Canada

Copper Cliff Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Nickel
  • Copper
  • Cobalt
  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Gold
Mining Method
  • Slot-Slash
  • Uppers Retreat
  • Mechanized Cut & Fill
  • Post Pillar Cut & Fill
  • Drift & Fill
  • Vertical Crater Retreat
Backfill type ... Lock
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotCopper Cliff Complex is a part of Vale integrated Sudbury (Ontario) Operations. Copper Cliff Complex consist of North and South Mines.

October 3, 2022 - Vale Canada Ltd officially opened the initial phase of its C$945 million Copper Cliff Complex South Mine Project. More than 12 km of tunnels were developed to reunite the south and north shafts of Copper Cliff Mine, creating a new Copper Cliff Mine Complex. Work comprised rehabilitating the south shaft, expansion for underground ore and waste handling systems and surface loadout and facilities, as well as the construction of new ventilation systems.

In 2023, Vale made significant advancements on Cooper Cliff Mine replacement project which commenced hoisting in September of 2022 and is continuing its production ramp up.
Related AssetSudbury Operation

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Manara Minerals Investment Co. 10 % Indirect
Vale S.A. 90 % Indirect
Vale Canada Ltd. (operator) 100 % Direct
The Sudbury (Ontario) Operations are wholly-owned and operated by Vale Canada Limited (Vale Canada), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vale Base Metals Ltd., the holding entity of Vale’s Energy Transition Metals business.

On April 30, 2024, Vale S.A. announced the completion of Vale Base Metals Ltd.(“VBM”) sale to Manara Minerals, under which Manara Minerals will acquire 10% of VBM.

Terms of agreement:

On 27 July, 2023, Vale S.A. signed a binding agreement with Manara Minerals, under which Manara Minerals will invest in Vale Base Metals Ltd. at an implied enterprise value of US$ 26.0 billion.

Concurrently, Vale and investment firm Engine No. 1 entered into a binding agreement pursuant to which Engine No. 1 will make an equity investment in VBM under the same economic terms.

The total consideration to be paid to VBM under both agreements is US$ 3.4 billion, for a 13% equity interest. Manara Minerals will own 10% of VBM, while Engine No. 1 will hold a 3% stake.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Magmatic
  • Footwall hosted

Summary:

The Copper Cliff deposit consists of numerous mineralized zones. The major zones include the actively-mined 120, 100, 900, 880, 865, 860, 830, 810 orebodies, and the currently inactive 191, 178, 138, 890, 850, 790, 740, 725, and 712 zones.

Copper Cliff is predominantly an Offset-style deposit with associated minor Contact- and Footwalltype mineralization styles. Mineralization is hosted in a quartz–diorite dyke, the Copper Cliff Offset, which strikes 15 km south into footwall rocks from the base of the SIC, is steeply dipping, and averages 40 m wide. The Copper Cliff Offset is cut by narrow aplitic, quartz diabase, and olivine diabase dykes, locally referred to as “trap dykes”.

Contact-style mineralization associated with Sublayer norite is present in the North Copper Cliff mine area. Sudbury Breccia occurs in footwall rocks adjacent to the Copper Cliff Offset.

Structure
The Copper Cliff Offset is affected by post-impact displacement along the Creighton and Murray faults and several smaller splay faults.

The Copper Cliff Offset is folded about northeasterly-trending open fold axes that have steeplydipping axial planes. Folding of the quartz–diorite dyke is confined to part of the dyke south of the Creighton fault. West-trending diabase and northwest-trending olivine diabase dykes post-date the folding.

Mineralization
The sulphide mineralization is mainly associated with coarser grained quartz diorite and rarely crosscuts footwall rocks. Mineralization consists of disseminated and ragged disseminated sulphides, interstitial sulphides, inclusion massive sulphides, gabbro peridotite inclusion sulphides, contorted schist inclusion sulphides and massive sulphides.

The major sulphides are pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite and pentlandite. Minor sulphides include pyrite, cobaltite, sphalerite, galena, and gersdorffite (NiAsS). The precious metal mineral assemblage includes sperrylite, froodite (PdBi2), michenerite, hollingworthite ((Rh, Pt, Pd) AsS), native gold, argentite (Ag2S) and hessite (Ag2Te).

Sulphide content increases towards the centre of the ore zones and also increases with depth. Typically, chalcopyrite content increases from the centre along strike and down-dip. The Copper Cliff mine zones have variable copper to nickel and pyrrhotite to nickel ratios.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits2023202220212020
Nickel lbs  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Copper lbs  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe

Operational metrics

Metrics202320222021202020192018201720162015
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe644 kt746 kt814 kt979 kt1,138 kt
Daily ore mining rate  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe2,826 t

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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EV - Electric

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 24, 2024
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Aerial view:

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