Mining: The Foundation of U.S. Manufacturing
A recent National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Industry Week survey of manufacturing executives reveals that 88.5 percent of manufacturers are optimistic about their company’s outlook in 2015.
Taking a look at manufacturing’s sales, investment and employment rates, NAM’s chief economist, Chad Moutray, finds that “the current model is very encouraging and suggests that manufacturing production should continue to accelerate, growing 3.0% over the next two quarters.”
Despite this positive outlook, Moutray takes a deeper look into business operations and finds several concerning challenges that affect manufacturers across the country. This is of no surprise, as these findings are underscored by NMA’ s own survey nbsp;of manufacturing executives, which shows that a majority of respondents believe minerals and metals demand will only increase in the next 10 years and manufacturers are seriously concerned about their ability to access the minerals and metals they need when they need them due to an outdated and duplicative permitting process.
In fact, 95 percent of executives surveyed expressed concern about the length of the U.S. mine permitting process—which can take seven to 10 years—and its impact on the competiveness of the United States. And nearly 90 percent of leaders in the manufacturing industry also support streamlining the mine permitting process to less than three years—in line with Canada, Australia and other developed countries with similarly demanding environmental regulations—to strengthen access to the minerals and metals vital to their operations.
For a better, more sustainable and resilient U.S. economy, we must seek public policies that provide a streamlined permitting process. Both of these surveys are further evidence that Congress must act on this important issue in 2015.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
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.