Vale has joined the ranks of an ever-increasing group of companies across Canada by announcing plans to ‘suspend’ production at one of its mining operations.
In light of the conditions prevailing in the global nickel market, the company says that it has decided to shutdown (for an undetermined period of time) its Copper Cliff South mine in Sudbury next month. The mine contributes to the production of 8000 metric tons of finished nickel per year.
In addition, Vale also says that its Voisey’s Bay operations, located in Newfoundland and Labrador, and comprising the Ovoid mine and processing mill, will be shutdown for the entire month of July, 2009. Voisey’s Bay produces nickel and copper concentrates. In the first nine months of 2008, its operations contributed to the production of 58 000 metric tons of finished nickel and 39 000 metric tons of copper in concentrate.
In addition to the production cutbacks, Vale has decided to postpone the start up of the development of its Copper Cliff Deep (CC Deep) project in Sudbury for one year. As announced in its 2009 budget, the development of CC Deep has a total investment cost of US$814 M, of which US$138M was budgeted to be spent in 2009. The CC Deep project involves the replacement of the current shafts in the Copper Cliff North and Copper Cliff South mines by one single shaft.
One final cost-savings announcement from Vale is that the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Vale Inco, is launching a voluntary retirement program for eligible employees around the globe.