Vale is constructing a state-of-the-art processing plant to process the nickel-cobalt-copper concentrate based on an innovative hydrometallurgical process. There were two steps in the development of the hydrometallurgical process:
- Design, construction and operation of a demonstration facility to confirm the technical and economic viability of the hydrometallurgical process. A feasibility study was carried out in conjunction with the operation of the demonstration plant to confirm economic and technical viability.
- Design, construction and commissioning of a processing plant, upon completion of the feasibility study.
In November 2008, the decision was made to use hydrometallurgical technology in the processing plant to produce finished nickel, copper, and cobalt.
Initial construction of the processing plant began in April 2009 and is expected to be completed in 2013.
The processing plant was registered for environmental assessment in March 2006 and an Environmental Impact Statement was submitted in April 2008. On July 18, 2008, the Government of Canada released the processing plant from further environmental assessment and on August 26, 2008, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador released the project from the provincial environmental assessment process.
The plant will be fully compliant with all Federal and Provincial environmental assessment legislation. Click here to view the environmental registration document.