Archive | Sudbury Basin

The Drift: New identity, leader guide mine supply group into next chapter – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – May 3, 2021)

MineConnect is taking a pan-northern approach to promoting mining in the North

Marla Tremblay is a doer. As far back as her economic development days in North Bay in the mid- to late 2000s, she’s had a knack for making things happen and deftly juggling multiple projects at once.

Between writing funding proposals and crafting strategic plans, she’ll happily coordinate the office potluck, drawing up a detailed list of what everyone’s bringing to the party.

“I’m that person,” Tremblay chuckled. “I’m the mother hen. I’m the one who’s organizing the details.” A long record of success doing what she does best made her the ideal candidate to become the next executive director of MineConnect. Continue Reading →

Restructuring overlooks important environmental legacy: critics – by Hugh Kruzel (Sudbury Star – April 30, 2021)

Laurentian is cutting environmental science, environmental studies, ecology and restoration biology programs as it works to balance its books

Sudbury has garnered a reputation around the world as a community that knows how to recover an environment degraded by mining and smelting operations. Most of that know-how was developed by Laurentian University researchers — expertise that will be lost as the university restructures, critics warn.

Laurentian is cutting environmental science, environmental studies, ecology and restoration biology programs – among many others – as part of a process to balance its books.

The university is insolvent, can’t pay its bills and has filed for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act as it restructures. So far, it has cut almost 200 jobs and 69 programs. Many, however, say cuts are a severe blow to the reputation of Sudbury as a leader in landscape revitalization. Continue Reading →

Laurentian University cuts world-renowned programs – by Albrecht I. Schulte-Hostedde (Sudbury Star – April 28, 2021)

Sudbury is known as the city of lakes and for its famous regreening programs, yet university is slashing expertise in those areas as it restructures

Among the programs closed in Laurentian University’s “restructuring” were environmental science, environmental studies, ecology and restoration biology.

In a city of lakes, where Sophie Mathur has galvanized global youth around the climate crisis, where the regreening of the region has reached near mythological status, an undergraduate student cannot enter into an environmental or ecology program at Laurentian University.

Think about that. Why were Laurentian’s environmental and ecology programs closed? Continue Reading →

Then and Now: In 1923, Ernest Hemingway called Sudbury’s moonscape ‘the weirdest country I have ever seen’ – by Vicki Gilhula ( – April 22, 2021)

The famed writer came north on assignment for The Toronto Star, hoping to get the scoop on a coal deposit

Ernest Hemingway is a towering figure of 20th century American literature and his celebrated life is the subject of a recent excellent three-part Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary series on PBS.

Before his first novel was published, Hemingway was a reporter and it is often noted by biographers that he perfected his simple, unadorned style of writing during his days at The Toronto Star from 1920 to 1924.

Hemingway was just 20 when he started to freelance for The Star. In 1921, he went to Paris as the paper’s foreign correspondent. Between August and December 1923, he returned to Toronto and worked out of the King Street newsroom. Continue Reading →

Sudbury nickel miner’s technology ‘ecosystem’ aims to find safe ultra-deep mining solution – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – April 20, 2021)

Glencore Sudbury INO eyeing mechanization for loading, wiring explosives underground

Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (SINO) has extracted just about everything there is to mine at its Sudbury properties, and so to have a future presence in the city, the company knows it’ll have to mine deeper.

At its Onaping Depth project, north of Sudbury, plans are in the works to get down to 2,700 metres, from about 1,200 metres at the existing Craig Mine, where a new orebody awaits. But the big question remains: how do they do that while navigating the safety challenges posed by ultra-deep mining?

“It’s pretty clear to us that the seismicity that we’ll encounter down there will be a big step change from where we are,” said Michael MacFarlane, Glencore SINO’s innovation consultant, during the April 14 2021 Virtual Mining Health and Safety Conference hosted by Workplace Safety North. Continue Reading →

‘A life well lived’: Veteran journalist and writer Mick Lowe has passed away at age 73 – by Heidi Ulrichsen ( – April 17, 2021)

Award-winning Sudbury journalist and author Mick Lowe passed away peacefully at his home at Pioneer Manor this morning. Lowe, who was 73, died as a result of complications from a fall he suffered about three weeks ago.

He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and immigrated to Canada in 1970 as a Vietnam War draft dodger. Lowe’s journalism has appeared in a range of publications such as Maclean’s, Canadian Business, Canadian Lawyer, the Globe and Mail and on CBC Radio.

Lowe is also a former editor of Northern Life,’s predecessor publication, and the author of seven books (with another pending publication), as well as a former lecturer in Cambrian College’s now-defunct journalism program. Continue Reading →


SUDBURY, March 31, 2021 – Vale and United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2020 are pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached on a new four and a half year Collective Bargaining Agreement between Vale, Ontario Operations and USW Local 2020. The new agreement takes effect on April 1, 2021.

“The negotiation process has been both productive and respectful, and we are encouraged that we have been able to reach an agreement that the bargaining committee fully endorsed” said Sherri Hawkes, President of USW Local 2020-05.

“We are pleased that the agreement appropriately meets the needs for both the company and union members” said Mitch Medina, Manager of Employee and Labour Relations for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations. “I feel this is exemplified in the endorsement of the agreement by the USW Local 2020 bargaining committee reflecting the positive collaboration throughout the negotiation process.” Continue Reading →

Vale mining boss looks ahead to a sustainable future in the Sudbury Basin – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 23, 2021)

Replenishing the diminishing nickel reserves in Sudbury begins with people power and partnerships, says Dino Otranto

The days of senior management thinking that what was good for Inco was good for Sudbury are long over.

