The Success of the Partnership Between Vale and the LATP

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The Success of the Partnership Between Vale and the LATP

The Voisey's Bay Mine Expansion will require the transition of its operations in Labrador from open pit to underground mining. Being the first underground mine in Labrador it was recognized that there would be little experienced talent to pull from locally. In need of a workforce, Vale partnered with the LATP (Labrador Aboriginal Training Program) to train Indigenous workers through a program called The Underground Mine Progression Program.

"At Vale, we value people and communities that we operate in." As part of the commitment to these communities, Vale has separate Impacts and Benefits' Agreements with our Indigenous partners, Nunatsiavut Government and Innu Nation. Opportunities for hiring and training are first given to the beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and members of the Labrador Innu Nation. With little experienced local talent, The Underground Mine Progression Program was developed in partnership with the Innu Nation, Nunatsiavut, Government NunatuKavut Community Council, and the LATP to onboard local Indigenous workers. This program is a great example of Vale acting out its values and will set an example for future operations.

The program was set to launch regardless of government funding, however with funds received from the Newfoundland Labrador & Canadian Governments the program was able to launch at a higher capacity. To kick-off, the LATP searched and screened talent based on Vale's requirements. Workers who did not meet the qualifications but qualified the LATA requirements, were offered free training through the program. These trainees were flown to Sudbury to partake in the Vale Hard Rock Common Core Mining program where they completed a four-week course. As working underground is unnatural for most, before entering the course, Indigenous trainees were brought underground to test the fit of the role. Once integrated into the course, trainees were fully supported through paid childcare, meals, living, and a spending allowance.

After completing the training, trainees returned to be interviewed and onboarded by Vale. Trainees were able to further their hands-on learning by shadowing experienced underground workers to fill the gap in the underground mine. In May 2021, enough employees were onboarded to fully phase out the contracted workforce who helped to train and onboard the new hires.

To date, 66 Indigenous individuals have completed the training program in Sudbury with a total of 38 hired. This program allows Vale to support with fostering Indigenous talent in Voisey's Bay, which has approximately 500 Indigenous employees as part of its workforce. The program is set to continue as the workforce continues to grow and change, to ensure Vale holds true to its values.

The Success of the Partnership Between Vale and the LATP