The property includes an approximately 300m (1,000ft) underground ramp down to a depth of some 40m (120ft), at an average grade of 15 per cent. The underground facility also includes an excavated cavern where shaft jumbo mucking training had previously been conducted, along with a 4,500sqm (15,000sqft) building on a three-hectare (eight-acre) site footprint.
"We intend to utilise this facility as an innovation hub for our company, just as Bob Lipic Sr. did with MTI when the test facility was originally developed in 2012," said MacLean president, Kevin MacLean. "I want our activities at site to honour the tradition of mining entrepreneurship that Bob embodied in the Sudbury mining industry."
"We are thrilled to now have unfettered access to an underground facility that gives us a research and development test bed for new products and new technologies, a mine-equivalent setting for conducting quality assurance/quality control checks on MacLean equipment prior to shipping, a place where employees and customers alike can be given hands-on exposure to our equipment in the working environment, as well as a great location for conducting photo and video shoots," added Stella Holloway, general manager for MacLean's Sudbury operations.
"Having underground ramp access gives us the ability to ‘ramp up' our product development and testing efforts, which is a significant step for MacLean and I am personally gratified that Bob's vision of a dedicated test facility is going to continue," said MacLean chairman and founder, Don MacLean. "I started my mining career in the 1950s working underground at INCO, this city is where the first MacLean branch was established back in 1995 and we now have 100 employees locally, so the Sudbury basin remains at the core of the MacLean business just as it remains at the heart of mining activity in Canada."