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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 30, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Investment letter flays mineral act By SANDRA INGALSBE TORONTO (CP) The recently-proposed British Co- lumbia Mineral Royalties Act discourages investment in shares of B.C. mining com- panies, some analysts say. Odium Brown and T. B. Read Ltd., Vancouver, in a recent investment letter criti- cizes the excess price levy in the act. Under this section, the gov ernment is to establish aver- age prices received by pro- ducers for the preceding five years. If the price received Grass seed supply low for Arctic EDMONTON (CP) It may be difficult to find enough of the right kind of grass seed to revegetate land disturbed in laying the Mackenzie Valley pipeline, a consultant for Canadian Arctic Gas Ltd. said this week. Don Dabbs of Calgary, in charge of environmental work for the billion pipeline project, told a seminar on reclamation problems that fevegetation is essential on the tundra, where removal of plant cover causes quick permafrost erosion. Canadian Arctic Gas bought pounds of hardy "arctered creeping red fescue" last year, effectively cornering the world supply, he said. Such hay species may produce an early crop of vegetation on the tundra, but eventually native plants more suited to the Arctic must be started. The company has collected 300 pounds of seed from two kinds of native Arctic grass, and growing trials are under way in Alaska, Calgary and the Mackenzie Delta, said Mr: Dabbs. Earlier growjth trials showed that while tame grasses got a better start on disturbed tundra, the native species flourished better after a period of years. The Sibbald Group Agrolcgists Accredited Appraisers exceeds the average by more, than 20 per cent, the govern- ment will collect one-half the excess. If the price falls be- low the average by more than 10 per cent, the government will reduce the rate. Odium Brown says the level is "totally inappropriate" for such a high risk and cyclica! industry as mining. "It threatens to regulate the profits of an industry which has no control over its selling prices. Certainly it will se- verely inhibit investment in British Columbia's mining in- dustry." The act has created con- fusion because proposals in many instances are open to ministerial discretion, Odium Brown says, and recommends shares of these companies be avoided. Bell Gouinlock and Co Ltd. comments: "This Robin Hood type taxation is a nightmare on many counts" and may even fail in its prime objec- tive of letting the people of B.C. obtain a higher return from mineral wealth. When viewed on a world basis, ore deposits the size and quality of the B.C. por- phyry deposits can be de- scribed as "relatively puny in size and miserable in grade." "IJtJs a simple fact of min- ing when, costs are raised the grade of the ore that is mined goes up. When the grade of the ore goes up, the size of the orebody goes down as does the life of the mine." Bell Gouinlock says its mar- ket strategy is based on a be- lief that higher metal prices will hold and "the B.C. gov- ernment will not kill the geese laying the golden eggs." It recommends buying on scale down Cominco, Brenda, Gibraltar and Placer and avoiding Bethlehem and Craigmont. Brault, Guy, Chaput Inc. of Montreal says Cominco prob- ably will be most affected by the tax because of its zinc production and possibly gold and silver by-products. "Whether the B.C. govern- ment will make any allow- ances in special situations like zinc or coal where companies can produce evidence of low profitability or losses remains to be seen." Until some of the uncer- tainties are settled, Brault says it is changing its recom- mendations for Cominco and Brenda to hold from buy. EARNINGS DECLINE THETFORD MINES, Que. (CP) Asbestos Corp. Ltd. reports net earnings for 1973 of on total sales of This is a decrease from earnings of in 1972. Included in total 1973 sales is the sales of some mining rights to Lake Asbestos Quebec Ltd. SOUTHERN PRINTING COMPANY LIMITED APPOINTMENT J. K. Fenton, P.Afl. C. L. Sibbald and D: U Hoover, principals in The Sibbald Group, are pleased to announce that Mr. James K. Fenlon has been accepted into the lirm as a senior partner, and takes over the newly created position of Research Co-ordinator. Mr. Fenlon recently joined the firm after a two year as- signment in East-Africa as fi- nancial adviser to. the Govern- ment of Kenya, dealing with agri- cultural programs. Prior to his overseas duties. Mr. Fenton was operations research officer with the Farm Corporation in Ottawa. Mr. Fenton wilt be located in she Edmonton. Alberta office. The Sibbald Group is engaged