Friday, April 17, 2009

Vale to close Sudbury and Port Colborne operations for 8 weeks

The Brazilian company that bought Inco in 2006 will shut down operations in two Ontario centres — Sudbury and Port Colborne — for eight weeks this summer.

The closures are a response to weak global demand for nickel, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, or CVRD, said in a news release Thursday.

Vale will close its mining and processing facilities in Sudbury from June 1 to July 27. The shutdown will follow previously planned normal maintenance in May.

The Port Colborne operation, which processes precious metals produced as a byproduct of nickel mining in Sudbury, will be closed for the same time.

Sudbury, one of the largest nickel-producing sites in the world, provided 31 per cent of Vale's output last year, the company said.

Vale is also slowing the development of the Onça Puma nickel project in Brazil for at least a year. It was scheduled to come on stream next January.