Sudbury student wins national science fair with self-driving go-kart Brendon Matusch

 

 

 

Brendon Matusch could be the next Elon Musk. The 14-year-old student from Sudbury recently took home the top prize at the 2018 Canada-Wide Science with his self-driving go-kart that uses a machine learning system.

Vehicle uses machine-learning system to navigate

 

Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School student Brendon Matusch took home the top prize at the 2018 Canada-Wide Science Fair for his autonomous vehicle that uses a machine learning. (Supplied)

Brendon Matusch could be the next Elon Musk.

The 14-year-old student from Sudbury recently took home the top prize at the 2018 Canada-Wide Science Fair with his self-driving go-kart that uses a machine learning system.

Matusch’s project was given the platinum award for best intermediate project, as well as the best project award.

In addition to a $2,500 cash prize, he also won a fully funded trip to compete in the 2018 European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Dublin, Ireland in September.

 

Matusch (centre) was presented the platinum award for best intermediate project and the best project award in Ottawa on May 16. (Supplied)

Matush wasn’t the only Sudbury student to take home an award.

Rochelle Larivière of École St-Paul won the silver medal at the junior level, while Kerry Yang of Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School won the gold medal. Nethra Wickramasinghe Lockerby Composite School also won a silver medal at the intermediate level. 

 

Sudbury’s Brendon Matusch is one smart kid. He was the big winner at the Canada Wide Science Fair. He won for best project overall. Brendon Matusch joined us in studio to explain his winning project. 8:18

SAMSSA Member Epiroc launches Minetruck MT2010 Battery

 

 

 

The newest machine to be added to Epiroc’s commanding fleet of electric-powered equipment is the Minetruck MT2010 Battery, now ready to roll in mining operations throughout North America. The Minetruck MT2010 Battery is a sleek and sturdy truck, specially built to transport heavy loads of up to 20 metric tons through narrow underground passages.

The electric Minetruck shares all the merits of its internationally popular Minetruck MT2010 diesel counterpart, including a compact design, hard-wearing components, fast incline speeds and easy maneuverability. However, the Minetruck MT2010 Battery extends its own list of honors by driving away from fossil fuels towards a zero-emission future.

 

“The diesel-fueled Minetruck MT2010 has earned an excellent reputation in tough environments across the globe,” relates Travis Battley, Business Line Manager at Epiroc Canada. “But we switched on an even better source of power two years ago with the successful launch of our Scooptram ST7 Battery. Now we’re happy to add our electric Minetruck to the emission-free work force that can boost productivity in operations with an eye on the future.”

 

Today, Epiroc offers a full portfolio of diesel-free underground mining equipment including electric drill rigs, loaders, ground support machinery and trucks such as the Minetruck MT2010 Battery, which has undergone more than 20,000 hours of rigorous field tests and operating trials to ensure optimal performance and dependability.

A high-longevity battery keeps the Minetruck up and running during lengthy shifts. It can be replaced in a matter of minutes, or quickly charged to tackle the next workload. The diesel-free powertrain eliminates harmful particulate and gas emissions and generates much less noise and waste heat. Personnel can thus enjoy a quieter, healthier work environment, while mining operations can greatly reduce the otherwise sky-high costs related to underground ventilation and cooling.

 

“We are committed to science and technology at Epiroc, and we willingly assume our responsibility in reducing the mining industry’s carbon footprint,” says Travis Battley, Business Line Manager at Epiroc Canada. “Our goal is zero-emission mining. This is a power change that changes everything.”

 

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Press release from the Epiroc Group

For further information please contact:

 

Ann-Sofie Andersson, Global Communications and Brand Manager

+46 (0)19 670 78 25

ann-sofie.andersson@epiroc.com

 

Travis Battley, Business Line Manager Underground Rock Excavation 

Epiroc Canada

+1 (416) 523 8330

travis.battley@epiroc.com

 

 

Mai 2018

 

Epiroc lance le tombereau MT2010 Battery

 

Le plus récent engin qui viendra s’ajouter à l’imposante flotte d’équipements électriques Epiroc est le tombereau MT2010 Battery, prêt à servir aux opérations minières partout en Amérique du Nord. Le tombereau MT2010 Battery est un camion élégant et robuste, spécialement construit pour transporter de lourdes charges allant jusqu’à 20 tonnes métriques dans des passages souterrains étroits.

