The long climb out of Totten – by Angelica Zagorski (CIM Magazine – November 25, 2021)

The evacuation and investigation of the Totten mine incident

his was not your typical mine rescue, Ted Hanley, general manager of Ontario Mine Rescue, recalls thinking when he received a call from Vale’s Totten mine in Sudbury at 2 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 27. At that time, Vale decided it would bring its workers out of the mine via secondary egress after a scoop bucket was slung into the Totten mine and became lodged in the shaft trapping 39 miners at the 650-foot level.

Even though what the miners were doing was common, the incident was not. Hanley said this rescue mission was different because of the atypical use of the ladderways in the mine. Miners are used to climbing 100 to 200 feet to another level, where they can get a ride in a vehicle and travel via a ramp system out or to their next workstation.

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One of Mark Selby’s ‘most exciting days’ as Canada Nickel expands – by Staff (Mining Journal – November 24, 2021)

The company completed 18 separate transactions to acquire or earn in to 13 target properties – including Sothman from Glencore – to consolidate district-scale potential in the Timmins region.

“Why are we doing this now?” Selby asked analysts rhetorically on a conference call, given Crawford was “already the largest nickel sulphide discovery since the 1970s”. “Very simply, nickel deposits generally fall into one of two categories, one-off deposits, or occur where you have multiple deposits occurring in clusters,” he said.

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Northern Ontario plays integral part in auto supply chain – Fedeli – by Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles (North Bay Nugget – November 19, 2021)

Northern Ontario has become an integral part of the auto supply chain, says Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli. The industry, mostly centralized in southern Ontario, is moving north thanks to the increase in production of electric cars.

The provincial government released the next phase of its auto strategy Wednesday that is expected to secure production mandates for hybrid and electric vehicles, to create a domestic battery ecosystem, and position Ontario as a North American automotive innovation hub.

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Battery-grade nickel demand to grow as world sets sights on low-carbon future – by Simone Liedtke ( – November 19, 2021)

The global green transition and electrification of transport has started a paradigm shift in the demand dynamics of metals, which are required for a low-carbon future, and are set to experience a significant boost in demand in the coming decade at least, says research agency Fitch Solutions.

Battery-grade nickel, or Class 1 nickel (which contains more than 99.8% nickel content), used in rechargeable batteries is a major beneficiary, especially as the configuration of lithium/nickel/manganese/cobalt (NMC) oxide batteries used in electric vehicles (EV), is changing, with a shift from a 1:1:1 ratio (meaning nickel, manganese and cobalt were used in the same proportion) to 5:3:2, and then to the latest 8:1:1 (with eight parts nickel to one part of manganese and cobalt each).

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BHP sees need for battery metals more than doubling in 30 years – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – November 17, 2021)

As the pace and shape of the global transition to a greener economy has become a key issue globally, the need for battery metals will grow up to four times in the next 30 years, Vandita Pant, BHP’s chief commercial officer, said on Wednesday at the FT Commodities Asia Summit.

“Some of the modelling that we have done showed that in, let’s say a decarbonised world … the world will need almost double the copper in the next 30 years than in the past 30,” she told the audience at the inaugural session.

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US adds nickel, zinc to draft critical minerals list, drops potash – by Mariaan Webb ( – November 2021)

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has added nickel and zinc to its proposed list of 50 ‘critical minerals’ – defined as those essential to economic or national security and with a supply chain vulnerable to disruption – while four others, including potash, have fallen off the draft 2021 list.

The USGS has released its draft revised list of critical minerals and is allowing public comment until December 9. “The USGS’s critical minerals list provides vital information for industry, policymakers, economists and scientists on the most important minerals when it comes to US supply chains, says Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo.

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BHP hungry for more nickel, copper (Australian Mining – November 12, 2021)


BHP is looking at investing in additional early-stage development projects as the company aims to grow its copper and nickel portfolio.

BHP chief executive officer Mike Henry spoke at the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday, suggesting the success of its current copper and nickel projects should inspire more developments to follow.

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Ford is right: Ontario has the right stuff to lead on electric vehicles – Star Editorial Board (Toronto Star – November 11, 2021)

Can Ontario become a one-stop shop in electric vehicle manufacture unlike any other market in all of North America? Premier Doug Ford thinks so. And in the abstract, he makes a good case. In the specific, there are major hurdles to be overcome.

