Archive | Manitoba Mining

[Manitoba] Let the diamond rush begin – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – March 7, 2017)

Diamonds have been discovered in Manitoba for the first time in the province’s history, ending decades of speculation and opening up the possibility of a resurgence of diamond exploration.

An informal group of prospectors called the Lynx Consortium has found small micro-diamonds — less than one millimetre in diameter — in the Knee Lake region near Oxford House. The discovery comes after a brief flurry of diamond exploration in the province 15 years ago came up empty.

Ruth Bezys, the president of Manitoba Prospectors and Developer Association and the wife of Mark Fedikow, one of the prospectors who found the diamonds, said it is an exciting development. Continue Reading →

Miners shy away from investing in Ontario: land claim uncertainty to blame, report says – by Angela Gemmill (CBC News Sudbury – March 01, 2017)

Want to invest in mining? Fraser report says look to Manitoba and Saskatchewan

When it comes to investment in mineral exploration, Ontario has dropped into a slump, the latest report from the Fraser Institute says. The think-tank recently rated 104 regions around the world on their geological and regulatory attractiveness to those looking to invest in mineral exploration.

The report named Saskatchewan as the top jurisdiction for investment. The prairie province moved up to first from second place in 2015. Manitoba moved up to second place this year after ranking 19th the previous year.

Western Australia dropped to third, after Saskatchewan displaced it as the most attractive jurisdiction in the world. Rounding out the top-10 are Nevada, Finland, Quebec, Arizona, Sweden, the Republic of Ireland, and Queensland. Ontario dropped three spots this year to 18th place. The reason? Mining companies are put off by the uncertainty around land claims in Ontario, the report says. Continue Reading →

Hudbay mine closures will mean major reductions at Flin Flon surface operations – by Jonathon Naylor (Flin Flon Reminder – January 21, 2017)

Hundreds of job reductions are expected at Hudbay’s Flin Flon operations by 2019 or 2020, with the company hoping retirements and a proposal to maintain the zinc plant can minimize job losses.

While Hudbay has developed projections around job losses and layoffs, Daniel Weinerman, manager of investor relations and corporate communications, stressed all figures under discussion are preliminary estimates.

At best, the news will mean a reduction of approximately 500 jobs: Hudbay estimates 200 will come from layoffs, with the rest from attrition as workers leave or retire. At worst, Flin Flon could lose 800 to 900 jobs, leaving the city with a small fraction of the company’s Manitoba workforce. Continue Reading →

Will the nickel boom make a new man of Manitoba? – by Robert Collins (MACLEAN’S Magazine – April 13, 1957)

It’s been a have-not province for years. Now its “worthless” north is bustling with an epic strike and staking rush. Some enthusiasts insist it’s the biggest thing since the CPR went through

Until a couple of decades ago every Canadian schoolboy was aware that the prosperity of our three prairie provinces — Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — depended on agriculture. Given a bumper wheat crop, the prairies were rich.

Hit by drought or rust, they were poor. Then Alberta broke the mold with a series of oil strikes, and in the bonanza that followed became a fat and flamboyant Canadian Texas. Times changed in Saskatchewan too with the advent of the atomic age and the discovery of major uranium deposits.

Manitoba was left in the lurch, with a horse-and-buggy economy hitched to agriculture in the south and a desolate pile of rock in the north that yielded a modest treasure without changing the basic pattern of the province’s economy. Continue Reading →

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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 →