Last weekend, Vale held its annual open house at the Thompson Regional Community Center (TRCC). The event was a huge success, with nearly the entire town turning out to enjoy the booths and activities on offer.
Vale; a primary player in the North for decades, is known for its community support beyond just drilling for nickel. Its heart for the community was evident in the open house, which was engaging and educational for all ages. The company sponsored a special Norman Northstars VS Parkland Rangers hockey game, offering free tickets to guests.
The Vale booths were set up in a fun, creative, and collaborative way, with each booth representing a different aspect of the mining operations that Vale runs. Guests got to learn about the process of mining, from exploration to refining, and how nickel is used in a vast majority of materials such as batteries, pots & pans, computers, car parts, stainless steel, plating, coins, and so much more. Without nickel, the society around us would be completely different.
One booth even showcased the materials that Vale has to cycle through that are not as valuable to them, such as quartz and schist, where they only get 10% of nickel out of all the collected ore. It was fascinating to see how Vale turns raw materials into the finished products we use in our everyday lives.
The event was not just educational but fun as well. Kids got to enjoy bounce houses while adults could interact with workers and learn about the unique talents needed for the mining industry, from carpentry to engineering. Stacy Kennedy, President of the Manitoba Mining Operations, said that “A lot of kids don’t have a full understanding of the mine. This shows them the variety we range in unique talents. You can be a carpenter, and engineer, and kids can see this first hand and interact with workers.”
Vale’s commitment to the environment was also on display at the open house. The company has an environmental project worth $25 million to keep the land clean once they’ve cycled through the ore. It was inspiring to see how Vale is taking care of the environment while also providing jobs and resources to the community.
Vale has been a part of the North for decades, and its commitment to the community is evident in its actions. The open house was an excellent opportunity for people to see firsthand how Vale operates and how it supports the community. Overall, it was a fantastic event that was enjoyed by all who attended.
The mining industry is not just about drilling for resources. It is about the people who work in it, the community that supports it, and the environment it impacts. Events like Vale’s open house help bridge the gap between the mining industry and the public, educating and inspiring people to see the benefits of the industry while also encouraging companies to take care of the environment and the community.
It is essential to recognize the efforts of companies like Vale, who go above and beyond to support the community and the environment. The mining industry is an integral part of our society, providing the materials we need for everyday life. And companies like Vale are showing that they can do it while also taking care of the environment and the people around them.
~Matthias J. Johnson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Thompson Citizen. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.