Thompson smelter, refinery closing in 2018

Nickel giant Vale will close its smelting and refining operations in Thompson in 2018.

Mark Scott, Vale’s Manitoba Operations mining and milling director, told Reuters last week that once the Thompson mill can produce and ship nickel concentrate, the company will cease smelting and refining in the community.

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Vale first announced in 2010 that it would shut down the smelter and refinery by 2015. The company later announced the pending closure, a result of federal pollution standards, would not come until at least the end of 2015.

In October 2014, Vale said it had reached a deal with the federal government to allow the smelter and refinery to run until the end of 2018.

As of 2010, the Thompson smelter and refinery employed more than 500 people. Vale will continue mining and milling in Thompson.

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