July 28 decommissioning of the structure makes way for first stage of multi-year project
With the news that Vale’s Superstack is no longer operational, the nickel giant is now poised to start the demolition process on the 50-year-old structure.
On July 28, the company announced it had decommissioned the 1,250-foot (381-metre) stack at its Copper Cliff Complex in Sudbury during a period of regular maintenance.
In the broader context, taking the stack out of service represents a landmark moment of the environmental progress for Vale (formerly INCO) and the mining industry as a whole.
During the maintenance shutdown, Vale said, it had finished tying in the flue system to two smaller, 450-foot (137-metre) stacks that had been erected in its place. Construction on those two structures was completed in 2019.
Before work can begin, there will be a two-month transition period, during which the stack will remain on standby as a backup. That means keeping burners located at the bottom of the stack operational for an interim period, although it’s “unlikely” the company would go back to using the Superstack, explained Joe Costigan, manager at the smelter complex.