The power of partnership

Unlocking value through collaboration

Unlocking value through collaboration

Canadian mining companies are increasingly embracing the power of partnerships as they understand that working together with industry outsiders offers a new lens through which to see opportunities, bringing more diversity of thought to issues.

The need for partnerships today derives from technological forces such as automation, as well as from the changing expectations of shareholders, regulators and the communities in which miners operate.

Opportunities can come from anywhere. The challenge is to find them, use the talent and expertise from beyond traditional mining sources and embrace the risk that comes with the opportunity.

The stories in our report explore the impacts and benefits of proven financial partnerships, the potential of new alliances in the area of digital transformation and how these partnerships are enabling mining companies to keep pace with global change and even get in front of it.

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Monica Banting, Mining Partner at PwC Canada discusses where the need for partnerships is coming from and why mining companies must look beyond their own organizations to find the best solutions.

"Mining companies and mining executives are acknowledging they don't have all the answers. They need to look beyond their own companies to come up with the best solutions and most innovative opportunities."

Monica Banting, Mining Partner, PwC Canada

Driving efficiency in exploration

Driving efficiency in exploration

As economic, political and societal changes sweep the globe, some mining companies are turning to technology partnerships to keep pace with shifting developments and expectations. Goldcorp Inc.'s implementation of Watson, a cognitive supercomputer system developed by IBM Corp., is one of these innovative alliances.

In phase one of their partnership, the companies input vast amounts of mining data into Watson to try to predict the location and size of ore deposits more accurately in Goldcorp’s Red Lake mine. Phase two, now under way, involves training Watson with the right algorithms and questions with the expectation that it will soon be able to help with the merger and acquisition process.

The key to cognitive computer systems like Watson is their ability to learn from their interactions with data and humans —not becoming outdated. Both companies are very optimistic about the technology and see the partnership, which represents Watson’s initial foray into Canadian mining, producing benefits that will extend across the entire sector going forward.

 
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"You have to be a lot less risk-averse than you are normally. When implementing these projects, you have to be willing to fail."

Luis Canepari
Vice President of Technology, Goldcorp Inc.


Quebec's collaborative dealmakers

Quebec's collaborative dealmakers

When the recent downturn threatened Quebec's mining sector, partnerships began to emerge to help energize the industry, thanks to a unique blend of financial alliances that combine resources from capital markets, the provincial government and Quebec’s institutional investors.

Champion Iron Ltd. is one on a growing list of mining companies that have benefited from this strategy. They were able to purchase the distressed assets of Bloom Lake iron ore mine from Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. in April 2016. To complete the acquisition, Champion raised money from the Québec government, through Investissement Québec.

With these partnerships in place, Champion was able to approach the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (the Caisse) pension fund manager, which together with fund manager Sprott Resource Lending Corp. agreed to provide debt financing to help restart the mine. In addition, Investissement Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ (the Fonds) and the Caisse have previously collaborated with Stornoway Diamond Corp. to help fund Quebec’s first diamond mine—fostering economic development in the province.

For mining companies, the benefits of receiving investments from the likes of the Caisse, the Fonds and Investissement Québec extend beyond the cash—these partnerships promote relationships, trust and knowledge of the industry and capital markets.

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"I believe that everyone has to pick their game up, and I believe Quebec is a very good blueprint to use for other provinces."

Michael O'Keeffe
CEO, Champion Iron Limited

Contact us

Liam Fitzgerald
Partner, National Mining and Metals Leader
Tel: +1 416 869 2601
Email

Nochane Rousseau
Quebec Energy, Utilities & Mining Leader and Perspective North Initiative
Tel: +1 514 205-5199 
Email

Dean Braunsteiner
Partner, National IPO Services Leader & National Assurance Leader, Mining
Tel: +1 416 869 8713
Email

Mark Platt
Partner, Assurance
Tel: +1 604 806 7093
Email

Stephen Mullowney
Partner, Corporate Finance, Mining
Tel: +1 416 687 8511
Email

Monica Banting
Partner, Assurance
Tel: +1 416 941 8233
Email

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