Mine or Prospect Status: Active Mine Site
Type of workings: Underground and Surface workings
Township Location: Drury Township
Closest City or Town: Sudbury, Ontario
Province and Country Ontario, Canada
Latitude: 46° 23' 2.32"
Longitude: 81° 26' 52.05"
District location: Sudbury District
Subprovince: Sudbury Structure
Belt: Sudbury: Igneous Complex
Tectonic Assemblage: Worthington Offset
Formation type: Mafic Intrusive,
Chemical Compositions: Quartz- Diorite, Brecciated, gabbro, Argillite
Common names: Howland, Totten
Deposit Status: Producing Mine
Primary Commodities: Copper-Nickel
Secondary Commodities: Gold, Cobalt, Platinum, Platinum Group Elements, Silver
Geological Events: Meteorite Impact Zone
Start Date: 1964
Close Date: 1972
Re-Open Date: 2013
History of the Totten Copper-Nickel Mine
The Totten Copper-Nickel Mine was first discovered in 1885, by a prospector known as F. C. Crean who was the main discover of the Crean Hill Copper-Nickel Mine. It was in 1890, when the property had later received some attention when H. Totten had patent this property. A few hundred tonnes of samples were taken from this location in order to conduct experimental studies on ways to smelt the Sudbury Ore. No work at the time was done on this property till it was purchase by the Canadian Nickel Company somewhere in the early part of the 1900's.
Another portion of the property was also being place under exploration and development by A. D. Carmichael in 1915. The mine would once again become renamed as it was now being referred as the Howland Open Pit project. Most of this property was also leased to Mr. Carmichael by the Canadian Nickel Company who had a large land package with several claims in the Sudbury area. Production from the open pit had amounted to 375 tonnes of nickel ore that was taken from this location and shipped to the Coniston Smelter. Ore that was taken had been developed from an open cut that was reaching a total depth of 35 feet. It was at this time when a small head-frame and a boiler along with a hoist had became added to this property for the purpose of extracting the rich nickel content. This was commonly referred as the Howland Pit Operation and was officially closed down by 1917.
Mining operation at the Howland Open Pit had commenced from August, 1915 to April, 1916. Mining which was done on the property would end up producing 800 tonnes of nickel ore that became shipped of to the Coniston Smelter. Ore which was taken from this project was reported to have ran between 6 1/2 to 7 % Nickel and copper combined. From all the material mined it was reported that about 75% of this was picked out as rock that was taken from an open pit which at the time was 23 feet deep, 25 feet wide, and 40 feet long. All mining operations had cease shortly after due to financial reason in placing this site under development.
INCO had taken charge of this property in 1958, which resulted in an extensive exploration program that was officially completed by 1963. It was in 1964, when this had warranted for the development of the Totten Mine Zone that was contracted out. Development was undertaken by MacIsaac Mining and Tunneling Company, under contract, which resulted in sinking a vertical, three compartment shaft to a depth of 43 feet below the collar. Most of the work at the time was also taken in charge of J. McCreedy who was the manager of mines for INCO. The Totten Mine location is rather situated in Drury Township and is apart of the Sudbury Breccia Dikes.
It was by 1965, when the Vertical, Three Compartment, Shaft had reached a total depth of 824 feet below the collar. Development at the time progressed in cutting and stationing a level on the mines 428 and 659-foot levels. With the mine continuing to expand, INCO had decided to also sink another shaft known as the Vertical, three-compartment No. 2 Shaft operations. With this taking place the newly developed No. 2 Shaft was now reaching a total depth of 42 feet below the collar. Lateral development at the time had also amounted to 2,592 feet of drifting and crosscutting, and 1,276 feet of raising was done on the two levels by the years end. Diamond drilling was also undertaken that resulted in completing 32 underground diamond drill holes, totalling a length of 8,124 feet.
