Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Gifts (Nickel and Copper) from the Heavens

The company says Frood is the only area where it will suspend operations.
However, Vale spokesperson Angie Robson said it will also look for other ways to cut costs, thanks to a sharp decline in metal prices. Prices have dropped 50 per cent since 2006, when Vale took over Inco.
"During the war, Frood supplied about 40 per cent of the nickel that went into artillary weapons." [cbc.ca1]

Satellite     Frood is in the upper-right corner of this mining area.

The company said the mine’s future has been under review for some time citing metal prices, “ongoing market challenges, and recent seismic activity that restricted production below the 3,000-foot level. [NorthernOntarioBusiness]

The articles indicate that the ore left in this century old mine has become low grade and the mine was nearing the end of its life cycle. Judging by all of the landscars on the satellite image, there is still a lot of mining in the area.

Dennis DeBruler So we are talking about nickel and copper. The restriction of below 3000 feet because of "seismic activity" is interesting. Unlike the oil producers in Oklahoma who can claim it is somebody else's wastewater well that is causing peoples dishes to rattle (and walls to crack), this company is probably the only source of earth shaking.
Tyler L Hoar There are still several other places around Sudbury basin to mine the meteor. And with this being solid Canadian shield and not soft earth, you take seismic activity seriously.
Dennis DeBruler A meteor? Fascinating.
Tyler L Hoar Comet, Meteor, Asteroid. Some massive object from outer space hit the area a loong looong time ago. 

Joe Petrus studied rock samples to try and determine what hit Sudbury 1.8 billion years ago. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)
[Joe concluded that it was a comet, not an asteroid, that blasted a hole 14 kilometres deep.]
It’s been long believed the Sudbury Basin was shaped by an asteroid that hit the region more than a billion years ago, but a Laurentian University researcher now says it was likely a comet.
The Sudbury Basin is the second largest known impact crater on Earth — 62 kilometres long, 30 kilometres wide and 15 kilometres deep. [cbc.ca2]
Actually, the object from space did not have the metals. But it created a hole deep enough that it allowed mantle to come up and fill the basin. "A subsequent shock wave shattered the surrounding rocks, riddling them with fissures and faults that filled up with precious minerals from the melted rock below." It was discovered in 1885 while building the Canadian Pacific Railway through the region. [cbc.ca2]

Update: When a Northern Ontario article about the closing of a crushing plant did not mention until the near the end that the metal being processed was nickel, I asked if that was the only metal in Northern Ontairio. The answer reminded me of this posting.
William Littrell Northern Ontario (North of Parry Sound)


Iron ore
Platinum Group Metals



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