With reserves dwindling at its existing operations, Glencore has staked $1.3 billion on a new mine that will reach more than two kilometres — picture four CN Towers — below the surface.
“We’ve been mining around Sudbury for a long time now,” vice-president Peter Xavier told a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce audience Thursday, as keynote speaker for the group’s AGM. “That means a lot of near-to-surface, easy-to-find deposits are long gone, so the future is very much at depth.”
The deeper ore will fetch the same market price as its near-surface equivalent, he noted, yet is much more costly to access. “So the way we combat that is to innovate,” he said. “We have to adapt to make that reality possible or we won’t have a business going forward.”
Glencore is now about midway through construction of its Onaping Depth project, which will use an all-electric fleet to collect ore located some 2.5 km below the old Craig Mine.
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