Archive | Manitoba Mining

Thompson bracing for job losses after northern Manitoba mine owner admits to bleeding $300K a day – by Ian Froese (CBC News Manitoba – June 17, 2020)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/

Vale says efforts to find ‘simpler and more nimble operating model’ will mean smaller workforce

A mining city in northern Manitoba is facing another setback as the owner of the community’s nickel mine is preparing to shed more jobs. Vale says it cannot continue to operate its Thompson mine under the status quo, after losing $300,000 per day in 2019.

“We need to find a simpler and more nimble operating model to ensure our future in Thompson,” said Franco Cazzola, manager of Vale’s Manitoba operations, in an email to media.

“This will mean a smaller workforce than we have today. We will consider every option available to us to ensure any job reductions are as limited as possible, and we will ensure they will not impact the safety of our ongoing operations.” Continue Reading →

[Canadian Gold Mining/Exploration During Depression] The Trails of `34 – by Leslie McFarlane (MACLEAN’S Magazine – September 15, 1934)

https://archive.macleans.ca/

THE CARIBOO, the Yukon, the Porcupine—these fields have been the scenes of epic Canadian gold rushes. In each case the stage setting was colorful, the action dynamic. Each field had its peak year of raw drama. They were spectacular rushes, with an element of madness and frenzy. They belong to history.

And yet in sheer enormity, in point of men involved, money expended, wealth produced and in sight, not one of them could hold a candle to the great gold rush of ’34.

Men still speak of the Cariboo Trail and the Klondyke Trail. There can be no such convenient designation for the scene of this year’s great gold trek unless one refers in a general way to the ‘Trails of ’34. Because the scene is all Canada, and the trails lead to new fields and old. The effort is not concentrated upon a single area. The stage is so wide, so crowded with effects that the term “rush” may seem at first glance a misnomer. And yet from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, across the whole breadth of the Dominion, one of the greatest gold treks of all time is in full swing. Continue Reading →

Dig, dig, dig – now, dug out? How a Flin Flon building block may someday be saved – by Eric Westhaver (Flin Flon Reminder – June 4, 2020)

https://www.thereminder.ca/

It was one of Flin Flon’s original building blocks, a tall, mean, 60-ton electric shovelling machine, used to dig out the city’s biggest project to date in its time – the original open pit. It was the Marion 4160 electric shovel and it, perhaps more than any other piece of the mine, was responsible for mining in Flin Flon as it is today.

Electric-powered and mounted on tank-like tracks, the Marion shovel was a machine designed to do the work of dozens of labourers of minimal effort. The shovel was built by the Marion Power Shovel Company out of Marion, Ohio and was a large, tractor-like vehicle with a large arm extending up over the tracks. A pulley, cord and gear system was used to power a giant scoop up and down.

Marion shovels were used in many 20th century projects that required moving large amounts of earth, fast – the Panama Canal was built using over a hundred Marion shovels. Continue Reading →

Hudbay Minerals piles on gold ounces in Canada – by Amanda Stutt (Mining.com – May 28, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

After beginning the year by formally appointing Peter Kukielski as its CEO, and this month settling a long-drawn-out boardroom battle with its second-largest investor, Canadian copper producer Hudbay Minerals (TSX, NYSE: HBM) is setting its sights on gold.

Despite strong performance at its Canadian operations, Hudbay swung to a loss in the first three months of the year, mainly due to weak base metal prices and lower grades at its Constancia copper mine in Peru.

Then the pandemic hit, and Peru operations were halted, but it had no material impact on the business as a whole, Kukielski told MINING.COM. Hudaby expects a delay of up to four months before it can start mining an extension at Constancia. Continue Reading →

Rockcliff makes new Nickel-PGE discovery at [Flin Flon, Manitoba] Tower property (Resource World – May 6, 2020)

https://resourceworld.com/

Rockcliff Metals Corp. [RCLF-CSE; RO0-FSE; A2H60G-WKLN] has made a new high-grade nickel-PGE (platinum group element) discovery on its 100%-owned Tower property in the Snow Lake area of central Manitoba. This new discovery, termed the TGR nickel-PGE prospect, has returned significant assay results.

TGR is located only 600 metres south of the company’s high-grade, copper-rich Tower deposit. The TGR mineralization was discovered in a previously unexplored area and is associated with ultramafic rocks of the Thompson nickel belt (TNB).

