Voisey's Bay Mine Expansion Project

aerial map of voisey's bayThe Voisey’s Bay mine and concentrator is located on the north coast of Labrador, some 35 km south of the Nain. Production began in 2005 and open pit mining is expected to continue until 2021.

In July 2015 Vale’s Board of Directors sanctioned the development of the underground deposits at Voisey’s Bay. The mine expansion project will focus on the development of two separate deposits, Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps. Once in operation, underground mining will extend the life of the Voisey’s Bay operation until at least 2032. At peak production the underground mines will produce about 40,000 tonnes per year of nickel-in-concentrate which will be shipped to Vale’s processing facility in Long Harbour, Newfoundland for further processing into finished nickel.

The Construction Phase of the mine expansion will take place between 2016 and 2021.  This will include the expansion of existing surface infrastructure at Voisey’s Bay for increased power generation capacity, and additional permanent accommodations, offices, warehousing, and maintenance shops. The water and sewage treatment facilities will also be upgraded.

The development of the underground mines, which is the largest segment of the construction program, requires the development of declines from surface to access the ore bodies, and the construction and installation of supporting infrastructure including maintenance facilities, material handling, and underground mine ventilation systems.

There will be a gradual transition from open pit to underground mining beginning in 2020. An additional 400 full-time positions will be created at Voisey’s Bay to support the underground operations and expanded site services. The bulk of the new employment opportunities will occur in the mine department in both the underground mining and maintenance roles and in technical support roles such as mine technologists, geologists, and mine engineers. 

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