The earth underneath Flin Flon, for the first time in decades, has gone silent.
Underground blasting at Flin Flon’s sole remaining mine has come to an end as of Sunday evening. Flin Flon’s 777 mine had its final blast June 12 around 6:15 p.m. The mine’s final skip of ore is expected to come up to surface Thursday.
“The last underground blast at the 777 mine took place yesterday, June 12, at the end of day shift marking the depletion of reserves at 777 mine. The last skip of ore is planned for approximately June 16, 2022,” reads a statement from a Hudbay spokesperson to The Reminder made June 13.
“Hudbay would like to thank all employees that made the 777 mine a safe and successful mine over 18 stellar years of production.”
The company plans to follow that last blast and last hoist with a decommissioning of the mine throughout this summer and into early fall.
777 mine, along with several parts of Hudbay’s Flin Flon area operations, has been slated to shut down this year as the company moves much of its operational focus to projects around Snow Lake. Workers and equipment are being moved from Flin Flon-area operations to those in Snow Lake, including to Hudbay’s Lalor mine and other sites.
The areas currently slated to be closed will be shut down gradually throughout the summer leading up to the end of September. By this fall, 777 mine, the zinc plant and powerhouse facilities in Flin Flon will be all closed, with the mill closed but put on care and maintenance by the end of August.
Operations at the Flin Flon zinc plant were originally supposed to be closed by the end of May, but work was extended for several weeks due to what Hudbay spokespeople described in April as “higher levels of concentrate than had been forecasted, enough to merit extending operations for a few weeks.”
The company plans to hold a trio of employee appreciation barbecues for Flin Flon-area workers later this month - one for mill employees June 22, a second for zinc plant workers June 23 and a third for 777 workers June 24. All three are scheduled to take place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. - the mill and zinc plant events will take place south of the company’s main gate, while the 777 event will take place at the mine itself.