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Ministry investigating injury at Cobalt refinery

Worker sustained hand injury on Feb. 7
Cobalt train station
The Ministry of Labour is investigating a workplace injury reported at the SMC (Canada) metals refinery in Cobalt (File photo)

The Ministry of Labour is investigating following a Feb. 7 worker injury at a Cobalt metals refinery.

Spokesperson Janet Deline confirmed the ministry received notification of a workplace incident at SMC (Canada) Ltd.'s McAlpine Mill in Cobalt on Feb. 7.

“It was reported that a worker sustained a hand injury by a conveyor belt,” she noted in an email. “An MOL inspector was assigned to investigate and attended the scene.”

Upon their return to the scene to continue the investigation on Feb. 8, the inspector issued 25 orders, including nine stop-work orders, to SMC (Canada) Ltd. in relation to guarding, conveyor belts, risk assessment, and scheduling of internal inspections, she said.

Deline said the investigation is ongoing.

SMC (Canada) Ltd., owned by East Hampton, NY-headquartered Sabin Metal Corporation, is the largest privately owned precious metal refiner in North America.

The company has been operating in Cobalt since 1998 when it acquired the former Agnico Eagle Penn Mill site, renaming the site McAlpine Mill.

According to the Sabin website, the Cobalt mill reprocesses furnace slags to recover trace amounts of metals. The plant processes all of the furnace slags from Sabin’s American facilities as well as slags from outside customers in the secondary precious metal and brass industries.

The mill also provides bulk-sampling facilities for the Canadian gold mining industry.

It has on site three gravity and froth flotation circuits, with capacities of seven tons per day, 25 tons per day and 200 tons per day, respectively.