Consider, first, the long-troubled Ring of Fire, the much touted and frequently stymied reserve of mineral riches in the James Bay Lowlands. The Ford government’s economic outlook of a week ago promised that the Ring of Fire, with its reserves of nickel, cobalt, manganese and more, will play a key role in the future of clean manufacturing in Ontario.

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Vale shopping low-carbon N.L. nickel to burgeoning EV sector; with pledges to get greener – by Terry Roberts (CBC News Newfoundland-Labrador – November 8, 2021)

Company confirms it’s in talks with suppliers to electric vehicle market in effort to ‘grow our exposure’

Vale is aggressively promoting the low-carbon footprint of its mining and processing operations in Newfoundland and Labrador, with hopes of positioning its eastern Canadian operations as a preferred supplier to the burgeoning battery electric vehicle market.

The company is touting a third-party assessment of its N.L. operations that revealed nickel rounds produced in the province go to market at a substantially lower environmental cost than the industry standard.

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Doug Ford’s hopes for Ontario’s electric vehicle industry hinge on mining its Ring of Fire – by Mike Crawley (CBC News Toronto – November 9, 2021)

Mining project will be ‘massive win’ for First Nations, says premier, despite Indigenous opposition

Premier Doug Ford’s government is touting Ontario as a future electric vehicle manufacturing hub, and linking that to a fresh push for a huge mining development in the northern part of the province.

Ford’s Progressive Conservatives want to lure the big automakers to produce electric vehicles in southern Ontario. A key part of that strategy involves opening up the so-called Ring of Fire mineral deposit, located more than 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay in an area home to Indigenous people.

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Sudbury’s Totten Mine expected to be closed until 2022, as investigation continues – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – November 3, 2021)

Ministry of Labour inspectors have issued 10 orders against Vale for health and safety violations

A northern Ontario mine remains closed more than a month after the dramatic rescue of 39 Vale miners.

The shaft at Vale’s Totten Mine, on the western reaches of Greater Sudbury, is still blocked by a piece of equipment and how much damage it caused continues to be investigated.

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Timmins junior miner harbours high hopes of high-grade nickel – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 3, 2021)

Canada Nickel pulling higher-grade core from drilling program around future open-pit mine

The deeper Canada Nickel Company drills at its Crawford Project outside Timmins, the richer the results get.

The Toronto nickel explorer recently released a handful of very promising drill results from an infill exploration program of its East Zone, one of the two areas the company is sizing up for a pair of open-pit mines.

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These green economy commodities are beating the best runs of the China supercycle – by David Rosenberg and Marius Jongstra (Financial Post – November 5, 2021)

The surge in commodity prices has been impressive since mid-2020, predictably resulting in calls that a new “supercycle” is underway. We have questioned that narrative, given the apparent supply-demand imbalances plaguing the globe and boosting prices in the process.

But one theme we do agree with is the long-term secular tailwinds behind a number of commodities required in the transition to a green economy in order to address climate change.

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Orford Mining partners with Wyloo Metals to explore West Raglan in Quebec – by Daniel Sekulich (Northern Miner – November 2021)

Global mining news

Well before Wyloo Metals began its fight with BHP (NYSE: BHP; LSE: BHP; ASX: BHP) for Noront Resources (TSXV: NOT), the Australian company signed a definitive agreement with Toronto-based junior Orford Mining (TSXV: ORM) for its West Raglan nickel project in Quebec’s Nunavik region.

The deal, signed in January, sees Wyloo earning up to 80% of the West Raglan project by spending $25 million on exploration over the next seven years. Wyloo was expected to spend $1 million of the $25 million this year, but has already spent $1.7 million.

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BHP in talks with Wyloo over acquisition of Noront’s Ring of Fire assets – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 2, 2021)

BHP extending the initial expiry of its offer from Nov. 9 to Nov. 16

The two leading Australian bidders for Noront Resources and its Ring of Fire nickel and metal assets are discussing a “mutually beneficial arrangement” regarding the sale of the Far North junior mining company.

Currently, Wyloo Metals, a subsidiary of Tattarang, led by Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, is the largest shareholder of Noront at 37 per cent.

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