December 2012

Local 764 Builds Nickel Processing Plant

Brazil-based Vale, the second-largest mining company in the world, had a clear objective for the $2.8 billion state-of-the-art nickel processing plant being built in Long Harbour  - to process concentrate from the mine/concentrator in northern Labrador and produce finished nickel product and associated cobalt and copper products. The plant footprint, being built on a partially brownfield site near the port of Long Harbour, includes concentrate offloading, crushing and grinding facilities located near the wharf, and the main processing plant located approximately 2 km south of the port facility. To date, Vale has awarded contracts worth more than $1.5 billion for the Long Harbour plant, of which 90 percent went to local companies for construction and support services.

Approximately 580 structural and reinforcing ironworkers from Local 764 (St. John's, Newfoundland) and other locals across Canada are employed on the nearly $3 billion project, which is expected to be in operation in late 2013.

The project, located just off the Atlantic Ocean, brought an enormous amount of inclement weather, including a short visit from Hurricane Isaac. Ironworker members weathered the storms and did an admirable job in delivering a safe, efficient completion to over 5,000 tons of rebar and 20,000 tons of structural, including 200 piping modules.

Site contractors include Harris Rebar, JV Driver, Pennecon Limited, Fluor, LOMA Construction and KBAC - a partnership of Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co. and BMA Constructors (a Black & McDonald Alberici Joint Venture).

The project was included in a broader $10-billion capital investment program in Canada by the Brazilian group. Project execution will include commitment to a transparent procurement process and promotion of local businesses; and  critical success factors common to union construction - high levels of productivity, on time, under-budget completion, and labor stability. Like Local 764, Vale is committed to providing a safe work environment for all employees and subcontractors. As part of that commitment, the companies produced a safety video to be shown to all employees working on the project.