Saturday, July 29, 2017

Collector Orchids good as Gold

The Cattleya Orchid
It might seem extreme to place a flower under 24-hour police protection but at the annual orchid festival in Kew Gardens, 12 constables and two sergeants will keep guard while surveillance cameras are filming every move.

In the world of plants, nothing arouses passions like an orchid. Collectors beg, steal and risk their lives in jungles to obtain the latest discovered bloom in what is a multi-billion a year business.
Dendrophylax lindenii, the Ghost Orchid. Its found only in the forest swamps of Florida and Cuba.

Very rare Black Orchid-Cymbidium Kiwi

Cloud Forest Orchid

Singing Orchid

The spider orchid is found only at the Swanage Sewage Treatment Works in Dorset.

Potinara Orchid

Cymbidium Orchid
According to detectives it was a professional job and the thieves, who left no trace, knew exactly what they were after.

Bearing all the hallmarks of an audacious gem heist this was the scene at Kew Gardens in 2014 where a rare African water lily was snatched. It is thought to have been sold to an unscrupulous private collector on the growing black market for stolen plants.
The legal plant trade amounts to £9 billion a year worldwide. There is a kudos in owning anything rare. Although it’s impossible to give precise figures for plants there is a limited but thriving black market involving fanatical but unscrupulous private collectors.

If someone wants a species badly enough they will pay vast amounts of money to get it.

Monkeyface orchid

Hochstetter Butterfly Orchid
Rare and new discoveries of wild plants are the most prized, sending collectors into a frenzy. It’s feared that some species are being driven to the brink of extinction by over-harvesting.

One of the world’s rarest orchids was re-discovered in 2014 by British botanists on a volcanic island in the Atlantic. There were only 250 plants of the unique species on the island of Sao Jorge in the Portuguese Azores, making it the rarest in Europe.

Bee Orchid

Lady's Slipper orchids

The albino form of the Vanda sanderiana is a rare and prized plant for orchid collectors and breeders.

Bulbophyllum kubahense

Phragmipedium kovachii was first found in 2001 and is referred to as one of the most important natural history discoveries of the last decade.

Cypripedium calceolus. It receives round-the-clock police surveillance where it grows on a Lancashire golf course.

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum, an orchid that is on top of the endangered species list.
The contemporary orchid-breeding business in Taiwan and its main rival, the Netherlands, centers on the Phalaenopsis, or the moth orchid.

In Victorian Europe, orchid hunters, hired by wealthy collectors, often killed each other in pursuit of the newest breeds.
A new species of orchid found in Colombia has been named Telipogon diabolicus, because the heart of the flower has an eerie resemblance to a devil's head. There aren't many flowers of this kind in existence.

Researchers found a small patch of about 30 orchids between the borders of two Colombian departments. So far, this is its only known habitat.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Petronas drops Pacific Northwest LNG megaproject in B.C.

Petronas and its partners have cancelled the $36-billion Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas megaproject they had planned to build in British Columbia. LNG prices have been hit by a global oversupply as numerous projects have come online, challenging the economics of the project and others that have been proposed in the province.

The consortium has spent billions developing natural gas fields in B.C. after buying Progress Energy Canada, but it would have required much more including an $11.4-billion LNG terminal in Port Edward, B.C.
“This is good news all around, because this project would have lost money while fuelling dangerous levels of climate change,” Greenpeace’s Keith Stewart said. “The sooner we move on from fossil fuel mega-projects to building the renewable energy economy, the better positioned we’ll be to thrive in the emerging low-carbon world.”

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Zacks lowers Encana Corporation (ECA) to Sell

Encana Corporation (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Friday. “Based on the number of near-term challenges, we are lowering our investment thesis for Encana Corp. to Sell from Hold. With natural gas unable to break through the $3 barrier, the company’s earnings and cash flows are bound to suffer, at least in the near-to-medium term. This is expected to limit its ability to deliver positive earnings surprises.”
"Also, the recent equity offering – despite helping ECA to pay down debt and boost drilling – has significantly diluted existing shareholders' equity. Therefore, ahead of its second-quarter results, we see the company as a risky bet that is best avoided at the moment."
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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Yukon's White Gold district garners attention

