Merger talks about the Sudbury mining camp long overdue, says industry watcher – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – January 12, 2024)

Stan Sudol sees synergies and cost savings if Glencore and Vale form mining joint venture in the Sudbury basin

Vale Base Metals chairman Mark Cutifani’s remarks this week to Reuters new agency about a pursuing a business combination between his company and Glencore in the Sudbury basin has mining analyst Stan Sudol wondering, “What took them so long?”

The Sudbury-raised and Toronto-based owner of the Republic of Mining website is a keen observer of the global nickel industry and of the Sudbury camp. Now is the “perfect time” for a business combination between Sudbury’s two largest miners, and one that’s long overdue, he said.

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New push to combine Glencore, Vale mining assets in the Sudbury basin – by Darren MacDonald (CTV Northern Ontario – January 11, 2024)

The news service Reuters is reporting that the long dreamed of merger of Vale and Glencore mining assets in Sudbury basin could happen this year. “Talks for a Sudbury tie-up have been on and off since 2006, when annual savings were put at more than $500 million, with a number of options being touted for the mining and processing operations in the area,” the Reuters story said(opens in a new tab).

Brazil-based Vale purchased the former Inco for $19.6 billion in 2006. Talk of combining efforts in the area have surfaced from time to time, and an official with the company raised the issue recently, according to the Reuters story.

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Comparison of Attawapiskat, Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations in Ring of Fire – by Stan Sudol ( – January 10, 2024)

This column first appeared on the website LAW360 Canada which gives news and analysis on legal developments including litigation filings, case settlements, verdicts, regulation, enforcement, legislation and corporate deals.

Columnists representing Attawapiskat, on Ontario’s James Bay coast – 500 kms north of Timmins – have recently written some op/ed pieces on the Ring of Fire. These columns that have left out some basic facts about the mineral-rich region, whose traditional territories the nickel/copper/chromite deposits are on, and previous industrial developments that might be considered inconvenient truths.

The Hudson Bay Lowlands is about the size of Norway and without a doubt plays a key role in capturing carbon emissions. Roughly 10, 000 people live in small First Nations communities like Attawapiskat, Fort Albany and Kashechewan or regional service towns like Moosonee and Churchill, Manitoba. During the 1930s, two railroads were constructed to Moosonee and Churchill, while their collective and cumulative impacts on the ecosystem was insignificant.

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Will a Road Make the Ring of Fire a Reality? – TV Ontario’s The Agenda host Steve Paikin interviews Kristan Straub, Virginia Heffernan and Stan Sudol (March 21, 2023)

For the better part of 15 years, the Ring of Fire, the biggest mining prize in a generation, or more, has confounded those who would develop it. One of the key issues is how to get to and from the remote area. But the province may have presented a solution with a recently announced agreement on the terms of reference for a First Nations-led plan for a permanent road to the Ring of Fire.

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Curiosity spurred Virginia Heffernan to write a Ring of Fire book – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 4, 2023)

Toronto mining journalist hits PDAC 2023 with a primer on arrested development in the Far North

“Keep the faith.” It was an oft-used phrase by Richard “Dick” Nemis, a Sudbury native and colourful mining promoter whose company, Noront Resources, secured one of the largest land positions in the mineral-rich area of the James Bay known as the Ring of Fire.

Nemis clung to that motto even as he was being ousted by shareholders as the president of the junior mining company he helped establish in October 2008. It was personal blow since the exploration outfit was named after his father’s industrial fabrication company, started in the Nickel City in 1945, and still in operation today.

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(Part 1 of 2) Accent: Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire can save province’s auto sector – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – December 17, 2022)

However, unjustified opposition from environmentalists, complicated First Nations politics and incompetent provincial bureaucrats stand in the way

The isolated, nickel-rich Ring of Fire, located 550 km northeast of Thunder Bay, is the centerpiece of Ontario’s Critical Mineral Strategy. Discovered in 2007, this developing mining camp is going to save southern Ontario’s auto sector.

Automobiles and associated parts are Ontario’s largest exports and second largest nationally, after the oil sector. Over the past century, hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in manufacturing activity have established the province as Canada’s economic powerhouse.

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(Part 2 of 2) Accent: Ontario has moral obligation to develop Ring of Fire – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – December 19, 2022)

We must provide the West with sustainably sourced critical minerals to stop global warming

In 2014, after spending about $550 million to buy, further explore and develop their Ring of Fire properties, Cliffs Natural Resources left the province in disgust due to the inability of both levels of government to build a road into the camp.

They sold their project at a steep discount to Noront Exploration (now Ring of Fire Metals) for around $27 million. Have the federal and provincial ministries of environment not learned a painful lesson from that ordeal? We got a second chance when Wyloo Metals – which has enormous financial clout — bought Noront and yet I fear we are blowing it again.

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Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire Will Save Province’s Auto Sector – Stan Sudol (December 07, 2022)

The isolated, nickel-rich Ring of Fire, located 550 kms northeast of Thunder Bay, is the centre-piece of Ontario’s Critical Mineral Strategy. Discovered in 2007, this developing mining camp is going to save southern Ontario’s auto sector.

Automobiles and associated parts are Ontario’s largest exports and second largest nationally, after the oil sector. Over the past century, hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in manufacturing activity have established the province as Canada’s economic powerhouse.