The head of operations of its corporate successor, Vale, talked this week about ‘transformational’ change on the operational and technology front in the Sudbury Basin but also within the internal culture at one of the world’s biggest base metal miners.

“What we’ve learned as an organization is how we do what we do is more important than ever before,” said Dino Otranto, chief operating officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries. Continue Reading →

Nickel company and First Nation set the ground rules for exploration: Class 1 Nickel and Matachewan First Nation ink memorandum of understanding – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 11, 2021)

A Toronto junior miner, looking to put a former mine property back into production near Timmins, has struck an agreement with a neighbouring First Nation community.

Class 1 Nickel and Technologies and Matachewan First Nation (MFN) signed of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to advance exploration for nickel, copper and cobalt at the company’s Alexo-Dundonald Nickel Sulphide Project, 45 kilometres east of the city.

A MOU is a first-stage agreement usually signed between an exploration company and a First Nation, establishing the ground rules for how exploration will be carried out on a community’s traditional land. It also provides a formal line of communication as activity progresses and opens the door for a First Nation to participate in the project. Continue Reading →

A new nickel exploration player emerges in the Sudbury basin – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 9, 2021)

Transition Metals generates interest in battery metals by going public with SPC Nickel

The surge of interest in battery metals has prompted a Sudbury exploration firm to go public with a spinoff company focussed on advancing its nickel and copper exploration properties in the Sudbury basin.

Transition Metals officially launched SPC Nickel Corp on the TSX Venture Exchange on March 8 under the ticker SPC.

With 25 exploration projects on the go across Canada in the gold, copper, nickel and platinum space, Transition bills itself as a ‘project generator,’ always on the lookout to welcome to option agreements or joint ventures. Continue Reading →

Gold, battery metals exploration brisk in the Sudbury district – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 4, 2021)

Winter drilling campaigns underway for properties with open-pit potential

The Sudbury Basin is known as one of the world’s most prolific mining camps for nickel and base metals. But on underexplored ground in the outlying areas many exploration-stage junior miners continue to actively drill and sample for gold and metals related to the electric vehicle battery revolution.

East of Sudbury, New Age Metals reported it’s found rhodium at its River Valley Palladium Project. The company is in the advanced stages of planning for an open-pit mine, 60 kilometres east of the city.

In a March 2 news release, New Age calls rhodium is the “rarest and most valuable” of all the platinum group metals. Recent spot prices have reached highs of more than US$24,000 per ounce, the company said. Continue Reading →

‘Sudbury is a city primed for change’ – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – February 11, 2021)

John Gunn says city will have to transform itself yet again if it hopes to become an exemplary, carbon-neutral community by mid-century.

A lot has changed since John Gunn arrived in Sudbury in the late 1970s. The landscape at that time was “largely barren,” noted the director of the Living With Lakes Centre, leaving his young wife to ponder: “Are we really going to stay here?”

The couple would indeed stick around, with Gunn studying the impacts of acid on lakes and helping to found the Freshwater Ecology Unit at Laurentian University in 1989. Over his career, he would also witness, and document, a remarkable transformation.

The city went from being “the world’s largest point source of sulphur dioxide” and the brunt of lunar comparisons to a model of environmental rebound, as reductions in emissions — now a fraction of what they were in the 1960s — and a concerted regreening effort allowed life to return to the land and water. Continue Reading →

Sudbury mining supply group stakes its claim in Nevada – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – February 4, 2021)

MineConnect to establish incubator space for Northern Ontario companies to dive into southwestern U.S.

The mining industry in northern Nevada will have access to Canada’s largest concentration of hard rock mining expertise when MineConnect, Sudbury’s mining supply and service organization, sets up shop in Elko later this year.

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority announced the signing of a three-year partnership with MineConnect to establish a business incubator space this summer to support the state’s mining industry.

The move maintains the momentum in relationship building between the two mining jurisdictions and this country’s expanding investment in Nevada’s robust mining industry, ranging from equipment manufacturing to gold mining. Continue Reading →

Contract talks ‘long and hard,’ Mine Mill says, but members approve contract – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – February 2, 2021)

The leader of a union representing Glencore workers said he was comfortable with the tentative deal reached over the weekend on a new contract, although it would up to the workers to decide.

And they did Monday, voting in favour of the new contract by a 67.8 per cent again. “The bargaining was very long and hard — many long nights,” said Eric Boulay, vice-president and acting president of Mine Mine Local 598/Unifor. “Our committee is confident they reached the most fair agreement that could be reached at this point.”

One of the sticking points in the talks, which went throughout the weekend, was a concession the company wanted regarding benefits, “but we were able to get that off the table,” said Boulay. Continue Reading →

Bittersweet victory for Sudbury woman who lobbied for dad’s health benefits – by Ron Grech (Sudbury Star – January 21, 2021)

Janice Martell worked on behalf of miners who had been exposed to McIntyre Powder

Janice Martell’s father Jim Hobbs didn’t live to see the fruits of his daughter’s lobbying efforts on behalf of miners who had been exposed to McIntyre Powder.

Hobbs, who worked at a uranium mine in Elliot Lake, developed Parkinson’s disease later in life and passed away in May 2017 at the age of 76.

Three years after his death, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board acknowledged the “increased risk of Parkinson’s disease in McIntyre Powder-exposed miners.” Continue Reading →