Le tombereau électrique présente les mêmes avantages que ceux du tombereau MT2010 diesel populaire à travers le monde, notamment un encombrement réduit, des composants résistants, des vitesses rapides d’inclinaison et une manœuvrabilité aisée. Toutefois, le tombereau MT2010 Battery rallonge sa liste de distinctions en s’éloignant des combustibles fossiles pour se tourner vers un avenir zéro émission.

 

« Le tombereau MT2010 à moteur diesel a acquis une excellente réputation dans des environnements difficiles partout dans le monde, » rapporte Travis Battley, directeur, gamme de produits chez Epiroc Canada. « Mais nous avons activé une bien meilleure source d’énergie il y a deux ans grâce au lancement réussi de notre chargeuse Scooptram ST7 Battery. Nous sommes aujourd’hui très heureux d’ajouter notre tombereau électrique à la main-d’œuvre, qui peut stimuler fortement la productivité des opérations avec un regard tourné vers un avenir sans émission. »

 

De nos jours, Epiroc offre une gamme complète d’équipements d’exploitation minière souterraine sans diesel, y compris des engins de forage, des chargeuses, des machines de soutènement du sol et des camions électriques comme le tombereau MT2010 Battery, qui a fait l’objet de tests sur le terrain et d’essais de fonctionnement pendant plus de 20 000 heures afin de garantir une performance et une fiabilité optimales.

En profitant de la longévité accrue de la batterie, le tombereau peut maintenir la cadence et fonctionner très longtemps. La batterie peut être changée en quelques minutes, ou être chargée rapidement pour faire face à la prochaine charge de travail. Le groupe motopropulseur sans diesel élimine les particules et les émissions de gaz nuisibles, et génère beaucoup moins de bruit et de chaleur résiduelle. Ainsi, il permet au personnel de bénéficier d’un environnement de travail plus silencieux et plus sain, et de grandement réduire les coûts très élevés de la ventilation et du refroidissement lors des opérations minières souterraines.

 

« Chez Epiroc, nous sommes dévoués à l’avancement de la science et de la technologie, et nous assumons volontiers notre responsabilité de diminuer l’empreinte de carbone de l’industrie minière, » dit Travis Battley, directeur, gamme de produits chez Epiroc Canada. « Notre objectif est l’exploitation minière zéro émission. C’est un changement de puissance qui change tout. »

 

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Communiqué de presse du Groupe Epiroc

Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez communiquer avec :

 

Ann-Sofie Andersson, directrice des communications mondiales et chef de marque

+46 (0)19 670 78 25

ann-sofie.andersson@epiroc.com

 

Travis Battley, directeur, gamme de produits Underground Rock Excavation 

Epiroc Canada

+1 416-523-8330

travis.battley@epiroc.com

 

 

‘Still got lots to do’ in Sudbury’s regreening program, ecologist says (CBC News Sudbury

 

– May 7, 2018)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/A program that started in Sudbury in 1978 is still being recognized on the international level. Forty years ago, the City of Greater Sudbury launched the regreening program, which has transformed the city from desolate black rocks to green trees.

In 2018, CBC Sudbury is celebrating its 40th anniversary of going on air. We’ll be looking back at some of our top stories from the last four decades. Peter Beckett, a restoration ecologist and chair of the regreening advisory panel, was no stranger to industrial areas when he first arrived in Sudbury in 1974. He came from England to visit the city.

“I actually thought I’d gone back to some of the barren areas of South Wales,” he said. “There were no trees. There was a rocky hillside with large pebbles.” He relocated to Sudbury and remembers the year the program was put into place.

