Canada

Sudbury Operation

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
Commodities
  • Nickel
  • Copper
  • Cobalt
  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Gold
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Mechanized Cut & Fill
  • Post Pillar Cut & Fill
  • Longitudinal stoping
  • Transverse stoping
  • Slot-Slash
  • Uppers Retreat
  • Vertical Crater Retreat
  • Drift & Fill
  • Cemented paste backfill
  • Unconsolidated hydraulic fill
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life2043
ShapshotThe Sudbury Operations have been in operation for more than 100 years. It is one of the largest integrated mining complexes in the world.

The Sudbury operations consist of:
- Production stage underground mines (Coleman, Copper Cliff, Creighton, Garson, Totten), a non-operating mine (Stobie), with exploration stage and non-producing deposits;
- Processing and refining capabilities are a combination of facilities in Sudbury (Clarabelle Mill, Copper Cliff Smelter and Nickel Refinery), Port Colborne Nickel Refinery, which is located in in Port Colborne, Ontario, about 160 km from Toronto, Ontario.
Related AssetsColeman Mine, Copper Cliff North Mine, Creighton Mine, Garson Mine, Totten Mine

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 by Vale Canada Limited (Vale Canada), a Vale S.A. wholly-owned subsidiary. Vale S.A. uses Vale Canada, as operator of the Operations.

On 27 July 2023, Vale S.A. signed a binding agreement with Manara Minerals, a joint venture between Ma’aden and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), under which Manara Minerals will invest in Vale Base Metals Ltd. (“VBM”), the holding entity of Vale’s Energy Transition Metals business, at an implied enterprise value of US$ 26.0 billion.

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

Deposit type

  • Magmatic
  • Footwall hosted
  • Breccia pipe / Stockwork

Summary:

The Sudbury magmatic copper–nickel sulphide deposits are part of the Paleoproterozoic Sudbury Structure which comprises the SIC and associated dykes, and the overlying Paleoproterozoic Whitewater Group rocks. Footwall rocks to the Sudbury Structure are Archean gneisses and granitic and mafic igneous rocks to the north and Paleoproterozoic metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks of the Huronian Supergroup to the south.

The Sudbury Structure is exposed as an elliptical ring with a northeast-trending long axis of ~72 km and a short axis of ~27 km. The upper northeast-trending contact of the surface expression of the SIC is often referred to as the North Range, similarly the South Range is associated with the areas along or near the southern surface exposure of the SIC contact. Margins of the SIC are characterized with an average inward dip of about 45º along the north part of the SIC; however, they are generally steeply dipping or overturned in the south and east sections.

Major components of the SIC include the differentiated norite–gabbro-granophyre Main Mass and a group of minor intrusions, collectively termed the Sublayer. Three major variants of the Sublayer are recognized: the first comprises igneous-textured gabbro–noritic material, the second consists of igneous-textured quartz diorite, while the third variant comprises a wide variety of metamorphictextured rocks collectively known as “footwall breccia”. The Sublayer is localized either at the contact between the Main Mass and footwall rocks or within radiating and concentric dykes cutting footwall rocks. Sublayer units are characterized by disseminated to massive sulphide and by the presence of a variety of xenoliths of both local and unknown or “exotic” derivation.

Rocks of the Whitewater Group are found only within the central portion of the Sudbury Structure. The Whitewater Group consists of three conformable formations, in ascending order, the Onaping impact-generated breccias, Onwatin siltstone and wacke, and Chelmsford turbidite.

All rocks defined as footwall to the Sudbury Structure are cut by occurrences of the Sudbury Breccia. This breccia occurs as small veins, irregularly-shaped patches and large bodies, which may extend for many kilometers along strike. The breccia consists of inclusions of locally-derived footwall lithologies within comminuted footwall rock.

The Sudbury Structure is cut by a number of regional and local mafic dyke swarms. The Murray and Creighton granitic plutons, part of the Cartier batholith, intrude the Huronian Supergroup, and predate the impact.

The Sudbury deposits host three principal styles of mineralization contact style, offset style and footwall style. However, the three mineralization environments can be quite variable, can be transitional, and many exhibit characteristics fitting more than one mineralization environment description.

Two types of Footwall-style deposits are identified in the North Range. These are massive sulphide copper–platinum group element (PGM) deposits and low-sulphide high-PGM deposits. Lowsulphide–high-PGM, and to a lesser extent massive sulphide copper–PGM deposits occur in the South Range.

Pyrrhotite is the most common sulphide mineral. Chalcopyrite is the main copper-bearing mineral and second most common sulphide mineral. Chalcopyrite is typically (but not always) associated with elevated PGEs and precious metals. Pentlandite is the main nickel mineral and is present in all ore types.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

2022 Pt, Pd and Au production numbers also include ore source from Manitoba, external source, and minor amounts from Voisey‘s Bay.
CommodityUnits2022202120202019201820172016
Nickel kt 00000000516280
Copper kt 000000007298122
Cobalt t 000000000000520840882
Platinum koz 00000000000135144166
Palladium koz 00000000000218214322
Gold koz 00000000577498
Silver koz 2,165

Operational metrics

Metrics202220212020201920182017
Ore tonnes mined 00000000000000003,337 kt4,210 kt
Annual production capacity 00000066 kt of nickel metal

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Financials

Units20222021
Book Value M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

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EmployeesYear
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