NEW YORK First Nickel Inc. has reached a new four-year labor agreement with workers at the companys Lockerby Mine in Ontario.
The agreement, which covers 115 production and maintenance personnel, replaces the previous labor agreement that was scheduled to expire July 12.
The new deal was ratified by union members July 9 with a 94-percent majority, Mine Mill Local 598/CAW president Richard Paquin told AMM. He said the union was happy with the deal and glad a labor dispute was avoided.
The agreement includes wage increases of 1 percent for 2013 and 2 percent each year thereafter, as well as a signing bonus, vice president of operations Mark Isto said.
Isto described the ratification of the agreement as an important milestone for the Lockerby Mine. "The operation faces considerable economic pressures from low nickel prices and we feel the agreement strikes a balance between the needs of both parties," he said in a statement.
The Lockerby Mine reached its full, targeted annualized production rate of 10 million pounds of payable nickel at the end of the first quarter (amm.com, April 18).
The London Metal Exchanges three-month nickel contract closed the official session July 10 at $13,560 per tonne ($6.15 per pound).