Letter outlines reasons for Stobie’s closure – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – March 11, 2017)


This is a copy of the letter sent by Vale’s Stuart Harshaw to Stobie Mine employees, which The Sudbury Star has obtained, about the mine’s closure.

“Hello everyone: I am writing to inform you that after more than 120 years and more ore produced than any other mine in the history of Sudbury, operations at Stobie Mine will be suspended later this year with the mine placed on care and maintenance.

As you know, our Base Metals business has been challenged for many years now due to the prolonged downturn in metals prices and ongoing challenges in the market. This has driven us to look closely at every aspect of our business globally to try to remain cash flow positive.

This is especially challenging for us in Ontario, given the age of our assets and the huge capital requirements to sustain our operations into the future. Operations at Stobie have been under review for some time, prompted by a number of factors including market challenges and declining grades and volumes as we approach the end of Stobie’s natural mine life.

More recently, seismicity at the mine and its impact on our people’s safety has become a key factor, as we are now restricted in the areas we can safely mine at Stobie. The decision to place Stobie on care and maintenance is a necessary but difficult one given our long and proud history at the mine.

The reality is, however, that continuing to mine at Stobie no longer makes economic sense in today’s challenging price environment. Stobie Mine represents a true success story in mine longevity. It began as an open pit operation in 1890, with underground operations beginning in 1914.

More than 375,000,000 tonnes of ore have been mined out of the Frood-Stobie complex over the years, more than any other mine in the Sudbury Basin. 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 our Collective Agreements. While we will do our best to minimize impacts to our people as much as reasonably possible, it is expected this decision will result in workforce reductions within our operations. I commit that I will provide you with more details as the process becomes clearer.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2017/03/11/letter-outlines-reasons-for-stobies-closure