The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
He’s speaking cautiously, but the project manager for Vale’s Victor-Capre Project is optimistic about the future of the site. “It looks like a viable project, a sustainable project for our future,” Lee Weitzel said.
Weitzel was at a Vale open house in Skead on Tuesday, where members of the community were invited to learn more about the project. The Victor-Capre Project is a potential site for a future mine located near the Greater Sudbury Airport, about 25 kilometres northeast of Sudbury. Vale is in the midst of a pre-feasibility study to see if it’s viable to tackle an exploration project at the site.
“We wanted to hold this open house to begin a dialogue with residents and inform them about the study and some of the options that we’re looking at,” said Angie Robson, Vale’s manager of corporate affairs, Ontario operations.
The Victor-Capre site is made up of what was formerly two different sites, Victor and Capre. The former Victor site has been explored before, said Weitzel.
“Back in the 1990s, we had an advanced exploration project out on the site. We sunk a shaft down to the 4,900-foot level. We did some exploration drilling and explored the ore body, but we decided not to go ahead with the project at that time. (In 2010), the company was looking at growing a copper business, so this project was again looked at.”
Eric Stuart, who is part of the Lake Wahnipitae Home and Campers’ Association, stopped by the open house.
The development of the mine would be great for the area, he said, but added that it’s important to respect the needs of the people who live close to the site.
“Any natural resource development is great for our community. It means jobs, but we must be observant and try and protect our environment and work hand-in-hand with Vale and Xstrata in extracting the resources from our community to make sure that everybody prospers.”
Another concern, Stuart continued, is extra traffic in the area if the mine opens.
“I think the public’s main concern on this project is the transportation of ore in the future. Presently there are trucks taking ore on our highways, but if we double that amount of traffic … it will be of major concern.
“Hopefully, they will develop a strategy for milling the concentrate at a closer location and a smelter also, possibly in the Falconbridge area.”
Weitzel said the site is a strong investment in the futures of Vale and Sudbury.
“It’s pretty exciting for Vale, and we’re looking out far into the future … We’re looking at the sustainability of the project here in Sudbury for the long term.”
If the site passes feasibility studies and gets approval, it could be as long as 10 years before it is ready for use.