Tag Archives: Vale Canada

Foraco’s drilling team extends stay at Vale Canada operations

Foraco International, a provider of mineral and water drilling services, has announced a series of major contracts with Vale Canada for the provision of exploration, definition drilling and large diameter rotary drilling.

The exploration and evaluation drilling services – both surface and underground – are key services for Vale operations and include drilling at the Voisey Bay mine in Labrador, Copper Cliff and Coleman mines in Ontario, as well as at Thompson mine, Manitoba, the company said. All operations involve deep directional diamond requiring a total of 30 rigs, and have a total face value of $55 million.

Daniel Simoncini, CEO of Foraco, said: “We are partnering with Vale in Canada since 2007 and developed an excellent relationship with this prestigious client which was one of the very first to test us for our deep directional drilling technology. This is a great reward for all our staff, engineers, field crews and support teams.

“As already stated before, we believe long-term relationships with leading global mining companies like Vale are an efficient way to increase our business model resilience, ensure a stable and fair financial return while providing good quality professional life to our employees with who we can share a time horizon long enough to develop them, train them and make them safer and happier.”

Vale opens new operations centre for North Atlantic ops

Vale welcomed a small, socially distanced, team into its North Atlantic hub to commemorate the completion of its North Atlantic Operations Centre in Copper Cliff, Ontario, this week.

The event was also broadcast live to Vale’s North Atlantic employees and featured a virtual tour video, giving participants a glimpse into the innovative new space that will serve as the physical and virtual hub of its North Atlantic operations, Vale said.

Vale’s North Atlantic operations includes the Creighton, Coleman, Copper Cliff, Garson and Thompson mines, in Sudbury.

Vale Canada Limited’s CEO, Mark Travers, addressed attendees noting that, by transforming an existing building, the company had found an innovative way to make better use of an important part of the company’s history.

“Its fresh and open design promotes creativity, collaboration and integration – and supports the need to think and work in a more sustainable way to advance our transformation journey,” Travers said to the in-person and virtual audience.

The local architecture firm behind the project was inspired by a city layout in developing the updated design, with “streets” connecting different work zones or “neighbourhoods” flanked by meeting rooms that act as sound barriers to the open concept workstations within, Vale said. These “streets” help to organise different departments but also serve as a way-finding tool, creating a grid that helps staff and visitors navigate their way through the space. So too does the meeting room identification system that borrows the names of trees and shrubs native to Vale’s North American and Brazilian operating regions.

Flexibility was built into the design from day one and provided an unanticipated benefit as the COVID-19 pandemic has required Vale to reimagine and reconfigure the space to address new safety protocols, it said.

Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Operations, spoke to the group about the careful safety considerations the company is taking as it works towards the opening of the new building for eventual in-person collaboration.

“We are taking a staged approach so that effective pandemic processes and controls are implemented to ensure employee safety and wellbeing,” Otranto said.

Vale Canada set for Sudbury emissions cut with Clean AER operation

Vale’s Sudbury, Canada, operations are set for an 85% reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions after the Brazil-based company completed its C$1 billion ($792 million) Clean AER (Atmospheric Emission Reduction) project.

The project is the largest single environmental investment in Sudbury’s history and, on top of the sulphur dioxide emission cut, will also see metal particulate emissions come down 40%, according to Vale.

Work began on the project in 2012 and included the construction of two new converters, a wet gas cleaning plant, a new secondary baghouse and fan building and reconstruction of the smelter converter flues. Due to close coordination between the project and operations, this construction took place safely while the Copper Cliff smelter continued to operate.

Ricus Grimbeek, Chief Operating Officer of Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals Operations and Asian Refineries, said: “The completion of our Clean AER project is a historic milestone that demonstrates how far we have come as a company in reducing our environmental footprint.”

Emissions are set to come down so significantly with the project that Vale’s Sudbury operations will no longer require its iconic “Superstack”, according to Dave Stefanuto, Vale’s Vice President of North Atlantic Projects.

The Superstack is the tallest chimney in Canada and the Western hemisphere, measuring in at 380 m. It entered full operation in 1972.

Two new 137 m stacks are currently being constructed in the Copper Cliff smelter, which will require far less energy to operate than the Superstack and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the smelter by some 40%, Vale said. Following construction of the concrete shells, steel liners will be installed in the new stacks in 2019.

In 2020, the Superstack’s steel liner will be removed and the Superstack will be taken out of service and placed on care and maintenance. It is expected that removal of the concrete shell will begin thereafter and continue over several years.

Vale’s operations in Sudbury are home to one of the largest integrated mining complexes in the world with five mines, a mill, a smelter and a nickel refinery.