The Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project, which is transitioning the northern Labrador nickel operation from an openpit to two underground mines, marked a key milestone last week with the production of first ore.
“[The] announcement of first ore production heralds another step forward in the continued delivery of quality, predictable and responsibly sourced metals to market with safety, capacity-building and Indigenous participation at the forefront," said Vale executive VP for base metals Mark Travers.
Located on the north coast of Labrador, about 35 km south of Nain, Voisey's Bay has been producing nickel from an openpit operation since 2005. The transition to two underground mines – Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps – will extend the life of Vale's Labrador operations well into the future.
The underground mines will produce 40 000 t/y of nickel in concentrate at a peak production rate of 2.6-million tonnes a year.
Ore produced at Voisey's Bay is processed at Vale's Long Harbour, Newfoundland hydrometallurgical facility, one of the world's lowest emission nickel processing plants.