Archive | Manitoba Mining

[Manitoba Mining History] Flin Flon – by Jack Paterson (MACLEAN’S – OCTOBER 1, 1938)

http://www.macleans.ca/

Ten years ago Flin Flon was a struggling mining camp in the wilderness; today it is Manitoba’s third city

OVER Flin Flon at 4,000. Visibility excellent. Landing now. Advise Winnipeg. Okay Lac Du Bonnet.”

A quick rattle of sign-off letters and the pilot carelessly tossed sponge-rubber earphones above the cowling. At Lac du Bonnet, 450 miles distant, a young operator of Wings, Limited, would relay the message from loudspeaker to private telephone line. In brief seconds head office would have it. Simple routine.

My mind flashed to an article I had done for Maclean’s short years back, wherein was prophesied general two-way radio for wilderness airplanes. At that time voice distance and sixty-five pounds unit weight had been the sticker. Now here was voice distance handled by a compact set of only thirty pounds, live and simple as a telephone.

Progress. Yes, but 4,000 feet below us, a jumble of wooden boxes, scattered over rocky hills plumed by smoke from a great smelter, was another herald of progress that commanded attention. Ten years! My spine tingled at thought of changes I would see. Continue Reading →

The Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company, Limited History (1927-1996) – by International Directory of Company Histories

Centennial of the Flin Flon Ore Discovery (May 2015) 

For a large selection of corporate histories click: International Directory of Company Histories

Company History:

The Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company, Limited, is a major Canadian producer of copper and zinc which operates mines and metal processing facilities in remote areas of the province of Manitoba. The company has been removing metals from the ground for most of the twentieth century, and its efforts to industrialize western Manitoba have helped to foster development in the region.

More than 23 mines have yielded ore to the Hudson Bay metal processing works over the last 60 years, as the company has engaged in aggressive geological exploration to support its metal refining activities.

Hudson Bay got its start in January 1915, when Tom Creighton, an early Canadian prospector, happened upon an outcropping of sulfide ore in an undeveloped area of Manitoba. In the previous decade, prospectors had discovered that an enormous greenstone belt stretched east from Manitoba into northern Saskatchewan. This geological structure contained numerous deposits of different metals mixed together, including zinc, copper, silver, and gold. Continue Reading →

[Flin Flon, Manitoba History] By Tractor Train – by Emmett E. Kelleher ((MACLEAN’S Magazine – March 1, 1930)

http://www.macleans.ca/

The story of a rail-less railroad which moved 23,000 tons of freight into the heart of a wilderness “on time”

IT WAS past midnight—the weather several degrees below zero. The snowmobile sped along a newly cut road in northern Saskatchewan. A night of inky blackness. Trees rushing by like black spectres of a lost army. With the hum of the motor and the whistle of the skis on the glazed snow, I was almost dozing to sleep when we rounded a curve and the swaying of the car roused me.

I blinked through the frosted windshield at a pair of strange lights that appeared suddenly up ahead. High, extremely bright, and set wide apart, they looked like the eyes of some ancient mammal that had returned to its northland home. The nearer the lights approached, the more deeply fascinated I became.

The orbs of dazzling white loomed right in front of us. Our driver swung his car off the trail. The machine ploughed easily through a three-foot snowdrift. A sterner and a mightier roar of machinery filled the northerh murk. Peering through the window I caught a glimpse of the largest tractor I had ever seen. Coupled behind were six loaded sleighs as large as circus wagons. At the rear end was a caboose, the warm yellow glow from its window contrasting vividly in my mind with the frigidity of the night. Continue Reading →

[Prolific Flin Flon-Snow Lake Greenstone Belt] Rockcliff expands 
presence in Manitoba – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – October 27, 2016)

While it may not be apparent from its share price, which has ranged between 1.5¢ and 16¢ over the last year, Rockcliff Copper (TSXV: RCU) has quietly expanded its grip on Manitoba’s Flin Flon-Snow Lake greenstone belt, with recent option deals on two of the mining camp’s highest-grade metal deposits.

In September, the junior explorer signed an agreement with a prospector to earn 100% of the Laguna gold property, which hosts a former high-grade gold mine, 20 km southeast of Snow Lake and Hudbay Minerals’ (TSX: HBM; NYSE: HBM) 2,150-tonne-per-day gold mill facility.

The deposit was mined intermittently between 1916 and 1939 — producing more than 60,000 oz. gold from 101,000 tonnes averaging 20.57 grams gold per tonne — and there has been virtually no exploration done there in the last 70 years. Continue Reading →

Cullen promises duty-to-consult mining framework by May – by Jonathon Naylor (Flin Flon Reminder – November 24, 2016)

http://www.thereminder.ca/

Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen has pledged a target of May 2017 or earlier to create a framework for the consultation process with indigenous people on mining and exploration projects. It’s a step many people within the mineral sector say is overdue and would help bolster an industry that has been shedding jobs in the province for years.

