Many of our Kambalda team members

Thank you, Kambalda

Today, 31 May, marks our last day of operations in Kambalda before transitioning to care and maintenance.

Our CEO Luca Giacovazzi and Asset President – Kambalda Steve Price reflect on the journey of our Kambalda operations and extend their thanks, on behalf of Wyloo, to our Kambalda teams across Cassini and Northern Operations for their commitment over the past few months.

Luca said the teams’ commitment to safety, while achieving strong production results, has been second-to-none.

“We deeply appreciate your dedication to achieving our production targets safely and admire your positive attitudes, strong work ethic, loyalty and teamwork as we delivered our final tonnes and prepared for a pause in operations,” he said.

“Your unwavering commitment to safety, professionalism and resilience during this period has been significant, and your exceptional efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“This hard work lays the foundation for our future success when we re-open our Cassini and Northern Operations mines in the future.”

Steve said it had been a remarkable few months since announcing our intention to place our Kambalda operations into care and maintenance.

“Our team has consistently exceeded budgeted ore production while maintaining excellent safety performance throughout the transition, all in a reduced cost environment,” he said.

“I hope you all take a moment to pause and reflect on what you have been able to achieve and are proud of your efforts.”

Steve said it was wonderful to reflect on the many fond memories at the recent celebratory gatherings with the teams.

“Our Kambalda operations have a long and rich history, from achieving the first ore mined at Cassini in March 2022 and the historic connection of our Northern Operations’ Otter-Juan and Long-Victor mines in February 2023,” Steve said.

“We now enter a new phase as we plan for our restart. We believe in a bright future for Kambalda and look forward to reaching many more milestones after we re-open in the future.

“It’s been a pleasure having all of you as part of our Wyloo family, and know that you will remain a part of our family, always.”

A six-person refuge chamber

Putting safety first at our underground mines

Keeping our underground teams safe is our first priority at our Kambalda operations. We have a number of measures in place, such as stench gas, emergency escapeways, self-preservation techniques and refuge chambers to ensure that, in the unlikely event of an emergency, our people will be prepared to respond.

Refuge chambers protect people during an underground emergency or event where the atmosphere becomes irrespirable, such as an underground fire, explosion, outburst of toxic gases or ground collapse, among others.

Our Vice President Safety and Sustainability Braden Dunsmore explains the vital role the chambers play in ensuring our Wyloo family and contractors stay safe.

“We are always focused on preventing emergency events in the first place, however, where an event occurs that causes reduced access to breathable air, rescue chambers provide an isolated, safe place to take refuge underground while waiting for the fresh air supply to be reinstated or a rescue to occur,” Braden said.

“When in use, they offer breathable air, water, thermally regulated conditions, communication channels, other supplies, and even card games.”

Inside a refuge chamber.

Refuge chambers are designed with safety at the forefront.

“They include a secondary emergency exit, in the event the main access door becomes blocked, as well as a window to enable visual communication between the inside and outside. The window also helps to lessen the feeling of being enclosed in a small space,” he said.

“Chambers can be fully sealed off from the surrounding environment and also provide pressure equalisation to maintain their internal pressure.

“While we always position refuge chambers in locations off underground roadways and away from potential hazards, chambers are required to be robustly designed to withstand movement around the mine to ensure they remain close to active working areas.

“They also come in a mix of sizes to accommodate for more than that of the operating crew. Our Cassini mine has eight refuge chambers while Northern Operations has 16, each with a capacity of four, six or 12 people.”

Under the Work Health and Safety (Mines) Regulations 2022, it is a legislative requirement to provide an adequate number of refuge chambers in a mine in case of an emergency, and a means of escape to an exit or refuge safely in conditions of reduced visibility or irrespirable or unsafe atmospheres.

Each chamber must have three levels of operation, with varying degrees of independence. These include:

  • Stand-by – where there is no emergency, a chamber operates under stand-by conditions with charged power packs and communication systems enabled.
  • Externally supported – where there is an emergency but no disruption to normal electrical, pneumatic and potable water services, a chamber operates under externally supported conditions.
  • Stand-alone – where there is an emergency and a chamber becomes disconnected from normal external services, a chamber can function with total independence, or stand-alone, to ensure the survival of people.

“These types of incidents are not common, and we certainly hope we never need to use a refuge chamber in an emergency, but we always want to be prepared to keep our people safe in any scenario,” he said.

Amy Lefebvre, pictured middle, with the Wyloo team

Student trailblazer announced as Women in Mining award winner

Pictured: Amy Lefebvre (middle) with the Wyloo team.

