Archive | Sudbury Basin

Vale participates in mental-health campaign – by Staff (Sudbury Star – October 9, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Vale is participating in a campaign to reduce stigmas around mental health. The Elephant in the Room initiative of Mood Disorders Society of Canada aims to break down barriers and provide support for those struggling with mental-health concerns.

Vale is a national sponsor of the organization and “continues to demonstrate commitment to raising awareness and addressing the stigma associated with mental illness within our communities and workplaces,” according to a release from Mood Disorders Society of Canada.

Vale’s Sudbury Operations will be inviting all employees who have received mental-health first aid training to support the launch of the campaign by bringing the Elephant in the Room – literally and figuratively — into the workplace in the form of a blue elephant. Continue Reading →

New plan to remove arsenic from Long Lake in Sudbury unveiled – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – October 9, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

It took two years to develop approach to clean up Long Lake

After a two-year delay, a new plan has been put forward for arsenic cleanup at Long Lake that is expected to have less impact on area residents.

“Staff (members) have been working very hard behind the scenes to address the concerns that were raised two years ago,” said Brian McMahon, director of mine rehabilitation with the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

“We didn’t think ourselves that it would take so long to get to this stage, but I think the result is we’re going to have a much better approach for cleanup at Long Lake.” Continue Reading →

New manager of Centre for Smart Mining at Sudbury’s Cambrian College wants to take applied research to the next level – by Colleen Romaniuk (Northern Ontario Business – October 2, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

The mining industry is notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. Steve Gravel, the new manager of the Centre for Smart Mining (CSM) at Cambrian College in Sudbury, said that this happens for a number of reasons.

“There’s a baked-in risk inherent in the commodities market,” he said. “The economics are not really in favor of trialing new technologies in a very nimble way because of the capital intensive nature of doing it.” That’s why Gravel hopes that the centre will help to demystify new technologies for mining companies and their employees.

As part of the college’s applied research department, the CSM is tied into a larger national network of 30 Technology Access Centres (TAC) across Canada, which help companies access expertise, equipment, funding and provide the facilities to solve innovation challenges. Continue Reading →

Fatal mine accident avoidable, Sudbury inquest hears – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – October 4, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Development work was carried out on the 6,500-foot level of First Nickel Inc.’s Lockerby Mine in early 2013, wrapping up in March of that year.

That work included blasting out a drift – the 65-2-1-West area – that did not proceed as planned. The entranceway was off-line, so corrective blasting was done to try and straighten it out, and wire mesh, split sets (long metal tubes that help to reinforce a ceiling) and shotcrete (sprayed-on cement) were used to strengthen the ceiling and walls in preparation for production drilling and blasting.

The wider-than-expected entrance created a structural integrity issue, as the arch that was in place to help distribute the stress from the backfilled-area one level above was not large and strong enough. Continue Reading →

Sudbury inquest told: ‘I heard a big bump. It sounded like something had happened’ – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – October 1, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Normand Bisaillon had just started working on his dream home when he and his partner were killed in an accident five years ago at the now-shuttered Lockerby Mine, his widow told an inquest as it opened in Sudbury on Monday.

“This is a last chance to get it right,” Romeena Bisaillon told the five-member coroner’s jury at the end of her short address. “Please: let’s not waste it.” The inquest is looking at how Normand Bisaillon, 49, and Marc Methe, 34, were killed on May 6, 2014, and recommendations on how to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Greg Allaire, representing the Methe family, said Marc was an intelligent man who aimed for bigger things in his life and took on the drilling job with Taurus Drilling as a stepping-stone in his career. Continue Reading →

Vale’s digital evolution takes shape: Sudbury nickel miner moving to world’s largest underground wireless network – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – September 19, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Vale Canada Ltd. is charging forward to provide LTE communications in its Canadian underground mining operations. In some cases, this will be an all new level of wireless communication, while in other cases it will mean switching away from existing Wi-Fi.

Vale said this means the company will soon be operating the largest privately owned underground LTE network in the world. LTE, or long-term evolution, is a higher form of wireless communications that most people associate with their cellular phones. In the mines, LTE will support a host of wireless devices and live connections to people and mobile equipment.

Vale described their new LTE system as an enabler, something that will allow the company to carry out significant changes for integrated operations scheduling, autonomous and tele-remote mining machines and huge efficiencies and cost savings for underground mine ventilation systems. Continue Reading →

Sudbury: Federal Green Party pledges investment in sustainable mining (CBC News Sudbury – September 18, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

Platform includes a promise for $40 million for the proposed Sudbury mining innovation cluster

The leader of the federal Green Party of Canada is clarifying some misinformation about the party’s stance on mining. In the party’s platform, there is a line that states that “no new pipelines, or coal, oil or gas drilling or mining, including offshore wells, will be approved.”

The platform also states that the party plans to “support the transition of the mining sector to an innovation hub for greener technologies.”

It also pledges $40 million for the proposed Sudbury-based mining innovation cluster. Some have questioned what the promises mean for the mining sector. Continue Reading →

Nickel is the hottest metal in the world right now – by Darren MacDonald (Sudbury Northern Life – September 5, 2019)

https://www.sudbury.com/

Price is up 80% this year, with predictions it could hit US$11 a pound by the end of 2019

The price of nickel on international markets continued its dizzying climb Wednesday, breaking past US$8 a pound before settling in at US$8.17 late in the day.

It’s a surge Terry Ortslan, a nickel analyst at TSO and Associates in Montreal, saw coming in late 2018, when the metal was struggling to hit $5. A few factors were depressing prices at the time, Ortslan said, while predicting a rebound into 2019.

