Showing posts with label Superstack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Superstack. Show all posts

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Superstack, A Big Nickel, And A Sawmill Engine

So I hope everyone enjoyed their Canada Day, and to viewers in the US hope you enjoy your upcoming Independence Day.

So I got in a road trip for a few days, around what southerners call, the near north, the Muskoka and Georgian Bay areas, to visit some used bookstores. Yesterday morning I headed for Sudbury to visit Princess Auto, and pick up supplies for the sawmill build. Their seems to be lots of traffic with the recent posts, so some close up pictures of the Superstack, and the Big Nickel attraction, which represents Sudbury's domination of the nickel industry for 130 years, would be in order.

First a close up of the Superstack. You can just see the top of the new technology that is making the Superstack obsolete, the short gray stack with the black top. The day I was there, the plant was in full operation, with no noticeable emissions from either stack.

Their were dozens of 300 - 500 ft. stacks around the Sudbury area and many dozens of mines, operating and depleted. Most ore gets shipped to the Copper Cliff, Superstack facility for processing now a days but many of the old stacks remain, as a reminder of Sudbury's past. Close to two billion years will change a landscape alot. Continental drift and erosion have changed the ore body to the shape seen below. The red dots are the many mines, The Murray mine was the first mine discovered (by wouldn't you know it, a blacksmith), when the CPR was pushing the railroad through in 1883.

Here is a picture of what has been, and what is coming back. There are hundreds of shaft access points in the area, all are obviously restricted. I got this picture from a distant hill top. In the picture is a good example of the burned black and bare rock that has dominated past Sudbury landscapes, but you can also see the re-greening that has taken place, since the Superstack went into operation in 1972, even here, this close to actual operations.

A visit to Sudbury wouldn't be complete without a picture of the Big Nickel. This is a large welded nickel-steel creation representing the Canadian nickel, and Sudbury's nickel production.

Sudbury also has a nice large used book store, but my main reason for visiting Sudbury was a stop at Princess Auto to pick up an engine, and supplies for the sawmill build. The engine is a Pro-Point 15 HP, with a cast iron sleeve, it is supposed to have twice the life of their house brand "Power Fist". We will see. I have no more excuses, I now have everything I need for the build. Maybe start in the shop Tues. or Wed. ha, ha.

So I left Sudbury late afternoon, I had intended to head east to Ottawa for Canada Day, but the thought of huge stifling crowds in 40* heat turned me off, so when I hit North Bay, I turned north onto highway 11 and headed home. Barbecued burgers, cold beer, and the quiet tranquility of nature, was much more appealing. Ha, ha, spoken like a true hermit,lol.

I will do a post tomorrow on some of the nice woodworking, and metalworking books, I scrounged up on my little road trip.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Short History Of The Superstack

So no plans today, I have been enjoying some summer warmth, and trying to finalize a plan for that small band sawmill, I keep harping on about. It would be nice if I could finally start that build. I have been planing a road trip to visit some of my favorite used book stores around Ontario, maybe be in Ottawa for Canada Day. A detour into Sudbury, is in the plans, to pick up some material for the sawmill, mainly a 15 HP motor.

On the subject of Sudbury I thought some might be interested in the history of the area, and the "Superstack". Vale's, formerly Inco's, superstack has been in the news lately. It is being decommissioned and will be dismantled in the future. It was built back in 1970 to get the SO2 emissions (the main ingredient in acid rain) up into the jet stream and spread it over a wider area further downwind of the area. More advanced methods of removing SO2 and NO2 emissions out of the stack gas, have made it obsolete.

So 1.85 billion years ago a big meteorite slammed into Northern Ontario, and created the Sudbury basin, a 200 km (120 mile) wide crater. This picture explains the results.

In the bottom of that crater collected the worlds largest deposit of nickel, and smaller amounts of copper, platinum, palladium, and other semi precious metals. Up until 1970 the SO2 emissions devastated the vegetation in the Sudbury area (thus the "moonscape" reference often associated with Sudbury). After the Superstack was built, an aggressive  revegetation program was adopted, that has since won awards for its successes.

Above: The story goes that the day the stack was to be completed (Murphy's law applies), there were 6 workmen completing the top lip of the stack, when the "Sudbury Tornado of 1970" hit. The stack swayed like a drunken sailor. 5 of the 6 workmen survived, with minor damage to the stack. The next day, after going home to change their shorts no doubt, all 5 quit. A new crew was sent up to finish the lip that day.

Below: Molten lava down the hillside.

Above: A view from across Ramsay Lake. A beautifully reclaimed lake and recreational area in the middle of the city.

Hope you enjoyed this little trip. Cheers.