to keep your balance while awaiting a resumption of the next up leg for the precious metals’ four – gold, platinum, palladium… and especially, silver. First, remind yourself that the sum total of what you are is much more than simply the value of your investments at any given 28

Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

time. Market participation is something you engage in by choice – presumably as an indirect way of achieving other important goals. Big swings are not unique to the resource sector, but are rather a part of life and living for just about any activity. Second, get enough sleep, eat well and stay in shape. Getting these three things right will provide you with the energy, endurance and sharpness to endure “Mr. Market’s” personality shifts, and stay on board for the rest of the ride when his outlook unexpectedly changes. Third, each day, express gratitude for at least one thing in your life about which you are appreciative. Gratitude inspires humility, empathy, love, and respect – all of which help to stabilize your investment efforts.

ing-power to stick around until they do? If not, it might be a good idea to fold your tent and get out. No one has to be involved in a given market, except by choice. Lastly, why do you want to stay in? I personally want to improve my financial position so that I can add more learning chapters to my “Life Book”, while helping others. I believe this bull-run in gold and silver is far from finished – so the worst thing for me would be to quit, and run the RISK of watching from the sidelines, while prices go exactly where I thought they would! Notice here that my core beliefs are aligned with my market behaviour. Are you more afraid of loss, or of missing the next run to the upside? From a psychological standpoint, if you quit now, and if

Above all, ask yourself this … Now is an important time to revisit your original investment assumptions. Do you still truly believe that the underlying market forces moving gold and silver are destined to propel prices considerably higher? Do you have the emotional and financial stay-

you are wrong, the odds are strongly against your being able to fully re-establish your core position. At a Vancouver investment conference last spring, I gave a talk titled “The Case for Radioactive Silver”. The inspiration for the title came from an essay comment writ-

“Looking at this chart, consider, please, just consider the action in silver as a giant, tortuous, bone-crushing, radioactive flag formation.” ~Gene Arensberg

ten by analyst Gene Arensberg. Looking at a multi-year silver chart, he suggested that we could “consider the action in silver as a giant, tortuous, bone-crushing radioactive flag formation”, noting “implied massive support down into $18.50”. Sure enough, you can see what looks to be a pronounced technical bull “flag”, with the “pole” running

from the December 2008 lows to the intermediate top in April 2011, then “unfurling” down into the current (as this is being written) lows in the $18.50 area to $16 area. If this formation turns out to be valid, when silver makes its upward turn, a finger-spread target of around $65 should eventually come into play, with the

possibility of considerably higher prices down the line. What if the ‘bull flag’ fails? It’s always good to have a “Plan B” in your trading toolkit, even if you may not ever have to use it. In this case, I would suggest that even if the $15 area turns out to be the

25-year Monthly Palladium ( Fall 2014


25-year monthly silver (

low (potentially invalidating the bull flag above), all is not lost. One can construct a Risk to Reward Ratio for both gold and silver at a still lower shelf support price, based upon where we are at this writing. For gold, we would assume a $250 risk versus a $1,000 reward (initial target $2,200), i.e., 1:4. For silver – and this assumes only a $40 target – a risk of $3 translates into a potential reward of $22, or 1:7. If you assume a target of $48, you get a 1:10 ratio. Providing the bull flag formation holds, the finger spread target of $65 offers an even higher ratio of reward to risk. And you can bet your trading account balance that anything in the mid-$30s or above is going to provide a lot of potential profit “fallout” for the producers! A very strong case can be made that from these depressed levels, the better junior mining companies have the potential to generate a 10-times increase in price over the next five years. Remember David Morgan’s Dictum Sometimes technical analysis does a better job of predicting the past than it does the future. If you should happen to grab a really big tiger by the tail, getting out based solely upon a chart signal might cause you to miss the biggest part of the run. David Morgan at 30

Ontario Mineral Exploration Review has demonstrated with considerable precision that fully 80 to 90 per cent of an entire bull market’s profit potential tends to occur during the last 10 per cent in time, during the blow-off move to its ultimate peak. (By the way, David will have a book out this fall with a compendium of information about silver, past, present and future. In this book, he will offer some very specific suggestions as to how you may be able to capture – and hold onto – the lion’s share of that “last 80 per cent” when silver starts to make its final vertical climb skyward.) I’d like to conclude with a real-life example of a market which to date has offered a profit percentage similar to gold’s run (c. 400 per cent), while still – which in my view also applies to gold and silver – being far away from its ultimate blow-off top. This metal is palladium, and the story concerns a friend of mine who, in 2005, bought a stack of physical metal at $170 the ounce. With a $50/ounce premium, his net cost came to $220. He still has most of it. Looking at the charts, it’s easy to see that if he had taken one or more of the many technical sell signals generated along the way, he would have sold long ago at substantially lower prices, and also most likely never have re-established even a portion of his position.

Look at the number of times the price went back down to where he initially bought. Think what this must have done to his resolve? After his purchase, the primary price peaks and valleys went as follows: $350 - $180; $400-$300-$600-$180; $180-$850-$550; $570-$920-$820 - ___? Surely each time the price dropped below $200, the bull market was over, right? All the bullish signals, other than a long-term support price shelf, were obliterated. Well, nine years later, palladium has exceeded every “top” it made during that era, recently posting a 13-year high in the process. A supply deficit, coupled with the lengthy lead time needed to rebuild it, leads to the conclusion that a mega-palladium bull market is getting underway. Now, what if the same thing happens to silver? About the Author: David H. Smith is senior analyst for, a regular guest on and a regular contributor to For the last 15 years, he has investigated mine and exploration sites in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, China, Canada, and the U.S. Smith shares his findings and investment perspectives with readers, the media, and audiences at North American investment conferences.

How to be a great parent to your teenager when you work away from home By Angie Willcocks, Mining Family Matters Psychologist

Adolescence is confusing for youth at the best of times. They fluctuate between wanting to be emotionally close to their parents, and needing to be emotionally distant – and this can happen several times a day! When one parent works away from home, this can complicate things even further, because your teenager can’t choose when to be close and when to be distant. They might miss you desperately when you’re away, but ignore you when you’re home. The trick here is to watch your own thinking: ignore thoughts like “She doesn’t even notice if I’m away or home”, which are likely to have you pulling back. Instead, think: “I am her parent, she loves me and I will be available to her”. Might be tough, but it will help you to take things less personally. There’s no doubt that teenagers can seem pretty selfish. Everything is about them. To an extent they can’t help it, as brain development at this age means they are not really inclined to bother about the feelings of others. As a rule, if they want to hang out with you, they expect you to be available. But if you want to spend time with them because it’s your week home, they might not be around. It’s important, then, to be clear about family expectations and rules, and not be too bothered if your teenager isn’t keen on participating. For example, as a FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) family, you might have a rule that the teenager will watch a movie with the family at least once a week; will help out with jobs that need doing when Mom/Dad is away; and will cook breakfast for everyone on the weekend. Some FIFO parents feel guilty or sorry for their children, and so expect less of them. Strangely enough, this can be bad for a child’s self-esteem. Although they won’t thank you for it now, encouraging and expecting your teenager to take part in family activities is not only good for them, it’s also great for setting up opportunities for communication.

