Winter Shipping Program

Marine Transportation Program

Winter Shipping Program

​For normal operations, the annual shipping program will be as follows:

​Date​ ​Scheduled Shipments
​December 7 - January 21 ​No Shipping
​January 22 - April 6 ​Fo​​​ur (4) Nickel Shipments
​April 7 - May 21 ​No Shipping
​May 22 - December 6 ​Shipping of Nickel and Copper, plus any other shipments

During the winter shipping period of January 22 – April 6, Vale Newfoundland & Labrador Limited (Vale NL) will mark the ship’s track with coloured reflective markers, which are placed every 250 metres along the track where the track is straight.  

These markers will be closer together in areas where the track turns, at the crossing signs and in the area of the star turn in Edward’s Cove. The reflective markers will be red on the north side of the track and green on the south side of the track. 

The map sets out the location of the ice crossings, the pontoon crossing and shows which side of the track has the red markers and which side of the track has green markers. Vale, along with Sikumiut, has developed pontoon structures that are deployed after the ship has passed by. These structures are located near the Tabor Island and Taktok crossing. 

Each winter, the ship will choose either the northern or southern route.  Once the route is chosen, it will remain the same for all voyages during that winter. 

The blue crossings will be constructed after the ship has gone into Edward’s Cove, and both the blue and the orange crossings will be constructed after the ship has left. Each safe crossing will be marked with lights and the sign will say whether the crossing is safe or not safe to cross. The pontoon structure is deployed after the ship has passed by. 

If you do not know the ships activities, go to a crossing location and the sign will indicate whether the ship’s track is safe to cross. 

How can you find out about the ship’s movement:

  • Call the Vale NL’s shipping information line at 1 877 922 SHIP (7447)
  • Listen to Okalakatiget Radio broadcast for regular updates.
  • Call Gus Dicker or Ron Webb at (709) 922 1999

The ship’s track marking and safe crossings will be constructed and maintained by Sikumiut. 

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