Vale (NYSE: VALE) is investing C$150 million ($122 million) to extend its mining activities in the Canadian province of Manitoba by ten years.
The figure, the company’s largest single investment made at its Thompson nickel operations, will also be allocated to continuing exploration in the area and search for new deposits that hold the promise of mining well past 2040.
Dino Otranto, chief operating officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations, said the investment was is just one part of the company’s ambitious Thompson turnaround story.
The figure, the company’s largest single investment made at its Thompson nickel operations, will also be allocated to continuing exploration in the area and search for new deposits
“[We have a ] plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come,” he said in a media statement.
The extension of Vale’s current operations is planned as a two-staged project, with the first phase set to include critical infrastructure work, such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution.
The company, the world’s largest nickel producer, said that phase-one changes are expected to improve current production by 30%.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel–positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand,” executive vice-president for base metals, Mark Travers, said.
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale, which was then known as Inco, following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to date in the company’s history. Mining began in 1961.