“By that time, the first limestone and grass seed mixture has been laid down near Coniston,” he recalls. “We were waiting with baited breath to see whether it actually came up.”

He says he and others went out in late August and found small blades of grass starting to grow. “There was a general eureka amongst the members of the … committee,” he said.

Since then, Stephen Monet, the manager of environmental planning initiatives with the city, says work has been done to increase the diversity of the plants. “We knew that we could grow pine stands on essentially bare rock with a little bit of soil,” he said.

For the rest of this article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/regreening-40-year-anniversary-1.4652024

CIM selects Samantha Espley as its new Incoming President Elect 2020-2021

 

Northern Ontario Leaders Involved with CIM Roy Slack North Bay President 2019

 
  

Samantha Espley cropped headshot

Samantha Espley has been a CIM member and working in the Canadian mining industry
for more than 25 years | Courtesy of Vale 

Montreal, QC, April 25 2018 – The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) is proud to announce that its new Incoming President Elect for 2020-2021 will be Samantha Espley, Vale’s Director of the Technical Excellence Centre of Mining and Mineral Processing.

“I feel honoured to be asked to lead CIM. It’s an amazing feeling,” said Espley, who is looking forward to the learning opportunity this position will provide her. “A big question now is how the Canadian mining industry can stay competitive in the global industry. I think CIM can play a major role in that, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Espley has been a member of CIM since she was an engineering student at the University of Toronto in the 1990s.  She has been a dedicated Branch member in Toronto and Sudbury, serving on the Sudbury Branch executive for several years as well as a board member of CIM’s Global Mining Standards and Guidelines group.

“We are delighted that Samantha will be joining the Presidents Council along with Roy Slack, Incoming President 2019-2020. She brings strong operational and CIM experience, as well as demonstrated leadership in key areas of interest to CIM and its members, namely safety, diversity, productivity and R&D,” says Janice Zinck, CIM President 2018-2019.

Espley is very active in the mining community as a board member of MIRARCO and the Canada Mining Innovation Council and a past member of the executive board of Engineers Canada, Science North and the Sudbury branches of Women in Science and Engineering and Professional Engineers Ontario. She is the Vale industry representative with CEMI and UDMN with a strong focus on research and development projects to enable safe deep mining. Espley also gives back to her alma mater by acting as chair of the Bharti School of Engineering at Laurentian University. 

“Over her career, Samantha has been recognized nationally and internationally for her professional work and her commitment to advance the careers of other women. She is an exceptional choice as incoming President Elect for CIM, and I’m sure will make many positive contributions during her tenure to the mining industry as a whole,” said Conor Spollen, VP Technology and Development at Vale.

“I love the mining industry. It’s like a family,” said Espley. This feeling of family is particularly strong for Espley, whose father and uncle both worked in the industry. Now Espley has raised her own mining family with her son working as a heavy machinery technician at Vale and two of her daughters pursuing mining engineering.

 

‘Historic’ funding for Science North

 

 

 

John Lappa

By John Lappa, Sudbury Star

Science North bluecoat Melissa Radey takes part in a science demonstration during a major funding announcement at the science centre in Sudbury, Ont. on Wednesday April 25, 2018. The Ontario government announced $16 million in funding for Science North over two years. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network

Science North bluecoat Melissa Radey takes part in a science demonstration during a major funding announcement at the science centre in Sudbury, Ont. on Wednesday April 25, 2018. The Ontario government announced $16 million in funding for Science North over two years. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network

 

Calling it ‘historic,’ the Ontario provincial government made a major funding announcement in Science North on Wednesday.

Minister of Energy and Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault said the province will spend $16 million on the science centre and Dynamic Earth over the next two years.

Thibeault said the province invested in Science North because of what the science centre means for Northern Ontario.

“It’s an economic driver when it comes to tourism. This is going to generate more tourism dollars for us. It’s going to create jobs. It’s going to actually really tell people the importance of science,” Thibeault said. “So, this is just a win, win, when it comes to the economy, tourism and education.”

