Archive | Vale


SUDBURY, January 16, 2019 – Vale and The United Steelworkers announced today that together with Vale’s 50% match to employee contributions, $473,278 has been raised in a joint fundraising campaign for the United Way Centraide North East Ontario (UWCNEO).

“I’m proud of this longstanding and shared tradition of generosity between Vale and the United Steelworkers and want to thank each and every employee who contributed to this campaign,” said Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer of Vale’s North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries. “It’s indicative of the genuine care and interest our employees have in supporting our community.

Vale matches 50 cents to every dollar employees donate to the UWCNEO. Employees can contribute via a payroll deduction program or in lump sum payments.

“United Steelworkers Local 6500 are honoured to continue supporting the United Way’s 38th annual fundraising campaign,” said Nick Larochelle, President of USW Local 6500. Continue Reading →

Vale’s biggest problem won’t be easy to fix – by Vinícius Andrade and Sabrina Valle (Australian Financial Review/Bloomberg – Janaury 17, 2020)

São Paulo | In the weeks and months after Vale’s deadly dam disaster, some of Brazil’s biggest investors snatched up shares in a bet they’d bounce back and then keep rising.

A year later, the gamble paid off, but with a caveat: The stock rebounded, but Vale’s reputation hasn’t — and that’s the problem. Vale still trades at a discount of at least 20pc to peers BHP and Rio Tinto, based on enterprise-value-to-expected-Ebitda ratio.

While the world’s largest iron ore producer, like all miners, has struggled with plenty of environmental issues in the past, there’s no denying that a company’s green credentials suddenly matter now more than ever. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Brazil prosecutor aims to charge Vale within days over mining waste dam disaster – by Marta Nogueira and Christian Plumb (Reuters U.S. – January 8, 2020)

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (Reuters) – A Brazilian state prosecutor expects to bring criminal charges “in the next few days” against miner Vale (VALE3.SA) over a mining waste dam collapse that killed at least 259 people, even as the prosecutor’s federal counterpart continues to investigate the case.

Andressa de Oliveira Lanchotti, coordinator for the task force of state prosecutors investigating the disaster, told Reuters they expect to indict 15 to 20 people, including executives from Vale and employees from German inspection firm TÜV SÜD – as well as the companies themselves.

“What we can take away from the investigations is there were several factors pointing to risk – the risk was not unknown,” Lanchotti said, disputing Vale’s contention that it had no way of knowing that the dam that unleashed an avalanche of mining waste on the Brazilian town of Brumadinho in January 2019 posed a danger. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: The Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive & Kids Helping Kids Campaign Wraps Up Another Successful Year

SUDBURY, December 18, 2019 – Today the Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive and Kids Helping Kids campaign wrapped up another successful year with the generous support of the Rainbow District School Board and over 250 local businesses.

“We are so grateful for each and every donation to the Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive and Kids Helping Kids. The food and money collected through this campaign will once again provide one-quarter of the needs of the Sudbury Food Bank for the entire year,” said Mellaney Dahl, President of the Sudbury Food Bank.

The Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive is expected to collect more than 100 tons of food again this year. The annual campaign has collected more than 1,000 tons of food since it first began.

“It’s rare that a single individual can start a tradition like this in the workplace and in a community,” said Mike McCann, Head of Mining and Milling for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations “We’re proud to continue the tradition that Edgar started at our operations so many years ago.” Continue Reading →

Vale files $1-million lawsuit, CBC report says – by Staff (Sudbury Star – December 17, 2019)

A half-dozen people profited in a complex fraud scheme through a Vale mill, according to a civil suit filed in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto.

The document, which was obtained by CBC, alleges former Clarabelle Mill superintendent Lee MacIsaac, along with maintenance supervisor William Auger and parts coordinator Yvan Lecuyer, conspired to pocket at least $1 million through payments on maintenance work that was never performed.

