Economic Development

Industry opportunities in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and surrounding areas are vast due to our rich supply of both renewable and non-renewable resources.

Strategic Plan 2017-2022 “Moving to Action”

In January 2017, the Town released its Strategic Plan, a process grounded in the voice of local residents and the business community.

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Mining & Mineral Exploration

In 2005, Vale began operations of its open-pit mine and concentrator at Voisey’s Bay, located 356 air kilometers north of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and 35 kilometers south of Nain. The facility produces 6,000 tonnes-per-day of two types of concentrate, nickel-cobalt-copper and copper. This deposit is one of the highest grade ore bodies in the world and is expected to continue until 2021. Vale employs approximately 450 workers including many Labradorians with specific employment commitments for Innu and Inuit.

Voisey’s Bay Mine Expansion Project

Voisey’s Bay underground mine expansion project will focus on the development of two separate deposits, Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps. The construction of this development is expected to take place between 2016 and 2021 with the graduate transition from open pit to underground mining beginning in 2020. Approximately 400 additional full-time positions will be created to support the underground operations.

The underground expansion project will extend the life of the Voisey’s Bay operation until 2032 and at peak production, will produce approximately 40,000 tonnes of nickel-in-concentrate per year. This concentrate will be shipping to Vale’s processing facility in Long Harbour, Newfoundland for further processing into finished nickel. For more information on opportunities, please click here.

Rare Earth Elements

In addition, exploration south of Happy Valley-Goose Bay continues surrounding rare earth elements as the identification and discovery of new deposits emerge and new North American sectors are realized. Companies including Quest Rare Minerals and Search Minerals continue exploration in the region and projects such as these could include significant business and employment opportunities for Labrador.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay is ideally situated and continues to be a logistics and supply centre for continued mineral exploration. Substantial positive benefits exist surrounding business opportunities for Labrador-based and Aboriginal businesses to provide goods and services to such projects.

The Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project – Muskrat Falls

The Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development is located approximately 30 kilometers outside of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Sanction was granted in November 2011 to develop the 800 MW Muskrat Falls project. The project on average employs approximately 1,500 workers annually with a commitment to employ Labradorians, Newfoundlanders and Canadians, as well as offer procurement opportunities first to Aboriginal and Labrador-based businesses. The Muskrat Falls project continues to provide employment for Labradorians and opportunities for Labrador-based businesses in a variety of sectors. For more information on the project, please click here.

The municipality continues to address increased capacity demands in the community including social, economic and infrastructure impacts as a result of this project. In 2015, the Town achieved a capacity agreement with the Provincial Government and is working to receive further assistance to combat continued impacts on the community. To that end, in its recent budget, the Town announced substantial investments in areas including low-income support, health and wellness, emergency preparedness, road infrastructure, and water quality, with no increase to the residential mil rate.

Forestry Resources

There is an estimated 3.6 million hectares of forested area in Labrador, including large timber stands on the south side of the Churchill River from Happy Valley-Goose Bay. A succession of operators have proposed commercial harvesting and processing operations and some exporting of raw and semi-processed material has occurred. Potential is high for future development, particularly of value-added wood products.

The development of a forest management plan for the region that aims to provide long-term direction to the industry has been completed and opportunities are actively being pursued through the private sector. Monitoring of insects, roads, forest fire suppression, harvesting, sawmilling, harvesting and other activities continue while the province continues to provide stakeholders and the general public with information surrounding anticipated planning activities.

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