Voisey’s Bay has to rethink

The February issue of International Mining includes a technical report on Voisey’s Bay Nickel Co (VBNC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Inco. On January 17, VBNC announced it had decided to seek an alternate site in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador for its planned commercial nickel processing plant. This decision has been based on a comprehensive review of all relevant environmental, engineering and operating factors covering this facility. One of the risks is the length of the effluent pipeline that would have to be routed through certain protected watersheds.

Phil du Toit, Managing Director of VBNC, explained that VBNC had initially identified Argentia, Newfoundland as the preferred site for its planned commercial processing plant, “we have concluded that the initial site identified in Argentia is not suitable for our requirements.”

VBNC is currently examining a green field site near Long Harbour as an alternative location. In continuing its efforts to locate this plant in the Argentia area, VBNC remains supportive of the area’s ongoing economic development. Du Toit added that, “While the Argentia site unfortunately does not meet all of our specific and unique requirements, it is obviously one that could be home for other commercial operations.”

Du Toit concluded by saying that “Our commitment to the Argentia area remains unchanged. We have a large workforce living in the area and working at the demonstration plant that we would like to see continue working with us when planned commercial operations begin. We are very appreciative of the support that has been shown for the Voisey’s Bay project by stakeholders in the Argentia area over the last ten years and we will continue to work to identify a suitable site in the Argentia area for the planned commercial processing plant.”