As of today, Vale has met the terms of the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement by formally sanctioning construction of an underground mine at Voisey’s Bay. “This will extend the operating life of Voisey’s Bay by at least 15 years,” says Minister of Natural Resources Derrick Dalley.

The underground mine will include the Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps nickel deposits in northern Labrador, adjacent to the current open pit mine, and will produce approximately 40,000 tonnes of nickel per year. Ore production will start in 2020 and is expected to remain in production past 2035.

Once in operation, employment is estimated to be 850 workers, an increase from the current mine employment of about 450. (Naturally, there were no mention of environmental considerations in the press release.)