14,000 direct and indirect employees
Totten is the first new mine in Sudbury in 40 years
US$ 1 billion invested in the Clean AER environmental project
Canada is one of the world’s most established mining countries; mineral exploration has taken place here for over 100 years. Vale has been present in Canada since 2006, when it acquired Inco Ltd.
Canada is one of the world’s most established mining countries; mineral exploration has taken place here for over 100 years. Vale has been present in Canada since 2006, when it acquired Inco Ltd. Our global Base Metals head office is in Toronto, Canada’s largest city. This area of our business produces mainly nickel and also copper, cobalt, platinum group metals (PGMs), zinc, gold and silver. Learn more at www.vale.com/canada.
Between 2002 and 2006, Vale invested heavily in international expansion, and Canada was chosen as the focus of this investment. By purchasing Inco Ltd., Vale incorporated three major operational complexes: the Sudbury Basin, Thompson, and Voisey’s Bay, which all sit on deposits that have major potential for future activities.
In Ontario, Vale has been conducting one of the largest environmental programs in Canadian history. Upon completion of the Clean AER project, the $1 billion dollar investment will help reduce sulphur dioxide emissions from Vale’s smelting facilities in Sudbury by 85% and significantly cut metal and particulate matter emissions.
Constructed in 1965, the Base Metals Technical Excellence Centre in Sheridan Park, Mississauga in the province of Ontario helps to maximize Vale’s competitive advantage and profitability, supporting its growth strategies through the safe and responsible use of technology.
Creighton Mine in Sudbury is home to the cleanest and deepest laboratory in the world. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Lab (SNOLAB) features giant tanks of argon, a noble gas similar to nitrogen, and other cooled gases. It is expanding scientific research while generating and spreading new knowledge for the mining chain.
In 2008, Vale allocated resources to develop this Laurentian University project – a global centre of excellence in freshwater ecology, environmental restoration and sustainability.
Located about 400 km from Toronto, Ontario’s Sudbury Basin hosts one of Vale’s biggest operational sites. The mining complex has six underground mines: Coleman, Creighton, Copper Cliff, Garson, Stobie, and Totten, which opened in February 2014 as Sudbury’s first new mine in over 40 years. Together, these mines are essential to Vale’s Base Metals business, producing mainly nickel, but also copper, cobalt, PGMs, gold and silver.
In 1956, a large nickel deposit was discovered in the city of Thompson, a northern city in the heart of the boreal forest. The mine started up in 1961, becoming the world’s first completely integrated nickel mining and processing complex. Since it began more than 50 years ago, it has produced over four million metric tons of nickel. Located in the province of Manitoba, the complex has two mines, a mill, a smelter and a refinery, which Vale acquired in 2006.
Mining will continue to represent an important economic pillar in Thompson and the region for many years to come, and Vale continues to significantly invest in northern workforce development, infrastructure, community programming, and regional development.
The Voisey’s Bay operations, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, started in 2005. One year later, Vale acquired Inco and became active in the region, known for its large nickel deposits that also contain copper and cobalt. In addition to the open-pit mine and underground resources , the Voisey’s Bay site includes a mill that produces nickel and copper concentrate.
Nickel concentrates are currently sent to our Sudbury and Thompson plants for final smelting and refining, while copper concentrate is sold on the market.
The Voisey’s Bay operation is located on the traditional lands of the Innu and Inuit of Labrador, the Aboriginal Peoples of this region. Before operations could begin, Vale had to negotiate Impact and Benefits Agreements with both aboriginal groups. These agreements cover all aspects of the operation and contain commitments from Vale to provide opportunities to the local aboriginal communities to benefit from the development and mechanisms to protect the environment and aboriginal social and cultural values.
To address the community concerns , a working group was set up to discuss safe ways for Vale and communities to work in partnership. In the end agreement was reached on winter shipping protocols which limited the number of vessel transits into and out of the Voisey’s Bay site and to restrict shipping for two six-week periods when the sea ice was forming and when traditional harvesting activities were occurring. Vale also uses local hunters to mark and monitor the winter shipping route and to install ice bridges to ensure local residents can travers the broken sea ice safely. Each year Vale meets with the local communities to inform people about Vale’s winter operations and to seek their input on possible improvements.
Opened in November 2014, the new nickel processing plant in Long Harbour will use ore taken from the Voisey's Bay. The plant is the first to use hydrometallurgical technology for sulphide nickel ores, developed and tested in Canada, and which avoids generating carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the smelting process.
Long Harbour currently employs 371 people. When it is fully operating, it will be capable of producing 50,000 metric tons of nickel per year, as well as copper and cobalt, and it may also receive ores from other Vale sites across the world.
The search for new mineral deposits has been fundamental to Vale’s expansion. Together with Brazil, Australia and Peru, Canada is now one of Vale’s priorities for executing mineral exploration projects.
Our mineral exploration laboratory in Sudbury is focused on innovation and improvements to geophysical equipment and techniques, enabling more effective discovery of new mineral deposits.
Vale has invested more than US$4.25billion to build a hydrometallurgical processing plant in Long Harbour to process nickel concentrate from Voisey’s Bay into high-quality electronickel. Construction began in 2009 and was completed in the second half of 2013. Initial production began in July 2014.
This is the first mine opened in the Sudbury Basin in the last 40 years. The facility began operating in February 2014. It is expected to have a lifespan of 20 years and to produce 8,000 metric tons of nickel and 10,000 metric tons of copper annually. In all, more than US$700 million were invested in this project.
This is the first potash project conducted by Vale in Canada. Located in the province of Saskatchewan, it has the potential to be part of Vale’s strategy in becoming a major global player in fertilizers. The region’s deposits may produce between three and four million metric tonnes of potash per year for more than 40 years. We have announced that we are seeking partners for this project. A feasibility study is being conducted and should be completed one year from now. Depending on its results, global economic conditions and interest shown by potential partners, Vale will decide whether or not to proceed with this investment.
Operating for more than 100 years, the Port Colborne refinery lies on the Niagara Peninsula on the shore of beautiful Lake Erie. The refinery processes minerals mined in Sudbury into finished nickel and cobalt products and also processes precious metals. End products are shipped to destinations across the world.