The TNB is a world-class over-300-kilometre-long mining belt with over 60 years of production from high-grade nickel mines with associated copper and cobalt. Continue Reading →

Hudbay prepares for next phase of growth – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – February 2020)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

Dual-listed Hudbay Minerals is preparing for the next phase of growth, focusing on mining the high-grade Pampacancha satellite deposit, in Peru, and completing the refurbishment of the New Britannia gold mill, in Canada.

Both projects, CEO Peter Kukielski says, require low capital intensity, but will yield high returns with short paybacks on the invested capital. Hudbay has budgeted $170-million in growth capital for 2020, $80-million of which will be spent at the Manitoba operations, $70-million in Peru and $20-million in Arizona.

The Manitoba spending relates to the New Britannia mill refurbishment, where construction activities are set to start in the second quarter of this year. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Uncertainty lingers as Vale switches Thompson bosses again (Thompson Citizen – February 12, 2020)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

The removal of Gary Eyres as head of Vale’s Manitoba Operations and his replacement with Franco Cazzola, who formerly worked in Thompson for a few years from 2005 to 2008, indicates that things are still in flux at the Thompson mining and milling operation.

As a result, the uncertainty that first took hold of Thompson nearly a decade ago when the Brazilian mining company that purchased Inco in 2006 announced that it was shutting down the smelter and refinery still lingers, even after the axe has fallen.

In the lead up to the closure of the smelter and the refinery in mid-2018, people didn’t know what to expect. Obviously, the loss of a few hundred good paying jobs was going to have a trickle-down effect and it has, as several businesses have closed up shop over the past few years, though sometimes it is because their owners couldn’t find buyers or family members to take over the operations from them. Continue Reading →

Positive spotlight shone on Thompson at Winnipeg mineral convention, says councillor (Thompson Citizen – November 27, 2019)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

News that Vale Manitoba Operations could possibly spend $1 billion over five years to deepen Thompson mines in anticipation of a growing demand for nickel as a component of batteries for electric vehicles made Thompson the talk of November’s mineral exploration conference in Winnipeg.

Gary Eyres, head of Manitoba Operations, told attendees at the Central Canada Mineral Exploration Convention about the proposed investment, first revealed to members of the Thompson Chamber of Commerce at their Nov. 13 lunch meeting.

“Once we get approved – and I really am confident we will get this approval – we are looking at nearly $8 billion in economic benefit to the region over the next 25 years,” Eyres was reported as saying in the Winnipeg Free Press. Coun. Judy Kolada, who attended the convention, told her fellow councillors at the conclusion of their Nov. 25 meeting that Thompson was in the spotlight at the convention. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Thompson mining’s future looking brighter, but when? (Thompson Citizen – November 27, 2019)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

Although it wasn’t really that long ago that the mining industry was booming in Thompson – if you’ve lived here longer than 10 years, you experienced at least part of it – it might feel like it’s mostly been gloom and doom for a long time because, for the most part, it has.

The 2008 global recession, which was a bit delayed in arriving in Thompson, although eventually it did, was only first starting to be felt when Vale announced nine years ago this month that it had plans to shut down the smelter and refinery in Thompson for good.

At the time that it was first announced, the proposed shutdown date was 2015, though that was later pushed back three years, with operations ceasing about midway through 2018. A bit more than a year before that, Birchtree Mine was placed on care and maintenance status, resulting in the loss of more than 100 jobs. Continue Reading →

Manitoba mining could see a billion-dollar boost – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – November 19, 2019)

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

There has not been much good news in the mining industry in Manitoba for a few years, but that’s starting to change, potentially in a very big way.

Vale is on the verge of making what would be the largest single investment in the mining industry in Manitoba’s history at its Thompson operations.

This week’s provincial mining exploration conference led off with the blockbuster news that the Brazilian company is in the final stages of confirming $1 billion of new investment in its Thompson operations over the next five years. Continue Reading →

Canada’s worst violent crime problem is in Thompson, Man. – by Shannon VanRaes (MACLEAN’S Magazine – November 19, 2019)

https://www.macleans.ca/

As the “Hub of the North” Thompson serves a regional population
of 55,000. The city’s airport is the second busiest in the province
and more than 40 remote communities—mostly First Nations and
Northern Affairs settlements—rely on Thompson for essential
services and commerce.

