Vale to shut nickel smelting and refining operations in Manitoba, Canada

19 November 2015 (Last Updated November 19th, 2015 18:30)

Brazil-based mining company Vale has announced plans to shut its nickel smelting, as well as refining operations in Manitoba, Canada.

Brazil-based mining company Vale has announced plans to shut its nickel smelting, as well as refining operations in Manitoba, Canada.

Vale mining and milling in Thompson director Mark Scott was quoted by Reuters as saying that the closure will take place in 2018 once the company concludes work so that it can ship nickel concentrate from its mill.

Originally Vale planned to shut these operations in 2015.

Scott said that during the first quarter of 2016, Vale will complete its feasibility study for Footwall Deep project and later on put it in on hold to wait for better prices.

The project is an extension of the existing Thompson ore body.

During this period, nickel from the company's Voisey's Bay mine in Newfoundland and Labrador will be shipped to a new processing facility that is located at Long Harbour, which is in Manitoba, instead of to Thompson and Sudbury in Ontario, reports the news agency.

Separately, Vale said it is expanding its Thompson tailings area, which comprises mining waste such as metal filings, water and chemicals.

Vale's $3.5bn Kronau potash-mining project in Saskatchewan is also put on hold as the company said it is not in a position to finance the project due to prevailing market conditions.

Vale expects that this mine will produce three to four million tonnes of potash a year for over 40 years.