Canadian Mining Journal


INDUSTRIAL MINERALS: Unimin to modernize its nepheline operation

ONTARIO – Unimin Canada, with offices in Havelock, Ont., has announced a major modernization for its nepheline operations at Blue Mountain in the Kawartha Lakes. The company is planning to reduce the site’s environmental impact and footprint as well as support its mining and manufacturing project going forward.

Unimin’s idled nepheline syenite pit. (Image: Peterborough Examiner)

The modernization project, to be completed in early 2020, will use new technologies and practices to reduce noise, dust, lighting, and water use, as well as electricity. It will expand the company’s capabilities to reach the coatings, polymers, glass, and ceramics markets.

Unimin suspended operations at its open pit shortly before Christmas. According to information from Unifor Local 306-O, the closure was “unjustified” and the company would be wise to invest in upgrading the operation.

Whether the company shared with the union its plans to upgrade before the suspension is moot.

Unimin has said publicly that it will work closely with staff and labour representatives to help the workforce of 90 adjust to the new measures. During the modernization, the plants will remain fully operational, said the company.

The Unimin website is at