Copper plays a large role in the Canadian mining industry. Here’s a look at some companies that are mining and exploring for the metal in Eastern Canada.
Canada is one of the top ten largest copper producers in the world. According to the Canadian Geological Survey, in 2010, Canada’s copper reserves were estimated at roughly 10.7 metric tons.
Copper is mined in Canada from coast to coast. The following is a selection of companies with copper mining or exploration projects in Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick:
Glencore Xstrata (LSE:GLEN)
Glencore Xstrata owns the Kidd Creek Mine in Northern Ontario, Canada. In 2008, the company approved an extension to the mining zone, which is expected to prolong operations by at least two years to 2018. In 2011, this expansion was completed. Kidd Mine is the world’s deepest base metal mine in the world, and was expanded from a depth of 8,800 feet to 9,600 feet between 2007 and 2011. The mine produces copper, zinc, indium, silver-bearing slimes, nickel-copper carbonate and sulphuric acid. Xstrata took over the mine from former owner Falconbridge in 2006.
Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX:AEM)
Agnico Eagle’s flagship property is the LaRonde mine located in the Abitibi region of northwestern Quebec. The mine has been in production since 1988 and is first and foremost a gold mine, however, it does produce copper as a secondary metal. In 2012, LaRonde produces 160,857 ounces of gold, 2,244,000 ounces of silver, 38,637 tonnes of zinc and 4,126 tonnes of copper.
Teck Resources (TSX:TCK)
Teck, Canada’s largest diversified resource company, owns or has interest in 13 mines in Canada, the U.S., Chile and Peru. In Canada, the company owns and operates two copper mines. In eastern Canada, Teck is producing copper from Duck Pond, a copper and zinc mine located in central Newfoundland, near the city of Grand Falls-Windsor. The mine has been in production since 2007. The copper and zinc concentrates produced at the mine are sold to smelters in North America and worldwide and transported from the port of St. Georges on Newfoundland’s west coast. The mine produced 14,100 tonnes of copper in 2012 at a grade of 2.8 percent and a recovery rate of 80.6 percent.
Kaminak Gold (TSXV:KAM)
Kaminak Gold focuses, as its name implies, on gold exploration and development with its primary focus being its gold projects in the Yukon Territory. However, in 2009, Kaminak acquired a 100% interest in the Quebec copper-nickel properties, a prospective copper-nickel-platinum group element project in the Grenville Geological Domain in southern Quebec. These projects are all in the exploration phase at the present time. Samples collected in 2007 indicate 2.84 percent copper mineralization.
Copper One (TSXV:CUO)
Copper One focuses on mineral exploration for copper deposits. Two of these are in Quebec. The Riviere Dore property in Quebec has year-round access and houses copper-nickel-bearing semi-massive sulphides. Copper and nickel mineralization has also been seen in outcrops and glacial borders on the property. According to the company’s website, claims are suspended on the Riviere Dore property while Copper One engages with local First Nations communities. After a successful conclusion of these negotiations, exploration will proceed. Copper One also holds the Queylus property, located near Chibougamau in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt. It is part of the area that is targeted in the Quebec government’s Plan Nord, a resource development plan that will, according to the government, generate more than $80 billion in investments over the next 25 years.
Rambler Metals (TSXV:RAB)
Rambler Metals and Mining is a Canadian junior mining company. Its primary project is the Ming copper-gold mine in Baie Verte, Newfoundland and Labrador. Rambler’s property there includes the former producing copper-gold mines Ming and Ming West. The Ming mine last operated in 1982, and produced more than 2.1 million tonnes of ore at 3.5 percent copper over 10 years in operations. The majority of the historical reserves were of copper. The Ming West mine operated only for a short time, between 1995 and 1996. During that time, it produced 271,000 tonnes at 4 percent copper. Commercial production officially began again in November 2012 under Rambler’s ownership and operation.
Thundermin Resources (TSXV:THR)
Thundermin Resources focuses on exploration for base metal and gold deposits in Canada. The company aspires to be a producing mining company in the near future. It holds 12 base metal and gold properties in Canada, and has royalty interests in 12 more. Its Stirling Property, still in development, is prospective for zinc, lead, copper, silver and gold. It is located on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. The company’s Little Deer Property has indicated resources of 1,991,000 tonnes of 2.37 percent copper, and inferred resources of 3,748,000 tonnes at 2.13 percent copper. The Little Deer Property is near Springdale, Newfoundland.
Trevali is a base metals mining company with operations in Peru and Canada. In New Brunswick, the company acquired the Caribou Mine and Mill from Maple Minerals. The mine features a 3,000-tonne-per-day processing plant that can produce zinc, lead and copper concentrates, a deposit open for further expansion with copper among metals and a location on a high-quality mineralization. Trevali also owns the Halfmile and Stratmat mines, both also located in New Brunswick. These latter two properties are still in development, having been explored thoroughly in the past. Each is highly prospective for base metals, including copper.