Shaft sinking was in progress during the operating year of 1966, which resulted in sinking the No. 2 Shaft to a depth of 1,383 feet below the collar. Levels were stationed and cut at depths of 252, 448, 651, 847,1,050, and 1,253 feet. Each of these levels were also referred as the 250, 450, 650, 850, 1,050 and 1,250-foot levels of the Totten No. 2 Shaft. Lateral development within the No. 2 Shaft had amounted to 3,870 feet of drifting and crosscutting, and 2,208 feet of raising. Underground diamond drilling had comprised of 23 holes, totalling a length of 25,568 feet at the time. From all production the mine would end up hoisting a total of 242,199 tonnes of ore that was shipped at a daily average of 850 tonnes per day. Major construction was also followed at this time that resulted in constructing a 130-foot head-frame, a collar house, and a 19.5 foot high steel ore-bin. Some of the equipment that also became installed at this time would include three compressors, three horizontal air receivers, three after cooler assemblies, one resistor, one mine transit, and one 750 Kva transformer.of 44,000/550 volts.
In 1967, Shaft Sinking was also continued within the No. 1 Shaft that would end up reaching a total depth of 1,057 feet below the collar. A level at the time was also station and cut on the mines 911 feet, which was commonly referred as the 900-foot level. Shaft sinking was also continued at the No. 2 Shaft that would end up reaching a total depth of 1,987 feet below the surface as it bottomed out. Far more levels were shortly after station and cut at depths of 1,464, 1,653, and 1,849-foot horizons. These levels were commonly referred as the 1,450, 1,650, and 1,850-foot levels Lateral development at this time would end up amounting to 6,194 feet of drifting and crosscutting, and 2,298 feet of raising. In total development footage the Totten Mine Projects had comprised of 12,659 feet of drifts and crosscuts, and 4,504 feet of raising that was completed. Diamond drilling was also done from underground that resulted in completing 19 holes, totalling 5,350 feet in length. Hositing and production from the Totten Mine underground workings had amounted to 217,813 tonnes of ore, in which 217,919 was shipped for processing. Some of the major construction that was done had also included a hoist and compressor building within the operating year of 1967. Some of the main components which were installed at this time included one 1,000 H.P. motor, five transformers, one battery and battery chargers, one heater, two scooptrams, thirdty mine cars, three skip over cage combinations, , one crane, nine hoists, one locomotive, four controllers, three pumps, one welder, four breakers, six fans, one ore car dumper, one tank, and one Jaw crusher.
No changes were made towards the Vertical, Three-Compartment Shaft operation in 1968, as it had bottom out at a depth of 1,057 feet. Lateral development at this time had also amounted to 10,846 feet of drifting and crosscutting, and 5,188 feet of raising. This at the time had given the mine a total development footage of 23,505 feet of drifting and crosscutting, and 9,694 feet of raising. Underground diamond drilling resulted in 88 holes, totalling 52, 267 feet and 37 surface holes, totalling 14,567 feet in total length. Hoist would also amount to a total of 351,564 tonnes of ore, in which 350,398 tonnes was shipped at a daily rate of 1,121 tonnes. Major construction at the time had also resulted in completing an office and change house, a warehouse and shops building and a fresh air fan-house some more equipment had also became added which included one boiler, two heaters, seven 1,500 KVA transformers, six hoists, two drills, one locomotive, two scooptram, one machine for radial drilling, one machine for pipe threading and cutting, one drill, one collector, two cars, two pumps, two fans, one reducer, and one saw.
It was in 1969, when Shaft Sinking was continued within the No. 2 Vertical, Three-Compratment Shaft that was sunk a further 347 feet to a depth of 2,334 feet. Another level at the time was also establish at a depth of 2,101 feet, which was referred as the 2,100-foot level. No additional changes were made to the No. 1 Shaft as it had still bottom out a depth of 1,056 feet below the surface. Lateral development at the time was concentrated within the No. 2 Shaft as 1,629 feet of drifting and crosscutting, and 312 feet of raising was done. This at the time had given the mine a total development footage of 25,314 feet of drifting and crosscutting, and 10,006 feet of raising. Underground diamond drilling had also amounted to nine holes, totalling 10,382 feet, and five surface holes, totalling 902 feet in length. A total of 143,208 tonnes of ore was also hoisted from the underground workings in which 143,484 tonnes was shipped at an average rate of 737 tonnes per day.
