Archive | Sudbury Basin

Sudbury regreening program nearing 10 million trees planted: Restoration story serves as model for global push toward land reclamation – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – September 29, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

This autumn was supposed to herald a noteworthy milestone for the Sudbury regreening project: the planting of its 10 millionth tree.

But with the arrival of the novel coronavirus last March came a scaled-down 2020 planting season, and instead that marker will be celebrated in 2021.

Still, as year 42 of the one-of-a-kind land restoration initiative comes to a close, the organization leading the project believes that some areas of the city are nearing the point when human intervention will no longer be necessary and nature can start taking over. Continue Reading →

The Sudbury model: How one of the world’s major polluters went green – by Sara Miller Llana (The Christian Science Monitor – September 24, 2020)

https://www.csmonitor.com/

When the Superstack was constructed in 1972, it was the tallest structure in Canada – and the tallest smokestack in the world. At 1,250 feet, it’s visible from every vantage point in the area. It can be seen from the bustling streets of downtown to the quiet cul-de-sacs of residential neighborhoods. It looms large in the distance from highways that feed into a city that is home to one of the largest mining complexes in the world.

Built by Canadian company Inco before it was purchased by Vale, the Superstack has long stood as a reminder of the environmental devastation that mining wrought here. But this year the chimney is being fully decommissioned.

Residents of Sudbury harbor mixed feelings about the Superstack. Some see it as a memorial to their rise as a center of nickel and copper mining globally. Others see it simply as a familiar landmark that signals they are home. Gisele Lavigne lives in the Copper Cliff neighborhood at the Superstack’s base. Continue Reading →

Wanted: stories, memories and tales from the Inco strike of 1958 (CBC News Sudbury – September 22, 2020)

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

Elizabeth Quinlan wants to hear from people who lived through the 3-month strike

A professor of social studies in Saskatchewan is putting a call-out for stories from people who remember the Inco strike of 1958.

The strike involved 17,000 workers who were part of Mine Mill — then, one of the largest unions in Canada — who were pitted against Inco, a powerful company supplying 90 per cent of the world’s nickel.

Elizabeth Quinlan from the University of Saskatchewan is writing a book about the historic event and is looking for anyone who has memories of being affected by the strike. Continue Reading →

OPINION: New global standard on mine tailings management won’t prevent another Brumadinho – by Doug Morrison (Northern Ontario Business – September 22, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Doug Morrison is the president-CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) in Sudbury.

The mining industry’s ingrained culture of safety needs similar approach in dealing with mine waste solutions

In August, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) launched what it calls its new ‘Global Industry Standard on Mine Tailings,’ some 18 months after almost 300 people were killed by the catastrophic failure of a Vale iron ore tailings dam at Brumadinho in Brazil.

It is unlikely to be successful. The ICMM report is designed to improve operational control of the existing mine tailings management process and so reduce the consequences of another catastrophic failure.

Its members can take up to five years to implement the ‘Standard’ voluntarily, and the ICMM can only encourage non-member mines to adopt it. Continue Reading →

Two new smaller stacks are ready, decommissioning of Sudbury’s Superstack about to begin – by Molly Frommer (CTV News Northern Ontario – September 10, 2020)

https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/

SUDBURY — Two new, 450-foot stacks are now fully installed and ready to replace the famous Superstack that has been in Sudbury for decades.

The $450 million project began in 2014, and managers with Vale say it was a companion effort to the Clean Atmospheric Emissions Reduction Project (AER).

“That Clean AER project was run in parallel to the service facilities upgrade,” said Darryl Cooke, Vale surface project and studies senior manager. “That was a billion-dollar project for atmospheric emissions reduction.” Continue Reading →

Sudbury base metal explorer lands a big-shot Toronto partner: Sudbury Platinum Corp raises $2.1 million for exploration in Sudbury Basin (Northern Ontario Business – August 25, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

A top mining investment firm is backstopping an emerging nickel player in the Sudbury Basin.

Toronto’s Dundee Goodman Merchant Partners (DGMP) has formed a “strategic relationship” with Sudbury Platinum Corporation to grow the exploration company and get it publicly listed by year’s end.

Sudbury Platinum (also known as SPC Metals) is a spinoff company of Transition Metals, a Sudbury-based exploration company overseeing more than 25 base and precious metals projects in Northern Ontario, the Maritimes and Western Canada. Continue Reading →

CEMI details bid for $40 million in federal funding – by Colleen Romaniuk (Sudbury Star – August 22, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

The Sudbury-based Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation has started completing its full application for $40 million in federal funding to support its new networking and innovation accelerator program.

On Aug. 20, the organization hosted an online webinar and information session, detailing its progress in the application process and the requirements for participation in the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (MICA) Network project.

If the federal government approves the full application, the project is expected to launch in January 2021. Continue Reading →

Slow process of demolition to start on Vale’s Superstack – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – July 29, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

July 28 decommissioning of the structure makes way for first stage of multi-year project

With the news that Vale’s Superstack is no longer operational, the nickel giant is now poised to start the demolition process on the 50-year-old structure.

On July 28, the company announced it had decommissioned the 1,250-foot (381-metre) stack at its Copper Cliff Complex in Sudbury during a period of regular maintenance.

