Archive | Sudbury Basin

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)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

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 →

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 →

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

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

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 →

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

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

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 →

Vale & NORCAT VR training partnership. Extraordinary ways to the do the ordinary – by Len Gillis (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – March 2020)

https://www.sudburyminingsolutions.com/

With all the excitement over virtual reality (VR)and how it can change the workplace with high tech opportunities, mining company Vale has partnered with innovation leader NORCAT in Sudbury to carry out a very necessary part of business.

Jason Bubba, NORCAT’s director of training, said Vale is launching a new program that takes advantage of NORCAT’s extraordinary training centre to do something quite ordinary – training new hires.

“What we’re building right now are virtual reality pre-operational check programs for three pieces of underground equipment — for a forklift, for a scissor deck and for a utility vehicle,” said Bubba. “So these pieces are for entry-level workers so they can be trained on the equipment that they’re first going to use when they go to work for Vale.” Continue Reading →

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

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

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 →

NEWS RELEASE: SHAFT BOTTOM BOYS SMASH GUINESS WORLD RECORD AT CREIGHTON MINE

SUDBURY, MARCH 9, 2020 – It was a rocking Sudbury Saturday morning in Creighton Mine’s 7200-level garage as the Shaft Bottom Boys brought the Guinness World Record for deepest underground concert back to Sudbury with a rousing Canadian content filled performance, 7200 feet underground.

The 47-minute set had Vale employees’ steel-toed boots tapping along to some rock and roll classics, including Canadian favourites the Tragically Hip and Blue Rodeo, and of course the band got their set going with an ode to Stompin’ Tom Connors ‘Sudbury Saturday Night’. The Shaft Bottom Boys even penned an original tune in honour of the event titled ‘Creighton Deep’ and handed out song lyrics to encourage the audience of 50 to participate.

Ripley’s Entertainment and official representatives of Guinness World Records along with members of Science North’s Board of Directors and Miners for Cancer were on hand to support the event, as funds raised will flow towards the two charities. Science North intends to use the funds to send an additional 1,000 underserved children across Northern Ontario to their Summer Science Camps. Continue Reading →

THE DRIFT 2020: The Sudbury story: City’s regreening program has valuable lessons for the world – by Colleen Romaniuk (Northern Ontario Business – February 28, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Four decades ago, countries around the world were using the word ‘Sudbury’ as a unit of pollution. The city was the single largest point source of sulfur dioxide emissions in the 1960s, producing about 2.5 million tonnes per year.

According to John Gunn, director of the Vale Living With Lakes Centre at Laurentian University, that’s bigger than all of Europe today. “Countries were saying, how many Sudburys do you produce?” said Gunn. “And the answer to that question wasn’t one. It was less than one.” Air quality, however, was the tip of the iceberg.

The region had been reduced to a barren wasteland (often referred to as a moonscape) after only a few decades of mining and smelting. Local vegetation was devastated by acid rain and logging, as Sudbury earned a reputation of being one of the most infamous disasters in North America. Continue Reading →

Vale hiring blitz draws a crowd – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – February 26, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Copper Cliff may have experienced its first-ever traffic jam on Tuesday as hundreds of people flocked to the hamlet for the Vale hiring pop-up.

More than a thousand hopeful applicants attended the employment event on day one, which saw the mining company recruiting for underground miners; supervisors; tradespeople; equipment technicians; engineers; technologists; and support staff.

Traffic was backed up at one point to the arena and it took nearly 40 minutes to reach the Copper Cliff Club from Jube’s Bar + Grill. Most people spent another 45-60 minutes waiting in line in the cold, just to enter the building. Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s iconic Superstack easing into retirement – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – February 19, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

One of two new, smaller stacks already in operation

The long plumes that used to flow from the Superstack in Copper Cliff have been reduced to wisps as the mega chimney nears retirement and two mini versions take over.

You could call it a passing of the baton, although in this case it’s more like breaking one really big one in half. In fact, each of the replacement stacks is closer to a third of the size of the original.

The Superstack stretches 1,250 feet in height and is more than 100-feet-wide at its base. The new stacks are much slimmer and top out at 450 feet. Lights now adorn the shorter towers and one is already emitting puffs of smoke. Continue Reading →

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

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

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)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

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 →

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

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

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 →

Sudbury: MiningWatch Canada pushes for global review of safety of tailings dams (CBC News Sudbury – January 23, 2020)

https://www.cbc.ca/

Third party would review engineering and ground conditions, says MiningWatch spokesperson

State prosecutors in Brazil have charged Fabio Schvartsman, the former chief executive of the mining company Vale, and 15 other people with homicide in connection with a tailings dam disaster last January that killed more than 250 people.

Jamie Kneen is communications and outreach coordinator with MiningWatch Canada. Kneen said his organization is pushing for a global review of the safety of tailing dams.

“We really need an independent third party with a lot of clout and credibility to have the authority to go in and investigate and look at the engineering but also the ground conditions,” he said. Vale and the company responsible for inspecting the dam have also been charged with environmental crimes. Continue Reading →

Lake trout’s return reflects success of Sudbury’s regreening efforts – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – January 23, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

‘Sudbury is an example to the world of what can be done’

All herald the mighty lake trout. This cold-water, oxygen-loving fish is a sign that Sudbury’s regreening efforts have really taken root.

“We’re trying to educate people about local species and local biodiversity in ecosystems,” Tina McCaffrey, supervisor of the city’s regreening program, says. “For myself and my parents, growing up 40 years ago, we know the landscape was black and lifeless. But children today – they miss out on that. They don’t always know what we’re talking about when we say Sudbury used to be like a moonscape.”

Sudbury’s regreening efforts are impressive. There is a hill in the Little Britain area where you can climb and look out over the slag pours of Vale in one direction, and the expanse of leafy neighbourhoods and verdant woods in the other. Sudbury no longer resembles the moonscapes of past decades. Certainly, our rocks are still black, but now they are covered in mosses, lichens, trees and shrubs that speak to the pioneering efforts of the VETAC committee. Continue Reading →