Archive | Sudbury Basin

‘Ring’ road deal could good for Sudbury – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – August 22, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

The Ring of Fire moved a rung closer to reality Monday, as the province announced plans to construct a year-round access road to the mineral-rich region. “It’s just what we were looking for,” said Alan Coutts, president and CEO of Noront Resources. “This is the catalyst that was needed, from our point of view.”

A Toronto-based company, Noront is the now chief player in the region, after acquiring the chromite assets from Cliffs Natural Resources a couple of years ago. It plans to develop its Eagle’s Nest deposit — consisting of nickel, copper, platinum and palladium — first, and then mine chromite deposits at several sites in the James Bay lowlands.

“These are bulk and base-metal deposits,” said Coutts. “They’re not gold and diamonds in small volumes; they’re big volumes and you have to move a lot. Without 24/7, 365, all-season infrastructure roads in place, those projects aren’t viable.” The province had been negotiating with nine First Nations in the region and hinting since spring that a deal on road construction was in the offing. Continue Reading →

Historicist: The Man the Rocks Talked To: A.P. Coleman uncovered Toronto’s prehistory, among other adventures – by Dennis Duffy (Torontoist.com – August 19, 2017)

http://torontoist.com/

Such a map as Coleman’s (and he drew many such, across Canada and elsewhere as he
took his geology students along on summer expeditions) was more than a guide to the
origins of the Sudbury Big Nickel that you can spy from the Trans-Canada. It helped
provide the kickoff for the exploitation of Northern Ontario’s mineral—as opposed
to timber—resources. It also promoted the growth of Bay Street, which has done so
much to reshape Ontario’s image and boost Toronto’s takeoff toward its present
position in the financial and commercial life of the country.

If you’re at the Evergreen Brick Works Market in the Don Valley, walk north along some 200 yards of lovingly created wetland. When you’ve gone about 50 yards past that, you will be on a little rise. Look behind over your shoulder for a view of the downtown skyline.

Then keep on walking until you get to a little cul-de-sac and look at the cliff face that you have been staring ahead at for the last while. It is overgrown. The small plaque in front of you states that you are facing one of the oldest geological formations in the Toronto region and that it was first “discovered” (let’s be more precise and call it “labelled”) in the 1890s by geologist A.P. Coleman (April 4, 1852–February 26, 1939), a scientist and public intellectual of great renown in his day and a figure still dimly remembered now. Coleman’s work on the traces of the last great ice age (the Pleistocene) enable us to view the Brick Works park within the broad perspective of the long history of our city. Continue Reading →

USW on expected Vale layoffs: ‘They’re looking for efficiencies. Manpower is one.’ (CBC News Sudbury – August 16, 2017)

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

Union representative Myles Sullivan hoping members stay focused at work

Click here for interview: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1025770563541

Myles Sullivan, the area coordinator for the USW in northeastern Ontario, is cautioning members of the union to stay focused on safety while at work. Not an easy task, when many of Vale’s workers have questions after the mining giant released a company-only video that suggested impending layoffs for staff.

“It’s a very concerning video, outlining the financial situation of the company,” Sullivan said. “There’s a good future [in Sudbury,] a lot of reserves, but the mines need to produce profits.”

Sullivan said the company hasn’t made any final decisions on layoffs, but with new CEO Fabio Schvartsman at the helm of the company since May, all cards are on the table. “They didn’t say a number, but a global company like Vale they’ll invest where they have the best returns,” Sullivan said. “They’re looking at efficiencies. Of course manpower is one.” Continue Reading →

Vale video describes financial status, hints at layoffs: USW – by Samantha Samson (CBC News Sudbury – August 15, 2017)

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

Mining giant says video is internally-used communication tool used to describe financial situation

Vale is hinting at future layoffs at their Sudbury operations, according to a United Steel Workers representative. Myles Sullivan, area coordinator for northeastern Ontario, told CBC News that he and representatives from Local 6500 and Local 2020 met with Vale to watch a video describing the company’s current situation.

Sullivan says Vale management wanted union reps to see the video before showing it to workers. “There’s a lot of pressure on the business locally,” says Sullivan. “They’re reviewing their operations, looking at where they can save and contain costs, and they’re very clear in the video that this could mean layoffs.”

Sullivan says the company’s bottom line has been affected by low nickel prices. Meanwhile, management is looking to make Sudbury operations self sustaining. “They have to make enough money not just to profit from their mines, but enough to re-invest and develop new mines and new ore bodies,” says Sullivan. Continue Reading →

[Sudbury Vale] Layoff talk premature, Bertrand says – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – August 15, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Vale may have to make some hard decisions in coming months regarding its operations in Sudbury, but the head of a local union says it’s premature to talk about job losses.

