Concrete opposition
Canada’s concrete industry has come out swinging against taller wood-frame buildings in general and the Quebec government’s recent decision to allow them in particular. The Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) is arguing that taller wood buildings are not recognized by the National Building Code of Canada and are inferior to concrete buildings in terms of energy efficiency, fire resistance, laminate off-gassing and mould resistance. “When the Quebec (and other provincial governments) favour one building product (wood) over others and start promoting the economic benefits to Canadians (which there are none) it is just taking business from one industry to give to the wood industry—and that is called unfair business practices,” wrote the CPCI in a release Wednesday. The Province of B.C. recently financed construction of the tallest modern all-wood structure in North America, the $25-million Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, which opened last fall.

Mixing metals
Vancouver-based Goldcorp and Teck Resources have agreed to form a 50/50 joint venture to combine and develop projects located about 40 kilometres apart in Chile’s Atacama region. The new Project Corridor joint venture will combine Goldcorp’s El Morro copper-gold project and Teck’s Relincho copper-molybdenum project in an attempt to reduce operating costs by sharing infrastructure. The integrated project is expected to increase the life of the mine to at least 32 years and produce an average of approximately 190,000 tonnes of copper and 315,000 ounces of gold per year over the first full 10 years. Goldcorp recently became sole owner of the El Morro project after purchasing New Gold Inc.’s 30 per cent interest.

Bottle shock
A Syrah from C.C. Jentsch Cellars in the Okanagan came out on top in a recent comparison of B.C. and international wines. Inspired by the 1976 Judgment of Paris depicted in the 2008 Alan Rickman filmBottle Shock, the B.C. Wine Institute organized a blind tasting of a dozen Syrahs and a dozen Chardonnays, half from B.C. and half benchmark wines from around the world. Judges were British wine critic Steven Spurrier, responsible for the original Judgment of Paris and now consulting editor for Decanter Magazine and chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards, plus 16 Canadian wine experts.