Backfill Engineer
in Labrador City, NL

Labrador City, NL
Full-time - Permanent
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Competition Number: 1061212

Welcome to Vale in Canada. As a leader in the mining industry, our responsibility is to positively impact our people, communities and the environment. We value our workforce and offer continuous training and career development opportunities for our people.

Vale is a global leader in the production of iron ore and one of the largest producers of nickel. Active in Canada for over 100 years, Vale employs nearly 6,000 people across our corporate office in Toronto and sites in Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador. Applying the latest technologies to sustainably produce nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum group metals, gold and silver is at the heart of what we do.

With our global headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and approximately 125,000 employees in over 30 countries, Vale is constantly growing and changing. We invite you to be part of our evolution.

Our open-pit mine and concentrator in Voisey's Bay – Vale's only fly-in/fly-out operation in Canada – produces nickel-cobalt-copper concentrate and copper concentrate. An underground expansion will see a transition to a leading edge underground mine extending the life of the mine until 2034. Our state-of the-art facility in Long Harbour is the first nickel processing plant in the world to use hydrometallurgy technology to produce Plating RoundsTM from hard rock (sulphide) concentrate, with low carbon footprint compared to traditional smelter technology. A team of employees across the province provide support to the Newfoundland and Labrador Operations.

The Opportunity

We are currently seeking a BACKFILL ENGINEER to join our Mines Technical Services (MTS) Team supporting our remote mine site in Voisey's Bay, Labrador, a fly-in fly-out operation. This permanent position will initially be on a Monday to Friday schedule working primarily from a home office location with regular visits to the mine site required before transitioning to a site-based, rotational (2 weeks on, 2 weeks off) schedule.

The Backfill Engineer provides technical support to continuously enhance backfill technologies, systems, and methods to ensure that health and safety standards and legislated requirements are effectively satisfied while maximizing ore value.

The successful candidate will be a technical advisor to the operations and assist in developing and designing the standards for the paste-fill distribution system, QA/QC programs, field instrumentation and training. Further, they will conduct field/plant investigations and risk assessments and assist in coordinating testing and approval of backfill products. The Engineer will collaborate with mine operations and technical execution teams at the mine site to effectively implement site specific backfill programs. In this role, you will:

  • Assist the Chief Engineer to conduct backfill risk assessment of "Life of Mine (LOM) Plans" and annual mine execution plans of all responsible mines to ensure that backfill design and systems are optimized to reduce the risk to safety and production.
  • Build upon current paste-fill distribution system, designing future expansion as subsequent levels are brought online at Voisey's Bay.
  • Ensure paste-fill distribution system is modelled and keep model up to date including future design requirements for both Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps systems.
  • Develop and execute audits of practices in these fields of backfill to monitor the level of compliance to both company and government requirements.
  • Help improve backfill design, process, system for safety enhancement and cost reduction, and develop common protocols and reporting aligned with the North Atlantic Operations.
  • Liaise with VB Operations for alignment on the backfill component of the mine plan.
  • Integrate with Geomechanics Studies, Mine Design and Execution Teams to support a robust LOM mine plan.
  • Participate in benchmarking to compare VB Operations mine backfilling practices to those at other companies.
  • Establish and maintain specifications for backfill products and elements, through interactions with various stakeholders, to ensure that products meet specifications.
  • Lead technical investigations of major ground instability incidents to prevent re-occurrence at the specific mine site and participate in similar technical reviews at multiple mine sites.
  • Establish and maintain a data base for QA/QC testing data from all VB mines Integrate results of Numerical Modelling / Geomechanics Studies & Design to support a robust LOM Ground Control strategy.
  • Review the aspects of backfill in geomechanics studies, including both brownfield and greenfield projects (FEL studies) for NA operations.

About You


  • Undergraduate degree in Process, Chemical, Mechanical, or Mining Engineering.
  • Eligible for Registration as a Professional Engineer in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.


  • A minimum of 8 to 10 years of experience.


  • Strong digital literacy with Microsoft Office Suite – particularly Excel.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong analytical, planning, organizational, and time management skills.

What We Offer You

  • Competitive salary and on-site premiums
  • Attractive pension and benefits (company paid core coverage, flex health and dental coverage, flex accounts, disability plans, and optional insurances)
  • Leave for all of life's reasons (vacation, sick, top up for maternity/parental)
  • All Personal Protective Equipment is provided upon hire. Employees are given a safety boot allowance and receive a 100% reimbursement for prescription safety glasses
  • Employee Family Assistance Program
  • Work culture dedicated to safety, diversity & inclusion, and career growth
  • Opportunities to grow your career in a large global company, and mining industry leader
  • Online training and career development opportunities

Difference Makes All the Difference

At Vale, we are committed to ensuring an inclusive work environment where people feel comfortable to be themselves. Vale encourages everyone to express their ideas and opinions and Vale values the plurality of individual profiles. We want our people to feel that all voices are heard, all cultures respected and that a variety of perspectives are not only welcome – they are essential to our success. We treat each other fairly and with dignity regardless of race, gender, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, age, sexual orientation or any other personal consideration that makes us different.

Vale is an equal opportunity employer seeking to increase diversity across our operations and improve equal opportunity at Vale and in the mining industry.

Interested applicants must submit their application online at Innu Nation members and Nunatsiavut beneficiaries can also submit their application to their Vale Aboriginal Employment Coordinator.

Apply by: Wednesday, June 7th, 2023

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