It’s the “machete kids” that worry Donnel Jonsson most. The property manager for Ashberry Place, a low-income apartment complex in Thompson, Man., has dealt with assaults, fires and even murder over the years. However, recent youth crime has him feeling unsafe, particularly along the city’s Spirit Way trail.

“Kids are going around and assaulting individuals walking the path, no reason why, they just come up to them and basically stab them or cut them across the face,” he says, pointing to a wooded section of trail below a 10-storey-high wolf mural.

This May, the city’s RCMP detachment indeed found itself investigating a stabbing spree that left five injured. In March, a machete-wielding home invader hacked a dog to death and in June, Thompson saw two stabbings and a machete attack in three days. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Northern Manitoba offers rich potential – by Doug Lauvstad (Winnipeg Free Press – November 18, 2019)

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

Doug Lauvstad is president of University College of the North, which offers programming in 14 locations throughout Manitoba.

Northern Manitoba remains an enigma in the context of economic development. It is a region blessed with abundant natural endowments including a seaport, strong public-sector support systems, and an imperative on the part of all people and governments to create economic and community well-being.

It’s also a region separated by differing cultures and realities: larger, high-wage centres built around resource extraction versus small, often remote Indigenous communities with a traditional lifestyle removed from the economic mainstream.

Amid this dichotomy, northern Manitoba has the foundations for incredible wealth creation from industries such as mining, forestry, energy and tourism, which contribute and could continue to contribute billions of dollars to the Manitoba economy. Continue Reading →

Vale Manitoba operations to make case for $1-billion investment in Thompson mine (CBC News Manitoba – November 16, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/

It’s believed investment could expand mine’s lifespan by 25 to 30 years

The operators of the Vale nickel mine in Thompson, Man., are hoping a $1-billion investment could extend the mine’s life span by 25 to 30 years. Gary Eyres, head of Vale’s Manitoba operations, said the mine’s team has been stepping up its exploration efforts, including aerial and magnetic surveys, and believes there are large enough ore deposits to warrant the investment.

Eyres says he’s confident that somewhere along the Thompson nickel belt is the equivalent of another mine “just waiting to be found.” They want to be able to present their case for it in the next six to 12 months to the company’s owners in Brazil, Eyres said

“Everything that I’m doing at the moment and our teams here in Thompson are doing at the moment, is we’re focusing only on when this happens, rather than if it happens,” he said. Continue Reading →

Vale Manitoba Operations head believes there is an ore body equivalent to a new mine near Thompson – by Ian Graham (Thompson Citizen – November 13, 2019)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

A proposed $1 billion investment in Vale’s Thompson mines in the next five years could generate nearly $8 billion in economic activity over the next 45 years, the company’s head of Manitoba Operations told the Thompson Chamber of Commerce Nov. 13.

“What we’re looking at is exploring our ore bodies,” said Gary Eyres, estimating that the proposed investment would be equivalent to opening a new mine in Thompson and saying that it is possible another mine shaft could be excavated down to as far as 6,300 feet. Right now, mining areas extend down to 4,800 feet below the surface. “We haven’t found the end of the ore body yet. Somewhere close by, I believe, is the next Thompson mine.”

If the investment goes ahead, it would result in $7.9 billion worth of economic activity between now and 2065, $7.4 billion more than putting the mines on care and maintenance until 2043 would create. It’s also $5.4 billion more economic activity than would be generated by simply mining out the current areas of T1 and T3 by 2043. Continue Reading →

NDP and PCs at odds over which party supports the mining industry more (Thompson Citizen – July 18, 2019)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

Manitoba’s NDP and Progressive Conservative parties are engaged in a war of words over which party is more supportive of mining in the run-up to the Sept. 10 provincial election.

NDP leader Wab Kinew said in a press release July 18 that Manitoba has lost two-thirds of its active mines since Brian Pallister became premier in 2016 and that Statistics Canada says there are 500 fewer natural resources workers in the province than there were in 2017.

“The Pallister government has stood idly by while northern communities struggle to stay afloat in the face of multiple mining closures,” said Kinew. “At a time when workers and their families need protection, how does the Pallister government respond? By calling it ‘business as usual.’” Continue Reading →