Taku Gold Corporation (TAK.c) purchased four Yukon properties from Golden Predator Mining Corp (GPD.v) this week. Three of the properties are southwest of Dawson City in the White Gold district, and one, the 40 Mile project, is northwest of Dawson City. The president of Taku, Zachery Dingsdale, calls the purchases "strategic". Golden Predator plans to focus on its Three Aces property in southeast Yukon, two and a half hours northeast of Watson Lake. The White Gold district lies within the Tintina Gold Belt- a 200 by 1,200-kilometre arc that stretches from Northern B.C. to Southwest Alaska. It has estimated gold resources of 69.2 million ounces and contains large gold deposits like the Pogo, Fort Knox and True North.
Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX,NYSE:AGM) grabbed a significant land position in the White Gold area late last year and Goldcorp plans to build a road from Dawson City to its advanced Coffee project. Underworld Resources was purchased by Kinross Gold (TSX:K,NYSE:KGC) in 2010.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cat MD6310 blasthole rig

The new Cat MD6310 blasthole drill offers substantial technology, efficiency and productivity improvements. Cat electronics deliver advanced troubleshooting for efficient drill operation and scalable automation. Smart technology includes drill assist, semi-autonomous and remote control operation, and machine health reporting to improve drilling accuracy, reducing fuel consumption.
The Drill Assist option executes all major functions for single pass drilling, automatically adjusting drill power to match the ground conditions.

Cat Terrain guides the drill for up to four times greater pattern accuracy. The Terrain logging function ensures all production is timed, mapped and recorded.

Boart Longyear percussive bit and rod

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

State of emergency in B.C. extended as wildfires rage

B.C. took the unprecedented step on Wednesday of extending a state of emergency by two weeks as it battles 140 wildfires that have forced about 45,000 people from their homes. On July 7, B.C. declared its first state of emergency since 2003 as gusting winds fanned fires in the tinder-dry central and southern regions.
The fires have shuttered mines and timber operations and damaged homes and electrical infrastructure. At least seven lumber mills operated by West Fraser Timber Co., Norbord Inc., and Tolko Industries Ltd. have been affected. Lumber futures on Monday jumped by the exchange limit in Chicago to the highest in more than two months.

Imperial Metals suspended operations at its open-pit Mount Polley copper and gold mine near Williams Lake after an evacuation order was issued in the region. Taseko Mines idled its copper-molybdenum Gibraltar mine.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Outgoing B.C. Liberals Issue Mining Permits in Tsilhqot’in Territory to Taseko

The Tsilhqot’in First Nation — currently under an evacuation order due to B.C.’s wildfires — learned Monday that permits have been issued for mining company Taseko (TKO.t) to conduct exploration for the New Prosperity mine, an open pit gold and copper mine twice rejected at the federal level. Monday was the outgoing B.C. Liberal government’s final day in power.

Chief Roger William of the Gwet’in First Nation, one of six tribes of the Tsilhqot’in, said “We’re certainly outraged about it. Our people, they found out as we’re dealing with fire and now we’re dealing with a three-year drilling program.”
The permits grant Taseko permission to create 76 kilometres of new or modified trails, 122 exploratory drill holes, 367 excavated test pits and 20 kilometres of seismic lines near Fish Lake, also known as Teztan Biny, an area of great significance for the Tsilhqot’in.

According to Elections B.C. Taseko donated over $123,000 to the B.C. Liberals between 2008 and 2014.

Dominion Diamond Corporation - DDC.t

Dominion Diamond Corporation - DDC.t is a Canadian diamond mining company with ownership interests in two major producing diamond mines in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The Company operates the Ekati Diamond Mine (88.9% controlling interest) and also owns 40% of the Diavik Diamond Mine.

The company is the world’s third largest producer of rough diamonds by value.

On July 17, 2017 the company reported News

Dominion Diamond Corp. and The Washington Companies, a group of privately held North American mining, industrial and transportation businesses founded by industrialist and entrepreneur Dennis R. Washington, have entered into an arrangement agreement under which an entity affiliated with Washington will acquire all of Dominion's outstanding common shares for $14.25 (U.S.) per share in cash or a total equity value of approximately $1.2-billion (U.S.)