Voisey's Bay to stay suspended for longer

Vale says it is extending the care and maintenance period at its Voisey’s Bay mine in Canada for up to three months as it monitors the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic
Voisey's Bay to stay suspended for longer Voisey's Bay to stay suspended for longer Voisey's Bay to stay suspended for longer Voisey's Bay to stay suspended for longer Voisey's Bay to stay suspended for longer

The Long Harbour processing plant will continue to operate at Vale’s Voisey’s Bay operation in Canada

Staff reporter

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The move is expected to impact copper production but not the Labrador operation's nickel and cobalt output.

Vale had put the Voisey's Bay mine on care and maintenance for four weeks on March 16 amid precautionary measures including sending "the great majority" of its staff and third-party employees in corporate offices to work from home. 

The Long Harbour processing plant at Voisey's Bay was continuing to operate, drawing down on stockpiled concentrates, and would produce nickel and cobalt at forecast levels, Vale said.

However, copper concentrate production would be reduced by up to 6,000t in the first half due to the mine stoppage.

Vale reaffirmed its commitment to the safety of its people and the communities it operated in and said no employee at Voisey's Bay had tested positive for the coronavirus to date.

Mines are being further impacted as the outbreak continues, with BHP yesterday confirming multiple cases of COVID-19 among its global workforce and Panama's government ordering the temporary closure of First Quantum's Cobre Panama mine following the death of a contractor from the virus and the confirmation of 11 cases.