Return of Totten Mine comes at a good time – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – February 22, 2022)

Price of nickel is soaring

Resumption of operations at Totten Mine comes at an opportune moment, with highly coveted nickel trading at more than US$11/pound. “We need all five (Vale) mines producing efficiently,” said Nick Larochelle, president of United Steelworkers Local 6500.

“The price of nickel right now is in a sweet spot. If it goes much higher, smaller producers will come online and that will add more nickel to the market, so we’re looking to keep our mines efficient and keep the price in that neighbourhood.”

Vale announced Tuesday that the Worthington-area mine — the newest of its operations — is now back in the mix, following a closure of nearly five months due to an incident that stranded 39 workers underground.

A scoop bucket suspended beneath the cage got stuck in late September, rendering the usual route to surface impassable. Workers had to instead make their way up a narrow escape passage, scaling a series of steep ladders, with help from Ontario Mine Rescue staff and Vale rescue teams.

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