Archive | Ontario Mining

‘Transformation’ is in the air at Vale – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 12, 2020)

Electric vehicle market, carbon neutral plans, environmental safeguards part of Sudbury miner’s current and future operations

The thrust of Dino Otranto’s presentation was on the transformational challenges ahead for base metal mining giant Vale to create a business that’s sustainable in the Sudbury basin for generations to come.

But the opening image he flashed to a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce lunchtime crowd on Feb. 11 was of the Brumadinho tailings dam break at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in Brazil on Jan. 25, 2019. It was the company’s second major dam breach in that country in four years.

The man-made environmental catastrophe at Brumadinho produced a toxic mudflow that swept away the company’s offices, and houses, farms and roads in a nearby village, and contaminated a major river system. Continue Reading →

Vale’s Sudbury operations face challenge and opportunity, COO says – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – February 11, 2020)

Demand for nickel will grow, but there is ‘unparalleled competition’ to supply the metal, Dino Otranto says

The future looks bright, if challenging, for Sudbury’s biggest miner, members of the local business community heard Tuesday.

“We have fundamentally a fantastic business,” said Dino Otranto, the new boss of base metals with Vale, at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “There is great opportunity and great potential, but we’ve got some hard work to do, and that’s the message — we truly have a transformation ahead of us.”

Otranto, appointed last year as COO for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations, said there is still an ample supply of ore in the Sudbury Basin and demand for nickel and other metals will only grow with the expansion of the electrical-vehicle market. Continue Reading →

Keeping comms open in one of the world’s deepest mines: Kidd Mine gives iPhones to everyone in the mine – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – February 10, 2020)

With the Kidd Mine in Timmins being the deepest base metal mine in the world, Kidd Operations has made improved communications one of its key priorities. That was brought forward by operations engineer Patrick Desmarais during the recent Beyond Digital Transformation mining conference held in Sudbury.

He outlined how the company had installed a fibre-optic network through the mine. That resulted in a complete underground Wi-Fi system, and in the past year it was followed up by giving every worker an iPhone for instant communication, from level to level and from surface to the bottom of the mine.

Kidd is a blasthole mine that is 9,889 feet deep, operating on 32 active levels and is mining at the rate of 1.9 million tonnes per year. Continue Reading →

Northern prospectors look to boost their visibility- by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 7, 2020)

Tough times in grassroots exploration prompt Ontario Prospectors Association to boost their image as lobby group

Gold and palladium prices are reaching lofty heights but there continue to be troubling signs on the grassroots side of Ontario’s mining industry. Garry Clark, executive director of the Ontario Prospectors Association (OPA), said the mining sequence of discovery and development is faltering right now.

Since the economic crash of 2008, investor interest in early-stage exploration has largely been in the dumper, despite the uptick in value of various mineral commodities. “Grassroots exploration isn’t happening as much as it should,” said Clark.

Part of problem, he said, has been competition for investor attention from other high-risk, high-reward ventures such as Bitcoin, Blockchain and marijuana stocks. Continue Reading →

Northwest lithium deposit provides ‘spark’ for junior miner – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – February 6, 2020)

A Sudbury lithium exploration company has posted a “maiden” resource estimate of a second high-grade deposit on its property in northwestern Ontario. Frontier Lithium released the numbers for its Spark deposit, located on its Pakeagama Lake Pegamatite (PAK) project, 175 kilometres north of Red Lake.

The company is evaluating if it can be mined by open-pit methods as they turn their attention toward building a plant to make lithium concentrate at the site.

Frontier’s PAK project is a 26,774-hectare property, strung out in a long corridor of claims that runs for 65 kilometres, up near the Manitoba border. The company has been promoting this remote area as an emerging premium lithium-metal district, dubbing it Electric Avenue. Continue Reading →

Bringing medical care to remote mining camps – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – February 5, 2020)

Dr. Tony Kos has created a medical service contract business for remote mining operations

Back in the day, when major mining properties were being discovered, workers would follow. Town sites would pop up. Think of Cobalt, Timmins, Kirkland Lake and Elliott Lake.

