Vale Canada Opens South Mine Project at the Copper Cliff Complex

Deshnee Naidoo, executive vice president of Vale’s base metals business, cuts the ribbon for the Copper Cliff Complex
South Mine Grand Opening with the help of Ontario Premier Doug Ford (her right) and Canada’s Minister of Mines
George Pirie (her left). (Photo: Vale)
Vale Canada Ltd. officially opened the initial phase of its C$945 million ($688 million) South Mine Project at the Copper Cliff Complex in Sudbury, Canada.

“This first phase of the Copper Cliff Mine Complex South Project enhances our supply of low-carbon nickel and other critical minerals and adds to the long-term sustainability of our Sudbury operations,” said Deshnee Naidoo, executive vice president of Vale’s base metals business. “The successful delivery of this project is a major accomplishment for Vale and great news for Sudbury and the Province of Ontario.”

The celebratory event was attended by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Mines Minister George Pirie, Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe, Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, Sudbury MPP Jamie West, Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas, Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger as well as local Indigenous leaders and officials from United Steelworkers Local 6500.

More than 12 km of tunnels were developed to reunite the south and north shafts of Copper Cliff mine, creating a new Copper Cliff Mine Complex. The project created 270 new jobs and spanned more than 5 million people hours moving more than 600,000 metric tons (mt) of rock. Work comprised rehabilitating the south shaft, expansion for underground ore and waste handling systems and surface loadout and facilities, as well as the construction of new ventilation systems.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our government’s commitment to safely extracting the province’s critical minerals and strengthening our homegrown supply chains,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said. “This mine will create hundreds of new jobs for our skilled workers and be a major boost for the economy of this region. We are thrilled that Vale is deepening its commitment to Ontario and can assure them that there is no better place for investment than right here in Sudbury.”

Phase 1 is expected to nearly double ore production at the Copper mine, adding roughly 10,000 mt/y of contained nickel and 13,000 mt/y of copper. “Vale is investing C$945 million in this expansion project that will increase Ontario’s supply of low-carbon critical minerals and provide jobs for over 250 people,” said George Pirie, Ontario Minister of Mines. “This is great news for the entire region and another example of how Ontario is a leader in developing the critical minerals we need for innovative technologies like electric vehicles. Our government knows the sector’s best days are ahead and we will continue our strong support for the industry.”

Feasibility studies are currently underway for future development phases of the Copper Cliff Mine Complex, with potential to deliver sustainable and responsibly sourced minerals essential for a low-carbon economy well into the future.

As featured in Womp 2022 Vol 11 -