Archive for the ‘Money & Mining’ Category


At this link is an interview with Anglo American’s Mark Cutifani on the past progress and promised future performance of Anglo American.  His message: we will get there, with there being a 15% return on capital employed (ROCE).

They did not achieve this and in fact fell from 11% to 10%.  Reasons include the strike on the platinum mines in South Africa, the fact that of 69 assets, some 30 are not contributing to profit, and a fall in the price of many commodities they mine.  Ultimately Anglo seeks a debt load of no more than $15M.  I wonder what their closure cost fund is by comparison.  May be reduced by selling those mines with large closure costs on the books.

Cutifani was quick to point out that Anglo is looking to sell the underperforming assets: mines not making a profit, or mines that need more capital than Anglo is prepared to invest.  Seems there is no end of companies looking to buy.  These past two weeks I have been touched (not involved) in mining projects where the current owners are looking to sell and new companies and investor groups looking to buy.  Hope they do their due diligence.  For I cannot understand why any sane person would purchase these “assets.”  As one consultant confided to me: “They have too much spare cash and too big a self-confidence ego.”

Still I would rather park my spare cash with Cutifani and his obvious intellect and drive than some of the prospective purchasers I have met recently.

The interview is full of statistics.  Listen, write them down, and decide if you want to invest in Anglo American.

Not a great indicator of investment performance, but still a great statistic is the 32% reduction in accidents and the 60% reduction in fatalities.  Albeit three people died, which is a remarkable safety record if you think of past days.    The interviewer noted that with 20,000 on strike for five months in South Africa it is almost inevitable the safety number increase.  Cutifani countered with more detailed statistics that show this is not the case: in practice the reduction is 20 to 30% if those on strike are accounted for.

In short Cutifani emphasizes:  we are getting the basics right.  This will still take a lot of change–change many may not like–except the investors.  Are you one of them?







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The hall of the parliament building in Ottawa

It does make a difference to your wages if you work on a Canadian metal or diamond or fossil fuel mine.  Here are some numbers to highlight the differences.  I quote from the new CostMine 2014 Survey Results- Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits. Here are some average wages by mined commodity in Canadian dollars per hour.  The first number is for metal mines; the second for diamond mines; and the third for fossil fuel mines. (more…)

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Just published by CostMine is the 2014 Survey Results – Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits.  I will survey some of the data in this and future postings.  First a look at average Canadian Mine wages (In Canadian dollars): (more…)

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The final day of the conference Paste 2014 in Vancouver today.  The keynote was about filter pressed tailings management at Pogo in Alaska.  Too complex to blog about, but worth reading the paper and looking at the PowerPoint presentation when they available on InfoMine. (more…)

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I have dealt with regulators from Washington DC (the NRC) through many states including California.  In Canada I have interacted with regulators from British Columbia and chatted with Alberta oil sand regulators.  They have all been decent people with a commitment to their cause.  In most cases we have been able to craft solutions that fit within the regulations and benefitted my clients, the mining companies.  In most cases the regulators have participated in open discussions and made suggestions for way to keep things moving. (more…)

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I have not posted on this blog the past few days.  The reason:  I was at a fly-in, fly-out camp where the internet connection is sporadic & they do not make it easy to access spurious blogs.   Plus the weather was terrible:  ice-rain in which planes could not fly. (more…)

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The news report today that caught my attention is this. Politicians say such strange things!

Argentina’s mining minister, Jorge Mayoral, surprised quite a few of the 300 executives present an annual luncheon last week, by calling its neighbouring Chile and Peru mining models “a failure.”

According to Mining Press (in Spanish), the official was especially critical of the other two countries openness to foreign investors. Mayoral said Argentina did not want mining in a Chilean or Peruvian way:

“We want mining our way, which means we want to favour domestic suppliers, local management, make sure jobs are taken by technical and professionals coming out of our universities, that respect for the environment is a priority, and most importantly, that all this is done in a safe matter,” he was quoted as saying.

Ironically, the minister also called on his Chilean peer, Aurora Williams, to expedite a decision on Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama project, which has been halted since last year, after a number of defeats in local courts about water use and the impact on glaciers in the area. While later Barrick stopped construction of the $8.5 billion project as part of its debt-reduction and cost-cutting program, it is still facing major fines and a class action lawsuit because of it.

A report released by the government in March shows Argentina’s mining sector is expected to attract about $4 billion this year, with US and Indian companies reportedly interested in developing the nation’s copper and lithium.


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Four short stories and one succinct opinion.  No pictures.  You decide.

Story 1 – Gambling

A father took his young daughter with him to gamble.  The men sat gambling until late in the night and into the early morning.  The daughter busied herself as only teenagers can when their parents are at play.  The father’s luck was fierce.  He won a great deal and the losers were sore.  Finally the father left with his daughter, but the losers were not happy.  They wanted their money back.  They waylaid the father and daughter and an altercation broke out.  Guns were pulled.  The daughter was shot and killed.  The father, bereft, is in hospital fighting for his life. (more…)

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Just received from CostMine their new publications 2014 Survey Results International Compensation Guidelines for Mining Exploration. Amazing numbers. I could not is a simple blog tell all. There is only one solution if you are a mining exploration person or employ such persons and wish to determine if compensation is fair and adequate: but a copy of the full report. (more…)

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There is still time to join us for the upcoming EduMine webcast Advanced Tailings and Mine Waste Facility Design, Operation, and Closure.  Here is the link to the course. Even if you have taken other courses before conferences, or the other EduMine webcast on Introduction to Tailings, or our previous Advanced Tailings courses, I know you will find interesting and exciting information, perspectives, practices, and case histories in this new course. (more…)

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