Archive | Vale

Vale hiring blitz draws a crowd – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – February 26, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Copper Cliff may have experienced its first-ever traffic jam on Tuesday as hundreds of people flocked to the hamlet for the Vale hiring pop-up.

More than a thousand hopeful applicants attended the employment event on day one, which saw the mining company recruiting for underground miners; supervisors; tradespeople; equipment technicians; engineers; technologists; and support staff.

Traffic was backed up at one point to the arena and it took nearly 40 minutes to reach the Copper Cliff Club from Jube’s Bar + Grill. Most people spent another 45-60 minutes waiting in line in the cold, just to enter the building. Continue Reading →

Internal probe confirms Vale knew Brumadinho dam was unsafe – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – February 21, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale (NYSE: VALE) has published the results of an independent report into the Córrego do Feijão mine’s tailings dam collapse that killed 270 people last year, which reveals the company knew about the facility’s fragile condition since 2003.

According to the document, prepared by a committee formed by Vale last year, concerns about how unstable the main B1 dam was were raised at various points over the course of 16 years, but the miner failed to appropriately deal with them.

Last month, state prosecutors charged Fabio Schvartsman, the chief executive at the time of the burst, and 15 other people with homicide. Schvartsman left his position at the company in March 2019. Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s iconic Superstack easing into retirement – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – February 19, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

One of two new, smaller stacks already in operation

The long plumes that used to flow from the Superstack in Copper Cliff have been reduced to wisps as the mega chimney nears retirement and two mini versions take over.

You could call it a passing of the baton, although in this case it’s more like breaking one really big one in half. In fact, each of the replacement stacks is closer to a third of the size of the original.

The Superstack stretches 1,250 feet in height and is more than 100-feet-wide at its base. The new stacks are much slimmer and top out at 450 feet. Lights now adorn the shorter towers and one is already emitting puffs of smoke. Continue Reading →

‘Transformation’ is in the air at Vale – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 12, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Electric vehicle market, carbon neutral plans, environmental safeguards part of Sudbury miner’s current and future operations

The thrust of Dino Otranto’s presentation was on the transformational challenges ahead for base metal mining giant Vale to create a business that’s sustainable in the Sudbury basin for generations to come.

But the opening image he flashed to a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce lunchtime crowd on Feb. 11 was of the Brumadinho tailings dam break at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in Brazil on Jan. 25, 2019. It was the company’s second major dam breach in that country in four years.

The man-made environmental catastrophe at Brumadinho produced a toxic mudflow that swept away the company’s offices, and houses, farms and roads in a nearby village, and contaminated a major river system. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Uncertainty lingers as Vale switches Thompson bosses again (Thompson Citizen – February 12, 2020)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

The removal of Gary Eyres as head of Vale’s Manitoba Operations and his replacement with Franco Cazzola, who formerly worked in Thompson for a few years from 2005 to 2008, indicates that things are still in flux at the Thompson mining and milling operation.

As a result, the uncertainty that first took hold of Thompson nearly a decade ago when the Brazilian mining company that purchased Inco in 2006 announced that it was shutting down the smelter and refinery still lingers, even after the axe has fallen.

In the lead up to the closure of the smelter and the refinery in mid-2018, people didn’t know what to expect. Obviously, the loss of a few hundred good paying jobs was going to have a trickle-down effect and it has, as several businesses have closed up shop over the past few years, though sometimes it is because their owners couldn’t find buyers or family members to take over the operations from them. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s Vale loses spot as world’s top iron ore producer to Rio Tinto – by Gram Slattery (Reuters U.S. – February 11, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Vale SA on Tuesday posted a sharp output decline and $671 million in net additional provisions stemming from a deadly dam burst about a year ago, underlining the enduring effects of the incident on the iron ore giant.

In a statement, the company reported a 22.4% fall in fourth-quarter iron ore production from the same period last year and a 9.6% drop in quarterly terms. With that, Vale officially lost its position in 2019 as the world’s top iron ore producer to Rio Tinto.

In late January 2019, a Vale-owned tailings dam in the town of Brumadinho burst, killing some 270 people. The incident led to serious production stoppages, pledges by Vale to reconstruct or decommission many of its other dams and the firing of a number of executives. Continue Reading →

Vale’s Sudbury operations face challenge and opportunity, COO says – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – February 11, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Demand for nickel will grow, but there is ‘unparalleled competition’ to supply the metal, Dino Otranto says

The future looks bright, if challenging, for Sudbury’s biggest miner, members of the local business community heard Tuesday.

