The decommissioning process will begin immediately and the smelter will cease all operations by the end of the year


Glencore announces permanent closure of Brunswick smelter facility. Photo: courtesy of Kamyq from Pixabay.

Glencore Canada Corporation (“Glencore”) today announced the permanent closure of the Brunswick Lead Smelter in Belledune, New Brunswick. The decommissioning process will begin immediately and the smelter will cease all operations by the end of the year.

“The decision to cease lead smelting operations at our Brunswick Smelter was a very difficult one. Despite years of efforts by committed employees and a strong management team, the smelter has been uneconomic since the closure of the Brunswick Mine in 2013. We have thoroughly assessed all our options and come to the unavoidable conclusion that the smelter is simply not sustainable, regardless of the recent labour dispute,” said Chris Eskdale, Glencore’s Head Zinc & Lead Assets. “I would like to express my gratitude to all Brunswick smelter employees, past and present, for their tremendous commitment and efforts over the many years of operations. We are fully committed to working closely with employees and unions as well as other community stakeholders to mitigate the impact as much as possible.”

The Brunswick smelter opened in 1966 and employs approximately 420 people. All affected employees will be treated with fairness and respect through the closure process. Glencore intends to provide pension, severance and outplacement support services for all employees as part of closure settlements to be agreed on. The company is committed to meeting with union leadership to discuss an orderly transition to closure.

The company will seek potential relocation opportunities at its mining and metallurgical operations in other provinces and countries which may be available to Brunswick Smelter workers. The company will also work with local stakeholders and agencies to identify opportunities for regional economic development.

Glencore will meet all of its closure obligations with respect to environmental and other regulatory requirements. The company anticipates that a small number of employees will be retained to work on site monitoring, water treatment and closure projects in the months ahead.

Source: Company Press Release