By Allison Martell
TORONTO, Sept 17 Brazilian miner Vale SA's
Canadian unit has been fined C$1.05 million (US$1.02
million) for a 2011 accident that killed two workers at its mine
in Sudbury, Ontario.
The fine is the largest ever imposed by an Ontario court for
violations of the province's workplace safety law, the
provincial government said on Tuesday.
Vale confirmed in a statement that it had agreed to plead
guilty to three counts of violating the law. On top of the
C$1.05 million fine, it will pay a required 25 percent surcharge
into a fund that benefits victims of crime.
Jason Chenier and Jordan Fram were working the night shift
at Vale's Stobie Mine on June 8, 2011, when material that had
been trapped in an ore pass burst through a gate in the
underground mine. They were crushed to death by muck, sand and
The province said Vale had not dealt with water issues at
the mine, and as water accumulated, it created dangerous "wet
Vale said it has devoted "significant efforts and resources"
to understanding what happened and implementing recommendations
made since the accident.
"Nothing we can say or do can ever turn back the clock and
bring Jason and Jordan back, but we will continue to honor their
memories through our unwavering focus on safety and reaching
zero harm in our workplace," it said.
The accident made headlines across Canada, and prompted an
ongoing campaign, led in part by the victims' families, for a
broad inquiry into mining safety in Ontario.
Another worker was killed at Vale's Coleman mine in Sudbury
in January 2012, but investigators did not lay charges in that