Vale opens C$945m copper/nickel complex in Canada

17th October 2022

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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Vale Canada, a subsidiary of Brazil’s Vale Group, last week opened the initial phase of its C$945-million Copper Cliff Complex South mine project, in Sudbury, enhancing its supply of nickel and other critical minerals.

The first phase will nearly double the ore production at the Copper Cliff mine, adding about 10 000 t/y of contained nickel and 13 000 t/y of copper.

Vale executive VP of base metals, Deshnee Naidoo, commented that the project added to the long-term sustainability of the Sudbury operations.

More than 12 kilometres of tunnels were developed to reunite the south and north shafts of Copper Cliff mine, creating a new Copper Cliff Mine Complex. The project created 270 new jobs and spanned more than five-million people hours moving more than 600 000 t of rock.

Work comprised rehabilitating the south shaft, expansion for underground ore and waste handling systems and surface loadout and facilities, as well as the construction of new ventilation systems. 

The official opening was attended by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Mines Minister George Pirie, Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe, Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, Sudbury MPP Jamie West, Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas, Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger, as well as local Indigenous leaders and officials from United Steelworkers Local 6500.

"Vale is investing $945-million in this expansion project that will increase Ontario's supply of low-carbon critical minerals and provide jobs for over 250 people," said Pririe.

"This is great news for the entire region and another example of how Ontario is a leader in developing the critical minerals we need for innovative technologies like electric vehicles. Our government knows the sector's best days are ahead and we will continue our strong support for the industry."

Feasibility studies are currently under way for future development phases of the Copper Cliff Mine Complex, with potential to deliver sustainable and responsibly sourced minerals essential for a low carbon economy well into the future. 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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