Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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76 E&MJ • DECEMBER 2018 MINING IN ONTARIO Production & Exploration Mining players across the province extend mine- life through brownfield expansions As the largest producer in Canada of gold, platinum group metals and nickel, as well as the second largest producer of copper, Ontario led all Canadian jurisdictions in mineral production in 2017. Political stability, mining tradition, infrastructure, proximity to the financial markets and the relative ease of finding skilled labor, all contribute to a favorable mining environment that ensures continuous production, regardless of the commodity cycle. Nevertheless, high labor costs, social sensitivities and bureau- cratic hurdles from a federal and provincial level make it challenging to move projects forward and transition from exploration to produc- tion. Stephen Roman, chairman, president and CEO of Harte Gold, lamented the ever-increasing permitting requirements: "The new Ontario Mining Act of 2013 was a major blow to exploration and development due to punitive new rules. For instance, to permit our bulk sample took three years." A dearth of new greenfield deposits in Canada, combined with the impact of the downcycle and mineral prices that have still yet to fully recover, has forced mining companies to focus on the development of brownfield projects. Glencore's Kidd operation in Timmins, the deep- est base metal mine in the world with a maximum depth of almost 10,000 feet, celebrated its 50th year of production in 2016, and recently extended its life-of-mine (LOM) expectancy to early 2022. Glencore also announced it will move ahead with the C$700-million Onaping Depth project in Sudbury, and expects to reach full produc- tion at the deposit, located 2,500 metres beneath the Craig mine in Onaping, by 2025. In March 2018, Vale announced it will spend C$760 million over the next four years to expand its historic Copper Cliff operation in Sudbury. With six mines, a mill, a smelter, a refinery and nearly 4,000 employees, Copper Cliff is one of the largest integrated mining complexes in the world. Vale says it is doubling its exploration budget in the Greater Sudbury Area to C$42 million. The changing footprint of Canadian diamonds De Beers, the world's leading diamond company, 85%-owned by Anglo American, announced it will not extend the life of Ontario's first diamond mine, the Victor mine located in the James Bay Low- lands of northern Ontario. Mining and processing activities are due to be completed in Q1 2019, before moving into the formal closure phase. De Beers will have contributed C$6.7 billion cumulative GDP impact for Ontario during the life of the Victor mine, according to Kim Truter, CEO of De Beers Canada. Reflecting on the legacy of the Victor mine, Truter noted: "The Victor mine has been a wonderful success story for De Beers, exceeding all expectations in terms of the life of the asset, the quality of the diamonds and revenue generated for all stakeholders." To enhance its Canadian portfolio, De Beers acquired the Per- egrine Diamond business in September 2018, which includes the Chidliak resource on Baffin Island and other assets in the North- Harte Gold opens Ontario's first gold mine in ten years with premier Doug Ford. Photo courtesy of Stan Sudol (

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