At a distance of 4 miles from Onaping on this road, there are beds of gossan lying against the Laurentian that attract attention at the Stobie, and Tough Properties. Several test pits which were put down had showed that some ore underlies it, though no norite is to be seen. The Laurentian is rather of its kind that’s very usual in the region, in which granite runs into gneiss and is greatly mixed with fine grained greenstone. Much of the ore within the area consists of pyrrhotite, with a minor amount of chalcopyrite, sinks beneath the surface of the muskeg.
As the road continues, there is another gossan outcropping at distance of 1 mile farther down this road. Ore is very similar to the first ore-body described but is rather within the lower hills of the Laurentian on the northwest, and a small lake on the other side. It’s at a point beyond this lake where there is a gap within the Laurentian Hills, in which resembles an offset, and was said an ore-body was found some distance out in the granite. Beyond this offset, there is also another marginal lake, in which the route passes through low hills of what was once called Levack Mine, in Lot. 1 and 2, within the fourth concession of Onaping.
It was at this point in time when the three properties known as the Strathcona, and the Stobie No. 3 or Big Levack Mine, were extensively stripped, and test pitted, and magnetically surveyed. The Big Levack Mine that’s located to the east of the Strathcona Property had rather presented a very irregular margin of gossan. Much of the ore within this area was rather spread over the Laurentian Hills, and sinking to the southeast under muskeg to a dip of 20 degrees in some place, but steeper in others. Some norite is also known to be presently mixed with the ore, while most of it however with the ore had been weathered away, but could possibly be found underneath the swamp. Beyond the Big Levack Mine, the nickel bearing irruptive bends to the east in a swampy ground with small lakes, and only small patches of gossan were observed in 1903.
By 1914, active development of the Levack Mine was carried out by the Mond Nickel Company of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Diamond drilling which was completed had rather proven the presence of a large ore body between the Norite Contact, and the gneiss. Within this time period the Levack Mine was rather situated on Lots. 6 and 7, concession II of Levack Township, in the Sudbury District. Before mining had officially started the company would end up building a 5 mile branch railway from Levack Station on the C.P.R Branch Line. This was also followed by an electric transmission line that was carried out to the mine site at a distance of 28 miles from the Wabageshik Plant of the Nairn Power Company that distributed 44,000 volts. A power house was also made at the mine site which was once made from brick exterior, and hyrib interior. With power plant made it had consisted of an 1,800 cubic foot Rand, Compound, delux compressor, belt driven by a 300-horsepower motor. This also resulted in a 3,200 cubic foot Ingersoll Rand, Rogler Valve, Compressor, that was direct driven by a 550-horsepower synchronous motor. There was also a separate building in which had accommodated a 1,100 cubic foot Rand, steam or electric compressor, in which would serve as a reverse.
Prior to this development a hoisting house was also made, and engineered with the same structural material as the power house. Equipment that became installed had included a Allis Chalmers hoist with two cylindrical drums, a 7-foot diameter and a 6-foot face. At the time, this was rather capable of handling a 4-tonne load within the skip, and was once driven by a specially designed Allis Chalmers motor of 250 Horsepower. It was also at this point in time when a cage hoist was yet to be installed within the hoisting house.
Development work was also followed by the near completion of a rock house, and much of the ore handling equipment was being set up In 1914. In addition to this, a considerable storage capacity was provided above the two Handfield Jaw Crushers. Much of the latter part had an opening of 18-inches, and 24-inches, and was automatically fed by a short Stephens-Adamson belt, from which rock will be picked. Other construction work at the time was followed by the completion of a magazine, thaw house, fuse house, and heating room.
With the much-needed buildings complete, the company had started to sink a 5-five compartment shaft, that was pitching to the southeast at an angle of 65-degrees, and was begun on April, 1914. Sinking that was completed to the end of December, 1914, had amounted to 190 feet below the surface. Timbering was also completed to a depth of 75 feet, and a concrete collar extends to a depth of 12-feet, and from the bottom of the collar to 75 feet concrete was poured in between the timbers. A first level station was cut on the 168-foot horizon, measured on the incline, and a drift was driven for 60 feet southwest. Engineering plans at the time were rather aimed at connecting this drift with an escarpment shaft which was down to the 150 foot horizon at an angle of 053-degrees. Levels were also being planned to be driven at veritical intervals of 100-feet. Shipments at the time had also amounted to 16,712 tonnes of ore that were made during the summer from an open cut 300 feet south, and from another at a quarter of a mile northeast of the main shaft.
