Sudbury's two major mining companies are jointly studying if they can access nearby resources from an active mine, northeast of the city, to extend its operating life.
The study will examine the economic and technical aspects of using the existing shaft and infrastructure at the mine, as well as additional underground infrastructure, to potentially jointly develop and mine deposits in close proximity to each other.
This includes Vale’s Victor property and a shared deposit which exists adjacent to the boundary between each company’s properties.
“A joint approach could allow for resources to be unlocked that would likely not otherwise be productive,” said Ricus Grimbeek, chief operating officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries, in a news release.
Among the other benefits is job creation, Grimbeek added.
This feasibility study comes at a time when the economic outlook for nickel and copper looks promising.
Currently, Nickel Rim South is slated to close in 2022.
Peter Xavier, vice-president of Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, said this study has multiple benefits to the potential of coming together to mine deposits using existing infrastructure.
“The potential opportunity not only preserves significant capital for other future mining opportunities at Glencore, but also would create shareholder and economic value in the Sudbury Basin,” he said.
A joint approach to the study is an extension of the parties’ past collaboration in the Sudbury Basin.
It is expected that the feasibility study will take approximately a year to complete.