Iron Ore Mine Gets the Go-Ahead After Legal Delay
The Riley Creek Iron Ore project in Tasmania has received the green light after a challenge by environmental group, Save the T arkine, was dismissed by the Federal Court last week.
The project owner, Venture Minerals, has been plagued by a trading halt since August last year, due to legal battles with the group, which has tried to block plans with the proposed iron ore project near Tullah in Tasmania.
According to Justice Richard Tracey, the case presented by Save the Tarkine was frivolous, declaring that the environmental group had failed to make good any of its grounds and should pay costs to the Commonwealth and Venture Minerals.
“Even though the Tarkine National Coalition has lost the case, they have still managed to delay the project and frustrate the company for months, at great cost,” said Terry Long, CEO of the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council. “The point is they’ve achieved their objective, delaying Venture’s project for many months and costing the company and its many contractors a great deal of money.”
“In addition, they have prevented the small and medium businesses which would have been working on the project since early last summer from doing so.”
“I note that costs have been awarded against the TNC and expect they will be substantial – in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The iron ore mine in Tasmania will employ 60 people, inject $40 million a year into the state’s economy and provide capital to develop a bigger project at nearby Mt. Lindsay.
Any appeal to Justice Tracey’s decision would need to be lodged within 21 days.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.