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ST. JOHN’S — Mining giant Vale SA will pay Newfoundland and Labrador $230-million for letting the company export more Voisey’s Bay nickel concentrate while a processing plant ramps up in the province.
Vale will be allowed to export another 94,000 tonnes that must be replaced later, Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley said Tuesday.
The move will mean $200-million in compensation from Vale over three years. Another $30-million in community investments from the company are to be negotiated with the province. Complex design and other issues have delayed full operation of the Long Harbour processing plant, about 120 kilometres west of St. John’s.
The $4.3-billion facility will be an asset for years to come, Mr. Dalley said. The announcement is on top of other export allowances in 2013 and 2002, totalling 633,000 tonnes in potential processing exemptions that must be replaced.
Stuart Macnaughton, Vale’s vice-president of operations in the province, said the added flexibility means mining at Voisey’s Bay in Labrador will continue while the plant in Long Harbour is finished.
“Had the export cap not been increased, we would have been left with no choice but to stop operating in Labrador for up to 18 months,” he told a news conference in St. John’s.
Mining at Voisey’s Bay would not have resumed until Long Harbour can process more nickel concentrate from that site, he explained.
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