Sudbury Better Off With Vale – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star)

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

For an informative six-minute interview between Sudbury Star staff and Vale top executives, John Pollesel, chief operating officer for Vale’s North Atlantic operations and Jon Treen, general manager of Vale’s Ontario operations click here:

Sudbury Better Off With Vale

There is no question in John Pollesel’s mind that Sudbury is better off with Vale running its largest mining company than it was in the old days of Mother Inco.

Vale’s chief operating officer for the North Atlantic doesn’t necessarily agree with Industry Minister Tony Clement’s opinion that Sudbury would have become the “Valley of Death” if Brazil-based Vale had not purchased it four years ago.

“Inco on its own, without somebody coming in, it would have been a tough go, there’s no question,” Pollesel said Tuesday.

When you look at the $2 billion Vale will invest in its atmospheric emissions reduction project in Sudbury, and its total projected investment of $3.4 billion to the year 2015, “We needed an investment of capital here, and that’s something that Vale has provided,” said Pollesel.

The Vale executive, who took on new duties as chief operating officer with Vale in Canada and the UK last October, participated in a 75-minute editorial board meeting with The Sudbury Star.

Pollesel and Jon Treen, Vale’s new manager of mining and milling for Ontario, and general manager for Ontario operations, talked about a variety of subjects in a no-holds-barred interview.
When asked if Sudbury is better off with Vale than it was without it, Pollesel didn’t hesitate: “There can be no question that Sudbury is definitely better off.”

Whether it’s community investments, such as its sponsorship of Maison Vale Hospice or Laurentian University’s Living With Lakes Centre, or that $3.4 billion in capital expenditures, “that’s significant,” said Pollesel.

“That investment will bring 800 to 2,000 jobs during construction on the atmospheric emissions reduction project, tax revenue for the city, small business opportunities … so there can be no question” of the contribution Vale is making to Sudbury, he said.

But Sudbury “has to deliver” to Vale.

“There’s no question about that. And that’s something I want to stress is that the money will be there for the investments, but we have to show that we’re committed to making things happen here.”

One of the “things” Vale in Sudbury has to make happen is creating a culture in which everyone at the mining operation is “engaged” and its workforce is “aligned” with what the company is doing.

That means change and the willingness to accept it, said Pollesel.

“We’ve talked about change. There are certain things that we want to change. We want our employees, we want all our stakeholders, to understand what it is we’re trying to do, and really that’s to build a sustainable future here in Sudbury.”

The word “sustainable” was spoken countless times by Vale officials during the nearly yearlong strike by United Steelworkers in Ontario, most of them members of Sudbury’s USW Local 6500.

Vale SA , the Brazil-based parent company, has made no secret of its goal to become the largest, most profitable mining company in the world.

For the rest of the article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: