Xstrata Copper Announces $121 Million New Investment in the Timmins Kidd Mine

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

Ontario Mining Association member Xstrata Copper has announced a new $121 million investment to deepen and extend the projected operating life of the Kidd Mine in Timmins.  This investment will not only have a positive impact on the company´s future but also on the fortunes of its employees, suppliers and contactors, Timmins, Northern Ontario and the economy of the entire province. 

The Kidd Mine is the deepest base metal mine in the world.  This new project will expand the copper-zinc orebody´s mining zone from 9,100 feet below surface to 9,500 feet and extend the mine life to 2017.  This zone is estimated to contain 3.4 million tonnes of ore with a grade of 1.48% copper, 6.22% zinc and 80 grams of silver per tonne.

“The investment approval reflects Xstrata Copper´s commitment to the sustainability of Kidd Mine and the Timmins community and its business strategy to continually implement improvements to enhance the value of its operations,” said Claude Ferron, Chief Operating Officer for Xstrata Copper Canada.  “Our ability to mine safely and efficiently at the current 8,800 level, the commitment of our employees and support of the community were fundamental factors in obtaining the necessary approvals,” he added.  “We continue to study the potential to add ore reserves at the mine and to further extend its operational life.”

Construction is already underway on the expansion, which is expected to be completed by mid 2010.  The company estimates there will be 75 additional jobs created for the duration of this project.   Other recent investments in the Kidd Mine include $664 million to complete the Mine D expansion project in 2006 and 2007 and 2008 decisions to extend the mining zone with a value of $148 million.

The Kidd Mine started production in 1966 and it has been a fixture in the Timmins, regional and provincial economies of Ontario now for more than four decades.  The mine and the Kidd metallurgical complex have a workforce of about 2,200 employees and contractors.   The Kidd facilities produce about 45,000 tonnes of copper and 130,000 tonnes of zinc contained in concentrates annually.  Xstrata Copper, one of the commodity business units within diversified mining group Xstrata plc, is the fourth largest copper producer in the world with attributable annual production of more than one million tonnes.

Governments have a strong interest in this $121 million investment.  Using conservative estimates of average wages of $100,000 annually, the overall Kidd payroll per year would be approximately $220 million.  This annual payroll would roll out to at least $77 million annually in personal income taxes alone.  Throw in property taxes, GST, PST, corporate taxes, the Ontario Mining Tax and other levies and one can assume the Timmins area and all levels of government will experience a positive impact from the ongoing and now longer life of the Kidd mining operation.