The University of Western Ontario Environmental Science student Amy Lefebvre’s dedication to her studies has paid off, earning her the Women in Mining Canada Indigenous Student Trailblazer Award, with Wyloo one of the proud sponsors.

The Indigenous Student Trailblazer Award is one of five annual awards presented by Women in Mining Canada that recognizes the achievements, leadership and ‘trailblazing spirit’ of women in the Canadian mining industry.

Currently completing her bachelor’s thesis in geology as part of her fourth year of studies, Amy has always been curious about the world and the environment having grown up in Timmins, a small city surrounded by lakes and forests in the heart of the mineral-rich area of Northern Ontario.

Amy’s passion for geology has seen her embrace a variety of opportunities through her studies, including internships, research, mentorship roles and a leadership position at the University’s earth science association, with her achievements making Amy a well-deserving winner of the prestigious award.

Métis, French and Italian by background, Amy said it was special to receive such an acknowledgement so early in her career.

“Winning the Indigenous Student Trailblazer Award validates my accomplishments and contributions to the mining industry so far,” she said.

“I’m proud of my achievement and I hope it will encourage other Métis citizens to embrace their heritage and pursue their passions as well.

“It’s an accomplishment that reflects positively on me, my family, and my community, and I am so proud that everyone who has supported my journey is reflected in this award.”

Amy said the award had provided motivation to pursue more opportunities in the mining industry and continue making meaningful contributions to the field into the future.

“The award enables me to continue my passion for discovering more about the earth, how humans influence it, the possible long-term consequences of our activities and the sustainable practices we can implement to hopefully prevent the worst of these consequences from occurring,” she said.

“As a passionate academic, I’m looking forward to continuing my education in geology through research and new initiatives before entering the workforce, which will give me time to learn more about the mining industry and the many career opportunities on offer through geology.”

Amy believes the award helps promote participation of women in mining, and other fields that have been male-dominated in the past.

“I feel empowered to be in a position where I am able to excel in this field and be recognized for my accomplishments,” she said.

“Uplifting women through awards like this is a good step in the right direction to promote the face of positive female role models in the industry. Continuing to do so over a long period of time will hopefully aggregate more attention from young women looking to enter the field and give them the confidence to do so.

“Moreover, continuing to work towards equality in the workforce and addressing the barriers that women in mining face is very important to keep women in this field once they have entered their careers.

“I am confident the future is bright for me and my colleagues with organizations like Wyloo and Women in Mining Canada as vocal supporters of diversity and equity.”

Wyloo CEO, Canada Kristan Straub said it was a pleasure to sponsor Amy’s travel and attendance at the awards ceremony held at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto on March 5, 2024.

“We congratulate Amy on her exceptional achievements in her studies and career so far, which we are very proud to support,” Kristan said.

“Amy is a well-deserving candidate of the Indigenous Student Trailblazer Award. We look forward to watching Amy’s career flourish as she paves the way for future generations.”

Amy said Wyloo’s sponsorship enabled her to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the awards ceremony.

“Without Wyloo’s sponsorship, I wouldn’t have been able to attend the award ceremony due to the financial burden of travel. It was a privilege to meet the Women in Mining Canada team, Wyloo and the supporters that came to the award ceremony,” she said.

“Thank you for your support.”

Nickel

The 411 on nickel

Given its name from Kupfernickel, after the German ‘Old Nick’, nickel is a natural element that makes up about 0.007% of the earth’s crust and is one of the most useful elements in the world.

Take a look at these interesting facts that support the widespread popularity and practicality of the silvery metal, which plays an important role in our everyday lives:

Things to know about nickel

Nickel-containing ores are currently mined in more than 25 countries worldwide including Canada, Australia, Russia and Indonesia and have some interesting physical and chemical properties. Nickel is adaptable, resilient and recyclable, making it a diverse metal used in hundreds of thousands of products across various industries.

Applications of nickel

The most common application is used in alloying (a process that combines nickel with other substances to create a new metal with superior properties).

When combined with iron and other metals, nickel is used to make strong magnets. When combined with sulphur, it produces nickel sulphide (our Kambalda operations produce some of the highest-grade nickel sulphide in the world, while our Eagle’s Nest Project is one of the best, undeveloped high-grade nickel sulphide deposits).

The largest end use of nickel is to make stainless steel – take a quick look around your home and you will find stainless steel used in appliances, cutlery and other shiny surfaces. Other applications for nickel are to make coins, guitar strings and even armour.

Nickel has long been used in batteries, most commonly in nickel cadmium batteries (think, Energizer brand) and nickel metal hydride batteries (the rechargeable ones).

