Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for February 26, 2014

Capstone Mining and its Minto Mine lose money in 2013

Capstone Mining Corp. is reporting the Minto Mine posted a loss of $22.2 million for 2013.

By Chuck Tobin on February 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm


Photo by Whitehorse Star

LOSING MONEY – A decrease in the price of copper is being blamed partially for the Minto Mine losing money last year. Material

Capstone Mining Corp. is reporting the Minto Mine posted a loss of $22.2 million for 2013.

Together with earnings from the company’s Cozamin Mine in Mexico and the newly acquired Pinto Valley Mine in Arizona, Capstone’s overall loss was lower at $9.4 million, says the company’s financial statement posted last week.

“The single most significant factor affecting earnings relative to fiscal 2012 and the comparable quarter last year was a decrease in realized copper prices,” Jim Slattery, the company’s chief financial officer, said Friday.

Slattery, who also serves as a senior vice-president, hosted a teleconference Friday to explain the 2013 financial summary and answer questions, along with other senior Capstone officials, including Darren Pylot, president and CEO.

Expenditures at the Minto Mine included $1.8 million in royalties to the Selkirk First Nation. The mine is on aboriginal settlement land, so mineral royalties go the First Nation and not the Yukon government.

Pylot said the focus for 2014 will be increasing efficiencies and reducing production costs at both the Minto and Cozamin mines while stabilizing operations at the Pinto Valley mine, which Capstone purchased in October.

Capstone purchased Pinto Valley for $650 million, and was largely responsible for the company’s significant decrease in working capital from $562 million on Dec. 31, 2012 to $140 million this past Dec. 31.

Despite the net loss in 2013, the company’s president emphasized that overall, Capstone Mining performed well.

“The Pinto Valley acquisition has moved us significantly up the ranks as a leading intermediate copper producer,” Pylot told the teleconference.

He noted the company’s share price jumped by 24.5 per cent in 2013, resulting in Capstone being one of the top performers in the TSX Metals and Mining Index.

The Minto Mine reduced its rate of open-pit mining by half last month, resulting in the layoff of 44 employees from Pelly Construction, the company which provides the heavy equipment and open-pit mining services for Capstone.

Capstone announced it was not reducing its work force or slowing down mill production, as it would be using ore from the stock piles to make up for the reduction in the open pit.

The company expected it would be back to full speed once it obtains the required permits to begin stripping the new Minto North pit but that’s not expected until summer.

Capstone announced in its financial report it was planning to increase production this year at both the Minto and Cozamin mines.

The estimated cost of reclaiming the Minto Mine site is currently $23.7 million, of which $22.5 million is secured with a bond from Zurich Insurance Company.

Total revenue from all three Capstone mines was $332 million: Minto, $98.8 million; Cozamin, $146.9 million; Pinto Valley, $86.3 million.

CommentsAdd a comment

john jack

Feb 27, 2014 at 11:48 am

Ya and how much did they still profit?

Sandy Helland

Mar 3, 2014 at 11:20 am


I disagree with First Nations receiving royalties from ‘their’ land.
All minerals are federal government property for the benefit of all Canadians.
The divisible equation should be 50% federal royalties, 25% Yukon Gov royalties and 25% First Nations royalties.

The Feds and Yukon Government GIVE BACK to Canadians but the First Nations don’t.
All minerals under the ground are for Canada’s future, not solely the First Nations people. Their culture never mined the land; they lived on top of the land. Most don’t even live off their land.

What do First Nations people give back?


Mar 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm

First Nations rant by Sandy Helland…..Sandy, First peoples used obsidian and churt for tool making, this would negate your claim FN folks ‘never mined’. These two forms of geological formations were very valuable to them…with them they were able to eat and keep warm.

Secondly, there is likely no lower form of existence than the obvious bigotry and lack of respect you have displayed here.

