Archive | Ontario Mining

Building blocks to a better battery for mining vehicles: Stacktronic to test new battery system in Sudbury – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – April 1, 2020)

A Kitchener-based startup has developed a new battery system for electrifying underground mining vehicles, and Sudbury is poised to play a key role in moving the technology toward commercialization.

Stacktronic has created a modular battery system that can be pieced together like Lego blocks to produce a battery of any size, any shape and any capacity, depending on the needs of the vehicle.

It’s a solution that could potentially save time and money for mining operations. It began as a capstone project for a group of mechanical engineering students in their final year studying at the University of Waterloo, noted Keith Teeple, one of the founders. Continue Reading →

Premier Gold makes US$205M offer to buy out mine development partner – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 30, 2020)

Premier Gold has made a US$205 million offer to buy out Centerra Gold, its joint venture partner in developing a mine in northwestern Ontario, near Geraldton.

In a March 30 news release, the Thunder Bay-headquartered miner indicates there’s another company waiting in the wings to acquire Centerra’s 50 per cent interest in Greenstone Gold Mines (GGM).

GGM is a partnership company set up specifically to put the Hardrock gold project into production. Premier said this proposed company has the financial wherewithal to acquire Centerra’s ownership stake and advance Hardrock through the construction phase. Continue Reading →

Kirkland Lake employee who tested positive for COVID-19 rode in bus with others – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 31, 2020)

Tony Makuch, the chief executive of Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd., says a male employee who recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus left its Detour Lake mine in northern Ontario mine a couple of weeks ago on a bus with symptoms alongside other employees.

The individual, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, had spent a couple of days in self-isolation at the mine after getting sick earlier in the month before getting on the bus bound for Cochrane, Ontario.

About 25 other employees shared the more than two hour coach ride with the individual. Mr. Makuch said it never occurred to anyone that the man should have been escorted out of the site in an ambulance, so as to reduce the risk of virus spread to others on the bus. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Vale Donates $100,000 to the Sudbury Food Bank’s Cash for Cans Campaign (March 30, 2020)

Sudbury, ON – Vale is responding to the Sudbury Food Bank’s call for financial support during the COVID-19 crisis, with a $100,000 donation to its Cash for Cans campaign. The donation is intended to support skyrocketing demand for food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Vale has a long history of support for the Sudbury Food Bank,” said Danica Pagnutti, Corporate & Indigenous Affairs Specialist for Vale’s Sudbury Operations. “The Sudbury Food Bank is seeing new clients every day during this crisis and we really wanted to support the growing demand for their important community service.”

The Sudbury Food Bank is a central distributor of food to 44 food banks and meal providers across the City of Greater Sudbury. These agencies currently support 8,000-8,500 people per month and that number is expected to grow exponentially with the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue Reading →

Mining companies assess worker, community safety in deciding to continue or suspend projects – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 27, 2020)

Coronavirus fears force some exploration juniors to break camp, while mine developers proceed cautiously

The coronavirus’ rapid spread across Canada has junior mining executives and mine developers in Northern Ontario weighing the safety and exposure of their workers in deciding whether to proceed or temporarily lock down operations until conditions improve.

The factors of remoteness, proximity to susceptible populations, the ability to contain an outbreak, and a transient workforce figure prominently in their evaluations, as evidenced in a roundup of recent news releases issued by the companies.

Noront Resources decided to pull stakes on their Esker exploration camp in the Ring of Fire. The company calls the closure a “necessary precaution to help protect the health and well-being of our employees and the communities surrounding our operations,” 530 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. Continue Reading →

Glencore shutters Quebec mines; operations in Sudbury continue – by Staff (Sudbury Star – March 27, 2020)

Glencore said Thursday its Raglan nickel and Matagami zinc operations in Quebec will be on care and maintenance for the next three weeks. Nickel from Raglan is shipped to Glencore’s Sudbury operations, where it is processed. Operations in Sudbury will continue to run.

“The government of Quebec has ordered all non-essential businesses to close in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, our Raglan (nickel) and Matagami (zinc) operations in Quebec will be on care and maintenance for the next three weeks,” Glencore said in a statement. “In Ontario, the government has issued a similar decree, but mining has been designated an essential business and therefore our assets can continue to operate.”

The company said it is halting operations at its smaller mines around the world due to government restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus but added its larger operations were not materially impacted. Continue Reading →

Sudbury: Thousands of northern Ontario miners, mill workers stay on the job despite COVID-19 – by Eric White (CBC Sudbury -March 25, 2020)

As of Wednesday, only businesses deemed by the province to be “essential” are allowed to keep running in the face of COVID-19. That includes some of the biggest employers in the northeast: mines, sawmills and steel plants are all staying open.

Mike McQuade, CEO of Algoma steel in Sault Ste. Marie, says he feels his company is essential for economic reasons. “While the economy is likely to take a hit from some of the initiatives that have been taken, I think continuing with steel is important to the economy and Sault Ste. Marie in particular,” he says.

McQuade says the global economic downturn caused by COVID-19 is likely to prolong the hard times the steel business has been seeing in recent years, but at least for now, some 2,000 steelworkers will stay on the job. Continue Reading →

COVID-19 puts Musselwhite Mine in mothballs: Newmont places four global mine operations on care and maintenance – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 23, 2020)

Musselwhite Mine in northwestern Ontario is one of four mines Newmont has chosen to temporarily suspending operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The remote, fly-in/fly-out operation is being placed in care and maintenance to protect nearby First Nations from the spread of the virus and also to adhere to government-mandated travel restrictions in Canada and South America.