It was in 1916, when production from the Levack Copper-Nickel Mine had amounted to 68,600 tonnes of ore, that was shipped from the Mine to the Coniston Smelter. From all the ore which was hoisted that year, it was also reported 30% of it was picked out as rock, and remaining 70% was classified as ore. All stoping operations at the Levack Mine were rather carried out on the first, second, and third levels, with the larger mining operations done on the third level. Development on the third level was rather rapidly advancing when stopes, and 100-foot pillar became developed. Lateral development within this time period of operating had amounted to 3,228 feet of drifting, and crosscutting, with the majority of work taking place on the third level. Prior to this, it was also during that time period when shaft sinking was also advanced to a total depth of 545 feet on the 65 degree incline.
Other installations at the time had included a Norberg Compressor that was taken from the Frood Extension Mine. and set up at the Levack Mine in 1916. This had rather given, with the two other compressors a total capacity of 8,000 cubic feet of compressed air, and a new machine shop was built. With expansions continuing the Machine Shop had also been equipped with the necessary machines in order to operate this major mine production business. A change house was also built shortly after at the mine site, and a total of 13 cottages to accommodate the workers were built within the Village at the time.
Development and production at the Levack Copper-Nickel Mine was once again continued when a total of 88,500 tonnes of ore was taken from the second, and third levels. Even further development during that time period had been confined to drifting, and crosscutting on the 5th level of the Levack Mine Site. It was also within that year of operating when the main shaft that was sunk on the 65-degree incline had reach the seventh level at depth of 590 feet. This was also followed by the construction of the much-needed club house, and 13 additional cottages in the village within 1917.
Further expanding had rather continued onward when the No. 1 Shaft had reach a depth of 700 feet, and had a vertical depth of 655 feet. Major development at the time was focus on opening up the seventh level at 590 feet within 1918. Following this development, the company, and its crew had also confined mining operations on the 5th level, in which all the ore was partially extracted from this section, and the above levels. From all development completed, it was reported that the Levack Ore-Body had a maximum length of 1,200 feet, and a thickness from 20 to 200 feet. Much of the dip at the time was reported to have varied from 030 to 070 degrees, with the footwall side being very irregular. For the most part, the ore is commonly known to have also dip under the muskeg, in which flows a creek into a large basin of water, where caving might result in flooding. Mining methods at the Levack Mine were rather adapted from the mining operations at the Alaskan Treadwell that’s also developed around a large body of water. The mine it self was rather divided into 40-foot pillars, and 100-foot rooms, with each pillars, and rooms being developed at right angles to the strike. Each of these rooms were rather completely mined out with no ore left in place, and shrinkage stoping was conducted above each main level, and were carried through the floor in each levels above. It was rather above the 800-foot level where a pinch occurs, and the pillars were being left until the remainder of the ore was mined out.
Each of the main levels within the Levack Copper-Nickel mine were driven at vertical intervals of 120 feet, in which levels were cut on the 120, 240, 360, 480. 600, and 720-foot horizons. It was rather where the ore-body had a low dip, where intermediate stations are cut, and sublevels driven 60 feet above the main level workings. Much of the main levels were developed by drifting to the end of the ore-body, and crosscutting is proceeded to the foot, and hangwall side of the mine. Development within that time period had resulted in driving two crosscuts at 50 feet apart, that were driven under stop sections. Prior to this, its only where the dip is less than 60 -degrees that crosscuts extend 20 feet into the footwall, and the ends of those crosscuts are joined by drifts in the footwall. This resulted in driving a bunch of short raises along the side of the crosscuts, and also from the footwall drifts. Each of these raises were spaced at 35 foot centers, and are shaped to take the chutes of the Creighton type of steel plated platform stoping at 10-degrees. It was in 1918, when the latter part was used when it became convenient for blockholding, and sand blast stoping were in use. As these raises become completed, a slice of ore was rather removed over the whole extent of the stopes at a height of 20 feet above the level. With mining operations continuing at depth, manways, and ventilation were provided by raises up the center of each stope along the footwall, and also alternate pillars. When the pillar were less then 050-degrees, that short crosscuts were driven 60 feet above the main levels from the raises to determine the position of the foot-wall. Its at this point, where a footwall drift is rather drive from the sub-level station, in which allows entery to the stopes from the sub-levels, the level above or through short drifts driven in the pillar raise. This also provides a way in lowering steel, and tools into stopes through the stope raise, and can be removed by lowering