Vale Says All Are Rescued After Being Trapped in Canadian Mine
(Bloomberg) -- Vale SA, one of the world’s biggest producers of iron ore and nickel, has rescued the remaining employees who were trapped in a Canadian underground mine Sunday.
All 39 miners at the Sudbury site are back above the surface, a spokesperson for the company said in a statement Wednesday. An investigation will be launched into what caused the accident.
“All the employees are safe now and deserve our deep respect for their perseverance and strong will,” Vale Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Bartolomeo said. “This is tremendous news flowing from very difficult circumstances.”
The workers were trapped after an excavator that was being transported into the mine dislodged, blocking the shaft. They proceeded to refuge stations and had access to food and water, as well as frequent contact with above-ground staff.
Vale’s shares have fallen by more than double the average loss among peers since the incident, which invoked memories of the 2010 San Jose mine cave-in in Chile, where 33 men were trapped for 69 days. While the Sudbury mines in Ontario are far more sophisticated than San Jose, the accident may hinder Vale’s efforts to boost its environmental, social and governance credentials in the wake of two Brazilian tailings dam disasters in the past six years.
In the first six months of 2021, the Totten underground mine produced 3,600 metric tons of nickel, or about 4% of the company’s total. Output is suspended, and Vale is assessing necessary measures to resume production.
Vale inherited the then-inactive and water-filled Totten facility in 2006, when the Brazilian company acquired Inco. Vale spent about $700 million to bring the nickel-copper mine into production in 2014.
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