Communication with teenagers is doubly hard when you work away, too. But contrary to popular belief, most teenagers do want good relationships with their family members – they often just don’t have great relationship skills. As the parent, you need to assume responsibility for the tone of the relationship with your teenager, especially if you’ve made the decision to work away. Create multiple opportunities for conversations. It’s a mistake to think they will talk to you “on demand” or if something is bothering them. Just be available as much as possible. When you’re home, make sure you’re the one who drives them around, goes to their sports events and helps out with their homework. Practise active listening (lots of eye contact, smiling and encouraging noises like “aha”). Don’t be lazy, or use working away as an excuse for not knowing what’s going on in your child’s life. Keep a diary of important events and school activities, and call or text regularly so that your teen knows that you are interested in what’s going on. (Remember, “What did you buy for Sally’s birthday present?” is likely to encourage a much longer answer than “How was your day?”) Likewise, be as available as possible when you’re away. Use technology like text messaging and video calls, and leave short written notes in their bedroom to let them know you are thinking of them (especially if you will be away for an important event). Mining Family Matters ( aims to break down the barriers of isolation and the stresses of living away from family and friends. Although this article provides general advice from a psychologist, the content should never be regarded as a substitute for professional health services or crisis services. Always speak to your doctor or specialist provider for advice on a specific medical condition. If you are depressed and require urgent assistance, call 9-1-1 or visit the Canadian Mental Health Association website at About the Author: Psychologist Angie Willcocks is an expert at helping families deal with the pressures of life in mining, oil and gas. To ask Angie a question, write to her via the “contact us” page: contact-us-3/contact-us.html. It’s free! To read other articles by Angie, please visit: Fall 2014




Ross Industries continues to provide ice-building solutions Canadian exploration company Fission Uranium Corp. was on to something big under a lake in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Management knew it required a large contingent of mobile drilling equipment to access the mineral deposit on Patterson Lake. The weak link in the overall exploration procurement process was, would we have a sufficient amount of ice over our mineral deposit to safely action a drill program of this size? Fission needed a safe, working ice capacity, as well as a 100-day work window to meet their ambitious plans for the drilling program. 32

Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

When Ross Industries Ltd. was contacted to build an ice pad covering 15 hectares with a thickness of 100 centimetres, we knew there was only one tool that could accomplish this task in the limited construction time-frame at hand. At that time, Ross Industries only manufactured a purpose-built flood pump line designed to bring large volumes of water up onto the ice pad or road. This commonly used flooding method is widely used on projects throughout Canada, Alaska and northern Europe. However, cooling the pumped water to the freezing point takes time.

Research results show the most practical way to ensure fast ice development is to spray water high in the air using a highpressure pump to reduce the thermal energy in the water prior to falling onto the ice pad. Ross Industries’ concept plan was to manufacture a mobile 4,500-litre-per-minute, high-pressure diesel-powered spray rig. We quickly committed to the project, stating that we can build your required ice by the start of the exploration drill program. Ross Industries had the new highpressure ice-spray rig field ready by midDecember. The skid-mounted unit was

designed to operate in remote locations in minus 45 degree Celcius temperatures. The new rig was then deployed to the Patterson Lake work site to commence pumping 24 hours per day, in order to meet the customer’s deadline. This new pump worked very well. Operators would apply 10 to 20 centimetres of loose slush at a time to build up the pad to the target thickness. The slushy substance had very little retained thermal energy, and

quickly reached thermal equilibrium due to the heat transfer to the temperature ambient outside air temperature, as well as the surface temperature of the ice-pad mass. The drilling program was able to commence very early in the winter season. This jump-start allowed Fission Uranium Corp. more time on the ice to drill safely before the spring melt. It also brought peace-ofmind that the ice capacity was much greater than what was required for the load, giving

a substantial safety factor for all people involved. Ross Industries Ltd. can provide custom equipment for your next ice project. Safety when working on ice covers starts with assuring adequate ice-bearing capacity to meet or exceed your program needs. For more information, visit

Fall 2014


Protect your eyes

A message from the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association

