Sudbury

Vale says no new jobs to come with $760M Copper Cliff mine expansion

Vale announced this week that it's making a big investment in Sudbury, while at the same looking to trim millions from its global nickel operations.

$760 million to expand Copper Cliff Mine over next 4 years

Vale has announced plans to spend $760 million to mine a new ore body in Copper Cliff, which includes refurbishing the shaft at South Mine. (Erik White/CBC)

Vale announced this week that it's making a big investment in Sudbury, while at the same looking to trim millions from its global nickel operations.

The company is spending $760 million dollars over the next four years to expand Copper Cliff Mine.

The project, which some have called Copper Cliff Deep, will see the area between the north and south shafts mined, while at the same time giving the company future access to an ore body beneath Kelly Lake.

But Vale's vice-president of corporate affairs and communications Cory McPhee says not to expect a round of new hiring.

"It's not necessarily creating new jobs as much as it is sustaining jobs that are existing today. Because it's not adding production, it's replacing lost production," he says, adding that as many as 450 could be employed during construction, but far less once it goes into production.

McPhee says one of the goals is to get more ore to feed the mill and smelter with the closing of Stobie Mine and drop in production at its other mines in the Sudbury Basin.

Glencore and 'Onaping Depth' project

In the same week, crosstown rival Glencore announced it is also expanding existing mines with a $700 million project known as Onaping Depth.

And then earlier in the week, Vale had announced its intention to trim $150 million from its nickel operations around the world.

McPhee says much of that will come from the completion of multi-million-dollar construction projects, such as the refurbishing of the Copper Cliff smelter that wraps up in June, but he says the company is still looking for ways to cut costs.

"There's actually nothing that we're not throwing into the mix when we're looking at cost reduction. I can't rule out job reductions, we're actually looking at what's our optimal workforce going forward, so, while I don't have anything to announced in that respect, I can't rule it out either," he says.

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