Brazil miner Vale has announced it is shutting down its Sudbury mines and smelters in the Canadian province of Ontario for eight weeks.

Vale parent Companhia Vale do Rio Doce said it will close its five operating Sudbury mines and its entire suite of nickel processing operations in June and July following a major downturn in nickel prices and falling demand for the metal.

About 5,000 Vale employees will be affected by the shutdown with some staff being given temporary layoff notices, the company said.

The shutdowns follow Xstrata Nickel’s decision to shut most of its mining operations in Sudbury in February when it laid off over 600 workers.

By staff writer