NORTHERN MANITOBA – Feb. 5, 2006, marked the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the Thompson nickel deposits, and the creation of the town of the same name. The find was made by INCO geologists, and it would lead to the creation of one of the world’s first fully integrated nickel mining and processing facilities and the City of Thompson. Building the mine-mill-smelter and town represented the largest single capital investment made in Manitoba up to that time.
The Thompson discovery came after more than a decade of exploration in a region some 700 km north of Winnipeg. In a little more than five years after the initial discovery, The project was up and running and a new community had been established. Since that time, Inco’s Thompson operation has produced more than 4.0 billion lb of nickel. Thompson has become Manitoba’s third largest city, with a population of about 15,000.
Today, Inco’s Thompson operation produces more than 100 million lb of finished nickel annually and employs about 1,500 in its mines and processing plants. In 2005, the company announced that it was going ahead with plans to develop the 1-D deposit, which will help extend the productive life of the Thompson operation.
“The people who built the mines, plants and town were pioneers who left the comforts of home to move to a remote wilderness setting,” says Inco Manitoba president Scott McDonald. “They were part of something special and we are celebrating their efforts and the spirit of a unique Canadian community that emerged from this world-class nickel discovery.”
Community celebrations will be held throughout the year highlighted by a homecoming weekend Aug. 4-6. Go to www.Thompson.ca, and make plans to participate in the festivities.