Soon enough the newly incorporated company had taken full exploratory measures towards this operation when a series of explorations had taken place. On May, 1958, the company had first started things off by drilling off a diamond drill hole known as E-30 on claim S102172 , that was driven on a 90 degree angle for a distance of 203 feet. Within this time period the company had also constructed a mill tailings pipe line that connected the mill with the shoreline of strike lake. More so this pipe line became constructed to discharge tailings, and to outline the groups of claims that the Northspan Uranium Mines Limited had owned. Before this pipe line could be constructed, the company would have to go under their own surveying procedures to determine where it would be engineered within this time period. During this time the company would also place full scale construction phases towards its milling operation that was being engineered. Most of this development phase was also being conducted on the north shoreline of central Quirke Lake Milling within this production business would be officially in operation by 1958, when the mill had its own capacity of 3,000 tons of ore per a day. As drilling within this claim became completed by the end of 1958, the company it self would estimate a total reserve of 4,280,000 tons of uranium oxide ore that graded 2.1 Lbs. per a tonne of ore processed, Another historical change would be completed when the Northspan Uranium Mines Limited had merge with Algom Mines Limited, to form the Rio Algom Mines Limited. Much of this whole entire merge would end up expanding the Panel Uranium Mine workings into the Algom's Quirke Uranium Mine Project. The first of these shafts was sunken to a depth of 1,800 feet, while the No. 2 shaft was reaching its own depth of 1,250 feet. Further so company officials had additionally connected the two shaft operations by an incline that was 2,733 feet long and had expanded from one shaft to another.
The shafts themselves are rather known to be located on two different islands that are determined as the No.1 and No. 2 islands. In 1959, the company and its team of hard working crew members had also commenced surveying procedures from June 1st to October, 28, 1959. Within this time period the company had also hoisted another large amount of uranium ore that totalled 6,087,766 tons. Much of this uranium content was rather broken down from the stopes, and taken from further development procedures. Further so the company would also end up milling a huge amount of ore that totalled 6,090,67t tons that had its own recovery average of 94.2%. Even the grade of this ore was pretty high when the company was producing 2.30 pounds of uranium oxide material per a tonne.
Within 1958, the company would face its first crucial mining accident when a Canadian by the name of Theodore Oulette was struck by fallen ground in the No.6-27 stope section. He was rather known as a Canadian that was 45, and married with two kids at the time. More so the Northspan Uranium Mines Ltd. would hire Mr. Oulette as a machineman on May,31, 1958. The No. 6-27 stope raise was considered to be normal raise section that had its own height of 6 feet by 8 feet wide. Much of this raise section was rather believed to have been driven from the mines 6th level to the 5th level of the Panel Uranium Mine project. Further so the 6th mine level is reported to have been opened up on the mines 1,900 foot level, and the No. 6-27 raise was believed to have been located 80 feet up the 10 degree ore dip. Within this time period, the company's day crew had additionally drilled, blasted, and slashed a 10 round raise section around this stope section. By that time the company's shift boss had told Oulette and A. Roy about the work that was accomplished by the day crew. As the two entered these workings, they soon found that this area was way to gasey from all the blasting as the day crew didn't proceed with air blowing methods. As this became evident the two workers would start their own air blowing method when they had blown air for nearly 2 hours. By 6pm, Roy, and Oulette would now commence scaling, and the washing procedures on the previously drilled and blasted sections. But more dangers soon had taken place when the scaling wasn't considered to have been fully secured for mucking procedures. So nevertheless, the two would secure this section by placing eye bolts at the top of the muck pile before commencing mucking stages. Once these stages had started to take place, the two miners would not conduct any scaling procedures till this muck was cleared out. Within no time the two miners had thought that the workings had been thoroughly scaled to set up drilling equipment for more extraction procedures. More so their own shift boss, Mr. Richert, had visited the working at around 7pm, and found Oulette and Roy scraping the workings of the No. 6-27 stope raise. All mining procedures soon became halted when they went to check on things at the face section. After 9:20 pm, the two miners were back at work when they started drilling a round on the face section. At the time Roy was rather known to have been drilling on the right side close to the east wall, and Oulette had also been drilling towards the center line of the raise when two rock came flying down from the workings. One of these rocks that weighted less 100 pounds had struck Roy making him loose his balance, and pinning him to the east wall. Another rock that measured 4 by 6 feet had stuck Oulette, and soon pinned him to the floor with his Jackleg Drill below him. The impact of this rock that hit Oulette, had instantly killed him. As the body became brought up to the surface, the fatality was soon indicated as sever chest cavity bleeding, and had indicated several broken ribs.
In 1959, the company was rather going through another devastating accident when a man by the name of Rowland Ellis had been struck by fallen ground. He was considered to be a 25 year old man that was married but had no kids at the time of his fatality. Mr. Ellis was also employed a month prior to his sever accident that left him dead for good, and had a total of 5 years experience in the mining industry. Nevertheless, much of this had occurred on a newly developed stope section known as the No. 8-128 stope. In general this stope was rather opened up by a massive pilot opening that became driven from the 8th level, and connect with the 7th level. Much of this geological formation was rather considered to be flat, and had been situated on the mines 1,300 foot section. The ore-body within this location was also noted to be anywhere from 10 to 12 feet thick. Almost all stoping procedures within the No. 8-128 stope became first constructed by the entry point of the No. 8-2E zone. On October, 29, 1959, the day crew had soon proceeded with further drilling on two slashes when 25 holes became put down on both slashes, and would soon be loaded with blasting powder. Each of the 48 holes had also been jumbo drilled by rounds, and had been aim at the No. 8-2 E Drift section, and the No. 218 stope section. Much of this whole entire blast section would also provide the company with a good amount of broken down muck, and had also developed a fresh face, and back for scaling, and roof-bolting procedures. Their very own shift boss, W. Mannette, had place a crew of three men to rock-bolt the No. 8-208 stope section but later re-located them to work the No. 8-128 stope raise. By no time, the crew was able to rock-bolt the newly exposed back sections on the No. 8-2 E drift section, and the No. 8-314 stope. But the crew of three soon had face other problems when they couldn't rock-bolt the No. 8-218 stope section as the muck was to close to the back. During this time period, Mr. Mannette had also advised his own mucking crew to scrape the section, and haul the muck by a shuttle car. Within no time the whole entire area was officially scraped, and a small amount of loose rock was noted by Mr. Mannette when he inspected this area. In addition this would soon move the rock-bolters back in place when the No. 218 stope was now ready to be bolted in. At around 9:30 am the working we're re-inspected by the mine captain known as G.Aaltonen. He would also instruct the crew of muckers to remove a large piece of rock off to the side of the secondary breaking. More so the No.218 stope was soon cleared away from all the muck, and had now been scraped by a Landis Ramp that swung around. As this procedure took place the heavy piece of machinery would scale out most of the loose section but would leave the back that was already bolted. After 1pm the mucking crew was rather hard at work when the shifter, who was known as Ladouceur, had brought in two drillers, Rowland Ellis, and Owen Hester. Nevertheless, the two men soon became assigned their drilling locations when they we're both put to work on the No. 8-128 stope. Mr. Ellis by this time had ask Bergeron what the total ore count was for the muck that was being taken from the stope section. He also would talk to Mr. Bergeron about the drilling procedures on the newly developed No. 8-218 stope. Once this had occurred he would move off to the side of the ramp as he was busy hanging up the water hoes to hoes down the scraped muck. Within seconds a massive section of rock had fallen on Mr. Ellis, and two other crew members that covered their hole bodies. At the time Mr. Racine, who was working on the Landis Platform soon had witness this massive rock fall that pinned Mr. Ellis and the two miners to the floor. Further so this massive piece of rock was considered to be 12 by 4 feet wide, and 6inches thick. As it came falling down it would break into five medium size chunks after sinking the man down into the floor. Within minutes of this happening, another shift boss known as Mr. T. Zaremba, had rush to the scene, and started forming his own mine rescue team. These three men soon had been carefully removed in basket stretchers, and raised to the surface from the No. 1 Service Shaft. Once the men became brought up to the surface, Mr Ellis had suffered from his injuries as he had internal injuries, and a broken back. Mr. Hester would obtain sever injuries when he had a broken right arm, and compacted Vertebrae, and Mr. Ladouceur had a fractured skull, and was suffering from sever shock. Both of these men we're soon transported to the St. Joesphs hospital, In Elliot Lake, Ontario Canada, where Mr. Ladouceur was than transported to another hospital.