Cullen has long been critical of the previous NDP government’s policy toward the constitutionally required “duty to consult” with First Nations on resource projects that involve traditional indigenous territory.

He spoke of clarifying that process while in Flin Flon in September, but last week he went a step further by telling mineral sector leaders that a new framework would be complete within six months, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. Continue Reading →

Vale’s community report looks to another 60 years of mining – by Kacper Antoszewski (Thompson Citizen – November 8, 2016)

http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

Corporate affairs and organizational development manager Ryan Land was the guest speaker at a special meeting of the Thompson Chamber of Commerce Nov. 9, organized due to his cancellation the previous week. Land updated the chamber on Vale’s recently released annual community report including the results of this year’s Mining Association of Canada (MAC) audit and some of the past year’s accomplishments.

The community report presentation largely revolved around the results of Manitoba Operation’s Sustainable Mining Initiative audit, conducted by the MAC, which assesses member firms based on performance in tailings management, aboriginal and community outreach, energy use and emissions, safety and health, and crisis management.

The report places Manitoba Operations as AAA operators in the areas of aboriginal awareness, safety and health, and crisis management. More average is tailings management, floating in a grey area between A and AA ratings, along with A and B ratings in the areas of energy and emissions. Continue Reading →

Northern exposure: Manitoba’s northern economy facing serious challenges – by Cameron MacIntosh (CBC News Manitoba – September 29, 2016)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/

One town has been ‘circling the drain’ for decades, its mayor says

It’s a long drive, twisting through seemingly endless forest, past lakes, down a long two-lane highway that alternates between patches of broken pavement and gravel. Eventually Manitoba’s Provincial Road 391 comes to an end.

More than a thousand kilometres north of Winnipeg, Lynn Lake is just about as far north as you can drive in Manitoba on an all-weather road. It’s also long been at the end of the road economically. On the final stretch of 391 — Sherritt Avenue, Lynn Lake’s main drag — is the Northern Store, one of the few active businesses in town. A group of residents, including Tommy Caribou, is just sitting around outside.

Caribou’s red cap would be familiar to anyone that’s been paying even minimal attention to American politics. The slogan, written in white, is slightly modified: “Make Lynn Lake Great Again.” That job has fallen by default to local teacher James Lindsay, Lynn Lake’s mayor by acclamation. Continue Reading →

[Churchill, Manitoba] Port in a Storm – by Brian Hutchinson (National Post – September 15, 2016)

http://news.nationalpost.com/

People in Churchill believed only weather could defeat them. They were wrong.

CHURCHILL, Man. — Bobby deMeulles sits at his usual perch, next to a window at the Reef coffee shop, keeping an eye on Churchill’s main drag, and beyond that, the town’s old train station and the tracks.

This time of year, railway cars filled with prairie wheat should be rolling past the station for the port of Churchill, 500 metres down the line on Hudson Bay. There are no grain cars today.

There haven’t been any all summer, because Canada’s only deep-water Arctic port — the only port of consequence along 162,000 kilometres of northern coastline — has suspended all grain shipments, a decision made by its Denver-based owner, OmniTRAX Inc. DeMeulles figured something was up, long before the company announced last month it was halting port operations, save for the movement of local freight to small communities further along the Hudson Bay coastline, mostly in Nunavut. Continue Reading →

[Manitoba] Nervous times up north – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – August 26, 2016)

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

Region ‘coming apart at the seams’ amid series of economic blows martin-cash

After being hit by a couple of recent crushing blows, northern Manitoba’s razor-thin economic base likely has more bad news looming. The suspension of the Port of Churchill’s 2016 shipping season, the reduction of freight shipments to Churchill from two trains per week to one and this week’s announced closure of the Tolko pulp-and-paper mill in The Pas are the latest in a string of bad news.

n addition to those hits, Vale Canada is planning to shut down its nickel smelter in Thompson in 2018, which could impact another 400 jobs, and Hudbay Minerals’ flagship 777 mine in Flin Flon is scheduled to run out of ore at the end of this decade.

It’s all contributing to a pall of anxiety being cast across the North. “Things look like they’re coming apart at the seams in northern Manitoba,” said Ron Evans — chief of Norway House Cree Nation and co-chairman of the Manitoba Mining Advisory. Continue Reading →

[Archives: Sherritt International History] Marching to a different drum – by Jane Werniuk (Canadian Mining Journal – February 1, 2008)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Sherritt International is a resources company built from the bricks of a Canadian nickel miner, which recently celebrated its 80th anniversary, shown by the timeline in this article.

Sherritt International is a resources company built from the bricks of a Canadian nickel miner, which recently celebrated its 80th anniversary, shown by the timeline in this article. Despite the intervening decades and corporate upheavals, Sherritt is still a nickel company grounded in the strength of its research, technical innovation and operational expertise. But it has become international, and is aggressively focusing on growth in all its business units–metals, coal, power generation, and oil and gas.