Francis Pillman

Mar 4, 2014 at 6:54 pm

No Atom. Stop crying wolf. Maybe people are tired of FN just caring about themselves. We are all Canadians. FN want all of our tax dollars but what do we get from them? Jobs in which are only open to FN people.  If FN truly want to be separate from Canada then no more of my tax dollars. I compare this to Quebec. They hate Canada, but want all of Ottawas money. That’s why they will never separate.
My tax dollars benefits should only go to the people who paid in the first place. Because I don’t receive a single thing from FN’S. And we know they just want to help their own. That’s just the facts. And it’s no wonder people continue loosing respect for FN’S. Then people like you automatically cry discrimination. Well, what is hiring only natives within FN organizations? Being born a certain race or color is not a skill nor an accomplishment. Because FN people today really see themselves as something other than Canadian.  Follow the money. That’s all this revolves around and its sickening.


Mar 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm


Excellent comments- FN`s also mined copper as far as I know.


Mar 6, 2014 at 12:40 am

At last,  someone has the balls to say what I think most Canadians believe,  at least all Yukoners I know. Thanks Sandy.

Sandy Helland

Mar 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

Dear Atom, FN found their ‘tools’ like obsidian and flint (for arrow heads) on top of the ground, above ground, in plain sight. Necessity is the mother of invention. History tells me FN did not dig into Father Earth and upheld their great respect (of our planet).
I suspect Whiteman taught FN a thing or two about working with metals.
FN never mined.


Mar 6, 2014 at 10:33 am

Really Folks, No one appears to have a problem when other Canadians receive a financial gain from resources extracted from their property, but some how when it’s a FN the rules should be different. The bottom line hear folks is, SFN owns the land and the mines and minerals. If SFN was replaced with a farmer or cattle rancher their would be no suggestion that it is wrong for them to gain from the industrial intrusion on their life style and livelihood.


Mar 6, 2014 at 10:54 am

You are correct Bill.
The above posters discriminatory remarks are a sign of the desperate times with commodities….let’s all remember there are peaks and valleys in the markets and the fact we are in a valley doesn’t mean we should deflect blame onto anyone who appears to be proactive in a level approach to both industrial pursuits and protecting the environment…..time to show a little Class.

bobby bitman

Mar 6, 2014 at 2:02 pm

First of all, ‘Really?’ is the overused and irritating idiom of the day.  Does it come from a television show or something that I missed?
Anyway, on to my point, Really?, in fact farmers and other private non-status Canadians, Second Nations I guess you could call them, do not have mineral rights on their privately held land except in uncommon circumstances.

As for mining, the more the mines pay the better because they themselves admit that the Yukon charges them less for what they take than every jurisdiction in the world except for one.  We are a veritable Free Store for the mining corporations.  Read the article in the Yukon News.
Admittedly many of the other deals the Status First Nations have are incredible and completely unjustifiable.  But that’s another subject.

Sally Wright

Mar 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm

At some point in all of human history, none of us mined, for millions of years, humanity did not mine. To reject a modern person’s desire to benefit from modernity is to doom that person’s culture to extinction. If First Nations continue to be excluded from the opportunity for economic development, equal rights,and healthy communities, we all lose.
First Nations need to participate and benefit from mining so they have the resources to clean the land and water after the mining companies go broke and leave the mess.

Sandy Helland

Mar 6, 2014 at 5:46 pm

My views are not about discrimination, but rather royalties and how they help a province and absolutely benefit Canada.
Both the territorial and federal governments apply the gained royalties to build the local economies and communities which equates to something gained by common citizens, tourists and future civilization.
FN does not build roads, schools, medical centers nor do they govern waterways, air space and road traffic.
Surprisingly, FN offer nothing, zip, zero.
Royalties paid to FN appears (to me) to be another ‘right’ to money for pain and suffering. 
Perhaps the word ‘rent’ needs to replace ‘royalties’ as in, mining companies pay rent to FN for the right-of-ways and use of approved parcels or plots within FN lands, and royalties continue in the fashion practiced before Land Claims.
Only the federal and provincial/territorial governments collect royalties because Canadians get so much back in return.
FN come across as protecting their own, for themselves and this disturbs me, worries me
We share this land, but the minerals belong to Canada for the benefit of this nation, not just First Nation.
Rent, not royalties is more appropriate this time.
In Alberta, farmland (farmers) are paid rent when they allow oil pump jacks be installed on their land.
Notice it’s rent, not royalties.
I support First Nations people; sometimes they expect and demand too much. I sincerely want the best outcome for all of us.

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