Dalley says Wabush mine is idle, but not closed

James
James McLeod
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Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dally was very clear: as far as he’s concerned, the story isn’t over for Wabush Mines.
“It’s an idle, it’s not a closure,” he said. “Their intentions are to try to sell the mine.”

Derrick Dalley

On Tuesday evening, Cliff Resources announced that they would be idling the Wabush iron ore mine.

Reached for comment Wednesday morning, Dalley said he didn’t want to say too much, because he’s planning on heading up to Labrador west and he wants to speak with mine workers before he does much talking in the media.

“To be fair to the people of Wabush, particularly the steelworkers union and the town, we’re going in there tomorrow to have conversations with them around a number of issues, and I’d prefer to have that with them before you write it out today,” he said. “Talk to me tomorrow after I’ve had a chance to meet with everybody.”

Dalley said the government has known that the mine is in trouble for quite a while, and they got word from the company back around Jan. 28th that the situation was dire.

“We had a sense that things weren’t going to go well for the mine,” he said.

But the final decision to idle the mine, putting hundreds of workers out of a job, didn’t come until Tuesday.

The priority for the government right now, Dalley said, is helping the workers.

He said that this isn’t the first time the government has had to deal with an industry town losing its primary industry, and they’ll be moving in to support the workers where possible.

He said the first step is to talk to workers, the union, and the town to find out what they need.

“Our entire focus is going to be on the people of Wabush and the situation that we’re in,” he said. “We as a government will do all we can, but also, ensuring that the workers are treated fairly in this process.”

Dalley said he clearly expects proper severance to be paid, and other contractual issues like pensions.

The other priority, Dalley said, is helping Cliff Resources find a buyer for the mine.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

Geographic location: Wabush, Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Uncle Frunkle
    February 13, 2014 - 10:36

    Wishful thinking. Wabush mines is a bad investment. It's costing a fortune just to keep the main pit from filling up with water. The whole joint is ran by the union. The writing is on the wall.

  • Newf on 'da lose
    February 13, 2014 - 09:32

    Jan 28th, and Government did nothing? Time for this Government to go.

  • Corporate Psycho
    February 12, 2014 - 19:48

    Idle not closed. Whatever Dalley. Why not give them the money to keep it open? CB gets 90 million. Alderon will be getting an electrical line worth millions. Vale doesn't have to refine ore here.

  • al
    February 12, 2014 - 13:40

    Ok so explain to me why then would we install a transmission line into lab west when we have one mine in limbo because there is not enough demand for iron ore, and we are going to invest nl money into building another transmission line to another iron mine do they have a new miracle iron for there is all of a sudden going to be a demand for ?????? just wondering is there a response to this question or am I not seeing something right here please explain

    • Uncle Frunkle
      February 13, 2014 - 10:38

      It's not about a drop in demand. It's the fact that Wabush Mines is a money pit. It's been poorly run for the past 30 years. They've been talking about shutting it down for at least that long. The inevitable has happened.

  • al
    February 12, 2014 - 13:39

    Ok so explain to me why then would we install a transmission line into lab west when we have one mine in limbo because there is not enough demand for iron ore, and we are going to invest nl money into building another transmission line to another iron mine do they have a new miracle iron for there is all of a sudden going to be a demand for ?????? just wondering is there a response to this question or am I not seeing something right here please explain

  • John Q Public
    February 12, 2014 - 09:58

    I am remembering back a month or so ago when we were freezing in the cold and fumbling around in darkness and we were told by this government that there was no crisis! Abitibi in Grand Falls closed and we tried to sell that! Bowater was in trouble in Corner Brook and taxpayers put millions into it so it wouldn't close. What makes the mine in Labrador different (other than it is Labrador of course)?

    • joebennett
      February 12, 2014 - 10:55

      If you ever lived in the north, then you would know. Besides, you being cold during the blackouts, that was nothing compared to Labrador.

    • Jack
      February 12, 2014 - 13:35

      The likely reason the government is not putting any money into Scully Lake is due to a fact that Labrador will still have an iron ore and nickel mining industry after Cliffs Natural Resources closes the mine whereas the end of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper means an end to the province's forestry industry as they are the only pulp mill left. To put it in perspective, if Corner Brook Pulp and Paper were to close, the city wouldn't just lose over 250 direct jobs, but at least 5,000 indirect jobs will be gone as well, an equivalent to about 1% of the province's population without a job.