The natural resources industry of Newfoundland and Labrador – beaten down as it is by the steep decline in iron ore and oil prices – has received a most welcome board level confirmation from Vale that it will indeed pursue underground mining at its Voisey’s Bay nickel-copper-cobalt mine in northern Labrador, once the open pit is exhausted in 2020.
Based on current resources, that would add at least another 15 years of life to the mine, which started operations in 2005.
The Voisey’s Bay site consists of a 6,000-t/d open pit and a concentrator that produces nickel-copper-cobalt concentrate, plus a copper concentrate, at a rate of 40,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate per year. The remote, coastal site is accessible by air and sea, with concentrate stored and shipped out on a seasonal basis before the site is locked in by ice.
The decision to go underground at Voisey’s ensures a steady feed of nickel concentrate to Vale’s new US$4.3-billion Long Harbour processing plant in the town of Long Harbour on southeastern Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula.
Read the complete article at NorthernMiner.com/news/vale-at-voiseys-bay