“In this case right now, there’s no numbers,” said Local 6500 president Rick Bertrand. “We’ve asked them straight out, is there going to be any layoffs of any kind, because there’s so many people talking about different numbers. What we got from the company is that there is not a number, they don’t have a number.”

Bertrand also said there has been no membership meeting to discuss layoffs, as The Star earlier reported, citing a source. “That’s totally not true,” he said. Concerns grew among workers over the past week after they were shown a Vale video suggesting tough times lie ahead. Continue Reading →

Vale looking at layoffs in Sudbury – by Staff (Sudbury Star – August 12, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Vale Ltd. employees in Sudbury are bracing for possible layoffs after viewing a company video in recent days they say warned that the Brazil-based mining giant could soon be making cuts. “It seemed like a threat,” said one source, who requested anonymity. “It’s coming right from Brazil.”

Another source, also a Vale employee, told The Star he had also seen a company video in recent days that warned of possible reductions. He said he came away with the impression there would be “significant” job losses.

The sources say they have been given no details of how many jobs will be cut or when, or if layoffs would be permanent or temporary, but that they could affect members of both Local 6500 and Local 2020 of the Steelworkers. Local 6500 represents production workers, while Local 2020 represents office, clerical and technical staff in Sudbury. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Basin: Still a fascinating place – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – August 10, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Sudbury Basin and areas northeast still offer up mineral riches after a century of mining, says new Sudbury District Geologist

The Sudbury Basin, Sudbury Mining District and surrounding area still has a lot to offer for mining, according to the new district geologist. “The basin has always been a fascinating place for geologists,” said Shirley Peloquin at the Ontario Geological Survey office inside the Willet Green Millar Centre.

“It’s still proving to be a very rich place for nickel and other reserves of minerals and this could go on for decades. As demand shifts for other minerals prevalent in the area we are always mapping, surveying and cross-checking with historical data. We are always finding new deposits.”

She explained much of the underground of the basin, as well as areas northeast of the basin to the Quebec border, are largely untapped. Much of the focus has been on the easier to extract surface deposits. From a casual view it would look like deposits are dwindling, but the opposite is true. Continue Reading →

Corporate Canada giants vie for Ottawa supercluster funds – by Sean Silcoff (Globe and Mail – August 11, 2017)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A clean mining cluster proposal led by the Canadian Mining Innovation Council
and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) is backed by giants
Glencore, Teck, Vale, Goldcorp and Agnico-Eagle. “There wasn’t a lot of time”
to assemble the application, said CEMI CEO Douglas Morrison. “We knuckled
down and did what we had to.”

Ottawa’s flagship innovation initiative – a pledge to fund up to five so-called “superclusters” – has drawn a strong response, with dozens of hastily gathered consortia led by some of Canada’s largest companies vying for $950-million in federal funds.

Royal Bank of Canada, Magna International Inc., Telus Corp., Teck Resources Ltd., Loblaw Cos. Ltd. Shoppers Drug Mart unit and Open Text Corp. are among the more than 200 companies that have joined with 20 post-secondary institutions – some of which are supporting more than one bid – to create “superclusters” in such wide-ranging fields as agriculture, advanced manufacturing, cryptocurrency, big data, medical technology and artificial intelligence.

They have been joined by some of Canada’s most prominent startups and “scaleups,” including Stemcell Technologies Inc., Thalmic Labs Inc, Miovision Technologies and Don Tapscott’s Blockchain Research Institute. Continue Reading →

[Mining/Clean Resources Supercluster] Sudbury, mining must be part of debate – by Dick DeStefano (Sudbury Star – August 5, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Dick DeStefano is the executive director of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association.

If you were asked to identify five major sectors that will create sustainable jobs and wealth in the next 150 years in Canada, would mining and related industries be on the list?

If I offered you a major chunk of $950 million over five years and you built a consortium that was willing to match the request dollar for dollar, would you be interested in helping to create a Canadian national mining cluster that will reflect the innovation and commercialization of applications that will improve safety and increase sustainability in this sector?

There is a new promise from Canada’s federal government that is calling on Industry leaders from select sectors to propose “superclusters” of technological innovation that promise to create jobs and spur economic growth. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains said in May 2017: “We are in a global innovation race. This is about creating a high value economy.”

Where do mining companies, supply chain companies, mining research institutions and Northern Ontario fit into this plan? Continue Reading →

New generation of mining vehicles unveiled: Atlas Copco unveils new Boomer M2C Battery driller – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – August 3, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Battery-powered vehicles are taking over underground mining. To meet current demands for cleaner technology and to stay ahead of the innovation curve, Atlas Copco has created an entire suite of battery-powered vehicles, covering the process from bolting, blasting, mucking and hauling.

