Canadian Mining Journal


NICKEL: Vale to close Birchtree mine

MANITOBA – Vale Canada, the Toronto-based arm of mining behemoth Vale SA, has announced the closure of its small Birchtree nickel mine at Thompson. The move is necessary because of weak nickel prices and declining ore grades.

Vale’s refinery and smelter at Thompson, Man., will be closed next year. Credit:

The suspension will begin on Oct. 1, 2017, resulting in as many as 200 lost jobs. The output from the Manitoba operations will fall by 6,000 tonnes of nickel. The existing Thompson underground mine will continue to operate.

Vale’s Manitoba operation is transitioning to mining and milling as construction began last year on a new concentrate loadout facility. The refinery will be shuttered and the old smelter will go cold next year.

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