Kelly Strong, Vale’s vice-president of Ontario and UK operations, told Reuters that the project could in the range of $1 billion to build with the aim that it will be one of the miner's lowest cost operations.
"It's going to look a little bit different than the original project - it's going to be three phases," Strong told Reuters.
The project would merge and expand two separate mines in Copper Cliff, including Copper Cliff Mine, which is currently in operations, and Copper Cliff South Mine, which was put on care and maintenance after the 2008 recession.
The first phase could start production within two to three years, but the final green light depends on getting the word from the Vale board in Brazil.
Strong shed no new light on a possible merger between Vale and its crosstown rival in Sudbury, Glencore Xstrata Plc, to consolidate operations in the basin.
"Last year we had some conversations. We had committed to getting back together and having conversations in '14, but that hasn't occurred yet and there's really nothing new to report at this time."