SUDBURY – INCO LTD. of Toronto confirmed last Friday, May 20, that it will close its Copper Cliff copper refinery by the end of this year. Operations will be ramped down and the 140 workers offered jobs at other Inco sites near Sudbury.
The decision was announced by Mark Cutifani, Inco’s president of Ontario operations, at a news conference. The decision was economic. The cost of producing a pound of copper at the old, small, antiquated refinery is three times that of competitors, and the purity of the product is less than that of other producers. Inco has inked an agreement with an unnamed Canadian company to refine Inco’s copper when the refinery closes.