SUDBURY, March 10, 2017 – Vale announced today that after more than 120 years and more ore produced than any other mine in the history of Sudbury, Stobie Mine will be placed on care and maintenance later this year.
“This is a necessary decision but a sad one,” said Stuart Harshaw, Vice-President, Ontario Operations. “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.”
Stobie began as an open pit operation in 1890. Underground operations started in 1914. With more than 375,000,000 tonnes produced over the years, more ore has been mined out of the Frood-Stobie complex than any other mine in the Sudbury Basin. The suspension of operations at Stobie will result in a reduction of approximately 4-6 kilotonnes of nickel and 5-8 kilotonnes of copper production annually.
The future of the mine has been under review for some time. Factors contributing to that review included low metal prices and ongoing market challenges, declining ore grades, and, more recently, seismicity issues that restricted production below the 3,000-foot level.
There are approximately 230 employees at the mine. While efforts will be made to minimize impacts on people, Vale indicated that the decision will likely result in workforce reductions.
A specific date for the transition to care and maintenance has not yet been established. A Transition Team will design and guide the process for Stobie in a safe, orderly and fair fashion in accordance with the requirements of existing Collective Agreements.
“Vale is committed to our future in Sudbury,” said Harshaw. “Over the past decade, we have invested $4.7 billion to modernize and upgrade our operations. In this prolonged period of uncertainty in the Base Metals market, we will continue to monitor economic conditions very closely and make disciplined operational decisions in the best long-term interests of our Company, our employees and the community.”
For further information, contact:
Manager, Corporate & Aboriginal Affairs
Vale Canada Limited, Ontario Operations