By the following year in 1960, the Rio Algom Mines Limited had underwent more expansion phases towards the Panel Uranium Mine Project Zone. These expanding phases had soon connected the No. 1 island with the main shoreline by using a development procedure known as the Causeway procedure. Company officials from the Rio Algom Mines Limited would also construct further development towards the underground working of this mining operations. Much of this whole entire development phases had soon engineered 5,200 feet of drifting, 6,879 feet of crosscutting, and 24,018 feet of raising. By this time the mining operation was exceeding a huge amount of lateral development footage towards this production, that totalled 34,787 feet of drifting, 26,110 feet of crosscutting, and 59,923 feet of raising. Even new installation had soon taken place as the Rio Algom Mines Limited would additionally add a water softener towards ita boiler feed line, that followed by the installation of a service incline, and its own 110,000 gallon storage container for the water pumping system. All production from this mine had slowly started to perform at rapid pace, when the company would hoist a total of 1,137,087 tons of ore bearing material, Even mill processing procedures had also increased when a total of 1,133,087 tons was milled at an average rate of 3,098 tons on daily basis. By this time the company it self had a huge amount of employees that soon totalled 711 miners towards its production business.
In 1961, all mining operations within the panel mine had continued to expand this operation when a huge amount of lateral development that totalled 1,691 feet of drifting, 173 feet of crosscutting, and 7,813 feet of raising was done. More so the company, and its hardworking miners would also start to expand several levels within this mining operation. The No. 1 level became further driven when a total of 566 feet of crosscutting, and 481 feet of raising was done. Far more development was also escalated on the No. 1 A level, that only had 63 feet of raising done on it. By this time the company would also take steps in expanding the No. 2 level zone when it was opened up; by 1,494 feet of drifting, 0 feet of crosscutting, and 1,350 feet of raising. Another level known as the No. 3 zone was also experiencing construction phase when3,921 feet of drifting, 535 feet of crosscutting, and 4,507 feet of raising was done. Further expanding phases would also commence on the No. 4 level, that was opened up by 7,260 feet of drifting, 5,890 feet of crosscutting, and 11,914 feet of raising. Within this time period the company would also open up the No. 5 level when a total of 6,289 feet of drifting, 3,479 feet of crosscutting, and 13,881 feet of raising was done. By this time the No. 6 level zone had also achieved its own development footage that totalled 6,002 feet of drifting, 4,388 feet of crosscutting, and 13,700 feet of raising. The No. 7 level was also producing a good amount of ore when it had its own development footage of 2,679 feet of drifting, 518 feet of crosscutting, and 3,529 feet of raising. More so the Rio Algom Mines Limited would continue its own development when the No. 8 level was opened up by 4,976 feet of drifting, 559 feet of crosscutting, and 7,435 feet of raising. Another level known as the No. 9 zone was also experiencing its own expanding phases when the company would develop this area with 554 feet of drifting, 1,995 feet of crosscutting, and 7,366 feet of raising. Almost all mine development procedures would also open up the No. 12 level, when the company's workforce had constructed 1,490 feet of drifting, 7,125 feet of crosscutting, and 4,229 feet of raising. As mining operations started to expand further, it would soon include 11 producing levels that had a total development footage of 36,478 feet of drifting, 26,283 feet of crosscutting, and 67,733 feet of raising.
As development continued to take place the company would also hoist another large amount of ore bearing material. Generally this whole entire hoisting procedure would end up totalling 602,724 tonnes from the mine workings. Most of this ore was also taken from broken down stopes, and its own development procedures that were taking place within 1961. During that time period, the company would also process and treat a huge amount of ore that totalled 607,218 tonnes. Production from this milling phase would have its own recovery grade of 94.1 %, from 2.1 Lbs. of uranium oxide. All of this production was taken from a tonne of material that was produced within the company's milling facility. Nevertheless, the milling facility was also operating at a rapid pace when it was increased to 3,355 tons of ore per a day. Even the main workings started to become extended towards the Lancor, Nordic, Lake Nordic, and the Spanish American Mine Sites. Further explorations had soon take place when the company started conducting their own diamond drilling program. This whole entire drilling phase would end up establishing 456 holes, that totalled 10,435 feet of core sample from underground. In addition the company was also considered to have a far more less employment rate within 1961, as the mine only had 271 miners. All mining operations at the Panel Uranium Mine would soon seize on June, 1961, as the mine was rather running out of ore bearing material.
