At the onset it became evident to the pioneer companies that the ores of the Sudbury district should not be direct smelted. The grade of mate produced was usually quite low resulting in too heavy a strain on the converters. Also with the sulphur content so high, it was imperative that it be driven off. Hence recast yards were required.
The summer of 1888 saw the Canadian Copper Company firing its first roast heap. This was but five years since the ores had first been exposed near what became known as Murray Mine. Then mechanization was not the norm with the ore brought to the Copper Cliff beds by wheelbarrows.
By 1912, there were three roast yards within a mile of Copper Cliff. With as many so close to the town, it was virtually impossible for the vegetation and the inhabitants to escape the sulphur atmosphere. However, 1915 saw plans under way for the establishment of beds in an area distant from the community.