Archive | Sudbury Basin

$2M for Sudbury Laurentian engineering school – by Staff (Sudbury Star – March 18, 2018)

The Bharti School of Engineering at Laurentian University has received $2 million from the Canadian mining firm, IAMGOLD Corporation Inc. The money will fund the creation of a collaboration space for engineering students in the newly constructed Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building. To honour this contribution, the space will be named the IAMGOLD Student Engineering Junction.

In addition, money will support engineering lab refurbishment, upgrades to technology and equipment, research, scholarships as well as student activities and field trips.

“We are grateful to IAMGOLD for their continued support of Laurentian students. This investment will further enhance our students’ learning experience at the Bharti School,” Markus Timusk, director of the Bharti School of Engineering, said in a release. “Engineering students from across disciplines will have a place to gather, collaborate and share ideas and knowledge. Students will also have access to leading-edge technology and additional experiential learning opportunities.” Continue Reading →

Historic mining facility in Copper Cliff to be demolished by year’s end – by Benjamin Aubé (CBC News Sudbury – March 15, 2018)

The Copper Cliff iron ore recovery plant was built by INCO in 1953

It was an iconic part of Greater Sudbury’s mining history to some, and a decaying eyesore to others, but the former Copper Cliff iron ore recovery plant is finally coming down.

Starting in the mid-1950s, the facility was used to separate remaining traces of iron ore and sulphur from waste produced by nickel mining operations. Vale spokesperson Angie Robson said there should be no trace of the facility by the end of 2018.

“Obviously it was a very historically significant part of our operations. It employed many in the community over the years, so it’s quite significant that the plant is now being decommissioned,” said Robson. Continue Reading →

Vale, Glencore approve Sudbury projects – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – March 13, 2018)

Vale and Glencore are digging deep to dig deep. Each company is committing about $700 million to develop new mines and will be using cutting-edge, automated machines to reach the ore located more than two kilometres below the surface.

Vale is going ahead with its Copper Cliff Deep project, which includes refurbishing the south shaft at the Copper Cliff complex and eventual access to an ore body beneath Kelly Lake. The first phase is pegged at $760 million.

Glencore has freed up about $900 million for Onaping Depth, a new project near Craig Mine that will burrow 2.6 km into the earth. Jean-Charles Cachon, a professor in marketing and management at Laurentian University, said the price tags for these projects are typical of the industry. Continue Reading →

Vale says no new jobs to come with $760M Copper Cliff mine expansion (CBC News Sudbury – March 08, 2018)

$760 million to expand Copper Cliff Mine over next 4 years

Vale announced this week that it’s making a big investment in Sudbury, while at the same looking to trim millions from its global nickel operations. The company is spending $760 million dollars over the next four years to expand Copper Cliff Mine.

The project, which some have called Copper Cliff Deep, will see the area between the north and south shafts mined, while at the same time giving the company future access to an ore body beneath Kelly Lake.

But Vale’s vice-president of corporate affairs and communications Cory McPhee says not to expect a round of new hiring. “It’s not necessarily creating new jobs as much as it is sustaining jobs that are existing today. Continue Reading →

Beware hexavalent chromium and the many ifs of the Coniston smelter – by Mark Gentili (Sudbury Northern Life – March 8, 2018)

Mark Gentili is the editor of Northern Life and

If the Ring of Fire development happens this lifetime … if the chromite market doesn’t tank … if Noront Resources isn’t bought out by a bigger miner … if Coniston is selected as the site for a chromite smelter … if, if, if.

There are a lot of ifs when it comes to the city’s bid to host a ferrochrome processing facility (a.k.a. a smelter) on the site of the old Inco smelter in Coniston. These ifs aside, what appears to be a relatively small group of opponents have already taken up the fight against the project.

I’m not criticizing people for holding the city to account and expressing an opinion — far from it. I’m all for having an engaged citizenry, willing to stand up for what it believes in. That’s democracy. No, that’s not what I’m writing about. Today (again) I want to talk about Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini. Continue Reading →

Sudbury mining cluster grows its global position – by Dick DeStefano (Canadian Mining Journal – February 2018)

Michael Denham, the new CEO of the Business Development Bank of Canada, recently acknowledged the fact that small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent 99.8% of all Canadian companies, produce 66% of jobs in the country and represent more than 50% of Canada’s GDP.

Denham noted that, in an era of globalization and increasing numbers of “free trade agreements,” we need more SMEs generating more growth to sustain our economy.

While this applies across multiple sectors, it is especially valid in the most sophisticated underground technology centres in Canada. In northern Ontario, the 500-plus mining supply and service companies based there employ 23,000 people – double the number of direct mining occupations in northern Ontario – and are an important component of wealth creation and innovation. Continue Reading →

The Sudbury recipe: How the city came to be a global centre of mining innovation (Canadian Mining Journal – February 2018)

Sudbury has a long history as an important mining centre in Canada, with the first of many nickel-copper mines, Murray, built in the late 1880s.

But over the past 15 years, the city has become known as a mining innovation hub, with a dense and extensive network of service and supply companies and research institutions whose influence stretches well beyond northern Ontario.

The feat is all the more impressive considering the price of nickel – the commodity that was most responsible for Sudbury’s rise as a mining centre – is far from booming. (It was US$6.21 per lb. at press time.) Ian Wood, director of economic development at the city of Greater Sudbury, says that the reason for the strength of the city’s mining service and supply sector stems from the needs of thetwo dominant nickel giants in the area – Glencore (formerly Falconbridge) and Vale (formerly Inco). Continue Reading →

Chromite critics warn element ‘very toxic’ – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – March 5, 2018)

Despite a ringing endorsement from city council for a Noront ferrochrome processing plant, some stakeholders are expressing concern over the safety of the smelter and its impacts on human health.

Mayor Brian Bigger travelled to Europe earlier this year to check out the Outokumpu ferrochrome production facility in Tornio, Finland. Following his visit, the mayor said he has no concerns about the safety or health impacts of an arc furnace.

“I have no concerns,” Bigger said in February. “That’s the level of confidence I wanted to come back with, with the entire team. We asked questions of all of the people we met, looking for any concerns whatsoever on their part. We found none. On my part, I have full confidence in welcoming a ferrochrome facility into our community. I think it’ll go well with our plans to diversify our economy and attract investment to create jobs. It fits in with the long-term strategy of growing our community.” Continue Reading →

Glencore, Vale approve C1.8 billion in mine development spending for Sudbury – by Norm Tollinsky (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – March 1, 2018)

Copper Cliff and Onaping Depth projects underway

Vale and Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations have received board approval for major mine development projects in the Sudbury Basin.

Following several delays attributable to low commodity prices, Vale is proceeding with a C$760 million phase one development of its Copper Cliff Deep project, while Glencore is moving ahead with a C$900 million development of Onaping Depth.

Both projects are being undertaken to replace declining production from established mines.

“I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that most of our mines are facing declining production profiles,” said Vale’s Dave Stefanuto, vice-president, capital projects for the North Atlantic. “We need to find replacement volumes of ore, so we’re starting to focus more on what we can do to start supplementing these declining orebodies. In the last few years, we spent a lot of time focusing on our surface plants, including the $1 billion Clean AER project. We’ve invested enough in our surface facilities. Now we have to feed them because they’re no good if they’re running empty.” Continue Reading →

Mining Super Cluster Denied But Doesn’t Deter Regional Expansion – by Dick DeStefano (March 2, 2018)

Dick DeStefano is the Executive Director of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA).

I am disappointed by the Canadian Federal Government’s recent decision to ignore a request by CEMI and CMIC and multiple partners to grow our mining and related sector in Canada. It was not chosen as a priority in their Super Cluster competition and remains on the fringe of the government agenda.

But the results will not deter the existing cluster to move its agenda forward in the next years and expand its presence in the global market. A significant effort has been invested in establishing a viable infrastructure and cooperative effort by multiple partners within Northern Ontario and that effort will continue as we move forward.

It’s not a lack of information because our review indicates that over 20 profiles have been published in the past two years and the case study recently released by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities illustrates the shift from an extractive mining sector to a world class mining intelligence sector. Continue Reading →

Sudbury letter: Smelter is safe, mayor says – by Brian Bigger (Sudbury Star – March 1, 2018)

Brian Bigger is the Mayor of Sudbury.

Re: “Smelter plan ‘underhanded, shocking’,” Feb. 25.

I want to thank all the residents who’ve taken the time to express their sentiments regarding the city’s bid to Noront Resources. It’s important that we have these discussions to alleviate some of the misconceptions.

It’s important to make clear that no decision has been made regarding the ferrochrome processing plant Noront is proposing. The location we are proposing was provided close to the bid due date to keep our competitive advantage over other communities.

As you are aware, I went to Finland to see first-hand what a facility like this looks like and to hear how the company works within the community. The response was overwhelmingly supportive. Our community survey was also quite supportive, with 77 per cent of respondents supporting the idea of submitting a proposal for a ferrochrome smelter in our community. Continue Reading →

Exploring Innovation in Northern Canada with Insights from the Mining Innovation System in Greater Sudbury, Ontario – by Heather Hall (The Northern Review – June 29, 2017)

Heather Hall is the Assistant Professor, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo.

The Mining Innovation System in Greater Sudbury

The remainder of this article focuses on the development of the mining innovation system in Greater Sudbury to provide insights on innovation and economic development in northern regions.1

It is worth noting that Sudbury2 is a unique case study to investigate the northern dynamics of innovation in the Canadian context due to its size (population 165,000) and location. As will be discussed later, it is the largest community in northern Canada and is located in the southern part of the provincial North. That being said, the Sudbury case does provide insights into the economic development challenges that are faced by many communities across northern Canada.

It also highlights the importance of public investment and infrastructure for enhancing northern innovation. In the circumpolar context, Sudbury is not unlike Oulu (Finland), Tromsø (Norway), and Luleå (Sweden) in terms of its development, size, and function as a regional-service centre. Continue Reading →

City has a lot to offer to Noront workers – by Robert Kirwan (Sudbury Star – February 26, 2018)

Robert Kirwan is the city councillor for Ward 5.

The City of Greater Sudbury has submitted a compelling bid to host the proposed Noront Resources ferrochrome production facility. Noront will consider other proposals from Timmins, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie in addition to the Sudbury bid.

Since Greater Sudbury is recognized as one of the global leaders in the mining and mining supply and services industry, we should be considered as a frontrunner in this competition for the billion-dollar plant that comes with about 350 permanent jobs and about 150 indirect jobs within the community. The city is proposing that the optimal location for the plant is the former Inco’s Coniston smelter site, which is already zoned and suitable for the facility.

Noront has indicated that it will only select a city where it knows it is welcome. A survey conducted recently showed that 77 per cent of the people polled support the construction of the facility. Continue Reading →

No social license for Coniston smelter – by Steve May (Sudbury Star – February 25, 2018)

City officials dropped a bombshell on the community of Coniston earlier this month when, through a press release, Mayor Brian Bigger announced that Greater Sudbury had selected the small community as the preferred location for Noront Resources’ ferrochrome smelter.

Almost immediately, officials were scrambling to provide information to stunned Conistonians. Coun. Deb McIntosh, whose ward includes Coniston, hastily arranged a public meeting for the following week. Mayor Bigger, fresh from his tour of the Outokumpu ferrochrome facility in Finland, did the rounds with local media to assure the public that there is nothing to worry about when it comes to ferrochrome.

It all looked and sounded like damage control. Almost overnight, Conistonians, fearful of the impacts that a new smelter will have on their community, were provoked into action. A website was registered – – and content about the potentially harmful effects of chromite processing was being shared around the community via social media. Continue Reading →

Mining equipment company develops global reach: RDH Mining Equipment acquired by German-based SMT Scharf Corp. – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – February 21, 2018)

RDH Mining Equipment has joined a larger family, which its management says will mean more opportunities to grow as a company and more markets to expand into. The mining equipment producer announced in a news release Feb. 7 it was acquired by German-based company SMT Scharf for $8 million.

“We were approached by Scharf and they said they were interested in making a deal,” said Neil Edward, chief financial officer for RDH Mining Equipment. “We had visited them in Germany to continue discussions back in October to discuss our two businesses.”

The company is located in Alban, about an hour southeast of Sudbury and supplies mines with mobile equipment. SMT Scharf produces rail transport systems for the mining industry. Continue Reading →