RIO DE JANEIRO – At the end of October the world’s largest mining company, Vale SA announced its worldwide capital spending plans of US$24 billion for 2011. Although the bulk of the spending will be in Brazil, projects in Canada will receive US$1.96 billion next year.
The news for Vale’s two largest Canadian assets, both of which are mature nickel-copper operations, is mixed. Operations at Thompson, MB, are to be phased out as reserves are dwindling.
For the mines and mills at Sudbury, ON, Vale is planning projects worth US$3.5 billion over the next five years. The new 8,200-t/d Totten mine is planned for startup in the first half of 2011 and requires an additional US$362 million. A new building and a new flotation circuit to be ready in 2012 at the Clarabelle mill will cost about US$200 million. A US$2.0 billion environmental undertaking is in the works to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by a further 80% by 2015. The suspended Copper Cliff Deep project will also be re-examined.
Elsewhere in Canada, the Long-Harbour, NL, nickel refinery needs $2.82 billion to get it up and running for the first half of 2013.
Details of Vale’s spending plans are posted in a news release at www.Vale.com.