Sudbury Accent: LU researcher tackles ‘the next frontier’ of Sudbury’s regreening program – by Colleen Romaniuk (Sudbury Star – October 22, 2021)

A researcher at Laurentian University’s Living with Lakes Centre is planting the seeds for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly land reclamation process.

Jonathan Lavigne has partnered with Collège Boréal to explore the potential for pulp and paper mill waste and municipal biosolids as an alternative to the lime and fertilizer method of treating soils damaged by years of acid rain deposition.

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Nickel prices surge to 7-year high, approaching $10 a pound – by Staff (Sudbury Star – October 20, 2021)

Driven in part by troubles with Vale’s Sudbury operations, nickel surged to a seven-year high on Wednesday. Nickel – the key mineral found in Sudbury – topped US$9.53 a pound, the highest it’s been since 2014.

Bloomberg News said concerns that there’ll be less supply of the key industrial metal to meet resilient demand from economies reopening as the pandemic retreats sparked higher prices.

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Road to Ring of Fire is Green National Priority for Ontario and Canada – by Stan Sudol

The thunder from down under has been reverberating through Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining camp – located roughly 500 kms northeast of Thunder Bay – as Australian mining giants BHP and Wyloo Metals are fighting a bruising bidding war for Noront Resources. The junior exploration company owns the Eagle’s Nest nickel/copper potential mine as well as extensive world-class chromite deposits and other mineral-rich promising ground.

BHP is the largest mining company in the world, whose current CEO, Mike Henry, is a Canadian, while Wyloo Metals is owned by Fortescue Metals, founded by mining billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, and is the world’s fourth largest iron ore miner.

“Noront’s ROF land package hosts some of the most prospective mineral deposits in the world. These deposits have the potential to become Canada’s next great mineral district, supporting the production of future-facing commodities for multiple generations”, claimed a Wyloo Metals news release in August.

The entry of multi-billion-dollar mining corporations signals a proverbial “game-change” in the stalled Ring of Fire mining camp. Noront Resource was a struggling junior company that did manage to consolidate almost half of the valuable mineral claims in the camp but did not have the funds to do significant further exploration or to build their existing mine. Newly established and well-funded explorer Juno Corporation is the largest claim holder who after extensive aerial geo-physics surveys that showcased promising anomalies, is hoping to add to future discoveries.

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Sudbury group encourages women in mining, ‘shattering stereotypes’ in the process (CBC News Sudbury – October 7, 2021)

A new group in Sudbury, Ont., wants to help more women get jobs in the mining industry. Women represent around one in 10 workers in Canada’s mining industry, and number that hasn’t changed much in the last 10 years, according to Jennifer Dallaire, treasurer of the Sudbury chapter of Women in Mining.

The chapter launched in early 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it just recently held its first networking event. About 50 people participated in the event. They ranged from women already working in the industry, to students and business owners.

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Vale sees no near-term spinoff of base metals unit – by Staff (Sudbury Star – October 10, 2021)

The chief executive of Vale SA said on Thursday the Brazilian iron ore miner is not looking into a near-term spinoff for its base metals, and the company later said the unit needs to be “transformed” before that longstanding plan can be carried out.

“We are not talking about a spinoff yet. The problem here is the size of the business,” said Eduardo Bartolomeo, Vale’s chief executive officer, as part of the Financial Times’ Mining Summit.

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‘We just gave’r’: Exhausted rescuers used double-pulley system to raise trapped Totten miners – by Laim Casey (Sudbury Star – October 7, 2021)

Canadian Press – Danny Taillefer and Jason Leger were in the middle of a first aid refresher course when the phone rang. Shawn Rideout, the chief rescue officer with Ontario Mine Rescue, was on the other end. There were 39 miners stuck underground at Totten Mine near Sudbury, Ont., after the mine shaft was compromised, he said.

There was another way out: climbing a complex warren of ladders at the Vale-owned mine from about a kilometre underground. Taillefer and Leger — mine rescue officers with the non-profit who were based in Timmins, Ont. — were told they were needed for a complicated mission, and instructed to bring several hundred kilograms of rope and other gear.

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Artificial intelligence deployed in Sudbury gold hunt – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 4, 2021)

A junior mining outfit is taking an analytic approach to get the geological big picture around a former Sudbury-area gold mine. MacDonald Mines Exploration has engaged GoldSpot Discoveries, a Toronto mining technology company, to help with exploration on its SPJ Project, 40 kilometres northeast of the city.

MacDonald believes there’s a large gold system of interconnected deposits on its 18,930-hectare land package in Davis, Street and Scadding Townships. The property contains the former Scadding Gold Mine, which produced 29,000 ounces of gold in the 1980s.

