Sudbury Calls the Shots, Says [Vale’s] John Pollesel – by Carol Mulligan

Carol Mulligan is a reporter for the Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. cmulligan@thesudburystar.com

“As a matter of fact, in the North Atlantic, we are the centre of excellence for
underground mining globally for Vale. Vale’s operations are mostly open pit,
big iron ore mines. However, if we’re to develop a deposit in Africa … they will
come to us for mining expertise.” (Vale’s John Pollesel January 20, 2011)

The head of Vale’s North Atlantic operations isn’t putting much stock in rumours that Roger Agnelli could be on his way out as chief executive of Vale’s parent company in Brazil.
John Pollesel, chief operating officer for Vale in Canada and the UK , said a report that a majority shareholder in Vale is trying to replace Agnelli is unfounded.

When asked if things might change in Sudbury if Agnelli were replaced, Pollesel said: “Sudbury directly may not feel the effects of something like that, but that’s just a rumour. There’s no, in speaking to (Vale CEO) Tito (Martins) earlier this week, he explained to us that … that’s just a rumour.”

Another frequent comment that is untrue is that Vale operations in Canada are being run out of Brazil, Pollesel told The Sudbury Star in an editorial board meeting this week.

“We hear often, and I get a little frustrated when I hear this, that things are being run out of Brazil. Well, no, that’s not the case,” said Pollesel.

Vale’s North Atlantic operations are run out of Sudbury, where Pollesel is located.

“We make a lot of decisions here. As a matter of fact, in the North Atlantic, we are the centre of excellence for underground mining globally for Vale. Vale’s operations are mostly open pit, big iron ore mines. However, if we’re to develop a deposit in Africa … they will come to us for mining expertise.”

Sudbury-based Vale executives also have “a lot of latitude for decision-making. There’s no question about that,” said Pollesel.

And those decisions are being made by people from Sudbury, like himself. Pollesel gave a rundown of Vale North Atlantic executives. Steve Wood, vice-president of mining and milling, is from Sudbury and based here.

Kelly Strong, vice-president of production ser vices and studies, is from Espanola and based in Sudbury. Sustainability general manager Jody Kuzenko is from Sudbury and based out of Sudbury. Jeff McLaughlin, vice-president of smelting and refining, is originally from Sarnia, but is based in Sudbury and has lived here many years.

Other members of Pollesel’s North Atlantic management team include Rinaldo Stefan, general manager of the Long Harbour project in Newfoundland and based there; and Scott Mooney general manager of brownfield exploration, based in Mississauga.

When asked if Sudbury has any input into decisions involving its largest company, Pollesel said: “I can assure you that we do. There’s no question about that.”

Meanwhile, some Vale operations in Sudbury will close for 28 days in July for a planned maintenance period.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2938377

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