When Shayne Wisniewski envisions what the future of underground mining will look like in Sudbury, he sees depth and he sees innovation. As general manager of mining projects for Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Glencore), Wisniewski is responsible for evaluating the company’s Onaping Depth project, which will extend to a depth of more than 2,500 metres, considered an ultra-deep mine.
Located about a 45-minute drive from the city of Sudbury, in the vicinity of the company’s Craig and Onaping Mines, the nickel-copper-PGE deposit was first discovered in 1994, when the company was looking for the down dip extension for Onaping and Craig, Wisniewski said.
Glencore undertook a drill program in the area in 2014 and discovered a fair-size indicated and inferred resource in two zones: a contact zone and a footwall southeast zone.
“The grades are probably double what we’ve mined here to date in the Sudbury basin at Falconbridge and now Glencore,” Wisniewski said during a recent presentation to the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.
“The grades are very good. It’s a good orebody.” The project is awaiting full approval, but development work has begun. In 2017, the company is planning $29 million worth of work, which includes driving 1.1 kilometres of ramp toward the headworks.
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