Musselwhite is an underground gold mine, 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. The Newmont mines being temporarily mothballed are: Eléonore in Quebec, Cerro Negro in Argentina, and Yanacocha in Peru. Continue Reading →

Getting a relationship off on the right foot: Ed Collins helps bridge the cultural gap at DST Consulting Engineers – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 19, 2020)

Ed Collins’ teachings about Aboriginal culture seem to be rubbing off on some of his coworkers at DST Consulting Engineers. The manager of Indigenous relations said it’s not uncommon for a few of his non-Indigenous colleagues to come into his office to request a smudge ceremony as a stress reliever.

Some feel the need for a spiritual uplift or a mental cleansing to alleviate negative feelings. “We’re not healing the sick; we’re just healing the mind, the soul and body,” said Collins, a member of the Fort William First Nation.

DST is a consulting engineering firm specializing in environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, materials testing, and demolition. In the DST boardroom in Thunder Bay, where Collins is based, there’s a basket of small tobacco pouches to remind staff members of the custom of presenting the traditional gift when approaching a community Elder. Continue Reading →

Chris Stewart out as McEwen Mining president – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 18, 2020)

Chris Stewart is no longer president and chief operating officer of McEwen Mining. In a two-sentence news release, the Toronto-based gold miner with operations near Timmins made the announcement late on March 18.

The company gave no reason for his departure, adding only that his responsibilities are being spread out among the management team.

The move came just two days after the mid-tier miner posted its fourth quarter and year-end results showing its three mines in Timmins, Argentina and Nevada generated a cash gross profit of $33.7 million for 2019 and a gross profit of $9.0 million. Continue Reading →

No plans to shutter Vale or Glencore operations in Sudbury due to COVID-19 – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – March 18, 2020)

Vale has no plans to curtail or suspend its Greater Sudbury-area operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There has been no discussion of suspending operations in our North Atlantic Operations other than Voisey’s Bay and that there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst Vale employees to date,” Vale spokeswoman Danica Pagnuti said Tuesday. “In terms of Vale’s efforts to address COVID-19, since late January Vale has been taking all necessary measures to support the prevention of the COVID-19 at its sites. “

Pagnutti said a technical crisis committee and another executive committee were created to manage the actions resulting from this pandemic. To ensure everyone’s safety, all worldwide non-essential business trips have been cancelled or postponed until further notice, and the same approach is being taken for events. Continue Reading →

Steve Matusch, president of Ionic Technology Group, has died at 52 – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – March 13, 2020)

Steve Matusch, the founder and president of Ionic Technology Group in Sudbury, has died at the age of 52. Matusch died while in hospital on Wednesday, March 11, following an illness. He would have been 53 in November.

Respected and well-known throughout the Northern Ontario mining service and supply industry, Matusch founded Ionic Engineering Ltd. in 2000 with the goal of offering the best innovative solutions to problems faced by industry.

Ionic’s general manager, André Dumais, said five years ago, Matusch developed primary sclerosing cholangitis, which led to a rare and aggressive form of liver cancer in 2018. In an effort to combat the illness, Matusch had undergone a live liver transplant, an experimental surgery, in November. Continue Reading →

IAMGOLD employee tests positive for Covid-19, company shuts down Toronto office – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – March 14, 2020)

Canada’s IAMGOLD Corp. (TSX IMG) (NYSE: IAG) is closing its Toronto office for one week after one of its employees tested positive for Covid-19.

In a media statement, the miner said that the employee was last in the Toronto office on March 6, 2020, and is now in self-quarantine at home and in stable condition with moderate symptoms.

According to IAMGOLD, the employee attended two private company gatherings and the Northern Ontario Night at the Steam Whistle Brewery, an event that was held on March 2, 2020, and that is related to the Northern Ontario Mining Showcase that takes place within the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s annual conference. Continue Reading →

Australian mine contractor moves into Hemlo – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 9, 2020)

Western Australian mining interests have been steadily scooping up gold exploration properties in northwestern Ontario. One company is mobilizing to run an underground gold mine in the region. Perth-headquartered Barminco has signed a letter of intent with Barrick to provide underground contract mining at its Hemlo Mine, near Marathon.

Barminco bills itself as one of the world’s largest hard rock underground mining services companies in the world with operations in Australia, Asia and Africa. This would be the company’s first foray into Canada, starting in April.

Under the three-year, $200-million mining services contract, Barminco’s scope of work would involve mine development, production and haulage, and using mine equipment provided by Barrick. Continue Reading →

Coronavirus sends shudders through mining industry as case confirmed after top conference – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 11, 2020)

Attendees at PDAC 2020, which attracted 23,000 people from around the world, are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days

The consequences of holding one of the largest mining conferences on the planet in Toronto last week in the midst of a global health scare became clearer on Wednesday when public health authorities confirmed that an attendee from Sudbury, Ont., has tested positive for coronavirus, sending shudders through the industry.

The conference, hosted by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, was widely attended including appearances by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and senior cabinet officials, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his senior cabinet officials, as well as numerous senior and junior mining executives, drawing some 23,000 people in total — down only 10 per cent from the prior year, despite the known risks of the spread of coronavirus strain COVID-19.

The infected individual, described as male in his fifties, attended the event on March 2 and 3. He was in self-isolation and his identity had not been divulged, but two sources said it is believed to be an individual who works for Ontario’s Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. Continue Reading →