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Executive Council
Natural Resources
March 28, 2013

Government Secures Commitment from Vale for Underground Mine

A commitment to an underground mine at Voisey’s Bay is the centerpiece of amendments to the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement announced today by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Vale Newfoundland & Labrador Limited (Vale).

“The commitment secured by our government with Vale will ensure more jobs and benefits are created right here in Newfoundland and Labrador for our people,” said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. “The new mine will provide many hundreds of construction jobs after sanction in 2015, and even more operational employment than the current mine after first ore is achieved in 2019. This is another example of this government’s continued commitment to ensuring that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians benefit from the development of our natural resources.”

The Provincial Government extracted extra value with other improvements including enhanced industrial and employment benefits and additional revenue to the Provincial Government of approximately $100 million over three years. The opportunity to make these improvements to the Development Agreement arose because of the delayed construction schedule at Long Harbour nickel processing plant. The delay meant that the plant would not be ready to process all of the nickel concentrate from Voisey’s Bay until 2015. Through this agreement, the Provincial Government will provide Vale with an additional exemption from primary processing requirements between 2013 and 2015 so that the Voisey's Bay mine can maintain continued operation while construction of the processing plant in Long Harbour is completed. All exempted concentrate will be replaced and processed in Long Harbour in future years. Details can be found in the backgrounder.

Vale recognizes the importance of the underground mine to the continuity of operations at Voisey’s Bay and as future feed supply for the Long Harbour plant.

“Underground mining is the next natural evolution in our operations at Voisey’s Bay and today’s announcement allows us to unlock additional value in this world-class operation,” said Jeff McLaughlin, Vice-President of Vale’s Newfoundland and Labrador Operations. “The agreement provides Vale with the necessary additional exemptions from primary processing that ensure continuity of operations at Voisey’s Bay while construction continues on the Long Harbour processing plant.”

The commitment to build an underground mine is underpinned by financial and other assurances in the amended agreement to help ensure that all of the commitments in the agreement are achieved.

“With the addition of underground mining, operations employment will increase at the mine site, and the Voisey’s Bay project will exceed original expectations for industrial and employment benefits to the province,” said the Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Natural Resources. “Vale remains committed to replacing all concentrate that it has exported from the province including the newly exempted concentrate announced today. Every additional tonne used during the exemption will be subject to a return of concentrate requirement during the life of the project. We are pleased with Vale’s commitment of continued investment to support future operations.”

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Photo: Jeff McLaughlin, Vice-President of Vale’s Newfoundland and Labrador Operations; Premier Kathy Dunderdale; and Tom Marshall, Minister of Natural Resources; at the announcement for the amendments to the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement, March 28, 2013.

Media contacts:

Jennifer Tulk
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Tracey Boland
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 697-3128
Heather Maclean
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282, 697-4137
Bob Carter



Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement

2013 03 28                             10:10 a.m.

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