Processing - Construction Schedule
In 2002, preliminary site work began at Argentia in preparation for the hydrometallurgical (hydromet) demonstration facility. Activities included environmental baseline studies and the initiation of engineering site assessment studies, including a water system study and a topographical survey with local engineering firms.
In late December 2002, the demonstration facility was cleared from further environmental assessment by the provincial and federal government. The 2003 work program included renovating the Argentia Management Authority building and the construction of the office/warehouse at the hydromet demonstration plant site. Other activities at Argentia during 2003 included environmental baseline studies, the installation of fiber optic connections and the initiation of detailed engineering for site preparation.
The hydromet research and development program took an important step forward in June 2003 with the start of operations at the mini-pilot plant at Sheridan Park in Ontario. Following extensive and successful research and development and mini-pilot plant work at Vale’s laboratories, the design, engineering and construction of the demonstration facility at Argentia began in 2004. The facility was built to test the hydrometallurgical process. The hydromet demonstration facility was completed in early October 2005. The final phase of the hydromet research and development program began in late October 2005 and was completed in June 2008. In November 2008, Vale made the decision to use hydromet technology in the Long Harbour Processing Plant.
Construction of the Long Harbour Processing Plant began in April 2009, following the completion of a feasibility study, release from environmental assessment, and securing all necessary environment and construction permits. Construction is expected to be completed February 2013.