A large nickel deposit was discovered in hills along the western shore of the bay in September 1993 by Archean Inc., a prospecting firm hired by Diamond Fields Resources Inc.. This deposit is considered to be one of the most substantial mineral discoveries in Canada in the last 40 years and is estimated to contain 141 million tonnes at 1.6% nickel.
Currently the mining rights for the Voisey's Bay nickel deposit belong to the Toronto-headquartered Vale Inco company, a subsidiary of CVRD, the largest mining and metals company in the Western Hemisphere.
Since the discovery of the Voisey's Bay deposit, efforts have been stepped up to find similar deposits in coastal Labrador.
The question of where Voisey ore would be processed had previously been one of the obstacles to developing the site, with the government of Newfoundland and Labrador demanding that a facility be built in the province to provide jobs there, while Inco workers in Sudbury and Thompson were simultaneously threatening to strike if the ore was not sent to their existing facilities in order to preserve and protect their jobs. The existing workers in Sudbury and Thompson eventually accepted a compromise, in which the ore would be shipped to their facilities until 2011, when a new facility being built in Newfoundland is ready to begin operations, with the profits in Sudbury and Thompson reinvested in developing new mining sites in those communities.