In the broader context, taking the stack out of service represents a landmark moment of the environmental progress for Vale (formerly INCO) and the mining industry as a whole. Continue Reading →

Column: Elon Musk should invest in Sudbury – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – July 28, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Elon Musk is practically begging nickel miners to boost production as potential future shortages would severely impact his ability to manufacture electric vehicles as the metal is a key component for the batteries on which Tesla Inc. depends.

Historically, nickel has always been a boom/bust metal due to the fact the world only produces about 2.1 million metric tonnes of the material a year as opposed to a more commonly used metal like copper at 20 million metric tonnes. And roughly only half of nickel production is of the Class-1 type that is used in batteries that run electric vehicles.

Currently, the cost of nickel is nearing a cyclical bottom, hence the reluctance of nickel miners to invest the possible near billion dollars it takes to bring on a new mine. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: VALE COMPLETES TIE-INS OF NEW STACKS (July 28, 2020)

Signals Completion of Superstack Being Taken Out of Service

SUDBURY, July 28, 2020 – Vale has completed the final tie-in of the flue systems to the new 450’ (137 metre) Stacks and took its Copper Stack out of service at the Copper Cliff Smelter Complex during its planned maintenance period this month. With these project milestones achieved, Vale can complete the process of taking the Superstack out of service.

“Completing this process of taking the Superstack completely out of service is symbolic of Vale’s evolution towards reducing our environmental footprint with innovative and more sustainable Smelter operations ” said Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries.

The two smaller and more efficient stacks will require far less energy to operate than the Superstack, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Vale’s Copper Cliff Smelter by approximately 40%. At the same time, Vale’s Clean AER Project will reduce particulate emissions by 40% and dramatically reduce SO2 emissions by 85%. Continue Reading →

As Elon Musk calls for more nickel production, a mining analyst has some suggestions – by Darren MacDonald (CTV News Northern Ontario – July 24, 2020)

https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/

SUDBURY — Earlier this week, Tesla boss Elon Musk called for global mining companies to boost their production of nickel, a key element in making batteries for electric cars.

“Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way,” Musk said Wednesday, as the company announced second-quarter results. “Don’t wait for nickel to go back to some high point you experienced five years ago … Wherever you are in the world, please mine more nickel.”

Musk made the comments as Tesla is boosting its production of electric vehicles. Overall, demand for the type of nickel needed in electric car batteries grew by 28 per cent in 2019 alone. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Basin Nickel Deposits: An Enduring and Extraordinary Resource – by Stan Sudol (July 24, 2020)

Inco World War Two Poster

Notwithstanding the historical hype of the Klondike Gold Rush in Canadian society, the two most important mining events in our history are the discoveries of the Sudbury nickel mines in 1883 and the Cobalt silver boom of 1903.

Both were the result of railroads – the construction of the Canadian Pacific to British Columbia in Sudbury’s case and the building of the provincial Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway, going through Cobalt, which was for the colonization of northern Ontario.

But the similarities end there. Sudbury was built with U.S. capital and strategic technology. Cobalt was largely built and significantly financed by Canadian business and was the start of Canada’s global reputation as mine finders and builders. The two camps had much overlap but were also very distinct in their own rights.

Ohio-born businessman Samual J. Ritchie was the driving force who really started mining production in the Sudbury Basin with the founding of the Canadian Copper Company in 1886. A subsequent merger in 1902 with the New Jersey-based Orford Copper Company, which had the vital technology to separate the nickel from the copper in Sudbury’s complex ore, lead to the creation of the legendary International Nickel Company. (INCO) Continue Reading →

COLUMN: Advice to Elon Musk About Potential Nickel Shortages – Stan Sudol (July 23, 2020)

Elon Musk is practically begging nickel miners to boost production as potential future shortages would severely impact his ability to manufacture electric vehicles as the metal is a key component for the batteries Tesla Inc. depends on.

Historically, nickel has always been a boom/bust metal due to the fact the world only produces about 2.1 million metric tonnes of the material a year as opposed to a more commonly used metal like copper at 20 million metric tonnes. And roughly only half of nickel production is of the Class-1 type that is used in batteries that run electric vehicles.

Currently the cost of nickel is nearing a cyclical bottom, hence the reluctance of nickel miners to invest the possible near billion it takes to bring on a new mine.

Musk is a multi-billionaire and his company stock is at an all time high. Instead of whining to the mineral industry to invest “their shareholder money” in new nickel production at a time of low returns here are some suggestions to calm his fear of future shortages: Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s mining tech sector hoping for $40M boost (CBC News Sudbury – July 21, 2020)

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

Investment of $40M has been on table since 2019

The president of Sudbury’s Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) says he hopes a federal investment into the mining technology sector provides the catalyst to get more Sudbury technology products out on the international market.

If approved by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, the $40 million into MICA – the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator – would help connect the innovators with the manufacturers, with an emphasis on developing environmentally friendly technology.

“I think some amazing work, amazing companies are coming out of Sudbury,” Charles Nyabeze said. “They’re actually advancing clean, smart technologies, but they do need help.” Continue Reading →

$40M sought for mining network – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – June 25, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

The fate of a proposal by the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation seeking $40 million in federal funding for its Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (MICA) could be known soon.

The MICA initiative aims to connect regional mining clusters to cross-section innovation centres to create a national mining innovation ecosystem.

“Next week, we have a meeting with the government to tell us whether or not it’s going to get approved, to figure out the next step,” said Charles Nyabeze, CEMI’s vice-president of business development and commercialization Wednesday. Continue Reading →