Totten Mine resumes operations months after rescue of 39 workers


Published February 22, 2022 at 5:04 pm

A company that owns a mine in northern Ontario says it has resumed operations at the site six months after 39 workers got trapped underground. 

In a statement, Vale says the Totten Mine near Sudbury, Ont., has “safely resumed operations and is ramping up production,” following the extraction of a scoop bucket and shaft repairs.

Production at the mine was halted in September 2021 after a scoop bucket that was sent underground detached and blocked the mine shaft, leaving 39 miners trapped hundreds of metres underground. 

A few days later, those workers were all safely returned to the surface in a rescue operation that involved scaling a series of ladders. 

Vale says all of the miners that got trapped in the mine are back to work, along with other Totten Mine employees who had been deployed to different locations during the disruption. 

Deshnee Naidoo, executive vice president of Vale’s base metals business, says safety and reliability across all its sites are top of mind.

Vale spokesperson Jeff Lewis says the company has implemented “a number of immediate actions” including new controls for slinging equipment at all Vale underground mines following a joint investigation with a local branch of the United Steelworkers union. 

Lewis adds that additional improvement plans will be completed in the near future.

Totten Mine opened in 2014 in Worthington, Ont., and produces copper, nickel and precious metals. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2022. 


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. 

The Canadian Press

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