“We all know batteries for electric vehicles are going to be very important new demand source of nickel, as much as stainless steel was 50 or 60 years ago,” he said at the time. “So it’s going to be slow times for the next couple of months, but it’s a short-term issue. Continue Reading →

Leo Gerard, retired president of United Steel Workers: ‘No one believed more in workers’ – by David Shribman (Globe and Mail – September 2, 2019)

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/

Canadian labour activist Leo Gerard recently retired after 18 years as international president of the United Steel Workers (USW) – the largest industrial union in North America. The onetime smelter worker devoted his career to battling the wealth gap.

Mr. Gerard faced numerous headwinds as a labour leader. He has grappled with declining rates of union membership. He has taken on leaders of both U.S. political parties, whose free-trade orthodoxy collided with his members’ concerns about imports of steel and other products. And he has struggled with members of his own union who have little in common culturally with U.S. President Donald Trump, but are nonetheless drawn to the Manhattan tycoon because of his populist approach and his nationalistic rhetoric.

The discord roiled Mr. Gerard’s union and placed him in a difficult political position. He argued just after the Trump triumph that the new President was elected “by stealing our agenda.” Continue Reading →

Project imagines mining without the need for blasting – by Staff (Sudbury Star – August 8, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Imagine building a new underground mine — or expanding an existing one — without using explosives.

That’s the goal of a new project unveiled in Sudbury on Wednesday. And while the announcement was made in here, the money — $1.5 million — will go to McGill University of Montreal to test cleaner methods of mining.

“Today’s announcement is a great example of how we can use intelligent, targeted investments to ensure Canada remains at the forefront of mining practices,” Sudbury Paul Lefebvre said in a release. “By investing in projects like rock fragmentation research, we will ensure that Canada remains a leader in environmental stewardship, while creating a more prosperous mining industry.” Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s mining expertise, regreening success story attract Latin American delegations – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 2, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Battery-powered mining equipment and Sudbury’s regreening efforts are attracting groups from Latin America to visit the Nickel City in August.

Sudbury’s growing mining expertise in the development and use of battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) has attracted the interest of managers and engineers from Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer.

Representatives from Chile’s state-run mining company, arrive in Sudbury on Aug. 5 to begin a five-day tour of operations and suppliers in Sudbury and Kirkland Lake. The Aug 5-9 visit is organized by Sudbury and Area Mining Supply and Services Association (SAMSSA). Continue Reading →

World’s largest ore chute created in Sudbury – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – August 6, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

A manufacturing shop in Greater Sudbury has created the largest ore chute in the world, which will soon be shipped out and installed in one of the largest copper and gold mining operations in the world, the Rio Tinto Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.

The massive steel chute, as big as a house and with built-in safety features, was manufactured at Variant Mining Technologies in Lively. It is the prototype for several other chutes that will be installed at the mine in the coming months and years.

An ore chute is a device that allows chunks of rock (muck) to be transported by force of gravity from one level of the mine to another level. The chute is used to control the flow of muck, or waste rock, so that haulage equipment such as scooptrams, ore trucks or even underground rail cars can be loaded quickly and safely. Continue Reading →

MacLean Engineering prepares to show off Sudbury test mine – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – August 1, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Less than a year after purchasing a test mine property near Lively, MacLean Engineering is preparing to use the former Mining Technologies International (MTI) facility to showcase its various battery-electric and remotely operated mining vehicles there.

MacLean purchased the property in September 2018 on the former MTI industrial site on Magill Street in the Walden Industrial Park (Lively) area of Greater Sudbury. The test mine is less than 10 kilometres from MacLean’s sales and service centre in Sudbury’s South End.

MacLean’s Sudbury general manager, Stella Holloway, said the mine property needed to be brought into compliance with several provincial regulations with respect to mining operations and health and safety. MacLean has even set up an agreement for mine rescue services, she said. Continue Reading →

‘Tragedy of pollution’: Award-winning article details how gov’t, miners wrought harm on Sudbury’s landscape – by Staff (Sudbury Star – July 26, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

A scholarly article exploring the “tragedy of pollution in Sudbury” has earned its authors an award from the Ontario Historical Society.

The 2018 Riddell Award, acknowledging the best work on a subject of Ontario history in a given year, was recently presented to Mark Kuhlberg and Scott Miller for their article Protection to Sulphite Smoke Tortfeasors: The Tragedy of Pollution in Sudbury, Ontario, the World’s Nickel Capital, 1884-1927, which appeared in The Canadian Historical Review in June 2018.

A tortfeasor, by the way, is someone who commits a wrongful act, in this case applied to the mining companies that spread harmful emissions, but only because, as the article contends, it was permitted by provincial lawmakers at the time. Continue Reading →

That’s no moon: Before these NASA astronauts went to space, they went to Sudbury – by Claude Sharma (TVO – The Agenda – July 22, 2019)

https://www.tvo.org/

In the 1970s, the agency sent astronauts to northeastern Ontario to prepare for their trips to the moon — and helped drive the region’s scientific aspirations

SUDBURY — In 1971, astronauts John Young and Charles Duke loaded up with equipment —backpacks, radios, cameras — and walked along rocky ledges, communicating their movements as if to a home base.

Later that year, they’d do the same thing nearly 385,000 kilometres away as astronauts on the Apollo 16 moon mission. On this day, though, they were in the Sudbury Basin, practising for the real thing.

“Once they did their traverse, we would go over what they saw,” remembers Don Phipps, a local geologist who helped facilitate the training. “One of the objects of this visit is that when they got on the moon, they could report back with some kind of knowledge of what they saw on the ground.” Continue Reading →