“The funding will be instrumental for Science North to deliver on the five key strategic priorities and 15 goals” recently launched in the science centre’s 2018-23 Strategic Plan, the science centre said in a release.

The projects at Science North include a new Vale Chasm show, a major renewal of the fourth level, two new object theatre multimedia experiences, a new outdoor pavilion that will be located on the grounds of Science North in June 2019 to mark the 35th anniversary of the science centre, and a new IMAX 3D film produced by Science North in partnership with Jane Goodall.

There will also be capital upgrades at Dynamic Earth and Science North.

The Go Deeper project at Dynamic Earth will create new drifts in the underground mine that will showcase modern mining and innovation. A new underground theatre and multipurpose space will also be created.

The funding will allow “Science North to expand its reach across the North through increased delivery and impact of science experiences across northwestern Ontario,” Science North said. “The expansion of the Thunder Bay office will benefit 200,000 people living in Northern Ontario and thousands of people who come to the region as tourists.”

Guy Labine, Science North CEO, said the funding was a game changer for the science centre.

“I think it’s going to transform who we are and the impact we have in the North. It’s a historical transformation investment. The largest in our history.”

The funding will allow Science North and Dynamic Earth to move ahead with key projects.

Labine called the funding announcement “amazing. It’s going to allow us to really supercharge our strategic plan and deliver. And, most importantly, drive benefits to our audiences, visitors, teachers, students, to the Northern Ontario tourism industry, and it will have a huge impact on all of Northern Ontario.”

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca 

 

 

Sudbury mining industry poised for global expansion

 

 

 – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – April 20, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/
President of CEMI touts region as the future global hub of mining at opening luncheon of Modern Mining and Technology SudburySudbury’s mining sector has come a long way in the last three decades, and the next big phase is going to be the region as home for global innovation.That was the message from Douglas Morrison, president of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation, the opening speaker at the business luncheon kicking off Modern Mining and Technology Sudbury (MMTS) on April 20.

The hall at Bryston’s on the Park in Copper Cliff was filled with industry executives, as well as members of mining service companies and event sponsors, to get a rundown on the schedule of the week-long event and hear what Morrison had to say about his experiences and where he sees the industry going.

Starting from his early days working in the mines around Sudbury in the early 1980s, he said in a five-year period they went from using decades-old technology to modern trucks, drillers and improved safety.

“That transition wasn’t just a change, it was a disruption,” he said. “It changed the world of mining.” Back then, he said mining was very regionalized. Now, it has become global, with companies holding properties and doing more business in multiple countries than ever before.

While changes have been gradual over the years, the mining industry was poised for another great disruption. He warned it wouldn’t be easy or smooth, but it would propel mining in the region forward.

For the rest of this article: https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/regional-news/sudbury/sudbury-mining-industry-poised-for-global-expansion-900230

MacLean Engineering SAMSSA Member– interest in electric mining vehicles turning into purchase orders

 

 

 

by Kathrine Moore

k

Headquartered in Collingwood, Ontario, and serving some 23 countries, MacLean Engineering has been developing underground mining equipment for over 45 years. Family-owned MacLean Engineering has a large manufacturing footprint. Besides the main offices, the company has an 65,000 square foot facility in Collingwood, an 60,000 square foot facility in Owen Sound and a 85,000 square foot facility in Barrie, all in Ontario.

In Canada, MacLean Engineering has offices in Sudbury, Ontario; Thompson, Manitoba; Creighton, Saskatchewan and Val-d’Or, Québec. They also have branches in Mexico, Peru, South Africa and Australia. The company has a presence in just about every mining camp globally and employs ~600 individuals.

After returning from successfully presenting at a busy PDAC, Anthony Griffiths, Product Manager Fleet Electrification, Mining Division at MacLean Engineering, spoke to Resource World about the changing mining equipment industry.

Griffiths said, “Three years ago we started out battery electrifying one of our mining vehicles, a MacLean bolter.   That started us out on this path that we are on now – full fleet electrification.” He said that interest in battery operated mining vehicles has grown since. “This year, many companies want to come and see a demo or have a demo done on their site. We have just sold a unit to Vale, in the Sudbury basin. We are starting to see interest translate into purchase orders. After PDAC this year, we have been extremely busy responding to interest and providing quotes.”