More and more, however, nickel is being used in the production of batteries designed for electric vehicles. With ongoing innovations in nickel-based battery technology, energy storage systems are experiencing notable enhancements, providing greater energy density and storage capabilities at a lower cost.

Today, nickel takes centre stage as the world continues to push for energy efficiency and to meet decarbonisation commitments. With nickel improving the performance and range of EVs, sustainable, high-grade nickel plays a critical role in the scaling up of clean energy and a more sustainable future.

Annie Sismanian

‘Down-to-earth’ culture draws in Canada CFO

Wyloo Chief Financial Officer, Canada Annie Sismanian’s love affair with mining started in 2006, the second she stepped foot in the industry.

Now, almost two decades on, her adoration continues having worked across numerous organisations before joining Wyloo (previously, Ring of Fire Metals), in January 2023.

Annie is one of two chief financial officers at Wyloo, alongside Perth-based Chief Financial Officer Nanette Trask.

In recognition of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2024, Annie shares what it is that she loves about working in mining and why it’s valuable to invest in women across the sector.

“I was told early in my career that because Canada excelled in mining, it was an industry I ‘had to’ get into. This stuck with me and some years later, I joined a mining company and I instantly knew this is where I belonged,” Annie said.

“As a globally significant industry, mining is highly complex and intertwines financial, political, environmental and technical aspects which I find fascinating. Most importantly, I enjoy working with the people, who are very down-to-earth, smart and hard-working.

“Life is about learning as much as you can every day, and I think mining is a fantastic place to learn and grow.”

She said her position as Wyloo CFO, Canada is a dual role of stewardship and performance.

“In my role today, I’m responsible for all aspects of financial management of our Canadian operations, including formulating and compiling budgets (and tracking against those budgets), providing stewardship of organisational assets, and obtaining information that can be used to add value and make strategic decisions,” she said.

“Beyond the job itself, it’s the people that I get to work with and our Values, which are deeply ingrained in everything we do, that make me enjoy working at Wyloo.”

Despite being encouraged to get into mining early in her career, Annie said women should get exposure to the industry far earlier.

“I think it’s important to start getting women exposed to mining-related careers in high school and university, especially on the technical engineering side, to ensure they are aware of mining as an option for their careers,” she said.

“We also need to start changing the narrative about the mining industry by focusing on all the good things the industry does and having more women in leadership positions, so that more women are interested in the field from a young age and can see what is possible.

“To support women in their careers, just as much as men, it’s important to invest in programs and training that help them progress in their careers and reach their full potential.”

Annie said International Women’s Day was about recognising women for who they are and the impact they’ve had and continue to have on the world.

“International Women’s Day isn’t about encouraging women to be ‘more like a man’ or wanting women to be recognised above men, it’s about gender equality and celebrating the contribution women make to our communities, workplaces and families,” she said.

“It’s a special day to reflect on our own accomplishments with gratitude and consider how we can pave the way for other women to be successful in future.”

Like many women in mining and finance, Annie is making incredible contributions to the industry and is paving the way for future generations.

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate and recognise the achievements of and contributions that women have made to our values-driven culture and the future of Wyloo and our communities.

Nanette Trask on-site

Mining is where the heart is for Wyloo CFO

Female chief financial officers are few and far between in the Australian mining industry, however, Wyloo is bucking the trend.

Proudly home to two chief financial officers, both of which are women, Wyloo is a contrast to the top 50 mining companies on the ASX where only 20 per cent have a female-identifying CFO.

One of our CFOs is Perth-based Nanette Trask.

In recognition of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2024, Nanette explains how her career ‘chose her’, the challenges she’s faced and why she advocates for gender equality across mining and leadership teams.

“I grew up in a South African mining village, so mining has always been in my blood. I believe I was somehow destined for a career in the industry, and here I am today, working as a CFO in mining and I love it,” Nanette said.

“I started my career in business assurance and economics, so it wasn’t part of my original plan to be a CFO. However, some of my previous roles, which I somewhat fell into for various reasons, enabled me to get exposure to and experience in a range of financial and business functions.“

“This led me to joining Wyloo as General Manager, Finance in May 2022, before taking the step up to CFO in September last year. I oversee our corporate functions, including human resources and technology, the financial health of the business and how we operate.

“Mining is such a fascinating environment with many unique challenges and opportunities. We play an important role in delivering critical minerals to decarbonise our planet, but with that, comes a need to adapt to a constantly changing world, with the ebbs and flows of supply and demand. We are always looking for ways to improve our ESG standards and maximise our opportunities.

“Finance spans across every aspect of the business which makes my role highly varied and dynamic.”

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre’s Gender Equity Insights 2020 report, increasing gender equality in the workplace and promoting female leadership delivers greater company performance, profitability and productivity.