Merchants, engineers, bankers, lawyers, teachers, and even homebuilders would arrive to set up shop. So would doctors. There was always someone getting hurt or getting sick.

Things have changed. Often as not, when new mining properties are discovered these days in a remote area, it means a temporary residential camp is created. Workers are brought in on rotation with schedules of 14 days on and 14 days off, for example. Continue Reading →

Hunter promises better deal for North – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – February 4, 2020)

Liberal leadership candidate releases her Northern Ontario platform

She may have been born in Jamaica and raised in the GTA, but Liberal leadership hopeful Mitzie Hunter has spent time in Northern communities, too, and wants to see the region prosper.

“Having a strong Northern Ontario makes Ontario stronger,” she told The Star on Monday. “Having a Northern understanding is very important for me, and it’s not just now that I’m in the race.”

As education minister in the Kathleen Wynne government, the Scarborough-Guildwood MPP visited the region on multiple occasions and introduced policies to benefit residents. Continue Reading →

Poor winter road conditions a growing concern for NAN – by Doug Diaczuk ( – January 31, 2020)

Many winter roads throughout the region are still not safe and communities that rely on the network for supplies like fuel are worried about financial impacts

THUNDER BAY – Poor winter road conditions throughout the north are becoming a growing concern for remote First Nation communities that rely on the seasonal transportation network to bring in crucial supplies.

“It’s becoming more and more concerning,” said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief, Alvin Fiddler. “Now that we are at the end of January, the fact that many of our communities still can’t haul big loads, so fuel or other supplies to the communities, is something we need to raise now with both Ontario and Canada.”

Work on winter roads normally begins in November and December, with trucks transporting full loads by mid to late January. “This year they are not even close,” Fiddler said. “Some communities need another 12 inches of ice before they can haul full loads of fuel to their communities.” Continue Reading →

Martin Falls delivers all-season road study update – by Rick Garrick (Wawatay News – January 24, 2020)

Marten Falls delivered an update on its proposed all-season Community Access Road during a Public Information Centre session at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay. “Marten Falls has been wanting an all-season road to the community for a long time and they’ve been working on it for a number of years now,” says Bob Baxter, Marten Falls citizen and member of the Community Access Road project team.

“We’re just in the environmental assessment stage and consulting stage right now to collect feedback from the public and the communities that will be affected.” Baxter says there has been mixed feedback from the community about the Community Access Road. “There’s problems like drug issues that they’re concerned about and the fluctuation of people coming up there to hunt,” Baxter says.

“On the positive side the cost of living would be brought down — the prices would somewhat come down so people would be able to purchase a lot more than they are purchasing now.” Lawrence Baxter, senior community advisor with Marten Falls, says the Community Access Road would be “very beneficial” for the community. Continue Reading →

Stephen Roman bows out as Harte Gold chairman – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 29, 2020)

Stephen Roman has stepped down as Harte Gold’s chairman and, effectively immediately, Joe Conway replaces him.

Roman will continue to serve as a board member. Roman, who steered the development of the first gold mine in the Hemlo camp in three decades, had earlier resigned as president-CEO of the Toronto-headquartered mining company late last August. He agreed to stay on in an interim capacity until Sam Coetzer was appointed as his successor last November.

“Harte Gold has been a key focus of mine for the past 10 years,” said Roman in a Jan. 27 news release. “We advanced a greenfield Ontario gold project culminating in a new Ontario gold mine and declared commercial production in January 2019. Continue Reading →

Progress being made to quicken mine start-ups – Rickford – by Elena De Luigi (Timmins Daily Press – January 28, 2020)

Ontario is looking to expedite the process of getting mining operations open for commercial production. That was a key message from Greg Rickford, the province’s minister of energy, mines, northern development and Indigenous affairs, who was in Timmins Monday to deliver a State of Mining address.

