The original mine discovery was made in 1915 by a prospector, Tom Creighton, who ended up selling it seven years later. Creighton named his find, Flin Flon called after a character in a novel called “Professor Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin,” Developing the Flin Flon mine was a significant challenge since it was located about 740 km north of Winnipeg very close to the Saskatchewan border and there were no services or roads at that time. In 1925, Harry Payne Whitney of New York optioned the property and in 1928 built the mine, mill, smelter and a large hydro electric dam to supply power.CNbuilt a railway line 140 km from The Pas. The building of this industrial complex, was a tremendous achievement and opened up northern Manitoba. The Whitney group maintained a controlling interest in Hudson Bay Mining Smelting until 1961 when Anglo American acquired it. This was significant move for Anglo American, since this was their first business venture outside of South Africa. Anglo American’s interest in Hudson Bay was held until the decision in 2004 to sell it.
The Flin Flon mine started in 1928 with 16 million tonnes of resources and was mined initially as an open pit and then underground with the North Main shaft which closed in 1983. In 1939, the South Main shaft about 1 km south was sunk and it operated until 1992. A total of 63 million tonnes of ore was mined from the Main mine.
The Flin Flon Greenstone belt has been a prolific source of ore to HudBay. Since 1928, 25 satellite mines were developed, most within a distance of 80 km in order to truck or rail ore to feed the metallurgical complex at Flin Flon. Snow Lake located about 215 km east of Flin Flon started development in 1958 with the Chisel Lake mine. Several years later, the Coronation Mine and Stall Lake mines were developed. Initially the ore was shipped by rail until a concentrator was built in Snow Lake in 1979.
Flin Flon has a population of 6200 and is a centre for neighbouring communities of an additional 2500 people. HudBay employs 1515 workers in the Flin Flon area with an additional 114 workers in the Snow Lake area. The Flin Flon area is almost totally dependent on the HudBay operations for its continued existence. The strong community link with the Flin Flin-Creighton area was demonstrated August of 2008 in a very tangible way with HudBay providing a $1 million 80th Anniversary Fund to support community-based programs. Alan Palmiere, President and CEO stated this will “give back to the region which has supported us.”
HudBay has a very stable workforce with a turnover ratio of 2% last year, average service of 18 years and average age of 45 years. There are 2857 workers who have achieved 25 years of service during the company’s 80-year history. There are many workers who are second and in some cases third generations of working with HudBay.