Michael calls for action to save Wabush mine
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says it is vital that the provincial government take an active role in trying to keep the iron ore mine at Wabush open.
“The mines of Wabush have provided the people of the province with 50 years of wealth. In the next two weeks, Cliffs [Natural Resources] is turning off the power to the mine they have leased from MFC, the actual owner and potential future operator,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.
“I ask the Minister, what is this government been doing to try and stop the closure of this mine?”
MFC Industrial, which actually owns the land the Wabush mine is on, has leased the property to Cliffs since the 1970s. Cliffs shut down operations in February this year. In July, MFC reached a five-year agreement with workers to continue working at the mine for MFC if that company was able to reach an agreement with Cliffs. In October, talks between MFC and Cliffs broke off, leaving the miners and their families uncertain about their future.
“The fate of hundreds of families is in the hands of these two companies, who have broken off negotiations about future plans,” said Michael.
“What efforts has government made to get these two companies back to the table? Has government asked Cliffs to stop decommissioning of the mine to give MFC time to compile development and closure plans?”
Michael would like to see government officials get the two companies back to bargaining before Cliffs can decommission the mine. Decommissioning would extend the period of unemployment even if an agreement between Cliffs and MFC is eventually reached.