In a recent two-hour interview with the company’s president and CEO Jowdat Waheed at its uptown Toronto head office, I learned that Sherritt has decided to get its story in front of the public, which prompted Waheed to invite me to visit the company’s metals, technology and coal offices and facilities in western Canada followed by a trip to see its Cuban assets, all in four days in early February. Continue Reading →

[Nickel] Thompson Manitoba Named After Inco Chairman Dr. John F. Thompson

Dr. John F. Thompson (Image from Heritage North Musuem Website)

Dr. John F. Thompson (Image from Heritage North Museum Website)

Following ten years of mining exploration in the region, a major ore body was discovered on February 4, 1956, and a year later Thompson was founded. Named after INCO’s chairman, John F. Thompson, the new townsite was designed as a “planned community” following an agreement between the Government of Manitoba and INCO Limited.- (Heritage North Museum http://heritagenorthmuseum.ca/thompson-area/history-of-thompson.html)

Information Below Courtesy of Vale

The City of Thompson and the main orebody of Inco’s Manitoba operations (now owned by Vale) are named after Dr. John F. Thompson. Some historical records say Dr. Thompson’s name was used because he was celebrating his 50th anniversary with the company the year the orebody was discovered. But it was his accomplishments, not his time with Inco that earned him this honour.

From the beginning of his career with Inco, in 1906, Thompson played important roles in developing and encouraging the expanded use of various nickel alloys, introducing them to the textile, chemical, power and food service industries. Continue Reading →

Vale marking 60 years of mining in Thompson this weekend – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – June 15, 2016)

http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

We weren’t even supposed to be here today, but the ore that is the foundation of Thompson in both the literal and figurative senses has outlived the original projections of its lifespan more than twofold, making it possible for Vale, which bought Inco in 2006, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Thompson operations this weekend.

When the decision to establish a mine and a town to service it was made following the discovery of nickel deposits in 1956, the plan was for the community – and its infrastructure – to be around for 25 years, says Vale Manitoba Operations corporate affairs and organizational development manager Ryan Land. That it has far outlasted that prediction means the community is now repairing and replacing much of that infrastructure but also that Thompson itself has grown to become more than just a mining town.

“We are already a diversified economy,” says Land. “That regional hub thing is real. The region sustains Thompson as much as Vale if not more.” Continue Reading →

Vale Thompson crowned provincial mine rescue champions for second year – by Kacper Antoszewski (Thompson Citizen – June 1, 2016)

http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

Vale Manitoba Operations and the Mining Association of Manitoba hosted the 2016 Manitoba Provincial Mine Rescue Competition in Thompson May 27- 28, pitting four mine rescue teams from across the province in practical, technical, and firefighting challenges to qualify for the privilege to compete at the national level. The four teams represented the Tanco Mine from Bernic Lake, Hudson Bay’s Lalor and Flin Flon operations, and Thompson’s own Vale.

Friday featured an underground portion, where mine rescue competitors were subjected to a mine rescue scenario, and resolve a first aid problem. Saturday morning, teams alternated between firefighting and technical competitions. The technical portion was a written exam administered to competitors as individuals. After, competitors had to troubleshoot and resolve a fault in a malfunctioning breathing apparatus.

Saturday afternoon, miners mixed and mingled for the practical skills portion of the event: crib building, the hose roll, the dummy drag, the passageway challenge and the Kaiser sled. Continue Reading →

Manitoba needs northern strategy – by Steve Demmings (Winnipeg Free Press – April 4, 2016)

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

Steve Demmings is the former founding CEO of the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission.

In early March, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada held its annual mining convention in Toronto. Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr gave the keynote address. As the founding CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba, Carr understands the importance of the mining sector to Manitoba’s economy.

He knows large and mid-size companies account for 33 per cent of the metals, mining and energy sectors in Canada. Carr’s pledge to the association was, “to position the Canadian mining industry for long-term success,” which includes “investing in innovation, ensuring regulatory stability, engaging with indigenous groups and supporting mineral exploration.” While the devil is in the details, his pledge was welcome news. Continue Reading →

Manitoba collapses in annual mining poll – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – March 2, 2016)

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

MANITOBA was toppled from its lofty top-five ranking in last year’s Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies index for investment attractiveness down to 19th place.

No one denies the industry has struggled in Manitoba, but low commodity prices have hit the mining industry globally. Manitoba’s largest mineral producers, HudBay Minerals in Flin Flon and Snow Lake and Vale in Thompson did not have particularly bad years. However, the province did lose one of its relatively few operating mines when San Gold, a longtime gold producing mine in Bissett, was placed in bankruptcy.

Ken Green, one of the authors of the report, said Manitoba’s slippage in the index may be as much about other jurisdictions improving as it is an indication of Manitoba’s decline. Continue Reading →