The move from gas powered engines to electric vehicles – one of the largest industrial transitions in North American history – must occur in record time if we are going to arrest climate change. However, this conversion cannot happen without an enormous increase in nickel, copper, lithium and other critical minerals that are used in the manufacturing of electric vehicles.

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Ontario’s Untapped Ring of Fire – TV Ontario’s The Agenda host Steve Paikin interviews J.P. Gladu, Virginia Heffernan, Alishia Hiyate and Stan Sudol (May 19, 2022)

TV Ontario’s The Agenda host Steve Paikin interviews J.P. Gladu, Virginia Heffernan, Alishia Hiyate and Stan Sudol.

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Sudbury, Northern Ontario well positioned to reap the global rewards of the electric vehicle revolution – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – May 9, 2022)

The global nickel squeeze should turn the world’s critical mineral attention on this region, says mining columnist Stan Sudol

The big splash agreement that Elon Musk and his Tesla car company made last week with Brazilian miner Vale should have a ripple effect in the nickel-rich Sudbury basin and across Northern Ontario, according to a Toronto-based mining columnist.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to highlight the enormous potential of the Sudbury basin for clean, low-carbon nickel,” said Stan Sudol, owner of the Republic of Mining website, who heaped praise on the Tesla CEO.

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Would Doug Ford actually move jobs out of Toronto? – by Steve Paikin (TV Ontario – April 28, 2022)

The 2022 budget promises to move provincial agencies to smaller cities. But I’ve seen this movie before

When Labour Minister Monte McNaughton went to London earlier this week, he came bearing not much hard information but word of hundreds, if not thousands, of potential jobs.

The minister announced that the province would try to sell the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s downtown Toronto headquarters and then re-establish the agency at a new location in the Forest City. If all goes well, the Toronto headquarters could fetch as much as $600 million for the province’s coffers.

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Nickel markets may be chaotic, but long-term outlook very strong, analysts say – by Darren MacDonald (CTV News Northern Ontario – March 30, 2022)

It’s been a wild ride for nickel prices this month. After soaring to almost US$22 a pound, the London Metals Exchange (LME) halted trading for several days March 8, outraging many investors.

A major reason the LME intervened was a major Chinese nickel producer stood to lose billions because it had bet prices would be lower. Investors sometimes try to protect themselves from volatile prices by betting prices will be lower in the future, a process known as short selling.

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Nickel Closest Thing to a True ‘War Metal’ – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Northern Life – February 23, 2007)

Please note that this column is from 2007 – Stan Sudol

The metallic “Achilles heel” for any military and navel production has always been nickel

Sudbury was definitely going to be “nuked” by the Russians. At least that was our conclusion back in 1976 when I worked at CVRD Inco’s Clarabell Mill for a year.

During one graveyard shift, a group of us were talking about Cold War politics and atomic bombs. We all agreed that if there ever was a nuclear war between the Americans and Russians then there must have been one Soviet “nuke” with our community’s name stenciled on it. We all laughed a little nervously, but there was also some pride in knowing Sudbury was important enough to get blown-up in the first round of missiles.

Access to strategic materials has always affected the destinies of nations. The Romans conquered Britain in AD 43 to control valuable tin deposits in Cornwall. Combining tin with copper produces bronze, a more valuable and militarily important alloy. Ancient Chinese metallurgical expertise with iron and steel allowed the Middle Kingdom to become a dominate military and economic force during the prosperous Han dynasty.

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Northern Ontario’s mining memorials tell a tale of hard-fought labour protections – by Bill Steer (Bay Today – January 19, 2022)

Back Roads Bill Steer is the founder and remains the GM of the Canadian Ecology Centre. He teaches part-time at Nipissing University (Schulich School of Education) and Canadore College. His features can be found across Village Media’s Northern Ontario sites.

With the help of the region’s scholars, Back Roads Bill recounts the struggles and horrific working conditions endured by early miners and the reason we should all remember them

It is part of a history lesson we know little about, so perhaps we need a little schooling. Envision hard rock miners, once toiling far underground in dark, cramped and dangerous conditions; it was arduous and risky work.

They emerged tired and dirty at the end of their shifts, walking back to small wood-sided homes and their immigrant families. Mining, along with forestry, created what was then called ‘New Ontario,’ — what we know as Northern Ontario.

Indigenous mining in the north began after the last period of glaciations, people of the Plano culture moved into the area and began quarrying quartzite at Sheguiandah on Manitoulin Island. Mining is an important economic activity in Northern Ontario. It has been since the first copper mines at Bruce Mines in 1846 and Silver Islet in 1868.

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Shakespeare Mine in Espanola closer to production as nickel prices hit 10-year high – by Casey Stranges (CBC News Sudbury – February 16, 2022)

Mitsui & Co, a Japanese mineral company, is partnering with Sudbury-based Magna Mining

A $16 million investment from Japanese mineral company Mitsui may lead to a reopening of the Shakespeare Mine near Espanola.

Magna Mining Company, a Sudbury-based junior mining operative, announced earlier in February that it had entered a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Mitsui, which would see the Japanese company’s acquirement of a 10 to 12.5 per cent interest in Magna’s Shakespeare Mine in exchange for between $8 million-$10 million in cash.

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