Manitoba officially opens two mines

Two mines in the Snow Lake area of Manitoba, Canada, were officially opened last week, according to local media outlet the Thompson Citizen.

The Reed copper mine, approved in September of last year, is a joint venture between Hudbay Minerals and VMS Ventures. A project overview prepared by AECOM has the mine producing 1,300 tonnes of copper a day for five years, during which 2.16 million tonnes will be extracted. The ore will be processed in Flin Flon, Manitoba. The mine is already in production. A total of 147,864 tonnes has been mined so far this year from Zone 30, according to a VMS shareholders' report on the mine published in June.

The Lalor mine contains copper, gold, zinc and silver, and is expected to be in production until at least 2030. Hudbay describes Lalor as the second-largest metal deposit in the Flin Flon Greenstone Belt and the largest pre-development deposit discovered in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake region. The underground mine will produce 3,300 tonnes per day, through the refurbished Snow Lake concentrator.

Approval of the Reed mine came despite opposition from an environmental group, the Manitoba Green Party and a local First Nation, over threats to caribou, Thompson Citizen reported.

However Dave Chomiak, the province's Mineral Resources Minister, said the two projects would create 373 jobs and pour millions into the local economy. Chomiak also touted the openings as examples of Manitoba's efficient regulatory process, considering it has only been seven years from discovery to production.

“Manitoba has been recognized nationally and globally as one of the best places in Canada for exploration and mining,” said Chomiak. “Our government has worked hard to create a supportive environment for the mining industry."