Vale Ltd. to hire 60 miners – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – September 8, 2011)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Less than 24 hours after posting the jobs on its website, Vale Ltd. had received 50 applications from people looking to fill 60 new underground mining jobs at Sudbury operations.

Vale announced Wednesday it is looking for 60 experienced miners and hiring for a number of other positions including engineers, supervisors, surface plant operators and tradespeople.

The ideal candidates for the mining jobs would have Grade 12 diplomas, underground hard-rock common core education and six months of mining experience, said Vale’s Angie Robson.

The jobs are all posted on the website, and the company is looking to fill them as soon as possible. Plans to hire more hourly rated workers and staff have been in the works for some time, said Robson.

The vacancies were identified earlier this year, but when the company had to close the No. 2 flash furnace to rebuild it and was down to a one-furnace operation, “we weren’t in a position to actually hire for the positions until now,” said Robson.

She didn’t know how many non-union jobs are vacant, but said Vale has been hiring pretty consistently in the past several months.

The new positions are being announced as Vale prepares to make unprecedented investments in its Sudbury operations, Jon Treen said in a news release. Treen is general manager of Vale’s Ontario Operations.

“As we continue to invest locally, we have a real need for people to consider a rewarding career with our company,” Treen said.

Last year, Vale announced it would be investing $3.4 billion in Sudbury operations by the end of 2015.

The largest project is the $2- billion Clean AER (Atmospheric Emissions Reduction) Project at the Copper Cliff Smelter Complex to bring it closer to government guidelines for emissions.
The AER project is in the final stages of feasibility planning and Vale is awaiting final approval, said Robson.

It is expected that 1,400 additional jobs will be created by that project at the peak of construction.

Vale announced another project earlier this year — the $200-million Challenging Ore Recovery (CORe) project at Clarabelle Mill. That will create between 150 and 200 construction jobs.

The miners Vale is looking to hire will fill vacancies at Stobie, Creighton and Coleman mines.

Vale has experienced high levels of attrition in recent years. It anticipated that in 2007-08 during another round of hiring, said Robson.

But the demographics of the company’s workforce have changed, and Vale doesn’t expect high levels of attrition in the future.

“About 80% of our production and maintenance workforce has less than 20 years’ experience with the company, and so the high number of retirements we’ve seen over the last few years, we expect to level off,” said Robson. “We’re definitely seeing a shift in our demographic, for sure.”

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