by Greg Klein | August 10, 2015
The commitment was made in March 2013 but confirmed August 10: Vale NYE:VALE intends to develop two underground deposits that would extend its Voisey’s Bay nickel operation past 2035. A joint announcement by the company and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador projected hundreds of construction jobs as well as a workforce that would grow from 450 to 850 people at the mine and its Long Harbour processing plant.
“We are very excited about our future here and we look forward to the continued support of all of our stakeholders as we move forward,” said Stuart Macnaughton, Vale’s Newfoundland and Labrador VP.
The Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps deposits sit adjacent to the current open pit. Procurement planning begins immediately, with construction slated to start next year. The company expects to begin ore production by 2020.
Although Vale made the commitment with the province in 2013, confirmation had been expected last June following completion of an engineering report. The mine, which opened in 2005 following the historic 1993 discovery, currently produces 6,000 tonnes per day of nickel-cobalt-copper and copper concentrate.
Long Harbour, a $4.3-billion hydrometallurgical facility 117 kilometres west of Saint John’s, is expected to begin processing Voisey’s concentrate next year after ramping up operations. While Long Harbour began operations in 2014 with higher-grade concentrate from Indonesia, Voisey’s material still goes to Vale’s Sudbury and Thompson locations for processing.