Nickel is mainly used to make stainless steel: it adds strength and corrosion resistance to the steel. With its ability to handle high temperatures, nickel features in specialty steels and superalloys found in jet engines, as an example. Nickel compounds are used in batteries – increasingly so in the electric vehicles helping facilitate our transition to a low-carbon economy.
Helping bring this metal to market are our nickel assets in Canada, which consist of Raglan Mine and Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Sudbury INO), based in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, respectively. Nickel and copper are the primary metals, but we also produce cobalt and precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
Glencore Canada’s nickel business in numbers (2022)
industrial sites: Raglan Mine & Sudbury INO
years in the recycling business
employees and contractors
working partnerships with Indigenous communities
ongoing projects to extend the life of our mines
Nickel is a part of our everyday lives, and a metal that we will increasingly need for a sustainable future. It is all around us, from the utensils we use in our kitchens to the bridges that connect our cities. Yet many people do not even notice its presence because it is a ‘hidden’ metal. Let us explore the extraordinary journey of nickel.
The Journey of Nickel
The extraordinary journey of nickel in our business in Canada begins with the crushing, grinding and processing of ore at Raglan Mine. The concentrate is then trucked to the seaport at Deception Bay in Nunavik. It is stored there in a dome until it begins its 2,600-kilometre sea voyage to the , the concentrate is transferred to a train bound for the Sudbury Smelter, part of our Sudbury INO.aboard the MV Arvik, a state-of-the-art 31,000-DWT (deadweight tonnage) icebreaking bulk carrier. Upon arrival at the
Our operations at the Port of Québec
At Sudbury INO, the Strathcona concentrator receives ore from its two mines, Fraser Mine and Nickel Rim South Mine, as well as third-party custom feed ores and produces two concentrate streams, including a nickel concentrate that goes to the Sudbury Smelter for smelting.
The product created at the Sudbury Smelter returns to the Port of Québec by rail and is then shipped to our refinery in the Norwegian seaside town of Kristiansand where the raw nickel is processed into high quality metals to be sold around the world.
Industry recognition validates how seriously Raglan Mine and Sudbury INO take this matter. Most recently, in May 2023, Nickel Rim South Mine (NRS), part of our Sudbury INO, was awarded the 2022 John T. Ryan National Trophy for Metal Mines for the best safety performance in Canada from the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM).
Sudbury INO Recognized for Safety Excellence
To maintain our industry-leading performance, we have asked our employees to keep the safety conversation going with the following Speaking SafeNickel series.
Speaking SafeNickel with Bleir
Speaking SafeNickel with Sabrina
Speaking SafeNickel with Sheena
Speaking SafeNickel with Ingrid
Speaking SafeNickel with Scott
Speaking SafeNickel with Paul
Speaking SafeNickel with Tony
Recycling and the circular supply chain
Beyond safety, an obvious way we uphold our Purpose to responsibly source the commodities that advance everyday life is through recycling.
We recycle a wide variety of complex end-of-life electronics to extract sustainable metals, helping support a circular supply chain that gives a second life to products that might otherwise be sent to landfill.
Today, our Nickel Department is 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. The secondary materials processed at Sudbury INO are then further refined at our Nikkelverk refinery in Norway where they become finished products with purities amongst the highest in the world.
Recycling: towards a circular economy
A promising future
We’ve been mining nickel-copper ores in the Sudbury area of northern Ontario since 1929 and in the extreme north of Quebec when Raglan Mine went into production in 1997. Capital approvals for the Onaping Depth Project and Sivumut Project were granted in 2017 at Sudbury INO and Raglan Mine, respectively.
These projects, representing more than one billion dollars of investment, change the outlook for the future of the nickel business in Canada. The Onaping Depth Project, an ultra-deep mine, has the potential to extend the life of Sudbury INO to 2035. Likewise, Raglan Mine’s Sivumut Project will extend mine life more than 20 years beyond its existing mines.
We invite you to understand the innovation and imagination driving the Onaping Depth Project forward in the following Building the Mine of the Future video.