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Ministry of Labour investigating Glencore dust incident

Ministry says a ‘structural event’ occurred at the smelter building that caused the release of a large plume of dust
Social media photos of the event at the Glencore smelter in Falconbridge.

Ontario's Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development said June 4 that “one order and seven requirements” were issued to Glencore Canada as a result of the structural incident that occurred at the Glencore Smelter in Falconbridge at around 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29.

The labour ministry declined to provide any additional information on the nature of the orders and requirements. 

"The ministry’s investigation is ongoing. As such, no further information can be provided at this time," said an email from the ministry in response to an inquiry from

"It was reported that a structural event occurred at the smelter. No worker injuries were reported. A ministry inspector, engineer and hygienist attended the scene. One order and seven requirements were issued to the employer, Glencore Canada," said the email from the ministry's communications office.

Social media photos of the event at the Glencore smelter in Falconbridge. | Supplied

On May 30, the company responded to inquiries about what had happened.

Iyo Grenon, senior communications specialist for Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, said the incident occurred at 9:45 a.m. on May 29. Planned cleaning of the roaster off-gas system at the smelter resulted in a large release of dust.

“This was an isolated event and the plume occurred over smelter property,” Grenon told

Authorities were notified, she said, and the investigation into the “root cause” is ongoing. She also said no sulphur dioxide (SO2) was released in the incident.

Greater Sudbury Fire Services Deputy Chief Jesse Oshell said the company did notify officials about the incident, which he described as an “abnormal escape of dust.”