“Thanks to research, we know we get better outcomes when we have women involved. With gender equality comes a bigger pool of talent to draw from, more diverse perspectives and economic resilience, which are all very positive,” she said.

Nanette Trask

Heading into International Women’s Day, Nanette said it’s the perfect time to reflect on where we are, how far we’ve come and where we’re going in relation to gender equality in the mining industry, and more generally.

“We have a long way to go to reach true gender equality, but it’s important to recognise what we’ve had to endure to get to where we are today,” she said.

“I’ve certainly found it challenging being a woman in both finance and mining. In previous roles, where I was the only woman in the leadership team, it took a long time to build respect and change the perception that people had of me.

“Coming to Wyloo, its clear gender equality is a priority. Our CEO, Luca, is a strong advocate for it and is leading the charge from within, which I think is key. He’s not just thinking about getting women into Wyloo, he’s considering how we develop and retain them through supportive practices and policies that allow all of our staff to participate in work.

“We acknowledge we have a way to go, but we continue to work towards our gender equality goals across our leadership team and workforce. Luca’s direction, supported by the greater leadership team, is a great example of how a change can be made.”

Like many women in mining and finance, Nanette, and our CFO, Canada Annie Sismanian, are making incredible contributions to the industry and is paving the way for future generations.

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate and recognise the achievements of and contributions that women have made to our values-driven culture and the future of Wyloo and our communities.

Dana Campbell on-site at Eagle's Nest

Dana’s journey digging for change

Dana Campbell, a passionate, trailblazing geologist from Wyloo’s Ring of Fire team, is paving the way for women in mining.

In recognition of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2024, Dana explains her journey to where she is today and the simple things the mining industry can do to empower women in the field.

As Project Geologist at our Esker site and Thunder Bay office, Dana’s day-to-day is highly varied with work taking her across Ontario’s Ring of Fire region.

“I participate in geology-related research and activities to define prospective targets in and around the Ring of Fire. Part of my job is being dropped off in the wilderness and traversing to collect samples or map geology,” Dana said.

“I love that I get to travel to remote areas and explore for work – it’s difficult to describe how peaceful the feeling of complete silence, calm stillness, and a cool breeze is in the middle of the wilderness.”

Dana’s foray into geology, inspired by her dad, came after she realised her initial career choice in music – a vastly different industry to earth sciences – wasn’t what she wanted to pursue professionally.

“I quickly decided music was something I wanted to do in my own time versus something I wanted career-wise,” she said.

“Geology caught my eye because my dad had been a prospector for years. When I started my geology course, I excelled academically and really enjoyed it, so I decided to pursue it.”

When talking of her experience as a woman in mining, Dana said there have been challenges with underrepresentation.

“I, along with many women in the mining industry, have been in the situation where less than three per cent of the workforce are women, or I’m the only woman at a mine site,” she said.

“It’s a battle to explain how my experience has been different to the experiences of men in the same position as me and to advocate for that recognition or acknowledgement.”

To help women feel comfortable, welcome and valued in mining, it’s vital to treat them as part of the team, not as a token, explained Dana.

“In my position [at Wyloo], I’m treated like I’m the project geologist, not just some woman at site. I’ve received more respect and trust than any previous role and I believe a large part of that comes from the diversity at site,” she said.

“For example, I don’t have to stay in a designated bunk for women or share with someone just because we are the only women on site. I can stay in the geologist cabin because I’m a part of the geology team and I’m treated equally. This should be the norm.”

She said investing in women through small, yet significant, changes, will help boost representation of women in mining.

“We need to ensure that we recognise the barriers and challenges women face in the industry, particularly the additional challenges faced by women of colour, Indigenous women, and 2SLGBTQIA+ women,” she said.

“We also need to take steps to engage with the right organisations and have initiatives that incentivise women of all professions to be involved in mining. If we can recruit more women by showing them that their voices will be heard, their efforts will be valued, and their safety will be prioritised, retention and representation will follow.

“It is essential to invest in women in our communities – by investing in women we can uplift them and increase the number of women across mining in different roles.”

Like many women in mining, Dana is making incredible contributions to the industry and is paving the way for future generations of geologists and beyond. She recently participated in the Ontario Winter Games sharing her experiences as a geologist and presented at the Women in Mining Night Scholarship Night in Thunder Bay.

Dana is currently one of two women in our Thunder Bay office and the only woman at our Esker site. We are committed to increasing representation across our workforce and to becoming leaders of gender equality across the broader industry.

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate and recognise the achievements of and contributions that women have made to our values-driven culture and the future of Wyloo and our communities.

