NEWS RELEASE: Premier Ball Announces that the Voisey’s Bay Underground Mine Will Proceed with Construction this Summer (Executive Council Natural Resources – June 11, 2018)

Today at an event in St. John’s, the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, announced that the construction of the Voisey’s Bay underground mine will proceed this summer. Premier Ball was joined at the announcement by the Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources, and Eduardo Bartolomeo, Executive Director Base Metals, Vale.

The underground mine will extend the operating life of Voisey’s Bay by at least 15 years and will result in:

  • Close to $2 billion in capital investment by Vale;
  • 16,000 person years of employment during the five-year construction period, peaking at 4,800 in 2020;
  • Once operational, 1,700 in jobs at the underground mine and Long Harbour processing plant;
  • 2,135 person years in indirect and induced employment annually;
  • $370 million per year in labour income; and
  • $1 billion in economic activity annually that will result in $69 million per year in provincial tax revenue.

First ore production from the underground mine is expected no later than April 2021 and provides for continuity of operations at the Long Harbour processing plant.

The initial announcement that the Voisey’s Bay Project would proceed occurred 16 years ago on June 11, 2002. Since construction began at Voisey’s Bay, the project has generated some 35,000 person years of employment. Mining operations began in 2005 and approximately $15 billion of nickel, copper and cobalt has been recovered.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s mining industry is a significant contributor to the provincial economy. In 2018, the mining industry is forecasted to employ 6,000 people and have $3.4 billion in mineral shipments.

This initiative delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“This is a great announcement for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. My government will continue to partner with industry to create new jobs and new business opportunities that will support communities and families for years to come. Vale’s continued commitment and investment highlights the attractiveness of our province’s mining industry. I look forward to our ongoing partnership.”

Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Vale’s development of the underground nickel resource is a very positive indicator for the local and global mining‎ industry. Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the prime locations for mining with proven reserves and attractive geology. We welcome the world for responsible development.”

Honourable Siobhan Coady
Minister of Natural Resources

“We are entering a remarkable and exciting period of transition in our Labrador operations. We’ve always known that the open pit was going to be exhausted at some point and going underground was the next natural step and that’s the key to fully exploiting the resource that’s available to us. We are now ready and will immediately begin to ramp up the workforce and execute work to support the underground development which will allow us to extend the life of the mine well into the future.”

Peter Langlois
Head of Vale’s operations in Labrador

“Our operation in Voisey’s Bay is a huge source of pride for Vale, and we have always been intent on going underground there as it is the natural evolution of our operations in Newfoundland and Labrador. We are excited to unlock the value of this great resource and continue working with the government, our Indigenous partners and our employees to bring benefit to the people of this province.”

Eduardo Bartolomeo
Executive Director, Base Metals, Vale.

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier
[email protected]

Nancy Hollett
Natural Resources
709-729-5777, 685-3372
[email protected]

Kristie Cochrane
Vale Newfoundland and Labrador
[email protected]

Emily Robb
Vale, Base Metals Corporate Office
[email protected]


Voisey’s Bay Underground Mine and Long Harbour Processing Plant Employment Information (Once Operational)

Voisey’s Bay Underground Mine

Direct 940 Jobs
Indirect 535 PYE*
Induced 780 PYE

Long Harbour Processing Plant

Direct 825 Jobs
Indirect 395 PYE
Induced 425 PYE

Total NL Operations Employment

Direct 1,765 Jobs
Indirect 930 PYE
Induced 1,205 PYE
* Person Years of Employment

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