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Brazilian mining giant Vale has reached a tentative settlement in an 18-month-long strike with workers at its Voisey's Bay nickel mine in Labrador.

The deal was reached on Wednesday evening in St. John's after a single day of bargaining between the company and the United Steelworkers, which represents the 130 workers.

"We're going up to talk to our members and hopefully ratify it by early next week," said Wayne Fraser, a director with the union.

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USW will hold several meetings to discuss the deal, followed by a secret ballot vote. The union's bargaining committee is recommending that the membership approve the deal.

Mr. Fraser declined to discuss its contents until after it has been approved, but said the deal was reached with a help of a mediator. He said the two sides had only a few small issues to resolve.

Workers walked off the job in a dispute fuelled by wages and benefits, as well as by a disagreement with the company over how long a new contract should last.

Last year, the province launched an inquiry into the matter to recommend solutions. Earlier this month, the company rejected the inquiry's conclusions, including its recommendation that the company and the union sign a four-year contract. The company argued that doing so would mean the mine contract would expire at the same time as the one governing workers at its operations in Sudbury, which would set the stage for a possible double strike.

Vale officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday evening.

The company has used replacement workers to run the mine, which can produce 50,000 tonnes of nickel ore a year.

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