Nickel Statue

Big Nickel Monument in Sudbury*
(George VI's head on a platter now)

The Canadian government must not allow Noranda to fall into Chinese government control...
Falconbridge Nickel Mines must remain in Canadian or U.S. control. It is an issue of paramount importance.
The military, industrial and economic security of both the United States and Canada is at stake.


China is not a free market economy. China has serious human rights abuses that we conveniently overlook.
If there is a military conflict between China and the United States over the status of Taiwan,
not an inconceivable possibility, where does Sudbury/Falconbridge nickel go?

UPDATE! Noranda & Communist China a done deal, Globe & Mail, Oct 12, 2004*

It's been a week since I posted the story [Oct 1, 2004] about the Communist Chinese buying Canada's biggest mining company without a bleat of protest from our political-puppets, our puppet-masters or the puppet-watching masses who proudly call themselves "Canadian" and think they're smarter and kinder than anyone else on earth. A Google scan turns up next to nothing on the treasonous sale but in the print version I finally found an article telling it like it is. I'm anxious to read the major weekend papers to see if anyone else is ringing alarm bells.

It's horrific to think of what life will be like for our children's children once China is in full control of our nation. Sold into slavery by the dumbed-down baby-boomers will be our legacy to them. ~ Jackie Jura

* Noranda deal leaves sweet taste in parties' mouths, Globe & Mail, Oct 12, 2004
The Goat Report on Business: I have found compelling and delicious evidence that the boys at Brascan are confident China Minmetals will emerge as the buyer of Noranda, the mining giant it controls: The victory celebration dinner has already been held. Officially, of course, the game is not over -- anyone is still free to trump Minmetals and its $7-billion takeover proposal. And good luck to you. But if there were a reasonable chance of that happening, you would think the chow-down at Toronto's Rosewater Supper Club would have been put off. The event, held last Wednesday, was sponsored by Citigroup, the world's biggest bank and financial adviser to Minmetals. The famous Marc Thuet presided as chef. More than 80 guests were invited -- from Citigroup, Minmetals, the China Development Bank and HSBC, among others. Thuet's menu for the evening included Quebec seared fois gras, followed by venison tenderloin. The wine was a selection of fine French varieties -- Canadian wines were banned. I am told the dessert -- maple syrup cookies -- was a great hit, so great in fact that the guests were seen smuggling them out of Rosewater after the liquid evening's end. Clever marketing for Thuet, by the way...

Keep Beijing out of Sudbury
STAN SUDOL, freelance journalist covering mining issues
National Post, Oct 1, 2004

Canada's corporate sector has benefitted tremendously from access to the United States economy, the richest and largest in the history of mankind. A crucial component of the wealth of that rich market is the secure and sustained access to essential industrial metals. The Canadian government must not allow Noranda's 60% controlling interest in Falconbridge to fall into Chinese government control, a prospect that seems likely if the recent $7-billion bid by state-owned China Minmetals goes unchallenged. Falconbridge is the third largest producer of nickel in the world. Nickel, a white-silvery metal with unique properties, is critical to the health of the U.S. economy, including its military/industrial complex.

Nickel is not an abundant metal in the Earth's upper crust. The refining and mining of this vital metal for national defence and industrial applications is a very specialized business. Four countries - Russia, Australia, Canada and New Caledonia - account for approximately 60% of world mine production. By far, the two largest concentrations of this metal are found in the Siberian city of Norilsk and Canada's own Sudbury Basin where Falconbridge got its start in 1928.

It was American entrepreneurs and capital that first developed the immensely rich deposits of the Basin, discovered in the 1880s. Nickel makes steel extremely tough, resistant to corrosion and produces a high-melting point - perfect for warships, tanks and other military weapons. The American military/industrial complex has always depended on the Sudbury Basin's secure, stable and abundant supply of nickel. Many geologists feel these mines will still be producing nickel 100 years from now. The United States does not have any nickel mines and has always been vulnerable to supply disruptions from political, terrorist or military activity. During the nickel shortages of the 1950s, the U.S. government gave Falconbridge a $40-million subsidy to help develop its nickel mines and ensure diversity of supply.

Nickel is also essential to all facets of industrial production, primarily through stainless steel which uses about 65% of global production. Nickel-based super-alloys are an indispensible component of jet engines, missile technology and space applications. Quite simply, the modern industrial economy of the United States would come to a grinding halt without secure supplies of this crucial metal.

If the Noranda-China Minmetal deal is sealed, we will be selling 80 years of leading edge technological innovations and top-notch engineering talents that have generated billions in wealth creation. The mining sector is one of the few corporate aces in this country. There are few manufacturing jobs in Southern Ontario, Canada's industrial engine, which will not be at risk from China's low-wage economy in the next decade. Even a federal government policy paper has expressed concerns about the country's ability to withstand the increasing manufacturing might of China and suggests we encourage the potential of our mining sector. We are entering a commodity boom that might last for decades.

