Google memorializes Canada’s penny with a doodle

On the last day of official circulation Monday, Google celebrated the passing of the Canadian penny with an animated doodle.

The illustration replaces the first ‘o’ with a penny that spins around to show the Maple Leaf on one side and Queen Elizabeth on the other.

The penny  nicknamed a “copper” is being retired because it costs 1.6 cents to mint.

Prior to 1997, the penny was made with 95% to 98% copper. Since 2000,the coin has been made mostly of steel with a 4.5% copper plating. 

The Royal Canadian Mint is offering its own memorial  — the last million circulation pennies are available to order in special commemorative wrapped rolls of 50 pennies for $9.95.

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Northern Ontario Business Reports on Niche Mine Training at Northern College

Northern College is helping to address the shortage of skilled miners with its Hard Rock Miner Training program at Kirkland Lake campus, developed through a partnership with Kirkland Lake Gold Inc.
Created through a partnership between the school and the mid-tier gold miner, the program has provided an opportunity for those returning to the North in search of permanent full-time employment. “It is so gratifying to see those who are highly motivated and never had a chance of getting in...this is their big break,” said Rose-Lyne D'Aoust-Messier, training consultant of apprenticeship, workforce development and training at Northern College's Kirkland Lake campus.

BHP buys back A$6bn of its Australian-listed shares

Top global miner BHP Billiton has bought back A$6 billion ($6.3 billion) of its shares, or 4.4 percent of its Australian-listed shares, as part of its $10 billion capital management program. It said on Monday the final price was set at A$40.85 a share, a 14 percent discount to the market price of A$47.4985, based on the average trading price over the five days up to the close of the tender on April 8.

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Egypt lifts gold export ban

Egypt has lifted a ban on the export of gold due to increasing economic and political stability, the government said in a statement on Saturday. The government decided on Feb. 27 to ban exports of gold until June 30 -- a decision which the statement issued on Saturday said was aimed at "guarding Egyptian national security and to stop smuggling of the country's wealth abroad".

Teck announces Elkview operation collective agreement

Teck Resources Limited (TSX: TCK.A and TCK.B, NYSE: TCK) announced today that employees at its Elkview operation in southeast British Columbia have ratified a new five-year agreement, replacing an agreement which expired on October 31, 2010. Production at the mine will resume effective Friday, April 8 following a temporary suspension due to strike action taken by Local 9346 of the United Steelworkers of America on January 30, 2011.

Maitland paper reports: Xstrata Coal supports training with $320,000

The Maitland Mercury has reported that Xstrata Coal has dedicated $320,000 of its corporate social involvement program to help train 14 new apprentices at the Hunter Valley Training Company.
HVTC chairman Milton Morris said the funding they received from Xstrata was always the “strawberry on the cake” for their programs.

“Not only does this money pay the wages of these young apprentices, but after we train them there is a place for them with one of Xstrata’s sub-contractors,” Mr Morris said.

Vale bids $1.13bn for Metorex

Brazil's Vale (VALE5.SA: Quote), the world's largest producer of iron ore, has made an offer to acquire South African miner Metorex Ltd (MTXJ.J: Quote) for 7.5 billion rand ($1.13 billion), the two companies said on Friday. "Under the terms of the offer, if implemented, the Metorex shareholders will receive a cash consideration of 7.35 rand per share," the companies said in a joint statement.