Just added to the blogroll near the bottom left-hand side of this screen is a site that will reward your attention: Mining Towns in Canada is a blog posted by littlepatti. Seem this blog has been up since May 2007. I have only today come across it. It is a gentle place, full of reminiscing, and and glimpses of times past.
Archive for October, 2007
Geneve-based Covalence ranks these mining companies for their 2007 performance. Best EthicalQuote Score and Best EthicalQuote Progress are given by confronting positive and negative news. Best Reported Performance is calculated by quantifying positive news only – it shows how companies report on their ethical performance without considering criticisms and demands.
The Canadian government provides $68,298 a year to the Northern Miner to help pay the costs of posting the magazine out to subscribers. This is a pretty trivial sum by comparison with the $2.6 million the general interest magazine Canadian Living received to help post copies of the magazine to subscribers. These sums are disbursed in accordance with the Publications Assisstance Program (PAP). The program describes itself thus:
In the November 2007 issue of Harper’s Magazine is a short note by Robin Fox The Kindness of Strangers. His thesis is captured by this observation:
Since Laocoon’s warning to his fellow Trojans went so tragically unheeeded, the course of history has been strewn with the corpses of ungrateful nations which, despite the misery that stemmed from their inabilty to govern their affairs, bitterly resented and actively resisted the firm and forceful help of others. The stranger’s gift of peace, order, and prosperity is less welcome to us than the death, chaos, and poverty that are our own doing.
In the September 2007 issue of Global Capital Magazine is an intelligent analysis by Matthew Hulbert and Chris Melville of China’s moves into Africa to sew up access to mines and mined products; the article is called The commodities scramble for Africa: Is China set to win? The answer, at least on the basis of the article, appears to be a resounding YES. The key to China’s success is this:
A brief challenge to those who earn a living writing dire predictions about the shortage of workers available to work in the mines. Explain how the following fits in with your predictions.
The Wall Street Journal describes the changing income patterns in the United States since 1979. Stephen J. Rose, notes: “While the percentage of U.S. jobs derived from manual work in agriculture, mining, timber and manufacturing has declined, the share of jobs related to low-skilled retail and personal/food services has remained steady.”
No sooner had I posted the piece below on e-learning opportunities for the mining industry, than my attention was drawn to a long article entitled Back to School in the October issue of Mining Magazine. There Mr. Dave Porter writes about the Queens University of Brighton (QUB) in Aurora, Colorado. Seems Mr. Porter had an interview with the Chancellor, Dr. Johan Potgieter who is quoted as saying:
The programme has been set up by reputable professionals and academics, who will conduct non-traditional, but still professional, degree programmes, opening up the route to all adult learners who have an educational need, either for a first, masters, of doctorate degree.
The article goes on in effusive tone & terms about how the mining industry can benefit by having their professionals learn from Dr. Potgieter’s professionals.
I have been told that Mining Magazine is a reputable journal of impeccable credentials so I wondered if I could get a PhD from this university, or failing that get them to engage me as a professional to go to China where in 2006 they graduated many students.
Almost every time you pick up a magazine or open a webpage, there is another article warning of dire shortages of mining engineers. Whole careers are made and new companies kept going on the issue. On measure of the direction things are heading comes from New Zealand: graduating mining engineers start at nearly $100,000 per year. Informally I am told that graduates from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC are being snapped up at well over this amount. The last one I heard of was moved to Toronto at a salary of $130,000 a year.
Over the weekend I wrote of the pressures on mining companies to perform or face loss of investors or customers or both. Here is a story of pressure that can be brought for non performance by employees and class-action law suite lawyers. The website LawyersandSettlements reports in dry tone:
Atlas Mining Company has been accused of securities fraud. If you are a current or former employee …. you may be included in this possible Atlas Mining Company 401K or Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) class action. Under ERISA, Atlas Mining Company employees can file a lawsuit against the company for putting stock options at risk. Atlas Mining Company employees have a claim if they can prove their employer violated its fiduciary duty to its employees. Fiduciary duty refers to a company’s responsibility to the people who invest in it. If an employer puts the company’s interest ahead of the investors’, it has broken its fiduciary duty
Rain has kept me indoors this weekend reading Robert B. Reich’s new book Supercapitalism. He mentions mining but once, noting in passing that New York City public employees via their pension fund own some $37 million worth of shares in the Freeport Mining Company’s gold mine in Papua. He does not decry this, saying that, like all investors, they are merely seeking to maximize their returns. But pretty much everything he says in the book is relevant to the mining industry and your role as an investor, a worker, or a critic. Here is my summary and my opinion.