Sudbury

The Number Nine Shaft at Vale's Stobie Mine site is being demolished

Nickel mining giant Vale says the Number Nine Shaft, its Stobie Mine site, will be demolished this week, according to a news release Monday morning.

Officials with the company say the structure will be demolished this week

Number Nine Shaft was built in 1966 and is one of the last remaining structures on the Stobie Mine site, which was decommissioned in 2017. (Supplied/Concrete Pictures Inc. )

Nickel mining giant Vale says the Number Nine Shaft, its Stobie Mine site, will be demolished this week, according to a news release Monday morning. 

This follows the company's demolition of two other shafts last week, along with a number of buildings on the site earlier in 2020.  

The Number Nine Shaft was built in 1966 and is one of the last remaining structures on the Stobie Mine site, which was decommissioned in 2017.

By demolishing the mine site structures, the company's aim is to reduce maintenance costs and pave the way for potential new development currently being studied.

"Number Nine Shaft is a concrete structure that is 95 metres high so it must be blasted down instead of dismantled," said Patrick Boitumelo, head of mining and milling for Vale's North Atlantic Operations.

'Big part of the landscape that's going to be gone'

"This demolition work has been carefully planned with a team of internal and external experts and is not expected to impact the community."

The head frame of the structure, all 95 metres of it, has been a fixture on the city's skyline, says Wayne Tonelli, who was a foreman at the site for about 20 years. And it's got him feeling nostalgic.

"This time of year, we would put a very big Christmas tree on top of the head frame, and that could be seen by Sudburians for miles. Now, that's not going to be there anymore. So there's a big part of the landscape that's going to be gone," Tonelli said.

No public access

Paddy Walsh, of Sudbury was one of the first workers at the site. He agrees that the skyline will never be quite the same.

"Devastating, really, because that was a landmark. No matter where you come in. You come up the Kingsway, you see that head frame. Go up Frood Road. You see the head frame. Go out to the bypass, you see the head frame. So it was a landmark, you know?"

Officials also warned in the release that residences and business close to the mine site may hear or feel minor activity related to the work being done this week at the site. They added that public access to the site will be prohibited.

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