Glencore is moving ahead with a $700 million development of its Onaping Depth nickel-copper project in the Sudbury Basin, which along with Goldcorp’s Borden gold mine and Kirkland Lake Gold’s Macassa and Taylor mines, will be one of the first all electric mines in the world. Onaping Depth is a large, high-grade resource basin which is accessible from the existing Craig mine infrastructure.According to a March 2 report in Northern Ontario Business, the project includes the construction of a winze from the 1,200 m level laterally off the workings of Craig mine to access some 14 million tonnes of ore 2,500 m from surface. The first 700 m of the winze will be raisebored down to the 1,900 m level and then slashed and extended beyond that to the 2650-metre level using conventional shaft sinking technology. The project also includes all off-shaft development and associated ore handling systems. First production from Onaping Depth will occur in 2023 and full production by 2025. Glencore needs the ore to replace declining reserves at its Nickel Rim South and Fraser Mines. “Mining at Nickel Rim South is scheduled to cease in 2022,” Peter Xavier, Vice President of Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations told Northern Ontario Business. “Fraser Mine goes a little further to 2024-2025, so Onaping Depth will come in at a time when existing mines are tailing off and secures our business here in Sudbury well into the 2030s.”Glencore has committed to an all-electric mining fleet for Onaping Depth. “Mines at depth require a large volume of air for ventilation in a typical diesel arrangement, and that air has to be heated in winter and cooled at depth, so the capital cost of the infrastructure and the operating costs for all that are quite substantial,” said Xavier to Northern Ontario Business. “Also, ventilation requirements constrain most mines to some degree in terms of the operating activities you can undertake at any given time, so moving to an all-electric fleet will allow us to change that in our favour.”Less air will also reduce the number and size of openings necessary to deliver it underground and return it to surface. Onaping Depth will be operated in the same way as a modern manufacturing plant with mine-wide WiFi enabling real-time information flow and better decision-making. Xavier and his team are also looking at other technologies and innovations, including automation and more continuous methods of mining that will remove miners from underground hazards. Replacing traditional drill and blast technology with cutting is also a possibility. According to Xavier, several large OEMs have developed tunnel-boring prototypes for hard rock applications, and Glencore is working with other mining companies under non-disclosure agreements to evaluate them. “Technology and innovation happen quite fast, so between now and 2025, there could be things that come available that we can take advantage of.”Xavier is confident that a full range of electric vehicles will be available in time for startup, including the big prime movers – 14 t scoops and 40+ t trucks. “The major OEMs have them in their pipeline, but we won’t need them for a number of years.” In the meantime, the company has acquired several smaller pieces of battery-operated equipment for testing at its existing operations, including a 7 t scoop, a Maclean bolter, a jumbo and several utility vehicles. “Our approach is to learn as much as possible about them and get a good understanding of duty cycles and charging requirements,” said Xavier.
Mike Ross – 6The tighthead is judged by the scrum and Ireland’s went well without pulling up many trees. He did make a big tackle on Weir in the first half to force Scotland back a pivotal time in the game. First off the park as Martin Moore made his debut.Devin Toner – 7Took over duty of calling the line-out in Paul O’Connell’s absence and played his cards well, relying chiefly on himself and O’Mahony in the first half rather than put too much onus on Tuohy who popped up superbly after half time.Dan Tuohy – 7Faced the impossible task of filling in as a late call-up in place of O’Connell. Seemed to grow into the the game and was a force to be reckoned with once Scotland’s early impetus died down. IRELAND’S SIX NATIONS campaign got off to a stuttering start against Scotland on Lansdowne Road today.Here’s how we rated Joe Schmidt’s men in the three-try 28 – 6 win.Rob Kearney – 7Injected real pace and excitement into Lansdowne Road to give the back-line a run after seven quiet minutes and took a big hit to allow Andrew Trimble canter over. Finished powerfully to put the game beyond Scotland.Andrew Trimble – 7Not given the freedom to come and look for work as he does with Ulster, but being pinned to the touchline has its advantages and the reward came with his 13th international try on the stroke of half time.Brian O’Driscoll – 7Endured a difficult afternoon with little open territory to work in. Trying to force the pace of the game in that first half was commendable, but pass to the floor on the edge of his 22 was not. His breakdown efforts were more accurate than his attack.Luke Marshall – 7Lack of first half go-forward ball meant the centre was well marked on the few occasions he did have opportunity to run. Showed some nice flashes of creativity including one glorious pass to Dave Kearney in the second half, but it seems as if Schmidt will trust in Gordon D’Arcy when Wales come calling next weekend.Dave Kearney – 6An assured display. Sound under the high ball and his kicking took Ireland out of their 22 on occasions when danger threatened. Had precious few opportunities to impress in attack until his acrobatic effort at a touchdown in the final minute.Jonathan Sexton – 7Like Marshall, found himself well wrapped up until the brilliant break from his own half that set up Heaslip’s first chance. That break eventually led to first half try, but at times the 10 would be better served going to the boot.Off the tee he was almost flawless, missing only the conversion after Trimble’s try.Conor Murray – 7Struggled in the early stages when the Scottish pack were forcing him onto back foot. With a noticeable lack of kicking he embodied Ireland’s patience and trust in their own ability and the scrum-half kept the tempo ticking over until Isaac Boss was introduced.Cian Healy – 7Wasn’t rewarded for scrum dominance over Moray Low, and didn’t have many opportunities to inflict his trademark carries on Scotland, but was hugely effective in counter-rucking in open play. Left the game early along with the rest of his front row with Schmidt clearly pointing to a bigger challenge next Saturday.Rory Best – 7Line-out went extremely well despite the loss of its shining beacon and Best’s throwing had a massive role to play in that. As ever, the Ulster hooker also contributed more than his fair share in ope play. Peter O’Mahony – 8Proved a real pest for Scotland at breakdown and line-out, taking important balls in the air on both Irish and Scottish ball. His athleticism in the set-piece is a real asset for a side, especially after the late loss of the captain. Chris Henry – 7Played on the edge early on and forced decisions either way from Craig Joubert. Seemed to escape the South African’s gaze from there on and contributed to a huge amount of rucks with his efforts rewarded as the Scots tired.Jamie Heaslip – 8Given captaincy late in the day and made important decisions to go for line-outs when Scotland were on the rack in first half.Went so close to finishing off a magnificent Sexton-inspired try, but got dragged into touch. Added his usual high dose of work-rate around the park and eventually got the try he wanted on the back of a hyper-efficient line-out.As it happened: Ireland v Scotland, Six NationsEarly blow: Chest infection takes captain O’Connell out of Scotland clash