Northern Canada's future mining workforce finds home in new $8.3m mining centre
Northern Canada’s future generation of skilled miners have found a new home with the unveiling of the $8.3million Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining (CNIM) building at Yukon College.
Launched in 2013, CNIM aims to provide services to industry and training for students with state-of-the-art facilities, mobile classrooms and high-tech simulators. Through its close access to working mine sites, reclamation and mineral exploration areas students can gain real-world experience.
“CNIM looks to work with industry to provide the best training to maximize opportunities for northerners in the region’s labour market” says Shelagh Rowles, Executive Director.
Through the CNIM, Yukon hopes to build a future of a highly skilled workforce, a stronger economy through greater opportunity, and a more efficient, sustainable mineral industry.
“This ground-breaking programming will enhance the training experience for local students which will help the Yukon resource sector be the most technologically innovative that it can be. The Government of Canada is proud to support the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining at Yukon College - support that will help to advance Canada’s economic competitiveness,” said Minister Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
“The Yukon government is proud to invest in the development and operations of this new facility to train the next generation of skilled trades workers who will be ready to bring innovative ideas and practices to the mining sector.” Premier Darrell Pasloski said at the launch.
- The full cost of the project, including construction and fittings was $8.3million
- Most of the workers who worked on the construction were grafuates from the Yukon College
- The bulding contains a multi-use shop which has a unique large door to facilitate access for large equipment and structures.
- Programming at the centre will include - Heavy Equipment Technician, Introduction to Underground and Surface Mining, Environmental Monitoring, Carpentry, Electrician, Pipe Trades, Welding, Geology Technology, Air Rotary Drill Helper, Trades Exploration, plus trades and technology areas as suggested by industry.
- 172 students have benefitted from CNIM programming since its creation in 2013.
- Research conducted in partnership by CNIM and the Yukon Research Centre has focused on water remediation techniques as well as using native plants to assist with mine remediation for Canada’s North. Yukon's NSERC Industrial Research Chair, Dr. Amelie Janin is working closely with the Mine Research Consortium made up of five of Yukon’s mining companies to solve northern challenges in the mining industry.
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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.