Vale COO implores striking Steelworkers to help get costs under control, find solutions to keep mining in the Sudbury basin
Vale’s Dino Otranto claims it can’t be business as usual, not when the Sudbury base metal mining operations he oversees “occupy the highest cost position of any mines on the planet.”
With operations at a standstill heading into the fourth week of a strike by Steelworkers Local 6500, Vale’s chief operating officer for its North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries took to the web on June 17 for a virtual town hall meeting, spelling out the shape the business in the Sudbury basin and the “tough conversations” that need to take place.
The web event was attended by 956 registered attendees for the sessions. Management only addressed a portion of the 115 questions sent in. “The past is not the recipe to sustain this, moving forward,” Otranto said. “And there is no consultant that’s going to come in and give us the silver bullet.
“The 100-year ore bodies are no longer.” While there remains an abundance of untapped ore in the Sudbury basin, Otranto said it’s not economic unless they can tackle the cost challenges in front of them. “This is a problem we need to solve.”
Cost of business rising
The company said it’s facing declining ore reserves in the Sudbury camp, a high cost of doing business, with the need to reinvest in operations, exploration drilling and development to find, prove up and access new sources of ore.