Visiting Marten Falls First Nation in January

Community visit to Marten Falls First Nation

As we work and live in the region, we acknowledge that the Esker Site is on the territory of the Anishnawbe people of Marten Falls First Nation and neighbours Webequie First Nation, both signatories to Treaty 9. As we work here, we seek to gain and apply knowledge of the rich history of the land – we are all treaty people with a responsibility to honour the Anishnawbe customs and teachings.

Clyde Moonias
Community Relations Coordinator Clyde Moonias

That is why connecting and spending time in communities is extremely important to us. While it is a great opportunity to present company updates on our activities, it is more important that we listen and receive feedback from community members.

Our last trip to Marten Falls was in the summer of 2023, so it was wonderful to be back in the new year. Many thanks to the community members who participated in the open house and meeting sessions and a special shout-out to the staff at Henry Coaster Memorial School for setting us up with accommodation and preparing our food.

It is always an honour to spend quality time in your community! For those who were unable to attend any of the meetings, we would be happy to provide copies of our presentation.

Visiting Marten Falls First Nation

As we progress with our Eagle’s Nest Project this year, we would love the opportunity to visit your community. These visits can be set up as one- or two-days where our team will meet with community members to answer any questions you may have.

We want to hear from you

Our Eagle’s Nest Project is setting a new benchmark for sustainable mining in Canada as we focus on three key areas:

  • People
  • Planet
  • Project.

If you would like to set up a community visit to learn more, please reach out to our Community Relations Coordinator, Clyde Moonias.

Glenn Nolan speaking at the business development opportunities workshop

Indigenous Enterprises Business Development Opportunities Workshops launch

Pictured: Vice President, Indigenous Enterprises Glenn Nolan speaking at the inaugural business development opportunities workshop in Toronto.

Wyloo is unwavering in our commitment to responsible practices that includes active engagement with First Nation communities and the establishment of enduring partnerships that will lead us into the future.

Our approach also incorporates First Nation communities as integral co-leaders in business ventures. Our aim is to foster opportunities for Indigenous-owned and led businesses to meaningfully participate in the economic benefits stemming from the Eagle’s Nest Project – from pre-construction activities through to operations and beyond – in addition to opportunities arising as development progresses in the region.

We also endeavour to assist with access to capital and providing practical business support, including capacity building.

The Indigenous Enterprises Business Development Opportunities Workshop held in November 2023
was a first in a series of workshops to help facilitate these initiatives.

The workshop brought together members of First Nation communities, industry leaders and
partners, government representatives and the Wyloo team from Thunder Bay and Toronto.

Businesses and enterprises from across Canada were able to share their first-hand experiences and success stories, highlighting the importance of collaboration in every step of the process.

We received great feedback from our participants and are grateful to all who attended.

The series will continue with workshops being planned later this year in the Spring and Fall. For more
information, please contact Glenn Nolan or Ryan Tuomi.

Take a look at our video as our Canadian team members share their insight about our first workshop:

Esker Site re-opening

Safe and successful reopening of Esker Site

We are pleased to report the safe and successful re-opening of our Esker Site in early January. The re-opening marks an important shift as we transition from an exploration-based camp to a project-focused site.

Our aim is to complete the characterization work and technical studies in delivering a definitive mine design by the end of the first quarter. This will enable us to advance environmental studies and permitting activities while also conducting a feasibility study as we further advance our Eagle’s Nest Project this year.

Esker spotlight: Mental Health Mondays

In fostering a positive and safe work environment, Esker Site starts each day with a Toolbox Safety
Meeting. This year, the team has also introduced themed days to highlight and bring awareness to
specific topics.

In a remote setting such as Esker Site, we understand that the work family often spends more time together than with their actual families, which can bring stress and anxiety to our team members.
To help address this and support our crew, we have introduced “Mental Health Mondays”. to provide a safe space for our team to engage in open and judgment-free conversations about mental health topics. The sessions begin with a short video discussing various subjects related to the impact on mental health resulting from remote work.

Following the video, the team engaged in a group discussion and each member had the opportunity to share their personal experiences.

The pilot presentation of Mental Health Mondays was a great success with enthusiastic participation. In a world where mental health affects nearly everyone, these discussions play a crucial role in fostering a supportive environment within our close-knit team.

What else is happening at Esker?

Esker Site also serves as a hub for various teams conducting research and technical studies.

Our environmental teams collect data year-round to track changes within the natural environment across the seasons. During winter, ice forms in local waterways around camp and our teams are committed to measuring ice thickness and collecting water quality samples.

This commitment is integral to our ongoing environmental studies, which also involves pinpointing streams that freeze solid.