Rio Tinto building training center for Australia's Yolungu people
The new establishment is bein...
Rio Tinto recently began construction to a mining training center in Australia’s Northern Territory region of Arnhem Land.
The new establishment is being created to provide training for the indigenous inhabitants of the area, known as the Yolngu. It is a large step toward establishing a bauxite mining operation that will be overseen by the Gumatj Corporation at Dhupuma Plateau.
The $2.4 million project is at a site near the new Garma Cultural Knowledge Center in the area of Gulkula. The first training sessions are expected to begin in March 2016.
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“Our aim is to create a sustainable, Indigenous-owned business that will deliver long-term economic benefits for the Yolngu people,” said Gumatj deputy chairman Djawa Yunupingu. “This training centre will help Yolngu develop the skills to work in mines across the Northern Territory, through on-the-job training within Gumatj mining operations.
“It will be available to Aboriginal people throughout the Northern Territory who wish to learn skills in the mining industry. With the support of Rio Tinto, we are making considerable progress toward this mining operation.”
The center is expected to have the capacity to train up to 24 people at a time, and will include sessions in mine rehabilitations, administration and catering. In addition, it will also offer literacy and numeracy sessions.
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Rio Tinto president and CEO Bauxite and Alumina Phillip Strachan said, “We’re proud to support this important initiative, which is being driven by the local Yolngu community.
“Learning about the business of mining can help further empower Indigenous people in their dealings with mining companies into the future.”
Dr. Howard Smith, an industrial scientist and former manager of mining projects at the Northern Land Council, believes the bond the area’s indigenous inhabitants have with the land makes them the ideal type of people to become mine workers.
“They know where to go, where not to go, which plants need to be here, which animals need to be there, and they can construct the mine according to their needs,” he said.
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.