Vale says leak at Copper Cliff smelter in Canada contained

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 13, 2015 11:14 AM

TORONTO (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale said on Thursday that a nitrogen dioxide leak at its Copper Cliff smelter in Sudbury, Ontario had been contained and that the leak did not result in any injuries.

A spokesman for Vale said the incident would not have an impact production as the leak occurred just as Vale was beginning a scheduled maintenance shutdown at the nickel smelter.

"It looks at this point in time like it may be related to some of the shutdown work that was being done," said Cory McPhee a spokesman for Vale in Canada. "Until we're able to investigate further, I can't say with any degree of certainty."

Vale initially declared a Level 3 emergency at the site, but it has now downgraded that to Level 2, meaning that it now only affects the plant, and it is safe for residents in the area to go outside, said McPhee.

Broadcaster CBC earlier reported a yellow plume was visible above the Vale complex — and that cars were being directed away from the smelter.

"The cloud is dissipating. The levels that we registered throughout the event were very low," said McPhee, adding that Vale has not received reports of any adverse effects outside the plant.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha and Allison Martell Editing by W Simon)