End of 130-year era for Sudbury mine

The final skip of ore was taken out of Vale's Stobie Mine, which has been in operation for almost 130 years.

Final skip of ore raised out of historic underground mine

Former Stobie mine workers like Wayne Beckerleg, who worked underground for almost 30 years, came to say goodbye to the final skip of ore as it was raised today. (Martha Dillman CBC)

A new chapter in Sudbury's mining history was written today.

The final skip of ore was raised out of Vale's Stobie Mine, which has been in operation for almost 130 years.

Dave Kasunich worked at the mine for almost 20 years, and was present when the skip surfaced.

"I don't know. It was just like my second home," Kasunich said. "It's like a family here."

"And I was glad to go home but that's one thing you never hear me complain that 'I got to go to work' —  I loved it. I would go back to work tomorrow if I could. That's how much I miss it."
Stobie Mine marked the end of its 130-year history with a celebration around the final skip of ore raised to the surface. (Radio-Canada Frédéric Projean )

Wayne Beckerleg, Stobie's blaster boss, has worked at Stobie for almost 30 years.

He refuses to believe that the mine has seen its last days.

"I don't believe it's the last [skip,]" he said. "After all you people leave we'll still be hoisting. We're just going to keep going till there's none left. I'd say there's hundreds of thousands of tonnes of ore left in the mine."

To mark the final skip, past and present workers gathered to watch the ore come out of the mine and also put items in a time capsule that will be placed below the surface.

Gary Annet, the complex manager at the mine, said an employee approached him with the idea for the time capsule.

"It's something to put down for future generations to show people we used to work here," Annet said. "We have a video for people to have future messages out to future generations."

Vale announced the closure of Stobie earlier this year, citing low metal prices and seismic activity as the reasons.
Miners attended the gathering where the last skip of ore was hoisted out of Stobie Mine, capping its 130-year history. (Radio-Canada Frédéric Projean )


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