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Falconbridge Nickel Mines Ltd.

105 switching slag pots at the smelter, circa 1950. GE 50-ton #29212 1/48 Paul Binney

Incorporated in 1928 to develop the ore deposit proved in 1912 by Longyear Company, they having acquired it from Thomas A. Edison, who had given up test drilling the site. Edison was seeking out nickel ore for use in his patented (1901) nickel-iron storage battery.

A severe stumbling block for Falconbridge was that INCO controlled all North American rights to each of the three patented processes for separating nickel from other minerals. Rather than put itself at the mercy of INCO for either royalties on what the company might smelt at Falconbridge or actual use of the Copper Cliff smelt, Falconbridge had no other choice but to purchase the refinery at Kristianssands, Norway. Unfortunately, early in World War II Germany took possession of the refinery. Production at Falconbridge was stockpiled until an agreement could be made with INCO for refining.

Falconbridge was able to prosper throughout the war and in the postwar properity, even expanding operations into the Onaping area near INCO's Levack property.

Slurry cars (CP 381910) and ore cars (CP 375640) in Sudbury. Gordon D. Jomini

Slurry, an ore-water mix was carried by CPR in special slurry cars from Onaping to the smelter at Falconbridge. The haul was very short for the CPR and the slurry was very abrasive and when the cars began to wear out the CPR came up with new freight rates that included the replacement cars. Falconbridge refused to pay and went to trucks for the 30 mile haul over local roads and right thorough the City of Sudbury much to the consternation of that municipality.

108, acquired new. S4 MLW #76449 7/55 Dale Wilson

Falconbridge locomotives

Veteran Russell snow plow with Bettendorf trucks, 1970. Gordon D. Jomini

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