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Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay Mine extension

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Global Mining Review,

Vale has reported the milestone achievement of the first ore production on its Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey's Bay Mine Expansion Project in Northern Labrador, Canada.

Home to one of the largest nickel deposits in the world, Voisey's Bay has been producing nickel from an opencast operation since 2005. The transition to underground involves the development of two underground mines – Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps – extending the life of Vale's Labrador operations and producer production of 40 000 t of nickel in concentrate at a peak annual production rate of 2.6 million t by 2025, with approximately 20 000 t of copper and 2600 t of cobalt as byproducts. The project is 65% complete, with executed capital expenditures of CAN$1260 million and Eastern Deeps start-up is expected for 2022.

“Our Voisey's Bay operations, and indeed our entire operating footprint in Newfoundland and Labrador, represent an incredible story of Indigenous participation, economic capacity building, environmental responsibility and safety performance,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice President for Base Metals with Vale.

Voisey's Bay Mine is a multiple winner of the John T. Ryan Award recognising the safest mine performance in Canada – receiving the honour again in 2021, with zero lost time injuries since construction began in 2018.

Indigenous participation is a hallmark of the Voisey's Bay operation, enjoying a collaborative relationship with its Indigenous partners, Innu Nation & Nunatsiavut Government, on whose traditional lands the Voisey's Bay Complex is located. Since the Voisey's Bay Mine Expansion Project began in 2018, Innu and Nunatsiavut Inuit employment has more than doubled to approximately 500 employees and 65% of all procurement contracts for the project were awarded to Indigenous-owned businesses. The ability to mine and process ore from underground will continue to generate local employment, procurement, capacity-building and shared benefit for many years to come.

Ore produced at Voisey's Bay is processed at Vale's Long Harbour, one of the world's lowest emission nickel processing plants. The sustainably-produced, responsibly sourced nickel, copper, and cobalt products will help meet future customer demand in the electric vehicle and clean energy space as industries seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower carbon footprints.

The production of first ore production at Voisey's Bay represents Vale's commitment to the continued delivery of quality, predictable and responsibly sourced material to market with safety, capacity-building and Indigenous participation at the forefront.

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