The Copper Cliff iron ore recovery plant was built by INCO in 1953
It was an iconic part of Greater Sudbury’s mining history to some, and a decaying eyesore to others, but the former Copper Cliff iron ore recovery plant is finally coming down.
Starting in the mid-1950s, the facility was used to separate remaining traces of iron ore and sulphur from waste produced by nickel mining operations. Vale spokesperson Angie Robson said there should be no trace of the facility by the end of 2018.
“Obviously it was a very historically significant part of our operations. It employed many in the community over the years, so it’s quite significant that the plant is now being decommissioned,” said Robson.
INCO began construction on the plant in 1953, while its chimney was built the following year. The facility stopped operating in 1990, though its smokestack was redirected to serve a nearby nickel refinery. That chimney will remain standing and in use well into the future.
Vale took over the site when it purchased INCO in 2007 and has been planning to demolish the former plant for nearly a decade. The company had been forced to wait, however, as endangered peregrine falcons had selected the building as an annual nesting site.
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