Port facilities

We receive, store and ship materials through our port facilities based at the Port of Québec.

The Port of Québec serves North America’s industrial and agricultural heartland and is a cornerstone for the transshipment of solid and liquid bulk cargo along the St. Lawrence making it part of the supply chains of the steel, mining, agri-food, and energy sectors.

Our facilities at the Port are divided into two sections, one for nickel concentrate from Raglan Mine and one for nickel matte from Sudbury INO:

  • Nickel concentrate is created during primary processing. We ship nickel concentrate from Raglan Mine via the Port of Deception Bay to the Port of Québec, where it is loaded onto railcars for shipment to the smelter in Sudbury. About eight trips are made each year, carrying a total of about 240,000 tonnes. 
  • Nickel matte is produced from the smelting of ore concentrates, which lowers the iron content and removes impurities. The nickel matte is shipped from our Sudbury Smelter to the Port of Québec by rail and loaded onto ships bound for Kristiansand, Norway. The Sudbury Smelter and a Norwegian refinery, Nikkelverk, have had a connection since the 1920s, and we have been shipping nickel matte there since 1960. About 22 ships travel each year from the Port of Québec to our facility in Norway, carrying a total of 140,000 tonnes.

The MV Arvik, which means “bowhead whale” in Inuktitut, was built in 2021 and designed to meet the highest technological standards and international environmental requirements, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our supply chain. The MV Arvik is capable of making eight shipments transporting a maximum of 240,000 tonnes of concentrate per year.

Glencore’s facilities are located on land leased from the Port. The facilities include railway tracks, a storage dome, a screw-type ship-unloading device, enclosed conveyor systems and several bag filter dust collectors. All the equipment for loading and unloading ships and rail cars belongs to Glencore, while operations and maintenance are contracted out to St. Lawrence Stevedoring. All loading and unloading operations are covered.

Environmental leadership

Demonstrating efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, the Port operations have been ISO 14001-certified since 2015. ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard that outlines how to put an effective environmental management system in place. It is designed to help organizations improve their environmental performance without overlooking environmental responsibilities.

Our Port of Québec operations has been certified under the Green Marine Environmental Program since 2016, which is a voluntary environment certification program for the North American marine industry. It is a rigorous, transparent and inclusive initiative that addresses key environmental issues through its six performance indicators.

The program encourages its participants to reduce their environmental footprint by taking concrete actions related to air, water and soil quality, biodiversity protection, and community relations. Progress is evaluated on a 1-to-5 scale whereby Level 1 indicates the monitoring of regulations and Level 5 reflects excellence and leadership.

Our commitment to continuous improvement

  • 2013

    Expanded building used for loading/unloading rail cars • Installed doors in buildings used for loading/unloading rail cars • Installed boot lift connectors on rail cars used for shipping nickel matte • Improved site monitoring through remote access to cameras and continuous air quality monitoring

  • 2014

    Increased ventilation and added a filter bag dust collector in the building used for loading and unloading nickel matte rail cars • Tested and installed new radar enabled railcar load level indicators to help prevent over filling • Expanded dust collecting baghouse system and re-routed dust collection lines to maximize performance • Enclosed the nickel matte conveyor system

  • 2015

    Achieved ISO 14001 certification for Glencore’s operations at the Port of Québec • Designed and implemented dust-supressing fog system for ship unloading • Fully enclosed all portions of conveyor systems not already covered • Launched studies into further improvements to ship loading/unloading infrastructure

  • 2016

    Achieved certification to Green Marine Environmental Program, scoring highest level of excellence and leadership for bulk handling and storage • Completed improvements to fog system and ship loading design • Integrated dust monitoring equipment into Glencore systems

  • 2017

    Installed dust monitoring system dashboard to provide operators with real-time data • Designed portable vacuum system to improve site cleaning • Evaluated unloading and dust monitoring technologies for planned MV Arctic ship replacement

  • 2018

    Designed a new ship with cargo holds permitting cleaner unloading • Began engineering and execution of plans for a new ship unloader • Planned improvements to covering the ship’s loading boom and surrounding roadway to further eliminate dust • Ongoing analysis of new technologies to further improve dust monitoring and ship loading and unloading activities

  • 2019

    Installed a vegetated wall at the western limit of the Port of Québec, as part of a five-year project to green the port in collaboration with the Québec Port Authority • Began construction of the new ship

  • 2020

    Installed new concentrate unloading equipment • Modified nickel matte loading procedures to prevent fugitive dust emissions • Installed real-time dust samplers and cameras to improve the warning system

  • 2021

    • Completed maiden voyage of MV Arvik I from Québec City to Deception Bay in May 2021 • Evaluated technologies for new nickel matte loading equipment • Replaced baghouse dust collector No. 10 • Carried out research for the VISION project to use specialized equipment to empty holds while keeping them closed

  • 2022

    • New mobile concentrate unloader on rail allowing efficient unloading of the four holds by limiting the movement of concentrate • Installation of a vision system on the Continuous Self Unloader and commissioning through 2022 • New baghouse dust collector installed on the CV-09 conveyor for concentrate unloading

Concentrate storage building

Railcar loading and unloading facilities

Concrete examples of improvements at the Port of Québec

  • Collaboration between White Birch, QSL, Québec Port Authority and Glencore Canada.
  • 100 metres installed on the west boundary of the Port of Québec property.
  • Covered with vegetation, the wall offers a form of dust and noise mitigation.
  • Mobile equipment on rails allowing an efficient unloading of the four holds while limiting slides of material from working faces in the hold, thus reducing dust emissions at source.
  • Greater manoeuvrability due to the rail system allowing the unloader to access more parts of the hold.
  • Can unload up to 750 tonnes per hour, significantly reducing unloading time (up to one day less).
  • Year of implementation: 2015.
  • Dedicated to Glencore operations (asphalted areas around Glencore facilities).
  • More efficient than a rotary broom for dust collection, it helps keep the outdoor work environment clean while meeting air and rainwater quality objectives.

Contact us

We welcome your questions and comments about our operations at the Port of Québec. Reach us by contacting infoquebec@glencore.ca.