None of the allegations have been proven in a court of law. The suit also names three men affiliated with contracting companies as collaborators in the scheme: Felix Vazquez of Metso Minerals, John Vasconcelos of E.S. Fox Ltd., and Jason Bettiol of ABS Manufacturing. Continue Reading →

Vale report blames water level for Brazil mining waste dam disaster – by Christian Plumb and Luciano Costa (Reuters U.K. – December 12, 2019)

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The deadly collapse of a Vale SA’s mining waste dam in Brazil was partially triggered by “a persistently high water level” that caused the structure to lose strength and stability, according to a report by a panel of experts appointed by the company’s lawyers.

The report, released by Vale on Thursday, said there was no warning the dam was unstable, and no seismic activity or explosions in the area were recorded before it burst in late January. The dam collapse unleashed an avalanche of mining waste on the Brazilian town of Brumadinho, killing at least 155 people.

The report examined technical factors leading to the disaster rather than issues of liability. It came less than four years after another dam collapse at a joint venture between Vale and BHP Group in the same region, an accident that experts also blamed on water weakening the solid materials composing the dam so that they behave more like a liquid – a phenomenon known as liquefaction. Continue Reading →

Backes expects China may get New Caledonia nickel stake ( – December 9, 2019)

New Caledonia’s Southern Province president has indicated that the Brazilian miner Vale may well have no option but to sell its assets in New Caledonia’s south to Chinese investors.

Sonia Backes said this year Vale had lost $US200 million. She said in its current state, Vale would not find a buyer and therefore she was in favour of the company adopting a new strategy.

Ms Backes made the comment in an interview with the Nouvelles Caledoniennes days after Vale put its plant at Goro up for sale, with yet to be determined job losses. Continue Reading →

New boss at Vale – Dino Otranto – favours improved safety and being more competitive – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – December 5, 2019)

“We have an abundance of ore here, one of the top three nickel-copper orebodies
in the entire world, right here. We haven’t really scratched

the surface of the potential of that orebody,” Dino Otranto said.

Dino Otranto, the new man at the helm of Vale Base Metals in Canada, said he is more than pleased with the level of commitment from Vale employees. He was equally overwhelmed at the level of innovation and technology being used to keep the company successful. Just as important, he said, is the critical need to be more competitive.

Otranto, who has a blue chip mining résumé stretching back to the early 2000s, is the new chief operating officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries. Prior to that, he was the company’s chief technology officer based in Toronto.

As he spoke recently from his office in Sudbury, Otranto said he had no plan to shake things up when he moved into his role earlier in 2019. Continue Reading →

Vale to exit New Caledonia, eyes Indonesia to boost nickel output – by Eric Onstad and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – December 4, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Brazil’s Vale SA plans to exit its troubled New Caledonia assets but still aims to ramp up nickel output ahead of rising demand for electric batteries, executives said on Wednesday.

The planned divestment of nickel operations in New Caledonia comes after Vale said last month it would write down the mine and incur a non-cash impairment charge of about $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter.

A year ago, the world’s top nickel producer unveiled plans to invest $500 million in the mine after failing to find a partner for the operation. Continue Reading →

Canadian labour legend Leo Gerard on the past, present and future of unions – Interview by Michael Enright (CBC Radio – Sunday Edition – November 22, 2019)

Leo Gerard was 11 years old when he handed out his first union leaflets. That was in 1958, and he was living in Sudbury, a mining town. The leaflets were for the Mine Mill, the union his father belonged to.

What Gerard didn’t know then was that he would spend much of the rest of his life as a labour leader and activist. He began as a staff representative at the United Steelworkers (the USW) and moved quickly through the ranks. This summer, he retired as international president of the USW, a position he held for 18 years.

Gerard spoke to The Sunday Edition’s Michael Enright about his life in the labour movement and the future of unions in an age of globalized trade, a collapsing manufacturing sector and precarious employment. Continue Reading →

Positive spotlight shone on Thompson at Winnipeg mineral convention, says councillor (Thompson Citizen – November 27, 2019)

News that Vale Manitoba Operations could possibly spend $1 billion over five years to deepen Thompson mines in anticipation of a growing demand for nickel as a component of batteries for electric vehicles made Thompson the talk of November’s mineral exploration conference in Winnipeg.