them through the pillar raise. Development of the ventilation was directed to be engineered up the pillar raise, and out of the stope raise. As development progressed there was series of ore pockets that became cut within the shaft pillar. One of the most important engineering plans was contributed to the development of the footwall drift. The main purpose of this method of drifting was used to facilitate tramming, as ore cars could be handled in one drift, and loaded in the other. Millholes are rather also driven when the latter part is not a factor, and become engineered on the footwall end of the crosscuts, and the footwall drifts. Some of the stopes in the large portion of the mine working had larger dimensions, which measure 100 feet from the pillar to pillar, and up to 200 feet from the footwall to the hangingwall. All ore that comes from these sections were rather mined by carrying breasts from the foot to the hangingwall. For the most part, its starting at the footwall raise, where a slice of ore is cut out from the room of the pillars. Machines were then faced at the hangingwall, and had carried a 10-foot breast towards it, while drifting three horizontal rows of holes. In other words the horizontal spacing between the holes was about 7 feet, and the vertical 3 feet. From this point, the breast is mainly blasted out through three staged, with the lowest row of holes being fired first, followed by the second, and third. After each stages of blasting its rather reported that the large pieces of ore and rock are block holed. This results in the roof often breaking ahead of the holes, In which produces irregular faces, but an attempt to drill symmetrically always pays. Stoping operations at the time were continued past the sub-levels, and through the floor, and back of the level above, with the stopes farthest from the shaft mined first. Ore shipments within 1918, had rather amounted to 97,585 tonnes of ore that was delivered to the Coniston Smelter.
Lateral development at the Levack Copper-Nickel Mine had amounted to 365 feet of drifting, 385 feet of raising, and 2,013 feet of diamond drilling. As development continued this had also included section cutting that amount to 19,020 square feet. Stoping operations during 1920, were only being done above the fifth level, and chiefly in the No. 54 stope section in 1920.
It was in 1921, when the total amount of ore that was shipped from the Levack Mine had amounted to 42,813 tonnes. Most of all the ore produce that year had also came from the No. 34, and No. 54 stopes, which were east of the main shaft and between the second, and fifth levels. Mining operations at the Levack Mine were rather done at a small production scale within that time period.
Within 1922, the Levack Mine had rather not shipped any ore as work was being done by a small workforce 0f 80 men. Mining operations were continued like the proceeding year, and had been confined to ore stopes between the third and fifth levels. It was rather the No. 54 stope that was carried to some distance above the third level of the Levack Mine Operation. Lateral development within that year had amounted to 545 feet of drifting, 614 feet of crosscutting, and 680 square feet of section cutting.
By 1923, a large amount of ore, and waste was rather hoisted from the Levack Mine that amounted to 167,521 tonnes of ore. Increases were rather made in order to maintain mining operations at the Levack Mine Site. Even lateral development became extensive that resulted in 881.4 feet of drifting, and 1,026 feet of raising.
Development work at the Levack Mine was mainly focus on producing large amounts of ore and waste in 1924. Hoisting from this historical ore producing mine had amounted to 309,019 tonnes, including rock, as compared with 167,532 tonnes in the previous year. All the ore within the operating period of 1924, was mainly being chiefly obtained from the 5th level of the Levack Mine Site.
Production at the Levack Mine was greatly increased in which had hoisted a total of 411,561 tonnes of ore in 1925. Lateral development that was completed from underground comprised of 5,003 feet of drifting, and crosscutting, and 2,684 feet of raising. Most of the development at the time was mainly being carried out on the seventh level of the Levack Copper-Nickel Mine Project. Construction at the time had also followed suit when a magnetic sorting plant was place into operation just like the one at the Garson Mine. Most of the structures of this plant was built from brick, and steel and had measured 72 by 37 feet.
Mining operations at the Levack Mine were continued throughout 1926, with the large bulk of ore coming from development, and stopes on the seventh level. Lateral development within the underground workings had amounted to 4,277 feet of drifting, and crosscutting, and 5,184 feet of raising. This had also resulted in slight increase in production when a total of 448,257 tonnes of ore, ad waste was hoisted that year. Construction also had followed suit when a new brick powder magazine was constructed, and had its own capacity of two cars of explosives.
A large amount of development, was mainly focus on increasing production levels within the Levack Mine Site in 1927. Lateral development amounted to 3,656 feet, consisting of 2,392 feet of drifting, and crosscutting, and 1,264 feet of raising. Hoisting within this time period of operating, which included waste amounted to 494,937 tonnes of ore. Most of the production in 1926, came from development and stope sections on the seventh level of Levack Copper-Nickel Mine Project.
