Vale expects to resume operations at its Coleman Mine in Sudbury next month once repairs to a ventilation shaft are completed and inspected.
The nickel mine is on temporary shutdown but some laid-off maintenance employees have been recalled to support the repair work.
“Based on our most recent inspections,” said company spokeswoman Danica Pagnutti, “we estimate the mine will return to production in mid-February.”
The mine was shut down on Nov. 9 over safety issues concerning a ventilation shaft after an engineer’s inspection. The temporary closure was supposed to last a week but was extended into December and then January.
“In order to mitigate impacts to our people at Coleman who have been temporarily laid off, we have recalled and transferred more than 200 production and maintenance employees to temporarily work at Coleman and other mine sites,” said Pagnutti in an email.
“To support those employees for whom work is not available, we are topping up EI benefits through a supplemental unemployment benefits (SUB) plan.
“Our first priority is to ensure the shaft is safe to operate before we bring Coleman Mine back to production, and we will not bring our people back to work until we are confident the work can be done safely.”