Glencore announces permanent closure of Brunswick Smelter Facility


Glencore has announced the permanent closure of the Brunswick Lead Smelter in Belledune.

In a release, the company says 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

Glencore says the Brunswick smelter opened in 1966 and employs around 420 people.

The company says it intends to provide pension, severance and outplacement support services for all employees as part of closure settlements to be agreed on, and is committed to meeting with union leadership to discuss an orderly transition to closure.

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