Vale reviewing Voisey’s Bay – by Staff (Sudbury Star – August 21, 2017)

Another of Vale Canada’s nickel operations in Canada is under review. CBC News is reporting that Vale’s plans to extend the life of the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in northern Labrador by moving operations underground are on hold.

Vale said a depressed market has led to a review of all projects, including Voisey’s Bay underground. “The nickel price has been depressed for some time now with no immediate or short-term relief in sight,” wrote Vale spokesperson Cory McPhee in an email to CBC News.

“During this period we are not approving any new project contracts.” Last month, Vale said it would seek out fresh copper mining options and stop expanding nickel production capacity after its second-quarter net income plunged on forex losses, rising costs and weaker iron ore prices.

Net income tumbled 99 per cent to $16 million from $1.1 billion a year earlier, far below an average estimate of $421 million. In 2015, Vale sad it would move operations at Voisey’s Bay underground when the open-pit was exhausted. The company said this would extend the life of the mine by 15 years and create 450 jobs.

However, in December 2016, Vale said construction would be delayed by a few months, but still planned to start mining underground by 2020. Now, McPhee has told CBC the project is on hold.

“Pending the outcome of that review, we will be in a better position to know what the path forward for the underground project looks like,” he wrote. McPhee did not say when Vale’s review would be complete.

In Sudbury, Vale Ltd. employees in Sudbury are bracing for possible layoffs after viewing a company video they say warned that the Brazil-based mining giant could soon be making cuts here.

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