The Panel Uranium Mine had shortly became reactive as it became apart of second phase of expansions that had been conducted by Rio Algom Limited. in 1978. It was rather reported that this major expansion was first reported by Rio Algom Ltd. on October, 1976, which was to develop the closed down Panel Mine and mill to a processing rate of 3,300 tons of ore per day. Expectations which were given on this project had scheduled to have it completed in late 1979, and within budgeted capital cost despite construction labor strikes in the summer of 1978, and delays in obtaining some government approvals. This would also result in major capital costs that became increased for waste treatment facilities caused by more stringent environmental requirements that had been largely offset by savings in the cost of underground development made possible by more extensive use of trackless mining equipment than had been planned.
It was during 1979, when the second phase expansion was completed at the newly rehabilitated Panel Uranium Mine Site. Rio Algom had additionally shortly after scheduled for the commercial production of uranium oxide to take place on November, 1979. During this time period it was reported that the additionally planned processing rate for the Panel Mine and mill, which had been closed down since 1961, was 3,300 tons per day. Construction that was completed on schedule and under budget as the increase in the mining and ore processing capacity of the Quirke Mill complex from 4,500 to 7,000 tons per day. Work of this kind was additionally completed during the construction year of 1978, and it wasn't till later on in 1979, when it was first achieve. It was also the result of these two expansions projects that would increase the ore processing rate at the Elliot Lake Mines from 4,500 to 10,300 tons per day. However, the production of uranium oxide was strictly aimed at not increasing recoveries as the grade of the ore mine would decline in future years of operation.
As 1980, had rolled in, this would additionally increase the production rates as they were higher then normal for Rio Algom, Ltd. It was much of the output taken from the Panel Mine, which had commenced commercial operation on November, 1979, had more than offset a decline in production from the Quirke Mine. Problems had shortly reside as this offset would also result in lower recovered grades that were taken from the ore. Results from this offset had additionally made earnings much lower because of increased costs, including higher amortization charges, largely in connection with problems during the start up of the Panel Mine and Mill Site. Production which was achieved during 1980, had resulted in hoisting nearly 1,006,000 tons of ore that came from the Panel Mine Site for milling that year.
The Quirke and Panel Mining and Milling facilities had continued to break all time high production rates that resulted in 3.41 million tons of ore which had been processed through the mills in 1982, at an average recovery rate of 94.1% to recover 6.91 million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8). These recoveries resulted in shipping 6.27 million pounds of uranium oxide which was much lower than the previous year in 1981. New contracts which were establish due to the opening of the Panel Uranium Mine had additionally requested for 50 million pounds of uranium oxide from the Panel and Quirke Mine projects. It was also the Panel Operation which had its best year since it commenced production in 1980. Rio Algom at this time had additionally been onset as it had merge with Preston in order to secure assets and interest in the Stanleigh Mine. This had additionally provide to the production as the company now had three operating uranium mines in the Elliot Lake area in 1980.
Rio Algom now had a total of three mines in operation within the Elliot Lake area that results in developing huge expansion projects that were commenced on the Stanleigh, Quirke, and Panel Uranium Mines in 1983. The onset to bring these mines into production and to also increase it was largely confined to the new openings of the Stanleigh and Panel Mine Operations. This resulted in treating nearly 3.4 million tonnes of ore that was processed through the three Elliot Lake Mills in 1983, which recovered 6.4 million pounds of uranium oxide. Uranium markets were generally lower than previous years prices as the price per pound had continued to be above average. Down falls had also generated in profit loss as many customers who wanted uranium oxide were negotiating price deals that depended on the outcome of the market.
It was during 1984, when the company would go onto processing 4.3 million tonnes of ore that was taken from the Panel, Quirke, and Stanleigh Mine workings. In total production this would also go onto recovering 7.6 million pound of uranium oxide. Lateral development work at this time had also taken place as further expanding was done on the Panel Mine Operation. From all production and recoveries it was reported that the deliveries which were made during the year had amounted to 6.3 million pounds of uranium oxide which was compared to the previous year of 6.5 million pounds that became shipped. By December, 31, 1984, it was strongly reported that the company would additionally obtain a contract for the mining and sale of 58 million pounds of uranium oxide that was to be completed from 1985 to 1995. This would additionally include a further 50 million pounds that would be taken out from the Panel, Quirke, and Stanleigh Mine Projects from 1996 to 2020.
