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Emerging Sudbury nickel-copper miner strikes milling deal with Glencore

Magna Mining will extract, ship 20,000 tonne bulk sample to Strathcona mill
Magna Mining's Crean Hill Project outside Sudbury

Sudbury upstart Magna Mining has signed a toll milling agreement with Glencore in preparation for early-stage test mining at its Crean Hill Project.

The nickel and copper mine development company issued a June 4 news release of its plans to transport a 20,000-tonne surface bulk sample across town to Glencore’s Strathcona mill to make into a concentrate material. 

The bulk sample is being extracted from a mineralized area at Crean Hill called the 109 Footwall Zone.

The purpose of a bulk sample is to provide important metallurgical information, such as base and precious metal recoveries, and help guide the company’s mine planners toward the eventual resumption of mining on the past-producing property.

Magna has said it would like to start test mining by year's end.

The cost to put Crean Hill back into production hasn’t been finalized, but a preliminary economic assessment published last year put the initial price tag at $48 million. The estimated mine life ranges between 15 and 19 years.

Well ahead of any commercial production, Magna has struck business deals with Sudbury’s major mining companies, including a milling and offtake agreement with Vale back in March.

Crean Hill is a former INCO mine that operated from 1900 to 2002 on the southwest lip of the Sudbury basin. Magna acquired the property in November 2022 and immediately began resource drilling and gathering government permits for a return to production.

The company sees both open pit and underground mining opportunities.

The project holds 500 million pounds of nickel, 450 million pounds of copper and 1.7 million ounces of platinum, palladium and gold. A revised mineral estimate will be posted shortly.

Magna recently drilled some short drill holes where the bulk sample will be taken and reported assay results of 2.9 per cent copper, 0.9 per cent nickel and 9.5 grams per tonne of platinum, palladium and gold over 6.3 metres starting at the surface.

The company also holds a second nickel, copper and platinum group metals property called Shakespeare, west of Sudbury, near McKerrow. Shakespeare is permitted and was briefly in production years ago by another company. 

In a statement, Magna CEO Jason Jessup called this latest bit of news a “next step” in advancing the project.

“Magna has the advantage of having two permitted projects in the Sudbury region and this is yet another example of how we can work with the local major mining companies to advance our projects," he said.

"This bulk sample will allow us to evaluate the metallurgical performance and reconcile against our resource estimate, further de-risking our project as we move towards underground advanced exploration at Crean Hill.”