The Voisey’s Bay mine, in Labrador, Canada, is gearing up to resume operations, following a three-month shutdown associated with the Covid-19 outbreak.
Brazil’s Vale announced on Thursday that it had moved from care and maintenance into a planned maintenance period at Voisey’s Bay as a first step to resuming operations in early July. This includes restarting critical path activities related to the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project.
Full capacity should be reached by early August, the major added.
The company also announced that it was partnering with a private testing lab in Newfoundland & Labrador to provide extensive PCR testing of all employees entering the site. The enhanced testing capacity enables the early identification, tracing and stopping of the spread of any potential Covid-19 cases.
“The ability to mass test is in addition to the robust screening measures currently in place and offers greater knowledge and transparency of the number of people who may have had contact with the coronavirus, allowing for immediate action and avoiding large-scale infection,” Vale said in a statement.
The site has not reported any cases of Covid-19 to date.
Voisey’s Bay is a fly-in, fly-out operation. The 6 000 t/d facility produces two types of concentrate: nickel/cobalt/copper concentrate and copper concentrate. Nickel concentrate produced at Voisey’s Bay is processed at the hydrometallurgical processing facility in Long Harbour, Newfoundland.