 

Maclean Engineering provides ground support, utility vehicles and a suite of equipment they call ore flow facilitation which is used primarily in block caving mining. They also solve high hang-up problems and reduce oversize after blasting. Griffiths said, “We don’t do big haul trucks or scoops but we do everything else in the mining business.”

Griffiths said interest is coming from mining jurisdictions worldwide, “Just yesterday we had an inquiry from Mexico about acquiring battery powered equipment.” The company recently did a presentation to an international group as a direct result of PDAC. “They wanted to see our battery system. We are anticipating a very busy year and it looks like next year will be even busier based on the amount of requested quotes,” said Griffiths.

“We now have six units operating with another three to be delivered at the end of the month and we have another fourteen units in manufacturing, eleven of which are sold. To date our technology used underground has been very successful,” added Griffiths.

The company is innovating on a fleet-wide scale. Griffiths explained, “We are currently electrifying all of our eight-foot wide equipment. The battery gives us the ability to tie in vehicle monitoring and telemetry services and vehicle health asset management.  ”

Eight feet is the standard width of an underground machine in the mining industry. “Currently that is the one we are seeing the most demand for. In some cases and jurisdictions some companies are going a little narrower. So we also have a six-foot wide fleet of equipment that we will start to electrify in 2019,” said Griffiths.

Griffiths described MacLean Engineering’s approach to battery propulsion.  “When we started out on this path we looked at what was available and what we felt would best provide our customers with a superior product.  Instead of buying a supplier’s whole solution to battery propulsion, we hired a mobile propulsion engineering company called Medatech. They scoured the market and came back with a recommendation and a design based on the best components available globally. They sourced battery chargers from one company, the batteries from another and the propulsion motors and drive motors from yet another company. The battery sector is changing so fast and innovating so quickly that we didn’t want to get stuck with yesterday’s technology, we wanted the best we could find.”

“Our battery is based on a modular system,” said Griffiths. “Our supplier is a company out of Germany. They assemble the batteries and the chemistry is a blend of NMC and LTO technologies.  NMC stands for lithium ion nickel, manganese, cobalt, and LTO stands for Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO). These chemistries provide best in class lifecycle, energy density and energy discharge capabilities. What sets us apart with our particular design is that we have the ability to cool the battery with an internal liquid cooling battery management system. We also don’t swap out the battery. We put the battery in the vehicle for the life of the machine. Currently our life cycle charging on the battery indicates that we get a minimum of 6,800 full charges, from empty to full. Testing we have done on units in the field validates that MacLean customers are going to get, in some cases, as much as 10 to 12 years of life out of these batteries.”

“Another thing that separates us from our competitors,” explained Griffiths, “is that with the battery going in and staying on the unit we decided to do all our charging on board. What that means is, you just have to pull up to an existing underground outlet and our machine will plug in. So you can literally recharge anywhere in the mine where there is an existing outlet. That provides a great deal of flexibility to the mine operator. You don’t have to install charging walls, a battery swap-out base or other infrastructure. Our equipment can show up on site and go to work underground immediately. That has been a significant advantage for us and differentiates us from other people in the business. Our system is designed to go anywhere from 360 to 1,000 volts so whether the vehicle goes to Mexico or Canada, South Africa or Australia it is compatible with the electric grid. We wanted our equipment to be highly adaptable and ready to go as soon as it gets to the site.

“As for the drive train, it was designed by Medatech Engineering, located here in Collingwood as well. We have worked with them on a number of engineering projects and they are global leaders in the field of battery electric propulsion systems for underground mining. They were a good fit.

The motors and motor controllers are manufactured in Quebec by a company called TM4.

