The Newfoundland and Labrador Branch of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) has awarded Vale (NYSE: VALE) its Miner of the Year designation for Vale’s Voisey’s Bay nickel operation 30 km southwest of Nain, Labrador.
The award was announced at the annual Mineral Resources Review on November 25.
The Voisey’s Bay team has been working on the simultaneous development of two underground mines – Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps – while it continues to mine the Ovoid deposit with open pit methods. The expanded operation will extend mining until at least 2035. The Reid Brook mine delivered its first ore to the Long Harbour processing plant in June 2021. Production from Eastern Deeps is expected in 2022.
The Miner of the Year award also recognizes that the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion (VBME) team have had zero lost time injuries on the project since it started in 2015. The team has worked over 8.5 million hours on the project without a lost time injury, which is an industry benchmark for underground mine development.
“The safety achievement reached by our VBME project team to date, and our operations team being awarded the John T. Ryan Award for Safety for seven consecutive years, shows the commitment to safety by all personnel working there,” said Vale executive VP of base metals Mark Travers. “We’re extremely proud to have our team recognized by the NL branch of the CIM and being named Miner of the Year.”
The award also considered Vale’s health and safety contributions during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Voisey’s Bay site was put on care and maintenance for four months beginning in March 2020. The company put both production and its expansion project on hold to protect the local workforce and nearby Indigenous communities.
“The success in delivering first ore from Reid Brook and the simultaneous construction of two underground mines, as well as the handling of the pandemic is a testament to the unique relationships between the local communities, employees, operations, and our commitment to safety,” said Travers.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)