Vale SA (VALE5), the world’s biggest iron- ore producer, will suspend operations at its Frood nickel and copper mine in Canada at year’s end and expects to make up the lost production from other mines in the Sudbury basin.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company is “mining at a loss” at Frood after metal prices fell and as ore grades at the mine decline, Cory McPhee, a Toronto-based Vale spokesman, said today in a phone interview. The 85 employees at the mine in the province of Ontario will be moved to other Vale operations in the region, he said.
The Frood mine produces about 3,200 tons of nickel and 2,900 tons of copper a year, McPhee said. Nickel futures on the London Metal Exchange have fallen 9.8 percent in the past 12 months.
“With the redeployment of the miners into the other areas of the operations, we would expect to recoup that,” he said. Frood is “a mine that has been operating for more than a century and it’s a marginal mine at this point in time,” McPhee said.
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