Gary Eyres, head of Manitoba Operations, told attendees at the Central Canada Mineral Exploration Convention about the proposed investment, first revealed to members of the Thompson Chamber of Commerce at their Nov. 13 lunch meeting.

“Once we get approved – and I really am confident we will get this approval – we are looking at nearly $8 billion in economic benefit to the region over the next 25 years,” Eyres was reported as saying in the Winnipeg Free Press. Coun. Judy Kolada, who attended the convention, told her fellow councillors at the conclusion of their Nov. 25 meeting that Thompson was in the spotlight at the convention. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Thompson mining’s future looking brighter, but when? (Thompson Citizen – November 27, 2019)

Although it wasn’t really that long ago that the mining industry was booming in Thompson – if you’ve lived here longer than 10 years, you experienced at least part of it – it might feel like it’s mostly been gloom and doom for a long time because, for the most part, it has.

The 2008 global recession, which was a bit delayed in arriving in Thompson, although eventually it did, was only first starting to be felt when Vale announced nine years ago this month that it had plans to shut down the smelter and refinery in Thompson for good.

At the time that it was first announced, the proposed shutdown date was 2015, though that was later pushed back three years, with operations ceasing about midway through 2018. A bit more than a year before that, Birchtree Mine was placed on care and maintenance status, resulting in the loss of more than 100 jobs. Continue Reading →

Sudbury: Construction underway on infrastructure for Vale’s $750M Copper Cliff mine expansion – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – November 19, 2019)

New expanded Copper Cliff mine expected to open in 2021

Construction is underway in Copper Cliff on a set of massive ventilation fans to supply fresh and warm air to miners below. It’s part of Vale’s $750 million refurbishing of the existing Copper Cliff north and south mines.

Danica Pagnutti, the mining company’s senior advisor on corporate and Indigenous affairs, says workers will be tackling new ore bodies beneath Copper Cliff beginning in 2021.

“This is really about the future of our operations here in Sudbury. It represents a major expansion and new sources of ore for our operations, so this is a very important project for us,” she says. “We’re going to need 200 miners and 200 tradespeople and a whole host of supporting roles. It’s a great time at Vale and we are hiring.” Continue Reading →

Vale returns looking for low-cost debt after Brumadinho tragedy – by Aaron Weinman (Reuters U.S. – November 21, 2019)

NEW YORK, Nov 21 (LPC) – The insatiable appetite to lend to Latin America’s blue-chip corporations may allow Brazilian miner Vale SA to return to the loan market and borrow US$3bn to refinance debt at ultra-low rates, only 10 months after a dam disaster that left the country reeling.

In January, following the collapse of a tailings dam at an iron ore mine in the Brumadinho region, Vale pulled back on original plans to refinance debt. Ten months and a public relations debacle later, a surfeit of lenders, including relationship banks with established ties to the miner and new lenders looking to forge a bond with one of Latin America’s most frequent borrowers, are expected to flock to the transaction.

A dearth of opportunities to lend to high-quality Latin American corporations has left banks with little option but to aggressively compete for business, giving borrowers cheap access to capital, and clout to dictate lending terms that allow for cost savings and flexibility. Continue Reading →

Proposed standards for mining waste dams draw concerns from industry trade group – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters U.S. – November 18, 2019)

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – The world’s largest mining trade group said on Monday it has concerns with global standards for mining waste dams being crafted by an independent panel of academics and engineers, especially how the new rules will apply equally to new and existing facilities.

The public lobbying of an ostensibly neutral process is likely to rankle environmentalists, indigenous groups and others who have long demanded miners do more to bolster safety at tailings dams, which are used to store the muddy detritus of the mining process and can be dozens of meters high.

Public trust in the industry has plunged since a Brazil tailings dam owned by Vale SA collapsed last January, killing hundreds. Continue Reading →