Deepening of the No. 2 Shaft was also continued in 1970, which resulted in sinking it another 1,679 feet to a depth of 4,013 feet below the surface. New stations were also cut on the mines 2,451, 2,801, 3,151, 3,501, 3,837, 3,914, and 4,005-foot horizons. Each of these levels were also determined as the 2,450, 2,800, 3,150, 3,500, 3,850, 3,900, and 4,000-foot levels. Lateral development that was completed within the No. 2 Shaft had resulted in995 feet of drifting and crosscutting, and 14 feet of raising. This at the time, had also given the mine a total development footage of 26,129 feet of drifts and crosscuts, and 10,020 feet of raises. A total of four diamond drill holes, totalling 2,350 feet were completed from underground and another 35 holes, totalling 24,264 feet were completed from the surface. Production from the mine was rather slow going which resulted in hoisting 14,995 tonnes of ore, in which 15,551 tonnes was shipped to the Clarabelle Mill.
In 1971, INCO had decided to close several of its mining operations that included the Totten Copper-Nickel Mine. Most of this closure had came when the company needed to focus on some of its bigger mining operations that required employees to make this happen. Almost all of INCO's mines were officially ceased besides the bigger operations which were kept running at the time and nearly a lot of capital was lost in developing these mine sites. INCO at the time could also not achieve development and production standards at its newly developed mining operations due to the amount of employees need for this task. However, the mine was place on care and maintenance till it was allowed to fully flood with water by 1976.
Vale had over taken INCO's properties that resulted in developing a new mining project in over 40 years within the Sudbury Mining Camp. Some of the main challenges in developing the new shaft were aimed a demolishing the old infrastructure and rebuilding a new shaft over the existing collar in 2007. The company had also contracted AMEC's Vancouver Office to build water treatment plant in order to pump out 105 million gallons of water from the existing shaft on the property. As pumping would start, the water treatment facility was aimed at treating the water in order to be used within the underground mining operations. Development had also resulted in designing and constructing a new 16.5-foot double drum Davey- Markham Hoist, that has a capacity to lift 3,900 tonnes per 10.5 hour shift. One of the drums would also have a 17-tonne skip, while the other one was designed to have a 15-tonne skip with an underslug cage.
Cementation Canada was also responsible for rehabilitating the shaft and to sink two fresh air raise from the surface. An 18-foot diameter raise was designed and constructed for this purpose that connect with the 1,850-foot level from the surface. It was also establish as one of the largest diameter raises to have been built within the Sudbury Mining Camp at the time. This would also result in sinking an eight-foot diameter raise from the 1,250-foot level to a depth of 2,170 feet, which is the longest borehole raise in the company's history. Borehole Raises were also conducted by the use of self-steering MICON Rotary Vertical Drilling that minimized deviation in very long drill holes. Some of the challenges in doing this borehole drilling was aimed at having the drill at vertical angles without breaking the thread which can snap pretty easily. In some cases, this type of borehole drilling can cost in excess of over $1 million to complete the work in designing this type of raise.
Most of the shaft rehabilitation work and loading pocket construction was also completed by October, 2009. Lateral development work on the Totten Copper-Nickel Mine had also commence prior to this completion that was also achieved by Cementation Canada. A schedule was also planned in order to complete 36,000 feet of lateral development work on the mine by May, 2011. One of the mine supplier known as ABB had also provided a mine wide standardized power and automation solution, which included a 69Kv surface substation, switch gear, and PLC system. So many new technologies were also adapted to the Totten Copper-Nickel Mine that included a ventilation on-demand, a rail-veyor material handling system, and a cutting edge through the earth voice, and data communication system.
