February 1, 2018
For Immediate Release
Where is the Update on Voisey’s Bay Underground Mine?
Keith Hutchings, Natural Resources Critic for the Official Opposition, is calling on Minister Siobhan Coady to provide a long-promised report on Vale’s plans for underground mining – the next phase of the Voisey’s Bay project.
“The current development plan called for underground mine production by 2020, but the Minister told us in December 2016 and again in December 2017 that the company was undertaking various reviews to determine how and if they wanted to proceed. Has the company made a decision and told the current government of their plans? If so, the people of the province need to be advised,” asked Hutchings.
The Minister indicated in December 2016 that the company had requested amendments to the development agreements. In December 2017, the Minister advised that the company had undertaken a 60-day review beginning in July 2017. That 60 period has long since passed. In early fall of 2017 the Minister said: “I feel fairly confident, Mr. Speaker, that we will be seeing an announcement very soon by Vale.”
Hutchings said, “If the company intends to move its projected timelines off the 2020 date, at a time when much needed economic activity is needed, there will be huge implications for the economy. In addition any non-adherence to the agreement could also mean penalties could be applied to the company on behalf of the owners of the resource, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
“The province needs an immediate update from the Minister and the Ball Government on any proposed specific changes the company may be requesting and confirmation the underground project is still on target for 2020. If the target has changed what is the current government’s response and how will the best interests of our province be protected? The clock is ticking on this huge capital expenditure and jobs for our economy,” said Hutchings.
Media Contact: Heather MacLean, Director of Operations and Communications
Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, firstname.lastname@example.org