Workers’ union ratifies Vale’s revised five-year collective bargain agreement. The new agreement ends a two-month-long strike that started on June 1. Operations will resume on Aug 9 with production ramp-ups scheduled over the next few weeks.
Vale, in release, reaffirmed its commitment to sustainable operations at Sudbury, Ontario, which is an integrated mining complex with five mines, a mill, a smelter and a refinery. The facility produces nickel, copper, cobalt, gold, silver and platinum group metals.
The workers’ union United Steelworkers (USW) Local 6500 represents 2,400 workers at Sudbury. USW Local 6500 voted for a tentative agreement that promises a 6pc wage hike over 5 years, plus cost-of-living adjustments. The deal also includes $2,500 recognition payment to be paid in August for the workers’ efforts during the pandemic and $3,500 signing bonus, which would be paid in September. Besides, it also preserves retiree health benefits for all future recruits and maintains coverage for over-the-counter drugs.
In Q1 2021 (Jan-March), Sudbury produced 12,000mt of nickel. Vale’s total nickel production in Q2 declined to 41,500mt, down by 15.3pc from a year ago due to the labour disruption at Sudbury and unplanned maintenance at Clydach Nickel Refinery. In H1, nickel production fell by 12pc to 89,900mt from H1 2020.
Vale has a robust nickel portfolio. In June, the miner reported the first ore production from Reid Brook underground mine at Voisey’s Bay Mine Project. The company has also partnered with TISCO and Xinhai for the Bahodopi nickel plant in Indonesia.
In a recent concall, the company official emphasised Vale’s focus on producing high purity Class 1 nickel products for the energy transition and electric vehicles (EV) industry.