Vale Newfoundland and Labrador is still in the process of ramping up to full production at its new hydromet production facility in Long Harbour, to continue for several years, but the company is using material from the Voisey’s Bay mine.
“The Long Harbour plant began operating on only Voisey’s Bay concentrate in early January,” a provincial Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman stated in an emailed response to questions this week.
In February 2015, a then-Progressive Conservative government announced an amendment to the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement, allowing the company more time before it would be required to process product from its Labrador mine at the plant.
The company was given the OK to continue to ship Voisey’s Bay concentrate, gaining time to work with imported material from Indonesia to bring the Long Harbour plant online.
The company agreed to pay $200 million over four years for the privilege, with an additional $30 million for a community investment fund.
“All exempted concentrate will be replaced and processed in Long Harbour in future years,” the spokeswoman noted.
Other amendments to the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement were signed over the years, including one in 2013 wherein the company committed to investing into extending the mine at Voisey’s Bay underground.
The project was sanctioned in August 2015. Construction is expected to begin this year.
Production is expected by 2020.