They added to their ever-growing fleet with the launch of the Boomer M2C Battery driller on Aug. 2 in Sudbury to complements their fleet that includes Minetruck MT42, Scooptram ST1030, Boomer 282 and Aramine L150 miniloader, which were also showcased at the event.

“Mining is coming back and as a company, we have to stay ahead of the innovation and meet demands,” said general manager Jason Smith. “Mines are looking for ways to make the process safer and more cost-effective. These battery-powered machines have zero emissions, unlike diesel machines and they cut down on time spent refueling and maintenance.” Continue Reading →

Mining microbes could unlock wealth, clean tailings – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – August 3, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

With luck, ingenuity and some scientific know-how, Sudbury’s tailings ponds could become a new source nickel, copper and zinc. Researchers from Laurentian University, the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia met at the Vale Living with Lakes Centre on Wednesday at a symposium to discuss biomining research.

“The topic of discussion is developing technologies that aim to remediate waste and effluent waters from mining operations in Sudbury and British Columbia,” Vlad Papangelakis, a professor at the University of Toronto and the project lead of the biomining research, said Wednesday. “We hope to recover some value from locked metals in these residues that will offset the processing costs.”

The value of residual nickel in Sudbury tailings amounts to $7 billion, according to recent world nickel prices. “There is significant economic interest, therefore, to use the eco-friendly processes being developed by (biomining) for remediation and base metal extraction,” symposium organizers said in a release. Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s mine tailings worth billions – by Staff (Sudbury Star – August 1, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

There is money to be made – and saved – by finding new, environmentally friendly ways to deal with mine tailings in Sudbury and across Ontario. With this in mind, the Vale Living with the Lakes Centre in Sudbury on Wednesday will welcome its academic and industry partners for a two-day Elements of Biomining (EBM) research symposium.

The national network has received $4 million in funding from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation to develop biotechnologies for mine waste stabilization, and the recovery of valuable metals like nickel, copper and zinc.

To achieve this goal, Elements of Biomining will harness the capabilities of naturally occurring microbial communities. Researchers form the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia and Laurentian University make up Elements of Biomining. Continue Reading →

Aboriginal-owned Mine company goes belly-up – by Keith Dempsey (Sudbury Star – July 25, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

A company operating in the Sudbury area has gone bankrupt, despite a $4.3-million infusion from the provincial government in 2013. That information came to light after the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change revealed last week that Mohawk Garnet Inc. was fined more than $300,000 for discharging a harmful contaminant — in this case, dust.

It’s unclear, however, whether the fine will ever be paid, since Mohawk Garnet, which operated on the Wahnapitae First Nation near Capreol, appears to have no money.

“It’s disappointing this company has gone out of business,” said Norm Miller, a Conservative Parry Sound MPP and critic for Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. “This is further proof that the Liberal government’s Northern Growth Plan that was implemented in 2011 is just not working.” Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: CMIC and CEMI ensure the future of mining is CLEER with joint submission to the Federal Innovation Supercluster Initiative

Canada (July 21, 2017) – The Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) led a joint Letter of Intent (LOI) submission to the Federal Government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative. Working on behalf of the mining industry, CEMI and CMIC proposed the creation of a clean resources supercluster called, CLEER (Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated). This CLEER supercluster will transform the mining sector’s productivity, performance, and competitiveness.

This will be achieved by tackling global challenges of water, energy, and environmental footprint, with bold targets of 50% reduction in each area by 2027. CLEER will engage the mining services and supply sector (MSS) and anchor mining companies, accelerate collaborative innovation, stimulate investments exceeding $5B, with the objective of growing SMEs, improving industry productivity, initiating export pathways, and creating more than 100,000 jobs.

In May, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, opened the application process for the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The 2017 Federal budget has made $950 million available over five years, starting in 2017-18, to support a small number of business-led innovation superclusters that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth. Continue Reading →

Sudbury mine needed culture change: supervisor – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – July 21, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Shortly after Mark Aubrey arrived at First Nickel Inc.’s Lockerby Mine in 2012 to take on the job of operations manager, he had a big surprise waiting for him: a Ministry of Labour compliance order that highlighted numerous issues such as dust control and road building issues at the nickel and copper mine that needed addressing. That was when Aubrey said he realized a major culture shift was needed at the mine’s management level.

“We fixed the supervisor training,” Aubrey recalled. “That included spending time with our ground control people … every supervisor at one point or another, went through that process. I was happy with what we were able to put in place, the supervising guys, even health and safety guys, our safety people. We took the steps to put guidelines in place to keep us out of trouble with the Ministry of Labour.

“Again, it’s not doing it for the Ministry of Labour, but doing it for ourselves. There were individuals within the management group who didn’t share the same degree, the same importance, of how a worksite should be looked after. We took a leading role. We didn’t rely on someone else to hold our hand, so to speak.” Continue Reading →