One of MacLean Engineering’s biggest clients is Goldcorp. At their Borden Lake Mine in northern Ontario they mandated from the start that it would be a non-diesel mine. MacLean Engineering supplied the first five, all battery vehicles to the site: two scissor bolters, a scissor lift and two cassette carriers. Griffiths said, “We are also providing a grader and we just received a second order from them for another nine units. So the battery system has proved itself and we have been rewarded with that second order. When all is said and done we will have 15 battery operated units operating at that mine by the end of the year.”

As to future developments, Griffiths said, “We are looking at innovating our existing fleet to what the market is telling us they need. We do have a low profile package but we have not electrified that yet. We are working with potash companies and people who use low profile equipment. We are certainly looking at electrifying our low profile equipment and finding a battery package for that.”

“And we are looking at a several pieces of equipment that we normally wouldn’t do, but because of our battery technology we have been asked to consider electrifying underground graders and other types of units,” added Griffiths. “A company came to us and asked, ‘could you take the diesel components out of our grader and convert it to battery propulsion?’ We did that and it is just being tested this week to be delivered at the end of the month. We are excited about that; we have created another product as a result of our commitment to developing and commissioning battery technology in underground mining.”

Battery commodities are hot right now. “We are using the batteries to power the equipment that is mining the commodities needed to make more batteries. It is a beautiful full cycle situation for us,” said Griffiths.  “There is a demand for nickel, cobalt, zinc, lithium and copper. In order to have a cleaner work environment and reduce your ventilation energy demands, you need those commodities that go into battery technology. It is a very good opportunity for us right now.”

Filed in: IndustryResources

 

Modern Mining &Technology Sudbury (MMTS) kicks off 2018 Mining Week

 

 

 

 

 

(Sudbury, ON) – MMTS is excited to announce the launch of Modern Mining & Technology Week (April 20th – April 29th). Modern Mining & Technology Week features an array of events and programming geared towards educating the Sudbury community about the many rewarding careers in today’s mining industry.

 

Mining Week kicks off on Friday, April 20th, 2018 with the annual Business Luncheon hosted by the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation. The luncheon provides an opportunity for all members of the mining sector to network and hear from industry leader, Douglas Morrison. The luncheon will be held at Bryston’s on the Park from 12:00pm to 1:30pm. For additional information, please contact Paul Reid (705-674-4455 ext 4608).

 

On Sunday, April 22nd join us from 11:00am to 5:00pm at the New Sudbury Shopping Centre for our annual Mining Showcase. The showcase features mining and technology-related exhibits from businesses, government agencies, as well as educational and industry partners and sponsors. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the latest advances in our industry and current mining activities in our region at the interactive displays.

 

In partnership with MMTS, on Monday, April 24th Science North will be hosting Science Café –Engineering to Mine: what will be needed to activate the Ring of Fire? The Science Café will be held at the TapHouse. For additional information, please visit the Science North website.

 

On April 28th, the public will have a chance to Discover Sudbury. Bring your family and friends on the Discover Sudbury bus tour. This 2-hour guided tour explores the stories buried in the rocks under our feet, showcases various geological and historical mining sites, and highlights how the local geology and mining has shaped Greater Sudbury. Each Discover Sudbury Bus Tour spot comes with free Dynamic Earth admission for that day. Tour buses will leave from and return to Dynamic Earth at 10:30am daily. Tours are 2 hours. Please dress appropriately for the weather and for outdoor exploration.

 

To register in advance for your Discover Sudbury Bus Tour, call 705.522.3701 ext. 413 or email debookings@sciencenorth.ca. A maximum of 4 (four) pre-registered spots will be made available per individual booking.

 

These are just a few of the events planned for the week, for a full list of MMTS events, please visit www.modernmining.ca.

 

 

On behalf of the Modern Mining & Technology Sudbury committee.

 

 

Hailey Short

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Greater Sudbury Airport
5000 Air Terminal Drive | Suite T202 |  Garson, Ontario  | P3L 1V4
P. 705.693.2514  |  F. 705.693.2937

hailey.short@flysudbury.ca

www.flysudbury.ca

 

 

Canadian miner sells cobalt assets in Ontario

 

 

 

 

CBLT Inc. (TSXV: CBLT) announced that it will sell two claims in the historic Cobalt-Gowganda silver-cobalt mining district of Ontario to Australian miner Krakatoa Resources (ASE:KTA).

