Vale to close nickel mine in Manitoba – by Staff (Sudbury Star – May 17, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Vale has announced plans to close another nickel mine in Canada. In an email to employees, Vale Manitoba Operations announced that the Birchtree Mine will shift to “care and maintenance” and no longer produce nickel starting Oct. 1, resulting in 150 unionized employees and staff being laid off and another 50 jobs also being affected.

According to union officials, moving to ‘care and maintenance’ means the power and water at the mine will not be shut down but production will cease. “As you know, the nickel market continues to be challenging as inventories remain high and the price remains at an historic low, with little sign of significant recovery in the near term,” said Mark Scott, head of the company’s Manitoba Operations in an email to employees on Monday.

“This reality has caused us to review every aspect of our business. As a result we have made the difficult decision to suspend operations at our Birchtree Mine and place it on care and maintenance in the fourth quarter of 2017.”

In March, Vale announced it plans to shut down its long-running Stobie Mine in Sudbury by the end of the year, affecting some 230 employees.

“This is a necessary decision but a sad one,” Stuart Harshaw, Vice-President of Ontario Operations, Vale Canada Limited said at the time. “Stobie has a rich history and has been integral to our success for more than a century.

“However, after more than 100 years of operation, the mine is approaching the end of its natural life. The low grades at Stobie are no longer economical to mine in today’s challenging price environment.”

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