The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.
TIMMINS – When Xstrata Copper talks the Timmins Chamber of Commerce listens … especially when the words of wisdom contain good news for the community.
Tom Semadeni, general manager of Xstrata Copper, provided chamber members with an update on the efforts to extend the life of the company’s Kidd Mine during Thursday’s instalment of the President’s Series Luncheons at the Porcupine Dante Club.
“Xstrata is the fourth largest mining company in the world and we are split into seven commodity groups,” Semadeni said. “There is a coal group, there is a copper group, there is a zinc group, there is an alloys group, their is a nickel group, those are the main ones.”
And with more than 1,000 full-time workers – including 823 at the Kidd Mine and 220 at the Met Site – Xstrata Copper remains one of the largest non-government employers in the Timmins area. The company also employs an additional 165 contract workers.
Xstrata Copper has hired 250 employees at its Timmins operations in the past two years and 546 in the past five years, partially due to retirements. In addition, it is facing up to 400 more potential retirements during the next seven years.
“We have done a lot of work over the last few years with the advent of the closure of the Met Site to try to re-invent ourselves,” Semadeni said.
“We want to create an environment where people will want to work for us and we want to be developing our people. We need to be welcome in Timmins as good corporate citizens. We have a vital role here, because we are one of the largest employers.
“I think there are key pillars for our strategic plan. One is about zero harm. Another one is making sure we deliver on our production results. If we are going to be stable we need to make a buck. We need to send a cheque to head office and we need to keep an eye on that ball.
“And an important part for us when mine life starts to rear its ugly head is that we need to be continually driving that out and forcing that out. We need to be extending the mine life by looking at our cost structure and looking at our process to improve our efficiencies.
“And to do that we really need to utilize our people and all of our suppliers and partners so that we are all pulling in the same direction.
“And we need to enhance our reputation for social responsibility in the community.”
Xstrata Copper’s operating budget is around $270 million per year and it spends around $40 million per year on capital.
“We spend about $280 million per year in Timmins on keeping the operation going,” Semadeni said.
“We have the mine, the old open pit and the metallurgical site.
“We mine around 2.3 to 2.4 million tonnes per year, which is quite large by Canadian standards for an underground mine.”
About 50% of Xstrata’s revenue comes from copper, while the rest comes from zinc and silver.
“Silver is important and a lot of people don’t realize that,” Semadeni said.
“That corresponds to about three million ounces of silver per year and for those of you who are doing the math silver is around $30 an ounce and that is a lot of revenue from silver.
“When the Brunswick Mine in New Brunswick closes later this year we will be the largest producer of silver in Canada.”
For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.timminspress.com/2013/03/21/xstrata-outlines-future-in-timmins