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McCreedy closure likely won't impact Victoria mine: Union

KGHM's Victoria Mine project should still move forward, despite the recent announcement the company will be closing its McCreedy West nickel mine in Levack next month, says a representative with United Steelworkers Local 2020.
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KGHM's Victoria Mine project should still move forward, despite the recent announcement the company will be closing its McCreedy West nickel mine in Levack next month. Image supplied
KGHM's Victoria Mine project should still move forward, despite the recent announcement the company will be closing its McCreedy West nickel mine in Levack next month, says a representative with United Steelworkers Local 2020.

“I know that Victoria is a big priority for KGHM, and I think that project will still be going ahead,” said Myles Sullivan, an area co-ordinator with the United Steelworkers. “It's a higher grade deposit. It's a very good deposit, and that will be going ahead from what I've been told.”

Sullivan confirmed over the weekend that KGHM's small McCreedy West Mine will go into care and maintenance on Oct. 1.

NorthernLife.ca is awaiting a call back from KGHM regarding Victoria Mine.

The mine's closure will displace 25 United Steelworkers members, who could apply for jobs at the nearby Morrison Mine – also part of the Levack complex – but would in turn displace workers there with less seniority.

In addition to layoffs at the McCreedy West Mine, 15 workers at Morrison will also lose their jobs.

McCreedy West is primarily a nickel mine, while Morrison has more copper, and some nickel.

Sullivan said KGHM said it would close the McCreedy West Mine due to low nickel prices.

The metal traded at US$4.45 per pound Monday morning.

But Sullivan remained optimistic that the mine, which features relatively low grades compared to some other Sudbury operations, could eventually reopen.

“Nickel prices and commodities are cyclical,” he said. “We're seeing it, hopefully, at the bottom of the cycle now. We know it's going to rebound. That's the nature of the business. But when, we don't know.”

KGHM laid off 25 workers at the mine in 2014 when Glencore's Sudbury operations canceled its contract to process ore from McCreedy West Mine.

“They laid off a big part of that mine and just had one zone they continued to mine,” Sullivan said. “But with nickel dipping as much as it has, that's no longer economical.”

At the time of the layoff announcement, Sullivan said United Steelworkers Local 2020 represented 300 workers at McCreedy West and Morrison Mine (the larger operation).

While Sullivan said the Victoria Mine project shows some promise for the company, he added he doesn't expect the mine, which is currently being developed, to go into production until 2019 or 2020.


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