Name: Sudbury mines.
Location: The Sudbury mines are situated in the Sudbury area of northern Ontario, Canada.
Brief history: Falconbridge mined nickel-copper ores in the Sudbury area since 1929. Xstrata acquired the Sudbury mine through its acquisition of Falconbridge in 2006.
Brief description: The Sudbury mines consist of three underground mines, a mill and a smelter. The mines are the Craig, the Lindsley and the Fraser mine. The Craig mine is currently Sudbury's largest mining operation.
Products: Nickel and copper.
Mining method: Underground.
Reserves: Total proven and probable reserves as at June 30, 2010, were 14.8-million tons, with a grading of 1.32% nickel, 2.72% copper and 0.02% cobalt.
Resources: Total measured resources as at June 30, 2010, were 6.66-million tons, with a grading of 1.89% nickel, 1.98% copper and 0.04% cobalt. Total indicated resources were 8.24-million tons, with a grading of 1.43% nickel, 4.32% copper and 0.04% cobalt. Total inferred resources were 13-million tons with a grading of 1.5%% nickel, 2.1% copper and 0.1% cobalt.
Geology: The nickel-copper ore deposits of Sudbury, are associated with a large body of igneous rock known as the Sudbury Igneous Complex (SIC). The main rock units of the SIC range from an outer ring of norite through a transition zone of gabbro to an inner zone of granophyre. The mineralisation in the deposits consists of zones of massive, inclusion-bearing massive, stringer and disseminated sulphides associated with brecciated host rocks located in footwall troughs or embayments around the outer, lower edge of the SIC.
Major infrastructure and equipment: Ore from the three mines is received by the Strathcona mill, and produces a nickel-copper concentrate that goes to the Sudbury smelter for smelting, and a copper concentrate that goes to the Kidd Metallurgical Division for toll refining. The smelted and granulated matte is sent to Quebec city by rail, and finally shipped overseas for refining into pure metals.
Unique features: The Sudbury smelter processes and recycles materials from the Sudbury mines, as well as from other companies.
Prospects: The $119-million Fraser Morgan project in Sudbury proposes to develop the two zones of the existing Fraser mine to unlock 6 000 t/y of nickel and 2 000 t/y of copper, while extending the life-of-mine of the Fraser Complex by five years to 2025.
This project, coupled with the agreement with Brazil’s diversified miner Vale to extend the Fraser Mine Copper Zone, will enable the site to take full advantage of polymetallic orebodies, using existing mill capacity to reduce unit costs at the Strathcona circuit, and provide a viable long-term local nickel feed for the Sudbury smelter.
Development of the Fraser Morgan will start in early 2012 and is expected to begin production in 2013.
Controlling company: Xstrata (100%).
Contact person: Investor relations, Martin Fewings.
Tel: +44 20 7968 2893