October 9, 2015 / 12:30 PM / 4 years ago

Canadian environment authorities raid Vale offices in Ontario

(Reuters) - Environment Canada raided one of mining giant Vale SA’s Sudbury, Ontario offices on Thursday, investigating allegations that the company violated the Fisheries Act in 2012, the company said on Friday.

Vale spokesman Cory McPhee said the company is cooperating with the investigation.

“I can confirm that Environment Canada was on-site at one of our Sudbury offices on Thursday collecting information related to alleged violations of the Fisheries Act that allegedly occurred in 2012,” he said in an emailed statement.

Vale spokeswoman Emily Robb said there was no impact on Vale’s operations.

“The matter under investigation never posed a threat to health and safety in our community,” she said in an emailed statement, adding that Vale addressed the issue in 2012 and that it had communicated with regulators.

“We believed then, and believe now, that our actions were appropriate and responsible,” she said.

The Brazilian-based company’s Canadian operations have suffered a number of safety incidents in recent years.

In August, a nitrogen oxide leak sent a yellow plume up from the Copper Cliff nickel and copper smelter in Sudbury, forcing the company to declare an emergency. There were no injuries.

In 2013, Vale was fined C$1.05 million for an incident that killed two workers at the Stobie mine, also in Sudbury.

In April 2014 another worker died at Copper Cliff’s casting and crushing plant. Ontario laid health and safety charges against the company in March of this year.

Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Writing by Allison Martell; Editing by W Simon and Alan Crosby

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