North Van company opens Canada's newest copper mine

VMS Venture’s Reed Copper Project in Flin Flon, Manitoba. - Submitted
VMS Venture’s Reed Copper Project in Flin Flon, Manitoba.
— image credit: Submitted

A North Vancouver-based company has opened Canada's newest copper mine.

VMS Ventures, which is part of North Shore Mining Group, launched Reed Copper out of Flin Flon, Manitoba three months ago.

High-grade copper was first discovered in 2007 and the mine has produced 13,000 tones of ore since opening.

"The whole area up near Flin Flon, Manitoba is a belt. In other words, it was once an ocean bottom and around 25 despots have been discovered," said CEO Rick Mark, who has worked out of VMS's head office on Lower Lonsdale for 10 years.

"We were fortunate enough to find a very high grade one near surface, and near a road."

VMS has a joint agreement with HudBay Minerals, which will own 70 per cent interest in the project and the rights to market the ore.

The mine, which is located 45 kilometres from Snow Lake in central Manitoba, is expected to produce 1,300 tones per day by early 2014 and has a projected life of five years.

VMS moved from Gastown to North Vancouver 10 years ago so Mark and other North Shore residents could be closer to home.

"How do I do this globally from North Vancouver? It's all networking, it's the people I meet in my business trails," said Mark, adding North Vancouver is an ideal headquarters for a mining company because of its central location.

North American Nickel, another member of the North Shore Mining Group, is planning to start a nickel mine at its Maniitsoq property in Greenland, the location of the oldest-known meteorite impact site in the world.

"We knew nothing about Greenland going in two and a half years ago. It turns out it's a fantastic environment to work in," said Mark.

"…They're desperate for some kind of an economy."

With no forestry potential, Mark said mining will be very important.

"There are only 56,000 people and one mine spewing out hundreds of millions of dollars in value will make a great impact on that economy."

Since the project's location has a moderate climate, Mark said nickel could be shipped out any time of the year.

Last year the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland announced Maniitsoq is the oldest meteorite impact site in the world, making exploration particularly interesting for Mark.

"It may have a connection or similarity to the Sudbury (Ontario) nickel camp, which has been around for 100 years and is also the site of a meteor impact."

Besides VMS and North American Nickel, North Shore Mining Group also consists of Harvest Gold Corporation and Pancontinental Uranium Corporation.


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