Norman West, located north of Capreol, is Glencore’s current pearl in the oyster in the Sudbury area, city councillors were told Tuesday.
“We got a pretty significant hit there last year and we’ve been following up ever since, and it’s looking more promising by the day,” said Peter Xavier, vice president of Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations. “There’s still quite a bit of drilling to do from surface before we get to the next step.”
While the local operations are solid, Xavier did point out a few challenges the company faces. For example, low nickel prices and high hydro costs, as well as regulatory uncertainty around climate change and emissions can cause headaches.
“The current low nickel prices and challenging market outlook, as well as regulatory uncertainty, pose significant hurdles to these projects being realized,” Xavier said in his presentation to council about Glencore’s Sudbury-area operations. “Mining is a cyclical business and we are continuously facing new challenges.”
Xavier highlighted the Nickel Rim South mine, which launched operations in 2010. While that mine serves as the company’s financial base in Sudbury, Xavier said it will be empty in 2021, which presents a challenge.
“Although very valuable in nature in terms of ore grade, it’s somewhat limited in size,” he said. “Over the last few years we’ve tried to extend the operations, but unfortunately our efforts haven’t proven successful. But it’s a world-class operation.”
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