Stobie Mine was an important mine in Greater Sudbury’s mining history,
with an estimated 58,000 people working there over the years. During
the Second World War, the mine produced an estimated 40 per cent of the
Allied Forces’ nickel needs late in the war.
The final day of production at a 130-year-old mining complex in Sudbury on Tuesday was both a cause for celebration and a sombre moment to reflect. For 28-and-a-half-year loader /operator Wayne Beckerleg, it was the latter.
“I love this place,” said Beckerleg, who became emotional at times addressing a crowd of more than 350 co-workers, retirees, dignitaries and others at a press conference on the Stobie Mine property in New Sudbury. “We have always put our heads together, found ways to overcome, do a lot of risk analysis, found safer ways for people who came after us.
“Stobie Mine: it’s like no other mine. It’s like my second family home. You’re all like brothers and sisters here. I have enjoyed the friendships over the years … At one time, we were doing 10,000 tons of muck a day. It’d be down now. That’s real estate. That is the hand we are being dealt … You have my respect. I hope we will meet again. We will meet again.”
Those words produced a standing ovation for the weary-eyed Beckerleg, dressed in his orange mining overalls and white hard hat as he slowly left the makeshift stage.
Following that speech, the last “skip” or load of ore headed up Shaft No. 9 to the surface, ending production at the Frood-Stobie complex, which started back in 1887 as the Stobie open pit mine. All told, the Frood-Stobie complex produced more than 375 million tons of ore over its lifetime.
Vale announced in mid-March that the mine was being closed due to a variety of factors, including lower grades and volumes of nickel, declining world nickel prices and the fact that miners can’t work below the 3,000-foot level due to seismic activity.
Stobie Mine was an important mine in Greater Sudbury’s mining history, with an estimated 58,000 people working there over the years. During the Second World War, the mine produced an estimated 40 per cent of the Allied Forces’ nickel needs late in the war.
As well, in 1988, Stobie Mine shared top honours as the safest mine in Canada.
Stobie Mine also hosted two royal visits. The first, in 1939, saw King George VI and Queen Elizabeth tour the facility, while Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited in 1959.
For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2017/05/30/stobie-mine-to-take-well-deserved-rest
Reflections of a nickel brat who worked at the Frood-Stobie Complex in 1980: http://republicofmining.com/2008/01/21/memories-from-the-university-of-inco/
Sudbury’s strategic nickel deposits were critical for the Allies during World War Two: