Archive | Sudbury Basin

Copper Cliff Superstack dismantling will begin in 2020, Vale says (CBC News Sudbury – September 19, 2018)

380-meter chimney has loomed over city since 1970

Mining giant Vale says that the Superstack will be standing on Sudbury’s skyline until 2020, at which point the iconic structure will be slowly taken apart.

Angie Robson, Vale’s manager of corporate affairs, told CBC News that with recent pushes by the company to reduce emissions, the stack has simply outlived its usefulness. “It’s simply too big for our needs, given the reduction in emission we’ve been able to achieve,” Robson said. “So it’s going to stay in service until 2020.”

The 380-metre high stack was built in 1970 to disperse sulphur gases and other byproducts of the smelting process away from the city. “It’s simply too big for our needs, given the reduction in emission we’ve been able to achieve,” Robson said. “So it’s going to stay in service until 2020.” Continue Reading →

Glencore awards Onaping Depth contract to Cementation Canada – by Staff (Sudbury Star – September 19, 2018)

Canada Inc. said Tuesday it has been awarded the design and construction of the new internal underground shaft for the Onaping Depth Project at Craig Mine. The mine is part of Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Sudbury INO).

“Onaping Depth has been an iconic project for us and we have worked very closely with Sudbury INO over the years to evaluate and provide the shaft designs and methodology that combine safety with value,” Roy Slack, president of Cementation Canada, said in a release. “We are thrilled that the project is going ahead and are very excited to be Sudbury INO’s main contractor and design engineer for this shaft project.”

Cementation Canada did not say how much the contract was worth. Glencore, however, has freed up $700 million for Onaping Depth. Production at Onaping Depth expected to begin in 2023 — and go fully online by 2025. Continue Reading →

Canadian mining industry says goodbye to ‘turnaround man’ Bill James – by Robin de Angelis (CBC News Sudbury – September 17, 2018)

The man credited with making mining company Falconbridge Ltd. a success in the 1980s has passed away. William “Bill” James died on September 4, at the age of 89.

James took the helm of Falconbridge at a time when the company was losing millions of dollars each week due to flagging metal prices. He cut jobs and corporate spending, eventually making the company an attractive target for a takeover for Noranda.

Ed Thompson, a board member with the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, remembers working with James for almost 50 years. “He was a very forthright, honest man,” Thompson recalled. Continue Reading →

$1 billion later: Vale completes its Clean AER project: Superstack to be decommissioned as miner reduces emissions by 85% – by Arron Pickard (Sudbury Northern Life – September 14, 2018)

The largest single environmental investment in Greater Sudbury is now complete. Vale celebrated the completion of its $1-billion Clean Atmospheric Emissions Reduction project on Friday, achieving an 85-per-cent reduction in previous sulphur dioxide emissions and a 40-per-cent reduction in metal particulate emissions.

Dave Stefanuto, director of projects for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations, said the completion of the has been 10 years in the making, and was no small undertaking. This size and scope of the project was massive, considering the company continued to operate with no interruptions.

“We began in earnest in 2008, and broke ground in 2012, but the project has evolved over the years,” Stefanuto said. “We decided to move to a single furnace operation in 2013, which resulted in a greater reduction in emissions we had originally estimated.”

There are three core elements to the project: new converters in the smelter facility; the new wet gas cleaning plant, and; a new secondary baghouse facility. Continue Reading →

Vale celebrates completion of emissions reduction project – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – September 15, 2018)

Scientist David Pearson still has a vivid memory of a “bad air day” when he was getting out of his car at Laurentian University in the early 1970s, prior to the Inco Superstack being built.

“I ran from my car to get in the building,” he recalled, during a press conference Friday at the Vale Copper Cliff Smelting Complex. “It was not a pleasant experience.” Friday’s event marked the end of the mining company’s six-year, $1-billion Clean Atmospheric Emissions Reduction project.

It involved the construction of two new converters, which have special hoods to capture sulphur-dioxide gas, and a new wet-gas cleaning plant that captures 85 per cent of the sulphur-dioxide emissions previously emitted by the Superstack.

As well, Clean AER introduced a baghouse/fan building that acts like a giant vacuum cleaner, reducing metals particulate emissions by 40 per cent, and a pair of new 450-foot stacks that will be more efficient to operate than the Superstack. Continue Reading →

Service acknowledges ‘silent epidemic’ of occupational disease – by Keith Dempsey (Sudbury Star – September 11, 2018)

The original memorial at Leo Gerard Workers’ Memorial Park contains the names of hundreds of workers who have lost their life on the job.

A new display board, which contains the names of 36 individuals who have lost their life due to occupational disease, was introduced during a moving ceremony on Monday, during which family members who lost a loved one were presented with flowers.

“This has a great atmosphere of remembrance, an atmosphere of honouring those who have died,” JP Mrochek, a WSIB worker representative with the United Steelworkers Local 6500, said. “I hope that people who come to read these names think about how (to) limit those names, reduce those names.” Continue Reading →

New home for Sudbury Laurentian engineer labs – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – September 11, 2018)

A building that was badly needed at Laurentian University is now open for business. The Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building will also be the new home of the Bharti School of Engineering which had previously operated in the nearby Fraser and Science buildings.

“It wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to say space was tight,” Markus Timusk, the school’s director said at a press conference Monday to officially open the new building. “We had students with projects in the trunks of their cars … We finally have a space that lives up to the potential of our students and faculty.” Funding for the new facility was all lined up in a whirlwind 18-day span in the spring of 2016.

Located in Founders’ Square between the Parker and Fraser buildings on the Sudbury campus, the 60,000-square-foot building will house all engineering labs, offering four capstone innovation labs, a material analysis lab, environmental and soil mechanics lab, prototype development and machine shop, integrated software lab, a hydraulics and fluid mechanics lab, and a lecture theatre, with space to eventually add a full civil engineering program. Continue Reading →

Winter workers: How cold-adapted bacteria can benefit miners – by Christopher Pollon (CIM Magazine – September 06, 2018)

Nadia Mykytczuk, Industrial Research Chair in biomining, bioremediation and science communication at Laurentian University, spends a lot of time studying how micro-organisms like bacteria can be used to extract minerals and re-process legacy mine waste, all of which can reduce the environmental liabilities of mining.

As one of the few mining microbiologists focused on cold environments like Canada, she is working to create a Centre for Mine Waste Biotechnology that will nurture the next generation of scientists, companies and microbial mining tools.

CIM: What path led you to your current work at Laurentian University?

Mykytczuk: Very early on I was focused on how microbes work in various environments. While I was an undergrad at Carleton University, I got a co-op placement at the National Research Council looking at vaccine development for various pathogens; for my PhD at Laurentian, I looked at the adaptation of acid mine drainage (AMD) bacteria to acidic and cold environments. Continue Reading →

Australia-based lithium company looks to set up shop in Sudbury – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – August 31, 2018)

As demand grows for batteries to power eco-friendly vehicles, an Australia-based lithium company is looking at setting up shop in Sudbury.

Lepidico, with a head office in Perth, is planning to launch a plant in the Nickel City that will extract lithium concentrate from hard-rock deposits, using a unique process it touts as more efficient than existing methods.

The company says its system can “achieve high lithium recovery,” while also offsetting production costs and eliminating tailings or effluent by refining a variety of useful byproducts. “We’re doing the full feasibility study now and if it proves viable, it means we would have a chemical plant that effectively has no waste coming out of it,” said Joe Walsh, managing director of Lepidico.

The company has already secured an Australia patent for its L-Max technology, with other patent applications pending in Europe, the U.S. and Japan. “There are other processes out there but they tend to employ roasting technology, which is power-intensive and not the greenest,” said Walsh. Continue Reading →

Conference board report projects modest growth for Sudbury – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – August 23, 2018)

A new report from the Conference Board of Canada says Sudbury is looking at modest growth for the rest of 2018 and into 2019.

Things are looking up in the Nickel City, thanks in large part to our namesake mineral. The Conference Board of Canada released its Metropolitan Outlook Wednesday, detailing economic forecasts for 16 medium-sized cities.

Greater Sudbury will see modest growth throughout 2018-19. But with unemployment set to spike temporarily, it is not all good news.

“Greater Sudbury’s real GDP growth will hit 1.2 per cent in 2018 and a similar 1.1 per cent in 2019,” the report notes. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Vale Doubles Exploration Efforts in Greater Sudbury Residents can expect to see aerial surveys this summer


Sudbury, ON — Vale’s Sudbury Operations has nearly doubled its surface and underground exploration budget from approximately $22 million CAD last year to nearly $42 million CAD this year. This includes approximately 30 active exploration projects and 13 drill rigs currently operating in the Greater Sudbury Area.

This increased exploration activity represents Vale’s renewed focus on resource discovery and development to secure our long-term success in the Sudbury Basin and deliver on our future life of mine plans.

Greater Sudbury residents may encounter Vale’s exploration crews working in the field at various exploration sites across the Sudbury Basin this summer. These crews will be working with heavy equipment and residents are asked to remain clear of these active work sites for their safety. Continue Reading →

Biosolids rejuvenate mining wasteland: Reclamation project at Vale tailings ponds in Copper Cliff wins award – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – July 13, 2018)

In the decades-long efforts to regreen the Sudbury basin, Vale is reporting its Copper Cliff Tailings Project using biosolids is continuing to be successful. So successful, the groundbreaking project recently won an award and plans are in the works to apply it to other reclamation projects.

The Copper Cliff Tailings Project, a joint effort by Vale and Terrapure’s solutions division, Terratec Environmental, has been running for about five years and continues to show positive and even surprising results.

“We are doing this for two reasons: dust control and covering the area with vegetation for long-term closure plans,” said Glen Watson, superintendent of environment decommissioning and reclamation for Vale Canada. It recently won the Water Environment Association of Ontario’s 2018 Exemplary Biosolids Management Award. Continue Reading →

Vale nets enviro award – by Staff (Sudbury Star – July 9, 2018)

Vale’s Sudbury Biodiversity Program has been been recognized nationally. Vale received the national Towards Sustainable Mining Environmental Excellence Award from the Mining Association of Canada at an awards gala during the 2018 CIM Convention earlier this year.

“We are proud to be acknowledged for Vale’s biodiversity program in Sudbury,” said Lisa Lanteigne, environment manager for Vale’s Ontario Operations. “The program has been successful because of a sustained commitment to community collaboration and an innovative approach to environmental stewardship. The program exemplifies one of our core company values — Prize Our Planet.”

Vale’s biodiversity work in Sudbury focuses on regreening and reclamation efforts, transforming historically stressed lands and waterways back to their natural states after more than a century of mining activities. To improve biodiversity within the community, Vale undertakes a number of activities, including: Continue Reading →

Mining suppliers say tariffs not dampening Canada-U.S. trade – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – June 28, 2018)

Business as usual, but cross-border trade difficulties offer opportunities for Canadian companies to diversify international dealings

Trade tensions between Canada and the United States are not stopping Canadian mining companies from looking south for business opportunities, but they are also looking at markets abroad.

The third annual Northern Ontario Exports Forum in Sudbury on June 27 saw around 200 delegates gather to discuss markets abroad, including Africa, Latin America, Mexico and Europe.

Even though heavy tariffs are being imposed on Canada by the U.S., particularly on steel and aluminium imports, many delegates and speakers said they were concerned, but business is going ahead. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Terrapure’s Terratec division awarded for innovative mine reclamation program with Vale Canada

Canada’s leading environmental service provider solves a municipal problem and a mining problem with one, sustainable, cost-saving approach.

BURLINGTON, ONT., June 25, 2018 – Terratec Environmental, a division of leading environmental solutions provider Terrapure, has established a new, sustainable option for managing biosolids during winter months, when farmland application is prohibited and storage is complicated.

Instead of disposing of a nutrient-rich resource through incineration or landfill, Terratec developed a program to apply biosolids to mine-impacted land for reclamation and revegetation. Acknowledging this significant contribution to the field, the Water Environment Association of Ontario (WEAO) presented Terrapure and Vale with the 2018 Exemplary Biosolids Management Award.

“The program is the first of its kind in Ontario, so we’re excited to see that it’s gaining momentum; the mining industry is now identifying biosolids as a key strategy in mine closure scenarios,” said Jeff Newman, Director of Business Development at Terratec. “This approach is a real win-win. Municipalities get an off-season biosolids management alternative, and mining companies get an effective tailings cover system.” Continue Reading →