Nfld. & Labrador

Al Chislett, co-discoverer of Voisey's Bay, dies at 69

In the years after he sold his stake in the mining project, Chislett got involved in provincial politics.

Originally from Heart's Delight-Islington, Chislett died of cancer

Al Chislett co-discovered a nickel deposit at Voisey's Bay, that would in time become one of the largest nickel mines in the world. (Vale/Canadian Press)

Al Chislett, the co-discoverer of the massive Voisey's Bay nickel deposit in northern Labrador, has died in St. John's at the age of 69. 

Chislett, who with Christopher Verbiski discovered Voisey's Bay in 1993, had been battling cancer. Before he died, he had been receiving care at the Miller Centre in St. John's.

He was originally from Heart's Delight-Islington but later lived in Conception Bay South.

Al Chislett, seen during a June 2002 interview, died after battling cancer. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The nickel deposit at Voisey's Bay proved to be one of Canada's most substantial mineral discoveries. 

The two men, who co-owned prospecting company Archean Resources, found the deposit while working for Diamond Fields Resources Ltd., which was later acquired by Inco Ltd. 

The discovery triggered a bidding war between several companies, both Canadian and international, with Inco being the ultimate winner. Inco later was bought by mining conglomerate Vale. 

Chislett and Verbiski sold their royalty interest in the mine in 2005 for $180 million, as well as a million shares of a new mining royalty company. 

In 1997 Chislett co-founded the Newfoundland and Labrador Party as a provincial party, but it petered out after a few years when members left and interest waned.