Vale’s Sudbury deal raises hopes on second strike

* Vale wants to return to normal production in Voisey’s Bay

* Workers at Voisey’s Bay on strike since Aug 1

TORONTO, July 5 (BestGrowthStock) – A tentative agreement to end a
year-long walkout at Vale’s (VALE5.SA: ) Sudbury, Ontario, mining
operations has raised hope that the Brazilian company may soon
settle with striking workers at Voisey’s Bay in eastern Canada.

Bob Gallagher, a spokesman for the United Steelworker’s
union, said the tentative deal with more than 3,000 workers in
Sudbury and Port Colborne, will make it easier for the two
sides to settle at Voisey’s Bay, where roughly 200 workers have
been on strike since August 1, 2009.

“They are separate agreements and it would have to be
resolved separately. But, we are assuming with this clearing
that it should be easier for Voisey’s Bay,” said Gallagher.

Together, the Sudbury and Voisey’s Bay operations account
for roughly 10 percent of global nickel supply. Nickel prices
are up 3.4 percent this year, making the metal one of the
strongest performers. Most metals have shown double-digit
percentage declines. [ID:nSGE66404U]

Cory McPhee, a spokesperson for Vale, was more cautious
about a hopes of a settlement at Voisey’s Bay, noting that it
is “probably a leap at this point” to view the tentative deal
in Ontario as having an impact on talks at Voisey’s Bay.

“However, we have always said it appeared to us that from
the USW’s perspective getting a settlement in Ontario was a
first step,” said McPhee. “We want to return to normal
production in Voisey’s Bay as well. There are no talks
scheduled there, but certainly that would be our intent.”

Voisey’s Bay, located in the province of Newfoundland and
Labrador, produced 77,500 tonnes of nickel and 55,4000 tonnes
of copper in 2008, the last year of uninterrupted production.

Vale resumed partial production at Voisey’s earlier this
year using non-union workers and outside contractors at an
annualized rate of about 19,000 tonnes of nickel and 15,000
tonnes of copper.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty)

Vale’s Sudbury deal raises hopes on second strike