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Vale Faces Charges For Deaths Of Two Ontario Miners

By Edward Welsch Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES CALGARY -(Dow Jones)- Brazilian mining giant Vale S.A. (VALE) faces charges from the Ontario government related to the deaths of two Canadian miners in an underground accident last year. Vale faces nine charges under Ontario laws regulating workplace safety. The provincial government alleges Vale failed to take "reasonable precautions" to prevent the accident that killed Jason Chenier and Jordan Fram at the Stobie nickel mine last year. Chenier and Fram died after being buried under a mixture of nickel ore and rock called "muck" that moved down a shoot where they were working, some 3,000 feet underground. A spokesman for Vale's Canadian operations wasn't immediately available to comment. The union Chenier and Fram belonged to has been pushing for an investigation since the incident happened last June. The charges "reinforce the need for urgent action to better protect workers in the mining industry and to strengthen corporate accountability for workplace health and safety," said Rick Bertrand, president of a local United Steel Workers chapter in Sudbury. A court date has been set for Aug. 14 in Sudbury, Ont., according to a statement from the Ontario Ministry of Labour. -By Edward Welsch, Dow Jones Newswires; 403-229-9095; edward.welsch@dowjones.com

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