KGHM's Victoria Mine, near Sudbury, is expected to be operational by 2019, said Mark Frayne, the company’s manager of project controls.
The mine will employ between 150 and 300 people.
KGHM has completed timbering at the site, located about two kilometres south of the historic Victoria Mine, which was first developed in the 1890s and then closed in the 1920s.
The former Inco reopened the mine in the 1970s, and made a deal with KGHM's predecessor, FNX, in 2002, to take control. A long and thin ore body – about 50 kilometres long – was discovered in 2010, which the company now wants to bring into production.
KGHM estimates the new mine site contains 14.2 million tonnes of resources. The inferred resources include 700 million pounds of copper, 700 million pounds nickel and 3.5 million ounces of platinum group elements.
In a May 2 presentation during Sudbury’s Modern Mining and Technology Week, Frayne said KGHM plans for the mine to use the latest technology.
“We're going to try and leverage that and make sure that when we go into operation we'll have the safest and most efficient mine that we possibly can.”
The company has completed its environmental baseline studies and is waiting for permits from the Ministry of the Environment.
The City of Greater Sudbury will cover 25 per cent of the costs for $5 million in road improvements to the mine site, located near Worthington, west of the city.
Frayne said construction on the mine's first shaft will begin in 2015 and should be completed by 2017.
“When that shaft is in place we'll start developing off that shaft to access drill platforms to then do definition drilling and define the ore body better.”
Once KGHM has a better understanding of the ore body, it will proceed with mining operations.
Frayne said if the mine site contains enough ore, KGHM will build a second shaft in 2019 that would be completed by 2023. The second, larger, mine shaft would triple production.
With current estimates, the new Victoria Mine is expected to be in production for at least 15 years.
Frayne said Sudbury is the perfect community in which to start a new mine, due to access to expertise and experience in mine development.
“The road is there, the power is close by, the natural gas is close by,” he said. “You couldn't put a mine in a better spot.”