Officials at Brazilian mining giant Vale announced they will open an underground nickel mine at their Voisey’s Bay operations in Newfoundland, Canada.
The project is expected to produce about 40,000 metric tons (mt) of nickel annually as of 2019. Vale has also agreed to give local officials in Newfoundland and Labrador $100 million in revenue while developing its delayed Long Harbour nickel processing plant slated for completion in 2015; the life of the mine is forecast until 2035.
“Underground mining is the next natural evolution in our operations at Voisey’s Bay and allows us to unlock value in this world-class operation,” said Jeff McLaughlin, vice president of Vale’s Newfoundland and Labrador operations.
About 475 people are currently employed at Vale’s open-pit mine in Voisey’s Bay and the underground extension is expected to add another 350 operating jobs, said company officials. Some 5,000 people are already working on building the nickel plant originally meant to open in 2011.