In a press release, the Burlington-based company explained that the claims are located peripheral to a cluster of former silver-cobalt mines at Gowganda, 85 kilometres northwest of the town of Cobalt, whose mines operated from 1910 to 1989. Production from this region to the end of 1969 was 60.1 million ounces of silver and 1.4 million pounds of cobalt.

Under the terms of the agreement, which should be completed by the end of the month, Krakatoa will purchase the claims covering 41 mining units for consideration of AUD $50,000 cash plus 2.5 million Krakatoa common shares issued to CBLT at a price of AUD $0.035; Krakatoa will also issue CBLT an option to purchase 2.5 million Krakatoa common shares at an exercise price of AUD $0.10.

The deal also stipulates that CBLT manages, under Krakatoa’s direction and if so requested, the exploration programmes to be undertaken.

“Our early entrance in the Gowganda/Cobalt Camp is now creating tangible value,” said CBLT’s CEO, Peter M. Clausi, in the media statement. “We are eager to get in the field and help Krakatoa work these assets. The world needs Canada’s cobalt.”

According to CBLT, Canada’s ‘blue gold’ is considered ethical. This is in comparison to the mineral extracted from places where labour conditions and governance are plagued with irregularities.

From its low of $21,750 per tonne in February, 2016, cobalt has recently traded as high as $95,000 per tonne.

 

Production ramping up again at Coleman

 

 

 

By Jim Moodie, The Sudbury Star

A file photo of the Coleman Mine head frame in Levack. Gino Donato/Sudbury Star

A file photo of the Coleman Mine head frame in Levack. Gino Donato/Sudbury

Spring may still seem postponed, but work has finally resumed at Coleman Mine in Levack.

Operations were suspended before Christmas for repairs to an underground ventilation compartment, idling many workers on temporary layoff. That was initially supposed to last just a month or two; instead, the shutdown dragged on nearly five months.

Now, however, it’s business as usual at the Vale facility.

“The entire workforce is back at the mine working on regular shifts,” said Angie Robson, manager of corporate and aboriginal affairs, in a message to The Star.

She said employees were called back in mid-March for training and crews are now “performing value-added work in the orebodies, with production ramping up later this week.”

About 280 production and maintenance employees from Coleman were originally laid off as a result of the temporary shutdown, although some 230 workers “were recalled to either support the required repair work or to temporarily work at other mine sites,” said Robson.

Steelworkers 6500 president Rick Bertrand was not impressed when he got the news of the shutdown back in early November.

The union is “definitely not happy with the decision,” he told The Star at the time, arguing the repair work “could have been done a long time ago.”

Bertrand argued Vale was “negligent” in not addressing the ventilation issue sooner and laid-off employees should be paid during the cessation of work.

Instead, those who weren’t brought back to help with the repair work or reassigned elsewhere were left applying for Employment Insurance over Christmas.

Robson said the company was sensitive to the disruption caused to workers and their families, but its priority was to “ensure the shaft is safe to operate before bringing Coleman Mine back to production.”

The refurbishment took longer than expected, however, due to a few unforeseen issues that arose as the work proceeded.

“As we got deeper into the shaft, we found that additional repair work was required that extended the original timeline for the repair,” said the Vale spokeswoman.

Work included “removal of compromised concrete blocks and steel brattice in the ventilation compartment, cleaning, inspection and replacement of beams in the skip compartments,” said Robson, as well as “repair of the manways adjacent to the services compartment.”

Incoming Steelworkers president Nick Larochelle, who was elected to replace Bertrand late last week, said the situation was far from ideal but he was pleased to see everyone back at work.

“The guys are following a regular scheduled shift, and that’s a positive thing,” he said. “It wasn’t a good thing but actually a lot of good things did come out of it.”

jmoodie@postmedia.com