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Vale Inco begins construction of nickel plant that endangers Sandy Pond

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, “Mining giant Vale Inco has started the work necessary to build a nickel processing facility in Long Harbour, Nfld., despite the downturn in the world economy. Vale Inco officials say the company began late last week clearing the site of the project, located about 100 kilometres west of St. John’s. The plant, expected to produce 50,000 tonnes of nickel a year when it comes online in 2013, would be the first in the mining industry to use hydromet technology for commercial purposes.”

In July 2008 the CBC reported that, “The company has planned to build the plant at Long Harbour, at Placentia Bay, to process nickel from Voisey’s Bay Labrador. Part of the plan includes dumping tailings produced from the processing of the nickel in nearby Sandy Pond, a freshwater pond. The environmental impact statement for the plant outlines precautions the company will put in place to ensure the waste remains contained. But environmental groups have spoken out against the tailings disposal plan, saying Vale Inco should be forced by the provincial government to find a better way to dispose of the waste.”

To respond to the Council of Canadians ‘ACTION ALERT: Save Newfoundland’s Sandy Pond’, please go to http://canadians.org/action/2008/11-Jul-08.html