“We have fundamentally a fantastic business,” said Dino Otranto, the new boss of base metals with Vale, at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “There is great opportunity and great potential, but we’ve got some hard work to do, and that’s the message — we truly have a transformation ahead of us.”

Otranto, appointed last year as COO for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations, said there is still an ample supply of ore in the Sudbury Basin and demand for nickel and other metals will only grow with the expansion of the electrical-vehicle market. Continue Reading →

Murder charges in Vale dam collapse case complicate Brazilian probes – by Marta Nogueira (Reuters U.S. – January 27, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – The filing of murder charges against the former CEO of Brazilian miner Vale SA and 15 others for a 2019 dam collapse that killed more than 250 people was hailed by victims’ families as a major step in bringing those responsible to justice.

But the move by state prosecutors in Brazil’s Minas Gerais risks driving a wedge between their investigation and a parallel probe at the federal level, complicating the judicial process and potentially making convictions less likely, according to a lawyer with knowledge of the case and other legal experts.

Federal investigators are yet to identify the cause of the Jan. 25, 2019 collapse of a tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine dam east of Brumadinho, which released a sea of mud that slammed into Vale’s offices and cut through a nearby community, killing 259 people and leaving 11 still missing. It was one of the world’s worst mining tragedies. Continue Reading →

OPINION: From sulphur to solar: A big idea for Sudbury’s Superstack – by Jason McLennan (Northern Ontario Business – January 24, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Sudbury’s story is inextricably linked to our Superstack. The story is not just environmental degradation. It is also inextricably connected to the planting of millions of trees, the extraordinary recovery of our lakes, the enriching of our depleted soils, and the return of biodiversity.

Growing up in Sudbury meant being associated with the Superstack, which I thought was a ‘cloud-making machine’ when I was really young. I didn’t understand the environmental legacy. What I knew at a young age was that we were here because of nickel.

This symbol of our city and Canada’s second tallest structure represents massive possibility. Once gone, a big piece of the city’s identity and story will be lost, along with the opportunity to remake this emblem of Sudbury’s environmentally dark past into one of a regenerative future. Continue Reading →

Sudbury: MiningWatch Canada pushes for global review of safety of tailings dams (CBC News Sudbury – January 23, 2020)

https://www.cbc.ca/

Third party would review engineering and ground conditions, says MiningWatch spokesperson

State prosecutors in Brazil have charged Fabio Schvartsman, the former chief executive of the mining company Vale, and 15 other people with homicide in connection with a tailings dam disaster last January that killed more than 250 people.

Jamie Kneen is communications and outreach coordinator with MiningWatch Canada. Kneen said his organization is pushing for a global review of the safety of tailing dams.

“We really need an independent third party with a lot of clout and credibility to have the authority to go in and investigate and look at the engineering but also the ground conditions,” he said. Vale and the company responsible for inspecting the dam have also been charged with environmental crimes. Continue Reading →

Brazil charges ex-Vale CEO with homicide for dam disaster – by Marta Nogueira (Reuters U.S. – Janaury 21, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian state prosecutors on Tuesday charged Fabio Schvartsman, the former chief executive of mining giant Vale SA, and 15 other people with homicide for a dam disaster last year that killed more than 250 people, according to the charging document seen by Reuters.

In addition to homicide charges, Vale and TUV SUD, the German company responsible for inspecting the dam, were charged with environmental crimes. Of the 16 individuals charged, 11 had worked for Vale and five for TUV SUD, prosecutors said.

The charges, which were presented nearly a year after the collapse of a Vale tailings dam in the state of Minas Gerais, represent a major step forward in Brazilian authorities’ attempt to hold individuals criminally responsible for the disaster. Continue Reading →

Pollution insurance costs to jump for U.S. tailings dams after Vale disaster – by Suzanne Barlyn (Reuters U.S. – January 21, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

The 2019 mining disaster in Brazil is expected to lead to a double-digit jump in costs to insure U.S. tailings dams that store mining waste against liability for environmental catastrophes.

Tailings dams, some of which tower dozens of meters high and stretch for several kilometers (miles), are the most common waste-disposal method for mining companies, whether they extract iron ore, gold or copper.

The deadly collapse last January of the dam at Vale SA’s Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine in Brumadinho rocked the mining industry and spurred calls for massive operational changes. At least 259 people were killed here in the incident. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: VALE AND THE UNITED STEELWORKERS RAISE OVER $470,000 FOR UNITED WAY CENTRAIDE NORTH EAST ONTARIO (January 16, 2020)

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)

https://www.afr.com/

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)

https://www.reuters.com/

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 →