The Totten Mine site is strongly known to be designed by using some of the latest technology developed and is currently owned by Vale. Some of the technology used in developing this mine had included Miner Operated Survey System and Wall Bar System for surveying the underground workings. In order to place this mine into development and eventually production, Vale face even more challenges when it came to dewartering the shaft, demolition, and constructing new structures. The total cost in getting the mine opened costed nearly $759 million in order to complete this project by 2014. It was expected that the total cost in bringing this project to production levels in 2011, would amount to over $300 million. Other problems that Vale face when trying to set an open date for 2011, was the economical crisis of 2008 and 2009. It was also the first mining operation to have re-opened and place under development within 40 years since the closure of the last mining operations in 1972. A wireless information system was also used in order to obtain the real-time geological information at the mine site. Some more challenges were also caused through geotechnical issues with some of the ventilation raises that were put up for providing way in eliminating dust conditions from the underground workings. Cementation Canada was among one of the most important contractors at the time which resulted in rehabilitating the existing shaft, building a new head-frame and hoist house, developing a new shaft, and sinking two fresh air raises. Production standards for the mine were also expected to be able to produce nearly 2,200 tonnes of copper-nickel ore from the workings. A distributed control system also known as DCS for short form, was used in order to connect all the fixed equipment such as head-frame, hoist, crusher, and forms a single unit. The design of this useful system had also provided better tracking of the operation and provided better maintained towards equipment repairs if needed. Computers are also place on surface which are connected with the control room in order to provide monitoring of the underground mining operations. A microseismic system is also capable of providing warning signals of any seismic events within the underground workings and conveys the information to the control room. Ore Reserves within the Totten Mine were also first concluded at containing 7.89 million tonnes of ore grading 2.07% Cu, 1.47% Ni, and 0.04% Co.
Vale had opened the Totten Mine in 2014, which resulted in mining the ore-body by the use of blast hole stoping. This is mainly adapted on the basis of the ore-body which typically is known to be vertically and horizontally dipping. Much of the mine is also commonly accessed by the use of drifts, ramps, and comprises of two different mining fronts, one at 3,150 and another at 3,850-foot level. Its also known to undergo a hydraulic fill that's transmitted via two six-inch boreholes to the 1,250-foot level first, across a 300-foot span, and finally to 3,625-foot level. Ore from the mine is commonly known to also be hoisted by the service shaft and two additional conveyance. Some of the mining machinery which is used within the underground workings is known to include Redbore 40-raise drills, two fully automatic Atlas Copco Simba Drills, and Caterpillar Machines for load-haul and dump activities. Major work was also undertaken in order to place this mine into production that had included dewatering the existing shaft, shaft rehabilitation, installation of equipment, and installing the back fill plant. Vale is also ongoing commitment within the Sudbury Mining Camp as it had provide a $200 million challenging ore recovery project at the Clarabelle Mill and its $1 billion clean air project that has also gone under some delays, but was finish in 2018. Safety had also been a priority in establishing the Totten Mine as over 1 million hours of no injury time was accomplish by the state of the are mine safety plan.
Geology of the Totten Copper-Nickel Mine
Mineralization: Pyrrhotite, pendlandite, Chalcopyrite, Gersdorffite, Niccolite, pyrite, millerite
Sudbury Breccias are know to occur peripheral to the Sudbury Igneous Complex within rocks of the Southern and Superior Provinces, and up to a distance of about 50 m from the Sudbury Igneous Complex. It was also previously referred as the Sudbury Ore Breccia, in which the rocks have been studied extensively from 1942 to 2018. For the most part, Sudbury Breccia Bodies are known to also occur within the footwall rocks that prentrade the Sudbury Event, and are known to be most abundant in zones of nearly 5 to 10 km wide at the contact of the Sudbury Igneous Complex. Field mapping has also defined the presence of 2 or more discontinuous zones of increased brecciation of about 20 to 25 km, and 80 km, from the Sudbury Igneous Complex. These foremost breccias are commonly considered to form irregularly and tubular bodies that range from a few milometers thick to breccia zones which are 0.5 to 11 km in size. These foremost breccias are also known to be exposed in rocks of the Huronian Supergroup south of the complex. Its also north of the complex where the breccias are also known to be less plentiful and have breccia bodies of 100 to 200 m by 30 to 50 m in areal extent. Most of the breccia dikes are known to also dip vertically or sometimes steeply and have no obvious preferred orientations with respect to the present shape of the Sudbury Structure. Sudbury Breccia Dikes are commonly known to cut other breccia dikes which have also been observed in the Sudbury Mining Camp.
The offset dikes of the sublayers are known to extend from the Sudbury Igneous Complex and are within the country rocks. Several dikes in the Sudbury Mining District are known to also have become injected into pre-existing dikes, just like the bodies of Sudbury Breccia. These consist of quartz-diorite which is the dominant rock type within the Sudbury Mining Camp and correlates with the Sudbury Contact Sublayers, which is formed through inclusion and sulphide mineralization. These offset dikes are known to subdivided the quartz-diorite offsets in three types, which the first of these types are radial offsets that extend from the embayment of Contact Sublayer, and extend to the surrounding footwall rocks. Some of these are known to be related to Copper Cliff, Whistle, Foy, Ministic, and Worthington offsets which are apart of the AER-KIdd Mine Property.
The second of these are known as Concentric DIkes that are typically associated with Frood-Stobie and Manchester Offsets, which strike parallel to the contact of the Sudbury Igneous Complex. A third dike known as Continous Dikes, are the third type of offsets, which are found in MacLennan and Creighton Townships. There is also three different types of quartz-diorite that occur within these dikes and are known to included the following:
- The Hypersthene Quartz Diorite which is decomposed to a medium to coarse grained, and consists of acicular hypersthene, plagioclase laths, with intersitional quartz, potassium, feldspar, and granophyric intergrowth of feldspar, and quartz. Biotite, apatite, titanite, ilmenite, and leucoxene are known as accessory minerals, while hypersthene commonly has hornblende rims.
- The two pyroxene quartz-diorite is much finer grained than the hypersthene quartz-diorite, and contains blocky clinopyroxene in addition to hypersthene.
- The third kind is amthibolite-biotite quartz-diorite which is characturized by amphibole and biotite pseudomorphs after pyroxene. that suggests that it is an alteration product of the two other quartz-diorite types. The most common type of quartz-diorite is known to commonly also be the third type and also the principal one in radial dikes.
All three of these quartz-diorite are known to also contain inclusions which maybe similar to those within the Contact of the sublayer. There also several different phase of sublayers that are found within the Sudbury Mining Camp which have also been observed. In some cases, inclusion of footwall breccias and norite that derived from the main mass of the Sudbury Igneous Complex are also present in places across the area. Some footwall breccia are commonly known for filling the Foy Offset from margin to margin. Geochemistry is known to commonly contribute to the formation of deposits and land formations that are made up through a chemical process. Geology also plays an important roll in fully understanding these concepts that take place a chemical processes within the earth's atmosphere. Different chemical processes can also be correlated to the making of ore-deposits as scientifically and chemical base theories.
Norite commonly is known for overlying the footwall breccia body at the bottom of the Sudbury Igneous Complex, Gabbro, and granophyrete magmatic body. A clastic magmatic event known as granitic plutonium had rather effected the south of the Sudbury Basin at one point in time. This would have happen at around +1450 Ma, when the Sudbury Basin would have potentially underwent a south-east to north-west ductile thrust faulting, which resulted in the formation of the South Range Shear Zone. The Worthington Offset Dike commonly intrudes middle pre-Cambrian pelitic metasediments of the Huronian McKim Formation and post Huronian Metagabbraric rocks.