Lundin Mining Ramps Up Base Metals Production
Lundin Mining is bolstering its presence across Europe and beyond with a number of promising expansions, along with exploration and mine construction projects which will see the company head towards its 500,000-ton production target in the next two to three years.
Such ambition is amply demonstrated by the drive to more than double zinc output at Lundin’s Neves-Corvo mine in Portugal, while a $715 million investment into a new nickel-copper mine in Michigan, USA, is now operational.
The American acquisition from Rio Tinto extends the company’s reach beyond its European heartland, where mines in Portugal, Sweden and Spain are also performing well and have life ahead of them.
Away from wholly-owned operations, Lundin Mining also holds a 24 percent stake in joint ventures with Freeport in a high quality copper-cobalt operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in a cobalt refinery in Finland, granting vertical integration into the world of cobalt mining.
While current performance and growth has been steady, CEO Paul Conibear is aware that the business needs to keep exploring for the next high-grade copper discoveries and bring more assets on board.
“Our metal production is around 300,000 tons this year and I would like to get us up to 500,000 tons in the next two to three years which means an additional one or two more mines,” he said. “This will lift Lundin Mining to the sort of scale we want to be at, operating five or six strong mines.”
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.