Would you do something that could cost you your eyesight? Most people would answer no to that question. Yet every day, there are people working on Ontario construction and renovation sites who do just that. They work without eye protection, even though there are hazards all around them that could damage their eyes. If something like a nail or a wire gets stuck in your eye while you’re working, Ontario’s prevention system considers that a struck-by injury. “Struck-by” is the term used to describe the various injuries that occur when workers are hit – or struck – by tools, materials, equipment, or vehicles. The eyes are one of the most common body parts to be affected when someone suffers a struck-by injury. Between 2002 and 2012, almost 2,700 Ontario construction workers were injured when something hit them in the eye. These injuries could have been prevented if the workers had been wearing eye protection. Part of the problem is that the current legislation does not make eye protection mandatory on jobsites. It’s required in certain circumstances where there are hazards that could damage a worker’s eyes. However, 34

Ontario Mineral Exploration Review

the reality is that those hazards are not often confined to a specific area. As workers, equipment, and materials move around the jobsite, so do the eye hazards. Some of those hazards are: • dust and grit • flying debris (wood, stone, or concrete chips) • sparks and slag from welding and cutting • abrasives from sandblasting • chemical splash • pipes and wires sticking out of walls • ties and wires hanging from ceilings • the sun, which can cause UV damage • the wind, which can dry eyes out and carry dust and grit. Whether it’s a physical object that hits your eye, or a biological or chemical hazard that causes the damage, it’s clear that wearing eye protection at all times is a good idea. It’s not surprising that many companies and jobsites have already made eye protection mandatory as part of their commitment to employee health and well-being. What to wear Wearing the right kind of protection can prevent most eye injuries. Safety glasses

with sideshields are considered the basic standard for eye protection on construction sites, but it’s important to match the type of protection to the specific hazard. For example, goggles that protect your eyes from dust and other physical hazards may not protect your eyes from radiation or a chemical splash. All safety glasses and goggles should be CSA approved, which means you should see the CSA logo on the frames. In order to protect you the way they are designed to, your safety glasses should fit securely. If you’re a welder, your safety glasses should also have a shade number marked on them. Always keep your safety glasses on, even when you remove other personal protective equipment, such as a welding helmet or faceshield. When you raise your visor or shield, you may still be exposed to flying chips, dust, or other hazards. If you already wear regular glasses or contact lenses to correct your eyesight, you should wear prescription safety glasses on the site. Avoid wearing contact lenses – dust and other particles can get under the lens and irritate your eyes. It is important to replace your prescription safety glasses if they are scratched or damaged or if your eyeglass prescription has changed. Consider making eye protection mandatory in your workplace. Make eye protection your next safety talk. For more information, visit









































Canada’s Mineral Exploration Laborator y providing you with high quality analysis from exploration to reclamation. Accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) in accordance with the recognized International standard ISO/IEC 17025-2005 (CAN-P-4E) for the specific tests listed in the scopes of accreditation approved by SCC and found on the SCC website at

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Xstrata Nickel Rim South Project – 60,000 sq. ft. Administration/Dry modular facility built off-site by NRB, LEED Gold certified.

Building off-site reduces on-site activity, improving safety. Sophistication, strength, speed and sustainability are the cornerstones of buildings by NRB. Designed to meet your exact needs from architectural expression to operational requirements, our advanced off-site building technology and project delivery method gives you the permanence and performance of conventional construction, but in half the time. Building your project off-site in our controlled plant environment results in better waste management, less downtime and improved quality during construction. When an NRB building

arrives at your site it is already up to 95% complete, significantly reducing on-site activity as well as vehicular traffic from material deliveries and workforce travel. This results in a cleaner, safer construction site with minimal disruption to the busy mining operation. NRB works closely with you from design through to occupancy, for almost any type of commercial, institutional or industrial building application.

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Web: Email: NRB Inc. 115 South Service Road W., P.O. Box 129, Grimsby, Ontario L3M 4G3 NRB (USA) Inc. 440 Wenger Drive, Ephrata, PA 17522 Specializing in the Mining Industry with permanent Mine Dry Facilities, Operations Centres and Administrative Offices.


Ontario Mineral Exploration Review Fall 2014  
Ontario Mineral Exploration Review Fall 2014