Dignitaries, including Premier Kathleen Wynne, are in Sudbury today for the opening of the Totten Mine.

The project is mining giant Vale's first new mining operation in the Sudbury area in 40 years.

The Totten Mine was originally closed in 1972, but Vale found advances in mining technology that would make it possible to re-open the site.

si-stan-sudol-220

Stan Sudol, a blogger and mining industry watcher, says the future of the Sudbury Basin mining camp looks promising. (Supplied)

Sudbury mining researcher and writer Stan Sudol said this is a good sign for the industry in northeastern Ontario.

"Totten is an excellent example of using technology in the globally competitive world of nickel mining,” he said.

“And it also shows that even though we've been mining for 130 years in the Sudbury Basin, there's a lot to be found. We just have to find it, we have to go deeper."

Looking forward

The mine's opening has not been without difficulty.

si-kelly-strong-220

Kelly Strong, Vale’s vice president of Ontario operations, says the company is expecting to extract more than 2,000 tonnes of nickel a day from Totten Mine. (CBC)

The project was originally scheduled to open in 2011, and has cost Vale over $760 million so far.

The mine is expected to employ about 150 people.

Vale's vice-president for Ontario operations said the company is expecting to extract more than 2,000 tonnes of nickel a day from the location.

"We have some challenges along the way developing the project. But it's going to be a great operation that we're pretty proud of,” Kelly Strong said.

“We're looking forward to ramping up to full production. A total of 20 years of reserves are at Totten.  So we're pretty confident in those numbers."