Underground mining operations within the Levack Mine were rather confined to the seventh level within 1928. Prior to this, only a small amount of lateral development occurred that totalled 949.5 feet of drifting and crosscutting, and 1,012 feet of raising. The total tonnage that was hoisted from the mine during that year had amount to 413,000 tonnes, which had been chiefly taken from the seventh level. It was also following the amalgamation of the International Nickel Company, Incorporated, and the Mond Nickel Company, that development, and production was about to be increased. A preparation program was underway to deepen the five compartment main shaft from the 8th level to the 13th level.. Much of this development would permit the opening of two haulage levels on the 8th, and the 11th level, and the establishment of two new loading pockets on the 12th level. Following this expanding, the company had also installed a new hoist, handling two 6 ton skips in balance of the No. 3 and No. 4 compartments.
All properties which were once owned by the Mond Nickel Company became acquired by the newly amalgamated International Nickel Company. Production during the operating year of 1929, had rather amounted to 368,686 tonnes of ore that was produce. It was also during this time period when a fire of unknown origin had rather destroyed the Headframe, and Rock House at the Levack Mine Site. Prior to this down fall, replacements were being made to replace the timber by installing steel, and the mine was expected to resume production by 1930. Ore reserves within the Levack Mine were rather recalculated in which amounted to 19,062,000 tonnes of ore.
Within 1958, the Levack Copper-Nickel Mine was rather advanced significantly, when the No 1 three compartment shaft had reach a depth of 983 feet. This was also followed by No. 2 Six Compartment shaft that was designed to have six compartments down to a depth of 2,914 feet. It was at 2,914 feet when the shaft was change into three compartments, in which had reach a depth of 3,915 feet below the surface. Another shaft known as the Internal No. 3 shaft was collared on the 1,594 foot horizon of the No. 2 Levack Mine Shaft. The total depth of the No. 3 Internal Winze Shaft had rather reached 3,716 feet below the surface at the Levack Mine Site. Lateral development from the underground workings resulted in 8,964 feet of drifting, and crosscutting, and 3,922 feet of raising. Diamond drilling in which was done from underground had amounted to 151 holes, totalling 31,642 feet in length. At this point in time, a total of 915,907 tonnes of ore, and wast was hoisted, in which 84,639 tonnes was discarded, and 831,268 tonnes was shipped for treatment. There was also new underground equipment added in which included a fan, 10 air slusher hoists, forty three ton timber trucks, 40 granby cars, 15 tripple cars, and two four guide standard man cages. Construction of the Concentrator, and Tailings Thickener Station that was commenced in 1957, was completed in 1958. This was also followed by new construction of a crusher house, a No. 7 conveyor gallery, and transformer house, along with an No. 8 conveyor gallery, a pump house, a fan switch house, fresh air and a return air fan house. Additions were also made to the milling equipment that included a 4,882 square foot boiler, a 7-foot heavy duty Crusher, 2 Ball Mills, 2 rod mills, 50 flotation cells, 30 flotation machines, crane pumps, and a storage tank. A number of employees were also employed that consisted of 1,238 men underground, and 355 on the surface. Aniother down fall had rather occurred in 1958, when a strike was called by the Union on September, 24th, in which had shut down all of INCOs mining operations. The strike was also one of the first within the Sudbury District, since the time when Copper-Nickel Deposits were first discovered at about three quartz of a century ago.
No shaft sinking was done within 1959, as the Levack Mine was becoming extensively developed within that time period. Lateral development was also increased when 11,193 feet of drifting, and crosscutting, and 5,333 feet of raising was completed. This had rather brought the total lateral development footage to 231,473 feet of drifting, and crosscutting, and 65,141 feet of raising was accomplish to the end of December, 31, 1959. Within that time period production was also increased when 1,578,822 tonnes was hoisted, and 1,558,608 tonnes was shipped for further treatment. Diamond drilling that was done during the year amount to 234 holes, totalling 77,208 feet were completed from underground.
A new concentrator was put into operation and was first commenced on June, 1st, 1959, and continued to operate till the end of that year. Production at the time had treated a total of 900,000 tonnes of ore, in which operate at a daily capacity of 4,455 tonnes per day. New equipment that was added to the mill had consisted of 2 welders three drying ovens, 1 air dryer, 2 pulverizers, 4 cyclones, and 1 chlorinator.