Applications flood in to Vale for long-term jobs

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Rep says majority of resumes for Long Harbour are from workers based in N.L.

Pipefitters Keegan Benoit (left) and Gerald Carter prepare large water pipes for assembly outside the neutralization plant at the massive Vale nickel-processing facility at Long Harbour, Placentia Bay in October. A Vale spokesman says the company has received thousands of applications for approximately 500 long-term jobs at the plant. About 350 people are expected to be hired by the end of this year. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Vale is looking to fill long-term jobs for the operation of its new nickel-processing plant in Long Harbour.

Coming out of construction over the next nine months, the mining company expects to have first nickel from the plant in the fourth quarter of this year.

There are an estimated 500 long-term jobs for the operation of the plant and about 350 people are expected to be hired by the end of the year.

The jobs include about 300 “technician” positions, advertised throughout the fall of 2012.

“We’ve had quite a significant response,” said Bob Carter, a spokesman for Vale in Newfoundland and Labrador, in a recent interview with The Telegram.

Carter said the call for applications for the jobs has led to upwards of a couple thousand submissions, the vast majority being people from this province.

The applications are being assessed and a first round of offers, though not the last, will be going out before the end of the month.

Carter said some of the applications submitted mistook the positions as construction jobs, rather than maintenance and the oversight of plant processes.

However, even after sorting out inappropriate submissions, he said, there is real competition for the plant jobs. Interviews and testing are meant to give recruiters a better sense of who is best suited to the positions.

“It’s quite a rigorous process that they’re using,” Carter said, noting both aptitude and attitude are being taken into account.

There are certain other factors being considered in the hiring.

During a site tour in the first week of October 2012, Don Stevens, the general manager responsible for plant operations, said the company was hoping to attract some of the people who were involved in the test facility built at Argentia before construction on the hydromet plant was given the green light.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are also getting a first look, he said.

Operations at the plant are being brought online incrementally, using ore from Indonesia to allow the most basic systems to be brought online first.

As operations ramp up over a span of three years, Voisey’s Bay ore — with some advanced processing required — will be brought in in increasing amounts until full production is reached.

“That plant was designed quite specifically around the feed coming from Voisey’s Bay,” Carter said, dismissing rumors the plant was going to operate only on outside material.

However, the company has not ruled out also processing material from mines outside the province in Long Harbour.

Organizations: Argentia

Geographic location: Long Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador, Indonesia Long Harbour.afitzpatrick

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Recent comments

  • Cashin Delaney
    March 14, 2014 - 01:49

    Vale Newfoundland and Labrador pleaded not guilty to three charges under the Fisheries Act in late January. The company is accused of dumping a 'lethal effluent' into Edwards Cove, Anaktalak Bay in Labrador. The area is near the Voisey's Bay nickel mine site. The offence period is from Oct. 4 to 31, 2011. Vale is also accused of not taking adequate steps to prevent it, and with failing to report the incident. The matter is back in court on March 18. Will journalism be left to the retiree-bloggers once again? Please prove my pessimistic attitude wrong, and ask at least 1 intelligent general question about this situation to any expert outside government's or Vale's culture of self-censorship. Yes, I am trolling for effluent again.

    • Ashley Fitzpatrick
      March 14, 2014 - 07:26

      Just FYI Cashin Delaney. We have been following the case you reference all along. Our early reports: +

  • Corporate Psycho
    January 09, 2013 - 20:22

    Jim, Vale are known for hiring inexperienced safety people.

  • JIM
    January 09, 2013 - 12:39

    you are right jerry, i worked as a miner for 17 years for the international nickle company of canada ( INCO ) at sudbury on. and thompson mb. and was a member of the united steel workers local 6166. i got out of there when it was taken over by vale to become vale-inco. they had no respect for its employees back then and still don't today. the biggest concerns i had was with safety at its underground operations. starting in 2014 vale-inco is closing the smelting/refinery operations in thompson. something for my fellow newfoundlanders to think about before they jump into the fire.

  • Jerry
    January 09, 2013 - 10:25

    What a bunch of fools lining up to work for a company that will treat you like crap. Vale aren't exactly a people company. I worked for them for about 6 months until I couldn't tolerate their total disregard for the employees. They try to run everything like they do in Brazil, and they despise workers rights, and they don't care for the environment. I would be shocked if one ounce of Voiseys bay nickel is processed there. They are bringing in foreign ore so they won't have to pay penalties to the government , and the plant won't even be close to being ready for processing Voiseys bay ore this year or next. They are bringing in nickel matte from Indonesia which is essentially already refined and just needs a little more processing to make it more pure. Lipstick on a pig is what they are doing there. Enjoy your jobs suckers, and feel good knowing that you are destroying a pristine part of the province forever.

    • Vale Employee
      April 04, 2014 - 20:18

      I work for Vale NL, and i'm not sure how it is/was ran on the mainland but i can say that the employees here have a lot of say in how things are done due to HPWS. We were part of creating safety standards, and i can guarantee that safety is one of their main concerns. Like i said i'm not sure how it was ran in the past but is not the case now. Hiring inexperienced people is a good business strategy when you have experienced workers there to train, because they can train you specifically to the work they do.