Vale expects to resume production at Totten Mine by late February

Mining company Vale says it expects to resume production at Totten Mine in late February.

As of late December Ontario's Ministry of Labour issued 19 orders against Vale

The Totten Mine near Sudbury, Ont., is shown on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. 39 miners escaped from the mine after a large piece of equipment blocked the primary shaft. (Gino Donato/The Canadian Press)

Mining company Vale says it expects to resume production at Totten Mine in late February.

The Sudbury-area mine closed last September after a large piece of equipment, called a bucket scoop, blocked and damaged the mine shaft.

The incident meant 39 miners working underground at that time could not escape the mine through the primary shaft. They instead had to climb a series of ladders up to 1,219 metres in a secondary escape shaft.

All 39 miners made it out of the mine unharmed with assistance from Ontario Mine Rescue and Vale employees trained in mine rescue operations.

In an email to CBC News on Tuesday, Vale spokesperson Danica Pagnutti said repairs to the mine shaft were ongoing.

Ontario's Ministry of Labour said in December that it had issued 19 work orders against Vale related to the incident.

Ministry of Labour spokesperson Kalem McSween said he could not provide details about the orders because the investigation is still ongoing. 

When Vale opened Totten Mine in 2014 the company renovated an existing mine shaft at the site. The original mine closed in 1972.

The new mine was scheduled to open in 2007, but that was delayed by seven years. The cost to renovate the mine and bring it up to modern standards totalled $760 million.


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