Rickford spoke of the industry’s need to be “better and faster” at opening mines for market in a “timely manner.” The event held at Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa on Monday was hosted by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce.

In his address, Rickford expressed his frustration with the previous government which he said took over five years to get a mine up and running. Continue Reading →

Kirkland’s $4.9-billion purchase of Detour Gold wins shareholder approval – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 28, 2020)

Shareholders at both Detour Gold Corp. and Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. voted decisively in favour of Kirkland’s $4.9-billion acquisition of Detour on Tuesday, in a deal that sees the world’s most profitable large gold mining company buy a struggling single-asset producer smack in the middle of a turnaround.

The all-stock acquisition was announced in November and was initially greeted with shock on the part of many of Toronto-based Kirkland Lake’s shareholders, with its stock plummeting by 17 per cent on the day the deal was announced.

Some big stakeholders, such as Eric Sprott, weren’t immediately convinced of the logic of Kirkland, a low cost, high grade miner, buying Detour, a high cost, low grade operator. Continue Reading →

Australians grab another northwestern Ontario gold project – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 28, 2020)

Auteco Minerals cuts an 80-20 joint venture deal with First Mining on Pickle Lake-gold prospect

Another Australian exploration company is making a move to hunt for gold in northwestern Ontario. Auteco Minerals of Perth has inked an agreement for a joint venture with Vancouver’s First Mining Gold on its Pickle Crow gold project, east of the community of Pickle Lake.

Under the terms of the earn-in agreement, Auteco can grab an 80 per cent stake in Pickle Crow by spending $10 million on exploration over the next five years, paying First Mining $4.1 million in cash, and issuing 125 million shares of Auteco to First Mining.

According to a Jan. 27 First Gold news release, what Auteco brings to the table is “a highly skilled management team with a track record of discovery success,” due to its work in reviving a past producing gold mine in Western Australia. Continue Reading →

Column: Stalled Ring of Fire worth more than $117 billion – by Dr. James Mungall (Sudbury Star – January 24, 2020)

Dr. James Mungall is a professor of economic geology at Carleton University. He was Noront’s Chief Geologist during the discovery phase of exploration, but has no financial conflict of interest related to the Ring of Fire. He is considered the top specialist in magmatic ore deposits in Canada and is well-respected globally. Both the Ring of Fire and the Sudbury Basin are magmatic ore deposits.

How much is the Ring of Fire really worth?

Why has mining still not begun in Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral deposit belt a decade after its discovery? Are the deposits worthless, or are there factors beyond the control of the mining industry that are blocking progress?

The value of recoverable contained metal “in the ground” represents the sum of wealth that can be generated through the eventual sale of the commodity to the marketplace. This wealth is distributed over costs of labour, energy, equipment, taxes, profits and interest payments, adding to economic activity by many actors.

Alternatively, the value of the deposit to investors is represented by the profit they hope to make after paying all costs. The need to apply a discount to future earnings shortens the time window on a company’s investment decision to just a few years and may forbid large initial capital expenditures even if the potential for long-term wealth generation is very great.

A third consideration is the intangible value of the deposit to society at large, such as the desire to secure a local supply of a strategic metal or to increase long-term economic activity in an underdeveloped region. Continue Reading →

OPINION: From sulphur to solar: A big idea for Sudbury’s Superstack – by Jason McLennan (Northern Ontario Business – January 24, 2020)

Sudbury’s story is inextricably linked to our Superstack. The story is not just environmental degradation. It is also inextricably connected to the planting of millions of trees, the extraordinary recovery of our lakes, the enriching of our depleted soils, and the return of biodiversity.

Growing up in Sudbury meant being associated with the Superstack, which I thought was a ‘cloud-making machine’ when I was really young. I didn’t understand the environmental legacy. What I knew at a young age was that we were here because of nickel.

This symbol of our city and Canada’s second tallest structure represents massive possibility. Once gone, a big piece of the city’s identity and story will be lost, along with the opportunity to remake this emblem of Sudbury’s environmentally dark past into one of a regenerative future. Continue Reading →