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Vale miner describes long climb out of Sudbury’s Totten Mine – by Heidi Ulrichsen (Northern Ontario Business/ – September 30, 2021)

At 60 years old, Perry Venedam was one of the oldest miners stranded underground at Vale’s Totten Mine on Sunday after a piece of equipment being slung to the bottom became lodged in the shaft and put the cage lift system out of operation.

Along with 39 other Vale employees, he was forced to use a secondary egress ladder system to ascend out of the mine with the help of mine rescuers, who ensured they were able to climb safely with the help of fall arrest equipment.

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OPINION: The dirty secrets behind Sudbury’s regreening – by Joan Kuyek (The Narwhal – September 30, 20210

The Narwhal

Joan Kuyek is co-founder of MiningWatch Canada and the author of Unearthing Justice.

A recent op-ed in The Narwhal said that Sudbury, Ont. offered proof that a “[post-mining] re-greening road map exists,” and indicated that Sudbury provides a model to the world. However, any community attempting to replicate the Sudbury model has to know its dirty, and often untold, stories.

The mines and smelters in Sudbury — Canada’s largest mining community — were built on and destroyed the lands of the Atikameksheng Anishinaabek. The boundaries of their tiny reserve were deliberately drawn to exclude mineral rich lands. Although over $1 trillion has been taken from the Sudbury region, the First Nation has received no compensation and no apology.

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There for you, on your worst day: Ontario Mine Rescue’s Ted Hanley on getting it right when everything goes wrong – by Herb Mathisen (CIM Magazine – September 29, 2021)

Editor’s note: CIM Magazine interviewed Ontario Mine Rescue’s Ted Hanley just weeks before the Totten mine rescue team successfully rescued the 39 miners trapped 4,130 feet underground.

You can’t crystal-ball everything. Ted Hanley, general manager of Ontario Mine Rescue, does his best anyway, as do the staffers and volunteers who work to save miners’ lives when accidents occur.

After all, the 92-year-old organization was created in response to a problem many should have seen coming. In 1928, fire crews were brought in from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to put out a fire at the Hollinger mine in Timmins because no local or provincial firefighters were capable of responding to the underground blaze.

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Totten Mine rescue a ‘really well-oiled’ team effort – by Jim Moodie (Globe and Mail – September 30, 2021)

The escape from Totten this week tested the mettle of more than three-dozen miners, but the task confronting rescue workers was just as daunting. About 90 people altogether were involved in the extraction effort, said Ontario Mine Rescue vice-president Ted Hanley, with Shawn Rideout, the organization’s chief mine rescue officer, charged with overseeing the response.

“It was all hands on deck, and really well-oiled in that there was a day shift and a night shift transition, for the surface operations, at least,” said Hanley. “It was a little more difficult for the underground rescue workers.”

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Canadian Miners Escape by Climbing 4,000 Feet – by Jacquie McNish and Vipal Monga (Wall Street Journal – September 29, 2021)

TORONTO—All 39 miners trapped at a Canadian nickel and copper mine in northern Ontario have been rescued. The last miner emerged at 4:45 am Wednesday, said a spokesman for Vale SA, the Brazilian company that owns the Totten Mine, located west of the town Sudbury.

The workers were unable to exit from the mine Sunday after a giant scoop bucket used for excavation fell from a sling into the mine’s elevator shaft, the spokesman said.

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SUDBURY, September 28, 2021 – Vale informs that the return of employees to surface at the Company’s Totten Mine in Sudbury, Ontario continues this morning following the successful ascent of several individuals overnight.

On Sunday, 39 employees were unable to exit the mine due to damage in the shaft that houses the conveyance used to transport employees between surface and underground. While conditions in the shaft were evaluated, employees reported to underground refuge stations as part of the company’s standard procedures.

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Trapped Totten Mine workers should be on surface by Monday evening (updated) – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – September 28, 2021)

As of early Monday evening, 39 miners at Totten Mine were still making their way up a series of ladders after being trapped about a kilometre underground for more than a day. “All mines have a secondary egress, or exit, for situations where the cage is inoperable,” said Danica Pagnutti, corporate affairs specialist with Vale.

In this case the shaft was damaged by a scoop bucket under the cage, she said, making the normal route to surface impassable. The employees, who punched in Sunday morning, were working in various areas between the 3,000- and 4,000-foot levels, Pagnutti said, when the incident occurred early Sunday afternoon.

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39 Sudbury miners trapped underground since Sunday afternoon – by Heidi Ulrichsen (Elliot Lake Today – September 27, 2021)

Exiting Vale’s Totten Mine via a ‘secondary egress ladder system’

Thirty-nine employees at Vale’s Totten mine who have been stuck underground since Sunday afternoon are exiting the mine via a “secondary egress ladder system” with the support of Vale’s mine rescue team.

This is after the conveyance for transporting employees was taken offline, following an incident in the shaft.

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