Mining company Glencore plans for new furnace in Sudbury, Ont. (CBC News Sudbury – November 3, 2022)

The current furnace was built in 1978 and one of the oldest of its kind in the world

Mining giant Glencore plans to have a new furnace at its Sudbury operations by 2026. The project is expected to cost more than $100 million.

The company’s current electric furnace was built in 1978, which makes it one of the longest-running furnaces of its kind in the world, according to Peter Xavier, vice-president of Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations.

In mining, furnaces are an important part of smelting operations. They heat up ore and separate it into two products: matte and slag. Matte contains metals like nickel and copper, while slag is a waste product with trace amounts of metals.

Xavier said the furnace still runs well, but it has reached its end of life after years of regular maintenance and upgrades. “There’s a point where you can’t just continue to repair and rebuild the site and walls because the connection point between the site and walls to the base plate becomes more and more difficult to tie in,” he said.

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