Glencore still digging Sudbury – by Ella Myers (Northern Ontario Business – November 25, 2016)

Ultra deep progress shows confidence in Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, says VP

Glencore plans to dig deeper into Sudbury in the upcoming year. Peter Xavier, vice-president of their Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, said they anticipate board approval shortly for two ultra deep mine sites in the region, at their flagship Nickel Rim and their proposed Onaping Depth, now under development.

“These projects are on the cusp of approval… they’re not guaranteed,” said Xavier, who presented an update on the miner’s Sudbury operations at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Nov. 24. At Nickel Rim site, they’re looking at extending their existing operations by 1,000 metres to a depth of 2,700 metres to access a sizable nearby deposit.

At their newer Onaping Depth site, they’re working on a deposit that could not be safely accessed until recent innovations in ultra deep mining technology. Xavier said both projects will move onto full-fledged development in 2017.

“It’s kind of tricky,” said Xavier. “We’re executing work next year… there are aspects still in study, but we’re in execution in some aspects. We’re actually breaking rock on both of them. It’s a bit hard to describe in a traditional aspect.”

Xavier said moving into execution before full approval is “a display of commitment.” “We’re taking a leap of faith,” he said. “Approaching end of life [at Nickel Rim], we have to start aspects to minimize the gap between stages.”

Xavier hopes their leap will give employees and the local community confidence in Glencore’s Sudbury operations during the current low times. “Our life in Sudbury is limited, even our own employees are looking for a signal that they have a future here,” said Xavier.

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