China is not a free market economy. China is occupying Tibet and has serious human rights abuses that we conveniently overlook. If there is a military conflict between China and the United States over the status of Taiwan, not an inconceivable possibility, where does Sudbury/Falconbridge nickel go? During the First World War, Sudbury/Inco nickel was sold to the Germans via a neutral United States. The uproar almost caused the nationalization of that company. Inco quickly stopped shipments and to assuage Canadian anger, it built a refinery at Port Colborne.

We live in a very uncertain world. North Korea and Iran may both be working to develop nuclear weapons, the Iraq war may expand and terrorism is a constant fear. Long-term military conflict would require not only enormous quantities of nickiel but security of supply. The optics of Canada, supposedly one of America's closes allies, selling controlling interest in essential nickel mines, to its most significant economic and military adversary is not very good. Falconbridge Nickel Mines must remain in Canadian or U.S. control. It is an issue of paramount importance. The military, industrial and economic security of both the United States and Canada is at stake. [end of National Post article]

Here's an example of the typical coverage so far. Note that it's obviously written from a pro-China point of view, disguised as neutral reporting:

Minmetals secures financing for Noranda purchase
By WENDY STUECK, mining reporter
Globe & Mail, Sep 29, 2004

VANCOUVER -- China Minmetals Corp. has lined up financing for the potential $6.6-billion takeover of Canadian mining giant Noranda Inc., a financial adviser to the Chinese company said yesterday. We have the funds committed for the transaction . . . I can assure you that the financing is all committed," Gordon Paterson, the Hong Kong-based head of Asia Pacific investment banking for Citigroup, told Reuters in a telephone interview. State-owned China Minmetals and Noranda announced last week that they were in exclusive negotiations regarding a potential takeover of Canada's biggest mining company. In a joint release, the companies said a preliminary proposal from Minmetals reflects a "small premium" to the recent trading level of Noranda's common shares and would consist substantially of cash. Analysts have said the deal reflects China's ravenous appetite for metals, especially copper and nickel, and have speculated that Minmetals might also be eyeing Falconbridge Ltd.

Noranda owns about 60 per cent of Falconbridge, the world's No. 3 nickel producer, so a takeover of Noranda would give Minmetals a majority stake in Falconbridge. But some analysts have said that Minmetals might want to acquire the rest of Falconbridge so that it could fold the company's assets into a privately-held operation. Analysts yesterday said such a transaction would depend on metal prices. If Minmetals acquires a 60 per cent stake in Falconbridge, said National Bank Financial analyst Ian Howat, the Chinese company might then wait for a more opportune time before taking a run at the rest of Falconbridge. "They [Minmetals] may well do it eventually, but I don't think it will be instantaneously after they close the deal with Noranda," Mr. Howat said. "It's a cyclical industry so it may be cheaper to buy it in two or three years."

Some analysts have questioned the strategic rationale behind the bid, saying that if China Minmetals wanted to lock up metal supplies, it would make more sense to invest in new mines, rather than purchasing an entire company that may already have some of its production committed under long-term contracts. Yesterday, John Wiebe president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver-based Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, said there may be other considerations at work behind the Chinese bid for Noranda. China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 and needs to adapt to international trading and business standards, Mr. Wiebe said. Buying a Western-based, multinational company such as Noranda would give China exposure and experience to international management styles and practices, Mr. Wiebe said. "This is another sign of China opening up," Mr. Wiebe said. China has also been keen in recent years to open up and modernize its mining sector. A number of Canadian companies are exploring gold properties in the country. Noranda shares closed up 5 cents to $21.89 yesterday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. [end of Globe & Mail article]

And here's what China's telling its people at home. Note they're talking about getting our oil as well.

China announces huge investments in Canada 2004-09-29 16:08:30
BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhuanet) -- The Chinese firm, Minmetals, owned by the Chinese government, has taken over the biggest mining company in Canada, Noranda Mining. Minmetals paid about 5.7 billion US dollars for Noranda Mining, reported China Radio International. Another Chinese state-owned oil company Sinopec is in talks to acquire a large lease of oil bearing land in Canada, an investment that could total several billion dollars.



*THE BIG NICKEL MONUMENT (the symbol of Sudbury, the nickel city) has been moved to a location that's usually closed

Fast Facts and History of the Big Nickel Monument
* The Big Nickel is the largest coin in the world.
* It was constructed in 1964.
* It is an identical, enlarged replica of the 1951 Canadian nickel.
* Heads is King George VI, Canada’s monarch in 1951.
* Tails is a stylized nickel refinery with one large stack.
* The Big Nickel weighs close to 13,000 kilograms (approximately 13 tons).
* It stands nine metres (30 feet) high.
* It is 61 centimetres (24 inches) thick.
* It is about 64,607,747 times the size of a Canadian nickel.

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~