420 People Out Of Work As Brunswick Smelter Closes Its Doors

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It’s a big blow for the small northern New Brunswick community of Belledune.

Glencore has announced the permanent closure of Brunswick Smelter, which employs about 420 people.

“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,” said Chris Eskdale, Glencore’s Head Zinc & Lead Assets, in a news release.

“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

The decommissioning process will begin immediately and the smelter will cease all operations by the end of the year.

The company says it’ll seek potential relocation opportunities for workers, adding a small number will be kept to work on-site monitoring, water treatment and closure projects in the months ahead.

Glencore is a diversified natural resource company and a producer and marketer of more than 60 commodities. Its operations include around 150 mining and metallurgical sites and oil production assets.

Brad Perry is the news director for CHSJ/Country 94, a Huddle content partner.