Ownership: Xstrata Canada (Glencore)
Mine or Prospect Status: Abandoned Mine
Type of workings: Underground and Surface workings
Township Location: Blezard 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: Blezard
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 and past explorations
It was within 1941, when further exploratory work had continued to take place on a separate ore-body discovered by the Blezard Copper-Nickel Mine. Progression at the time was undertaken when the newly discovered ore-body was being rapidly explored by Falconbridge Nickel Mines, Limited. Much of the deposit at the time was intersected from INCO’s TSE Outcropping of the Blezard Mine Site. INCO at the time had focus much of its progressive exploration work on the Blezard Mine as well but had only came across low grade copper-nickel and base metals. Plans at the time had also been aimed at acquiring the Blezard Copper-Nickel Mine that was adjoining Falconbridges TL ore-bodies. The TL ore-bodies lies below the contact of productive lower intrusive, norite contact zone of the Sudbury Basin. Not much at the time was done prior to abandoning this exploration project due to the limited reserves, and moderate grades of the three-known ore-bodies.
Another progressive exploration program would take place in 1956, when Falconbridge Nickel Mines, LImited was back at this project again. During this time period it was diamond drilling that soon discovered the first ore zone within the T.L Cu-Ni Project.
Additional work on Falconbridges T.L Mine would once again resume for further explorations on this deep copper-nickel deposit in 1970. Most of this was aimed at further evaluating the mines potential to a depth of 4500 m below the surface. Another curtailment would end up stopping this operation from being further developed that was unknown at the time. Explorations on the T.L Ore Bodies was also continued onward as further information was needed in order to provide the much knowledge in knowing this deposit better in 1974 Within 1974, another zone known as the No. 2 was officially discovered from this exploratory diamond drilling campaign that took place.
Falconbridge Nickel Mines, Limited would once again continued exploring the TL Ore-bodies by a rapid exploration program in 1986. Results of this exploration program were officially announced on July, 1987, when an ore-body deemed high-grade was intersected between 4,000 to 4,500 feet below the surface. Some of the best intersections from this exploration program had assayed 2.3% Ni, 4.4% Cu, 0.12% Co, 0.44 ounces of Ag, 0.07 ounces of Au, 0.08 ounces platinum, and 0.27 ounces of palladium per tonne. With these intersections confirmed, Falconbridge had immediately added five machines to the program, and increased the capital from $2.35 million to $6 million in November, 1987. Much attention at the time was also directed towards a drilling contract for $10 million to Longyear who was ahead of drilling for Falconbridge. Further statements had stated that this was difficult target to evaluate from the surface, and that eventually it would have to be explored from underground.
By July, 1988, Falconbridge had announced further exploration work by sinking the newly engineered T.L Exploration Shaft on the Thayer-Lindsley Copper-Nickel Deposit. The whole entire project was rather aimed at further exploring the four ore-bodies within the T.L Deposit Zone. Drilling at the time would also confirm that these newly discovered deposits were situated below 4,000 feet. Plans in engineering this shaft had been made to make it to be 16 feet in diameter, 4,500 feet deep, and would have exploration drifts on the 4,300-foot level. This would also come with heavy costs at the time, which would result in capital of $32.6 million to complete in four years. Falconbridge alone had also made a profit margin over $200 million per year of operating several of its mines world-wide. The main ore-body that would be further explored at the time had been confined to the No. 4B Zone that was much higher in grade.
Most of the work within 1990, was confined to the T.L Exploration Shaft that would additionally reach the 1,450 m level. It was proposed on completion that the newly developed T.L Exploration Shaft would additionally reach a depth of 1,660 m level. Shaft sinking at the time was also progressed when Falconbridge had wanted to complete this work by 1991. This would further result in adding drill stations on the newly cut and station levels at 1,310 and 1,585 m levels.
In 1991, Falconbridge Nickel Mines, Limited had officially completed the newly engineered T. L Exploration Shaft. This newly developed shaft had reach a depth of 1,638 m below the surface in order to explore the No. 4B ore-body. It would also result in cutting and station levels at depths of 1,310 and 1,558 m. Further work on these levels was also aimed at crosscutting in order to establish drill stations in order to further obtain information on this deposit. A minor amount of drilling would also take place once the shaft was well fitted, and drills could be place in order to obtain this valuable information. Much of the development work had resulted in engineering a crosscut that would continue to provide promising results. Assay which were taken from this section of the crosscuts would also become very encouraging as this resulted in grades of 2.4% Ni, 5.3% Cu, 0.13% Co, and 14 grams of platinum group metals per tonne over a length of 56 m. Exploratory work on this section would also result in a four-year mining life with a production of 500 tonnes per day, and nearly 500,000 tons of ore in reserves.
In 1992, the Thayer-Lindsley Copper-Nickel Mine went in production for the first time after successful explorations. It was during that time period when much of the mining was done at a rapid rate of 500 tonnes of ore per day. Much of the copper-nickel ore produce had rather been taken from the newly constructed 1,310 and 1,558 m levels. Production during this time period of operating had rather reached 181,500 tonnes of ore that was trucked to the Stratcona Mill. Most of the mine had rather eliminated waste and was entirely in ore that had become produce from the two deep levels.
