Mining company Vale says the Coleman Mine is expected to be back in production in mid-February, after being shut down last year for critical repair work.

The company originally said the repairs would be done in December. The union representing the workers said in December the repair work would continue until the end of January. Now, a spokesperson with the company says — based on recent inspections — the mine won't re-open in mid-February.

"Some maintenance employees have been recalled to support the repair work to the shaft," Danica Pagnutti with the company said.

"In order to mitigate impacts to our people at Coleman, who have been temporarily laid off, we have recalled and transferred more than 200 production and maintenance employees to temporarily work at Coleman and other mine sites."

For employees whom work is not available, the company is topping up EI benefits through a supplemental unemployment benefits plan.

"Our first priority is to ensure the shaft is safe to operate before we bring Coleman Mine back to production," Pagnutti said.

"We will not bring our people back to work until we are confident the work can be done safely."