During 1984, Rio Algom was also focus on reducing or trying to contain operating costs, which had continue to be top priority in Elliot Lake. Mining operations which were being conducted at the Panel and Quirke Lake Uranium Projects had continued to contribute their efforts towards reducing operating costs from those exceeded in 1982. Much of the focus at the time was largely aimed at maintaining mill operation practices in order to achieve increased productivity. Some other major changes to the operating cost were aimed at replacing steam and propane and introducing natural gas as an energy saving way. It was also during this time period as the natural gas pipeline was being installed in order to service the Elliot Lake area with natural gas usage in 1985. Oil and propane were currently in use at the time as this type of power source was mainly aimed at providing steam power to the workings below and for the use of mine air heating. Changing from oil and propane had set back many changes towards the power supply for the mining projects by providing cost effective savings towards fuel expenses. Bacterial leaching had also been a primary use for Rio Algom as it became the leader in technology of this kind towards the augment of uranium production from in place uranium bearing material. This principle use of bacterial leaching had been adapted towards recovering large quantity of uranium by spraying re-cycled mine water on lower grade uranium bearing material that remained within the mine workings. Rio Algom had also place studies towards increasing the recovery of uranium through bacterial leaching practices that were adapted to workings containing lower grade material.
Production in 1985, had amounted to processing 4.3 million tonnes that was taken from the Panel, Quirke Lake, and Stanleigh Uranium operations owned by Rio Algom. From all production and milling that was achieved during that year it was reported that 7.4 million pounds of uranium oxide was produced from all three mine projects. This at the time had been a slight increase from the total of 6.5 million pounds that was shipped during the operating year of 1984. In 1985, Rio Algom would end up shipping a total of 6.2 million pounds which was far less then the 6.3 million that was shipped in the previous year of 1984. It by the end of December, that contracts were being held in order to obtain a supply of 52 million pounds of Uranium Oxide from the Panel, Quirke, and Stanleigh Mine Projects. Underground working at this point in time were being far more extensive as production goals were being maintained throughout the year. With mining continuing this had allowed for the necessary contracts of uranium oxide to be fulfilled from 1986 to 1995.After this it would also result in the shipment of another 50 million pounds of uranium oxide that would take place from 1996 to 2020.
Other issues were being confined to the cost effective ways in reducing the capital margin for the company's operating costs in 1985. Rio Algom had additionally reported that these ways were quite satisfactory in regards to decreasing operating costs that were be done from 1981. Efforts in achieving these goals were also outstanding, and the production costs in 1985, had also been 15% below then actual costs in operating during 1981. Reports which were made over the past four years had also stated that overall tonnage produce per manshift had increased to about 12.5% overall, and 17.5% in underground operations. It was also at this time that Rio Algom had taken approach to certain capital expenditure programs that resulted in cost saving methods. By doing this it had lay-off a fewer then more workers that were required to operate the facilities at these sites. During 1985, it had also been stated that the Energy Management Program which was undertaken at the Elliot Lake mining operations had additionally saved $2.5 million in energy costs. The Energy Management Program that was commenced in 1984, was aimed at mainly at the use and conservation of electrical power, propane for mine air heating, and fuel oil for process steam production and plant heating. It had also been the augment of uranium production in the use of bacterial leaching which was greatly being expanded. By doing this phase it was reported that much of the uranium material had become broken and left within the mine workings as it would then be sprayed with re-cycled mine water to induce bacterial leeching.
Within 1988, it was reported that the Panel, Quirke, and Stanleigh Uranium Projects were in continuous operation throughout that year. Uranium conventrate that had been once produce was largely being sold for the use in the nuclear electricity industry. During this time period it was reported that production was much lower than planned which was mainly the result of lower recovered grades, and a shortage of skilled people. It was also during this time period when Rio Algom had reintroduced training programs for miners, and mobile equipment mechanics in order to keep up with this shortage. Within 1986, it was reported that the Panel, Quirke, and Stanleigh Uranium operations would produce 3.5 millions tonnes of ore in order to recover 6.1 million pounds of uranium concentrate. Deliveries which were followed by extensive lateral development would also amount to 6.7 million pounds of uranium concentrate under long-term contract agreements. By the year end, it was reported that 19.5 million pounds of uranium had remain to be delivered from the Quirke and Panel Mine Projects. Most of this delivery was additionally scheduled for completion by 1996, and another 66.7 million pounds had remained to be delivered from the Stanleigh Uranium Mining Operation. The continuation of bacterial leaching in order to recover uranium from low grade material was further expanded during the year. Results from ongoing researching would additionally adapt the bacterial leaching process towards lower grade material by spray leaching and flood leaching methods. Uranium oxide which was recovered from the ongoing leaching program would recover a total amount of 370,000 pounds of uranium concentrate, which was a 24% increase from 1987.