Opportunity for locals at Long Harbour: Vale

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Parking was tough to find and the conference room was filled, as representatives from Vale provided brief presentations on opportunities at the company’s Long Harbour project and the way for local companies to become Vale goods and services suppliers. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

More than 100 people, business owners and managers filed into a conference room at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John’s Thursday afternoon, filling the available seats.

They were there to hear about opportunities available to them at Long Harbour, as Vale’s $2.8-billion hydromet processing plant gets up and running. They were seeking more information about becoming long-term, official suppliers of goods or services to Vale.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association (NOIA) teamed with Vale to offer the session, with NOIA able to connect the world’s second-largest mining company to local companies interested in supporting, and benefitting from, its Long Harbour project.

Don Stevens, general manager of Vale’s operations in Newfoundland and Labrador, opened the session with an overview of the mining company and the project.

“It’s more akin to a chemical processing plant than a traditional mining or milling process,” he

said, describing the hydromet processing of Voisey’s Bay ore. “It’s aggressive, it’s complex, but actually it’s quite efficient.”

Construction has chugged along at a fair pace. Late this fall, the company hopes to begin internal fabrication for one of the main buildings, Stevens said. Construction is expected to be completed in 2013.

As Vale moves into day-to-day operations it will need local support, and it intends to spend millions on local contracts.

Services required at the processing facility will include, but not be limited to: waste management, security, stevedoring, specialty maintenance, health and safety services and various consulting services.

A superintendent of strategic procurement with Vale, Pam Chahal, said also having reliable nuts and bolts suppliers at the ready — suppliers who can keep anything from chemicals to mill equipment parts flowing in — will be of value to the mining company. Vale is “always looking to develop local suppliers,” she said.

“We want to add to our vendor base to ensure we are including all interested vendors in Newfoundland and Labrador,” added Vale’s Donna Patterson.

With a briefing on the company’s internal tendering process, an operations and training manager for work with that system, Glenn Tobin, tried not to scare off the potential business partners in the room. “All times you will have support from us if needed,” he said.

Everyone who attended the meeting in St. John’s was placed on a list to receive further information from the company about the Long Harbour project and how to get involved.

For those unable to attend the session, more information on both procurement and direct employment opportunities with Vale are available on the project website (www.vbnc.com/).


Organizations: NOIA, Sheraton Hotel, Vale.The Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association

Geographic location: Long Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Eli
    October 05, 2011 - 15:28

    Keep in mind boys this Vale abortion was sanctioned by none other than the PC Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Environment Minister Charlene Johnson presiding at the time. Another PC boondoggle to rival Muskrat Falls.

  • Brad
    October 03, 2011 - 09:56

    Jawapunk how's the job with Vale treating you? I know all about Vale and their records for environmental damages and their treatment of people as I have done my research. Just research New Caledonia and what they are doing there, but then again that would require reading and I know that you would rather fire out insults than research facts.Tell me what is wrong with my assessment of Sandy Pond, are they not dumping effluent into it rendering it a deadzone? I am from Long Harbour and I know first hand what they are doing there. There is not 1 bit of that pollution being shipped off the island, and come by chance has a surplus of sulfur because the market is glutted. We can still have all of the conveniences that come with mining, without the environmental catastrophies if these companies were forced to do it right in the first place. You can use your childish arguement of anyone opposed to this shouldn't be using products made from nickel, but I am not against mining, I just want it done right. Before you engage in a battle of wits be sure you are properly armed, and do the research that you claim others haven't. How do you know about Vale, is it because you work for them and they told you they are an upstanding company? I guess you still believe in santa Claus too.

  • Brad
    September 30, 2011 - 09:17

    Yeah it isn't hard for the process to be efficient when you don't have to pay for proper tailings disposal, just pile some dirt around a pond and kill it with toxins. If the process is so complex and modern how come the the pollution is being dealt with in an outdated manner? Everyone lining up like pigs at a trough to work with these environmental pirates. If anyone had any conscience at all they would have nothing to do with this company because of their violations of human rights and their raping of the environment everywhere they go. Thanks Vale, you are giving us a gift that will last forever.

    • Judy
      September 30, 2011 - 17:46

      Vale is always willing to develope local suppliers,,,,,, they just aren't willing to pay the bill when it's presented to them.

    • jawapunk
      October 01, 2011 - 13:22

      Brad, your assessment of the tailings effluent pond (aka Sandy Pond) couldn't be farther from the truth. Most of the aggressive waste is not dumped to the environment at all...in fct, on projects like this and the refinery in Come By Chance, these items are shipped off the island entirely! I'm sure your assessment is based on concrete and scientific evidence that you've dug up. (clearly sarcastic here) By the way, do you like your cell phone, television? How about the computer you submitted your ignorant comment on? You wouldn't be able to use any of those things without the "rape" conducted by these "environmental pirates" because nickel is an essential component to all of them. Not really sure where you get human rights violations either...you really come off like a nit wit.