Vale will officially open its Totten Mine this Friday, Feb. 21.
Located 15 kilometres west of Sudbury in the small community of Worthington, Totten is thefirst mine to be built by Vale in four decades. The $760-million mine, which has a 20-year lifespan, is expected to produce 2,200 tonnes of nickel per day.
Roughly 600 people and six contractors—Cementation, SCR Mining and Tunnelling, Redpath, Technica Mining, Swick, and T. Bell Transport—worked to bring the mine online. It’s expected to employ 150 people on a permanent basis, in addition to offering spinoffs for the mining supply and sector.
Situated along the Worthington Offset, rich with copper, nickel and precious metals, the mine was modelled after Vale’s Copper Cliff South Mine, which is similar in makeup to Totten.
Environmental stewardship has been a focus of the mine’s construction, which takes up a small footprint and uses existing infrastructure where possible. Material-handling areas are all enclosed, and a sophisticated water treatment system ensures water usage is kept to a minimum, recycled when possible and reduces metal content before its return into the environment.
The nearby Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation has negotiated an impact and benefit agreement (IBA) with Vale, affording the community opportunities for jobs, training, education and programs dedicated to culture and language retention.
Sagamok has also secured the contract to haul ore from Totten to the Clarabelle Mill in Copper Cliff and is working with project partners on a new miner training program, which provides Sagamok residents with an introduction to underground mining through classroom and on-the-job training.
Some of Vale’s top brass is expected to be on hand for the opening, including Peter Poppinga, who serves as Vale Canada’s president and CEO, and executive director of base metals and information technology, as well as Kelly Strong, vice-president of Ontario and UK operations.
Also expected to attend are Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle, Sagamok Anishnawbek Chief Paul Eshkakogan, United Steelworkers Local 6500 president Rick Bertrand, and Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk.