NI 3
1983-INCO Limited
Manitoba Division
Thompson, MB R8N 1P3
Pipe 2 Shaft
The Pas
Uncertainty (m)
200 m
UTM Zone
L.S./Quarter Section
Disseminated and stringer sulphides occur in Precambrian serpentinized perioditite on the west limb of a deformed fold. In some places 30 m of muskeg, clay and silt overlaid the orebody, now exposed in the open pit.
The ore zone is a highly jointed and fractured serpentinite body approximately 180 m wide and 730 m long, structurally concordant to the foliation of the surrounding country rocks, which strike northeast and dip 65 to 75E. The country rocks are metamorphosed sediments consisting of micaceous quartzites, iron-rich amphibolites and skarns with bedding parallel to foliation (Janeson, 1979).
Pyrrhotite, pyrite, pentlandite, chalcopyrite are found as stringers ranging from microscopic to a few metres wide. Distribution of stringers is influenced by subparallel shears mainly on the west side of the pit. The shears are filled with carbonate and mud which increase in frequency toward the footwall. The footwall contact zone is marked by an intense shear zone about three metres wide.
Copper, serpentinite
The property is located 2.5 to 5 km west of Provincial Road 391, approximately 32 km southwest of the city of Thompson. The following history describes the claims on which the Pipe 1 and 2 shafts were sunk, with the history of development of Pipe Open Pit.
In 1953, V. Goodman staked Pi 9 (P28991) and assigned it to Canadian Nickel Company Limited. Also in 1953, N. Vance staked Aspen 7 (P27934) and assigned it to Walter Johnson. Noranda Mines Limited may have optioned Johnson's claim and done some drilling in this area. Geophysical surveys were registered on Pi 9 and Aspen 7 in 1955, though they were not necessarily made by the same people. One year later Pi 9 was assigned to The International Nickel Company Limited (INCO). In 1956 an option agreement was registered on Aspen 7 between Jay-Kay Exploration Syndicate et. al., of which Johnson was a partner, and Osler, Hammond & Nanton Ltd. The option was assigned to INCO in 1957. Pi 9 and Aspen 7 were leased in 1959 as M-5120 and M-4457, respectively.
An exploration shaft was begun on Aspen 20 in 1960, and reached its final depth of 1 580 feet one year later. Exploratory diamond drilling was done in 1961 from drifts on the two levels, 600 and 1 500 feet. This shaft became a return air raise for the Pipe 2 shaft. Aspen 7 was assigned to INCO in 1964.
By 1966 mineralization was proven to at least 3 000 feet deep, of which the top 720 feet could be mined economically by open pit methods (Northern Miner, Apr. 3, 1975). H.W. Wingate, Chairman of INCO, told INCO shareholders in his 1967 address that the extensive, low-grade Pipe deposit would produce approximately 170 million pounds of nickel annually.
In 1968, the railroad linking the Soab and Pipe Mines to the Thompson plant was completed. Ore from these mines was to be processed in Thompson. Dredging began for the Pipe Open Pit. About 15 million cubic yards of overburden were dredged and 12 million tons of rock overburden was removed before mining could begin. Pipe 1 shaft sinking commenced on Pi 9. The three-compartment shaft was completed to 1 785 feet in 1969, with levels at 300-foot intervals from 300 to 1 500 feet inclusive (Exploration Staff, INCO, Thompson, Nov. 6, 1975). A loading pocket was established at 1,680 feet. Mining was carried out at all levels below 300 feet using a shrinkage stope method (Macke).
Pipe 1 produced from 1970 to mid - 1971 (Exploration Staff, INCO.). It is not known if the scheduled production of 1 000 tons per day was ever reached. Pipe Open Pit also commenced production in 1970. Dimensions of the Pit were 2 000 feet in length by 1 600 feet across. Its final depth was expected to be 720 feet in 18- 10 foot lifts. It was expected to produce for six years. Shaft sinking began on the Pipe 2 shaft on Aspen 7 claim. Ore from below the final pit depth would be extracted via the shaft. The shaft was estimated to produce mill-feed for four to five years. Overall grade of Pipe No. 2 is slightly less than 1% nickel (Northern Miner, Oct. 8, 1970).
Production in Pipe Open Pit was reduced and Pipe 1 was closed in 1971. Pipe was expected to produce 16,000 tons per day in 1971 (INCO Annual Report, 1970). The Pit was 2 200 feet long in 1972 (Coats, et al., 1972, p. 72).
The Pipe 2 shaft was finished to a depth of 3 100 feet in 1973. Levels were established at 300-foot intervals from 300 to 2 100 feet inclusive, 2 460 feet, with a crusher at 2 550 feet and a loading station at 2 720 feet (Exploration Staff, INCO). In the pit 5 300 tons of ore were obtained each day from approximately 20 000 tons of rock, although the schedule only called for 18 000 tons of rock to be removed per day (Northern Miner, Aug. 2, 1973).
Production from the Pipe Pit was reported as 4 000 tons/day from 1970-73 and 6 000 tons/day from Sept. 1973 and to mid-1974 (Macke), but these may be scheduled production figures, not the amount actually produced (Exploration Staff, INCO).
Development took place on the 1 500- and 2 460-foot levels of Pipe 2 shaft in 1975. Most of this was exploratory diamond drilling. Pipe 2 and the exploration shaft were connected by drifting on the 1 500-foot level.
In January 1976 operations at the Pipe Mine was reduced from three shifts to one, because of "difficulty in recruiting and keeping enough production and maintenance employees". "Current market conditions were also a factor" (Wpg. Free Press, January 15, 1976). Production was gradually increased later in the year (INCO Ann Rept. 1976). Development work at Pipe 2 shaft was suspended in July 1977, but operations continued at the Pipe Open Pit mine during 1977 (INCO Ann. Rept. 1977), and to-date.
Pipe Open Pit is scheduled to be "worked out" in 1985 and personnel and equipment will be transferred to the new Thompson Open Pit (see: 63 P/12, NI 2).
1970 1 000 t/day scheduled production) INCO
1971 16 000 t/day scheduled production) Corp.
1973 5 300 t/day of ore production) File

1970-73 4 000 t/day scheduled production) Macke & Inco staff
Sept. 1973-mid-1974 6 000 t/day scheduled production) INCO staff
Bell, C.K., 1971: Boundary Geology, Upper Nelson River area, Manitoba, and Northwestern Ontario, in Geoscience Studies in Manitoba; Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 9, p. 11-40.
Coats, C.J.A., 1966: Serpentinized Ultramafic Rocks of the Manitoba Nickel Belt; University of Manitoba, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis.
Coats, C.J.A., Quirke, T.T., Bell, C.K., Cranstone, D.A., Campbell, F.H.A.,
1972: Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Flin Flon, Lynn Lake and Thompson Areas, Manitoba, and the Churchill-Superior Front of the Western Precambrian Shield; International Geological Congress, 24th Session, p. 53-63, 72-4.
Cranstone, D.A., 1969: Manitoba Nickel Belt, in Summary of Geological Fieldwork; Manitoba Mines Branch, Geological Paper 4/69, p. 84-9.
Davies, J.F., 1960: Geology of the Thompson-Moak Lake District, Manitoba; Canadian Mining Journal, v. 81, n. 4 (April), p. 101-4.
Davies, J.F., Bannatyne, B.B., Barry, G.S., and McCabe, H.R., 1962: Geology and Mineral Resources of Manitoba, p. 104-11.
Dawson, A.S., 1952: Geology of the Partridge Crop Lake Area; Manitoba Mines Branch, Publication 41-1.
Douglas, R.J.W., 1970: Geology and Economic Minerals of Canada; Geological Survey of Canada, Economic Geology Report 1, p. 180-1.
Godard, J.D., 1966: Geology of the Hambone Lake Area; Manitoba Mines Branch, Publication 63-1.
Harris, D.C., 1972: Mineralogical Investigation of a Nickel-Copper Pipe Ore For International Nickel Company of Canada, Thompson, Manitoba; Mines Br., Ottawa; Investigation Report IR 71-80.
INCO Limited, NE 8, 63 0; Corporation File, Manitoba Mineral Resources Division.
Janeson, J., 1979: Wall Control Techniques at INCO's Pipe Open Pit; CIM Bulletin, v. 72, no. 805 (May 1979), p. 76-78.
Kilburn, L.C., Wilson, H.D.B., Graham, A.R., Ogura, Y., Coats, C.J.A., and Scoates, R.F.J.; 1969: Nickel Sulphide Ore Related to Ultrabasic Intrusions in Canada; Economic Geology Monograph 4, p. 276-7.
Macke, W., 1974: Manitoba Mining Operations: Unpublished Notebook, Mining Engineering & Inspection Branch, Manitoba Minitoba Resources Division.
Mackenzie, B.W.; 1968: Nickel-Canada and the World; Mineral Resources Division, Ottawa, Mineral Report. 16, p. 76.
Quirke, T.T., Cranstone, D.A., Bell, C.K., Coats, C.J.A., 1970: Geology of the Moak-Setting Lakes Area, Manitoba; Geological Association of Canada, Minining Association of Canada, Guidebook, 23rd Session, p. 42, 3.
Map 63 0/8, Hambone Lake, (Topographic), Scale. 1:50 000; Surveys & Mapping Br., Ottawa.
Map 54-13, Nelson House, (Geology), Scale 1:253 440; accompanied Marginal Notes by Quinn (1955); Geological Survey of Canada.
Map 41-1, Partridge Crop Lake Area, (Geology). Scale 1:126 720; accompanied Publication by Dawson (1952); Manitoba Mines Branch.
Map 63-1, Hambone Lake Area, (Geology). Scale 1:60 200; accompanied Godard (1966); Manitoba Mines Branch.
Map Moak-Setting Lake Area, (Geology). Scale 1:96 000; accompanied I.G.C. Field Excursions by Coats, et al. (1972); 24th Session, International Geological Congress.
Map 2592 G, Hambone Lake, (Aeromagnetic), Scale 1:63 360; Manitoba Mines Branch and Geological Survey of Canada.
Maps, NE 8, 63 0 (Claim), Scale 1:31 680, "Circa 1975", Claim Map Series, Mining Recording, Manitoba Mineral Resources Division.
There is not enough geological information known about Pipe 1 to determine if it is a separate orebody or deposit so it is included on this card as part of the Pipe deposit, Lat. 55 29'10"; Long. 98 09'15". (Pipe 1 shaft).
Serpentinite obtained from the Pipe Open Pit is used as carving stone. Dr. O.R. Eckstrand of the Geological Survey of Canada states (communication, April, 1984) that the Pipe 1 and the main Pipe Mine (Pipe 2, o/p and u/g are completely separate deposits.
Compiled/Revised by:
11-75 09-83