The mine shaft was blocked on Sunday September 26 after a scoop bucket detached from the conveyance and hit the transportation lift, impeding employees exiting the mine, Vale said on September 27. All workers were rescued via a secondary ladder system.
“I’d like to congratulate our rescue team. Bringing our 39 employees home safe and healthy was our top priority, and we’re glad that our emergency plans and procedures worked to deliver that outcome,” chief executive officer Eduardo Bartolomeo said.
“All the employees are safe now and deserve our deep respect for their perseverance and strong will,” he added.
Vale will now investigate the incident and take action to ensure this event is not repeated, the CEO added.
Finished nickel output at Totten was 3,600 tonnes in the first half of 2021, Vale said. Total nickel production was 21,000 tonnes for the whole Sudbury complex over the same period, with the combined total for all Vale's nickel operations in Canada at 45,600 tonnes.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for the nickel briquette premium, delivered Midwest US was 45-50 cents per lb on September 28, an all-time high and up from 42-45 cents per lb a week earlier.
All 39 workers that were trapped inside Vale’s Totten mine, in the Canadian city of Sudbury, have been rescued, the Brazilian company confirmed on Wednesday September 29.