Xstrata plea for ONTC – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – November 27, 2012)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Xstrata Copper is seeking the city’s support in ensuring freight rail service to the mine is maintained in light of the province’s plan to sell the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

In a presentation to Timmins council Monday, Tom Semadeni, general manager of Kidd Operations, identified the divestiture of the ONTC and its potential impact on freight rail service as a possible challenge in the future. Semadeni said city council could “help us in term of lobby efforts … to make sure they maintain service.”

He said trucking the material would be more costly to the company and more damaging to the roads. Coun. Gary Scripnick said hearing these concerns directly from mine management should be helpful in any future discussions Mayor Tom Laughren has with provincial ministers.

He said it is important for the mayor to be able to report what mining officials are telling him. Other areas of concern expressed by Semadeni included high energy costs and the limited availability of housing in Timmins.

He said Xstrata Copper has hired close to 550 in the last five years and as a result has experienced the challenges associated with the housing shortage first-hand.

Following Semadeni’s presentation, there were several solutions discussed by council in an effort to address the city’s housing shortage.

Most of the presentation provided council with a general overview of operations at the Kidd Mine.

More than 750 people are employed at the mine site while another 200 work at the concentrator located in Hoyle.

Semadeni said the concentrator is integral to the mining operation and there is no way that facility would close as long as the mine remains open.

For the rest of this article, please got to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.timminspress.com/2012/11/27/xstrata-plea-for-ontc