Nickel Rim South

Xstrata Nickel | Canada | 2003–2010

1.25 million tpa

Under budget

and on schedule

5.7 million

work-hours with 0 LTIs

C$925 million

(Phase 1 and 2)


  • Nickel Rim South was a C$925-million exploration project on the northeast edge of the Sudbury basin
  • Develop surface infrastructure, a ventilation and secondary access shaft sunk to 1,685 m, and a production shaft sunk to 1,750 m
  • Include underground infrastructure, 11 km of lateral-mine access drifts and 105 km of diamond-drilling to improve ore-body geometry, mineral grades, and tonnage


  • Completed prefeasibility and feasibility studies and were awarded the engineering, procurement, project and construction management, and commissioning phases of the project
  • Developed the mine for a 1.25 Mtpa production rate. Designed to accommodate ore and waste extraction rates of up to 1.3 Mtpa
  • A 75-person team managed five design groups with up to 15 contracting firms on site simultaneously
  • Site preparation, services and development of electrical systems completed in 2004; shaft sinking completed in 2007; lateral development and underground construction completed in 2010


  • The Nickel Rim South project established a new technology benchmark for all future mines. It deployed the latest advances in controls and communications, including comprehensive Wi-Fi for surface and underground phone, data, asset, and personnel tracking
  • It was completed on schedule, under budget, and with a world-class safety record, reaching 5.7 million hours lost-time incident free in 2009

”The project has been an outstanding success with a world-class safety record, below budget costs and outstanding schedule performance.”

Marc Boissonneault | Vice President Sudbury Operations, Xstrata Nickel

Project numbers

1.3 Mtpa waste extraction rate
1,685 m secondary access shaft sunk
1,750 m production shaft sunk
11 km of lateral-mine access drift
105 km of diamond drilling

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