Sep 14, 2020

Gold Fields reviews approvals after Rio Tinto cave incident

Rio Tinto
Gold Fields
Pilbara
mining
Jonathan Campion
1 min
The miner will place more scrutiny on its Australian sites, following the blast that destroyed two Aborigine historical sites in Pilbara
The miner will place more scrutiny on its Australian sites, following the blast by a rival company that destroyed two Aborigine historical sites in Pilb...

It was announced on Friday that Rio Tinto’s CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques and two other senior executives would resign in the wake of a blast carried out by the company in May, which blew up a gorge in Western Australia that showed signs of inhabitation over 45,000 years old. This has prompted its rival Gold Fields, which operates four gold mines in Western Australia including the Agnew and Granny Smith mines, to conduct a review into how it manages heritage sites.

Speaking to Reuters on Monday, a spokesman for Gold Fields, Sven Lunsche, commented: "As a result of the Rio incident, two months ago we initiated a review of previous legal approvals that each Australian site had received from the regulator”.

"We have also undertaken a review of the gaps identified in Gold Fields' heritage management processes as part of a critical control audit in late 2019, with a particular focus on relationships with Aboriginal stakeholders”.

While Gold Fields also has operations in Ghana, South Africa and Peru, Lunsche added that none of these mines are located near areas that are culturally sensitive. 

While Rio Tinto’s CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques has agreed to resign, he will remain in post until March 2021, or until his successor is found. He will leave alongside the heads of Rio Tinto’s iron ore and corporate relations divisions. 

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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

Vale
Nickel
Manitoba
battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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