Smelting and recycling

In 1930, the company of Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited established the Sudbury Smelter to process material from its mining site, which was built following the purchase of mining claims by the company just two years prior.

Today, the Sudbury Smelter currently smelts nickel concentrate from Sudbury INO and Raglan Mine operations (Raglan Mine is a Glencore owned nickel mining operation based in Nunavik, Quebec) and processes custom-feed materials in the form of concentrates and secondary products.

The Sudbury Smelter forms one part of our Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Sudbury INO).

A history of innovation has played a prominent role at the smelter contributing to tangible environmental improvements over time, including decreased sulphur dioxide emissions.

The most recent push on the downward trend in our emissions has come from our Process Gas Project. Completed in the fall of 2021, this $288 million effort spanned more than ten years and delivered on our commitments to our local community, the environment and our workforce. We invite you to read more about the journey behind the Process Gas and Particulate Emssions Projects, which we are proud to say was led by our own employees, in partnership with our trade partners.

Alongside our effort to reduce emissions is our increasing role supporting a circular supply chain that gives a second life to products that might otherwise be sent to landfill. In fact, 2020 marked our 30th year of processing secondary feed including end-of-life materials, production scrap and waste streams.

Today, we are one of the world’s largest processors of secondary nickel and cobalt bearing materials, including super alloy scrap, battery materials, plating residues and spent catalysts. Over the past 30 years, we have built a solid reputation for recycling in the areas of receiving, sampling and the effective recovery of metals contained in end-of-life materials. With recycling playing an important role in the transition to a low carbon economy, we invite you to learn more about this expanding part of our business.

We know responsibly sourcing commodities means upholding the safety, health and well-being of our employees and contractors. Our workforce at the smelter follow our SafeWork work programs by managing hazards using controls, such as engineered ventilation systems, procedures, using the right personal protective equipment (PPE) and following good hygiene.

While these occupational hygiene practices address the direct health effects of nickel exposure on the respiratory system, in an industry-leading initiative, we began a urinary nickel biological monitoring program in 2012 to track nickel exposures of smelter workers over time.