NEW YORK Vale SA has laid off 30 support and service workers from its Sudbury, Ontario, operations as it looks to trim costs amid "volatile market conditions and operating cost challenges."
The company, which made the cuts March 19, had previously offered voluntary retirement packages to certain employees. It had also looked for opportunities to redeploy affected workers to other Vale operations.
The 30 positions were nonunion, a company spokesman told AMM.
"These decisions, while difficult, are part of a wider organizational review designed to reduce costs, ensure continued competitiveness and strengthen the sustainability of our operations in Sudbury," the company said.
In January, Vale announced plans to idle one of the two furnaces at its Copper Cliff smelter in Sudbury by 2016 as part of its cost-cutting review (amm.com, Jan. 11).
"In the face of volatile market conditions and operating cost challenges affecting the broader mining sector, work began last year to reinvent the business model for Vales base metals organization," the Rio de Janeiro-based company said. "This review has clearly demonstrated the need to reduce fixed costs. Unfortunately, this includes a reduction in work force levels, particularly in support and service functions in Ontario and around the world."
Vale recently reported a $2.65-billion net loss for the fourth quarter of 2012, its first quarterly loss since 2002 (amm.com, Feb. 28).