Alistair Ross stepping down as head of Vale Canadian mining operations, including those in Thompson – by Kyle Darbyson (Thompson Citizen – December 13, 2018)

Vale’s management structure in Canada continues to change with the company recently announcing that Alistair Ross will step down as the director of North Atlantic mining operations by the end of the month when his contract expires. According to a Dec. 11 Vale memo, Mike McCann, who has worked for the Brazilian mining giant in Sudbury for the last six years, will replace Ross Jan 1.

“Mike has done a superb job leading processing operations across the North Atlantic and Asia, delivering value projects and achieving production and safety improvements in a number of areas across our business,” said Ricus Grimbeek, chief operating officer for Vale Base Metals, in that memo. “I have every confidence that Mike will continue his track record of success leading our mining and milling operations.”

This move is the latest change to Vale’s Thompson management, which began back in July when Manitoba Operations vice-president Mark Scott’s position was eliminated. Ross was given the responsibility of overseeing Vale’s Canadian operations in Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador at that time.

Vale’s smelter and refinery in Thompson shut down for good in the summer, resulting in around 127 jobs cuts in late July and another upcoming 24 layoffs by the end of the month.

Ross, who was based in Sudbury, met with city officials in Thompson and spoke at an Oct. 3 Chamber of Commerce meeting to explain how the growing demand for battery-powered vehicles could be the key to increased prices for nickel in the future. Later that day, he took part in the Vale Manitoba Operations open house, which was the last day that the company offered tours of the inactive smelter and refinery.

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