Advanced exploration work would also be continued on the Thayer-Lindsley Mine in 1993. Most of the work that was completed had also been aimed at further exploring the deposit of nickel-copper ore. A little amount of development work was completed during the year as the extensions to the ore-body were being made from the underground workings. Most of this was done on the newly cut and station drill stations on the mines 1,310 m and 1,558 m levels of the Thayer-Lindsley Mine Site. Estimation on ore-reserves had also remained the same as usual without any changes and would amount to 6.3 million tonnes. Mining at the time was also progressing forward when drifts and crosscuts were being extended on the two producing levels. A total of 182,163 tonnes of ore was also produced from the underground workings at the Thayer Lindsley Copper-Nickel Mine.
By 2001, the Thayer-Lindsley Mine had rather experienced production delays as a result of the ore-pass wall sloughing, and impact related damage in and around the 1,490 m level grizzly. Much of this at the time would additionally result in further delay in two to three days of work shifts and personnel had thought that this could rather escalate into a much bigger concern. After further assessing the cost in developing an alternative ore pass system, Xstrata and it’s engineering team would decide to rehabilitate the old one and provide a corrosion resistance. It would also result in making a major decision to place AF-D Armour Guard as the Ore Pass liner that was previously used in many mine sites. The AF-D Armour Guard was rather useful in providing a resistance to abrasion caused by rolling muck and the addition of steel fibres would add resistance to impact. Much of the down fall at the time would start this rehabilitation on December, 2001 and would confined to the 1,490 m level ore pass that was completed at this time. The Mine was also approaching its production life as no new ore-reserves were being encounter within the operation.
It was rather on July, 2002, when a camera was lowered into the ore-pass in order to verify the condition of the walls and the extend of liner material loss. It was also during this time period when a camera survey was done, and no cable bolt strands had become exposed beyond the 100-150 mm layer of impact/abrasion resistance shotcrete. This down fall at the time had also resulted in recommissioning the ore-pass system at the beginning of January.
In 2008, Xstrata Nickel also known as Glencore had continued major expansion in extending the mine life of the Thayer Lindsley Copper-Nickel Mine. Much of this at the time was mainly aimed at competing with the lower copper-nickel markets that had affected the closure for several mine sites. It was rather a very critical moment as the prices of nickel were well below the actual cost of mining it. This resulted in placing a budget of $8.7 Million towards extending the mine life in 2012. Much of the budget was aimed at covering 1,200 meters of lateral development, improving the ore-pass design, a new truck chute, and new mining equipment. The major phase in expanding the mine life would also improve the productivity of the mine and mining by the much-needed workforce and equipment. However, the Thayer-Lindsley Mine was hauled from further production in 2009, as the mine was deemed to expensive to operate at lower nickel market value.
The Thayer-Lindsley Mine was rather named after the Great Thayer-Lindsley who had been the president of Forbishers, before going onto Ventures, and later Falconbridge. He was rather known as one of the greatest mine finder of all time in which he has become one of the Hall of Famers of mining. He was not only one of the greatest mine finder, company developer, but was also the founder of major mining projects owned by Sherrit Gordon, Giant Yellowknife Mine, Canadian Malartic, United Keno Hill, Lake Dufault and Opemiska Copper, and Connemara. His main description at the time had stated “in order to be successful miner, one must have determination, knowledge, tenacity, a rugged constitution to withstand the rigors of outdoor life and enjoy overcoming obstacles of every description. Also, a little dash of imagination and enthusiasm is helpful. He was a geological genius, he had an astonishing ability to look a geological map in three dimensions and quickly circle the location of probable ore with a big red crayon. Two of his secrets was the success in reading habits and a true photographic memory enabling him to discuss in great detail, even down to assays, of little known ore deposits across the world.
Geology of the Blezard Copper-Nickel Mine by OntarioExplorations101
The contact sublayer (Thayer-Lindsley MIne - Blezard Mine) is rather a fine to medium grained quartz dioritic to noritic unit which forms discontinuous, sheet like, bodies, more or less parallel to the lower contact of the Sudbury Igneous Complex. This foremost layer rather provides protrusions and embayment's into the footwall rocks at the base of the complex. Its rather known to also be in a sharp contact with the overlying norites, and in sharp to grandational contact with the Footwall Breccia which locally underlies the sublayer.
The gabbaroic quartz dioritic matrix of the contact sublayers phases commonly in fine to medium grained, and consists of hypersthene and augite in a ratio of 2:1 to 1:2 making up to 40 to 60% of the rock. This can largely be notice all along East Valley from the many outcrops that are observed in this area. Lath-shaped plagioclase, minor quartz, and potassic feldspar make up the remainder of the matrix that's associated with this contact sublayer.
Field evidence rather indicates that the sublayer consists of at least 3 units subunits, defined by xenolith type and intrusive relationships. The foremost oldest subunit is the main, sulphide-bearing, sublayer subunit. The youngest being subunits containing little or no sulphide mineralization. Its also the sulphide-bearing, oldest sublayer subunit that is characterized by sub-rounded to rounded, mafic, ultramafic, sulphide and, in places, country rock inclusions. Sulphides are also formed from disseminations or a massive matrix to the Igneous Eenoliths. The younger subunits of the sublayer are characterized by inclusions of footwall rocks and in places, contain xenoliths derived from the lower zone of the Sudbury Igneous Complex and the older, sulphide-rich sublayer. These units for the most part are rather post-norite in age and contain no ultramafic fragments, in which 50 to 90% of these inclusions are fined grained metavolcanic rock, that are possibly derived from the lower Huronian Supergroup.