Vale pumping millions into Thompson mining activities – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – June 30, 2021)

The future of the mining industry in Manitoba received a major boost on Tuesday as Brazilian mining giant, Vale, said it is investing $150 million that will extend current mining activities in Thompson by 10 years.

But that will just be a prelude to what could turn into close to $1 billion of new investment over the next decade to significantly expand mining operations in the northern Manitoba city into 2040.

The Phase 1 work is already underway upgrading ventilation, building increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution that should be completed by 2023.

Meanwhile, the company has embarked on an extensive exploration drilling program to prove out potentially massive new resources that the company and industry officials have long believed to be there.

The news has been a long time coming for the city and the beleaguered mining industry in northern Manitoba. It was more than 10 years ago that the company announced it was shutting down the nickel smelter and refinery in Thompson and it also suspended operations at its smaller Birchtree mine. Those closures took place in 2017 and 2018 resulting in the elimination of hundreds of jobs.

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